Published: September 4, 2007
Narrator: Bill Clinton
Audiobook Length: 6 hrs and 20 mins
Genres: Audiobook, Non-fiction
The Short, Sweet, and Spoiler-Free Blurb:
Bill Clinton shares his own experiences and those of other givers, representing a global flood tide of nongovernmental, nonprofit activity. These remarkable stories demonstrate that gifts of time, skills, things, and ideas are as important and effective as contributions of money. From Bill and Melinda Gates to a six-year-old California girl named McKenzie Steiner, who organized and supervised drives to clean up the beach in her community, Clinton introduces us to both well-known and unknown heroes of giving.
What kind of evil person gives a book about charity one star? Me apparently. I think Giving was supposed to be a book but it was really one long, tedious list of all the charities Bill Clinton could think of. He would just skip from one story to the next so they all kind of ran together into a mesh of helping rural Chicago with micro loans in Bangladesh and someone won a peace prize. The writing was pretty awful. This whole book was just a list of lists. If the comma could talk it would say this book has over-worked the poor comma more than any other book. The comma now refuses to be in any more books by Bill. “We’re on strike! No more lists!”
That being said, this book gives an overall feeling that there are a lot of good people out there and it’s easy to help. Bill Clinton even admits at the beginning of the book that his goal was to expose people to the many charities out there. And he definitely does. There are even a few very inspirational stories strewn throughout the book but I really wish there had been more of them. I feel like a really good google search for charities around the world could accomplish the same thing as this 6 hour audiobook.
To assuage my guilt about hating on a book written to inspire people to give to charity, here are some of the things I did like. The book talks briefly about the value of money. When you reach a certain point money stops having value and it’s better to give it to those in need. Warren Buffet is quoted in the book about how he didn’t need $30 billion dollars so he gave it away. Bill Clinton portrays his wife as the most charitable person he knows and someone he looks up to when it comes to giving. Bill, you are one lucky dude that’s all I can say.
Narrator Review: ★★
I didn’t know this audiobook was read by Bill Clinton. It made me almost want to return it. His accent didn’t end up being as bad as I thought it would be but he did read it rather fast. But honestly - I’ve never listened to such a boring audiobook. Ok this was only my second audiobook but I can promise you – I doubt I will ever listen to one that is more boring than this one. I sped the narration up at the end because I was ready to be done and curious to see if the book got better towards the end. It didn’t.
Overall, this felt like one long, never-ending list that lasted for six hours about as many charities as he could think of. There just wasn’t enough of the great inspirational stories to keep my attention.
Content Rating: None.
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