I AM listening to it a second time, just to lose myself in the gorgeous descriptions of country, customs, and love that is transcendent, read in the golden honeyed tones of Cassandra Campbell. Beautiful narration, and a fantastically beautiful story.
This is the second book by McCullough that I have read. It is a very interesting account of events surrounding the Johnstown flood, which I had been taught was just the result of a 100-year storm. But still, I think McCullough can't hold a candle to Timothy Egan, who makes American history stories leap off the page like Indiana Jones, or something!
I do like listening to Edward Herrmann's voice.
Well-written and really interesting, but maybe not for the squeamish. However, the reader is completely ridiculous. Yes, it's a 'memoir', but come on, lady, you are reading graphic descriptions of accidental deaths and clinical dissections, it's not StoryTime at pre-school! The golly-gee-whiz inflection used for the author and her dopey male voices nearly ruin this fascinating book with continual irritation.
The perfect narration of this story of an elderly Aussie woman, in her quavery voice and old regional speech patterns, as she recalls incidents of her childhood, is what raises this simple adventure story to a book with a lasting presence. For young adults, it will start discussions about what makes us civilized, what is a family, the nature of love, interspecies communication, and our responsibility to other species on the planet. As an adult, I was mesmerized by the performance of the reader. Her depiction of a child's experience of loss, and fighting fiercely to keep hold of the next thing, and lifelong regret and sadness, is so real and wrenching. A slow start, but then exciting and haunting.
I am full of admiration for the author, as the amount of research behind this book and the thoroughness of it are mind-boggling. I would not recommend this book to anyone who is not very interested in learning about the assassination of President Lincoln. It is extremely detailed, with virtually every fact being supported by quotes from printed media, private letters, police files, court documents, government sources, or photographs. Very rarely, when that last shred of proof cannot be found, the author presents his opinion (rather confidently), and moves on.
All in all, this is an amazing achievement. I learned an immense amount of my own country's history, was enthralled by the man (Lincoln) himself, and now I understand why he is beloved, and such an icon. The description of his funeral, and then the huge crowds meeting the funereal train carrying his body back to Indiana was vividly brought to life, and was very moving.
It's not historical fiction, it's not Bill O'Reilly, so save your credit there.
If you are a history buff, or a Lincoln buff, or a civil war buff....this is fascinating. This is the one to read.
The doctor was a sociopath, rapist and sadist who couldn't have stumbled into a better position; replacing the only doctor in a small, rural, heavily Mormon town. The sexual innocence of the Mormon women and their total obeisance to men gave him 25 years to indulge his sick urges with Mormon women, girls, and babies.
Jack Olsen's account is detailed and spellbinding from beginning to end. When, finally, a legal investigation is begun, the problems seem insurmountable. Sex is a taboo subject for Mormon women. Doc the sociopath has charmed many in the town.
There is another disturbing dimension, that the doctor is not Mormon, and heads his own Christian church in town. An ugly anti-Mormon tone starts to dominate the case, and the victims are shunned and blamed as Doc faces the justice system.
The spectre of religious hatreds tearing a community apart, while abused women are blamed for causing all the trouble and the littlest victims of a truly evil child molester are ignored, is so confusing, so upsetting...and this happened in the 1980's! It sounds like another century, but it's not! It's just hard to believe, and the recording is hard to turn off. Excellent investigative reporting, and excellent, unemotional 'just-the-facts-ma'am' narration that suits this True Crime story.
I can't add much more to the praise that has been heaped on this magnificent achievement of authorship. But I must say, this rare book made me experience a range of emotions on a gut level; literally, as the description of one POW's beating brought on dizzying waves of nausea. I raged with (not proud to admit this) hatred for the Japanese, and their cultural teachings about cruelty and pride, so white-hot I could barely sit still to listen to some passages. The small kindnesses that the POWs used to keep their humanity in captivity moved me so deeply, I found myself praying for these characters, longing for their release like they were my own kin. The strength they found in themselves, used for each other, seems of divine provenance. I was....can't describe it. 'Lifted'.
The author's ability to so deftly weave the depths of depravity that humans can reach right along side the heights of selfless love is just brilliant! He is just brilliant!
It's been a week since I finished this book, and I have not been able to start another. Nothing seems interesting enough after the extraordinary experience of listening to "The Narrow Road to the Deep North".
It's a story we all know--young love, the excitement of everything new, making plans, marriage, baby comes, routines start, someone gets restive and the poop hits the fan.
This short, wonderful book is the story told by an omniscient third person, describing bits of 'the wife's' memories, sweet, stinging, sad, terse, & revealing.
And my description is light years from how witty, and profound, and stunning this book is. Fantastic, really.
This is a man's man's book! killin', and more killin', and stalkin', and huntin', and bad guys, and police detectives, chase scenes, and Boobs! bouncing, floating, saucy and smirking.
The reader is very good. The book is well-written--interesting internal dialog, as the hot-headed multiple murderer keeps telling himself what a good man he is--but the testosterone storm was really too much for this reader. And, a weird ending.
All-around great listening experience: very good readers, tight writing that pulls you through the story, terrifically plotted, every character layered and interesting at least and flesh-crawling-creepy at worst, and an unexpected ending that becomes, upon reflection, somewhat comforting, considering....
What a great trick the author has played here! Amazing book, talented author!
This is a book on a serious subject trivialized by immature prose, big holes in logic, and a quick tied-up-in-a-bow ending. The main character is a social worker who has an arguably understandable excuse for accidentally leaving her baby in a hot car, but all she can do is shrill 'I didn't know I didn't know!' at doctors, cops, everybody; no explanation is ever attempted. The ridiculous narrator does hysteria very well, until you want to hit her with a Taser. Then there's the secondary story line about the street-smart little girl, wise beyond her years, yadda yadda......all just too tiresome to go into.
Publishing this book was a shameful waste of resources! Zero stars, if I could.
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