(P) Commuter's Library
I like historical books (American history, Civil War, ..), biographies (Steve Jobs, Lincoln,..), self-improvement books and spy thrillers (Clancy).
I really enjoyed hearing the thoughts of Ben Franklin from a young boy and into adulthood. I found the ending, however, so abrupt that it caught me off guard. I think I need to listen to the 'rest of the story' now. Bottom line: very enjoyable!
It was great to drive around Southern California with Ben Franklin. The writing is very conversational, and Grover Gardner is the perfect narrator. He brings out the dry humor and the irony. It's a joy. If you enjoy it as much as I did, you will probably find yourself looking up many of the best parts to remember later. (Franklin was VERY quotable.) Fortunately, the book is in the public domain and easy to find and search online (with footnotes and illustrations). Even though other reviewers have prepared you, it is a very disappointing shock when the book abruptly ends. I guess we are lucky to have as much as we do have. A quibble - When one chapter ends and another begins, there is no space between them. There is less of a pause than the narrator takes between paragraphs. This is jarring and it is an editing issue, not a narrator issue. It is a shame, because Franklin is a very good writer and you would like to savor the last line of the chapter for a moment. The publisher could easily remedy this, and I sure wish they would.I read this in high school and enjoyed it then, but much more now, as a grownup.To enjoy the book it is no more necessary to know the identities of all the people to whom he refers than it would be necessary to enjoy the stories of your grandpa or uncle (or an attractive person of the opposite sex). It would be nice, and might well reward the work involved. But it is not necessary.
I came back to the Autobiography because of the recorded conversations available online with Charlie Munger, Warren Buffet's partner. I commend those conversations to you as an equal joy, especially if you keep up with the world of business. (Mr. Munger is also very quotable.) Another autobiography that I very much enjoyed was the Autobiography of a Yogi.
Ben Franklin riding shotgun with you in your car, chatting away, is wildly fun. Thank you Grover Gardner!.
It would be a waste to read Ben Franklin's Autobiography in one sitting. Partly because you need time to capture a quote before another one makes you forget the last one. If you have a long drive, this would be great, whether you are driving solo, with teenagers or another adult. There is lots of food for discussion (like the governor who promises to set up young Ben as a printer; or does having someone do you a small favor really make it more likely that they will do you a bigger favor?). Be aware that you will want to make some kind of notes (whether audio or on paper) as you listen, much more than other books.
Yes, I would recommend this book. It is interesting if you are interested in history and what makes people tick. There was a lot that I was unaware of about Benjamin Franklin.
Yes, I actually started listening to this as I began an international trip and listened to the entirety of the book in a relatively short period of time.
Devouring literature and having fun along the way. :] Well, for the most part.
Grover Gardner reads this autobiography splendidly as the voice of Benjamin Franklin. Franklin's dry wit and brazen sarcasm is captured with a charm that you can't help but grin at as you are listening. As for the biography itself, Franklin turns out to be a surprisingly interesting and innovative (as well as hilarious) spokesperson about his life and history. A fantastic read.
A MUST READ/LISTEN FOR ANY AMERICAN. You will learn about one of the most important men in our struggle for independence as well as someone who transformed his personality into one of the most pleasing of all time. A pleasing personality is part of the 'Carnegie Formula' for success, as related by Napoleon Hill. Dale Carnegie references Ben as someone who knew How to Win Friends and Influence People.
Ben Franklin's story end's abruptly. He must have intended to get back to it later, but died before finishing it. That's the only reason I was disappointed. The reader's voice is very good, but often does not pause between sentences. This is annoying, as it feels hurried, and gives you less time to mentally process.
Notwithstanding something that cannot be changed as to the former objection, and something that is minor in the latter objection - I highly recommend listening to this book.
If you enjoy history you will enjoy this book. I loved the narration and the whit of Benjamin Franklin.
Grover Gardner was a wonderful narrator - it felt like listening to Ben himself talking of his life and events.
This was the first time I have listened to him, but I will anxious to listen again!
I think it would be hard to listen to in one sitting because it requires focus to take in the flowery language and sentence structure used two hundred years ago. I listened during my morning commute of 30 minutes, which was perfect.
That is was an autobiography made the book all the more interesting. Benjamin Franklin was brilliant and was able to accomplish much in his lifetime. The book was hard to follow at times, but overall was outstanding and helps the reader to understand our history and the men who molded the foundations of our county.
While I found the book interesting, it was mainly about his politics, his business ventures, and some references to his religious point of view. It was lacking in information regarding his personal life about which I have read tidbits in biographies about his peers. The lack of inclusion of his personal life made this book impersonal and lacking in depth.
I don't recommend this as it is incomplete. The performance is good, but it cuts off halfway through the book.
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