This telling can be tedious at times and many people would probably be better served by the abridged version. Nevertheless one should definitely consume one or the other.
I'm a bit of a geek so maybe this book would have too many small details to keep less-patient listeners fully engaged at all times, but as for me, it was splendid. There were a few moments when the text was more speculative than factual, but then, most of our history requires some educated guessing to fill in the blanks. This is essential reading for anyone who wants to gain a fully fleshed out narrative of a great man during the birth of our nation.
PhD in Mat Sci & Engr
As I've listened to this book on John Adams over the past month I've found myself attempting to emulate his qualities. While I've always placed a high value on integrity, since listening to the book it's become something of a polar star for me. The daily walks that Adams would go on have motivated me to get out and walk around more myself. Adam's willingness to forgive old friends who had hurt him is remarkable. I am fascinated by the value he placed on friendship throughout his life. I have recently begun contacting old friends that I haven't spoken with in 15 years. I'm re-evaluating how I handle friendship; I hope to give my friends more of my time and energy and loyalty.
The listened to the story of Adams and Jefferson re-establishing their friendship at least 3 times. Very well told.
The end of the book was especially touching. I became emotional as I reflected on both Adams and Jefferson fighting to stay alive for the jubilee of this country's birth. I found myself offering a silent prayer thanking them for the many travails they passed through to give me the freedoms I've enjoyed since birth.
The narrator does an excellent job of voicing the different characters. The only hang-up I have is that often I could hear him breathe which wasn't too bad. But their was about an hour or so where his breathing was practically louder that his talking. It was pretty obnoxious.
Story held my attention. The pauses between chapters and sections could have been be shorter. When listening through headphones I could hear the narrator inhale after sentence.
David McCullough brings to life, not only the life of John Adams, but Thomas Jefferson and mant other figures of the day. For as pivotal of a figure John Adams was to the revolution, he is underappreciated by history. This book is the honor he deserves
I'm about 15% through right now--will update this review when I finish.
Adams is bravely, un-self-consciously honest. This means that all of his diary entries and letters are incredibly insightful into his own spirit and into the circumstances of his life and his world at the time.
McCullough is a brilliant author. Within 30 minutes, my ivory-tower view of this Founding Father had been replaced with a realistic portrait of a farmer, father, lawyer, patriot, and friend. I felt like I knew Adams well and could indeed predict his behavior as the story carried along. Incredible of McCullough to pull that off in less than an hour, and without doing damage to the storyline!! For that alone, I am already grateful for the book!
Chapter 3, 16 minutes. Adams says with regard to the trials of the British soldiers charged in the Boston Massacre, "Better that many guilty persons escape punishment than one innocent person should be punished. The reason is because it's of more importance to community that innocence should be protected than that guilt should be punished."
I loved Adams' description of his school children when he taught at Worcester, MA before entering the profession of law. Adorable and imaginative. He was truly the consummate people-watcher and never failed to share his observations with his diary!
The story and writing were great! For the most part the narration was good too, but there were times when the narrator's mouth sounded so dry you could hear the crackling of a mouth in serious need of hydration or a break. Kind of grossed me out a couple of times!