South Lake Tahoe, CA, United States | Member Since 2007
Listening to this was quite a revelation. My mother had often referred to someone who had not been properly brought up but just "grew like Topsy." She also knew something of Simon Legree. Both characters are in the book, as well as sayings like "It's a free country!" I can only imagine families reading this book aloud in the evening. It is not an easy read. I gave it five stars because between the author and the narrator it is absolutely superb. It is quite entertaining with great turns of plot and violence and ghosts and even love stories. Modern people may find it sappy. Other modern people may find something like their old-time religion in it. I gave it an immediate second listen at a time of serious depression and was much comforted. The book came out in 1852 and helped prepare the whole population for the end of slavery. With school children continuing to read the classic, it would have leavened thinking in ensuing years. In passing, I enjoyed noticing quaint turns of phrase no longer in use. I have a paper copy of the book and plan to share the Topsy chapter with my ESL learner, a Russian lady. Thanks, audible, for another good listen!
Somehow I had expected this would be simply Tom Paine's writing, not a whole book about him. History, philosophy and politics are not my strengths, but I've lived long enough and traveled enough that I do care about these things. I found another audio book on the same topics, Founding Brothers, very difficult listening, although I believed it was well narrated. This book by contrast is almost suspenseful. The narrator reads with great understanding, but the book is written so as to be interesting. This author has an exciting mind!
Back in high school I didn't really get it about the deists. And who cared about the Louisiana Purchase? Paine was already trying to solve the problem of slavery, develop a plan for freed slaves. Paine even foresaw a need for a welfare system. Well, goodness! It's a most stimulating book. Educational, exciting, most worthwhile.
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