C.F. McGlashan was the newspaper publisher of the local paper in Truckee, California, the closest town to the Donner Pass. McGlashan interviewed the survivors of the Donner Party, gathered artifacts and amassed an enormous amount of secondary information. Over an 18 month period, McGlashan published serialized articles in his paper and turned his articles into a book. History of the Donner Party is considered the definitive account of one of the most notorious treks in American history.
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Good story, bad reading.
The author? Sure, as long as it interested me. The narrator? Not a chance.
I didn't really like the narration right from the start. She quickly jumped from the end of one chapter to the beginning of the next, seemingly in the same breath. There was also just something about the rhythm of her reading that I didn't like. If those were the only two issues I wouldn't have really been bothered, but halfway through the book it's like whoever edited it just stopped trying. The narrator has to repeat herself many times, she'll get halfway through a sentence, stop and read the sentence over again. At one point she mispronounces a word so many times she stops, you can faintly hear her saying it to herself, and she starts again. (She did pronounce it right that time though.) She can also be heard clearing her throat at least one time. I'm only giving the performance two stars instead of one because if all of those issues had been edited out or if she'd been asked to read pieces of it again I would have only taken off one star. I actually feel bad for the narrator.
The book itself is well written, even if it is a little dull in parts. It also starts off fairly slowly, but that's often the case when it comes to the telling of historical events. But due to the narration I could only recommend it to anyone if they didn't have to pay for it.
- S. Smail
Narrator was droll. Editing was sorely needed.