Book Review: Killing Kennedy: The End of Camelot

December 18, 2012 audiobook, audiobook jukebox, bill o'reilly, biography, book review, macmillan audio 3

Written by: Bill O’Reilly and Martin Dugard

Published by: MacMillan Audio/Henry Holt and Co.  October 2012

Length: 8 hours and 25 minutes/ 336 pages

Narrated by: Bill O’Reilly

Source: Publisher

From the Publisher:
More than a million listeners have thrilled to Bill O’Reilly’s Killing Lincoln, the can’t-stop-listening work of nonfiction about the shocking assassination that changed the course of American history. Now the anchor of The O’Reilly Factor recounts in gripping detail the brutal murder of John Fitzgerald Kennedy—and how a sequence of gunshots on a Dallas afternoon not only killed a beloved president but also sent the nation into the cataclysmic division of the Vietnam War and its culture-changing aftermath.

In January 1961, as the Cold War escalates, John F. Kennedy struggles to contain the growth of Communism while he learns the hardships, solitude, and temptations of what it means to be president of the United States. Along the way he acquires a number of formidable enemies, among them Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev, Cuban dictator Fidel Castro, and Alan Dulles, director of the Central Intelligence Agency.  In addition, powerful elements of organized crime have begun to talk about targeting the president and his brother, Attorney General Robert Kennedy.

In the midst of a 1963 campaign trip to Texas, Kennedy is gunned down by an erratic young drifter named Lee Harvey Oswald. The former Marine Corps sharpshooter escapes the scene, only to be caught and shot dead while in police custody.

The events leading up to the most notorious crime of the twentieth century are almost as shocking as the assassination itself. Killing Kennedy chronicles both the heroism and deceit of Camelot, bringing history to life in ways that will profoundly move the listener.  This may well be the most talked about book of the year.

My thoughts: 
I have a long love affair with most things Kennedy. I’ve read many biographies of John F. Kennedy, his family, his brothers and more.  My parents were active in the 1960 campaign and we lived in a suburb of Dallas TX.  This account of Jack Kennedy’s life was very thorough.  I enjoyed the recounting of Jack’s role in WWII as the captain of PT 109, the details were well told.  While many of us know the major details of Kennedy’s life and presidency and assassination there are lesser known facts that O’ Reilly delves into in this book.  Some of these facts include the less desirable and stellar facts of JFK’s life, including his connections to the mafia and Hollywood.  John Kennedy was a handsome, engaging man.  He was talented as a writer, and I do believe he had positive and hopeful visions of what our country could be. 

The audio production of this was very good. Bill O’Reilly is clearly comfortable in front of a microphone, and his inflections and  pace helped keep the audio interesting.  I liked that he shared his personal connection to the time of Camelot.  

While I did enjoy this book and audio production I didn’t really learn much new about Kennedy and his life.  There was little about alternate theories of his assassination.  I’ve given this book a 3 out of 5 stars, and I really did like it.  I think if other people were less familiar with the details they would enjoy the book more.  Still a very good book about a man and era of our history that was cut way too short. 

3 Responses to “Book Review: Killing Kennedy: The End of Camelot”

  1. Jeff

    Nice review! Thank you. I was a child of Camelot. I know the PT 109 story from a Jimmy Dean 45 record I still own. I’ve never bought into the various conspiracy theories of his assassination, but they’ve been around since my youth as a 9-year-old. Thanks for your review! –JEFF

  2. Zibilee

    I have never read anything about the Kennedy’s and might like to read this sometime. It sounds interesting and very well constructed, and it would probably make me much more familiar withe everything that’s gone on. Awesome review today!

  3. Sandy Nawrot

    I love all things Kennedy too, but….O’Reilly is a total gasbag. I listened to Killing Lincoln and it was shot down for having incorrect facts in it, to the point where many of the Lincoln museums refused to sell it. That would be the main reason I would not listen to this. We will see, because I know many have really liked it.

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