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Publisher's Summary

For centuries travelers have been drawn to the stunning and mysterious Dead Sea and Jordan River, a region that is unlike any other on earth in its religious and historical significance. In this exceptionally engaging book, Barbara Kreiger chronicles the natural and human history of these storied bodies of water, drawing on accounts by travelers, pilgrims, and explorers from ancient times to the present. She conveys the blend of spiritual, touristic, and scientific motivations that have driven exploration and describes the modern exploitation of the lake and the surrounding area through mineral extraction and agriculture. Today, both lake and river are in crisis, and stewardship of these water resources is bound up with political conflicts in the region. The Dead Sea and the Jordan River combines history, literature, travelogue, and natural history in a way that makes it hard to put down.

©1988, 1997, 2016 Barbara Kreiger (P)2017 Redwood Audiobooks

Critic Reviews

"Students of the Middle East will doubtless find this exhaustive report on the history and geopolitical details of the Dead Sea and the Jordan River indispensable." (Foreword Reviews)
"Combines fresh, imaginative writing and serious research." (Baltimore Sun)
"A rare natural, political, and human history...Remarkable and timely." (Booklist)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Detailed historical infomation in a story format

Having recently returned from a few weeks in Israel, and had the opportunity to visit and bathe in The Dead Sea, I was drawn to the title. That, and having studied the Old Testament in seminary, the topic and surrounding area has always interested me. When I was offered a free copy of this audiobook by the narrator in return for an unbiased review, I jumped at the offer.

As advertised, The Dead Sea and the Jordan River combines history, literature, travelogue, and natural history and puts it in format of a story. The geographical and historical information, from both scientific and biblical perspectives, is in depth and accurate. In addition the region is described in a manner in which one can picture it in their mind and likely be accurate, as well. The amount of information can almost be overwhelming and can easily be missed if one isn't completely focused on listening to the book; at least that was my experience after having to hit the rewind button a few times. Although it probably doesn't need to be said; this is not the type of book that one would listen to in a single sitting. Most of the chapters are about an hour long and I was never able to get through more than 2 at a given time. In fact, that speaks volumes as to the depth of the book. Needless to say, this is not light reading or listening.

As for the narration; I realize that some have been critical of Becky White's effort, but one most remember the genre of the book she is narrating. I challenge anyone to grab a history book off their shelf and try reading a single chapter with excitement. The The Dead Sea and the Jordan River is more of a textbook than a storybook and reads that way. Now, I will admit, that I sped up the narration a notch, but that is the whole purpose of the option. Given the material, I thought the narration was pretty good and certainly could have been a lot worse.

For anyone that is interested in this genre, I would recommend this title. For anyone that is specifically interested in this region of the world I would highly suggest that this is a "must have" title and easily worth a credit.

Thanks, and I hope some find this review helpful in making their listening choices.

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A comprehensive and detailed book

What did you love best about The Dead Sea and the Jordan River?

The details and insights and historical perspectives discussed.

What does Becky White bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Narration was good.

Any additional comments?

This review copy audiobook was provided by the author, narrator, or publisher at no cost."

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  • Story

A Salty Story

Would you listen to The Dead Sea and the Jordan River again? Why?

Probably not, it was interesting once, but not worth a second time.

Did the narration match the pace of the story?

The narration was stilted and hard to listen to.

Any additional comments?

Lots of good history and research, but overall it felt rushed, disjointed and incomplete. The narrator was hard to listen to and made it hard to focus on the book as well.<br/>This audiobook was provided by the author, narrator, or publisher at no cost in exchange for an unbiased review courtesy of AudiobookBlast dot com.

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Everything you need to know about the subject

I thoroughly enjoyed the audiobook though my one caveat would be the intonation, timber and speed of the narrator. Though somewhat slow and 'nasally', I was able to increase the speed to 2 1/2 Times the speed and was able to understand quite well what she was saying, so it turned out to be a good thing as I usually speed my book up."This book was given to me for free at my request and I provided this voluntary review."

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  • Story

Very interesting and very detail

What did you love best about The Dead Sea and the Jordan River?

I love the detail of the story. I've been too The Dead sea on the Jordanian side so I'm really curious about it. If you are interested in this subject, I really recommended it.

What do you think the narrator could have done better?

I really enjoy the story but the narrator is very slow and boring, makes me feel sleepy.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

No, too much information in this book. I have to absorb it little by little.

Any additional comments?

This book was given to me for free at my request and I provided this voluntary review.

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  • Story
  • Kingsley
  • Henely Brook, Australia
  • 03-13-17

Highly detailed, almost to a fault

3.5 / 5

Written over 20+ years - first published in the late 80's, revised 90's and again in 2016 - Barbara Kreiger has written a detailed history and analysis of the Dead Sea and the Jordan River. The book, generally, follows a chronological story of the area, start with ancient history and working through 19th and 19th century exploration and pilgrimages before ending with 20th and 21st century business and politics. Interspersed in all this is little pieces of personal memoir about journeys to the area that Kreiger has taken herself.

This books is full of detail. In fact is is a little too full in places. Kreiger has done exceptional research, finding lots of old references and journals and discussions about the area, but there are times there is too much information as if she didn't want to throw out anything she had found (I suspect she already has culled a lot and is still left with a lot). The main ideas of her writing can get lost in all the minutia of the quotes and references. Maybe a few less references would actually help in places.

Because of quotes and references there is often a very weaving path to the narrative, as the background and the validity of the quotes are discussed, the main point can be lost. There was sections (especially in the earlier part of the history) where it felt like the focus changed every three sentences and it was several paragraphs before we returned to the original thoughts/discussions

The book really hits it's stride in the second half, when it gets into discussions of salt collection, water sharing, environmental issues, and politics. The narrative flow is much better in this part and the analysis is very interesting.

Narration by Becky White is good. Also 3.5 / 5

It took me a little while (~30minutes) to acclimatise myself to her. Not sure why (ugh, I really don't like being vague) but it just felt a bit off to begin with. Either she hit her stride or I got used to it, but in the end I enjoyed her work. Pacing is good and she is clear and crisp. Easy enough to listen to. I would have preferred if there was some way to differentiate between the author and quotes, but it is a hard line to walk for non-fiction without falling into caricatures.

Overall the book is very good if you are interested in the region and its history. Well worth the read.

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Interesting and informative history lesson

What made the experience of listening to The Dead Sea and the Jordan River the most enjoyable?

There is a ton of information in this book! She tells you anything you could want to know about the area and the history. Very good information!

Any additional comments?

If you have any interest in this topic or you just have a thing for history, this is very interesting and I am sure you would enjoy it. I was voluntarily provided this free review copy audiobook by the author, narrator, or publisher.<br/>

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Extremely interesting book

I enjoyed this book for number of reasons. Not the least of which this is a very important region of the planet and has been for thousands of years. I felt that the author provided an excellent historical account of the area. I am also totally blonde and her descriptions were so detailed and engaging I could literally see them in my minds eye. I was voluntarily provided this review copy by the author publisher or narrator. It was my pleasure to give it a positive review