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Publisher's Summary

It's the hot, miserable summer of 1787 in Philadelphia. Will the delegates at the Grand Convention succeed or fail at their mission? Will they amend the Articles of Confederation as instructed? Or are they up to something else? Our tale is brought to us by Henry, a young man from Britain who has been tasked with keeping an eye on what the delegates are up to. He is certain they cannot accomplish what they came to Philadelphia to do!

Historical fiction - this novel is written at a Young Adult level, but has been enjoyed by adults as well as students.

©2017 Catherine McGrew Jaime (P)2017 Catherine McGrew Jaime

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Failure in Philadelphia

My children
My children , ages 11 - 17, and I very much enjoyed this book. Well written and researched. Mrs. Jaime did not disappointe in her efforts to interest her readers in the subject of American history.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Failure

This is a fictional account of a spy for England in Philadelphia during the days leading up to the Constitution being ratified.It dealt a lot with the slavery issue.It was good.I liked Alexander Parrish reading but some of his narration could use some work.I was provided this book free by the publisher, author or narrator for a honest review.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Fun informative story

This was an entertainment jaunt through the Philadelphia of the Constitutional Convention. Not exactly a cliffhanger but a little bit of suspense about the heart posture of the main character.

The narration was great and engaging. If you like this story and you want some more, you could check out "James Madison and the Struggle for the Bill of Rights".

I'm excited to read some of her other titles

I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Historically Accurate!

I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

I loved this book! It is written from the perspective of Henry, a British man sent to keep an eye on the Constitutional Convention delegates. It was really interesting to see the terms of what would eventually become the Constitution from the outside, from the perspective of somebody who represented the vast majority of America. It was historically accurate, which I loved and it was well written. Well worth a read.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Well written and performed

If you could sum up Failure in Philadelphia? in three words, what would they be?

This book was well written, well performed and kept my attention, I loved the perspective the author used and I learned history at the same time. I enjoyed the voices the narrated used.

What other book might you compare Failure in Philadelphia? to and why?

I can't think of any quite like it. The Rush Revere book series comes to mind because they also are a fun way to learn history.

Have you listened to any of Alexander Parrish’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

No I have not.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

I liked that George Washington was so revered, even by the spy it seemed.

Any additional comments?

I really enjoyed that the author used the POV of a British indentured servant "spy" to bring the history to life.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

The Constitutional Conv. with a twist of Screwtape

Where does Failure in Philadelphia? rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

I place this audiobook in the top 20% of the 500+ books to which I've listened. The vocal performance made me feel as if I were overhearing the delegates discuss the issues after their daily deliberations in Independence Hall.

What did you like best about this story?

The drama and perspective of the young English spy as he overhears the convention delegates in taverns and inns is humorous and charming yet historically informative.

Which scene was your favorite?

My favorite scene occurred when the young spy describes and yet tolerates the July 4th festivities celebrating America's Independence Day. This is one of the best examples for me of the Screwtape Letters (b y C.S, Lewis) effect - looking at reality from the other side's perspective. As a fan of The Screwtape Letters, I found the author's technique refreshing for its uniqueness and brilliant.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

No extreme emotional reactions. I found myself reflecting at times with patriotism and gratefulness for the intense and difficult work of those very special and momentous debates, compromises and finally creation of a never before seen form of government.

Any additional comments?

Mr. Parrish's multiple Old English voices and accents are to be recognized as masterful. These performances really transport the listener back in time to 1787.
I believe the story ended too abruptly. I hope the author might revise the ending to reflect more of George Washington's character.

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

Interesting concept, good execution

What made the experience of listening to Failure in Philadelphia? the most enjoyable?

I thought that the author had an interesting angle in introducing a British citizen/spy to tell the story of the convention.

What other book might you compare Failure in Philadelphia? to and why?

I'm not sure, I really thought that the concept stood out as a unique way of telling this type of story. It sort of reminded me of the idea of those History In An Hour books though, but that's not fiction. This was more of a novelization/creative nonfiction almost, but very well done.

What do you think the narrator could have done better?

I didn't feel that the narrator majorly stood out for this. I think that might be because I was more focused on the execution of the premise. I think a little bit more variation would have helped.

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

Yes, although I had to do it in two sittings because of timing of other things.

Any additional comments?

I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review. I enjoyed this, I thought it was inventive.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Quick

I got this ARC via audiobook boom. I listen to the whole story in one setting. I find it so hard to believe that the people who attended this convention and were sworn to secrecy talked so freely during dinner. When a serving person walks up most conversation stops but this guy kept showing up for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. He also followed them around. If they were so smart why did they not wonder why he was always there? The narration was the best part of the story. I believe that the facts were presented fairly accurately but I found it hard to believe that this serving person could gain so much knowledge while serving people. But this is a fictional account of the story.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Although it is intended for teens . . .

This was an enjoyable and light listen as to what might have been going on in the background of our country's formative times. One of the things that occurred to was, although the story is being told by a British youth (indentured servant), it is really told from the perspective of a spy. Regardless, the story is brilliantly narrated by Alexander Parrish with any number of different voices and inflection. What a great way to listen and learn about American history . . . I highly recommend it for teens, young adults, and adults that aren't serious history buffs but looking for an entertaining listen.

A review copy audiobook was provided by the author, narrator, or publisher at no cost in return for this unbiased review. My hope is that this review helps in your decision to obtain this book.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Excellent story, well read

I am always looking for great historical fiction. This story is accurate and fun, educational and entertaining. The author clearly researched the subject a great deal.
The narrator is incredible, as well. He gave every character their own voice and the voices were all believable.

I look forward to more stories from the pen of Catherine Jaime.