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Assassination Vacation by [Vowell, Sarah]

Assassination Vacation Kindle Edition

4.1 out of 5 stars 418 customer reviews

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Length: 272 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Offbeat and entertaining, this audio tour of the memorials, monuments and relics linked to the first three U.S. presidential assassinations features an impressive lineup of readers, including Conan O'Brien, Dave Eggers, Stephen King, Jon Stewart and, of course, Vowell herself, whose distinct voice and deadpan delivery will be familiar to fans of NPR's This American Life. Elements of that show are evident here, particularly in the way the music that accompanies the readings (scored by Michael Giacchino of The Incredibles) helps establish mood and heighten effect. Vowell handles most of the narration herself, with the guest narrators taking on specific roles. King, for example, voices the part of Abraham Lincoln. This approach works well most of the time, though it does make for some awkward shifts in tempo and voice. While Vowell's interplay with Eggers in the role of a tour guide sounds natural, her reenacted conversation with Catherine Keener as a museum curator seems stilted. Minor imperfections aside, however, this is a funny and expertly produced audiobook from a sharp social critic who wears her liberal heart on her sleeve.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From School Library Journal

Adult/High School–Vowell has a perspective on American history that is definitely funny. She visits museums, historic sites, statues, libraries, anything remotely relevant to successful presidential assassins, and a few of those not so successful. This is an amusing way to learn history, but it is also an unusual look at the interconnectedness of things. Robert Todd Lincoln, a.k.a. Jinxy McDeath, was present, or nearly so, at three assassinations–his father's, Garfield's, and McKinley's. To understand Garfield's assassin, the author spends time at the Oneida Colony in upstate New York, a religious commune that preached a combination of free love and the second coming, and connects it with Jonathan Edwards. She tracks the Lincoln conspirators through the process of plot and escape to hanging and imprisonment, even describing Dr. Mudd's enormous contribution when the plague hit the prison island of Dry Tortuga. Garfield's assassin was deeply involved in the redirection of the Republican Party after the Civil War, and McKinley's was an anarchist following, he thought, the tenets of Emma Goldman. There are family anecdotes and real scholarship in this quirky road trip. Teens will get an interesting view of one aspect of American history while picking up odd bits of information about a whole lot more. There is much to enjoy in this discursive yet somehow cohesive book.–Susan H. Woodcock, Fairfax County Public Library, VA
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Product details

  • File Size: 1408 KB
  • Print Length: 272 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 074326004X
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster (April 4, 2005)
  • Publication Date: April 4, 2005
  • Sold by: Simon and Schuster Digital Sales Inc
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B000FCK300
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #128,970 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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