Jackson was possessed of a deep thirst for adventure, and his remarkable story chronicles the very beginning of the restless road trips that soon became a way of life in America. Horatio's Drive is the first chapter in our nation's great romance with the road.
©Dayton Duncan and Ken Burns; (P)2003 Random House, Inc. Random House Audio, a division of Randhom House Inc.
"Historian [Dayton] Duncan and documentary filmmaker [Ken] Burns read the bulk of this audio adaptation...with all the enthusiasm of a pair of travelers setting off on the open road." (Publishers Weekly)
"If any audiobook was ever destined to be heard on a car trip, this is the one....A historical American drama never told before." (AudioFile)
A school administrator and avid reader and listener of books. At least an hour of every day is spent in the car, and that's where the bulk of my listening is done. I tend to listen to books on "faster" mode so I can get through more books!
Who knew about the first cross-country road trip? I sure didn't until listening to this book. A cross-country road traveller myself (4 times in the car), I found the plight of Horatio interesting, funny and frustrating, and I was glad that my family's adventures were never as severe as poor Horatio. The book is a companion to a documentary, and it reads a bit like that. I imagine the print version might be better because it probably includes photos, diagrams and maps. I don't think the lack of those took away from the experience of listening to the book, but they probably would add to the reading of it.
Mostly non-fiction: biographies, history, science, etc.
This is my second time taking in the Dayton Duncan-Ken Burns audiobook about plucky doctor-turned-adventurer Horatio Jackson's historic first crossing of the U.S. continent by automobile. The challenges, the individual triumph, the unplanned three-way race make for a compelling, exciting American tale. Cameo narration by Tom Hanks and, at the NYC end, George Plimpton, and others make for a great, exciting, entertaining telling. However, Ken Burns' lengthy, self-indulgent introduction borders on narcissism and takes away from the initial energy, while Duncan's panoramic road trip paean and excessive Walt Whitman quotes take away from the already perfect conclusion: Horation finally making it home.
William, Alfred, and General Motors. Another historic snapshot of how the automobile changed America. The fortitude of Americans was keenly defined by everyday auto pioneers like the main character.
Historical accuracy and sidebars that make it interesting. Did you know that the Smithsonian has this car on display at the Museum of American History on the mall? That should give relevance to the significance of this journey.
Literally changes in the storyline occur with every turn of the wheel. Something that was hard to do then and would go unoticed if done today. Read it for the sake of learning about the culture of those times and enjoy the sense of accomplishment made by the main character.
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