Audiobook(CD - Unabridged)

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Unfamiliar Fishes 3.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 98 reviews.
PaulaM More than 1 year ago
I do enjoy Sarah Vowell's books, but her editors may want to adjust the settings on the snarkometer. Sometimes a wry and sardonic tone is appropriate but it seems too often in this book, she substitutes pop culture references and asides about Owen for actual explanations of Hawaiian culture and history. (For instance, there is way more significance to the hula than the ones she discusses.) I've also got to say that there must be some topic which Sarah cannot somehow bring back to the Trail of Tears, but I don't know what that topic would be. Overall, it's an amusing, quick read but you're not really going to learn much you didn't already know about Hawaii (says the woman with the Hawaiian brother-in-law).
BookBobBP More than 1 year ago
As a history nerd I always enjoy reading Sarah Vowell. She makes me laugh at the mistakes that people of the past have made and always gives good insight to their motives of why they did what they did. I enjoyed Unfamiliar Fishes but I there was a lot borrowed from previous books which gave me less insight than I usually get from her books. But this book is still very interesting and I enjoyed it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
If you like Sarah Vowell, you will like this history of Hawaii. Since Hawaii is my favorite vacation spot, I try to learn of its history and relate to its inhabitants. Vowell deals with the imperialistic takeover of Hawaii and retells native stories through her unique wit (and sarcasm). The diehard star-spangled patriot may cringe, but Vowell has done her homework. I find no fault with her facts. She makes history enticing and forces the reader to view it from a non-textbook perspective. Her storytelling is irresistable.
AFINCH More than 1 year ago
Really, has she done anything original since "The Partly Cloudy Patriot"? I used to look forward to her books, but could not get through Wordy Shipmates" and now this one is just a bash America, God, and let me tell you about my nephew to excess. Sorry, used to love her, won't get fooled again.
HarryVane More than 1 year ago
In Unfamiliar Fishes, you'll find everything that you usually find in a Sara Vowell work, incisive research, witty observation and a spot on comparison between the historical subject and the modern day. I would never say that the history of Hawaii was ever a topic that I was particularly interested in, however she finds the right angles to draw the reader in and engage them in the subject matter. That being said (and I hope that I am not the only Sarah Vowell fan that is disappointed by this), I really believe that the Trail of Tears is the definitive subject matter that seems geared toward Vowell's interests and strengths. Don't get me wrong, I believe that Unfamiliar Fishes is an interesting read, one could argue it is a vague sequel to the Wordy Shipmates, but its limited in scope and, again, touches upon similar themes to her last book. Also, what's her deal with New Englanders? I once drove up to Northampton, MA and went to one of her speaking events...her reception of the audience, as well as, her approach to the event was completely cold...its like she wanted to get out of there as soon as possible...considering her constant digs in the past two books, I have a feeling its not just based on history.... Also....its god with a small g
Drewano More than 1 year ago
Nope this didn’t do it for me. I had heard that Sara Vowell was insightful and witty, so when she came out with a book about Hawaii I was excited to read it because I really can’t get enough of anything about Hawaii. What I got was a regurgitation of encyclopedic facts and circumstances along with a couple of snide remarks. I felt it read more like a history text book than anything else and while I may know more history that the average American about Hawaii, I believe after 7+ hours of the audio book I only really learned one new thing (OK 2 if you count that Hawaii Five-0 characters are named after historical figures). While I the author certainly did a lot of research and put a great deal of effort into the book, I found it just plain boring.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
She is who she is. Interesting topic and reasonable informative. She's clear about her bias which is always good.
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Love this book! Loaned it to someone who taught Hawaiian history and she said it was good, which was high praise.  
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