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Download Wicked River: The Mississippi When It Last Ran Wild Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Wicked River: The Mississippi When It Last Ran Wild, by Lee Sandlin Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (276 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Lee Sandlin Narrator: Jeff McCarthy Publisher: Recorded Books, LLC Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: October 2010 ISBN: 9781449840235
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A riveting narrative look at one of the most colorful, dangerous, and peculiar places in America’s historical landscape: the strange, wonderful, and mysterious Mississippi River of the nineteenth century.
 
Beginning in the early 1800s and climaxing with the siege of Vicksburg in 1863, Wicked River brings to life a place where river pirates brushed elbows with future presidents and religious visionaries shared passage with thieves. Here is a minute-by-minute account of Natchez being flattened by a tornado; the St. Louis harbor being crushed by a massive ice floe; hidden, nefarious celebrations of Mardi Gras; and the sinking of the Sultana, the worst naval disaster in American history. Here, too, is the Mississippi itself: gorgeous, perilous, and unpredictable. Masterfully told, Wicked River is an exuberant work of Americana that portrays a forgotten society on the edge of revolutionary change.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “A gripping book that plunges you into a rich dark stretch of visceral history. I read it in two sittings and got up shaken.”

    Garrison Keillor

  • “Gripping stuff…Appreciators of what Greil Marcus calls the Old, Weird America will savor Wicked River. Its many ghastly scenes, vividly rendered by Mr. Sandlin, started showing up in my dreams…I was surprised, upon finishing Wicked River, to read that this confident and swift-moving book is the author's first. It makes one eager for the next.”

    Wall Street Journal

  • “In this lush, exuberant, action-packed and history-drenched book, Sandlin has brought the river back home again…A vivid torrent of facts and passions, in an inspired agitation of water and words…Wicked River is the best kind of history book. It is organized around people and their fates, not wars and dates and treaty signings. It artfully separates reality from fables, but it recognizes that fables have a story to tell, too, that our tall tales and our songs and our exaggerations and our mythologies can be as revelatory as topographical maps and temperature charts.”

    Chicago Tribune

  • “Marvelously captured…A superb book debut…Sandlin writes of a recurring sense of looming catastrophe that gripped many residents…Fascinating.”

    Chicago Sun-Times

  • “Entertaining…Chicago essayist and journalist Lee Sandlin tells tales about the Mississippi in the days when the river and the people who floated on it or lived along it were wild and untamed in the extreme…Sandlin has done an impressive amount of research. For all that, his prose manages to avoid the snags and shoals of academic English… A lot of fun to read."

    St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Brian Derbes | 2/5/2014

    " A history you didn't know. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 John | 1/31/2014

    " I had a lot of fun reading this book! I'd say that the style got a little muddy, sometimes, and I wondered why Sandlin chose to focus on some of the stories he focused on...but, all-in-all, I loved reading about the river I grew up with - The Mighty Mississipp! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jorge Ribas | 1/26/2014

    " Good. Sometimes very interesting, sometimes a bit meandering and unfocused. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Ethan | 1/23/2014

    " These are a series of interesting essays about the Mississippi. It doesn't quite hold together as a book--there is no narrative drive. I thought that if it was a travel book that used the history to talk about a trip down the modern Mississippi it might be more successful. Still, some of these essays are really interesting and fun to read. Sandlin has a knack for finding great quotes and examples that are as entertaining as they are explanatory. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sarah | 1/19/2014

    " Possibly the most fascinating -- even gripping -- history book I've ever read, easily as difficult to put down as a good piece of fiction. Definitely made me think. An excellent piece of Americana; cannot recommend it enough. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Charlie | 1/18/2014

    " Well written. The author even made the effort to try to get the science correct having a reference on River Mechanics "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Drew | 1/13/2014

    " Seemed to get lost in the story telling. Sometimes I wondered if this was supposed to be a history of the river. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 John | 1/11/2014

    " One of the best I've ever read about the Mississippi, Covers the period from 1811 through 1865. Excellent, fast read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jen | 12/20/2013

    " I wanted this book to be more about the river and a little more authoritative in tone. Though I enjoyed the sketches of life along the river, some of the topics and chapters were as convoluted and murky as the Mississippi itself. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 ElsieMarie | 12/12/2013

    " Attention Historal Novel writer: Best research book of the Mississippi River fron early 1800's through the Civil War around. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Katelyn | 11/26/2013

    " Wonderful anthology of the people of the Mississippi Valley especially the lower Mississippi. My only complaint were a few facts I knew to be wrong lead my to wonder what other minor errors there were. Overall this was minor. I really enjoyed it. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Ben Michaelis | 5/16/2013

    " Interesting at times but I guess I was looking for more about the folklore of the river and the music... "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Patricrk patrick | 8/5/2012

    " In a society bound to the river (that tries to kill you every spring), stalked by disease and casual violence, things may get a bit wierd. I very much enjoyed this look at mid America just after the turn of the 19th century. This is not Mark Twains Mississippi. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Rachel Jackson | 3/18/2012

    " Thoroughly meh. Over and over again, the thesis, "The Mississippi used to be wild, man, WILD!" Research feels slight, somehow. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mary | 3/12/2012

    " This was an exciting book that takes you through the history of the river and it's changes and how it changed to towns along it's path. Very well annotated and full of rich information. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Oliver | 3/7/2012

    " Well-researched book, provided a fascinating on-the-ground look into what frontier Mississippi life was like. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Eileen | 9/17/2011

    " Good. History and folklore. Ends around 1890. Readable for a non-history reader. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 JoAnn | 8/22/2011

    " Story of the Mississippi River...thought-provoking history of a powerful body of water just blocks from where I lived for ten years. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ryver | 6/18/2011

    " Not bad. Started out great. I love books like these. Dragged a wee bit in the middle. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Eileen | 3/2/2011

    " Good. History and folklore. Ends around 1890. Readable for a non-history reader. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Mel | 2/13/2011

    " This book was amazing! I really enjoyed it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ryver | 2/12/2011

    " Not bad. Started out great. I love books like these. Dragged a wee bit in the middle. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 John | 12/31/2010

    " One of the best I've ever read about the Mississippi, Covers the period from 1811 through 1865. Excellent, fast read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Carol | 12/5/2010

    " Loved this book about the Mississippi River, so interesting. I learned a lot. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jen | 12/3/2010

    " I wanted this book to be more about the river and a little more authoritative in tone. Though I enjoyed the sketches of life along the river, some of the topics and chapters were as convoluted and murky as the Mississippi itself. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Scott | 11/10/2010

    " An interesting and informative about the history of life along the Mississippi River when it was a wild river. "

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