Less bias in the writing; different narrator.
The grating nasal whine of the main author was often difficult to understand and the gratuitous half-sentence "celebrity readings" were annoying, distracting, and intrusive. Could not finish the book.
Some of the history was interesting, if you can get past the bias. Based on other reviews I expected the revisionist history and the "NPR spin" but the degree of disdain for, disparagement and mockery of Christianity, the bible, and the beliefs of others was appalling even anticipating the "modern liberal viewpoint."
I learned few things about Hawaii, author reading the book was articulate and understandable, but I felt as if I was at the funeral and it was an ode to a dead monarchy Hawaii was. I rarely do these reviews, and maybe it's best that way, but this time I had to. The guest speakers were not as legible as the narrator and they spoke a word only here and there, or few sentences at most, a bit annoying and child like theatrical presentation.
The subject only interested me mildly, since my son went to their honeymoon to the islands last month, and I'd like to go to visit too. Now I feel bad what happened to native population and fear that it will be like going to Disneyland.
Yes, I love history especially when it offers an alternate account.
Howard Zinn's A People's History of the United States.
I love Sarah Vowels "Incredible" voice. How many narrators have an action figure?
Towards the end when President McKinley couldn't get his annexation of Hawaii treaty passed, he just did an end run with a joint resolution. When was the last time that Congress actually declared war? Now that we live in an oligarchy again it is interesting to see how they did it in the past.
Another great Sarah Vowell book. I enjoy reading and listening to her books because they are funny and educational in the best way. Plus they always make me want to travel, and learn.
Get a different reader
Only if she found another person to read it
This is a tragic case of a good book that the author reads and should not. There are several excellent writers that do not have the right voice to read the books (Stephen King is a good example). PLEASE, just because you know the material, get someone else to read it who has a better voice. Sorry author....
2 of my fav things! Another great book by SV. I enjoyed the other narrators also! I leaned so much about Hawaii and its heritage. Now I want a trip to see it all
Lady. History nerd. Dog lover. Plant person.
This book was very well-researched, and provoking. Growing up in Hawaii, the historical trauma hits close to home, and I appreciated the way Vowell approached it. Respectful, factual, and smart... I recommend this book to everyone. Especially those ignorant of the State's tragic and tumultuous history. My only complaint - and I feel weird even sayingn this, as normally I prefer an author to read their own work; however, PLEASE don't let Sarah Vowell narrate her own books anymore. I'm begging you. Her voice is great in a cartoon, but it wrecks the impact of this material.
Not read a single word of this story aloud.
If you have ever been to Hawaii it is easy to forget that beautiful places can have very ugly histories. Thank you Sarah Vowell for this amazing insight into the history of inconveniently strategically placed islands in the pacific.
This book took forever.
The story jumped around too much for me. While the book was based on true accounts, the continuity of the read could have been better.
I actually liked the author's dry, sarcastic humor. But this was not the book for her. It felt like 10th grade social studies all over again.
If you have the patience, it may be worth your time. But if you're looking for something to capture your interests and satisfy your curiosities, pick something else.
I read Shoal of Time and then listened to this to learn more about Hawaiian history from two perspectives. This book seemed well researched but is unliked by many kama'aina. All the timeline connections and references really helped. I always zoned out in history class - who knew there was a big land grab of the Phillipines, Guam, Hawaii, Puerto Rico and Cuba in 1898. I am glad I own it so I can listen again; too much in one pass to absorb. The sarcastic wit kept my attention enough to mostly overlook the bit grating timbre in Sara's voice. I recommend it.