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As a trauma nurse out in Afghanistan, I experienced the death of a friend firsthand. He had passed away on route to our location and so all we could do was prepare his body for his journey home. After this moment, in time, I came to reject all my adolescent views on reality in search of objective truths. Those ideas shared between both science and religion, in order to see how others view the world.
I typed in "looking" on the Audible search engine and found this book. How lucky was I.
There is something about the "ding" moments in life where we put the puzzle pieces together. Only our puzzle is filled with thousands upon thousands of separate bits of information and often looking in the strangest places will reveal this puzzle we call reality. This book shows how others see the world and helps us get into the mind of interesting individuals.
For myself, a much deeper meaning emerges from her words.
There are so many fights between the sciences and religion. While I subscribe more to the former, this book shows how ignorant we are to the majority of the events around us. I am now forced to bite my tongue, listen, and understand the other to find common ground while noticing the differences between myself and others.
Ultimately, her perception further teaches us to notice the intricacies in life. The dull commute to work is now a dazzling spectacle, where one can even find beauty in a rock.
13 of 14 people found this review helpful
Alexadra Horowitz is a brilliant scholar who works on interesting stuff, knows it, and wants to do something few scholars do: share it with the rest of us. Like Chet Raymo's "The Path: A One-Mile Walk Through the Universe" or David Haskell's "The Forest Unseen," she asks us to pay close attention to that small part of the world closest at hand, and thus most likely to be overlooked. Ms. Horowitz does so by bringing experts of various sorts along on walks around her block, and weaves together their insights on what lies beyond the eyeball with her own expertise into what's going on behind it. For all those reasons, I was looking forward to "On Looking." Unfortunately, I wasn't able to finish listening to it.
As a writer, Ms. Horowitz tries too hard, like an earnest undergraduate who's fallen in love with language for the first time, discovered the thesaurus, and can't wait to use all the new words she's found there. Her love seems to spill over into her narration. She seems to be more focused on making sure that each of those lovely words is enunciated as clearly as possible with little awareness of the rhythm and flow of complete sentences, much less the broader arcs of paragraphs. Other reviewers seem to like this, and I really wish I could've gotten beyond it, but to my ear the overall result sounds overly pretentious and entirely too precious.
I hope Ms. Horowitz will keep sharing her world with us, mature into as good of a writer as she is a scholar, and leave the reading to a more skilled narrator who can bring her words to life.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful
I was really keen to listen to this as I had read the author's book about understanding dogs. I had also seen this book referred to as one of the top ten books that should be read. The first three accounts of walks were interesting and then it became too samey. The author's voice is monotonous too and that doesn't help. I tried to return the book but the system wouldn't let me and said I had to ring audible customer service. As I didn't want to spend ages on the phone possibly justifying why I didn't like it , I decided to plod through to the end. And that's all it is now, a plod. I'm sorry, I tried.
1 of 2 people found this review helpful