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John Henderson

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  • Hell or High Water: Surviving Tibet's Tsangpo River

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 24 mins)
    • By Peter Heller
    • Narrated By Patrick Lawlor
    Overall
    (45)
    Performance
    (13)
    Story
    (15)

    The Tsangpo Gorge in southeastern Tibet has lured explorers and adventurers since its discovery. Sacred to the Buddhists, the inspiration for Shangri La, the Gorge is as steeped in legend and mystery as any spot on earth. As a river-running challenge, the remote Tsangpo is relentlessly unforgiving, more difficult than any stretch of river ever attempted. Its mysteries have withstood a century's worth of determined efforts to explore its length. The finest expedition paddlers on earth have tried.

    Tory says: "Hell or High Water (Unabridged)"
    "Peter Heller Gets It"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Extreme kayaking involves huge risks. This book transmits those risks viscerally, along with the thrills that come with successfully navigating previously unpaddled rapids.

    Group expeditions multiply all the talents and complications of their members. This book whisks readers along as armchair members of a quest full of larger-than-life personalities.

    Tibet fascinates. This book translates that fascination well. The author understands the country, conveying its complex philosophies elegantly.

    Full disclosure: This audiobook appealed to me at first because the author and I attended college together. Then I heard reader’s voice, which bears an uncanny resemblance to Peter’s. Deal sealed.

    The narrative builds well toward a tense, suspenseful event near the end of the book. Then it fizzles a little. Oh, well. Life is sometimes like that.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Destiny of the Republic: A Tale of Madness, Medicine and the Murder of a President

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By Candice Millard
    • Narrated By Paul Michael
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1798)
    Performance
    (1560)
    Story
    (1554)

    James A. Garfield may have been the most extraordinary man ever elected president. Born into abject poverty, he rose to become a wunderkind scholar, a Civil War hero, and a renowned and admired reformist congressman. Nominated for president against his will, he engaged in a fierce battle with the corrupt political establishment. But four months after his inauguration, a deranged office seeker tracked Garfield down and shot him in the back. But the shot didn’t kill Garfield. The drama of what hap­pened subsequently is a powerful story of a nation in tur­moil.

    Melinda says: "Marvelous, Magnificent, Millard"
    "Triple Biog Animates an Era"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This three-way biography of U.S. President James Garfield (1881), his assassin, and Alexander Graham Bell tells just enough to be gripping, leaving aside academic details that would slow down all but the most serious historians.

    At a time when Americans are disillusioned by their politicians in record numbers, it's refreshing to read about a president who was almost universally trusted to do and say the right thing.

    Garfield had political opponents, to be sure, but his strength of character, remarkable rise from humble origins, and--alas--his suffering at the hands of both a crazed gunman and a team of stubborn physicians united the country in ways we can only dream about today.

    The author of "River of Doubt" once again brings alive an era--helped ably in this case by reader Paul Michael, whose command of accents animates the story in fine style.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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