"We are of opinion that instead of letting books grow moldy behind an iron grating, far from the vulgar gaze, it is better to let them wear out by being read." - Jules Verne
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Friday, July 30, 2010

Patriot Pirates: The Privateer War for Freedom and Fortune in the American Revolution (audiobook) by Robert H. Patton

A tedious listen.

9 CDs
10.5 hours
Read by Alan Sklar

I am an avid reader of history. I also enjoy listening to histories as part of my daily commute. I thought Patriot Pirates would be a fantastic diversion since I knew relatively little about the naval history of the Revolutionary War besides the story of Bonhomme Richard and the fact that there were privateers.

Unfortunately, Patton's dry, overly wordy text coupled with Alan Sklar's (the narrator) ironic, almost mocking tone made me both both bored and irritated at the same time. If it can be said in 50 words, Patton uses 500. He tells the same stories over and over again. After listening to 5 of 9 discs I refused to force myself to slog through another chapter - partially because it was so poorly narrated, partially because I was becoming a public safety hazard - I was literally nodding off. I listen to CDs to make my drive more interesting but there was nothing there to keep my attention.

Patton freely admits that he is not really a devotee of the Revolutionary War which may have contributed to the dry tone of the book. The battle scenes are described to great effect but the rest of it is just not told in an interesting way. I have no problem with the facts presented, but this book is even less interesting than the history textbooks that this history teacher despises.

I rated this audiobook 1 star out of 5.

Reviewed on April 13, 2010.

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