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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I very much enjoyed this book. I'm not normally a historical non-fiction fan, but it was a very interesting look into our second president's life. The only downside is that the narrator often has very long pauses in between sentences/sections. I found myself looking to see if it had stopped running a number of times.
The sound quality for this download is horrible I often listen to Audible books in type 2 or type 3 quality but at type 4 (highest quality) "John Adams (unabridged)" is very hard to listen to. I was very close to asking for my money back but type 4 is tolerable and I really wanted to listen to this great book.
The reader does a admirable job. He is bright and cheery and matches the tone of the book well. My problem is it sounds like a very cheap microphone of the lowest quality.
The book itself is wonderfully American and describes the times well.
I couldn't finish this book because you can hear the saliva of the narrator every time he opened his mouth. Was way too distracting.
I am absolutely aghast at the edit of this audiobook. There are long pauses, two three seconds long, where we hear the narrator breathe through his nose or smack his lips. And this happens at least ONCE A MINUTE.
How did Audible let this sloppy sloppy edit get through?
THe narrator is fine, slow, but fine, but to hear him taking pauses and breathing makes this unlistenable with headphones.
After slogging through the first half of this book over the last 2 months, I gave up and moved along to something else. No fault of the narrator. I should have know better from McCullough's previous works. One primary source after another. Detail upon detail, minutia upon minutia. How is it possible to take such a profound story and reduce it to extended quotes about his son's penmanship? A story can reach a point (and this one did) where the detail simply overwelms the plotline. I found myself 15 hours into the story saying "OK, I understand what he thought. But why did he think this? What was his worldview? What motivated this philosophy? Who is this guy?". But all I had was an icon; another "empty suit" of a founding father. My fatal mistake was that I had previously read Ron Chernow's "Alexander Hamilton"; the antithesis of McCullough's style (and one of my Top 5 all-time reads). The first half of John Adams left me so bored I could not go on. So my 1-star rating can only apply to the first half of the book. I can only recall one previous time in my life when I found myself unable to complete a book. But I did feel a profound sense of relief when I finally "pulled the trigger" and walked away from this pointless and time-consuming pile of detail-flooded drivel. Sorry.