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Chesapeake Audiobook

Chesapeake: A Novel

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Publisher's Summary

The central scene of Michener's historical novel is that section of Maryland's Eastern shore, hardly more than 10 miles square. To this point come the founders of families that will dominate the story.

©2013 James A. Michener (P)2015 Random House Audio

What the Critics Say

"Another of James Michener's great mines of narrative, character and lore." (The Wall Street Journal)
"[A] marvelous panorama of history seen in the lives of symbolic people of the ages…an emotionally and intellectually appealing book." (The Atlanta Journal-Constitution)
"Michener's most ambitious work of fiction in theme and scope." (The Philadelphia Inquirer)
"Magnificently written…one of those rare novels that are enthusiastically passed from friend to friend." (Associated Press)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.4 (310 )
5 star
 (183)
4 star
 (93)
3 star
 (25)
2 star
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1 star
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Overall
4.6 (283 )
5 star
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4 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Story
4.0 (280 )
5 star
 (140)
4 star
 (68)
3 star
 (32)
2 star
 (21)
1 star
 (19)
Performance
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  •  
    Jan 08-29-15
    Jan 08-29-15 Member Since 2011

    Tangential, eclectic, avid listener... favorite book is the one currently in ear.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Soooo worth my time... and a rant at the end"

    I have to agree the narration is really difficult to tolerate... but it does get better if you turn the speed up to 1.25... and what I thought would be intolerable didn't bug me nearly as much. Larry McKeever is the narrator of all of his books so I best get used to him as I want to listen to more of Michener's books.

    This is a Michener work that I hadn't read and would never have the time to read without the audio version... it is much in the style of his other books following a place though time... weaving fictional families with historical events. Goodness... this covers everything from Indians to initial settlers, tobacco and slavery, pirates, early American, British and French history, slash and burn, marshes, boatbuilding, religious prosecution, women's rights, Quakers, pollution, extinct birds, politics, weather and Watergate... I learned so much and it was really worth my time.

    If you don't like stories that move slowly and have a lot of detail and background... you won't like this at all. Nor does it have drop dead amazing characterizations or words... but he made me love and understand the Chesapeake.

    Now a rant: Could I point out that there is now a business online that sells positive reviews for books. For $150 an author can buy five, 5 star reviews no questions asked and even give suggestions of what to say. And they will give thumbs up to other positive reviews forcing the negative ones to the bottom. At first they were easy to spot because the reviewers had only done one review and one rating. Now they have been in business for a while it is hard to tell them apart. I would encourage Audible readers not to give a thumbs up to a review when it first encourages you into purchasing it... rather take the time to go back and thumbs up or down reviews according to your reading experience and get the accurate reviews at the top. I have been taken in several times lately and it makes me mad when I see obviously phony 5 star reviews on books that I have read and know are awful. (I am not talking about this book). If we as readers let this slip by...reader reviews will be useless in the future.

    47 of 50 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Angelyn S. Furst 08-08-15 Member Since 2008
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    "NARRATOR RUINS A WONDER STORY"

    Why oh why did the producers of this great Mitchener book select this lackluster narrator. Honestly, a computer generated voice has more inflection then this narrator. I was excited to see the Mitchener books on Audible and planned on getting them all, now I've changed my mind. Listening to this monotone voice ruins a wonderful story.

    24 of 26 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Judith 08-20-15
    Judith 08-20-15
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    "Wonderful book, Read not narrated"
    What did you love best about Chesapeake?

    Michener's descriptions of both place and people are wonderful


    What did you like best about this story?

    Though I'm not finished, so far the character interaction is excellent - feel like I know them personally


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    Apparently he hadn't read it before doing this! No idea how to space his words, sentences, or stops.


    Any additional comments?

    I really wish the books by this author could be re-done by one or several of the newer narrators - there is so much that could make them come to life!

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Robert Irmo, SC, US 08-30-15
    Robert Irmo, SC, US 08-30-15 Member Since 2017
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    "Waited so long -"
    Any additional comments?

    Bad narration. Sounds like it has been manipulated with the computer. VERY disappointing. I wanted to listen to them all, but I don't think so. That bad.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jacquie Dutton Minneapolis 08-24-15
    Jacquie Dutton Minneapolis 08-24-15 Member Since 2013
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    "Great story with robotic narration."
    What did you like best about Chesapeake? What did you like least?

    This is so disappointing. I have waited SO LONG for Michener to be available on Audible. This performance lacks energy, personality, and dramatic art. McKeever doesn't even muster a British accent to read bits of narration from clearly British characters. He reads it totally flat. The saving aspect is the story and the wonderful research Michener puts into this masterful story of colonial Maryland.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    I loved the way Michener wrote the strong female characters into this story. He gives them intelligence, bravery, managerial skills, and imagination. There is surprising appeal to feminist readers.


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    The narrator is not an actor, and fails to bring the characters to life.


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

    YES. Chesapeake with a new narrator. PLEASE.


    9 of 10 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Justin Van Prooyen Silver Spring, MD, US 10-01-15
    Justin Van Prooyen Silver Spring, MD, US 10-01-15 Member Since 2008
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    "Such a wonderful story with a horrible narrator"
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    The only thing I would change about this book is the narrator. He doesn't do justice to this amazing work.


    Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Larry McKeever?

    Patrick Tull, or anyone that is not a robot like Larry Mckeever.


    Any additional comments?

    I am a huge fan of James Michener and have read most of his books so I was excited to see several of them on Audible. Unfortunately, the narration on this book is so robotic and awkward in its rhythm and pronunciation that it is almost not worth it to listen to the book.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    K. Wise Charlottesville, VA USA 08-31-15
    K. Wise Charlottesville, VA USA 08-31-15 Member Since 2014
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    "Not sure I can continue"
    Would you listen to Chesapeake again? Why?

    No. Not sure I can even finish it, I may have to solely read this book (my preference is to go back and forth between Kindle and Audible), the narration is the worst I have ever experienced. (Sorry, Larry, I'm sure you're a wonderful person)


    Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Larry McKeever?

    Anybody! I could've done better!


    Any additional comments?

    I came onto the site to check reviews to make sure I wasn't the only person having such trouble with this narration, it is a relief to know that it ain't just me!

    7 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Shelley Morrison 08-14-15 Member Since 2008
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    "Had to quit listening"
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    The narration is so irritating, I knew I couldn't continue. It's not just the blandness and lack of change in intonation for dialogue....it is how the narrator adds an extra syllable at the end of every other sentence. I couldn't listen to another 48 hours of it.


    If you’ve listened to books by James A. Michener before, how does this one compare?

    I have not, but I was sorry to see the same narrator has done other new audible releases.


    How could the performance have been better?

    There is a strange emphasis on final consonants at the end of sentences. For instance, the word "land," sounds like "land-uh."


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

    Yes


    10 of 12 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Cara Fuller East Aurora, NY United States 10-22-16
    Cara Fuller East Aurora, NY United States 10-22-16 Member Since 2016

    hatladyal

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    "Decent read"

    While the reader is a bit mechanical, the history was interesting enough to keep you listening. Not as dramatic or action filled as others by the same author, it was still worth while.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Gail 09-02-15
    Gail 09-02-15
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    "Larry McKeever sounds like an automaton."
    What did you like best about Chesapeake? What did you like least?

    Certainly NOT the narration.


    How could the performance have been better?

    I'm not very far into this reading but I'm increasingly frustrated by the narration. It sounds extremely digitized and unatural. Mr. McKeever ends too many sentences on an "a-ah" as if he were a Baptist Preacher. As in "thank you, Jeezussah". I notice most if not all of Micheners books are narrated by Mr. McKeever. I would dearly love to check them out but I'm not even sure I will be able to get thru this reading the narration is so poorly performed with littlle no change in inflection. Extremely monotone and boring.


    Was Chesapeake worth the listening time?

    We shall see.


    8 of 10 people found this review helpful

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