• Wicked River

  • The Mississippi When It Last Ran Wild
  • By: Lee Sandlin Jeff
  • Narrated by: Jeff McCarthy
  • Length: 10 hrs and 9 mins
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars (104 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Acclaimed journalist and author Lee Sandlin delivers a riveting glimpse of a dangerous and colorful place in America’s historical landscape - the Mississippi River of the 19th century. Long before it was dredged into a shipping channel or romanticized into myth, the untamed Mississippi - the lifeblood of communities that rose and fell along its banks - spawned a motley array of pirates and dignitaries, visionaries, and thieves.

©2010 Lee Sandlin (P)2010 Recorded Books, LLC
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: History

What listeners say about Wicked River

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Worth a listen

A series of interesting historical vignettes, some well-known:others not, presented in an animated narration. I love history presented as a "story" and not a plodding trek through dates and factoids. This book is very much akin to The Devil in the White City, American Lightning, Thunderstruck, and Higher. By the way, the aforementioned books are at least 4 star quality as well.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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Great book to listen to

The performance was very good and this is the type of book best listened to. Good stories and history.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

I really got sucked in. (-:

I got through this book really fast. I was surprised when it was over. It can take months for me to finish a book I bought. This one was done in less than a week. I’ve lived near the river for almost 20 years now and feel like I know it better. The author paints a clear and realistic picture of what life was like before it was tamed and over-regulated as it is now. I read Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn with it and it is good to get past all the flair and yarns of Mark Twain and hear a plain description of the wild time. Complete with frontier men, slave owners, slaves, preachers, keelboats, rafts, steamers, pirates, rebels and Yankees. It was just a non-stop parade of interesting people and adventures in the bad old days, before Eads, and the Army Corps of Engineers, and the railroads came along.

Appropriately for 2020, it’s full of numerous pandemics. Each of which is far worse than COVID-19. Malaria, Yellow Jack and Typhus all show up to make people’s lives miserable. They just had no good way of controlling insects, disposing of sewage, or maintaining hygiene and they had no idea of vaccines so the disease came.

They actually did have systemic racism. He tells of the misery of slavery, including sexual, that was being practiced in Vicksburg and how paranoid of abolition and uprisings slave owners became. Slave owners did not enjoy peace of mind. However the Civil War did come to Vicksburg and the military adventure of its taking may well be the best part of the book.

I highly recommend the book and hope you enjoy.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Entertaining history of the Mississippi river

The book was spectacular. it starts out a little slow with visual descriptions of the Mississippi river. It then moves on to strange and entertaining stories of some the characters that traveled on the river and some of the historic towns. I highly recommend this read.

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Mississippi history

What did you love best about Wicked River?

The history of life on the Mississippi.

What did you like best about this story?

Interesting about how the river has changed over time and keeps changing.

Any additional comments?

Good listen. I would recommend to anyone who lives near the Mississippi and who likes history.