American Fire: Love, Arson, and Life in a Vanishing Land Audiobook, by Monica Hesse Play Audiobook Sample

American Fire: Love, Arson, and Life in a Vanishing Land Audiobook

American Fire: Love, Arson, and Life in a Vanishing Land Audiobook, by Monica Hesse Play Audiobook Sample
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Read By: Tanya Eby Publisher: Dreamscape Listen Time: at 1.0x Speed 5.00 hours at 1.5x Speed 3.75 hours at 2.0x Speed Release Date: July 2017 Format: Unabridged Audiobook ISBN: 9781520075877

Quick Stats About this Audiobook

Total Audiobook Chapters:

29

Longest Chapter Length:

36:11 minutes

Shortest Chapter Length:

01:59 minutes

Average Chapter Length:

15:26 minutes

Audiobooks by this Author:

5

Other Audiobooks Written by Monica Hesse: > View All...

Publisher Description

Shocked by a five-month arson spree that left rural Virginia reeling, Washington Post reporter Monica Hesse drove down to Accomack County to cover the trial of Charlie Smith, who pled guilty to sixty-seven counts of arson. But Charlie wasn’t lighting fires alone: he had an accomplice, his girlfriend Tonya Bundick. Through her depiction of the dangerous shift that happened in their passionate relationship, Hesse brilliantly brings to life the once-thriving coastal community and its distressed inhabitants, who had already been decimated by a punishing economy before they were terrified by a string of fires they could not explain.

Incorporating this drama into the long-overlooked history of arson in the United States, American Fire re-creates the anguished nights that this quiet county spent lit up in flames, mesmerizingly evoking a microcosm of rural America—a land half gutted before the fires even began.

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"This book reads like a novel, but instead it is a true story of a crazy love story / crime spree in small town America. Author Monica Hesse of the Washington Post writes in a way that will keep you engrossed in this tale to the end. Unfortunately, there are as many questions unanswered in the end as there were in the beginning. Still, it's a good, interesting read. "

— Julie (5 out of 5 stars)

Quotes

  • “Narrator Tanya Eby tells a fascinating story…[and] briskly delivers the background information that sets the stage for the onset of the fires. When quoting firefighters, investigators, and citizens, Eby uses a range of Southern accents that ring true and humanize the community. Her respectful approach mirrors Hesse’s treatment of the arsonists, who are presented as emotionally complex and morally gray.”

    — AudioFile
  • “The propulsive pleasure of American Fire rests in author Monica Hesse’s decision not to force a thing…Hesse gathers the pieces but leaves connections to the reader. When they snap together, the feeling is a bit like gazing upon a blaze you’ve just lit.”

    — Time
  • “Has all the elements of a lively crime procedural: courtroom drama, forensic trivia, toothsome gossip, vexed sex. It also happens to be a very good portrait of a region in economic decline.”

    — New York Times Book Review
  • “Hesse’s spare but memorable prose sketches the true story of a once-prosperous county now in sharp economic decline, its derelict buildings easy targets for Smith and Bundick…Hesse can do with a handful of words what other writers do with paragraphs, and as she traces the intersecting paths of the amateur arsonists and the authorities determined to capture them.”

    — Amazon.com
  • “A true-crime saga that works in every respect.”

    — Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

Awards

  • BookPage Top Pick for July
  • Elle Magazine Pick
  • Time Magazine Pick
  • Entertainment Weekly Pick
  • Amazon Best Book of the Month
  • New York Times Editor’s Choice
  • Finalist for the 2018 Edgar Award for Best Fact Crime Book

American Fire Listener Reviews

Overall Performance: 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 (5.00)
5 Stars: 1
4 Stars: 0
3 Stars: 0
2 Stars: 0
1 Stars: 0
Narration: 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 (5.00)
5 Stars: 1
4 Stars: 0
3 Stars: 0
2 Stars: 0
1 Stars: 0
Story: 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 (5.00)
5 Stars: 1
4 Stars: 0
3 Stars: 0
2 Stars: 0
1 Stars: 0
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  • Overall Performance: 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Narration Rating: 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Story Rating: 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5

    — Edward Winterberger, 11/2/2021

About Monica Hesse

Monica Hesse, a columnist at the Washington Post, is the author of several acclaimed books. including Girl in the Blue Coat and American Fire.

About Tanya Eby

Tanya Eby is a novelist and an audiobook narrator who has earned several AudioFile Earphones Awards and been nominated for the Audie Award. She has a BA degree in English language and literature and an MFA in creative writing from the University of Southern Maine.