Just like my review of Killing Lincoln, my biggest criticism is for O'Reilly as the narrator. However, I didn't mind as much with this reading... He must have read my review and worked on his harsh presentation.
This book is simply amazing. Again, as with Killing Lincoln, I'm amazed at all the false information taught in public education and all that wasn't taught. True to his word, Bill and Martin, present a historical account in a literary setting. Allowing the reader/listener to easily follow the story, the players, and the plethora of information. Encomiums are high for this celebrated leader of the US, but there's no paucity of negative information either.
Starting with his arriviste in his first election and culminating as the most popular president in modern history. Bill reveals JFK's gallantry in WWII, licentious behavior with the ladies, relationships with LBJ, MLK, RFK, role as warm devoted father yet dispassionate husband, equanimity during crisis and acumen as a leader of men.
However interesting, the book also delivers a munificent portrait of Jacqueline, the civil rights movement, and politicking. While these are significant to JFK, they aren't necessarily related to his death. I know it's a catchy title Bill, but if you want to write a biography on his life vice his death, choose a different title. This is not to say I didn't enjoy and learn from these aspects, but deflects from the integrity of the title.
The description and accounts of Lee Harvey Oswald intrigued me, almost more than JFK's infidelities which were probably the most memorable thing in the book (next to the actual assassination)
Thanks Bill and Martin, looking forward to... Killing MLK? Killing Regan (attempt)?
No, I graduated from high school in 1962 so I remember the Kennedy event first hand. There have been so many accounts of conspiracy that I was ready to hear something new; however, that was not the case. It was the same version that I had read in the newspapers.
Yes. Killing Lincoln was great and would listen to it again.
The whole book was great.
I enjoyed the book, but I was not blown away by it. It is a good story of Kennedy's presidency, and I learned a lot. It is not one I would listen to again. It was not as good as Killing Lincoln.
Just before Killing Kennedy, The End of Camelot by Bill O'Reilly, I had (again) listened to The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck. In my opinion, both books are equally descriptive, informative, sensitive, detailed and important. O'Reilly has the very rare knack of looking into the historical background of each character and connect them all into a totally understandable story. I think this is a well done and very fine book that many "folks" will understand and appreciate.
Not applicable to this book.
Outstanding and professional in every respect. Fine clarity, diction, proper empathy and emphatically precise.
Audible has allowed me to enjoy books again.
More details into the conspiracy of Kennedy
Story itself is the interesting part. Least interesting is OReilly reviewing the history. I was looking for more details of the conspiracy
He did a good job
Conspiracy theory additions
Don't think it hasn't been an little slice of heaven, 'cuz it hasn't.- Bugs Bunny
The story is based on real history, of course, so I would listen again to hear about some of the characters I didn't know about. I have even done some research on some of them. For those of us who weren't born yet or into politics when this was happening, the authors really make it all accessible and very interesting. Bill O'Reilly was a history teacher, and it shows.
Well, sadly, we all know the ending. What I liked best was the exploration of the main characters, Jack and Jackie, and how they showed the reader their complexities as well as the good parts of their personalities. They didn't write another hagiographic, glossed over version of the Kennedy administration. Fascinating details about "Camelot" are revealed.
The book doesn't vilify the Kennedys. It is a sober look at what really happened, from the fantastic to the mundane. It is all there.
They wrote about what was happening in the last three years of both JFK and his assassin. It is obvious that they had copious primary references, and instead of spitting out what they found, they turned it into a thriller. It was delivered in a fast paced, exciting style, yet they maintained respect for the subjects of the story.
He was fantastic. He was a history teacher and you can tell by his performance that he truly loves history.
I couldn't put it down. And I knew the ending!
For those of you who don't like Bill O'Reilly because he is an Independent with conservative leanings, get over it and get this book. You will love it and you will learn more than you expect to.
In the book we as the readers/listeners really get a chance to relive not only the moments of JFK'S death and immediately after, but we also have the opportunity to experience his entire presidency.
For me the most memorable moment of the book was right after the president was shot. I felt as if I was with Jackie. Being able to feel her pain and the terror that was in her. I have to say it brought on more emotions then any other book I have read.
Bill being Bill.
I am a lover of history. I hope that millions will read/listen to this book and allow themselves to become part of the story. The way Bill writes can allow normal people to truly understand the magnitude of who JFK was and what his death means to us all even in 2012.
Writer, economist, stand-up comic
O'Reilly never seemed to tie together the hints he dropped through the book of various conspiracy theories surrounding the assassination of John Kennedy. He hints at why Fidel Castor, the CIA, the Mafia and even Lyndon Johnson might have wanted JFK dead but merely assumes the reader already knows all were suspected (to varying degrees).
The only thread he picks up consistently is JFK's active sex life and he seems obsessed with it. It felt as if he couldn't go three minutes (of listening time) without referencing Kennedy's libido. He left me with the impression he was envious.
O'Reilly broke no new ground in telling this story -- except to insert himself into it claiming that he was the "young reporter" who showed up at the door of one of Lee Harvey Oswald's patrons just as the patron shot himself.
O'Reilly is an accomplished TV host with a news-like, staccato delivery, reminiscent of Walter Winchell's radio. He didn't use those talents or any talents he has/had as a reporter.
No spoiler: Kennedy was killed in Dallas. The question of whether Oswald acted alone or who might have been behind him is never addressed.
I had hoped this book would be either a detailed examination of the assassination or a journalistic investigation. Instead it was what reporters describe as a "clip job," a story put together by reading newspaper clippings.
At the beginning of the book, O'Reilly mentions that he's written this book and Killing Lincoln to make history accessible to everyone. This book is extremely accessible. If you're just looking for an overview of the Kennedy administration and assassination then this is the book for you. If you're looking for the kind of detail typically provided by presidential biographies, you'll probably be disappointed.
Personally, I just listened to Stephen King's 11/22/63 and was curious how much of the history in that book was real vs. fictional. This book was sufficient for that purpose but comes nowhere near anything like Doris Kearns Goodwin's Lincoln or Washington by Ron Chernow.
Of course, one of the most interesting items in the book is that O'Reilly was present when George de Mohrenschildt killed himself. But...apparently that fact may have been made up.
I had no problem with Mr O'Reilly's narration. He applied the same crisp, boisterous voice he uses on TV -- it was easy to follow along.