It is wierd that this book is an autobiography but is written in the 3rd person. It makes the characters difficult to keep track of. Too many of the agents have similar names and the stories are disjointed. I don't think I'm going to be able to finish what could be a very fascinating book. Right now, I'm almost through part 1 and we aren't event in Dallas yet.
A bland repetitive look at what would seem to be an interesting story. Could not finish.
I am a writer and the author of six non-fiction books. I enjoy anything by John Grisham, Ann Rule and Jodi Piccoult. I also love animals.
This book was written by a member of the secret service who was with the service at the time of Kennedy's death but was not there in Dallas. It is self-serving in some ways in that he becomes defensive. For example, discussing how the Ford Motor company designed the limo without input from the Secret Service, as if that may have changed outcomes. Also, when he discusses how the president himself didn't take his own security seriously, which may have caused a few problems. I came away with the feeling the Secret Service did not have as much power as I thought they did. Maybe that was all then and this is now. I will say that this book did pique my interest in other Kennedy books and I am now reading Case Closed by Gerald Posner and find it very interesting indeed. I also read Stephen King's 11.23.63 and loved it. I know it's fiction, but much of the historical details are exactly as described in Posner's book.
The quality of the writing is direct and vivid, and it springs to life in the superb narration. Truly outstanding!
The author's analysis of the various theories of the Kennedy assassination.
Not that I know.
It had to be the account of Jackie Kennedy sitting on a metal folding chair in the hallway of Parkland Hospital while she was covered with her husband's blood and brain tissue.
In some ways, the book is designed to gain sympathy not only for President Kennedy but also for his political views. In that way, it is somewhat of a puff piece. The comparison at the end between Kennedy and Obama seemed to be over the top because their fiscal ideas are so radically different. However, those issues tend to fade into the background in contrast with the gripping account of how the Secret Service did its work and the last two weeks of Kennedy's life. There is an eerie quality to the book because the listener knows what is coming while the people in the story do not. There can be no doubt that the former agent who wrote the book achieved his objective in destroying the basis for so many conspiracy theories of the assassination. There is clear evidence of the integrity of the Secret Service agents and that the Warren Commission did its work carefully and thoroughly with the information it had. This book demonstrates the old proverb that, in the vast majority of circumstances, events did unfold as they are perceived to have happened. Seldom have I read or heard an account that has caused me to alter long entertained suspicions as this one has. The author and co-writer have put to rest much of the mystery that has always shrouded that day, a day that has always been a major reference point in my life. Kudos to the narrator! He makes the story live, and the characters are very vivid. It is well worth the time to listen, and that is true, regardless of your political views.
not as much as I had hoped
It was fine for a drive
Those of us who lived through the assassination were so stunned by the events, it is interested to hear details, though they do become tedious.
I really enjoyed the performance. The reader's voice was very well suited to the book. I appreciated that Gerald Blaine wrote the book in third person. I feel that it flowed better as a third person narrative than it would have in first person.
I liked the personal anecdotes about President Kennedy and his detail. I liked the story about Agent Hill's interview with Mike Wallace. I found the video on the internet, and I found that the version penned by Gerald Blaine was quite descriptive.
Great voice! I think Mr. Sklar added a lot to the experience for me.
I was very disturbed by the descriptions of the assassination. It was more than just the gruesome detail. It was more that I had grown to love President Kennedy in the chapters leading up to the assassination. Seeing JFK from the perspective of the men who regretted that they did not and could not give their lives for him gave me an appreciation for the loss that the nation felt. I actually felt the shock described of seeing a friend alive and talking one minute and seeing his head blown open the next. This country lost a great man that day in Dallas. I hope to never experience that loss in my life-time.
Me? ....... Capable of many moods, and enjoying a vast range of literature. Incapable of uploading a picture and realized none of the Avatars are ......appropriate. That pretty much "tells" it all.
No, it isn't a re listen for me because I feel completely up to date on all the details of this tragedy in my youth of American History. I was a pregnant young wife of 3 1/2 years with a 17 month old toddler and a war I didn't understand when I witnessed this event on television from behind my ironing board while watching the soaps. Very little has shocked me worse except 9/11. I was interested to compare my feelings with now, hearing the details of the book, from my memories of the actual event. But, no I would not listen again.
Yes, unfortunately there are fewer of us who always remember where we were when we heard the President had been shot and then the lull until we heard he had died. I think they would learn a lot about how sophisticated my generation was about detail and how over worked and underpaid the people were that had all the responsibility for the safety of the President and all his family. It was a strange time and many have no idea how bizarre those days were.
I would never have been able to just read this book. I wouldn't have been able to stay interested during the parts I had little interest in. I could have been much more satisfied with less detail. It was over long but glad I listened to it. Alan was easy to listen too.
Devoted, determined, dangerous!
The human side of the Secret Service men and their trauma of the assassination of JFK.
SO sweet and tender, their pain and sorrow drips on each page. And FINALLY straight from the horses mouth their OWN account of their failure to protect the President and how a lone gun man succeeded to killing JFK in Dallas. Finally the conspiracy theories are debunked.
The early days of them getting to know the Kennedy's and the children were precious.
The interview with 60 Minutes of Jerry Baine and Mike Wallace was so powerful.
Very good. His deep voice was wonderful to listen to. He was genuine and tender as well as agressive and tough.
Going to get the paperback to share with my book club.
Stick it out! This book was a little confusing at first, but stick with it, it will make since in the end.
A riveting and intimate account of what it was like to protect the president during this era, but defiled by the glaring, festering sore that is Part 2/Chapter 11, in which Blaine whines ad nauseum about how unfair it is that much of America questioned the Warren Report, and put forth their own theories about what may have happened behind-the-scenes, however implausible.
Blaine's indignant protests paint an image that he and his fellow agents were nearly perfect by every measure, that being a Secret Service agent was the most difficult and important occupation in the free world, that they have suffered more than any other individuals in the aftermath of the assassination, and that we should be thinking about their sacrifices every waking moment of our days, nearly fifty years later.
Don't get me wrong…I'm certain that being an agent on the presidential detail is a difficult and thankless task much of the time, but inserting such blatant appeals for personal exoneration and validation into an otherwise fascinating listen is inexcusable.
After several interesting and introspective chapters about Clint Hill, Blaine seizes the epilogue (Part 2/Chapter 14) to repeat his holier-than-thou rant against conspiracy theorists, beats the drum of his thoughts on current targets, threats, and motives, and then appears to go so far as to lecture the current administration, Secret Service leadership, and public about the best approaches, mindsets and policies under which to protect to protect the president, as well as other public figures (who are clearly NOT the president).
I also thought that the notion of a largely autobiographical work (yes, it is blatantly autobiographical) written from the third-person point of view to be really bizarre.
I would only recommend this audio book to people whom I know well (history buffs, perhaps), and only with the above caveats about the content and tone of chapters 11 and 14 (of Part 2).