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Blood and Thunder Audiobook

Blood and Thunder: An Epic of the American West

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Publisher's Summary

In the fall of 1846, the venerable Navajo warrior Narbona, greatest of his people's chieftains, looked down upon the small town of Santa Fe, the stronghold of the Mexican settlers he had been fighting his whole long life. He had come to see if the rumors were true, if an army of blue-suited soldiers had swept in from the East and utterly defeated his ancestral enemies. As Narbona gazed down on the battlements and cannons of a mighty fort the invaders had built, he realized his foes had been vanquished. But what did the arrival of these "new men" portend for the Navajo?

Narbona could not have known that "The Army of the West", in the midst of the longest march in American military history, was merely the vanguard of an inexorable tide fueled by a self-righteous ideology now known as "Manifest Destiny". For 20 years the Navajo, elusive lords of a huge swath of mountainous desert and pasturelands, would ferociously resist the flood of soldiers and settlers who wished to change their ancient way of life - or destroy them.

©2006 Hampton Sides; (P)2006 Books on Tape

What the Critics Say

"An excellent addition to collections on western history." (Booklist)
"[Sides] eloquently paints the landscape and history of the 19th-century Southwest." (Publishers Weekly)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.4 (846 )
5 star
 (490)
4 star
 (248)
3 star
 (80)
2 star
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1 star
 (7)
Overall
4.5 (569 )
5 star
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4 star
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3 star
 (51)
2 star
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1 star
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Story
4.5 (571 )
5 star
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4 star
 (154)
3 star
 (36)
2 star
 (8)
1 star
 (2)
Performance
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  •  
    Jim Dale City, VA, USA 07-19-07
    Jim Dale City, VA, USA 07-19-07
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
    ratings
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    6
    2
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    "New History for me"

    Truly enjoyed the book. Provided a unique and entertaining view of history not covered during my "school" days. Made for a good listen, my Mom liked it to.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Pam Fulmer San Francisco Bay Area 06-13-07
    Pam Fulmer San Francisco Bay Area 06-13-07 Member Since 2006

    Pam

    HELPFUL VOTES
    9
    ratings
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    58
    5
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    "The West"

    This is a terrific audiobook. The narrator held my interest the entire time, and I liked his voice, which fit in very well with this tale of the West. I also enjoyed learning many details about the life of Kit Carson, and how men like Carson and Fremont lived on the frontier. The battle scenes were excellently described, and it was a very exciting listen. I would highly recommend it to those who like history books.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jonnie Panama City, FL, United States 05-21-07
    Jonnie Panama City, FL, United States 05-21-07 Member Since 2017
    HELPFUL VOTES
    463
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    215
    117
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    18
    0
    Overall
    "Good western history book"

    About 80% of this book was good to very good but there were intermittent periods where it dragged. You just have to keep going and then you will be back into the excitement and interest again. Overall this is a 3.7 to a 4.0. I'm glad I purchased it.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Andrew Waltham, MA, USA 04-17-07
    Andrew Waltham, MA, USA 04-17-07 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    10
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    20
    4
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    "Disappointing"

    I purchased this audio version of "Blood and Thunder" on the basis of some very favorable reviews that the book received in the press. Alas, Hampton Sides' survey of the history of the American Southwest during the middle decades of the 19th century does not live up to the hype. He is at his best describing the landscape of the region, but his narration of events and the personalities that drove them lacks historical rigor. After a while, one becomes a bit tired of statements about what a person "must have" thought, "probably" felt, or other such conjectures. Sides is not content to let events speak for themselves. He has to ramble on about the unknowable. This is fine for a novelist, and may be appropriate for a historian if diaries and other first-hand accounts give sufficient sense of what cannot be observed. But Sides uses it to excess. Instead of adding to the story, it merely inflates a remarkably sparse book. It is indicative of Sides' unwillingness to explore what can be documented--the culture of white America suring the period in question, the politics and tactics of the US army, background on whites' earlier interaction with native Americans, the influence of Catholicism on the Southwestern tribes, and so on. He barely touches on these crucial questions. It's sad, because Sides is an excellent stylist, but in this case he lacks substance to back it up.

    The reader (Don Leslie) is adequate, though certainly not among the best I have heard. He has a deep voice, and occasionally he seems to lumber through the story. Still, he does the material justice.

    9 of 17 people found this review helpful
  •  
    09-15-17
    09-15-17
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    3
    3
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    Story
    "Amazing Bravo!"

    What a great story so well written
    It was very subjective and I like that there is no political agenda, only facts.
    Left me so inspired and full of many emotions. It opens your eyes to truth and reality of the times. The historical figures are not glorified, he balances their shortcomings and their achievements very well. This should be required reading in all high school or college history courses. I'm going to listen again!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Brad Fackrell 08-29-17 Member Since 2015
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    7
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    "Love history. Loved the book"

    I love history and this book was full of wonderful details of the people so influential in American and New Mexican history. I recommend this to history buffs.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    MBook 07-03-17
    MBook 07-03-17 Member Since 2016
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    8
    7
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Moving, fascinating, fair"

    This was an enthralling book that covered aspects of US history with which I have not been well acquainted. The book is sympathetic to the plight of the indians without sugar-coating their existence. The complexity of Kit Carson is fairly presented and transcends ignorant adulation or politically correct caricature. The narrator did a great job.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lesley 04-07-17
    Lesley 04-07-17 Member Since 2014
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    REVIEWS
    4
    1
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    Story
    "#newmexicotrue"

    Excellently written and well read by narrator. Kit Carson is my new favorite old west superhero.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 04-03-17 Member Since 2017
    ratings
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    1
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    Story
    "Fantastic story of the American West"

    Well researched, superbly written, and ably narrated, this story of American manifest destiny revolves around Kit Carson - whom seemed to intersect with every meaningful event of the period in Forest Gump fashion. The Navajo people also play a prominent part of the book. The ending came upon me suddenly and left me wanting another twenty chapters!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Shannon Mangus 02-24-17
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
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    Story
    "Its the history we should have been taught."

    It's long and detailed but every detail ties together another piece of history. Kit Carson was someone that was there!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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  • Kristian
    10/6/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Epic and fantastic story."

    I never knew anything about Kid Carson apart from having heard his name. He is by far one of the most if not the most interesting characters i ever heard about in connection to the american wild west

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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