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.
Darn, someone beat me to the title to my review.
Bob does a swell job narrating, which receives the most praise in my review. I should mention, I know the Bob Saget of Comedy Central Roasts, stand-up and Howard Stern appearances. I know he was on Full House and AFV, but only by accidentally glancing across the shows during channel surfing. I went into this book, based on the title, looking for something tell-all-ish, something gutsy, maybe even a little wild, my hopes were dashed. It just isn't in here.
Bob and his family knows tragedy, no doubt. He loves his family and that is nice. He is a good father. Kudos. But, other than that, this book has little substance. He builds up these wild stories, on and on, creating the fantasy of a huge payoff and each time the story goes limp (nod to Bob and his love of male anatomy and flatulence jokes). Who else tells a story about going to pick up Rodney Dangerfield for a steak dinner only to learn he's been stood up in favor of Ron Jeremy and some hookers... and he leaves. What's the point of the story?! It all felt like a tease.
Oh, Bob, this book should have been titled much differently. Pffft.
I was haunted during and after listening to this book about Susan Powell's (obvious) murder and the inexplicable inability for authorities to find her remains. The whole Powell family, excepting sister Jennifer, should be imprisoned simply for not divulging the truth about Susan's murder and/or for supporting their weak, manipulative, pathetic brother/son, Josh.
The narration was great. Initially, the woman's voice at the beginning of each chapter was off-putting and chilling - she sounded mechanical (computerized) as she read excerpts from Susan's emails, diary and letters. It eventually it made perfect sense and lent itself to this profoundly disturbing story.
This case deserved FBI attention or at least a more through, condensed investigation. The local officials seemed to drag their feet and relied on silly methods to try to trick Josh... the investigation wore on for years. They never put the REAL heat on this guy. Also, child/family services, while respecting that Josh was never formally charged with the murder of his children's mother, should have been monitoring Josh more closely. Supervised visitation with his children should have been held in a controlled environment - not Josh's home. Also, he played ridiculous games with Susan's parents. As if they hadn't suffered enough, he dangled their grandchildren and then ripped them away from them for no reason other than to be a complete jack*ss. I know this is a touchy for local/state authorities, because technically a person is innocent until proven guilty, but surely a case including a missing, presumed dead mother, whose husband is the prime suspect, deserves to be handled more delicately than most. These poor children are dead because a) their father was a maniac, b) social services were too timid (forced by policy, procedure) and c) police were too slow in putting together the pieces of the crime and focused too heavily on the lack of a body. Susan was a moral, upright, hard-working person and devoted mother - her disappearance should have been treated with alarms from day one.
I ended the book with feelings of complete and utter frustration. I cannot believe how this played out. I cannot believe how Josh (who seemed less than intelligent) pulled this off. I can't believe how much the Cox family has suffered. If Josh Powell didn't kill himself, I'd have to refrain from getting on a plane to Puyallup myself. Josh Powell and most of his kin are cowards and villains, mostly thanks to their disturbed/dysfunctional patriarch. What a complete waste and total shame. RIP Susan, Charlie & Braden.
It is hard to be critical about a book that contains such lurid, horrific details about one of the most depraved situations ever experienced by a human being, which so happens to be written by the victim. But, when you agree to tell your story and sell it to me, I feel I have the right to be honest about its content.
It is with respect that I say there is no doubt Michelle Knight survived the one of the most unthinkable, unimaginable and tragic scenarios... from her childhood, until May 6, 2013 and presently with the ghosts that haunt her as a result.
My criticism are the holes in her story. It gets fuzzy in a lot of places, but maybe she just isn't comfortable with the harsh reality or has blocked out a lot due to trauma. She glazes over her relationships, with family, friends and even her co-kidnappees - there is realness and definition missing. She doesn't take any responsibility (of course I'm not referring to her being kidnapped or victimized by relatives), for the bad situations and people she put herself around. She did not do what it took to work, to care for her child and chose horrible means to earn money. On the day she was abducted, she was aimlessly walking around trying to get to a court-ordered visitation. It is all cloudy. Why is there an obvious rift between her and the other girls? Why didn't her family look for her? Why is her relationship with her family so distorted now? I'm sure there are perfectly good reasons, but the reader will not learn anything about this.
So, again, much respect to you Michelle for surviving what you did. Maybe you needed to let this rest for a bit before you wrote about it. I think there is a lot more to your story.
This book is exceptionally written. I decided to buy it because I loved Julia's book Jesus Land. The staggeringly confounding story of Jonestown needed someone like Julia - her exhaustive attention detail and ability to create imagery with words. She combed through insurmountable records and interviewed people involved to wholly retell this haunting story. It is impeccably told, perfectly narrated and extremely overwhelming. Jim Jones was a diabolical maniac that somehow convinced his followers of imaginary conspiracies, manipulated their beliefs, chopped away at their confidence and turned them into fearful sheep... he trapped them and they felt there was no where to turn. I still cannot believe this actually happened. People need to hear this story and this is the perfect place to learn. I will remember Hyacinth Thrash and her unyielding determination for the rest of my life. Amazing job, Julia Scheeres!
THIS BOOK IS HYSTERICAL. Ophira wrote this book with her obvious intelligence, snappy delivery and unapologetic candor... all of which combined make this great book probably the best book I'll hear in 2014. [Considering I have 112 titles in my online library, I feel very qualified to say this.] Oh, and I'm only 2/3rd done. As the title would suggest, it is slightly provocative, but that only adds to its complete awesomeness. If you're a woman, you will (unless you live under a rock) relate. If you're a dude, you'll enjoy Ophira's exploits and masculine approaches to dealing with/understanding men. Deep down she was always a girl looking for love, but thankfully (because it gave her material for this book) it was in all the wrong places. In the end, kissing a lot of frogs will eventually net you a prince. Thanks, Ophira!
Oh, Brandi… you are a colossal juxtaposition; a stunning, statuesque beauty, with a truck-driver’s etiquette, hauling around a TON of emotional baggage. I guess that is what I find so endearing about her?
No one can criticize this woman for her candor, as she lays it all on the ground. You never have to guess what is going on in her mind, because she spills willingly and freely. I do feel a bit sad that struggles so completely to find meaningful relationships, but she is her own worst enemy in this department. She offers some reasonably good advice about relationships, which she readily admits she doesn’t follow. However, some of her advice is a bit treacherous toward the opposite sex. If there is one thing I know, being a game-playing, manipulator will never net you the man of your dreams. I think she has come a long way since her very public divorce, but she still needs to invest heavily in therapy. But realistically, most of us should.
After reading my own review, it doesn’t come across as a resounding positive… so let me clarify that I did enjoy this book a lot more than I anticipated. My only criticisms are her narration was a bit arhythmic and her hash-tag references are tedious and threaded into EVERY story, begging the question: did she get some bucks from Twitter?
Being a few years older than the cast, I was never a fan of 90210, which appealed to a younger sect. Nor do I consider myself a fan of Jennie Garth, having never followed her career. I am however, a voracious reader (listener) of autobiographies and found myself without something to listen to when this book popped into my 'we thought you'd like’ list. Really? Aren’t I out of her demographic? Even the title of the book made me wince a little. I grappled with myself, considering the purchase and listened to the free preview provided. She sounded really interesting and she did have a story to tell… desperation for material won and with a guilty conscious I clicked ‘purchase’.
Guess what? I AM a fan of Jennie Garth; the person. This book is great and skillfully read by the author. She is candid, funny, a great story teller (or received excellent advice/assistance on how to tell her story) and extremely likable.
This book tells of Jennie’s life, from start to present: her idyllic childhood as the youngest member of an alternate version of the Brady Bunch, her painful adolescent years, her accidental career path, her relationships and how she dealt with all that she encountered, with grace and humility. What is revealed is a fiercely-loyal, hard-working, genuine, real person. I’m here to tell you not to consider this book a guilty pleasure, it is worth every penny.
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.
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