We are currently making improvements to the Audible site. In an effort to enhance the accessibility experience for our customers, we have created a page to more easily navigate the new experience, available at the web address www.audible.com/access .
 >   > 
Assassination Vacation Audiobook

Assassination Vacation

Regular Price:$23.93
  • Membership Details:
    • First book free with 30-day trial
    • $14.95/month thereafter for your choice of 1 new book each month
    • Cancel easily anytime
    • Exchange books you don't like
    • All selected books are yours to keep, even if you cancel
  • - or -

Publisher's Summary

Sarah Vowell exposes the glorious conundrums of American history and culture with wit, probity, and an irreverent sense of humor. With Assassination Vacation, she takes us on a road trip like no other, a journey to the pit stops of American political murder and through the myriad ways they have been used for fun and profit, for political and cultural advantage.

From Buffalo to Alaska, Washington to the Dry Tortugas, Vowell visits locations immortalized and influenced by the spilling of politically important blood, reporting as she goes with her trademark blend of wisecracking humor, remarkable honesty, and thought-provoking criticism. We learn about the jinx that was Robert Todd Lincoln (present at the assassinations of Presidents Lincoln, Garfield, and McKinley) and witness the politicking that went into the making of the Lincoln Memorial. The resulting narrative is much more than an entertaining and informative travelogue, it is the disturbing and fascinating story of how American death has been manipulated by popular culture, including literature, architecture, sculpture, and, the author's favorite, historical tourism.

Though the themes of loss and violence are explored and we make detours to see how the Republican Party became the Republican Party, there are lighter diversions into the lives of the three presidents and their assassins, including mummies, show tunes, mean-spirited totem poles, and a 19th-century biblical sex cult.

In Order of Appearance:
Conan O'Brien...Robert Todd Lincoln
Eric Bogosian...John Wilkes Booth
Stephen King...President Abraham Lincoln
Dave Eggers...Mike Ryan
Catherine Keener...Gretchen Worden
Jon Stewart...President James A. Garfield
Tony Kushner...John Humphrey Noyes
Brad Bird...Charles Guiteau & Emma Goldman
Daniel Handler...President William McKinley
Greg Giraldo...President Theodore Roosevelt
David Rakoff...Leon Czolgosz

©2005 Sarah Vowell; (P)2005 Simon & Schuster Inc. AUDIOWORKS is an imprint of Simon & Schuster Audio Division, Simon & Schuster, Inc.

What the Critics Say

  • 2005 Audie Award Nominee, Multi-Voiced Performance
  • 2005 Publishers Weekly Listen Up Award, Humor

"Vowell has a perspective on American history that is definitely funny." (School Library Journal)
"Wacky, weirdly enthralling....This is history at its most morbid and most fascinating and, fortunately, one needn't share Vowell's interest in the macabre to thoroughly enjoy this unusual tour." (Publishers Weekly)
"An engaging tour....Audiobook listeners get serious bang for their buck, including guest appearances by Stephen King (as Lincoln), Jon Stewart, Conan O'Brien, and Eric Bogosian, among others." (AudioFile)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.2 (2923 )
5 star
 (1457)
4 star
 (854)
3 star
 (365)
2 star
 (123)
1 star
 (124)
Overall
4.3 (1319 )
5 star
 (756)
4 star
 (351)
3 star
 (145)
2 star
 (36)
1 star
 (31)
Story
4.3 (1332 )
5 star
 (799)
4 star
 (289)
3 star
 (138)
2 star
 (49)
1 star
 (57)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Mary Ann Benson Portland, ME 11-22-11
    Mary Ann Benson Portland, ME 11-22-11
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    10
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Authors who narrate their own books are the best"

    Sarah Vowell's sweet "little-girlish" voice masks a very grown-up and sometimes slightly twisted perspective on the historical sights she visits. The premise of the book...visiting the sights pertinent to events surrounding Presidential assassinations...is kooky enough but she makes it a very entertaining trip. She recognizes the eccentricity of her approach, noting the eye-rolling and sighing of her companions, but she remains undeterred in her mission. I thoroughly enjoyed learning some of the lesser known facts about these pivotal points and confess to laughing out loud at a few of them. Does that make me twisted too? If so, I feel as if I am in good company. She's a good writer, holding the reader's attention through the same material that has most 11th grade students nodding off or texting their friends under the desk. Great job, Sarah! And can I come with you on your next trip, please?

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    J. Davidsmeyer WA 07-17-11
    J. Davidsmeyer WA 07-17-11 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    50
    5
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "Vacation"

    This is a good listen, but I wish it hadn't been abridged. The voices were really funny. I just started to really enjoy it and then it was over.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    P. R. Ecker 04-12-11
    P. R. Ecker 04-12-11

    Rubyview

    HELPFUL VOTES
    19
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    24
    16
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "Kind-of Interesting"

    ...and a bit strange, which is expected from Ms. Vowel. However, the book is disjointed in an unpleasant way, yet reads like a travelogue, which it is. I felt a little like I was the roadster from monopoly being driven all over a map in a crazy zigzag pattern and in the process ripping the map up a little. I love Ms. Vowell's humor but this was a difficult listening. While her voice is engaging in most circumstances, it was annoying here.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ross 02-14-11
    Ross 02-14-11 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    10
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    122
    4
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "an eccentric travel guide"

    Much like her real life personality, this book is a quirky journey. She makes the oddest of any vacations seem like fun. Though I assume this book would only interest those with an interest in history and an appreciation of her sense of humor. The guest voices also add to the fun by bringing the characters to life in a truly silly way. Jon Stewart as Garfield was especially interesting. Would definitely recommend this book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Marisa Petaluma, CA, USA 04-10-10
    Marisa Petaluma, CA, USA 04-10-10
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    8
    2
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "Things I Should have Learned in History Class"

    Thank you, Sarah Vowell, for being the history teacher I never had. Vowell offers witty, engaging and critical accounts of American history as she reveals her quirky yet endearing affection for our founding fathers and texts. Funny, informative and provocative, I like a women who loves our country while at the same time recognizes its faults, and of course, someone who deeply respects Lincoln, but can admit that J. Wilkes Booth was kind of hot. Post-modern history is here!

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    James Plainfield, IL, USA 06-17-09
    James Plainfield, IL, USA 06-17-09 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    10
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    5
    3
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "Entertaining"

    Entertaining, Informational and Fun.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Samantha 11-05-08
    Samantha 11-05-08 Listener Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
    42
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    138
    16
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "enthusiastically recommend"

    I enthusiastically recommend this book. The reader is not required to be interested in assignations, Lincoln or Garfield all that is required is an vague appreciation of history and excellent writing. Sarah Vowell writes history with the voices of humor and irony, and she is always entertaining.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Laura 09-26-08
    Laura 09-26-08

    Mynt

    HELPFUL VOTES
    40
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    88
    29
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "OK but Not Great"

    I really like Sarah Vowell and she maximizes the humor in this book. But when it comes right down to it, her topic isn't that interesting. She writes about street corners and statues of ex and often dull presidents. There is a whole chapter written about her thoughts on the musical "Assassins." I was looking forward to all of the guest narrators (Stephen King, Stephen Colbert, Jon Stewart & Conan O'Brian) but having famous narrators didn't add much to the story because they all read the lines straight.

    A few parts that I did find interesting:
    Charles Guiteau's time in the Oneida coop back when they were a sex cult and before they made china; Robert Todd Lincoln as the symbol of doom having witnessed two presidential assassinations.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michelle santa monica, CA, USA 12-01-07
    Michelle santa monica, CA, USA 12-01-07
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    2
    1
    Overall
    "Learn and laugh."

    If you enjoy America history and you like to smile this is a great listen.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Guy Naples, FL, USA 11-28-07
    Guy Naples, FL, USA 11-28-07 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    88
    5
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "enjoyed this one"

    I really enjoyed this one. The readers voice fits the content well, and there are great tid bits of history that spin off from the main topic, which are very enlightening.

    0 of 0 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.

Cancel

Thank you.

Your report has been received. It will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.