The Keeper's Son

  • by Homer Hickam
  • Narrated by Michael Kramer
  • 12 hrs and 36 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

On the outer banks of the Carolinas in 1941, fishermen and a few lonely sailors constitute the human population. Dominating the rough yet beautiful landscape is the majestic Killakeet Lighthouse, run for generations by the Thurlow family. But Josh Thurlow, the lighthouse keeper's son, has forsworn his heritage to become the commander of a small Coast Guard patrol boat. Tortured by twenty years of guilt for losing his brother at sea, Josh still searches for him, even while a looming wolf pack of German U-boats threatens to decimate the shipping lanes off the coast. One of the U-boats is captained by a hardened Nazi, Otto Krebs. But Captain Krebs may bring ashore more than the war; he may also have the answer to Josh Thurlow's quest.

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What the Critics Say

"Hickam provides a vivid and convincing portrayal of life under the sea in a U-boat, as well as on the surface in a fragile patrol boat. Well-crafted characters, gripping naval warfare and colorful island life come together in this dynamic and exciting tale." (Publishers Weekly)
"The pacing, the building of character with carefully chosen detail, and the masterful construction of a setting are as much strengths of this novel as they are of Hickam's other books. He evokes with great skill a time and a place that is passing out of living memory." (Booklist)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Good story, horrible narration!

Homer Hickam is one of my favorite authors. I actually took my son to Coalwood, WV to see the town Hickam describes in his Rocket Boys book and sequels. This story is different, since it is not autobiographical. Again, I think the story line is strong and entertaining. Living in North Carolina, I wanted to read a book which links a favorite author to my home state.

The narration by Michael Kramer is horrible, however, to the point of making listening distracting and frustrating. While Kramer has an incredible reading voice, his narration is dry and without any inflection, even when exciting events are taking place. But what really bothered me the most are the accents he uses for characters in the story. Granted, there are many characters, and Hickam descibes their accents as "Outer Banks brogue." However, the characters in the narration are constantly shifting tone and accent. Most of the main characters speak a sort of British Cockney accent with a slight Southern drawl, although at times it is all Cockney and at times is is all drawl. One time a character speaks has no bearing on how they will sound later in the story, and even within sentences the accents shift back and forth. Altogether, I found this very distracting, since I was focusing more on the accents than the plot.

Overall, I would suggest reading the book if you want a good story. The 3 star rating is the average of a 5 for the book and a 1 for the narration.
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- Robert

A good OBX yarn from a lost era

I have been spending time on the Outer Banks for years and every once in a while, I got a glimpse of how different and fascinating the area around Morehead city was in the 1920's-1940's. "The Keepers Son" is a great story with great characters set in a time on the Outer Banks that is long gone. A great story of the lives of interesting characters.

Spending a lot of time there, I did find the narrator needed a bit of work with the nuances of the Eastern NC accent, but it did not detract from the great story and overall, and he did a fine job. I really recommend this read for WWII enthusiasts, especially set against the backdrop of actual history on the early days of the war along the NC coast. Its also just a great love story and with characters you will like...and I love the ending.

Enjoy.
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- Matt

Book Details

  • Release Date: 12-12-2003
  • Publisher: Books on Tape