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Publisher's Summary

Dear Bob and Sue is the story of our (Matt and Karen Smith's) journey to all 59 US National Parks. We wrote the book as a series of emails to our friends, Bob and Sue, in which we share our humorous and quirky observations. It is at times irreverent, unpredictable, and sarcastic, all in the spirit of humor. We describe a few of our experiences in each park but do not provide an exhaustive overview of each experience or park.

We use these events as the vehicle to deliver insights about our relationship. We did not intend for this book to be a travel guide nor a recommendation for how to visit all 59 of the US National Parks, although many listeners have said they've found it to be a useful guide. Rather, it is our story about how we did it.

©2017 Matt and Karen Smith (P)2017 Tantor

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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

Loved it!

I don’t know the last time I enjoyed listening to an audio book this much!

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Loved it!

Great book ...laugh out loud funny. Very interesting book about National Parks. Can’t wait for their next book on audible.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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Winey

These people are so critical. I am sure the stories are meant to be humorous, but I just don’t enjoy how winey they come off. I am at park #32 and the majesty and magnificence of the parks is lost in this memoir.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Annoying narration

I couldn’t wait for this book to be finished. I thought the male narrator had an undertone that was negative, complaining and I couldn’t get past it. There was a lot of what was probably intended to be good-natured grousing, but to me it sounded like he was whining about his wife and other people they met. I wanted to hear some joy and awe from what had to
have been a fabulous odyssey.

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Keep moving and keep your sense of humor


When Matt and Karen Smith quit their jobs and set the goal to visit all 58 National Parks, little did they know the letters and emails shared with their friends Bob and Sue would form this delightful and informative book. This is in no way a travel guide as far as hiking tips, best places to stay, eat and such. (After listening to the book, I surmise their diet consists of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, pizza and beer.) Rather it is a testament to setting goals, getting along with others, keeping moving, and keeping a sense of adventure alive, the foibles married life and what not to do if a bear chases you, among other things. Bob does not let the natural beauties of the parks keep him from observing the oddities of caves, bats, weather and his fellow travelers, Karen included. Karen also chimes in with her observations as well. David Colacci and Susan Ericksen are wonderful as Matt and Karen and keep this story moving along.
While this book may lack something in the way of nuts and bolts about planning an actual tour of the parks, its infectious story telling will surely ignite a desire for a tour of your own. Sometimes a “travel book” is just what you need to listen to on a road trip with a loved one, Dear Bob and Sue is just that book.....this is the next" listen to" for a road trip with my husband.

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Meh at best

Maybe the story and humor is okay if you are also a retiree but, even then I have my doubts. However, the stories and "jokes" are predictable and lack entertainment value. In fact, situations that could be hilarious if told by the right person instead just end up like a bunch of dad stories that you have to hear over and over again. For those of you who want a book that describes someone's travel and adventures- this is NOT that book. Skip it and listen to Bill Bryson instead.

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I can't blame Bob and Sue ...

If I were Bob and Sue, I wouldn't want to travel with these people either! Why did these people travel the nation? To eat PB&J and pizza? To blatantly disregard the rules of the parks and instructions of the rangers? To criticize every class/age/family structure/pet owner they came across? This couple needs a big dose of self-awareness, and therapy. The beauty of the parks got lost in the whining and chaotic approach to the trip.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Entertaining and Informative

I couldn’t stop listening to this book. It is funny, informative and even touching. You’ll make your own bucket list!

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too funny

I couldn't stop laughing. Such a fun book! Now I have a list of parks that I must visit.

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  • karol
  • United States
  • 08-07-18

Interesting

Loved hearing about the National Parks. The couple had an interesting perspective, sometimes funny and fairly often critical. I enjoyed some of the offhand information and background they provided about the parks. What almost ruined this book for me though was the narrators. The couple who wrote the book were not even in their 50's, yet the narrators sounded like they were in their 70's. I was always surprised when they said they hiked this or that trail, because the narrators sounded too old to be that active!

0 of 1 people found this review helpful