I almost could not finish it due to the author/narrator's voice which is a shame because it is a beautifully written story which deserves much better. Thank heavens for the other contributing artists who played parts as well. I only wish they had been given greater portions of the book to play.
The story is well-written
Sarah Vowell's tone. The other actors' performances were wonderful.
I will not buy any other books that Ms. Vowell chooses to narrate herself.
I am currently living in Japan so listening to this book on Thanksgiving gave me a little taste of American history.
This is a very small slice of history that somehow affects the whole of America history. The choices of a few Puritans on the ship The Arabella are shown to have consequences years later. This is not about the Pilgrims of Plymouth but an equally interesting lot of people.
I laughed during the book a lot but I was also brought to tears by her description of the Pequot Indian Mystic Massacre. The characters really come to life in her writings as well as in the performances by all the actors. She didn't inject as much of herself into this book as others. Usually she has many anecdotes about a trip she took or how she learned what she is talking about which I think brings the book to life and make it seem more like a conversation. There are a few gems here and there though that are great.
I always enjoy her books. I'm not a huge history buff by any means but her writing is so entertaining that I want to learn more. I have listened to her two previous books and look forward to listening to her newest book Unfamiliar Fishes.
I don't usually enjoy books read by the author, because simply, they are authors, not voice over actors. This is a perfect example of that thinking. I am very interested in the content, but Sarah Vowell is not a good narrator. She tries, bless her heart, but her narration reminded me so much of that kid who had to read out loud in the 5th grade that it detracted from the content. By the time I quit listening, she was on a tangent so vast that she wasn't talking about letters anyway.
I'm ready for the next book! Please Sarah Vowell, get busy falling deeply in love with, and then sharing in gorgeous metaphors and crazy tangential digressions, some new aspect of American history! I love listening to the author read her books. She's a true treasure.
Sarah Vowell is one of a kind. Who else could make the Pilgrims and the Puritans really, really interesting and really, really funny? What's amazing about the book is that while being entertaining, the author presents interesting and serious ideas about religion, education, foreign policy, philosophy, racism and a variety of other very serious topics.As a matter of fact, I listened to it twice straight through so I could absorb the ideas that are tossed off casually, sometimes as the punch lines in a paragraph. Her prose and her voice are inseparable, I think. I can't imagine anyone else reading her material.
The story is great and the actors' voices are also, but Sarah Vowell is a dreadful narrator. It would have been much easier to listen to read by one of the better readers who fill in the characters.
Sarah Vowell is an exquisite story-teller, who brings the characters to life with vivid descriptions and keeps the reader interested with her comical wit. If 'The Wordy Shipmates' was only that, I would have given it five stars instead of three. Unfortunately Vowell frames history with glib, partisan conservative bashing, offhandedly condemning the slaughter of Pequod (Native American tribe) women and children by vengeful New Englanders in the same breath as the US entry into both world wars, Korea and Iraq. The author--and the reader--would have been better served if Vowell had limited herself to history and made her political points with facts rather than partisan diatribes.
Only Sarah Vowell can restore intellectual prowess to the name 'Sarah' that the other Sarah takes out.
Ms Vowell's books always end too soon.
Sarah Vowell does a great job of making history entertaining. I assume that the detail is accurate, since this is non-fiction. She really weaves the intrigue and relationships in to the story, and does a wonderful job of tying some analogies to current day. It really makes you think. And laugh. LOTs of LOL. I also really enjoy her and the entire crew as narrators.
First of all, Sarah Vowell has a fun voice to listen to, which makes what could be a rather dull topic a little more fun. If you're a history buff, you'll like this!