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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

  • 3.9 out of 5.0
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Performance

  • 3.8 out of 5.0
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    47
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    50
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    29
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    13
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Story

  • 4.1 out of 5.0
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  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

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.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

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.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

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
  • Performance
  • Story

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
  • Performance
  • Story

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
  • Performance
  • Story

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!!

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Automated Narrator

Any additional comments?

The narrator was the only bad thing about this audiobook. She sounded very much like a computer-generated voice. Her narration distracted from an otherwise good book.

2 of 4 people found this review helpful