There's no question that Hughes lived a life interesting enough to justify several biographies, but this one is pulled down by its many flaws. The reader is OK, barely, but it's the writing that falls short; it's pedestrian at best and downright annoying at times. Details can add to a book, but not when they're meaningless, like the names of all of the members of the medical team who would have treated Hughes but who didn't because he was DOA. Or the full menu of what his parents had for dinner one night before Hughes was born. Most annoying to me were the constant nonsensical metaphors, dumb enough to make Dan Rather blush. Hughes' life was fascinating enough to help overlook some of these weaknesses, but it isn't enough to make you completely forget them.
I was a teenager when I first heard of this elusive millionaire, Howard Hughes. I really enjoyed the audiobook, as I was able to listen to an hour per day while I commuted to work each day. It was all I could do to not listen to the CD's during the weekends. This book provides very interesting and sometimes very odd insight on a man who had all the money you would ever want - but nothing else. I'll take my "simple life" any day over his..........
This wonderful and fascinating look at the life of Howard Hughes is severly damaged by the frequent mispronunciation of key words. Forget the mispronunciation of names ("Dore Schary" and "Faith Domergue" to name a couple). Even the simplest of words ("gaffe" and "substantive" being just two of the many) are slaughtered. Forget legal terms like "nolo contendere". The content of the book tries to override these moments, but each mispronunciation jolts one out of the book for 20 to 30 seconds in disbelief. It is a shame that the narrator and/or producer of this audio edition did little or no research before hitting the "record" button.
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.
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!
This is a good read, and i highly recommend it. But I'm not sure about the author, I think he's a Hack.
Not the best Biography. Hughes is portrayed as a severely dysfunctional individual: mentally, socially, and even dysfunctional in his business dealings, yet he became the first billionaire in America. These facts do not make sense and the book does not attempt to explain, analyze, or even acknowledge this discrepancy, thus it cannot be the definitive biography of Howard Hughes, as claimed by the author. Many other minor paradoxes are not even acknowledged. What stands out in the book is that HRH was a consummate predator of human beings, a cannibal, which you will clearly see is something very different than a warrior. Intriguing but not definitive.
Good listen, but the narrator must be about ten years old to be so lame in his pronunciations of people, places, and things. It seems one would have to grow up in total isolation not to know how to pronounce names like "Nadine" and "Tonopah". These are just two examples of dozen's of mispronuncitions. It was annoying especially for a resident of Houston.