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Assassination Vacation by Sarah Vowell
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Assassination Vacation (original 2005; edition 2006)

by Sarah Vowell

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3,6921331,423 (4.04)192
Member:joelhagan
Title:Assassination Vacation
Authors:Sarah Vowell
Info:Simon & Schuster (2006), Paperback, 258 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:*****
Tags:None

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Assassination Vacation by Sarah Vowell (2005)

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» See also 192 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 133 (next | show all)
Not as good as I expected, I got kind of bored. ( )
  thukpa | Feb 6, 2016 |
Not as good as I expected, I got kind of bored. ( )
  thukpa | Feb 6, 2016 |
Not as good as I expected, I got kind of bored. ( )
  thukpa | Feb 5, 2016 |
I enjoy Sarah Vowell so I also enjoyed this book. It is her telling of her obsession with historical, esp. presidential, assassinations. In this book she tells all about the Lincoln, Garfield, & McKinley assassinations as she "vacations" at all the historic places that tell of these events. With her sense of deadpan humor, she makes this information humorous as well as educational. ( )
  TerriS | Jan 17, 2016 |
Book on CD read by the author and special guests
I loved the premise of this nonfiction book. I have a nearly life-long fascination with murder and murderers. Vowell’s obsession is more specific to political assassination, but still, I am forever drawn to the kinds of attractions she visits … museums of medical interest, or regarding crime. This volume chronicles her visits to various sites related to the assassinations of Presidents Lincoln, Garfield and McKinley. I also had the text version available to me (mostly to verify spellings, etc), and I have to say she does include a lot of fascinating trivia about the people involved in these cases. Even to including information about other people who were in the Ford Theatre when John Wilkes Booth shot Abraham Lincoln, and their descendents.

As for the audio … OMG … I know from her bio that she’s done voice work (notably voicing “Violet” in The Incredibles - a Pixar animated film). But she really should have hired a different, professional actor, or relied on her “guests” more. Her guests have only an occasional sentence to pronounce, and they include: Conan O’Brien, Stephen King (who plays Abraham Lincoln), Dave Eggers and Jon Stewart (among others). On the other hand, Vowell’s extremely nasal tone, plus the background music, are enough to make me run for the hills. Had I rated the audio book only, I’d give it 1 star; but I was still fascinated by the subject. She’s like that weird history teacher you had in 5th grade who was so obsessed with some detail that s/he made it come alive for you (even though you rolled your eyes and KNEW s/he was loony tunes). That focused attention gets her an extra star.
( )
  BookConcierge | Jan 13, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 133 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (3 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Sarah Vowellprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Dzama, MarcelIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Levinthal, DavidCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Olender, JeanetteDesignersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
In the Middle Ages, relics spawned a continentwide craze. Devotees packed their bags and streamed out of towns and villages, thronging the pilgrimage trails. For most, a journey to see the relic of St. Thomas or St. James offered the only valid excuse for leaving home. -Anneli Rufu Magnificent Corpses
Dedication
First words
One night last summer, all the killers in my head assembled on a stage in Massachusetts to sing show tunes.
Quotations
Going to Ford's Theatre to watch the play is like going to Hooters for the food.
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Disambiguation notice
Please do not combine the abridged audiobook of Sarah Vowell's Assassination Vacation with the unabridged full text of that work. Thank you.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 074326004X, Paperback)

Sarah Vowell exposes the glorious conundrums of American history and culture with wit, probity, and an irreverent sense of humor. With Assassination Vacation, she takes us on a road trip like no other -- a journey to the pit stops of American political murder and through the myriad ways they have been used for fun and profit, for political and cultural advantage.

From Buffalo to Alaska, Washington to the Dry Tortugas, Vowell visits locations immortalized and influenced by the spilling of politically important blood, reporting as she goes with her trademark blend of wisecracking humor, remarkable honesty, and thought-provoking criticism. We learn about the jinx that was Robert Todd Lincoln (present at the assassinations of Presidents Lincoln, Garfield, and McKinley) and witness the politicking that went into the making of the Lincoln Memorial. The resulting narrative is much more than an entertaining and informative travelogue -- it is the disturbing and fascinating story of how American death has been manipulated by popular culture, including literature, architecture, sculpture, and -- the author's favorite -- historical tourism. Though the themes of loss and violence are explored and we make detours to see how the Republican Party became the Republican Party, there are all kinds of lighter diversions along the way into the lives of the three presidents and their assassins, including mummies, show tunes, mean-spirited totem poles, and a nineteenth-century biblical sex cult.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:10:50 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

A tour of key historic sites in America where incidents of political violence have occurred reveals lesser-known points of interest pertaining to each and shares information about how history has been shaped by popular culture and tourism.

(summary from another edition)

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