The author's opinion of Hughes came out clearly in the narrative of the story. This book is not one that future researchers should use to find the history of Hughes, it is a novel with the writer's opinions laced throughout the book.
I was riveted by this fascinating insight into this strange and complicated man. The title says it all as the story proved extemely well researched and equally compelling.
I have always been fascinated by Hughes and his life and this biography was behind-the-scenes factual as well as entertaining.
Who can resist a story of such an enormously wealthy man mixed with a descent into madness?
Howard Hughes lead a life of nutty and/or brilliant behaviors--performed over and over again. But he never had the personal growth or relationships that make for a compelling biography.
I enjoyed this book and learned a lot about Hughes. I think it was a balanced account, and the author did a good job. We get to hear about both good and bad sides of Hughes and the people around him. There is a lot of details, and I really wonder how on earth the author knows about some of them. He describes a can on a lawn and how that can ended up under some bushes and remained there for many months. One can't help wondering how the author knows about this, and the question then arises about so many other details - are they true or invented for the sake of art? The book tended to focus on the private life of Huhges - the women, the flying and so on, and I would have liked to hear a little bit more about the business side. All in all, a good read and well worth it.
This is a somewhat cheesily-written (no one just goes away when they can "vanish into the night") but absolutely amazing story that appears to be extremely well researched. It's a bit reticent about what Hughes' psychiatric problems really were and what role drugs played in them, but otherwise it's filled with detail and at the same time fast-moving and always interesting. I always feel a lack with audio biographies because there aren't photos or an index, but I was sorry when this one ended.
I thought the reader did a great job. As has been pointed out, he makes a handful of pronunciation errors over the course of 19 hours or whatever, but I didn't find these significant. Meanwhile, he does Hughes voice whenever reading actual documents by Hughes that it is very effective at conveying who's saying what and also adds nice atmosphere.
I couldn't stop listening. I knew Hughes was at least eccentric and OCD but those descriptions are too vague. I don't think there is a psychological or physiological category that he would fall in to. Fascinating. Well written, credible and though I thought a few words were misread, narration good.
Writer and Librarian
An earlier reviewer remarked on reader Dan Cashman's atrocious pronunciation. I have to wholeheartedly agree. I'm familiar with both Dallas and Houston, where Hughes childhood takes place, and Cashman's mispronunciation is driving me crazy! It's really distracting. For example, it's MON-trose, not mont-rose. And ga-NO, not GAN-o. FON-ten-o, not font-e-not. On it goes.
Another thing that bothers me is Cashman's rendering of Southern female voices. Though I'm sure it's not Cashman's intent, he just sounds condescending doing those voices and it comes across like he studied the accent from watching old Bugs Bunny cartoons or something.
I will say Cashman has a nice voice and a lively reading. But that pronunciation! Oy!
Not a mainstream reader.
All great minds has its downfalls. Howard Hughes was his obsessions and paranoia of his own self. The book goes into great detail of Hughes' riches and businesses in planes, films, monopoly of Vegas, Mormon staffs, his consistence womanizing and his hatred of paying taxes. If you want to find out more of business side of Hughes' estate, there is plenty of information out there. If you want to find out more about his corks, paranoia and isolation from everyone and everything, this title is a must read.
Hughes' ego and arrogance has to be the best of his personality and his downfall was the obsessions, depressions, addiction to prescription drugs and probably every mental illness in the book.
For example a manual of how to open a can of peaches and so on.
Even after his death, his Will was being question for its accuracy. Such as Mormon Will and others coming out from the wood work. .
You have to think highly of the man and his mind for modern day invention that we use everyday. These type of corks and kinks and even mental illness, is common to great thinkers of the world, such as Bill Gates and his Aspergers, and others with their obsessions. I have to believe, these people are wired differently from the norm. They were born to invent outside of the drawing board.
This biography is very complete and flow smoothly as you listen to the narration.
The author spare no detail on Hughes personal side and his deterioration of his health, due to his manic behaviors. I'm looking for a complete biography, like this one, on William Randolph Hearst.
Outstanding and very interesting - what a nut Howard turned out to be. Very good and enjoyed the entire book
Dan Cashman is a great voice actor/narrator...which is important if you will be listening to his voice for 18 hours. Occasionally the book is bogged down in detail related to legal proceedings and financial transactions. However, the inclusion of such detail is often employed effectively in illustrating the effect of Hughes' obsessiveness. Interesting until the end!