...I really did want to like it. But having recently read Caro and Kearns Goodwin, I was expecting more insight as to who TR was as a person, not just a recap of his significant achievements and world events while he was in office. Theodore Rex comes across as more of a doctoral thesis than an biography: fact-filled and learned; but impersonal and lacking suspense. I learned a lot, no doubt, but I was sorely disappointed with the lack of detail on TR's thought processes, and what made him tic for the 7.5 years that he was the most powerful person on Earth.
Marosz has a voice for which many orators would kill. It is deep, smooth, and delicious like like a chocolate milk milkshake... And not the cheap ones you get from fast food joints - Marosz' voice is the Five Dollar Milkshake of voices. If I had a voice like his, my wife would force me to croon her to sleep every night... but only if I could change pitch every now and then, and that is a feat of which Marosz seems almost entirely incapable. There were times while driving down the road that I had to turn off the book because Marosz' monotonous tone nearly lulled me to sleep. Marosz sets up quotes with well-timed pauses, which is appreciated; but those are practically the only times the listener gets any break from the "Bueller, Bueller, Bueller"-esque droning. And, as with Morris' over-use of French throughout the book, I became just as annoyed with Marosz' "ejaculating" French phrases as though he were giving a tour at the Louvre. Please keep in mind, I am no anti-French-ite. I love escargot, Bordeaux, and French fries as much as the next guy. Foreign languages and culture make me smile. Marosz runs through French names and phrases without effort, to the point that I presume he speaks the language fluently. I am jealous. But where was that effort on the Spanish, German, Russian and Japanese names? I couldn't help but think he was showing off when he had the opportunity to use French, but made no effort whatsoever to learn how to pronounce the smattering of names from other languages. C'est une honte!
Morris is clearly an accomplished historian and I can only fathom the countless hours he put into this impressive compilation of historical facts and events. At times, however, I just couldn't help but feel like the book was over written. For example, I don't want to have to put down a book -- or in this case, pause the audio -- to stop and look up French words and phrases every 10 minutes. Okay: TR had some Frenchmen in and around his cabinet. Point taken. But I don't need a run down of every French dish he consumed over the course of 7 years. And, I especially do not need to references to anyone "ejaculating" words. Yes, I understand the word can be applied in different ways; but I would be "deee-lighted" if Morris would use a different word when he describes someone excreting a word.
All told, Theodore Rex is a phenomenal work of historical scholarship; but a rather boring story.
... "There" being wherever Tina Fey goes to get awesome every day. I L'dMFAO and so did my wife.
A fu*cking hilarious one.
I laughed so hard, I farted.
Tina, if you're reading this (which I know you are), my answer is "yes," I will marry you. I'll meet you by the shrimp cocktail end of the cruise buffet.
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