Alexander Hamilton seemed a strange and sort of periphery figure in so many stories surrounding the revolution. After listening to McCullough's John Adams and hearing Hamilton constantly mentioned as a behind the scenes foil, or as the brains behind so many plots, I wondered why I didn't know anything about him. I mean, I knew he died in a duel with Aaron Burr, but that's about all.
After 37 plus hours of just the most interesting life imaginable I realized only 5 days had passed. This guy really didn't leave the tri-state area after he came to New York when he was 16 and he still managed to be in the center of nearly every major moment in American History from 1776 to 1800. He became a Captain at 19 and a Lieutenant Colonel by 21, he was a key figure in convincing the New York public to go to war while he was still in college. Without him, there is a very good chance the constitution wouldn't have been ratified and, without his financial system, our debt would've probably crushed our little country before it even got going. I thought George Washington was the first President, turns out Hamilton pretty much ran things. Then, the guy dies in a duel with the Vice President! This was 37 hours well spent, I'll have to come back to this next year when my heart stops beating so damn fast.
Alberto Salazar, though born in Cuba, was raised in the Northeast in America and has the accent of an average American from that area. This story is told from Mr. Salazar's perspective. Does his inner voice have this much trouble with his native language?
Danny Pardo (the narrator) has, at best, a weak grasp of the English language. His reading sounds more like the hopeless fumbling of words spoken without any understanding of their meaning. Like someone in a high school language class reciting a dialog for the first time, complete with incorrect emphasis on most words and often totally ignoring punctuation. This so monumentally distracting, it is impossible to judge this book on any other merits.
Maybe it's a well written book with a great story about an interesting guy, who knows.
Purchase at your own risk.
Lopez Lomong's story of success and triumph in spite of ridiculous odds will move you to tears every ten minutes or so. If it doesn't, you may not be able to cry.
David Aaron Baker reads this story extremely well. As well written as it is, and how well each character is developed, I doubt I would've been nearly as interested without Baker's telling, his great and distinct voices (with the exception of one ridiculously Mickey Mouse sounding voice), and the heart that lies behind everything he says. Ivan Doig describes each character and surrounding so well it's easy to imagine the town, and the people. The story itself isn't particularly memorable, but I still cared about the characters.
Overall, worth a listen, just not something that'll stick with you very long after.
This co-written YA book alternates chapters between John Green's Will Grayson's perspective (narrated by an understated and very enjoyable Nick Podehl) and David Levithan's Will Grayson's perspective (narrated by a ridiculously overacting MacLeod Andrews). It took a lot to continue listening after Macleod Andrews' second chapter and book's fourth. While Levithan's first few even chapters are written about as cliche as a teenage character can be, MacLeod does the material no favors by insisting on overemphasizing just about every word he says with the most ridiculous inflection imaginable. John Green's Will Grayson is decidedly more relatable and better read by Nick Podehl. Green's Grayson isn't the most intriguing character John Green has ever written, but he comes across as real and I found myself caring about him. Green's best character is Will's best friend Tiny Cooper who really ends up being a main character in both stories.
Even as Levithan's chapters even out and the story comes together, there's nothing particularly memorable here.
Very well done but absolutely nothing like the movie. Same characters, only more real and flawed, with a similar story although drastically differring in parts. Both versions are good, it's easy to see why the broad changes were made to these hard to like characters in an effort to appeal to more people, but be clear before you get started, THIS IS NOT THE MOVIE. If you can get past this truth, as it took me awhile, you'll enjoy yourself very much.
Bill Bryson isn't the most talented narrator, perhaps he should leave this to someone else, but he sure is a charming writer.
While the author's narration leaves something to be desired, his messages are universal and extremely helpful in every day life. I listened to this book 6 months ago and since then, things just seem better. Listen, be happy.
The characters are wonderful and their world is one often overlooked in stories of war.
Just listen to the first minute. If Tina Fey's sense of humor doesn't strike you by then, you are hopeless. If it does, welcome to a wonderful world of happy self-deprecation that will go by all to fast.
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