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Publisher's Summary

From printer's apprentice to internationally famous scientist, inventor, statesman, legislator, and diplomat, Benjamin Franklin led a most remarkable life. Seldom is history so well articulated by someone who was there.
(P) Commuter's Library

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4 out of 5 stars
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    223
  • 4 Stars
    151
  • 3 Stars
    79
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    28
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    14

Performance

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Story

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Inspirational

Franklin's autobiography is fascinating in many ways. It gives true insight into how he thought, as well as interesting tidbits about life in the 18th century American colonies. His methodical, analytical, yet practical approach to a well-rounded life could well be used as the source for the ultimate self-help book.

Also, the book is read so well by the narrator that you'll forget that it's not actually Franklin himself doing the reading. You will have to pay attention, though, due to the use of 18th century words and idioms, but it is worth it.

13 of 14 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Ben thru 1757

Enjoyable rendering, giving some feel in a surprisingly easy to listen style. Unfortunately, the account ends in 1757 with his arrival in England.

13 of 14 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Ruth
  • United States
  • 11-26-11

Amazing and Riveting... but I wanted more!

I knew Ben Franklin was impressive and famous and that he did a lot of things, but I had NO idea how many. His personal philosophy as well as his place in history are told in his own words. He helped found the US Postal service, created hospitals, banks, libraries, and helped establish many of the conventions that we enjoy and take for granted now. He had such tremendous powers of persuasion that just studying him to see how he did that is worthwhile. Almost all his learning was self-taught. You really get a feeling for his personal style and flair as well as the personal convictions that made him the man he was. My only regret is that he didn't write more and say more about his place in the founding of our great nation or more about his scientific discoveries. I think he just got too busy being a part of history. You won't want to stop here. I thoroughly recommend the audible book Ben Franklin: Inventing America to get the rest of the things Ben, himself, left out. If you don't read this one though, you will never really understand his inner workings and how he did what he did. I highly recommend this book.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Jeff
  • Sonoma, Ca, United States
  • 02-19-12

Its a Tragedy He Didn't Finish

Would you consider the audio edition of The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin to be better than the print version?

No, but its a great book for the audio format, the language is fairly casual and the story witty and engaging.

Which scene was your favorite?

Ben Franklin goes to make treaty with the Indians, who are sober during negotiations but all get drunk out of their minds afterwards. They come the next day to make amends, blaming

Any additional comments?

Unfortunately Ben never finished his book, only recording events up to 1757. It was interesting to get such a first hand account of life in the colonies, especially the religous atmosphere that so many misinterpret today. This is a great book and its a tragedy he never finished it.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Too bad it had to end so quickly!!

You get a real feel for the man with an autobio and the narrator did an excellent job. But as the previous reviewer stated, it ended early in his life so you don't get to have his perspective on the revolution & independence. Still well worth the money and the time. If you love history, you'll love this first person perspective of the first half of the 1700's.

7 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Shin
  • Yokohama-shiJapan
  • 07-03-09

Somewhat changed from the original text

The audio is brisk and nice, but somewhat altered from the original text.

8 of 11 people found this review helpful

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

Incomplete book - DO NOT PURCHASE THIS VERSION

This is NOT the complete book. Do not waste your money or credits on this audiobook. It ends abruptly following chapter 11 - after Franklin's arrival in London.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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

Great book, great reader, highly recommended.

Would you consider the audio edition of The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin to be better than the print version?

It was great to drive around Southern California with Ben Franklin. The writing is very conversational, and Grover Gardner is the perfect narrator. He brings out the dry humor and the irony. It's a joy. If you enjoy it as much as I did, you will probably find yourself looking up many of the best parts to remember later. (Franklin was VERY quotable.) Fortunately, the book is in the public domain and easy to find and search online (with footnotes and illustrations). Even though other reviewers have prepared you, it is a very disappointing shock when the book abruptly ends. I guess we are lucky to have as much as we do have. A quibble - When one chapter ends and another begins, there is no space between them. There is less of a pause than the narrator takes between paragraphs. This is jarring and it is an editing issue, not a narrator issue. It is a shame, because Franklin is a very good writer and you would like to savor the last line of the chapter for a moment. The publisher could easily remedy this, and I sure wish they would.I read this in high school and enjoyed it then, but much more now, as a grownup.To enjoy the book it is no more necessary to know the identities of all the people to whom he refers than it would be necessary to enjoy the stories of your grandpa or uncle (or an attractive person of the opposite sex). It would be nice, and might well reward the work involved. But it is not necessary.

What other book might you compare The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin to and why?

I came back to the Autobiography because of the recorded conversations available online with Charlie Munger, Warren Buffet's partner. I commend those conversations to you as an equal joy, especially if you keep up with the world of business. (Mr. Munger is also very quotable.) Another autobiography that I very much enjoyed was the Autobiography of a Yogi.

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

Ben Franklin riding shotgun with you in your car, chatting away, is wildly fun. Thank you Grover Gardner!.

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

It would be a waste to read Ben Franklin's Autobiography in one sitting. Partly because you need time to capture a quote before another one makes you forget the last one. If you have a long drive, this would be great, whether you are driving solo, with teenagers or another adult. There is lots of food for discussion (like the governor who promises to set up young Ben as a printer; or does having someone do you a small favor really make it more likely that they will do you a bigger favor?). Be aware that you will want to make some kind of notes (whether audio or on paper) as you listen, much more than other books.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • dr Frank
  • Beaver Falls, PA, United States
  • 07-27-13

Interesting but too choppy

Unfortunately, the book jumped around toward the end and it seemed that something was missing or it could be that I couldn't understand the context based upon the accent of the narrator.

I learned some items but not as many as I hoped that I would gain from one of the country's founding men.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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

Great Book !

I could listen to this over and over. Such a great story of his life. To be so young and go through so much.