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Assassination Vacation
Assassination Vacation
Author: Sarah Vowell
From Publishers Weekly — What do you get when a woman who's obsessed with death and U.S. history goes on vacation? This wacky, weirdly enthralling exploration of the first three presidential assassinations. Vowell (The Partly Cloudy Patriot), a contributor to NPR's This American Life and the voice of teenage superhero Violet Parr in The Incredibl...  more »
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ISBN-13: 9780743260046
ISBN-10: 074326004X
Publication Date: 1/31/2006
Pages: 272
  • Currently 3.9/5 Stars.

3.9 stars, based on 130 ratings
Publisher: Simon Schuster
Book Type: Paperback
Other Versions: Hardcover, Audio Cassette, Audio CD
Members Wishing: 4
Reviews: Member | Amazon | Write a Review
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Top Member Book Reviews

  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
reviewed Assassination Vacation on
4 member(s) found this review helpful.
I'm not usually big on travel books or on history, but Sarah Vowell's record of her pilgrimage to sites related to early US presidential assassinations has been one of the best books I've read this year. She has a very dry and sarcastic humor that actually comes through the page and without feeling patronizing. She actually makes me want to take a tour of DC to see all these places she's talking about.
  • Currently 5/5 Stars.
reviewed Assassination Vacation on + 139 more book reviews
3 member(s) found this review helpful.
My first Sarah Vowell book and I'm in love! I will read basically anything she ever writes because she makes history sound exciting and brings it to life. Plus, she has the best voice in the world and I can hear it when I'm reading her words. :)
  • Currently 5/5 Stars.
reviewed Assassination Vacation on + 59 more book reviews
2 member(s) found this review helpful.
If you had told me that I would read and enjoy a book about presidential assassinations, I would have said you were crazy. My preferred genres are chick lit and historical fiction. But, I loved Assassination Vacation!

I decided to give this a try after seeing so many good reviews, and reading the first few pages on I was laughing from the very beginning, and couldn't wait to read more. So much so, that I didn't want to wait to get it from Amazon, and went down to my local Borders to buy it that same day. I read it in just two days.

It was funny and snarky in the tradition of Jen Lancaster and Laurie Notaro, with the added bonus of actual historical facts. Like all of us, I knew the basic facts of Lincoln's assassination, but I didn't know some of the more interesting details. And I knew nothing about McKinley's and Garfield's assassinations - what I had learned in school didn't stick with me. But, now after reading this book, I know a lot more, and I think I'll remember it, because it was so entertaingly told.

For me, President Garfield will now always be Mr. Loner McBookworm. LOL! And Robert Todd Lincoln will be Jinxy McDeath.

I highly recommend this book. Even if you think this isn't your cup of tea, give it a try. It'll be worth it.

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  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
reviewed Assassination Vacation on + 7 more book reviews
This is my first Sarah Vowell, and won't be my last. Her writing style is amusing but insightful, and while you might laugh out loud at some of her passages, you also learn something along the way. Who knew that the history of presidential assassinations could be a good way?
  • Currently 5/5 Stars.
reviewed Assassination Vacation on + 53 more book reviews
Sarah Vowell is now one of my all-time favorite authors! I absolutely adored Assassination Vacation, which surprised me a little, considering the subject matter was not of particular interest to me. Sarah has a way of making you passionate about what she writes, with her off-beat enthusiasm and wit.

I love a good travelogue, but this book has so much more to offer! Assassination Vacation is chock-full of bizarre historical tidbits, combined with Sarah’s hilarious perspectives on history as well as her travels, retracing the steps of three past presidents (Lincoln, Garfield & McKinley) and their assassins. Sarah also offers a bonus chapter at the end of the book, focusing on the presidential bad-luck charm who was Robert Todd Lincoln, Abraham Lincoln’s son. (He happened to be nearby or present at all three of the assassinations.)

I’ve already ordered “Take the Canolli” another of her books. I’m excited to read “Radio On” and “The Partly Cloudy Patriot” also by Sarah Vowell.
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
reviewed Assassination Vacation on + 11 more book reviews
I have to admit that I wasn't a fan of Sarah Vowell's after reading another book by her, but this book was an excellent read. I'm a history buff and enjoy good political discussions. This book did not disappoint. If you enjoy history, mystery, and scandal then this book will be a great read for you. Told from her personal points of views (literally and figuratively) it's a quick read that will get your brain wheels turning.