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"Divided Highway" was a good listen. It was written in first person and is a personal accounting or journal type story by Daniel M. Urbaetis. I think he proves to have good writing skills only anything I could identify with was brief. I truly love his patriotism and his belief in the American dream.
I think this author will continue writing in this style and perhaps a day will come when he does carve out a niche in this genre and in the vein of HST.
John N. Gully is a proven talented narrator. He has a wonderful speaking voice and he's especially versatile. He did a great job reading for the author and made it easy to understand. His performance was flawless.
"This audiobook was provided by the author, narrator, or publisher at no cost in exchange for an unbiased review courtesy of Audiobook Blast."
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Here’s what I liked about this book:
First, I largely identify with the author in his worldview, including his unbridled optimism about the human spirit and the strength/goodness of America specifically. About 20 years ago I would have said we were strikingly similar in our philosophies – time and life experience has perhaps made me a bit more cynical and skeptical, but I continue to be a fellow traveler of the divided highway of which he speaks. Not that my identification with the author or his ideas has anything to do with the merit of the work …
Mr. Urbaetis lays bare his heart and soul in this work, which is an act of courage to be noted in its own right. He seems to have no hidden agenda other than inspiring others. Also, he’s not such a bad writer. Granted, he’s no Hunter Thompson, to whom he (not wrongly) compares himself, but he can write a decent sentence and put one with the next in a way that keeps things moving right along.
What’s more, Urbaetis has an interesting story to tell. After all, not many people have attempted to walk across the United States!
Lastly, with respect to the narrator Mr. Gully, I feel he was a good choice for this project. It’s hard to know for sure without knowing Urbaetis personally, but he seemed to capture the spirit of the man and didn’t take a lot of unnecessary chances. In fact, if you’d have told me the book was narrated by the author himself, I would have believed it. Can’t give praise much higher than that for a memoir.
Now here’s what I saw as shortcomings in this book:
The opening or preface of the story was overwrought and longwinded. Yes, I understand Urbaetis wanted to lay out some of his background, as well as the overarching themes, beforehand – but I would have preferred to get straight into the action.
The “characters” aren’t exactly the most likable. I say this knowing it’s a personal insult of sorts to Urbaetis and his then-estranged fiancé, but alas the author self-identifies as an a$$hole on more than one occasion. Also, in one passage he expresses some misogynistic views that were certainly a detriment to his gaining sympathy as a protagonist.
There is virtually no dialogue, which, in spite of Mr. Gully’s oratory talents, makes the narration rather monotonous and the peripheral characters mere cardboard cutouts. Perhaps this being a memoir, Urbaetis wished not to embellish upon or blatantly put fictional words in the mouths of real people. While understandable, it makes the story considerably more boring.
Then there’s the fact that, while the notion of a cross-country trek portends of wild adventure, there is surprisingly little to be had (even considering he only makes it part way). Yes it was interesting to hear of the many small adaptations and overcoming of hardships, not to mention how the home loan business worked pre-crash, but I guess I just expected more. And expectations can turn out to be a real downer when they’re not met.
I was provided this audiobook at no charge by the narrator in exchange for an unbiased review via Audiobook Blast.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful