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.
About the narrator: For me, Too Fat to Fish in audio format was epic until Artie quit and allowed others to finish narrating his book. With Crash and Burn, Artie didn't even bother and contracted a hired gun. His choice of a narrator is puzzling - Artie's foul mouth, talk of prostitutes and drugs of epic proportions sound completely unnatural coming from Sean Runnette's mouth. A large percentage of Artie's charm is his delivery. NO ONE can tell an Artie story like Artie! So, the listener definitely loses here. Artie, for the love of GOD - read your own books - you are FANTASTIC at it!
Hard to be critical of a phoenix attempting to rise from the ashes, but this book stumbled and fell on its face (however, not nearly as many times as Artie has).
With or without drugs, Artie is a selfish guy. He is admittedly greedy, self-absorbed and was until recently (I think he is sober?) on a path of destruction that should have taken his life. The people that stood by him for the 5+ years he discusses in this book should be up for sainthood. I'm not making light of drug addiction or the gravity of clinical depression. Both are serious, combined are deadly, but this book goes into tremendous repetitive detail. About halfway through the book, it became annoyingly predictable: noncommittal attempts at sobriety, fists full of lies and plunges back into the abyss. It gets impossible to root for Artie when you hear the wake of chaos he lays down for everyone who ever loved him and the gigantic pity parties he attended in his own honor.
I feel like this book was prematurely written and with the passage of time, more years of sobriety and more perspective, Artie could have edited this into something more meaningful. It is his story, so at the end of the day, he gets to tell it when and how he wants. I just expected more from this brilliantly gifted, whip-smart man. I do hope he is on the road to recovery he says he is on.
Some reviewer was critical of Howard firing Artie... and I find that insulting and ridiculous. First, I adored Artie on the Stern Show and was heart-broken when he left. Howard built his show from the ground up and has been successful for 35+ years. He is fiercely loyal to his employees (he kept Jackie for all those years!). I can't imagine what it was like for Howard to watch Artie black-out during shows, fall asleep, speak incoherently, snore on air and treat his precious job so cavalierly. Artie says in his book many times Howard gave him a million chances - Artie screwed himself out of the show and he owns it. Howard runs a business and delivers a great product; his first priority are his fans. Artie disrespected the show, the fans and Howard. He deserved to lose his job.
I was drawn to this book because I am a lover of music & biographies; even more of music biographies. I consider myself moderate fan of Rick Springfield's music and his earlier career on GH in the 80s.
I am glad to learn Rick was able to continue in his chosen line(s) of work, adored his parents, is a very hard worker and is a devoted father to his two sons. I appreciate his honesty and candor regarding his infidelity and depression, which he continually refers to as his "sexual stuff" and "the darkness", both of which feel like a very insufficient way to describe his clinical depression, body dysmorphia and sex addiction. Com'on Rick, you've had enough therapy to call a spade a spade.
I can appreciate Rick Springfield is a mere mortal, fallible and has made many earnest attempts to 'right his ship'. However, I can't help but think of his wife of almost 30 years, who he has betrayed more times than NY subway system makes stops. Now she and their kids, and anyone wanting access, have every sordid detail of his treachery in writing. Anyone who wants to know, can know what Barbara has repeatedly tolerated. Even though Rick makes multiple attempts to explain his behavior and expresses vehemently that his wife is an extremely private person, this book feels like another betrayal against her. If Barbara is truly as private as Rick declares, how can having this book out there make her feel?! He had an all-consuming affair with a 21 year old when he was 50! I mean, honestly! I was angry for her throughout most of this book and I couldn't enjoy reading what is otherwise a very interesting life story. I commend her loyalty; she is a much better/bigger person than I could ever be.
It should be mentioned that Rick does a really great job of reading his own book. Excellent intonation and love his keen ability to sound 100% American and 100% Australian. He is a talented man.
If you care even a little bit about Old Hollywood, you need to read this luxuriously written book. If you want to hear the best narration ever committed to an audio file, please hear this. Hollywood's best kept secret, Frank Langella, has been there and done everything(one) and tells his stories with tactful abandon. My favorite story is his on-set dalliance with the beauty of mythological proportions, Rita Hayworth (at the time 20 years his senior). He shed light on her secret (even to her) struggle with Alzheimer's starting at age 53, for which she was chalked up as a crazy, paranoid alcoholic. Exceptional purchase.
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.
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.
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.
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