Why You’ll Like It: Humorous History. Parody of sorts. Life Lessons.
My mom wants this audiobook. If I could describe my mother in one word: genteel. My mother loves highbrow humor, (BBC shows particularly the regency area), and is such a southern belle. The southern belle that always has sweet tea and pound cake ready to serve guests. My mother would probably still wear fancy gloves if she could find them. I was not sure how my mom would respond to this audiobook (as we were driving to get our hair done together) and usually she just prefers to talk.
Within five minutes: SHE FELL OUT. She was laughing and crying so hard from Michael Boatman narration and impressions of John Brown (and cast)---I knew I had scored. It takes a special kind of talent to create a work that is so powerful while humorous. The humor did not take away (or make a mockery of) the topics of slavery, zealots, freedom, and religion. I had so much fun riding all over town listening to this masterpiece. I am not sure I would have loved it (as much) if I had read it. There's something so beautiful about well-narrated audiobooks.
Let's get to what I did learn. I ALWAYS forget that Harper's Ferry was not an actual Ferry. It is nice when you get a quite detailed look into why John Brown picked Harper's Ferry and what the town and end location looked like.
Russell Brand talks about in his show the Messiah Complex about how when men die their (mistakes, bad things they might/did do) just get washed away. They basically become saints. I think McBride did an amazing job in making all his historical characters: real people. Even if he did stretch the truth, I think it was nice to see a well-rounded picture of everyone he portrayed: the good and the bad.
I feel that McBride took back all the years of (oppressive black face, radio tv shows impersonating black people) and made it music to my ears. It was terrific to hear an audiobook in that style with the added bonus of mixing important history and the simple message of living your life to the fullest.