Regular price: $34.99

Membership details Membership details
  • A 30-day trial plus your first audiobook, free.
  • 1 credit/month after trial – good for any book, any price.
  • Easy exchanges – swap any book you don’t love.
  • Keep your audiobooks, even if you cancel.
  • After your trial, Audible is just $14.95/month.
OR
In Cart

Publisher's Summary

Shocked by a five-month arson spree that left rural Virginia reeling, Washington Post reporter Monica Hesse drove down to Accomack County to cover the trial of Charlie Smith, who pled guilty to 67 counts of arson. But Charlie wasn't lighting fires alone: he had an accomplice - his girlfriend, Tonya Bundick. Through her depiction of the dangerous shift that happened in their passionate relationship, Hesse brilliantly brings to life the once-thriving coastal community and its distressed inhabitants, who had already been decimated by a punishing economy before they were terrified by a string of fires they could not explain.

Incorporating this drama into the long-overlooked history of arson in the United States, American Fire re-creates the anguished nights that this quiet county spent lit up in flames, mesmerizingly evoking a microcosm of rural America - a land half gutted before the fires even began.

©2017 Monica Hesse (P)2017 Dreamscape Media, LLC

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    82
  • 4 Stars
    85
  • 3 Stars
    58
  • 2 Stars
    6
  • 1 Stars
    4

Performance

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    78
  • 4 Stars
    67
  • 3 Stars
    44
  • 2 Stars
    19
  • 1 Stars
    7

Story

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    93
  • 4 Stars
    70
  • 3 Stars
    41
  • 2 Stars
    7
  • 1 Stars
    3
Sort by:
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

As an Eastern Shore person, I was keen to

read this story as it unfolded in my neighborhood.

The story is good and well researched and well-written. My only negatives were several misspelled place names and the butchering of place names the reader managed.

Still, a good read.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Truth is always stranger than fiction

If you didn't know this was a true story, you'd think it was a very unlikely piece of fiction. Very interesting tale presented in an interesting way.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Interesting Story- Narrator very difficult to listen to

I really liked the arc of the story- alternating between past and present until the two stories collide. The narrator speaks in a very choppy intonation that makes it hard to listen to, but worth the story if you can get passed the first few chapters and get used to it!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Narration is horrible

If you want to hear Siri read you a book, then this is the book for you! The story is good but the narration is hard to overcome.

4 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Good story but writing choppy and narrator mediocre

The story was choppy in that it went back and forth and the author included a little too much fluffiness describing the rural life of the eastern shore and the changes it underwent.

The narration was mediocre at best. Choppy reading and read at inconsistent speeds that I found distracting.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Deb T
  • Fairfax County, Virginia
  • 01-23-18

In depth look at arson

All about arson and a damaged couple who are drawn together by circumstance and symbiotic dysfunction who choose arson as a way of coping with their emotions and mental capacities shaped by everything that they experienced up to that point

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Good book, Bad Reader

This sounded as if it was read by a robot. She. Pronounced. Every. Word. With. No. Emotion. Siri would have done a better job.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

It was average-ly good

Takes a while to get into and is a little repetative but it's an interesting story. Don't let other reviews of the readers voice deter you, it was just fine.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Great story, robotic narration

I really enjoyed the story. The only part that made it hard to listen to was the narrator’s robotic voice. She did not sound like a real person.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Great book. Bad narrator.

I am from the Eastern Shore about 45 minutes from where these fires took place. The author's account is accurate and well-written! However, the audible version is terrible. The narrator sounds like a robot or Siri, and it is very hard to get used to!! Why the author selected a narrator this bad is hard for me to grasp?? Read the book because the narrator mispronounces towns and other local points of reference which I found annoying. It is well written, and worth the read!!