Evanston, IL USA
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  • Lincoln in the Bardo

  • A Novel
  • By: George Saunders
  • Narrated by: Nick Offerman, David Sedaris, George Saunders, and others
  • Length: 7 hrs and 25 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 7,557
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7,088
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 7,051

The long-awaited first novel from the author of Tenth of December: a moving and original father-son story featuring none other than Abraham Lincoln, as well as an unforgettable cast of supporting characters, living and dead, historical and invented. February 1862. The Civil War is less than one year old. The fighting has begun in earnest, and the nation has begun to realize it is in for a long, bloody struggle. Meanwhile, President Lincoln's beloved eleven-year-old son, Willie, lies upstairs in the White House, gravely ill.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • A Mixed Bag

  • By Thomas More on 02-24-17

A first-rate radio drama, not a mere audiobook

5 out of 5 stars
5 out of 5 stars
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 09-19-17

Would you consider the audio edition of Lincoln in the Bardo to be better than the print version?

Yes! Not that I've seen the print version, but the different voices for each character are a huge enhancement to a book with so many characters. Some chapters are composed of excerpts from historical sources, often from firsthand accounts, and these were also enhanced by being read in different voices.

What did you like best about this story?

The connection between Lincoln's personal grief and his empathy for the grief being faced by the nation, culminating in the epiphany that despite seeing this grief it was his duty to continue on with whatever brutality was required to win the war. His struggle, in turn, connects with that of the other characters, who are ghosts living in a form of purgatory, unable to move past life's disappointments into the "next place"; they are all helped along both by the president and his son.

What about the narrators’s performance did you like?

Really, this is more a first-rate radio drama than an audiobook. The actors make each character unique and relatable.

Who was the most memorable character of Lincoln in the Bardo and why?

I wouldn't want to pick one. The lead "ghosts" portrayed by Nick Offerman and David Sedaris were excellent. Probably the central portrait was of Lincoln himself, which we saw from many different perspectives including his own, his son's, and the ghosts (most of whom don't know at first that he is president.)

5 of 5 people found this review helpful