(audio) Book review: Dreams from my Father, by Barack Obama (narrated by the author)

Uneven memoir and meditation, capped by a wonderful speech

Obama wrote this memoir of his childhood, the start of his organizing career, and starting in law school. All of this is framed within the context of finding out more about who his father is and how that defines Obama himself.

This memoir / meditation is very uneven. I found the most compelling to be Obama’s memoirs, especially the time in Indonesia, in Kenya, organizing in Chicago, and the epilogue about his wedding and other development among the family we’ve come to know in the book. Other segments, especially where he ruminates at great length on black identity in America, I found too long. With this audiobook, Obama narrates it, which is fun except that sometimes, that cool, calming tone turns monotonous.

An added bonus is Obama’s speech from the 2004 Democratic National Convention (where Kerry was chosen as the candidate and Obama was running for the senate), which is inspiring and moving.

I wanted to love this, but I didn’t. My review, like those Obama cites of when the book first came out, is mildly positive.

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