We are currently making improvements to the Audible site. In an effort to enhance the accessibility experience for our customers, we have created a page to more easily navigate the new experience, available at the web address www.audible.com/access.
 >   > 
Assassination Vacation | [Sarah Vowell]

Assassination Vacation

Sarah Vowell exposes the glorious conundrums of American history and culture with wit, probity, and an irreverent sense of humor. With Assassination Vacation, she takes us on a road trip like no other, a journey to the pit stops of American political murder and through the myriad ways they have been used for fun and profit, for political and cultural advantage.
Regular Price:$23.93
  • Membership Details:
    • First book free with 30-day trial
    • $14.95/month thereafter for your choice of 1 new book each month
    • Cancel easily anytime
    • Exchange books you don't like
    • All selected books are yours to keep, even if you cancel
  • - or -

Your Likes make Audible better!

'Likes' are shared on Facebook and Audible.com. We use your 'likes' to improve Audible.com for all our listeners.

You can turn off Audible.com sharing from your Account Details page.

OK

Publisher's Summary

Sarah Vowell exposes the glorious conundrums of American history and culture with wit, probity, and an irreverent sense of humor. With Assassination Vacation, she takes us on a road trip like no other, a journey to the pit stops of American political murder and through the myriad ways they have been used for fun and profit, for political and cultural advantage.

From Buffalo to Alaska, Washington to the Dry Tortugas, Vowell visits locations immortalized and influenced by the spilling of politically important blood, reporting as she goes with her trademark blend of wisecracking humor, remarkable honesty, and thought-provoking criticism. We learn about the jinx that was Robert Todd Lincoln (present at the assassinations of Presidents Lincoln, Garfield, and McKinley) and witness the politicking that went into the making of the Lincoln Memorial. The resulting narrative is much more than an entertaining and informative travelogue, it is the disturbing and fascinating story of how American death has been manipulated by popular culture, including literature, architecture, sculpture, and, the author's favorite, historical tourism.

Though the themes of loss and violence are explored and we make detours to see how the Republican Party became the Republican Party, there are lighter diversions into the lives of the three presidents and their assassins, including mummies, show tunes, mean-spirited totem poles, and a 19th-century biblical sex cult.

In Order of Appearance:
Conan O'Brien...Robert Todd Lincoln
Eric Bogosian...John Wilkes Booth
Stephen King...President Abraham Lincoln
Dave Eggers...Mike Ryan
Catherine Keener...Gretchen Worden
Jon Stewart...President James A. Garfield
Tony Kushner...John Humphrey Noyes
Brad Bird...Charles Guiteau & Emma Goldman
Daniel Handler...President William McKinley
Greg Giraldo...President Theodore Roosevelt
David Rakoff...Leon Czolgosz

©2005 Sarah Vowell; (P)2005 Simon & Schuster Inc. AUDIOWORKS is an imprint of Simon & Schuster Audio Division, Simon & Schuster, Inc.

What the Critics Say

  • 2005 Audie Award Nominee, Multi-Voiced Performance
  • 2005 Publishers Weekly Listen Up Award, Humor

"Vowell has a perspective on American history that is definitely funny." (School Library Journal)
"Wacky, weirdly enthralling....This is history at its most morbid and most fascinating and, fortunately, one needn't share Vowell's interest in the macabre to thoroughly enjoy this unusual tour." (Publishers Weekly)
"An engaging tour....Audiobook listeners get serious bang for their buck, including guest appearances by Stephen King (as Lincoln), Jon Stewart, Conan O'Brien, and Eric Bogosian, among others." (AudioFile)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.1 (2041 )
5 star
 (979)
4 star
 (592)
3 star
 (274)
2 star
 (98)
1 star
 (98)
Overall
4.3 (518 )
5 star
 (300)
4 star
 (131)
3 star
 (57)
2 star
 (16)
1 star
 (14)
Story
4.2 (526 )
5 star
 (305)
4 star
 (120)
3 star
 (47)
2 star
 (24)
1 star
 (30)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Chris Harrisonville, MO, USA 06-22-07
    Chris Harrisonville, MO, USA 06-22-07 Member Since 2001
    HELPFUL VOTES
    26
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    61
    7
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "Interesting but frustrating"

    I read many of the customer reviews prior to downloading this book so I was prepared for the "mousey" voice of the author/narrator and while it was a bit distracting at first, it didn't spoil the experience of what is a well researched and somewhat humorous book on a facinating, if not macabre topic. Unfortunately, the author's obviously biased political views and her tendancy to paint everyone who isn't a fairly left-leaning Liberal with the broad brush of being "misguided" I found to be tiresome. I don't recommend this one unless you are prepared to filter through the political opinions and personal beliefs to get to the interesting facts.

    1 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ken Rogers AR 05-11-07
    Ken Rogers AR 05-11-07 Listener Since 2003
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
    Overall
    "Could have been much better"

    Take out the constant references to George Bush and the Iraq war and she could have covered much more detail. I bought the book to review history not a lecture on the present state of affairs!

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Randy Vermillion, SD, USA 07-03-05
    Randy Vermillion, SD, USA 07-03-05
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "Hard to listen to"

    The book is fine, but the narrator's voice is very painful to listen to. It is kind of like an icepick to the eardrum for 7 hours.

    2 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Frank Norristown, PA, USA 05-15-05
    Frank Norristown, PA, USA 05-15-05 Member Since 2006
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
    Overall
    "Assasination Vacation"

    This was a great read(Listen). Well worth the time. I found myself sitting in my car after arriving at my destination to learn more wacky history as told by the author. Bravo.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mia Allen 05-10-05
    Mia Allen 05-10-05 Member Since 2003
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    12
    1
    Overall
    "The best one yet!"

    Obscure, delightful, poetic and hilarious - I would buy, read, watch and listen to anything by Sarah Vowell. She makes me proud to be an American. This is the best thing I have ever listened to from Audible. Do yourself a favor and get this one.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Robert Chicago, IL, USA 05-02-05
    Robert Chicago, IL, USA 05-02-05
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    2
    1
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "Interesting, sometimes funny, boringly read"

    This book suffers badly from the author reading it herself. There was never much inflection in her voice, mostly annoying and monotone. If it were read by someone else, I may have rated it higher.

    Great listen while trying to sleep.

    I'm going to purchase the book, as much of the book was interesting.

    1 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Chris Woodland Hills, CA, United States 04-26-05
    Chris Woodland Hills, CA, United States 04-26-05 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
    220
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    21
    10
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    9
    0
    Overall
    "I so enjoyed myself"

    Yes, I did. I found it oddly beautiful, a tid creepy now and then, and wierdly poetic. It gave a fine view, and offered itself up as a starting place to think of so much else. Oh, and it is funny. Thanks Sarah.

    1 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Robert New York, NY, USA 04-09-05
    Robert New York, NY, USA 04-09-05
    HELPFUL VOTES
    22
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    11
    1
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "This woman is absolutely hilarious"

    I don't think anybody realizes that Sarah Vowel was the voice of the daughter Violet in the Pixar movie "The Incredibles." A video essay of hers called "Vowellette" is featured on the DVD, and she is hilarious in it and very smart. Based on that, I am definitely buying this book.

    22 of 70 people found this review helpful
  •  
    John Crosby, TX, United States 06-24-05
    John Crosby, TX, United States 06-24-05 Member Since 2002
    HELPFUL VOTES
    24
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    6
    4
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
    0
    Overall
    "Horrible"

    This is horrible. I have only finished 1 hour of it, and I have come to that conclusion; actually I knew after 2 minutes, but I was hoping it would get better. The author may have had better luck if she had someone else narrate the book, but honestly I'm not sure that would hide the terrible sarcasm/wit she was trying to achieve. The narrator/author's voice is reminiscent of a simpleton reading an unknown passage (which shouldn't be to the author) with a Jr. High School voice and inflection. Just horrible.

    2 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jeff Mount Juliet, TN, USA 06-07-05
    Jeff Mount Juliet, TN, USA 06-07-05
    HELPFUL VOTES
    38
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    2
    2
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "needs a warning label"

    This book might be construed as false advertising. I was looking for a different, humorous read and thought Ms. Vowell might be just the thing. However, it only took about 3 minutes of the book for her to start bashing President Bush. Thanks, but no thanks. If I want political commentary, I'll look in the political section. Very misleading, but now I get the title.

    30 of 112 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 101-110 of 114 results PREVIOUS1101112NEXT
Sort by:
  • Amazon Customer
    Harlow Essex England
    8/3/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A lovely story about assassination and family"
    What did you like most about Assassination Vacation?

    The little details.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Assassination Vacation?

    Robert Todd Lincoln rejuvenating the life of the brother of the murderer of the his father.


    Which scene did you most enjoy?

    See above


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    Robert Todd Lincoln's fear of presidential death


    Any additional comments?

    These are lovely books telling a story we only hear mentioned.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • G. Evans
    England, UK
    6/12/11
    Overall
    "Hard to follow..."

    I really bought this for the grim but light hearted look on the history of presidential assasinations that this book promised as well as the fact that it has many famous narrators. Unfortunately the main narrator has a very distinctive voice which after a while, and bearing in mind this might just be me, but it does begin to grate a little. In fact after a about 5 hours i found that i could not concentrate on the audio because of how her voice comes across. Also, unless your listening really hard you do miss most of the other voices of the other people - theres no announcement they just come in say there bit and then disappear. I also felt that many of the wacky anecdotes seemed to be crushed together with no split or pause between them and i never knew which president she was referring to and at what time. I may have to give this another listen as I was fairly interested in the topic but for now my rating remains at a low one star :(

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-2 of 2 results

    There are no listener reviews for this title yet.

Report Inappropriate Content

If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.

Cancel

Thank You

Your report has been received. It will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.