The Great Fire [Audiobook] - Read the Book first!

The Great Fire (Audio) - Jim Murphy, Taylor Mali

As can be seen in my review of the book edition, Murphy showed me that juvenile non-fiction could actually be worth something. He doesn't talk down to the reader but instead creates a very comprehensive and concise history book.


So I was anxious to see how it stood up as an audiobook and I have to say, not as well.


The writing is good and the narrator, Taylor Mali, is very good. He lends a variety of voices to the people mentioned and/or quoted, including one of a little girl that is quite passable. His normal reading voice is easy to listen to and gave an interesting yet thoughtful narration when dealing with the death and destruction talked about.


However, one of the best aspects of this book were the maps showing the growth and direction the first took. With no such aids, the listener is left with names of streets, where people were fleeing towards, and little explanation of why heading one way was better than then another. Also, the quality of the sound was not perfect. It didn't detract but was noticeable.


While this was a good audiobook, the book is definitely better and should be your choice for your first read. Even better, I'd suggest listening while at least following along in the book with the narration, if only for the maps and pictures.