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John Adams Audiobook

John Adams

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Publisher's Summary

Pulitzer Prize, Biography/Autobiography, 2002

In this powerful, epic biography, Pulitzer Prize-winning historian David McCullough unfolds the adventurous life-journey of John Adams, the brilliant, fiercely independent, often irascible, always honest Yankee patriot who spared nothing in his zeal for the American Revolution. Adams thought, wrote, and spoke out for the "Great Cause" come what might; he traveled far and wide in all seasons and often at extreme risk; he rose to become the second president of the United States and saved the country from blundering into an unnecessary war; he was rightly celebrated for his integrity, and regarded by some as "out of his senses"; and his marriage to the wise and valiant Abigail Adams is one of the most moving love stories in American history.

Much about Adams' life will come as a surprise to many. His rocky relationship with friend and eventual archrival Thomas Jefferson, his courageous voyage on the frigate Boston in the winter of 1778, and his later trek over the Pyrenees are exploits few would have dared and that few listeners will ever forget.

McCullough's John Adams has the sweep and vitality of a great novel. This is history on a grand scale, an audiobook about politics, war, and social issues, but also about human nature, love, religious faith, virtue, ambition, friendship, and betrayal, and the far-reaching consequences of noble ideas. Above all, it is an enthralling, often surprising story of one of the most important and fascinating Americans who ever lived.

©2001 David McCullough; (P)2001 Recorded Books, All Rights Reserved; AUDIOWORKS is an imprint of Simon & Schuster Audio Division, Simon & Schuster Inc.

What the Critics Say

"Brilliant...a winner." (Publishers Weekly)
"McCullough writes to be heard as well as read." (AudioFile)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.6 (4702 )
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  •  
    Sher from Provo Utah 09-30-13
    Sher from Provo Utah 09-30-13 Member Since 2015
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    "John Adams, Founding Father"

    I revere all of the founding fathers, and I suppose I am on a quest to read about many of them, having just finished a book about George Washington, and having just started one on Thomas Jefferson. The thing I am finding interesting is how different each of these men were, yet they all had much in common. Many of them did not even like each other, but they were able to come together to establish the Constitution of the United States, one of the most inspired documents ever written, and who became the founders of the United States of America, the greatest country that has ever existed. What an amazing feat they accomplished.

    I enjoy reading about the details of their lives, the struggles they faced, the heartbreak and the victories. John Adams had his share of all of these. I love the tone of his writings. They crack me up sometimes, but they are always eloquent. Years ago, our community theater presented the play "1776". I must say the authors of that play captured the essence of John Adams and the color of his writings very well. It was like reuniting with an old friend to read many of his words in this book. And I so admire the love affair he carried on for many years with his wife Abigail. I was heartbroken for him as I read about her death because she was truly his best friend and helpmeet.

    All in all, he is a great example to us in so many ways. I wish there were more leaders like him around today. Lord knows we need them!

    8 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Scott 06-01-08
    Scott 06-01-08 Member Since 2016
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    "Great Man, Great Book, Marginal Narrator"

    David McCulough's research, analysis and writing style are all very much to my liking. I enjoyed everything about this book, but the narrator’s lapses in concentration. His voice was very , but I thought at times it was John Adams himself come back from the dead, but only just. I estimate that the pauses and heavy breathing took up almost two hours of the book. For the first few times, I thought my iPod had run out of battery. It seemed as though they kept the tape rolling while he found his place or took a break. It would have been a much better experience if they simply edited out these pieces or non-pieces. I give the book a 5, but with the narration I can only rate the audio a 3.

    9 of 11 people found this review helpful
  •  
    CW79 04-18-16
    CW79 04-18-16 Member Since 2015
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    "Drinking and long pauses by narrator distract."

    An outstanding tale with incredible details about the characters, places, and events that determined the story of the United States of America. I couldn't help but be annoyed by the narrators constant long pauses and audible drinking. Was there no way to edit those out?!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Daniel Henrie 02-25-16 Member Since 2015
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    "Gasping"

    I loved this story line! David McCullough writes history like few have ever been able. That being said, listening to the story as narrated by Nelson Runger boarders on the annoying. Unless one is driving at freeway speeds, you can hear his gasps, gulps and deep breaths. I'm sure these were to be edited out as one narrating a story must breath, but to have them present makes me cringe at every breath. Other than this oversight in editing this story is an amazing history of one of the great founding fathers of America, and does justice to a man seldom remembered by American history books

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tom T. Walker Littleton, CO USA 09-18-15
    Tom T. Walker Littleton, CO USA 09-18-15 Listener Since 2006
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    "Great book. Swallowing sounds distracting"
    What do you think the narrator could have done better?

    Less swallowing between pauses.


    Any additional comments?

    John Adams by David McCullough is a great and thorough accounting of Adam's life and contribution to the formation of the U.S. The audiobook version is well performed, but you'd think the narrator's swallowing noises would have been edited out. They weren't great in number, but annoying nonetheless.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    D. Roberts 07-09-15
    D. Roberts 07-09-15
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    "great book, but voice imitation was irritating"

    the story and writing are superb. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED! !!

    The only problem was the narrator's choice to attempt to have vaguely different voices for various characters. In a different genre, like fiction, this may be applicable, but when reading history it's just irritating. McCullough made a much better reader on his other title, 1776.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ian 04-19-15
    Ian 04-19-15
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    "Second-rate Production Deflates a Great Bio"
    Would you consider the audio edition of John Adams to be better than the print version?

    This is a really excellent, energetic biography of one of the more interesting Founders. Nelson Runger is a pretty good narrator, though he mispronounces a few words (ex., "aye", and pronounces Elbridge Gerry's last name "Jerry" in one spot, "Gary" in another, etc.). Those things are unfortunate and detract, but aren't deal-breakers.

    The bigger problem is the recording and overall production:

    - You can hear Runger's deep breathing, and the smacking sounds of his mouth between sentences.
    - There are awkwardly long pauses between paragraphs (not at chapter breaks, just randomly throughout).
    - The chapters of the audiobook have no correlation to the real book; an audio-chapter will end, only to continue the real chapter in the next audio-chapter. Real chapters start anywhere in the middle, and are impossible to find without simply guessing.


    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    EH san diego 03-16-14
    EH san diego 03-16-14 Member Since 2017
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    "great read, but tough listen"
    What did you love best about John Adams?

    Interesting, yet one-sided account of a great man. In the author's mind, John Adams was always right and honorable as opposed to Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson. Above all, I loved the correspondence between John and Abigail. I'm interested in reading more David McCullough due to his highly informative, yet never boring style of writing.


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    I highly recommend this biography, but warn that the narrator almost ruined it for me. His voice is pleasant, but he takes long pauses, deep breaths and there are weird swallowing sounds - it's very distracting. Also, for some reason, he sounds like the guy from "Get Smart" when he is speaking as John Adams.


    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Pegeen 09-08-13
    Pegeen 09-08-13
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    "Adams character comes through despite narrator"
    How could the performance have been better?

    The narrator's voice was too Midwestern, and highly pitched overall, and ESPECIALLY when supposedly quoting Adams's own words -- one notch below chipmunk voice IMHO. The narrator certainly made no mistakes -- just the wrong tone and pitch for John Adams.

    The writing was interestingly organized,despite a lot of detail to track for a listeners. I loved the development of JA's character and the inclusion of Abigail (of course) and others less well known from history such as Benjamin Rush.


    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Gregory M. Kreiger 07-05-13 Member Since 2013
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    "Trutly Moving"
    Would you consider the audio edition of John Adams to be better than the print version?

    I have not read the written version of this book and thus cannot compare it with the audio version. However, the audio version allowed me to paint two rooms while enjoying a great book.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    John Adams


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    A book this size needs to be consumed in pieces.


    Any additional comments?

    History can best be understood through biographies of great men. This audio was an enjoyable look into the life of one of this countries founding fathers.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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