• by Laurence Bergreen
  • Narrated by Tim Jerome
  • 18 hrs and 11 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

From the author of the Magellan biography, Over the Edge of the World, a mesmerizing new account of the great explorer.
Christopher Columbus's 1492 voyage across the Atlantic Ocean in search of a trading route to China, and his unexpected landfall in the Americas, is a watershed event in world history. Yet Columbus made three more voyages within the span of only a decade, each designed to demonstrate that he could sail to China within a matter of weeks and convert those he found there to Christianity.
These later voyages were even more adventurous, violent, and ambiguous, but they revealed Columbus's uncanny sense of the sea, his mingled brilliance and delusion, and his superb navigational skills. In all these exploits he almost never lost a sailor. By their conclusion, however, Columbus was broken in body and spirit. If the first voyage illustrates the rewards of exploration, the latter voyages illustrate the tragic costs - political, moral, and economic.
In rich detail Laurence Bergreen re-creates each of these adventures as well as the historical background of Columbus's celebrated, controversial career. Written from the participants' vivid perspectives, this breathtakingly dramatic account will be embraced by readers of Bergreen's previous biographies of Marco Polo and Magellan and by fans of Nathaniel Philbrick, Simon Winchester, and Tony Horwitz.


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Does exactly what you want

An excellent survey of Columbus's career, and particularly interesting in the way it devotes attention to all four voyages, rather than focusing on the famous one that started it all. The narrative enables to appreciate Columbus's admirable qualities (his brilliance as a navigator) as well as his flaws (terrible people skills!). You will feel alternately impressed by, horrified at, and sympathetic toward the man.

No problems with the narrator.
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- David

Awkward writing, oddly read.

Not a bad book, but I found it difficult to listen to. The meter of the the book mirrors the rhythm of source material. It doesn’t vary.
Dut dah dut dah daa.
Dut dah dut dah daa.
Dut dah dut dah daa.
Over and over. It was hard to get lost in the book.
Also, and this is entirely personal, I found myself really disliking Columbus, and not for the reasons I expected. He is portrayed here as a unlikeable lucky doofus.
If you listen to the sample and the narration doesn’t bother you, you won’t have a problem.
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- Dave

Book Details

  • Release Date: 09-20-2011
  • Publisher: Penguin Audio