Assassination Vacation

Assassination Vacation

by Sarah Vowell

Audiobook(CD - Abridged)

$29.95 View All Available Formats & Editions

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780743540056
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio
Publication date: 03/29/2005
Edition description: Abridged
Pages: 5
Product dimensions: 5.12(w) x 5.87(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

Sarah Vowell is a contributing editor for public radio's This American Life and has written for Time, Esquire, GQ, Spin, Salon, McSweeneys, The Village Voice, and the Los Angeles Times. She is the author of Radio On, Take the Cannoli, and The Partly Cloudy Patriot. She lives in New York City.


New York, New York

Date of Birth:

December 27, 1969

Place of Birth:

Muskogee, Oklahoma


B.A., Montana State University, 1993; M.A., School of the Art Institute of Chicago, 1996

Read an Excerpt

Copyright © 2005 by Sarah Vowell

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Assassination Vacation 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 169 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is one of my favorite books. It is a great story of history and the happen-chance meetings and situations that are woven into it. Many fascinating stories - especially enjoyable for those of us who enjoy trivia - written in a very lively, free-flowing style. Very enjoyable read.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed this book. If you are interested in presidential assassinations but don't feel like nodding off in between lines of dry, academic drivel...this is the book for you. It presents the facts in a well organized way with a little humor thrown in; I should emphasize 'a little humor' because some of the jokes just are not funny. However there is an O.C. reference which saved the day for me. I also took a walk around Chelsea and checked out some of the buildings and statues. It got me excited about leader-of-the-free-world death all over again.
historlila More than 1 year ago
So I do tend to identify with Sarah's polotics, but even beyond that...I'm obsessed with her. She is an amazing and witty writer. Reading one of her books is like having a little chat with a friend. In fact, sometimes I imagine the conversation I would have if I were at dinner with Sarah, David Sedaris, and Ira Glass. They love me; it's excellent.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I loved this book on several levels: first, its content. I've always been interested in and have studied the Presidents, and the author did an amazing amount of research. Second, the writing itself: I'm crazy about how Ms. Vowell writes. It's wry and sly and just how I'd love to be able to write myself. And, a bonus with the audiobook is that it's read by the author herself. Her voice takes a few minutes to get used to, but once you do get used to it, you just can't imagine anyone else reading this book and doing it the proper justice. I can't recommend this book highly enough!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Sarah Vowell, famous for her unique '3rd grader' voice, is a history buff as well as a great writer. In 'Assassination Vacation' Sarah and sometimes her friends (she doesn't drive) travel along the country's famous and not-so-famous landmarks commemorating the assassination of 3 US Presidents. She goes every where from the Ford Theatre, to the Mudd House (now a museum) to the jail where they sent Dr. Mudd on a little island. This book is a hilarious, fast paced read sure to keep your attention!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Fun, entertaining, educational, and very well written. Love books that make me laugh outloud!
Malibu_Stacy More than 1 year ago
This was a great, quick read. There were a lot of laugh outloud moments and neat little factoids. I love how Sarah Vowell makes you feel like you're right there with her, along for the all the excitement in the discovery of our shared past.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is one of those books that I could easily read more than once (and actually, I have). Like all of Sarah Vowell's other books, it is well written and engaging. If only all history books were this interesting.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Can't put Assassination Vacation down! Sarah's prose takes the reader into her world of history and makes it come alive! Would be an excellent book for a teenager disinterested in History Book history. It might have been nice had she and the publisher included books for further reading and/or source notes. Otherwise its huge fun and you can learn lots too!! Such a bargan
Guest More than 1 year ago
The latest offering from Sarah Vowell fails to dissapoint. It is an amazing book, that is 100% history, but 100% of Sarah's unique writing and humor. I highly recommend it to everyone.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is a very good book -- plenty of actual history, with great wit and style to really make things interesting. I really enjoyed it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I bought this book because I saw her interview on the Daily Show on Comedy Central, and I thought it interesting that there was a book written by such a young woman about the assassination of one very well-known president, Lincoln, and two less-known presidents, Garfield and McKinley. Her dedicated interest in the subject peaked mine...and I could relate to her eloquent nerdiness. The book is a great narrative that weaves in and out of modern and historical politics, and draws intriguing lines of coincidence and not-so-coincidental stories between each assassination. Being a reader who mostly enjoys fiction, this book was able to keep me entertained throughout - I even laughed out loud once or twice on the train during my morning commute. Her enthusiasm and fascination with these events made the book that much more fun for me to read because as I was following along on her pilgrimmage, I was taking notes on what I would do on mine when I go to visit my sister in DC this July. Good stuff!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Even at her most disjointed, Sarah Vowell never ceases to make a reader laugh out loud or think. 'Assassination Vacation' is not the best thing she has ever written, not by a longshot, but this tour through some of our country's more unknown (and sometimes morbid) historical sites is a long, meandering wander through Ms. Vowell's psyche as well. It's worth the trip. Oh, and you'll never utter the phrase 'Seward Plaque,' without thinking of her and you will utter it, trust me.
angella.beshara on LibraryThing 10 months ago
We listened to this during our 10 hour drive to Arkansas and were completely entertained by Sarah Vowell's obsession with dead presidents. Besides president we learned about 19th century sex cults and 20th century musicals about assassination. However, we couldn't help but feel a little sorry for poor Robert Todd Lincoln. He probably was a mere shadow of his father, and some of his negligence as a government official did result in a lot of innocent deaths, she did seem to take a lot of pleasure from beating up on the poor guy. All and all an entertaining and interesting read.
madamepince on LibraryThing 10 months ago
Jeff and I listened to this on the way to Arkansas. Enjoyed it, but it seemed to peter out at the end. And, where was Kennedy? As for characters, my favorite is Owen.
bhalpin on LibraryThing 10 months ago
This book rocks! A really enjoyable read--like hanging out with a really interesting person who knows a lot but is not annoying about it. Also interesting for its unsentimental and honest patriotism. I really enjoyed it
msmalnick on LibraryThing 10 months ago
I really enjoyed this snarky look at the assassinations of lincoln, garfield, and mckinley. Interspersed with bits of humor and a tiny bit of autobiography, avowed liberal Vowell takes the reader on a little journey through her obsessions of famous american violence. But she pulls it off and it's fun & interesting. It's not easy to find books about history that keep you awake from start to finish. This one succeeded.
Unreachableshelf on LibraryThing 10 months ago
I've been interested in the stories surrounding the history of assassination since first seeing Stephen Sondheim's Assassins. When Sarah Vowell tries to explain the show to strangers in a bed and breakfast in the prologue, I knew this was going to be my kind of book. As always, Vowell's voice is witty, and filled at once for irreverence to tradition and reverence for the idea of America and what it can be at its best.
girlsgonereading on LibraryThing 10 months ago
I downloaded Assassination Vacation mainly because I saw Sarah Vowell on The Daily Show. She appeared smart and funny. Plus she reminded me of David Sedaris. I have always wanted to read one of her books, so as we headed out of town on our own vacation I thought that her audio book (complete with readings by Jon Stewart and Conan O¿Brien) would be the perfect compainon.The trouble with Assassination Vacation was not the content-which was interesting and insightful. The main problem was the reader. Sarah Vowell reads her books herself, and if you have heard her speak you can guess that after a while her voice gets a little grating.Ironically, I imagine that the publishers had her read her own book because it reminds the listener of David Sedaris-who also has a unique sound. The trouble with Sarah Vowell is that she makes everything sound like the punchline. Nothing stands out. Nothing is extremely funny.Despite all this, the information in Assassination Vacation was compelling. Vowell did an excellent job of giving information that is obscure, and she created parallels between times past and a post 9-11 world that were scary and true.Overall, I believe that I would have enjoyed Assassination Vacation more in its traditional form. I am still interested in Sarah Vowell¿s work, just not so much in hearing her read.
readingrebecca on LibraryThing 10 months ago
I would be so happy to know Sarah Vowell and go on her historical pilgrimages. This book just fascinated me. There is humor on almost every page, hard to imagine in a book about presidental assassinations! But it's true. She covers so much information about the time before the event, the event itself and the aftermath. I would recommend this book to anyone who loves American history.
theodosius on LibraryThing 10 months ago
Sarah Vowell does a fantastic job of bringing a humorous, yet substantive accounting of a darker side of our history. She makes the gruesome stories of presidential assassinations readable and understandable. Her writing makes one pause to reflect on our collective personality of turning the macabre into a money making venture, and offers a historical perspective about several American cities.
andafiro on LibraryThing 10 months ago
(Adding this to my library now though I read it some time ago--this title just now showed up as a recommendation and I want to confirm that yes, it's a good recommendation. ;-)
SwitchKnitter on LibraryThing 10 months ago
This is one of the oddest little history books I've ever read. It's on the assassinations of presidents Lincoln, Garfield, and McKinley. Vowell went hunting for places related to the killings -- small museums, plaques on the sides of buildings, forgotten statues, and a memorable trip to a preserved fort in the Dry Tortugas. So it's her story of the hunt as she relates the stories of presidential assassinations.My friend Sharon recommended this to me, and I'm glad she did. It was a weird read, and I thoroughly enjoyed it.
albertgoldfain on LibraryThing 10 months ago
A humorous, historical, and surprisingly thorough exploration of the assassins of Lincoln, Garfield, and McKinley. Never really morbid and shows how much historical coincidence you can squeeze out of just these three.
bookworm12 on LibraryThing 10 months ago
I love Vowell¿s sense of humor. She¿s sarcastic, yet somehow sincere. She¿s an unashamed nerd and history buff, which is awesome, because I am too. Assassination is Vowell at her best. She chronicles her travels around New England as she visits spots relevant to Lincoln, Garfield and McKinley¿s assassins. She fills the book with a blend of historical facts, hilarious trivia bits and personal anecdotes. I always feel like I¿m learning something while reading her books, but at the same time she cracking me up. She makes presidential assassinations incredibly entertaining. The audio versions of Vowell¿s books are particularly good. Like David Sedaris¿ work, she reads her own books and so she provides the perfect pauses and inflections for maximum hilarity. She also manages to get an all-star cast of people to read lines for her supporting characters. Everyone from Dave Eggers to Conon O¿Brien to John Stewart chime in for a line or two. I can¿t say enough to recommend her work. Whether she¿s talking about being stuck in a flowery Bed & Breakfast with old people or describing her nephew¿s name for graveyards (Halloween parks), she nails every scene. If you¿ve never read anything she¿s written, please check her out. Assassination Vacation is a great place to start.