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Customer Review

147 of 167 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Inspirational, definitely; drudgery at times, December 30, 2009
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This review is from: The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind: Creating Currents of Electricity and Hope (P.S.) (Kindle Edition)
I didn't really know what to expect when I purchased this book for my Kindle, although I will admit that I noticed the high marks (5 stars) from the other reviewers. So I decided to give it a try and see what the hype was about.

For the first 10% of the book (Kindle doesn't have page numbers) I really was regretting the purchase. The pages were filled with stories of William (main character) as a young boy and the various predicaments he found himself in. The stories told of magic and witchcraft that caused all kinds of terrible things to happen and the overall direction of the book seemed to bounce back and forth from story or idea to another story or idea. I found myself thinking that these stories were so farfetched, how is the remainder of the book going to integrate these magical tales. At that point, I wasn't looking forward to reading more of the book. Nevertheless I persevered and was happily rewarded.

As William grows older (relatively speaking), the story - rather than witchcraft and magic - turns to real life events (famine and hardship) which actually brings you closer to William and his family. Not that many of us can relate to devastating famine where it wipes out entire populations, but it does help us understand what William had to deal with during such a trying time. Some touching moments are created in these pages and definitely rewards for turning the pages.

Once William begins his journey of harnessing the wind, for me, this was the most interesting part of the book. It truly was fascinating to me to not only learn how some of the things we take for granted (like electricity) can play such an integral role in communities that are essentially third world countries but also how one would go about constructing things with no money. The inspiration and true reward which William finally receives for his hard work does make you want to stand up and feel proud - it's definitely a feel good moment to say the least.

It was funny, as I was reading the first 10% of the book, I was going to give this review one star. Then as I continued to read on, I planned on raising it to two stars and when I finished, it was three stars. And while I agree that it could be given a true five star rating, portions of the book just seemed so distracting to me that it actually took away from the reading. Again, this is a truly inspirational story and that alone is a five star rating but fold in much of the remaining passages and it loses some of it's luster - hence the three stars.

Overall though, should you decide to pick up a copy, just know that if you're bored in the first pages, it will get better.
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Showing 1-7 of 7 posts in this discussion
Initial post: May 18, 2010 9:19:27 AM PDT
Appreciate your honest review. I think I'll still buy it, as I'm both ADHD and Dyslexic, so the bouncing back and forth will seem natural to me.

Posted on May 15, 2011 2:53:44 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on May 15, 2011 1:41:11 PM PDT
C. McAfee says:
I thought that the comments M.Silverstein wrote were so out of touch with this young mans' experience. He is like a rose that grew out of concrete. Who believed that he had the power and the essence to bring forth what most young people would have considered it a fleeting thought as would most adults. It would remain a day dream instead of developing it into a tangible,real,needed, and something most necessary in our time. His brilliance showed up, with the power of wonderment driven by his heart! He did not allow what he was being taught or the environment in which he woke up to and slept in, nor the very air he breathed take his love away from what was so real to him. I am sure he had many mornings that his stomach growled with hunger, however all of that did not over shadow " God's twinkling of an eye" moment. Destiny was calling him and the other beautiful thing is, this wasn't just for him but for everyone a gift, at fourteen! The very breath he took he was willing to share so that others could also breathe! At his banquet, everyone could attend and he knew in his heart that somehow there was more. He took what little he had and knew and created a masterpiece! He colored his world green without the benefit of options. He created a building without any blueprints! Tradition has shown and continues to tell us that we must have the most brilliant of minds with all of the bells and whistles! Well this young man has shown us that there are Einsteins, Carvers, and Edisons like him living in the desert, living in very trying and grevious circumstances and places all around the world without the benefit of an instructor or any education. They are waiting for us to get over ourselves and quit playing with our "toys" and just thinking of our own selfish interests. The magical minds of these blessed people are here right now! We need to unthink our delusions. Instead let's embrace and celebrate our wonder. Our power and God's graciousness reminds us of our true purpose to care about our neighbor and fellow man and to those coming when we are gone. He is a genius and what he has will change our world and make it a better one for his own children and all the children of the world, we are one with him because we are him. I am so proud of him, this story gives me hope and reminds me that there are endless possibilities for those who believe especially for those who put their heart into it for the benefit of all. The most wonderful gift that we can give each other, love. None of this would be possible without it. When you read this book, read and feel what you don't see, that is where
you will find his gift for you. Think about it, what you were doing at fourteen?

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 27, 2011 3:17:26 PM PDT
While your comments are all true, I don't think the original review was disparaging of the overall story. I don't think the reviewer was trying to say the story wasn't inspirational. I think the reviewer is just being honest and saying the first ten to twenty pages are simply a strange catalog of odd African folklore that is not very riveting. Just because the story is fascinating doesn't mean that every page of the telling of the story is as fascinating, and the reviewer is being honest about that.

Posted on Dec 18, 2011 5:56:03 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 18, 2011 6:03:03 AM PST
Healthy5 says:
I was curious as to what 'far fetched' meant. I am hoping that you don't mean he made up these events. In regards to witchcraft, it is actually very real, not 'far fetched' and most certainly not made up. A quick visit to some of the places mentioned in his book could really open our American eyes. There is not *always* effectual power when it comes to witchcraft, but sometimes there is - (serious non-coincidental happenings associated with it).

Just thought I'd share.

Have a great day.

Posted on Feb 14, 2012 1:09:38 PM PST
Georgia says:
This is not a novel. It is the true story of life in Malawi, Africa. Magic and witchcraft are a part of life and belief, a strong influence on the people. The amazing part of the story is that in spite of the things that we believe to be backward, William was able to accomplish something remarkable. His determination to better the life of his family was so strong that he was willing to endure the ridicule of all the people around. He believed what he read in library books that he essentially had to translate first, and followed the dream. Our lives are so easy in comparison, it is hard to believe such a world like this exists.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 4, 2012 11:49:49 AM PST
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Posted on Mar 4, 2012 11:52:37 AM PST
thanks for the warning about being boring at the first. sometimes I will put a book down for that reason.
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