But the truth is that he was the matinee idol of his time, and the attack on Lincoln was not the act of a maniac, but part of a plan developed at the highest levels of the Confederacy.
In Consider the Elephant by Aram Schefrin, the story of John Wilkes Booth's life and death is told by his brother, Edwin Booth, the greatest Shakespearean actor of his age. The book suffused with the ambiance of the 19th century American theater and full of rich characters. It lays out in detail the path Wilkes took to the top of the celebrity heap, his growing involvement with the Southern rebels, and the development in Richmond of the plot to kidnap and later assassinate the Union's president.
this is a work which i wish i could have read in print, but since i can no longer process print, i listened to the audiobook with a sense of frustration, as the author's "performance" of his text is extremely distracting, as are the sporadic sound effects and the sudden use of other narrators; the narration isn't well served by the conceit of the book, which is constantly changing perspectives from constantly shifting points of view... my recommendation: if you can physically read this book, read it; if not, be forewarned that the overproduction of the narration is more annoying than it is innovative
6 of 6 people found this review helpful
The novel "Consider the Elephant" is a well crafted re-telling of the story of John Booth's assassination of Lincoln as told through the eyes of his brother. The author brings the times to life by providing rich detail about the lives of the celebrated (at the time, infamous now) Booth family as well as the era itself. I recommend this book but it took me some listening to overcome the lisping delivery of the main character. The production is marred by a gunshot that punctuates the start of each chapter recorded at a level well above that of the narration and is the audio equivalent of being punched in the head about every 20 mintues. The use of background noise to set the scene generally works but I could swear that the people murmuring in the background of crowd scenes are speaking Spanish!