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A well researched, well read book. I almost passed on this book based on the couple of reviews that pan the reader. How glad I am that I listened anyway. The book is well researched and, accordingly, has numerous quotations, even "starting in mid-sentence." The reader's change of voice makes it crystal clear what material is the author's and what belongs to the historical characters. I can't imagine listening without such a reading. An audio listener would miss much that the reader would know from the printed page. Just perfect.
Regarding the content, Thomas is masterful. Good biographies put the reader "there." Great ones put the reader "inside the subject." The best ones let the author's understanding of the subject explain how and what the subject was thinking, and the author lays out the rationale so the explanation is real and not mere conjecture. This is true throughout this book, from Bobby's childhood to his actions throughout the complex relationship with Hoover.
8 of 8 people found this review helpful
I have the hardcover of this very fine book and was looking forward to reviewing it in audio form. However, the narrator uses a voice more common to perhaps a batman comic book, and somewhere along the line a decision was made that rather than simply using a change of voice to indicate quoted material, the author changes his voice in a terribly weak attempt to sound like the quoted character...he does this even with female voices. His attempts at a "Harvard" accent when quoting the brothers Kennedy and other characters in the book is a terrible distraction to otherwise fine material. I give two starts based upon content alone...and that would be higher but the narrator is such a disappointment that the score must be driven down. Perhaps because my most recent audio book was David McCullough's 1776 and he does such a great job I was expecting too much, but this work is very, very difficult to listen to. I mean, really, does he HAVE to try to impersonate Rose Kennedy in order to get his point across?
11 of 12 people found this review helpful