I am reading Walter Isaacson’s biography of Benjamin Franklin. Actually, not exactly. I am listening to Walter Isaacson’s biography of Benjamin Franklin. The book on six CDs was a Chrismukkah gift from Helaine.
I am a huge fan of Benj’s. He was an inventor, scientist, publisher, author, politician and diplomat.
More than once I’ve run down that list of Franklin’s accomplishments and added, “and he was still screwing around with young French women when he was in his 80s.”
Isaacson says that’s not true! Actually he says it twice. Someone’s got a guilty conscience.
There’s a lot in Connecticut named after our founders which leads to a bunch of recognizable names. Roger Sherman (Sherman Avenue) was mentioned. So was Silas Deane (Silas Deane Highway).
According to Isaacson, Deane was a crook! Maybe we should refrain from filling the potholes on SDH this year?
I’m not sure if I like this method of ‘reading.’ It is ploddingly s-l-o-w. The book will take over seven hours to complete.
A few times the book has been playing, but I drifted off and was thinking of something else. Some of that can be attributed to Isaacson’s prose which is less than inviting. Some credit also goes to Boyd Gaines who has a beautiful voice, but left me wanting more emotion and less enunciation.
Gaines also reads direct quotes from foreign speakers in an ‘appropriate’ faux accent. Is this common? It seemed cheesy.
The book misses the parts of Franklin I wanted to know better. That’s my real disappointment. Franklin was a clever man. This portrayal reduces him to an accomplished pol.
In the abstract listening to audiobooks seems a good way to make the most of my daily drive to-and-from Hartford. I hope they’re not all like this one.