LISTENER

William

Farmington, UT, United States
  • 2
  • reviews
  • 6
  • helpful votes
  • 2
  • ratings
  • American Crucifixion

  • The Murder of Joseph Smith and the Fate of the Mormon Church
  • By: Alex Beam
  • Narrated by: Michael Prichard
  • Length: 10 hrs and 13 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 115
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 101
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 102

On June 27, 1844, a mob stormed the jail in the dusty frontier town of Carthage, Illinois. Clamorous and angry, they were hunting down a man they saw as a grave threat to their otherwise quiet lives: The founding prophet of Mormonism, Joseph Smith. They wanted blood. At thirty-nine years old, Smith had already lived an outsized life. In addition to starting the Church of Latter-Day Saints and creating his own "Golden Bible" - the Book of Mormon - he had worked as a water-dowser and treasure hunter.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Weak beginning strong finish

  • By William on 01-16-15

Weak beginning strong finish

Overall
3 out of 5 stars
Performance
3 out of 5 stars
Story
3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 01-16-15

Would you try another book from Alex Beam and/or Michael Prichard?

I don't know

What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

This wasn't a novel so this question doesn't apply

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

Performance was fine, it was the material

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

This is a history, not a novel, as such likely not the subject matter to be made into a movie

Any additional comments?

Beam does not do a very good job describing the development of Mormonism. He does even a weaker job in describing Smith's religious narrative, and religious narrative is what Smith did. Now as the date approached June of 1844, the month when Smith was killed, Beam's book gets much better as he leaves the religious narrative part and plunges into the history around Smith's death. Beam also does a good job in the history describing the aftermath of Smith's death. So the first third or the first half of the book is a one star. The second half is a 3 or 4 star. If you already understand the background to June of 1844 then from this point forward the book is good. If someone doesn't understand the information leading up to June 1844, this is not the book to start with.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Joseph Smith

  • By: Robert V. Remini
  • Narrated by: Del Roy
  • Length: 6 hrs and 40 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 67
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 26
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 26

The most important reformer and innovator in American religious history, Joseph Smith has remained a fascinating enigma to many, both inside and outside the Mormon Church he founded. Born in 1805, Smith grew up during the "Second Great Awakening", when secular tumult had spawned radical religious fervor and countless new sects. His contemplative nature and soaring imagination were nurtured in the close, loving family created by his deeply devout parents.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Boring

  • By Jay Kuykendall on 09-18-07

Competent historical overview of Joseph Smith

Overall
2 out of 5 stars
Performance
2 out of 5 stars
Story
2 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 04-04-13

What disappointed you about Joseph Smith?

This history is pretty much the history that everyone hated in High School. It competently covers dates and events. It misses the profound, on occasion mumbles a sentence or two about the controversy. Whether one likes or dislikes Joseph Smith, he is not a boring historical figure. Everything that he did had a profound effect on everyone around him. I am not sure how a history of such a person become a jumble of dates and events.

Has Joseph Smith turned you off from other books in this genre?

No, but I am suspect about this author.

Would you be willing to try another one of Del Roy’s performances?

I don't think the reading of the history was the problem. However, the narrator completely missed the pronounciation of key Book of Mormon Characters. But this summarizes the entire book, not even motivated enough about this history to even get the names correct. Someone who was really interested in this history would have nailed such detail.

What character would you cut from Joseph Smith?

Not even sure what this means

Any additional comments?

This is a non emotional, a disinterested history on Joseph Smith. Was the motivation of writing this book to get benefit of the Mitt Romney effect?