America's Reluctant Prince

The Life of John F. Kennedy Jr.
Narrated by: Tim Andrés Pabon
Length: 18 hrs and 24 mins
4.4 out of 5 stars (204 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

A New York Times best seller

A major new biography of John F. Kennedy Jr. from a leading historian who was also a close friend, America’s Reluctant Prince is a deeply researched, personal, surprising, and revealing portrait of the Kennedy heir the world lost too soon.

Through the lens of their decades-long friendship and including exclusive interviews and details from previously classified documents, noted historian and New York Times best-selling author Steven M. Gillon examines John F. Kennedy Jr.’s life and legacy from before his birth to the day he died. Gillon covers the highs, the lows, and the surprising incidents, viewpoints, and relationships that John never discussed publicly, revealing the full story behind JFK Jr.'s complicated and rich life. In the end, Gillon proves that John’s life was far more than another tragedy - rather, it’s the true key to understanding both the Kennedy legacy and how America’s first family continues to shape the world we live in today.

©2019 Steven M. Gillon (P)2019 Penguin Audio

What listeners say about America's Reluctant Prince

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    2 out of 5 stars

Another “close friend” account

Save your credits or money. I realized by the end of part 1 (out of two) that this book is just rehashed history and to make it even worse, much of it has little to do with JFK Jr. The author starts by telling us how close he and John were. After hearing this audio book, I the author may have been a friend but they weren’t as close as claimed. There is so much hamburger helper in this book. A lot of known history about the Kennedy family is used to fluff up a book that is supposed to be about JFK Jr. Hours of this book are devoted simply to the times John grew up in and the Kennedy clan. I really did not have any interest in how many miscarriages Jacqueline Kennedy had, which hospitals she was raced to, what John’s birth weight was, that John’s father was not faithful to Jackie, the naval blockade of Cuba, Robert Kennedy’s assassination, Jackie marrying Onassis, etc. This should have been titled “where’s the beef?” I’ll be returning this audiobook.

18 people found this helpful

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I feel bad saying this, but the narrator was awful

I am having a hard time getting through this book because the author is so mechanical and devoid of personality. A good narrator changes his or her voice for certain characters, etc. This reader simply reads the words.

11 people found this helpful

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This author is no friend of JFK Jr

Why would a self proclaimed loyal friend of JFK Jr write this kiss and tell book? It focuses of JFK Jr’s demons, which a friend wouldn’t do. This is a make a buck book at the expense of friendship....that is if the author ever really enjoyed such a friendship. Shame!

1 person found this helpful

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With friends like this, who needs enemies.

Finding it hard to believe the author was a friend. Too many stories painting JFK Jr in a bad light. Seems to me the author was focused on the negative. Wish I could return this book but I'm stuck with it.

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Growing Up With John John

I only knew of JFK, Jr when he was an adult. I only know about the toddler John John through pictures. Listening to the narration in the story made me feel like a fly on the wall as JFK, Jr came into his own. The author may not have read the story, but he definitely uses his voice and insight to help us get to know the Prince of Camelot. The reader that was chosen for this audio book was perfect for the delivery of this biography. It read like a "Once upon a time" bedtime story.

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America's Reluctant Prince

It was very negative account. Pretty repetitive. The chapters were too long. I did learn things about JFK Jr. I did not know. I t was just a so so listen.

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A touching and honest tribute

The author writes honestly about JFK Jr while the love of his friend shines through every word. Like many people in this country and around the world, I remember where I was on the day John Kennedy’s plane went missing. Now I understand more about what that meant to his close friends, family and our country.

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A little history, a little insight and more

I've been on a Kennedy kick, reading most books in order starting with the whole family, then the children of Joseph and Rose in age order. This one I read out of sequence because it grabbed my attention. (Here's where I should confess that I have always thought he was the most beautiful man and never really dug any deeper.) I don't usually go for books that might fall in the tell-all category, but this seemed like an empathetic author and friend who really wanted to do justice to John's memory. Some of the stories of John's recklessness weren't new to me as his cousin Christopher Lawford had written about them in "Symptoms of Withdrawal." Other antics made me smile and laugh. There are some pages devoted to context that I might have skipped, but overall, I enjoyed the book. I can see me listening to it again; my ultimate stamp of approval.

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Too short a life

John's life was much too short. He had so much to offer. Another good guy gone much too soon.

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Why do we care?

The author expressed my most salient reasons in his Epilogue. Memory influences our every living moment.

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  • Goosy
  • 04-26-20

Too long but interesting

This is a long book about someone who did not leave much of a legacy. It is an interesting perspective on the Kennedys which made me question at least one conspiracy theory surrounding the family. I was struck by how unashamed the author was of his jealousy towards his friend. Still worth a read/listen.