Make it more factual
Someone with a less annoying voice
I felt that the author cherry-picked some of the facts and didn't go into enough depth on many of them. Her sarcastic "white-bashing" got very irritating at times.
Sarah Vowell is an excellent, and very thorough historical researcher who weaves personal antecdotes into the stories of the long past. It is obvious to all readers that she views her subjects, no matter how long dead, as alive and as real as her own friends and family. I enjoyed this book and learned a great deal about Hawaii's history.
That said, Sarah Vowell has the most annoying, nasal voice in the world! It grated on my nerves so much so that I couldn't finish listening to the book. Don't let the long list of famous narrators fool you, either: the big name actors and comedians who Vowell got to contribute phone in their one-line readings of historical dialogue in a way reminiscence of a bored teenager called to read in high school literature class. Not a fun listen for me!
This book is easy to follow if your like me ur wiki-keying names and places as your listening. I like the flow of how she but the fact together. The story is disturbing part of American history but is typical and thats whats sad about it.
I simply must say upfront that this author should never have performed her own book. To be blunt, her voice is annoying; it has a nasal quality that is very off-putting. I couldn't help but imagine someone in full orthodontic headgear. And this was unfortunate indeed, as the book actually taught me quite a bit about 19th century Hawaiian history, and the material was presented in a very accessible manner. I would certainly consider her other books if a more palatable reader could be brought in.
I was looking forward to listening to this story, unfortunately, her reading tone and pace is in tolerable.
Her concept is compelling, but her voice, much like my own, is best suited to direct production. I can't take it! The droning, nagging, smug, ugly American sentiment does speak to Obama's heart. Why involve celebrities to read bit parts?
It was good, but I found my mind wandering a lot. Also, while I appreciate the use of various narrators to read quotes from key figures, I usually missed out on what they were saying initially because I was trying to identify which celebrity was speaking.
When I need an escape and cannot openly read a book, I whip out my headphones and press play on my Audible app.
Vowell's narrative voice. The book is not just a chronological history of Hawaii. She jumps back and fourth in Hawaiian history, relying on first person accounts to present a picture of the evolving Hawaii. She inserts some of her own funny, short tangents, that help the listener to understand the breadth of importance (or unimportance) of a particular moment in history.
I enjoyed Asa and and Lucy Thurston's entries that she used for the first half of the book. They were a tough couple and endured so much. Vowell takes her own time to appreciate especially Lucy Thurston's strength in coming to a new land and her rigor.
Developed, Ironic, and Well-rounded
The book is dense. I had about 3 or 4 different sessions so that I could appreciate all of the information expounded.
Do not be put off by Vowell's actual reading voice. It is dry and lacks any lilt. Hang in there and focus on the amazing history she weaves.