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Publisher's Summary

In the grand storytelling style that is his signature, James Michener sweeps us back through time to the very beginnings of the Jewish faith, thousands of years ago. Through the predecessors of four modern men and women, we experience the entire colorful history of the Jews, including the life of the early Hebrews and their persecutions, the impact of Christianity, the Crusades, and the Spanish Inquisition, all the way to the founding of present-day Israel and the Middle East conflict.

©2013 James A. Michener; 2015 Random House Audio

Critic Reviews

"Fascinating...stunning...[a] wonderful rampage through history...Biblical history, as seen through the eyes of a professor who is puzzled, appalled, delighted, enriched and impoverished by the spectacle of a land where all men are archeologists." (The New York Times)
"A sweeping [novel] filled with excitement - pagan ritual, the clash of armies, ancient and modern: the evolving drama of man's faith." (The Philadelphia Inquirer)
"Magnificent...a superlative piece of writing both in scope and technique...one of the great books of this generation." (San Francisco Call Bulletin)

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What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.2 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    343
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    155
  • 3 Stars
    77
  • 2 Stars
    24
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    26

Performance

  • 3.9 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    260
  • 4 Stars
    134
  • 3 Stars
    76
  • 2 Stars
    25
  • 1 Stars
    54

Story

  • 4.4 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
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    116
  • 3 Stars
    55
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    20
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    16
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  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Sounds like a robot

What didn’t you like about Larry McKeever’s performance?

This performance sounded like a computer was reading the book. I had trouble paying attention because the reading was so monotonous, but the story was interesting.

29 of 30 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Unlistenable

What would have made The Source better?

I’ve read most of James Michener’s books, on paper. The Source was my favorite, so although I seldom ever reread a book, this was a perfect Audible choice.<br/><br/>The book is as great as ever; however, the performance is so overdone that the distraction did not allow me to suspend disbelief and immerse myself into the story.<br/><br/>Larry McKeever is a bass baritone voice. The articulation borders on speech class drills and the deep roll offs are excessively fabricated. The reading is unconnected, and sound stress is not American English natural. For example, assuRED, laND, startED.<br/><br/>Many will love his voice. In my case, I became so distracted I returned the book after just a few hours. Apparently, I’m not alone.<br/>

25 of 26 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

An unfortunate narrator

What disappointed you about The Source?

I love the work of James Michener and a was looking forward to hearing The Source. Unfortunately, the choice of reader has made this book "unlistenable." While I'm sure the narrator put a great deal of effort into enunciating, the end result is a ponderous, almost monotone performance that sounds more like a computer-generated voice than an actual human.

37 of 39 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Can't finish!

I read The Source years ago and loved it. This audio version is spoiled by the narration, which is wooden and robotic. Regretfully I will not finish listening to this wonderful story. It is unfortunate that all of Michener's books are narrated by the same reader.

35 of 37 people found this review helpful

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  • Performance
  • Story

Terrible Narration ruins a wonderful book.

What made the experience of listening to The Source the most enjoyable?

I read Michner's books years ago and absolutely loved them. The narration for this story is terrible and I don't know if I can stand to finish the book. I won't buy anything using this narrator ever again. What a shame.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Don't know, can't stand to listen to this narrator any more.

What didn’t you like about Larry McKeever’s performance?

Monotone.

Any additional comments?

For heaven's sake, get some updated narration. these are wonderful stories but Larry Keever reads like a robot.

22 of 23 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Viki
  • ABERDEEN, MS, United States
  • 08-25-15

Save yourself this painful experience

What did you like best about The Source? What did you like least?

I read this wonderful book back in the days when I actually READ books. It was captivating and, in light of today's political climate, I was eager to "read" it again. I'm horribly, terribly, awfully disappointed in the mechanical voice of the narrator. It absolutely makes enjoyment of the story impossible.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Listening to this book will take just about as long as the dig took to develop.

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

Somebody who doesn't sound robotic.

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

Yes.

Any additional comments?

Michener fans....if this Larry character is narrating the book you're thinking of buying...skip it.

18 of 19 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Magnificent Story, Mediocre Narration

Would you consider the audio edition of The Source to be better than the print version?

No, the print version of The Source is the better version. Michener's tale across the millenia is magnificent, with startlingly different characters with unique voices and personalities. Whether it's a modern Israeli, an ancient stone age hunter/gatherer, a Jewish trader in the first century CE. - they're all individuals and it's easy to hear that in their speech. <br/><br/>The narrator's relative monotone; his steady pace is serviceable but I think listeners won't get as much out of The Source from it. Better to experience Michener's text. I'd already read the book a few times so that I already knew my favorite parts and the narration didn't diminish my experience (but it didn't add to it).

Who was your favorite character and why?

Too many; every time period has some memorable figures.

What did you like about the performance? What did you dislike?

The narrator reads like the old time government language instructors from those "Language Learning" courses: monotonous, steady, plodding. <br/><br/>I was greatly disappointed that The Source hadn't received an updated narration by a trained voice actor. This reading appears to be an early 90s (or even earlier) recording back when narrators simply read the story without inflection. Occasionally, Audible has some of those early books and they're wearisome (even if the story is good)

Any additional comments?

I'm a big fan of The Source; it's fascinating and compelling reading. I'm not a fan of this recording. I regret spending the credit on it but I'll keep it because Michener's millennia long story still intrigues me.

43 of 47 people found this review helpful

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OK Story - Terrible Narrator..

I could not get through more than an hour of this because the narration is awful. Too bad as I like Michener books.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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Dated and poorly read

This book was not "performed", it was merely read by the narrator...I was hoping that Audible would have updated this book with a different narrator, this book was originally recorded in 1993. Larry McKeever is so flat and difficult to listen to, I will be returning this book.

I am a Michener fan, but this book was so biased to his agnostic/atheist view that it was sometimes painful to listen to. It seems that he twisted the history to fit this view and that, in addition to the poor narration, leads me to give up on this book after about 30 hours.

12 of 13 people found this review helpful

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  • Bebe
  • El Dorado, AR, United States
  • 04-30-16

Trying to slog through this

Years ago I loved reading Michener and was so happy when Audible finally had his books. I won't ever get another. The narrator absolutely drones on. The book is way too long and just a collection of stories over time.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful