As a therapist, I was looking forward to listening to this book. I was sadly disappointed to listen to this 2 dimensional portrait of President Clinton. The premise of the book is that Clinton has a "hypomanic temperament," which is not a psychiatric condition. This seems to be the author's own term, and described in large part as a "temperament" causing charisma and endless energy. Hypomania is a very serious psychiatric symptom, and the author minimizes how crippling it is.
The author also inserts his self-impressed resume into the story which added nothing to the story. Mr. Gartner states he has created a new genre.I think this is a genre we could do without.
I agree with some of the other reviews. Cora's back story was the most interesting part of the book. The story fell apart a bit towards the end with unrealistic plot twists and decades passing with little detail. Elizabeth McGovern's European accents were amazing. Her narration voice, mostly from Cora's perspective sounded snooty and pseudo-British-didn't make any sense.
I read a lot of the sci-fi / fantasy genre, and this was just brilliant. After a long commute, I lingered in the car a couple of minutes I was so engaged in the story. Mr. Grossman has set the bar.
This is no great work of literature, but it was engaging enough to keep me company on my commute for a while.I thought the allusion to Nazism was a bit heavy-handed, and some of the writing was like a bad romance novel at times. Guess I didn't like it very much.
I love Janis Ian's music and lyrics. Her lyrics are complex and lyrical and just beautiful. Her prose is more conversational, and a chore to listen to. Her guitar and singing were the best parts of narration.
Usually, when I finish a biography, I have a a sense of knowing the subject better, even in a personal way. I did not have this experience finishing this book. I didn't have a sense of who he was psychologically. He was a brilliant artist, but there was no depth re: how he saw himself as an artist or how his spiritual beliefs affected his works. Some of this information was occasionally dropped in between long descriptions of business dealings. I know the reviews are very good, but not my cup of tea.
I would have enjoyed reading this book as much as listening. I couldn't stop listening. The story was incredibly compelling. The characters are still in my head, and I finished it a couple of weeks ago. The paths and choices of the main characters all rang true psychologically, and the ending was perfect.
The narrator was perfect. I was living in the story, and the different voices became different people as I listened.
I wish I could listen to it all over again not having read it before.
The author is a good storyteller. I'm an adolescent therapist, and the portrayal of the therapist and the parents' responses to the therapist made no sense. The therapist described a psychological profile that was laughable, and used diagnoses that aren't even used with children. I hope Mr. Landay speaks with a child/adolescent clinician next time.
It depends. The twists and turns weren't all that surprising. My main problem with the book was I didn't like any of the characters so I didn't care about any of them. The wriiting was compelling enough that I listened to the whole book, but this was not a favorite.
This book was engaging and compelling. The author went back generations on his mother's and father's side. The book showed how both sides contributed to the person he became and the President he has become: more intimate than a typical political biography. Great!!
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