Book pak Books on Tape 2001
CS ISBN 0736656537 $96.00 Twelve cassettes
CD ISBN 0736661786 $120.00/ $19.50 (R) Fifteen CDs
Stephen Ambrose, normally so sure-footed a chronicler of great events, in large part fails to convey the excitement of a truly extraordinary moment in American history. Two competing railroad companies racing to meet each other across a genuinely Wild West would seem to be a storytelling slam-dunk, especially since the principals involved were a prime collection of scalawags and robber barons. The obstacles include outraged Native Americans and man-killing terrain. Ambrose bogs down in the sheer mass of ordnance needed for the job and faithfully enumerates every rail, tie, and spike. He is not saved by reader Barrett Whitener, who gives the same narrative weight to Indian attacks and ghastly railroad accidents as he does to the innumerable inventory lists. A faithful, but exhausting, account. D.G. © AudioFile 2001, Portland, Maine [Published: OCT/ NOV 01]
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