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The Source Audiobook

The Source: A Novel

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Publisher's Summary

In the grand storytelling style that is his signature, James Michener sweeps us back through time to the very beginnings of the Jewish faith, thousands of years ago. Through the predecessors of four modern men and women, we experience the entire colorful history of the Jews, including the life of the early Hebrews and their persecutions, the impact of Christianity, the Crusades, and the Spanish Inquisition, all the way to the founding of present-day Israel and the Middle East conflict.

©2013 James A. Michener; 2015 Random House Audio

What the Critics Say

"Fascinating...stunning...[a] wonderful rampage through history...Biblical history, as seen through the eyes of a professor who is puzzled, appalled, delighted, enriched and impoverished by the spectacle of a land where all men are archeologists." (The New York Times)

"A sweeping [novel] filled with excitement - pagan ritual, the clash of armies, ancient and modern: the evolving drama of man's faith." (The Philadelphia Inquirer)

"Magnificent...a superlative piece of writing both in scope and technique...one of the great books of this generation." (San Francisco Call Bulletin)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.2 (433 )
5 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Overall
4.4 (382 )
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1 star
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Story
3.9 (383 )
5 star
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4 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
 (42)
Performance
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  •  
    MargyM 08-21-15
    MargyM 08-21-15 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Can't finish!"

    I read The Source years ago and loved it. This audio version is spoiled by the narration, which is wooden and robotic. Regretfully I will not finish listening to this wonderful story. It is unfortunate that all of Michener's books are narrated by the same reader.

    20 of 21 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Taylor Rand Florida, MO USA 08-07-15
    Taylor Rand Florida, MO USA 08-07-15 Member Since 2016

    samuraijack

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    "Magnificent Story, Mediocre Narration"
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Source to be better than the print version?

    No, the print version of The Source is the better version. Michener's tale across the millenia is magnificent, with startlingly different characters with unique voices and personalities. Whether it's a modern Israeli, an ancient stone age hunter/gatherer, a Jewish trader in the first century CE. - they're all individuals and it's easy to hear that in their speech.

    The narrator's relative monotone; his steady pace is serviceable but I think listeners won't get as much out of The Source from it. Better to experience Michener's text. I'd already read the book a few times so that I already knew my favorite parts and the narration didn't diminish my experience (but it didn't add to it).


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Too many; every time period has some memorable figures.


    What did you like about the performance? What did you dislike?

    The narrator reads like the old time government language instructors from those "Language Learning" courses: monotonous, steady, plodding.

    I was greatly disappointed that The Source hadn't received an updated narration by a trained voice actor. This reading appears to be an early 90s (or even earlier) recording back when narrators simply read the story without inflection. Occasionally, Audible has some of those early books and they're wearisome (even if the story is good)


    Any additional comments?

    I'm a big fan of The Source; it's fascinating and compelling reading. I'm not a fan of this recording. I regret spending the credit on it but I'll keep it because Michener's millennia long story still intrigues me.

    32 of 35 people found this review helpful
  •  
    B. Nightingale Florida 08-13-15
    B. Nightingale Florida 08-13-15 Member Since 2007
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    "A Great Read - Entertaining and Educational"

    This is one of my favorite novels by Michener. I originally purchased the audio version quite a few years ago on many, many CD's (a rather cumbersome way to listen) and am thrilled most of the Michener novels are now available by download through Audible.com! The story...through an excavation, the "source" of the Jewish religion is uncovered and passes through time up to the 20th century. Although this is a novel, there was much research done for its writing, and I learned a lot. Larry McKeever's narration is great! As with all Michener novels, this book is very lengthy, and it may take a little while to sort the characters and get started, but it is well worth the read. After I finished listening, I felt I was giving up a good friend and hated to let it go.

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Krysclie 08-16-15
    Krysclie 08-16-15 Member Since 2011
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    "An unfortunate narrator"
    What disappointed you about The Source?

    I love the work of James Michener and a was looking forward to hearing The Source. Unfortunately, the choice of reader has made this book "unlistenable." While I'm sure the narrator put a great deal of effort into enunciating, the end result is a ponderous, almost monotone performance that sounds more like a computer-generated voice than an actual human.


    22 of 24 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Allison M Teed 08-27-15
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Sounds like a robot"
    What didn’t you like about Larry McKeever’s performance?

    This performance sounded like a computer was reading the book. I had trouble paying attention because the reading was so monotonous, but the story was interesting.


    13 of 14 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Diane Driscoll 08-27-15
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Terrible Narration ruins a wonderful book."
    What made the experience of listening to The Source the most enjoyable?

    I read Michner's books years ago and absolutely loved them. The narration for this story is terrible and I don't know if I can stand to finish the book. I won't buy anything using this narrator ever again. What a shame.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Don't know, can't stand to listen to this narrator any more.


    What didn’t you like about Larry McKeever’s performance?

    Monotone.


    Any additional comments?

    For heaven's sake, get some updated narration. these are wonderful stories but Larry Keever reads like a robot.

    13 of 14 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Viki ABERDEEN, MS, United States 08-25-15
    Viki ABERDEEN, MS, United States 08-25-15 Member Since 2013
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    "Save yourself this painful experience"
    What did you like best about The Source? What did you like least?

    I read this wonderful book back in the days when I actually READ books. It was captivating and, in light of today's political climate, I was eager to "read" it again. I'm horribly, terribly, awfully disappointed in the mechanical voice of the narrator. It absolutely makes enjoyment of the story impossible.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Listening to this book will take just about as long as the dig took to develop.


    Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Larry McKeever?

    Somebody who doesn't sound robotic.


    If this book were a movie would you go see it?

    Yes.


    Any additional comments?

    Michener fans....if this Larry character is narrating the book you're thinking of buying...skip it.

    11 of 12 people found this review helpful
  •  
    G. Garcia Miami, FL 09-11-15
    G. Garcia Miami, FL 09-11-15 Member Since 2009

    Garcia

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    "Unlistenable"
    What would have made The Source better?

    I’ve read most of James Michener’s books, on paper. The Source was my favorite, so although I seldom ever reread a book, this was a perfect Audible choice.

    The book is as great as ever; however, the performance is so overdone that the distraction did not allow me to suspend disbelief and immerse myself into the story.

    Larry McKeever is a bass baritone voice. The articulation borders on speech class drills and the deep roll offs are excessively fabricated. The reading is unconnected, and sound stress is not American English natural. For example, assuRED, laND, startED.

    Many will love his voice. In my case, I became so distracted I returned the book after just a few hours. Apparently, I’m not alone.


    10 of 11 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Shauna 09-10-15
    Shauna 09-10-15
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    "Dated and poorly read"

    This book was not "performed", it was merely read by the narrator...I was hoping that Audible would have updated this book with a different narrator, this book was originally recorded in 1993. Larry McKeever is so flat and difficult to listen to, I will be returning this book.

    I am a Michener fan, but this book was so biased to his agnostic/atheist view that it was sometimes painful to listen to. It seems that he twisted the history to fit this view and that, in addition to the poor narration, leads me to give up on this book after about 30 hours.

    7 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Brandon Pangman downieville, CA 10-15-15
    Brandon Pangman downieville, CA 10-15-15 Member Since 2014
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    "Stiff-necked, robotic, but tediously entertaining"

    Enduring this audiobook--all 52+ hrs read by Larry.the.robot.--rewards the listener both a sense of personal accomplishment and more than a little sense of empathy for the Jews. For, if you actually complete this journey, you will feel a true sense of kinship with this stiff-necked, peculiar, and enduring people.

    Four stars for Michener's rich, intricate, but unnecessarily large tapestry of the Jewish homeland. One star for McKeever's for the best impersonation of a voice synthesizer by a human being I have ever heard. Truly uncanny.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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