Review: Ghost in the Wires

Ghost in the Wires: My Adventures as the World’s Most Wanted Hacker
by Kevin D. Mitnick, William L. Simon, Steve Wozniak

I give this book 3, almost a 3 ½.

Okay

This is the story of a computer hacker, but not just any hacker. Apparently this is the story of the world’s most wanted computer hacker, Kevin Micknick. The story is told from his point of view and is quite relatable to the modern trend of popularizing average people and making them seem larger than life. I do, however, feel that Kevin Micknick is so much more than average, but I got the feeling I was watching his reality show the whole time I listened to this book (I got it as an audio book).

There is a bunch of “stuff” to be learned from reading this book, but unless you have a keen interest in: phone & communication systems, computers, internet traversal, file sharing, and even a bit of legalese, this book isn’t going to keep your interest. I am actually fascinated by these kinds of things so, for the most part, I really enjoyed this book. Aside from all the technical talk, this book does tell the compelling story of one man’s life-long struggle with hacking and all that comes and goes with it.

I think the main reason I didn’t give this book a higher rating was because I didn’t care much for Kevin in the long run. His story is amazing and his level of almost genius hacking and manipulation skills are impressive, but he’s kind of a jerk. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying that he’s a bad guy, he simply does a lot of annoying and silly things (I know a guy like him. He’s a friend, but still a jerk). Most of his problems he caused himself, and even after learning of the injustices he had to face, I still feel like he went through it all because there was no other way he was going to learn his lesson. I think someone who’s more of a people person than I am might not hold Kevin’s personality against the rating of this book, but since he’s telling the story, I find it difficult not to be swayed by my reaction to him as opposed to simply his story.

I think this book is a real eye-opener to all the people who think their identities are so secure and would recommend it for that reason alone. Who knows, someone else may really be in to Kevin’s personality. I don’t see many moms diving into to this, it’s not good for kids, some teens might like it if they’re into tech, but there is profanity present. This one’s for the guys.

This review has been posted to GoodReads. If you’d like to obtain a copy of this book, try this link.

Thank you for taking the time to read this post. If you like it let me know and share it with others. See you next time, Toi Thomas. #thetoiboxofwords

Review: The Trustee in the Toolroom

 

The Trustee in the Toolroom by Nevil Shute

I give this book a 4 (and a half, if I did halves).

LikeIt

I really enjoyed this story when it wasn’t making me angry (more on this later), but then I just have anger issues to begin with. This is a really simple and sweet clever story about a man who’s willing to go to great lengths to keep his word- and what’s not to like about that.

The story of Keith Stewart describes the rare instance of a man finding true peace and contentment in his life, career, and relationships. For Keith, the whole world revolves around his workshop and the work he does there writing for a magazine, but he’s no hermit. The one thing he finds that’s more important to him than his work is his word and his love for his family. When Keith finds himself the new guardian of his young niece and the trustee to her would be inheritance, he makes it his life’s purpose to secure a fine future for his new charge, despite not having the means to do so (here’s where I get angry).

As wonderful and miraculous as this story is, Keith’s adventure never would have taken place if someone living comfortably above his station had simply acknowledge and compensated him for what he was truly worth…that’s all I’ll say about that.

The story is told with almost manual precision, but the author’s style and flare with words keeps you pulled into the story. It’s not a fast pace action packed chronicle of a great adventure, but it is indeed a great adventure. Keith literally goes on a journey around the world trying to retrieve a modern-day treasure. He ends up traveling by bus, train, plane, boat, ship, and even helicopter while encountering a great number of interesting characters along the way. To help Keith along on his journey is his forever honest and cheery disposition, his masterful mind, and his unexpected fame.  This is a different kind of underdog story where there is no real favorite, just one man with a purpose fighting against a plethora of obstacles. The reader has no choice but to root for Keith all the way home.

This was a wonderful book to listen to, perfect for my drive home. There is a lot of technical engineer talk that may or may not be interesting to readers (or listeners), but I don’t feel it took away from the overall story. Though I can’t imagine a child or teenager having the temperament for this kind of book, I’d recommend it to anyone else.

This review has been posted to GoodReads. If you’d like to obtain a copy of this book, try this link.

Thank you for taking the time to read this post. If you like it let me know and share it with others. See you next time, Toi Thomas. #thetoiboxofwords