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Carol Littlejohn

Knoxville, TN | Member Since 2009

18
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 10 reviews
  • 45 ratings
  • 0 titles in library
  • 10 purchased in 2014
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2

  • By Myself and Then Some

    • ABRIDGED (6 hrs and 49 mins)
    • By Lauren Bacall
    • Narrated By Lauren Bacall
    Overall
    (58)
    Performance
    (19)
    Story
    (20)

    The epitome of grace, independence, and wit, Lauren Bacall continues to astound generations with her audacious spirit and on-screen excellence. Together with Humphrey Bogart, she produced some of the most electric scenes in movie history, and their romance on and off screen made them Hollywood's most celebrated couple.

    LB in Dallas says: "She has such a great voice! A great Listen."
    "A Must Have for Hollywood Fans"
    Overall

    The biography is one of the best written of all Hollywood biographies, and to have the author, Lauren Bacall, read her memoirs in her smoky voice is sheer heaven. Highly recommended.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Marjorie Morningstar

    • UNABRIDGED (28 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By Herman Wouk
    • Narrated By Gabra Zackman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (144)
    Performance
    (115)
    Story
    (109)

    Marjorie Morningstar is a love story. It presents one of the greatest characters in modern fiction: Marjorie, the pretty 17-year-old who left the respectability of New York's Central Park West to join the theater, live in the teeming streets of Greenwich Village, and seek love in the arms of a brilliant, enigmatic writer.

    Arken says: "An excellent storyteller"
    "Missing final chapter"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The book and performance are fine, but Audible has left out the final chapter that resolves and completes Marjorie Morningstern's life. Without this final chapter, the book falls flat. Sorry, Audible, but buyers should be aware of this error.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Dennis Hopper: The Wild Ride of a Hollywood Rebel

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By Peter L. Winkler
    • Narrated By Greg Itzin
    Overall
    (32)
    Performance
    (26)
    Story
    (26)

    One of America's most intriguing show-business luminaries and true rebels, Dennis Hopper's amazing life was a roller-coaster series of triumphs and failures. Always intent on proving his genius and leaving a legacy, the Emmy-winning and Oscar-nominated Hopper acted in more than 115 movies and four TV series, directed seven films, and passionately pursued an artist's life as a photographer and creator and collector of modern art.

    Susie says: "Sex, Drugs, & Hollywood Money"
    "Mad, Bad, and Dangerous to Know"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Like Lord Byron, Dennis Hopper lived his life with no moral boundaries. This may be shocking to some listeners, but somehow I think Hopper would be pleased that he is at last considered worthy of a biography. I have not read this book, and, after listening to the wonderful narration, I don't think I want to. The narration keeps the book entertaining because the narrator adapts all forms of accents (Australian, British, etc.) and gives a close interpretation of Hopper's voice, even Hopper's weird laugh. Hopper's life included so many others: Peter Fonda, James Dean, Marlon Brando, Elizabeth Taylor, etc. From Hopper's beginning in Kansas to his death in 2010, the author gives a revealing and honest look at Dennis Hopper's life, art, and philosophy.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Dark Side of Genius: The Life of Alfred Hitchcock

    • UNABRIDGED (23 hrs and 25 mins)
    • By Donald Spoto
    • Narrated By Jeff Riggenbach
    Overall
    (50)
    Performance
    (42)
    Story
    (43)

    Acclaimed biographer Donald Spoto explores the roots of Hitchcock’s obsessions - with food, murder, and idealized love, among others - and traces the origins of his incomparable, bizarre genius, from his childhood and education to the golden years of his career. Based on interviews with his writers, actors, and longtime associates, and on exhaustive research, The Dark Side of Genius is the definitive biography of Alfred Hitchcock.

    Carol Littlejohn says: "Hitch's life and phobias keep you "Spellbound""
    "Hitch's life and phobias keep you "Spellbound""
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Having read this book decades ago, I was thrilled to purchase this audiobook. It's just as fascinating as I remembered. If you are looking for technical details of Hitchcock's movies, forget this one. However, if you want a psychological analysis of Hitch's life and his many phobias, you will be spellbound. Born the son of a Cockney grocer, Alfred Hitchcock began writing titles for silent movies. All Hitchcock's movies contain his fears, fascinations (especially with his leading ladies), and phobias. The author, Donald Spoto, was the first to dehumanize Hitch's genius by revealing his dark side, but somehow this makes future viewings of Hitchcock's films more fascinating.

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • Marilyn Monroe: The Biography

    • UNABRIDGED (22 hrs and 49 mins)
    • By Donald Spoto
    • Narrated By Anna Fields
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (39)
    Performance
    (37)
    Story
    (35)

    Fifty years after her death, Hollywood icon Marilyn Monroe still beguiles the world, her image enthralling millions. Many books have attempted to explain her allure and tell her story, but none has succeeded as well as this work by acclaimed biographer Donald Spoto. Spoto’s exhaustive research uncovers a conspiracy of silence, allowing him to present the facts, free from often-repeated myths and speculation. Granted access to more than thirty-five thousand pages of formerly sealed files containing letters, diaries, appointment books, and other intimate papers, he also interviewed nearly two hundred people who had never before spoken on record.

    M.J. says: "The Definitive MM biography"
    "The Mystery of Marilyn Monroe"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Monroe's life is full of mystery, from her birth to her death. Donald Spoto tries to solve this mystery, but I don't always agree with his conclusions. For example, was Monroe's psychiatrist responsible for her death? Was Robert Kennedy completely innocent of an affair with Monroe? This is Spoto's conclusion. However, I'm glad this audiobook finally made it to Audible. Narration is fine, not great. The afterword gives some thoughtful reflections on the Monroe "cottage industry" that was primarily started by Robert Slatzer and others.This book will keep you thinking about the unanswered questions of Monroe's life and death, even if you don't agree with the author's conclusions.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Ayn Rand and the World She Made

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 36 mins)
    • By Anne C. Heller
    • Narrated By Bernadette Dunne
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (215)
    Performance
    (93)
    Story
    (95)

    Ayn Rand is the author of two phenomenally best-selling ideological novels, The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged, which have sold over 12 million copies in the United States alone. Through them, she built a right-wing cult following in the late 1950s and became the guiding light of Libertarianism and of White House economic policy in the 1960s and '70s. Her defenses of radical individualism and of selfishness as a "capitalist virtue" have permanently altered the American cultural landscape.

    Mark says: "Great history of both Rand and her era"
    "Not Necessarily for the Novice"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The novice reader may not know Ayn Rand's philosophy, although the author does attempt to explain her philosophy within Rand's biography. Perhaps first acquiring "The World of Atlas Shrugged" (available on audible.com) will make Rand's philosophy more understandable. If you are familiar with the concept of "Objectivism," you will enjoy listening to how Ayn Rand's personal life led her to her ideology that many Libertarians and economic advisors (Allan Greenspan) have admired. The narration is well-read, but the overall story is actually more dramatically presented in Barbara Brandton's book "The Passion of Ayn Rand" (not available in audible). However, I've enjoyed listening to this biography on several occasions and I've learned something new each time, but be aware that a little background on Rand will be helpful.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Dorothy Parker

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 17 mins)
    • By Marion Meade
    • Narrated By Grace Conlin
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (67)
    Performance
    (35)
    Story
    (34)

    She was known for her outrageous one-liners, her ruthless theater criticism, her clever verses and bittersweet stories. But there was another side to Dorothy Parker, a private life set on a course of destruction.

    Heimo says: "heartbreaking and hilarious"
    "Witty, informative biography"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    In spite of Dorothy Parker's sad, tragic life, her point of view gives a cynical, humorous twist to all the tragedies she encounters. I've heard this book many times and I always enjoy it because of Dorothy's complexity (insanity?) and the people she knew: Fitzgerald, Hemingway, Gerald and Sara Murphy, and, of course, the Algonquin Round Table (Robert Benchley, Alexander Woolcutt, etc.). Dorothy's sarcastic quips are a quick relief from the heartbreaking choices she makes as a pre-feminist writer: hiding her Jewish background, selecting handsome (gay?) men that she emasculates, attempting suicide several times, embracing the fast life of NYC and Hollywood, naively supporting Communistic causes, and failing to complete a long-awaited book. However, Dorothy Parker's short stories and poetry are still relevant today, especially for feminists and literature lovers. Narration is fine, but a couple of phrases like "turn over the tape for side 2" can be jarring. I hope you enjoy this audiobook. I did and still do.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Hemingses of Monticello: An American Family

    • UNABRIDGED (30 hrs and 40 mins)
    • By Annette Gordon-Reed
    • Narrated By Karen White
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (251)
    Performance
    (104)
    Story
    (104)

    This epic work tells the story of the Hemingses, whose close blood ties to our third president had been systematically expunged from American history until very recently. Now, historian and legal scholar Annette Gordon-Reed traces the Hemings family from its origins in Virginia in the 1700s to the family's dispersal after Jefferson's death in 1826. It brings to life not only Sally Hemings and Thomas Jefferson but also their children and Hemings's siblings, who shared a father with Jefferson's wife, Martha.

    Dianne says: "Fascinating"
    "An American History Masterpiece"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Trying to understand how slavery became a Southern legal institution is essential to understanding American history.The author attempts this arduous task by revealing the relationship of two families through four generations, one black, another white. The Hemings and the Jeffersons were entangled long before Sally Hemings came into Thomas Jefferson's life. Sally was the half-sister of Thomas Jefferson's deceased wife--a mind-boggling thought the author tries to articulate. This audible book is as fascinating as the book and is narrated well. One criticism: the author keeps explaining again and again how we need to realize attitudes were different during the formation of the Jamestown colony. That is pretty obvious, although I don't remember thinking that as I read the book. However, all sides of the slavery issue are presented, including philosophical questions of the fact that the United States permitted slavery while proclaiming itself a democracy. The best part is the "love" story between Jefferson and Sally Hemings. Why didn't Sally remain in Paris instead of going back with Jefferson as his slave? Did she regret her choice? Why did Jefferson make a "treaty" with Sally to "free" her adult children? Did Jefferson love Sally or is it impossible to love someone you legally own? The answers are not fully resolved because scholars simply don't know, but the questions are intriguing and thought-provoking.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Biography: Lizzie Borden

    • UNABRIDGED (54 mins)
    • By A&E Television Networks
    Overall
    (91)
    Performance
    (51)
    Story
    (52)

    Did Lizzie Borden really take an axe and give her mother 40 whacks and her father 41? She was acquitted, but controversy still rages over the century-old double murder case. This documentary digs for the facts.

    Douglas says: "This is the audio to the TV show..."
    "Excellent audio production"
    Overall

    This book is not the author's best biography. Most information about Grace Kelly has been around for years, and this book adds nothing new. However, the production is outstanding with classical music provided during the transitions.

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Natasha: The Biography of Natalie Wood

    • ABRIDGED (8 hrs and 24 mins)
    • By Suzanne Finstad
    • Narrated By Lana Wood
    Overall
    (20)
    Performance
    (9)
    Story
    (9)

    Suzanne Finstad conducted more than 400 interviews with Natalie Wood's family, close friends, legendary costars, lovers, film crews, attorneys, police officials, and Dr. Thomas Noguchi, the coroner who investigated her strange death by drowning. Finstad tells this tragic beauty's story with sensitivity and grace, revealing a complex and conflicting mix of fragility and strength in a woman who was swept away by forces she could not control.

    John says: "good listen"
    "Well-read, fascinating biography"
    Overall

    Natalie Wood's sister (Lana) reads "Natasha" with great intensity, especially the horrific story of Natalie's drowning. The book is well-researched and is probably the definitive biography of Natalie Wood, aka Natasha Gurdin.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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