This is by far one of my favorite books EVER. I grew up on Long Island a few towns away from the actual "Gold Coast" and when I say that Nelson DeMille captures the essence of these people -- he really does. He makes John and Susan Sutter into real people with strengths and flaws. And growing up during the 1980's when former mafia boss John Gotti was always on the local night time news, Frank Bellarosa also seems like a credible character without simply making him into a "copy" of Gotti. He's a wise guy in his own right.
Before buying the audiobook I read this as an actual book many times and enjoyed every time. Having it in audiobook format simply adds yet another element to what I think is already a modern classic. It's plain and simple a really good book and an incredibly satisfying read. If you are unfamiliar with Nelson DeMille he is a master at writing books that are remarkably enjoyable to read. After reading "The Gold Coast" do not be surprised if you find that you want to read more of his works. However, I think this book is one of his very best.
I LOVE Joan Rivers and that's why I bought the book. I love that she narrates the book so it is told the way she intended it to be read. That's a plus. However, there isn't that much of a story. There is *some* story but not that much. For example, I definitely enjoyed learning about her past, her childhood, her early career, etc... This I found really very interesting. However, there isn't a lot of substance to the book overall and at times all the "I hate..." can feel a bit too negative. Having said all that, if you love Joan Rivers this is a nice book, definitely very funny at times, and also very interesting at times. Her comedic genius definitely comes through but overall - just ok.
I admit that I got sucked into all the hype about this book and that's why I bought it. Save your money - this is TOTALLY MISSABLE. The narrator was awful. She sounded like a bad actress on a daytime soap opera - only worse. Too monotone, wrong inflections, totally flat. With respect to the book itself - I kept waiting for a storyline but it never materialized. Whatever shred of a story there is it was predictable and very, very immature. The book strings together one predictable scene after another with a bunch of totally over the top sex scenes (complete with S&M and other acts that border on creepy) that are way over the top and I believe included simply for the shock value. I truly believe that the only reason the book is so popular is because of all the sex which I admit the author writes about very well and creatively. But that's not enough. IF YOU NEVER READ IT YOU ARE NOT MISSING ANYTHING.
I loved this book for many reasons. First, the writing style is easy and instantly engaging. Second, I loved that the author is also the narrator. Elizabeth Gilbert shares a very personal story which I think is made even more personal by having her narrate it herself. I was fascinated at how she was able to tear herself out of one life and go on an incredible journey to transform her life into something completely different.
Her writing is very descriptive so I felt as if I was IN Italy with her eating that amazing pizza and like I was IN India with her -- but without the mosquitoes and oppressive humidity... And I don't ever expect to visit Indonesia but I do feel as if I have "seen" some of it through Elizabeth Gilbert's eyes. I simply loved this book and loved reading about an incredible journey of self-transformation, self-discovery, and self-realization.
And if you saw the movie THE BOOK IS SO SO SO MUCH BETTER!!!!
Having real actresses read this story is as if you are sitting in the room with them. It is a performance. You can picture what is happening more than if you were simply reading the words on a page. These are not just "narrators" as with other audiobooks -- these are actresses and their voice and tone makes this story come to life -- and what a story it is. Excellent story, excellent actresses, excellent overall. I enjoyed it immensely, more than most audiobooks (and I've listened to a LOT of audiobooks. This one stands apart from the rest.)
I enjoyed the book on audio perhaps better than if I had only read it in print. Steve Martin narrates his own work which is interesting in itself as it makes the story that much more personal. The overall audio experience is further enhanced by the bits of his banjo playing that are used to separate one section from another. The banjo playing was a nice surprise and an added bonus that you certainly don't get when you only have the book.
Steve Martin got into just how hard he worked before he was able to achieve success at comedy. I have loved Steve Martin forever -- or so it seems -- but I never thought about what he did before he became famous or what he did in order to become successful. He gave a lot of detail about he did and what he went through for all of those years.
I enjoyed the book immensely and recommend it to anyone who is interested in Steve Martin or to anyone interested in what it takes to achieve success. Fascinating story!
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