Regular price: $24.50

Free with 30-day trial Membership
Membership details Membership details
  • 30 days of membership free - plus an audiobook, on us.
  • 1 credit a month after trial - good for any title.
  • Easy exchange. Don't love book? swap it for free.
  • Exchange books you don't like
  • After your free trial, Audible is $14.95 a month
OR
In Cart

Publisher's Summary

From the author of the Magellan biography, Over the Edge of the World, a mesmerizing new account of the great explorer.

Christopher Columbus's 1492 voyage across the Atlantic Ocean in search of a trading route to China, and his unexpected landfall in the Americas, is a watershed event in world history. Yet Columbus made three more voyages within the span of only a decade, each designed to demonstrate that he could sail to China within a matter of weeks and convert those he found there to Christianity.

These later voyages were even more adventurous, violent, and ambiguous, but they revealed Columbus's uncanny sense of the sea, his mingled brilliance and delusion, and his superb navigational skills. In all these exploits he almost never lost a sailor. By their conclusion, however, Columbus was broken in body and spirit. If the first voyage illustrates the rewards of exploration, the latter voyages illustrate the tragic costs - political, moral, and economic.

In rich detail Laurence Bergreen re-creates each of these adventures as well as the historical background of Columbus's celebrated, controversial career. Written from the participants' vivid perspectives, this breathtakingly dramatic account will be embraced by readers of Bergreen's previous biographies of Marco Polo and Magellan and by fans of Nathaniel Philbrick, Simon Winchester, and Tony Horwitz.

©2011 Laurence Bergreen (P)2011 Penguin Audio

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 3.7 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    27
  • 4 Stars
    26
  • 3 Stars
    26
  • 2 Stars
    6
  • 1 Stars
    6

Performance

  • 4.0 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    29
  • 4 Stars
    18
  • 3 Stars
    12
  • 2 Stars
    6
  • 1 Stars
    1

Story

  • 3.8 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    27
  • 4 Stars
    14
  • 3 Stars
    22
  • 2 Stars
    4
  • 1 Stars
    4
Sort by:
  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • David
  • Halifax, NS, Canada
  • 08-26-12

Does exactly what you want

An excellent survey of Columbus's career, and particularly interesting in the way it devotes attention to all four voyages, rather than focusing on the famous one that started it all. The narrative enables to appreciate Columbus's admirable qualities (his brilliance as a navigator) as well as his flaws (terrible people skills!). You will feel alternately impressed by, horrified at, and sympathetic toward the man.

No problems with the narrator.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Awkward writing, oddly read.

Not a bad book, but I found it difficult to listen to. The meter of the the book mirrors the rhythm of source material. It doesn’t vary.
Dut dah dut dah daa.
Dut dah dut dah daa.
Dut dah dut dah daa.
Over and over. It was hard to get lost in the book.
Also, and this is entirely personal, I found myself really disliking Columbus, and not for the reasons I expected. He is portrayed here as a unlikeable lucky doofus.
If you listen to the sample and the narration doesn’t bother you, you won’t have a problem.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

a good mix of perspectives

this book has a good mix of perspectives. it is easy to hate Columbus, this explains why he he thought the way he thought, how others of the time thought and let's the reader judge him knowing all this information.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Chris
  • Mundelein, IL, United States
  • 04-12-12

More than I even needed to know

What did you like best about Columbus? What did you like least?

Ton's of information, well preformed and interesting. At times the information was difficult to follow. The book bridges a fine line between historical periodical and a story about this tremendously important historical figure. My personal opinion of Columbus was improved by reading this epic tale. Thanks to the author.

What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

Gaining an understanding of the effort that went into the voyages

Have you listened to any of Tim Jerome’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

Not that I am aware of but this performance was good!

Could you see Columbus being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

At first no, but now that I think of it there is enough richness in the details for a screenwriter to simplify and organize the book into mini stories. I could totally see a John Malkovich type as Columbus.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Charles
  • Fullerton, CA, United States
  • 11-01-11

Some interesting points

Some interesting points but not a spell binding read. Overall it was a good read but one that will not keep you up all night.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Chris
  • North Ridgeville, OH, United States
  • 10-20-11

Well read and very interesting

What you leaned in history class is not the whole story by any measure.
I found this very to be a very good book. I the narrator's voice was enjoyable. Seems like the author has captured Europe's world view and mentality.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Tropics
  • Falls Church, VA
  • 10-08-12

God and interesting read

Book is extremely interesting, although it wanders at times. I learned a lot. Narrator is very good.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Brodie
  • Mornington, Australia
  • 11-21-11

Brings history to life while boring to death

Look, history is dry it is dead it is the past and, most of all we have to make many assumptions. This is either a historical work with a spoonful of swash buckling or a rather tepid tale of discovery and the misery that was inflicted in the name of Spain and the Church. Either way it is hard work with limited entertainment value. For those into history, assuming the bare bone facts are true, blow of the dust and enjoy. For those expecting a little more colour and seamanship, look for another tale.

2 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Too Much Drama

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

Yes. Facts of Columbus's adventures important to understanding of history.

Would you be willing to try another book from Laurence Bergreen? Why or why not?

Not likely. Bergreen spent too many words reporting Columbus's moods, thoughts, motives. Would like a less dramatic presentation

Would you listen to another book narrated by Tim Jerome?

Would depend on title and author. Jerome also dramatic in emphasizing Bergreen's dramatic words.

Do you think Columbus needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

No. I think Bergreen did summarize what the records have to say about Columbus

0 of 3 people found this review helpful

Report Inappropriate Content

If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.