Despite recent news stories alleging factual errors in Bill O'Reilly's accounting of the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln, I thought his book was fascinating. However, I was greatly disappointed in O'Reilly's narration. He sounded pedantic, professorial and, frankly, bored with his own work. He spoke too rapidly, without the ever-effective pauses, vocal variations and drama that a professional narrator could have injected. (I kept thinking "Gosh, I wish Scott Brick were reading this one!")
This book is difficult for me to rate, as I think the story is a good one, but in my opinion, Bill O'Reilly hurt the book by reading it himself. While he may do well on a television news show, he is not an actor, and his reading lacked both inflection and feeling. He droned... which I felt made the material uninteresting, no matter how good the text was, and I found myself falling asleep. As I have just purchased a Kindle Fire, I will purchase this book in that format.
Nothing I haven't seen in other biographies of Lincoln but pulled together expertly in a fast paced and engaging style. Well written but O'Reilly narrates like he's never seen the book before. His uneven cadence and mis pronunciation of simple words (cavalry, carotid, harassment) would win him the pinhead award on his own show.
Since discovering audible, my life is richer. I live in a small rural KS community, with higher than average IQ which can be a bad combo at times. Audible allows me to be myself.
The detail surrounding the death of Lincoln had been unknown to me. Bill O did a great job and the story was well known but made new.
The story is compelling. I wish I had bought the book and read it though, instead of the audio copy. Bill O'Reilly sounds just like he does on TV, like an announcer, and because of this, its hard to get into the story. A professional reader would have made all the difference.
The underlying text here is great - good research, compelling characters, fascinating historical storyline. And I like Bill O'Reilly on TV. But he is just not cut out to be a book narrator. He rushes through whole chapters, mispronounces words, and in many instances is clearly reading from a prompter, because he finishes a sentence and then realizes that there's more sentence yet to come on the next line, and mumbles the remaining words. Many of the grating errors would have been easy to catch and re-record... was there no post production or editing here?? Awful, awful, awful. Almost unlistenable.
I went into this book after it had been on the market for a while. I didn't think I wanted to read yet another book about Lincoln in general or his assassination in particular. After all when I went to school we were required to do a lot more reading, and a lot of it was history. But, I'm a Bill O'Reilly fan and after hearing him talk about it; a lot. I thought well, I'll give it a try.
Am I glad I did! This book goes into details that I don't remember ever being addressed much studied in any depth. As I listened this book the one single most common thought that punctuated my thinking was; "I've never heard that before".
The book is an easy listen. O'Reilly narrates it, and it's done in style that's easy to listen to, and holds your interest. I didn't want to set the book down (so to speak), but I also dreaded getting to the end; I was enjoying it that much.
I'm not going to get into specifics of the book here. I'm going to say that even if you think you don't like Bill O'Reilly you need to give this book a tumble. You won't learn one thing you didn't know before; you'll learn several.
And excellent book; I'm really glad I set aside my thought that I couldn't possibly learn anything that I hadn't heard about before.
This shouild be required listening for school kids. Done very well and would hold their attention. Adults will find it very interesting with a couple of little know facts that come to light. In fact will listen to it again.