Husband, father, building contractor, inventor and audio book lover.
I have to admit that I had a jaundiced view of John Adams based on some of the other biographies, notably Hamilton's and Jefferson's, I had listened to. I was pleasantly surprised that Adams was not the blockhead he was made out to be by some of his contemporaries. Few men could stand in his shadow and not be found lacking in those qualities, which can hardly be found in politics today, and were rare even amongst so many great minds of that extraordinary time. McCullough does his usual master work in bringing to life this amazing man and the astonishing life he lead. The narration stays out of the way and allows the listener to enjoy the book in its fullest. I highly recommend it anybody who loves history.
Nelson Runger masterfully reads this book, making it interesting and easy to listen to.
I saw and enjoyed the mini-series but remained interested in reading the book. Decided to try the audiobook, given the lack of time I have for reading. My hour commutes became very enjoyable and actually something to look forward to while listening to the book. The descriptions of the people coupled with descriptions of famous paintings/ sculptures of the famous men and women made it very easy to picture events in my mind.
McCullough wrote an excellent narrative, combining letters and journal entries with the sequential events of the Adams' lives. Runger's voice was too folksy, and his depiction of Abigail turned an intelligent and interesting woman into a simplistic, sing-song whiney frump. It wasn't to my taste.
His love of literature, the philosophers and Shakespeare and his commitment to financial solvency.
When I hear a narrator read for different voices, I should be able to hear the character or person and forget the narrator. Simon Vance seems to excell at this. Runger, not so much.
If you are interested in US history this book is a must. I felt like I got to know John Adams and all of the key historical figures related to the birth of the U.S.
I enjoyed how Nelson Runger brought John Adams to life with his inspired narration.
The events surrounding the revolution and the birth of the US brought to life in this book through the eyes of John Adams are a must read for any lover of US history.
Addicted to Audible since 2009
This was a good listen but overall, I found it to be a tad boring. Edcuational but again, a little too boring for my liking and the narrator didn't quite help in that department.
Thanks to writers likeMcCullough, history will soon lose its label as long, boring, or dull. I watched part of the movie taken from this book, and became uninterested halfway through. With this book and this reading, I never lost interest at all, but managed to learn much about the greatness (and humanness) of this founding father, and much about the others as well; most dlightfully, I came to a better understanding of the incredible events leading up to the formation of our nation, as well as the precarious years of bringing this great experiment to fruition. Such beautifulluy presented research makes me marvel: never an awkward quotation or unnecessary interpretation. What a gift to modern Americans, who now have every reason to know their origins and understand them at some depth.
I've haed numerous conversations in which I've reference this story and the slice of history I've gleaned from it. Overall, it's one of those books that can make you a better person by understanding not only a time better, but, to a certain degree, philosophy.
I have only listened to about three hours of this book, and I put it down a month ago and haven't looked back. Perhaps I'm picky, but this narrator makes we want to PUNCH THE CAR STEREO while I'm driving. Ironic, since I listen to audio books because they keep my road rage at bay and turn my bumper-to-bumper San Diego commute into a pleasant one. I have periodically tried to listen to it again and again, but I can't handle more than 10 minutes of it each time.
I'm upset that the narrator is just HORRIBLE, because the amount of detail in the history of John Adams and the surrounding characters is just remarkably abundant. I am a descendent of William Bradford, so I have a particular interest in the founding colonies and America's history.
The writer did a terrific job researching his history. How he could have known some of these facts are beyond me. The plot is very loose, though; perhaps I didn't get into it enough to experience a true story line. The stories and facts did not seem to be connected together very well. There are a lot of characters tossed around.
Perhaps I'll find the old-fashioned hard cover of this one so I can finish it, but I can't bring myself to finish listening to it.
David McCullough is one of the best researchers of biography since papyrus turned into paper. Every chapter is a celebration of this writer's love of discovery. The main problem with this book isn't in finding interesting material--he did that and then some--the problem is--it is impossible to bring it to life without dialogue. And yet even that short coming is its very strength. Mr. McCullough refuses to entertain us with false testimony. He doesn't invent delightful conversations and or envision robust arguments. He researches information from letters and documents and honestly relates them to tell the history of John Adams. He may not have brought him to life--but he definitely brings him to light.
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