Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Book Review: 33 Men

33 Men: Inside the Miraculous Survival and Dramatic Rescue of the Chilean Miners 
by Jonathan Franklin (Amazon, book description contains spoilers)

You remember this news story, right? Well, just in case you don't, it was kinda a huge deal, and I don't want to spoil things for you, so I'll try to leave out any details that may give things away.

I was a little skeptical about this book at first only because it seemed to come out way too fast after the event. Very commercialized and not respectful of the people in the tragedy. I felt the same way when the movie World Trade Center came out...just not  the right thing to do (that movie came out 4 years after 9/11, and this book came out 4 months after the event was over). But once while at King Soopers I saw the book, picked it up, and I could barely put it down in the store! It was just so intriguing. So when Borders went out of business I jumped on that steal of a deal (I think 70% off or something like that) right away! ***This was part of my last purchase from Borders ever, so sad.***

First off, I really liked this book! It was detailed, informative, respectful, a couple swear words, but mostly just a really extensive news story. Downsides: if you have a weak stomach or don't like the dark side of the news it may not be for you; the second and third quarters of the book are pretty dismal. But I really like those kinds of stories, the ones that are bit edgy to make their point. I really didn't feel like too much of what was said was embellished just to be thrilling--parts were, of course--but that was really nice. Also, this story is different than other types of tragedies because the reporter had literally months to research and interview while the story was unfolding. Very different than the 9/11 movie in that respect.

Second off, if I hadn't got it on sale I probably would not have bought it. Knowing what I know now, it's just not a book I see myself picking up and reading again and again. It's a news story, not a journey per se. There's no "character development" because there are no characters, just people. I got what I wanted from it, and now I'm done. My point is that if you can get it from a friend or the library, I would do that. Save your money and buy a new pair of shoes, or some classic literature. Whichever suits your fancy.

So, my amateur rating for this book is
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆

I did really love it, but I feel like a 4-star book is one I plan on re-reading or at least referencing again or glad I purchased. I would recommend this book to most people (Nick has no interest in reading it, just not his cup of tea). Additionally, the story introduces some ideas that maybe a bit mature for younger audiences, so not a good bedtime story for anyone under 16. 

I'm still working on reading The Book of Mormon by the end of the year as well as reading my next book club book, Matched by Ally Condie.

Happy Reading!

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