This book provides the background of many of the writers and artists we thought we know. McCullough gives women writers and artists a significant amount of time in the book, when so much history does not. McCullough keeps us interested, even though there is no one story to tie the entire book together. He moves back and forth between the characters to keep you interested and to help you keep track of the decades he describes. We watch Paris and the United States take huge leaps in inagination, creativity, and technology.
My favorite listens are historical fiction. Robert Graves' "I, Cladius" and "Claudius the God" are my most enjoyable listens (and reads)!!
I love David McCullough & I love Paris!! That said while I enjoyed "The Greater Journey", it's boundaries were too broad to be as tight a story as "1776" or "Truman"... 2 of his classic works!
Another obstacle to overcome is that the subject matter delves into the lives and works of those who made sculptures & paintings. In the format of an audible book (i.e., no photos) and myself not being an art historian, I found it hard to fully appreciate the works McCullough was describing.
David McCullough reads a portion of the book and his voice is so rich I would pay to listen to him reading soup can labels. Edward Hermann is in the same class and he makes audible listening experiences a REAL joy!
If you're a devotee of the works of David McCullough, you'll enjoy this work! But if you're new to his works, I wouldn't place this at the top of the list.
I have to agree with other reviewers that this is not his best book. There is no doubt about his thorough research but it would have been helpful to better organize and filter it to make it a compelling read. As it is it reads like an encyclopedia of Americans in Paris set on shuffle.
McCullough writes very in depth about his characters but frankly, the people in this book are surprisingly boring and the story is really dragged down because of it.
I have read McCullough's book on the life of John Adams and found it excellent so I was looking forward to this one. Maybe it was just me but I could not get into this book. It was well researched and well written but not very interesting. I normally enjoy listening to history but this book was very disjointed with no continuing story line. I forced myself to finish it but can't say I enjoyed it.
Very well written and interesting history of Americans in Paris from 1800's-early 1900's -- artists, doctors, authors, politicans. Well done narration as well.
I usually love McCullough's books and I've read them all. I didn't think he could write a bad book, but this one is awful. The work is disjointed and trivial, an embarrassing effort by a usual superb author. What happened?
The narrator, Edward Hermann, sounds like he has a bad cold and worse yet, slurs his words. Insult to injury, he also mispronounces many of them. As a simple example, he pronounces "Liszt" as "List" ... While I understand that not everyone is a musician and knows the correct pronunciation, the narrator should get it right. It comes with the job. Liszt was a composer, not an auction on Ebay,
I love David McCullough which is why I bought this book and started reading it automatically. What a disappointment! Lots of scenes but no real themes, no real threads, no real story. It was as if he threw together 500 note cards and called it a book. Let's all hope he returns to the great David McCullough in his next book. Give this one a pass.
This was a terrific introduction to nineteenth century Paris history as I knew virtually nothing! I made many of the sights I saw on my trip to Paris come alive!
I would recommend the book to anyone with a passing interest in the 19th century artist and scientist of America, and the role France had to play in their development. In scope it is not on par with 'John Adams' or Truman', but enteretaining.
Absolutely. he is one of the best biographer and story tellers today.
His performance was very good, but for some reason I cannot figure out, part of the narration is done by what sounds like a computerized monotone female voice. Her part of it is very small and poorly done that does make one wonder which why Edward Hermann did not narrate the whole thing? Where they just being cheap??
overall good. not on par with the greats of David McCollough. Good reader except for small snippets done by monotone computerized female voice.