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Summary

The definitive volume in Jakes’s best-selling series finds the Kent family reaching to finally embrace its legacy - and its futureIn the final installment of the Kent Family Chronicles, the remaining Kents seek to fulfill Philip Kent’s original American dream.

As Gideon Kent’s health deteriorates, he fears for the future of his family. Their dynasty, now in ruins, stands as a tarnished symbol of all the Kents have lost in the unstable years of war and expansion. It falls to young Will to bring the family together - a task of epic scope. Only expert storyteller John Jakes could craft such a gripping finale to this beloved family saga, bringing the Kents’ drama - and the nineteenth century in America - to its riveting conclusion.

©1980 John Jakes (P)2013 Audible, Inc.

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  • BookReader
  • 02-03-16

The Americans

Any additional comments?

These comments address The Kent Family Chronicles, the entire series of eight books, in audiobook format. All books are narrated by Marc Vietor. The entire series is approximately 125 hours of listening. Shortest book is 15.5 hours, longest over 26 hours. Vietor does a good job with narration, although the uniqueness of male voices is problematic. Most significant, you’ll have little difficulty determining who-says-what-to-who. Tempo and pacing fine, albeit the narration is a bit slow for my taste, bumped it to 1.25.

The entire series is a broad spectrum history of the United States from just pre-Revolutionary War through the 1890s and a chronicle of the Kent family through this time. Beginning with Phillip through the generations to the children of Gideon, a great-great-grandson. Members of the clan fight in the Revolutionary War, the War of 1812, the Civil War, are at the Alamo, the California Gold Rush, the Great Chicago Fire, the Johnstown Flood, and much more. The author skillfully intersperses vignettes of imagined and factual history. For example, two of the fictional characters of the series are sheltered for a few days at the home of the Lincolns in rural Kentucky - a baby is part of the family, young Abraham. One of the fictional characters is counseled by Benjamin Franklin. Fiction, Phillip’s childhood friend is Marquis deLafayette, non-fiction: deLafayette’s role in United States and French military. The series is rife with this type of paradigm, but it is not difficult to determine what is true and what is fiction. All the instances that involve the Kents and John Jake’s other fictional characters are products of his imagination. Much of the rest is a fun methodology of conveying historical events.

The stories are very listenable. I found no need to re-wind or fast-forward; no segment boring or irrelevant. Theses books are not ‘love stories’ in the typical sense, albeit familial relationships, the crux of The Kent Family Chronicles, must include love stories, n'est-ce pas? In those areas where a sexual encounter is defined it is relevant to the plot and tastefully written. This does not occur often, but the clan does proliferate :-). A word to the prudish: there are a couple of rapes vividly described.

Very typical of the time written, the 1970s, writing is a bit verbose. Several of these books were adapted for television mini-series, popular at the time.

John Jakes is a terrific historical fiction author, recommended. Enjoy!

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  • William
  • 04-08-16

gratifying conclusion!

a wonderful conclusion to a great historical series. highly recommended reading for those Love American history

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  • Norma Peden
  • 22-07-15

I'm Sorry That It Has Ended!

Great series. Hats off to the author. Excellent job. I feel as if I am a part of the Kent family. I wish there were more books as I do not know what to do with my time now!!

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  • Kathryn Mary Satullo
  • 15-02-21

The Americans

What a wonderful experience to hear the words of John Jakes come to life all over again, as I had read them oh so many years ago at the time of their original release.

John Jakes’ bicentennial series will be forever in my heart as some of the best books I have ever read. This statement has more meaning when you know that I was never much of a reader growing up. In part, I owe my love of reading to John Jakes as well, as he introduced me to a family I could connect with...true patriots of this land we call America.

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  • Deb from Colorado
  • 08-01-21

History lessons

I throughly enjoyed all of these books back in the 70’s when they were first written, even naming my son after Jared. I enjoyed them even more in the audible format. The reader was excellent and consistent. I was sorry to have them end.

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  • Bitti
  • 28-06-20

Excellent end to the Kent family saga

What a great ending. Mr Jakes saved the best for last. I would have given it 10 stars if possible. His description of the societal problems of the 1880s parallels many of the problems we see today, good vs evil, haves vs the have nots. But his frustrations with his children, realizing his mortality and questions about his legacy really hit close to home for me. I didn't want the tale to end.

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  • M. Wise-Miu
  • 06-11-19

Wow! The end of book #8.

I don't know what I'll do without the Kent family to keep me company! All I can wonder is what happened after 1891? ☺️ What a fabulous story woven through the years. Just wonderful!

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  • Debby
  • 04-08-19

WOW

Couldn’t put the book down. I wish there was a book Nine. Following the Kent Family was Amazing !

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  • Sherry
  • 28-12-18

Kent Series Starts Out as a Solid 5 out of 5....

Rating all 8 books in one rating here.

The series starts excellent with very believable characters who overcome and forge an American dynasty. Nothing changes with the characters being well written and believable; a favorite of mine. Historical characters are inserted in a very believable and excellent way.

Kent family gets very dilluted in the latter part of the series. Only interesting character in the final books is the gunslinger from the west. Note that he isn't a main character either.

Enjoyed the books prior to the Civil War the most, Civil War and Reconstruction were good, Industrial Revolution and Civil Rights books were hard to get through. Happy the series ended as I don't think another book would've been readable for me.

John Jakes is an excellent writer. The characters in the last books weren't worthy subject matter in my opinion. Other than that, well worth my investment and time.

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  • Richie Buck
  • 15-09-17

Great Serves

Great story and a great narrstion. Best book series in a long time. John Jakes is fantastic