Maybe it’s better for a combination of reasons: the subject matter is more gruesome and eerie and fun. This subject is very clearly a labor of love for Sarah Vowell. The voice of Abraham Lincoln is read by Stephen King, whose raspy New Englandness is nothing like you imagine Abraham Lincoln’s folksy midwesterness to sound like, but maybe it works.
Like the other Sarah Voweel audiobooks, this one lives and dies based on who is reading. So this one works better not because she has better people reading: there’s cross-over in the cast and I am not going to suggest that John Slattery is not great, because he is. The difference is that a lot more of the quotations used in this one are more necessary and fleshed out and so the readers have more to work with and the intrusions of different voices don’t come off as jarring. In addition, all assassins are weird narcissistic and bombastic windbags, just like all presidents are, that the combination of the two very different sets of people work.
The biggest issue this book has, both in its own right but also given the political environment of today, is that all of Sarah Vowell’s frustrations with the Bush administration actually seem kind of quaint or even naive based on today. I didn’t want George Bush to win a second term, but I had nothing invested in John Kerry as a possible president. He was a pretty good Secretary of State (funny now that we have a complete nothing in the office now), but now we have that situation where I was heavily invested in the person who lost, and Bush seems downright great in comparison to Trump.
Anyway, I liked it better. But NOW I a DO think I am done for the while.