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TwoHeadedTroll

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Insightful, but sounds like a PR piece

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

Reviewed: 29-01-20

While it gave considerable background and history of the concept of the Stellenbosch Mafia as a phrase and as a concept, and placed it within a broader context, du Toit is unfamiliar with the social concept of a mafia as being a loose grouping of people who undermine, usurp and distort free markets to benefit an in-group. As such, his claim that the Stellenbosch Mafia is neither criminal nor a syndicate fails to address the central implied assertion of the term. Nevertheless for an insight into modern Afrikaner identity and its role in the Steinhoff Saga it contains many valuable insights.

Over acted, but still a classic

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

Reviewed: 20-01-20

it was an enjoyable listen despite KB over acting and seemingly underpreparing. The book of course is a classic, albeit with somewhat uncomfortable colonial era characterisations.

Interesting portrait

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

Reviewed: 24-10-19

I really enjoyed the book. It is clearly well researched on a subject that gets far too little coverage. I have three comments to make though: 1) it is a subjective portrait of early christianity, not a balanced analysis, despite being informative. For example, the gruesome graphic murder of Hypatia could be seen as a power struggle between elements of christianity rather than an assault on philosophy. 2) it is somewhat repetitive: lots of statues (nearly all) were torn down and destroyed, but we dont need to hear about each individually 3) the decision to jump around dates makes it a confusing structure as an audio book. This is less confusing as a print book. Nonetheless, it was very informative and a pleasure to listen to.

informed, infornative and interesting

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

Reviewed: 03-08-19

There was an excellent grounding in the social aspect of the little ice age, an excellent history of ideas during the same period, although the link between them was subject to confirmation by the reader. For sceptic, scientist, philosopher or activist, there's much to mull over.

Weird narration, no opinion on the story

Overall
1 out of 5 stars
Performance
1 out of 5 stars
Story
3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 30-10-18

I abandoned this book after 3 chapters. The stilted narration was extremely distracting, to the point of not being able to follow the story, much less engage with the characters. it is possible the book would be better, but the audio book was worthless, and it has put me off Orhan Pamuk.

plenty for anyone

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

Reviewed: 10-03-18

Not the easiest listen but there are certainly sections which will be new and interesting for almost any reader who has dabbled in layman's Quantum mechanics or relativity. Generally interspersed anecdotal info with technical to give it listenable.

Rare common sense:

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

Reviewed: 12-01-18

I am not qualified to comment on the accuracy of his philosophical diversions, which nevertheless were interesting. While I wouldnt agree 100% the broad thrust of his critique of the finance/entertainment industry hits its mark almost all the time.

I have long been put off reading his books by what passed for arrogance on the author's part, considering what he has written as mere common sense. However, as I encountered the sacred cows of the finance world, I increasingly appreciated common sense is surprisingly rare, and, for many, totally counterintuitive.

Indeed here I found his overconfidence added salt to the narrative. I think this is eminently readable, at least for those with some market experience. and the flow of the book works well. intellectually the heart of the book has much to teach but I suspect only about a third of readers will get an intuitive grasp.

My only criticism would be that he NT doesn't seem to have an appreciation of the information structure and institutional dynamics of the industry. That however may be the result of the dynamics of the writing and reading process, which require him to address a specific important idea simply and cohesively rather than stretching himself too thin and making his book overcomplicated.

Vague predictions, meaningless prescriptions

Overall
1 out of 5 stars
Performance
3 out of 5 stars
Story
1 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 26-11-17

Past data amounted to compiling a glossary and a few well known facts like "PayPal was and still is an important player". Predictions were so vague as to be useless, viz "in the future will continue to change". Prescriptions were therefore meaningless: "banks should recreate appropriately". In short, the article is guilty of bandwagonning, in touching on lots of interesting things, but not providing any actual insights. it may be more useful for those looking for an introduction, but for that kind of user I think it may be too technical.