I absolutely loved everything about this book, including Janis's awesome and honest narration. She uses her stunning voice to sing the listener in to each new life chapter. Her words paint pictures, her voice sounds heavenly. GREAT story of a hard-working optimist.
First, this is the best narration performance I've ever, Ever, EVER heard. Kristen's sultry, rich, expressive voice is ahhhmmaaazzzing... I wouldn't care if she was reading the yellow pages; this girl could make anything sound interesting and entertaining. Couple her better than Bacall voice with the story of her life, a crazy life (and she's only 45), with no fear, no holding back, spilling her GUTS - it is perfection. Creatively told, cleverly written and thoroughly engaging. I can't say enough about this book and I'm convinced that hearing it makes the experience complete. Kristen should read every book ever committed to audio.
Audible gave this book to me as a free gift. I check out these free offerings with a heavy dose of 'doubt I'll listen to the whole book'. So, imagine my surprise when I became completely engrossed by these treasured stories told first-hand by their owners, ranging from beautiful to heart-wrenching and poignant. I drove to my destination alternating between hearty laughs and uncontrollable tears streaking my cheeks. I made myself late for my dinner date because I had to sit in the car to finish. I listened again on the return trip and bookmarked a story to share with my husband when I got home. Every remarkable story is about love, either shared, lost or its uncertain future. Wow. Just wow.
No one can argue that Julie Klausner is an intelligent, extremely gifted, clever lady with anecdotes for days about her dating follies, or should I say foibles. Having my own series of comical dating missteps, there were plenty of times throughout this book that I could completely identify and I laughed heartily at her sassy quips. But then, she takes unexpected turns down dark alleys and gets reeeealllllly candid; it gets twisted and uncomfortable and I can't wait until she redirects out of her hate rant. Hey, I have horror stories too, but hers seem out of place in this mostly comedic account of her dating life. Sometimes it is downright painful to listen to the jabs she takes at her (likely unwitting) suitors, but more troubling is comprehending the self-inflicted jeopardy she routinely deposited herself in. I guess I appreciate her utter honesty, but I can't decide if all of it should have been contained in one book; it can be jarring. The thing that bugged me the most was her abhor and contempt for the men she loved so quickly, and then turned on like a viper when things didn't work out quite like she planned. She was such a WILLING victim, I feel a good portion of the poop soup was made with her own hands. At the end of the day, love is worth it, if you stop picking the low-hanging fruit and realize you can reach for more.
I'll start with I love an accent and had zero trouble listening to this book. I'm always happier when a writer can narrate their own book, because it brings authenticity. I also appreciate when a writer is in over their head and calls in a pro. Not the case, Greg Smith can read his own book.
I really enjoyed this book initially. South African boy does good, wins scholarship to Stanford, procures Wall Street Internship and amazing career ensues. Greg gave enough insight and definition to his (complicated) work, so a novice could follow along and not get bored or overwhelmed with jargon. I felt like I learned things and even found myself making the hand gestures to buy and sell, like I was standing on 'the floor' (people driving by just thought I was nuts).
My problem is Greg comes across as a lily-white, do-gooder surrounded by blood-sucking heathens. It just doesn't feel genuine when you elevate yourself at the expense of others. He was the only good guy in a sea of scum... right (said sarcastically). He writes openly about his peer's weaknesses, his superior's faults and personality quirks even about hanging out with strippers in a hot tub in Vegas with his GS bretheren (whatever happened to what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas?). He burnt people to write this book all the while he is portraying himself as saint. He totally covered his own a## and made a premeditated exit from GS, while simultaneously ripping the rug out from the company that took VERY good care of him for 10 years. It feels kind of gross and disingenuous. I ended up not liking this guy.
Listen, I LOVE a juicy tell-all and I still respect people I've admired if I learned they've done something outside of my moral boundaries. I just think this guy saw an opportunity... that is it precisely... Greg Smith comes of as an opportunistic jerk and by the end of this book I stopped caring about what he had to say.
I'm a forensic/true crime enthusiast, which is embarrassing in and of itself to admit (I always feel like it is a seedy and depraved appendage of my life) ANYHOW... this book was impossible to get through. The narration is monotone, jarring and annoying, the story is boring and lacks anything to make me commit to it... and I was only listening.
We all make mistakes when we are young, so I can see how she worked for a "business" whose practices didn't end up meshing with moral beliefs. However, this girl (she seems remarkable immature and naive) found her career turned upside-down because one day she unexpectedly participated in an (ultra-sound guided) abortion, in a clinic she MANAGED. She really didn't understand what they were doing behind closed doors until 7 years later!? She worked there for 8 years. Her excuses were heavily-religious themed and conspiracy based... I bailed about halfway through the book because her narration was too wide-eyed and whiny. LAME.
I enjoyed this book so much, I listened to it twice. I've never done that before. Scott Shepherd sounds just like Sammy - INCREDIBLE narration. What a life, Sammy! He is the living representation of what a can-do attitude can accomplish.
You know how it feels to find out a person you've exalted is, well, only human? When you actually make their acquaintance, the air of mystery is dissolved and the unique, impossibly cool person you imagined is really kind of a jerk? I had that exact reaction listening to this book...
I consider myself equally a fan of Soul Coughing (I'm not supposed to say that, Doughty HATES it) and Doughty's solo work. I found both of them at roughly the same time, so I gave the music equal consideration and was not put off by the vast differences. Regardless, you do not have to be a fan of either to enjoy this book, which is a bunch of raw, exposed nerves I found impossible to put down. This biography is equal parts maddening frustration (repeated self-imposed torture at the hands of others & himself) and pure entertainment - I loved it.
Super glad Doughty decided to read it himself, because he reads in succinct defiant bursts, which really lends itself well to the overall experience.
So while I'll probably never make Doughty's real acquaintance, this was enough of a glimpse into his life for me to know we're not meant to be friends (I feel he hurts people's feelings too easily and I'm just a sensitive girl). I still admire his talent, intelligence, determination and ability to save his own life. Sad to find out about the horrific dysfunction of the band during its 7 year life (and sad to learn what a bunch of DBs the guys in the band were to each other), but most marriages end in divorce too... even though Soul Coughing never even had a honeymoon.
WONDERFULLY narrated! Rob Lowe's life (to date) story is intelligently crafted, full of fun, honesty, is detailed, but concise. I would never label myself a Lowe 'fan', nor do I go nuts for famous people (because the reality is usually horribly disappointing), but after listening to this book, my affection for Rob Lowe has grown exponentially - I know we could be friends.
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