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Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?
Yes, learned a lot of history and Booker offered a unique perspective
What was one of the most memorable moments of Shocking the Conscience?
Definitely the story of the freedom rides
What three words best describe Ronald Clarkson’s performance?
monotone, lacked tonation
If this book were a movie would you go see it?
possibly... would be hard to cover all of this history in 1 movie
Any additional comments?
Audio file needs editing... several places where sentences are repeated. Book needs a different narrator.
Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?
Not as an audiobook, because the reader was terrible.
How could the performance have been better?
The reader, Ronald Clarkson, was awful. He has a lovely bass voice, but his delivery seriously detracted from my enjoyment and even understanding of the text. First of all, in every sentence where it occurs, he gives primary emphasis to the word "and". That is, he not only says it louder than the rest of the sentence, he pauses significantly before it and slightly after it. Even a cliche like "wheeling and dealing" becomes "Wheeling. AND, dealing." This may sound trivial, but imagine how many times the word "and" occurs in a book, and you'll see that it's really distracting. He also gives strong emphasis to "but", so that "He went outside, but he forgot his hat," becomes "He went outside. BUT. He forgot his hat." A series of three items (and Booker is no stranger to the rule of three) becomes "Men. Women, AND, children." I always initially thought the end of the sentence had been reached after the first item. There are other similar foibles. "Such as" is always "SUCH. As..." And so on.
Any additional comments?
Booker was a reporter for Jet magazine for many years, and he covered stories like Emmet Till's murder and the integration of Little Rock Central High School. The book has a lot of fascinating detail about key events of the civil rights movement. However, it is foremost a memoir of Booker's career, rather than a civil rights history. If that's your expectation, you won't be disappointed, as he had a long and interesting career. When the book gets into later events, say after 1970 or so, it loses focus and at times degenerates into sort of highly developed name-dropping. Still, for the first two-thirds or so, it's a worthwhile read.