Last Train to Paradise

  • by Les Standiford
  • Narrated by Del Roy
  • 8 hrs and 2 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

The paths of the great American robber barons were paved with riches, and though ordinary citizens paid for them, they also profited. Les Standiford, author of the John Deal thrillers, tells how the man who turned Florida's swamps into the playgrounds of the rich performed the almost superhuman feat of building a railroad from the mainland to Key West at the turn of the century. An extraordinary man and partner of John D. Rockefeller in the Standard Oil Company, Flagler had the vision to build railroads to link this backward territory with the rest of America. Last Train to Paradise shows how he masterminded the nearly impossible engineering feat of spanning more than 100 miles of ocean and islands to reach the southernmost tip of the Eastern seaboard.

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What the Critics Say

"A powerful story told by a talented writer." (Library Journal)
"This book is a remarkable account of one man's dream that ended in disaster." (Booklist)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

A Pleasant Surprise

This book was a pleasant listening surprise. I try to choose books beyond my regular interest for the discipline and to expand my horizons. This book by novelist Les Standiford did the trick.

Actually, the book is the nonfiction story of HM Flagler who developed Florida as a vacation destination. Only industrial archeologist can find the remains of the railroad, but Standiford brings the era, the money, the work, and the result to life for those interested today.

This is the story of an investment, a dream, ambitions, and human failings. Well read, well written, this book is a good choice.
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- Roy

A really engrossing history tale

I bought this book prior to our most recent trip to Key West. Listened to it on the train south (appropriate, huh?).

I enjoy history that is told through a real person's viewpoint. The drama of the Labor Day hurricane that decimated southern Florida is the focus of the story. Background details of Henry Flagler, the man who built the rail line to paradise, is woven in. Without too many "boring" facts, but enough to give meat to the tale.

Included are writing of E. Hemmingway about what he saw in the storm's aftermath. Things too shocking to be published in the press of the day. The stories of many of Key West's notable personalities are included as well. If you're interested in Key West, this is a marvelous primer on a snippet of island's less-known past.
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- Pamela

Book Details

  • Release Date: 12-11-2003
  • Publisher: Books on Tape