Obsessive reader, 6-10 books a week, chosen from Member reviews. Fact & fiction, subjects from the Tudors to Tookie, Harlem to Hiroshima, Huey Long to Huey Newton. In-depth fair reviews - from front to BLACK!!!
I actually enjoyed this book after a spate of recent true crime books which were absolutely awful. Even veteran crime writer Ann Rule has lost her "mojo" after decades of dominating this genre. In this book you get good writing, research and narration - the must-have "triple crown" in audiobooks. Well worth the price of admission.
I was pleasantly surprised by this book. At first the narrator put me off, reading like a first-grader. But the tongue-in-cheek manner in which the author tells this story kept me interested until the narrator finally got his chops together. I've read dozens of accounts of the Civil War and Lincoln. However, this story gives the reader a whole new perspective on that time in history, along with a President that everyone thought they knew. His wife's family's story is extremely intriguing. With 14 siblings from two mothers, there's no surprise that the family took sides in the war, particularly growing up in Kentucky which was really neither north or south in the conflict. What makes this a really great read is Stephen Berry's hilarious way of storytelling. In explaining the Todd's white-glove snobbishness on its slaves whom they claimed to "part of the family" rather than chattel, Berry states "(The Todds) never beat their slaves. Instead they sent them downtown to the jail to be beaten, by professionals". As an African-American, I could only laugh at the ridiculousness of the family's alleged values. After the war, one of Ann Todd's sisters chose to leave her children's black nurse in the south rather than free the servant as required after returning to the north. This, in spite of her brother-in-law, the nation's embattled President, risking it all in a war to free the country's enslaved people. The book is amusing, sardonic, sarcastic, witty, and extremely well-researched. It flows in a way which makes it hard to put down.
This is an enjoyable bit of fluff that reveals little known but hilarious events during the Civil War. Well narrated and the author keeps the listener engaged and laughing.