"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, November 10, 2017


Published by HighBridge, a Division of Recorded Books in February of 2017.
Read by Jonathan Yen
Duration: 10 hours, 24 minutes

In The Not-Quite States of America, Doug Mack takes his readers on a sometimes serious, sometimes humorous tour of America's territories: the U.S. Virgin Islands, American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands and Puerto Rico (in that order).

Mack goes into a little history of each territory and sets off to experience a more in-depth tour than the typical tourist might normally take. He meets with local leaders, well-known personalities, mainland Americans who have moved to the territory and goes out of his way to meet talkative locals who are willing to discuss the relationship between that territory and the United States government (which is usually riddled with strange rules that cause all sorts of unintended consequences).

Along the way Mack visits a restaurant that allows its guests to feed beer to pigs in the U.S. Virgin Islands, goes on a deep hike in the jungles of Samoa, visits a bio-luminescent bay in Puerto Rico, solemn World War II memorials in the Northern Marianas and delves into the hyper-commercialized version of America that is hawked to foreign visitors in Guam. The discussion of Puerto Rico's future is especially well-done, but overshadowed by the tragic disaster of Hurricane Maria that occurred about 7 months after the publication of the book.

The reader, Jonathan Yen, did a solid job. There were times that the book dragged, especially at the beginning, but that was not the the narrator's fault. Most of the time he kept the reading lively and well-paced.

I rate this book 4 stars out of 5. 

Note: I received a free copy of this audiobook from the publisher in order to write an honest review through Audiobook Jukebox.

This audiobook can be found on Amazon.com here: THE NOT-QUITE STATES of AMERICA: DISPATCHES from the TERRITORIES and OTHER FAR-FLUNG OUTPOSTS of the USA by Doug Mack.

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