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Nithin

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Dense but clear, mostly

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 08-10-20

I selected this book after reading Daniel Kahneman’s ‘Thinking Fast and Slow’, which was a breeze compared to this monster. This book needs a lot of referencing and the reader must commit their full attention at all times, I held the book and revisited narrations at the same time I was listening to this audiobook, emptied a highlighter marking important passages and references from beginning to the end. I gave 4 stars under ‘Story’ as the author could have expanded on Upanishads which he only mentioned in passing as tertiary reference. Ancient Upanishads cover a great deal of what he was trying to explain. Maybe another left brain rejection? Another case of Gödel’s incompleteness!

I am blessed to have heard this piece of work

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 18-10-19

Those whole control the present, control the past. Those who control the past, control the future. Rome controlled the present of its times for the single longest period in human history, hence the past also belongs to them and they created this future we live in. Ironically, the catalyst for this greatest empire that stood the test of time was for the longest time, the only and forever the greatest enemy of Rome. Vilified by uneducated notions of history, this rendition does great justice to a force of nature who’s presence reverberated over millennia. How we wish that Carthage wasn’t destroyed. The question we ask ourselves now is whether cruelty is only a function of conquest, if so why punish the cruel?

A must read for all history buffs

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 08-10-19

If Constantine has not witnessed what appeared to him as an omen in the sky, Christianity may have remained the cult it was for the previous 3 centuries. It took the resolve of a maverick who’s impulsiveness can be gauged by the speed with which he executed his own son, for Christianity to find its anchor into the future.

A burst of a biography

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 22-09-19

It takes an informed & highly aware mind to appreciate this book. Unlike Julius Caesar, Napoleon & might I add Alexander and Hannibal Barca, are relative unknowns. Even today most people cannot understand why these great generals were who they were. For while it is easy to club them with other tyrants like Hitler or Genghis Khan, one know intuitively that the former were puritanical conquerors who were married to the idea of conquest versus the latter’s pure cruelty. This book is useless to an uninformed & intellectually unpasteurized mind, otherwise it is a wonderful rendition about a true force of nature.

Jeff Bezos recommended this book, worth it.

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 03-04-19

I’m a black swan & I’ve always thanked providence for supporting me. Taleb put this in perspective for me & I’m thankful to him for putting structure around such an ambiguous subject. I also realised that only few of us recognise black swans as most of us tend to be lost in the bell curve of our lives, chasing new dreams while conveniently missing old ones along the way. Taleb also proved there is a God, but not as we understand God to be. Thank you for the wonderful authorship, though it was a little painful at times and I won’t call this a literary fault. The narrator though seems a little inexperienced and while he has tried to appear high minded, it’s impossible to miss the condescending tone which sometimes doesn’t carry the essence of this book deep enough for all readers to appreciate, lest we revise some chapters as I had to on multiple occasions. There were also some avoidable errors in narration, though it’s human and forgivable, audible is a product & customers can’t but expect perfection. All is well that ends well.

A revealing book

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 14-03-19

Rajiv Gandhi bashing aside this book is great, of course the author has not missed any opportunity to put the Nehru-Gandhi family down and possibly appeasing the right. That said history belongs to the victors. As the saying goes “Those who control the present control the past, and those who control the past control the future”.

Facets of a genius

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 08-02-19

As a realist tilting towards fatalism I enjoyed getting to know this force of nature who shaped our modern world by his indomitable spirit. Millions of bodies he may have left in his wake as some people might say, but in a world tearing itself apart trying to prove itself right population loss is but a collateral. In my understanding Kissinger taught us about humanity by risking being just as less a human as we can tolerate. I’m not surprised we revere him for his conviction and grace, while teetering on the brink of humanity. To some extent he purged his own humanity to let us experience more of it. A diplomat he is, but more a mirror to our collective conscience as people of earth.

Sublime is such an understatement

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 11-01-19

Wonderful rendition of the universal truth. Amazed by the way the Gita is rationalised to help even the simplest mind receive seemingly complex messages with such ease. Narayana will be happy to see his divine message being upheld and disseminated in such sublime fashion. Stay blessed Prabuddha & Vivek! Om Namo Narayanaya.