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Manhunt Audiobook

Manhunt: The 12-Day Chase for Lincoln's Killer

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Audible Editor Reviews

Why we think it's Essential: If only all history lessons were taught by Richard Thomas, who elevates James L. Swanson's impeccably researched account of capturing John Wilkes Booth with this masterful performance. Thomas' pacing and nuanced narration make Manhunt seem more like a gripping thriller than a history tome. —Diana Dapito

Publisher's Summary

The murder of Abraham Lincoln set off the greatest manhunt in American history, the pursuit and capture of John Wilkes Booth. From April 14 to April 26, 1865, the assassin led Union cavalry and detectives on a wild 12-day chase through the streets of Washington, D.C., across the swamps of Maryland, and into the forests of Virginia, while the nation, still reeling from the just-ended Civil War, watched in horror and sadness.

At the very center of this story is John Wilkes Booth, America's notorious villain. A Confederate sympathizer and a member of a celebrated acting family, Booth threw away his fame and wealth for a chance to avenge the South's defeat. For almost two weeks, he confounded the manhunters, slipping away from their every move and denying them the justice they sought.

Based on rare archival materials, obscure trial transcripts, and Lincoln's own blood relics, Manhunt is a fully documented work, but it is also a fascinating tale of murder, intrigue, and betrayal. A gripping hour-by-hour account told through the eyes of the hunted and the hunters, this is history as you've never read it before.

©2006 James L. Swanson; (P)2006 HarperCollinsPublishers

What the Critics Say

  • Mystery Writers of America 2007 Edgar Award, Best Fact Crime
  • 2006 Quill Award Nominee
  • Audie Award Finalist, Nonfiction, Abridged, 2007

"Pure narrative pleasure, sure to satisfy the casual reader and Civil War aficionado alike." (Publishers Weekly)
"Swanson's synthesis of the sources is bound to be a cover-to-cover reading hit with history lovers." (Booklist)
"Manhunt is vigorous and clear without sacrificing accuracy....Just as Booth did, the book saves its heavy ammunition for a final showdown." (The New York Times)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.3 (1118 )
5 star
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Overall
4.4 (436 )
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Story
4.4 (421 )
5 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Jonnie Panama City, FL, United States 05-21-07
    Jonnie Panama City, FL, United States 05-21-07 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    411
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    215
    117
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    Overall
    "Great book!"

    This was the first audible book I listened to. I selected it because of the reviews and I was not disappointed. It built in excitement up to the time when Booth was taken. The broad presentation was well-spaced and the details were very good. The last hour, which covered the events after his capture, was a little bit of a let-down. I enjoyed this book so much I listened to it again five months later.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Judith Wikstrom Hayesville NC 03-20-07
    Judith Wikstrom Hayesville NC 03-20-07 Member Since 2007

    rosebud

    ratings
    REVIEWS
    77
    2
    Overall
    "Manhunt"

    Excellent story
    Having visited the Ford Theatre and Museum
    The quality of research was excellent and woven into a good story form

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sandra Brentwood, CA, USA 03-16-07
    Sandra Brentwood, CA, USA 03-16-07 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    18
    ratings
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    20
    7
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    0
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    Overall
    "So you thought you knew all the facts...."

    I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I could visualize every scene, the narrator was terrific and I learned so much about John Wilkes Booth and the entire cast of characters involved in his escape from Washington and eventual capture.. A must read book for anyone who loves this country's history and a must read for anyone who loves a good story, written well. Bravo Mr. Swanson!!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    J. R. Stubbs Manhattan Beach, CA USA 01-12-07
    J. R. Stubbs Manhattan Beach, CA USA 01-12-07 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
    17
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    6
    6
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    Overall
    "super!!"

    Spell binding, super book well read.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Eddie Topanga, CA, United States 10-08-06
    Eddie Topanga, CA, United States 10-08-06 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    4
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    "Loved It"

    There was so much information that I did not know regarding the death of Lincoln and the pursuing of Booth. Excellent listen.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Robert Corning, NY, USA 08-19-06
    Robert Corning, NY, USA 08-19-06
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
    Overall
    "Booth Retold"

    In all the accounts I have seen on the history channel no account had in such detail described the details of J. Booths flight to the South. I also always assumed that John Surrat was in DC at the time of the assination. This is the first time that I have known that he was 20 miles from my home town. Richard Thomas did an excellent jobe of narration. I recommend this book to all those who value the History of Americas Civil War.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tom 07-01-06
    Tom 07-01-06 Member Since 2007
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    17
    2
    Overall
    "Rest of the history story"

    Excellent story and well written. Lots of details and information about the events of the assassination and manhunt of Booth. Great story for history buffs and for those like who done its even if when we know the ending.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Laurie Florence, KY, United States 05-27-06
    Laurie Florence, KY, United States 05-27-06 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    652
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    316
    213
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    48
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    Overall
    "pretty good..."

    I found this book to be quite interesting, as it is somewhat different from what I remember in history class. Sometimes after listening to a nonfiction, historically themed book, I'll go to the local bookstore and look at the book for photos, etc. I was surprised how much of the bood had been deleted in order to record this abridged version. Really wish I could have heard an unabridged version. Richard Thomas was OK as a narrator, but certainly not the best I've heard.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    DMHVetSurveyor Western Wisconsin 04-23-06
    DMHVetSurveyor Western Wisconsin 04-23-06 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
    613
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    247
    94
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    39
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    Overall
    "Good Story, good reader"

    It was a good story, well researched. Not a lot of new material if you are already quite knowledgeable on the subject. John Boy Walton does a good job as narrator as well. I would give it a 3 1/2 if I could, but it's closer to a 4 than a 3. I do recommend it and would put it in the top 50% out of 70+ listens. I was just looking for something new and it didn't happen or I would have rated it higher.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Julia Ewing, NJ, USA 04-11-06
    Julia Ewing, NJ, USA 04-11-06
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    25
    3
    Overall
    "Fascinating story"

    This was a fascinating story, one I'd never truly heard. James Swanson did a fantastic job in researching which allowed this non-fiction book to feel like a novel. Lots of color and touches that hooked me early on.

    The reading was pretty good. Wish they had an unabridged version, however.

    Overall: Loved the story, could have kept going. Worth a try.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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