Book Review: The Power of One

I have noticed that when I write up a book review the main drivers of whether I recommend the book or not are: 1. how difficult it is to read and 2. how enjoyable it is.

There are more good books that exist in this world than any of us will have time to read, so I think it is valuable to understand if a book is worth the investment of time that it takes to read it.

From now on I will try to quanitify both difficulty and enjoyability in all book reviews. I will rate both aspects on a 1:10 scale, and I would think you would want at least a 1:1 ratio for a book to be worth your time.

For example, I recently read “The Road”. It was very short and a very simple read, so I’ll rate it a 3. I thought the book was pretty sweet. I’ll give it an 8. A pretty powerful 8:3 ratio. Probably worth everybody here’s time.

As far as “The Power of One” goes – I can’t say I wildly recommend it. Basically it tackles themes of death/racism/religion/the usuals through the eyes of a very likable and innocent young boy growing up in South Africa during World War II. There are a lot of childhood adventures, kind of Tom Sawyer like, with a lot of well described characters and settings. Definetly a well written book. For me, the problem is that the author makes the main character too good at everything. He is like a super athlete and genious, and everything comes annoyingly easy to him. His adventures become repetative and boring because by about the 2nd or 3rd time through it becomes clear that all will end well.

It definetly was an enjoyable read though. I’ll give it a 5.  (by the way, I am rating on a sliding scale from 1 to 10, where 5 is actually a true average. Not like that ice skating bullshit where 9.4 out of 10 isn’t necessarily a good score. 6 means above average in my world, not 6 like 60% F you fail.) (Also, I am an expert book selector, and very rarely read a shitty book. So a 5 to me is the average book that I have read, comming from a population of exceptional books, so I guess you might have to weight my scores to align with your own poor book selection. This is likely a 7 or an 8 in your world)

This book was pretty long. It wasn’t real hard to read, but it wasn’t necesarrily a quick read either. I will give it 7 in difficulty.

The ratio comes in at 5:7. Don’t read this one. “The Road” though… man, that book ruled. Read it.

Advertisements

5 Responses to “Book Review: The Power of One”

  1. Not the kind of hoboboobies endorsement the author was hoping for.

    What are you reading next? I propose we read the same book so we can figure out if its actually good (im not reading the road, sorry): http://www.nytimes.com/2006/09/03/books/review/Holt.t.html?_r=1&scp=1&sq=a%20madman%20dreams%20of%20turing%20machines&st=cse&oref=slogin

    There is my choice. Hear me out. Its basically nonfiction account of two geniuses. The author was talking about the book and most of the themes relate directly to what we talk about. Basically you are Godel and I am Turin. Godel is a maniac/genius who claims we are here for a reason and then starves himself to death. Turing is a maniac/genius who believes we are biological machines and is accused of homosexuality then poisons himself. Plus there is a crazy third character who is a go-between the two adversaries (Corey). Whats not to like?

  2. I dont have the book yet, and will take other recommendations.

    and fyi Im half way through Heinlein’s “The Moon is a Harsh Mistress” (a lunar libertarian thriller!) if you would like to partake in that…

  3. I second starting a hoboboobies book club. I am currently reading Pillars of the Earth, which is incredible, but will probably take me at least 4 weeks to finish.

    Anybody that wants to get on board, lets aim to be free to start a new book as of September 15th.

  4. I am just finishing “the happiest man in the world”. It is a factual account of a traveling vagabond who twice travels across the Atlantic Ocean in rafts he builds out of garbage, along with other adventures from his 70+ plus years of grifting. Needless to say I strongly recommend it.

    I am also currently reading “Cosmic Code” by Heinz Pagel. My old hippie friend Richard said it is the best Quantum Physics intro he has ever read. I am only 2 chapters into it so far so if you guys want to jump on board on that let me know.

  5. You’re in luck Bigdog. I just found The Road on Angie’s book club, so I started reading it. You can thank Harpo for that one.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: