Digital Download Audible, Inc. 2017
DD ISBN $29.95
Prolific historian Michael Wallis offers a detailed account of the ill-fated Donner party framed by a critical look at manifest destiny, the underlying doctrine of nineteenth-century westward expansion. Wallis's research and prose are assets, but his narration doesn't mesh with what's on the page, resulting in a choppy listening experience. Though his gravelly voice conjures images of a veteran frontiersman spinning a yarn, Wallis's pacing is excruciatingly slow, and his delivery is mostly monotone. He also punctuates certain words and phrases with a staccato rise that strains the eardrums. This story is undoubtedly worthwhile and packed with interesting tidbits of history, so perhaps give it an hour or two to see if Wallis's style grows on you, or else read the print version. A.T.N. © AudioFile 2017, Portland, Maine [Published: AUGUST 2017]
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