I'm a big fan of the survival/exploration/overcoming adversity type of non-fiction books and of Mr. Roosevelt, so after reading the glowing reviews here I was very excited to listen to this and learn something new about TR.
After finishing the story I'd have to say I was disappointed. I found my mind wandering and was disinterested at times when the author goes on long tangents about vegetation, reptiles, natives and insects. I realize that's necessary to establish the environment and the dangers these people were facing, but most of it felt like it was filler because they didn't have enough content to fill the book as it related to TR and the traveling party. Most of what was mentioned was never actually encountered by the traveling party. I never felt any momentum or tension building-up.
Seeing all these other reviews puzzles me, maybe I expected too much but I never felt I was at the "edge of my seat" or felt I couldn't go to bed until I heard what happened next. I still admire the men for what they accomplished and endured but I'd recommend other books in this genre to friends before this one (Undaunted Courage, Into Africa, Down the Great Unknown etc.). I guess I'll give 3 stars because it clued me into something else in TR's amazing life.
I really enjoyed this book and looked forward to it each day. I've recommended it to several people already. I tend to shy away from current affairs books of this nature because my experience is that I can never find a balanced non-bias account from both extremes of center. I'm sure listeners could find some fault, but I never felt I was getting force fed the authors agenda or that one party or individual was being portrayed in an unfair fashion. I'm sharp enough to take all with a grain of salt and come to my own conclusions. I love knowing that our leaders actually can work together and seek counsel despite all the polarization today. There truly is a fraternity amongst them because none of us can really understand what it's like.
I'll refrain from naming one individual for fear of closing the minds of readers of this review before they even read the book, but it's fascinating to see what goes on behind the scenes in some of the pivotal events in history. it's also interesting to see who the Presidents leaned on and consider wise counsel, it's going to surprise you.
I wouldn't call myself a fan. I would echo what other reviewers say about his odd inflection and strange pauses. I'm willing to give anyone another try but I'd need to be convinced by the audible sample. I suppose if the book is interesting enough like this one I could get past it.
Yes, had I the time to do so I probably would have.
There is a couple slow moments where it felt they needed to represent a certain President and had to reach for something to put in, but for the most part it's a really enjoyable book!
Maybe if that friend didn't know anything or hadn't read much about Grant and the Civil War. Probably not if they have any knowledge on the subject. I would heartily recommend Mr. Brands other books though.
I actually had to push through to the finish. It did reinforce my strong opinion of Grant. If there was one fresh angle it would be a more balanced and higher opinion of his presidency, common opinion seems to portray it as too corrupt and not a very profitable presidency. He did a lot for Civil Rights and to keep reconstruction on some form of forward momentum, to keep politicians from erasing the positives gained from the Civil War.
I'm not sure, I'd have to give the sample a listen because I didn't really enjoy how he did this book. He delivers absolutely every single sentence like its the most important thing you've ever heard and in an over-the-top dramatic fashion with pauses every 10 words and tailing off on the last couple words. I was pretty disappointed and distracted by his reading, maybe he'd do a fiction story better.
Maybe I just knew too much about the subject already because I'd probably rather have spent the time on another book. It might be worth the investment if you are new to Grant though.
Don't let my review keep you from trying Brands other books, he is a great author and I actually wish he'd narrated the book, he's very interesting to listen to.
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