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Member Since 2008

  • 4 reviews
  • 15 ratings
  • 282 titles in library
  • 13 purchased in 2015

  • The Founding Father: The Story of Joseph P. Kennedy

    • UNABRIDGED (26 hrs and 36 mins)
    • By Richard Whalen
    • Narrated By Richard Whalen

    Boldly original and fully documented, this unauthorized yet definitive biography tells the almost incredible story of Joseph P. Kennedy, grandson of a poor Irish immigrant, controversial founder of a great American fortune, and father of the 35th President of the United States, John F. Kennedy.

    Boston Harbor says: "Read the book, don't listen to it."

    I hate to be petty about it, but this bookConte, whatever its merits, is significantly harmed by the author's choice to read his own work. He is halting and his pacing is inconsistent. It's extremely hard to listen.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Hollywood Madonna: Loretta Young (Hollywood Legends)

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 25 mins)
    • By Bernard F. Dick
    • Narrated By Cira Larkin
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Hollywood Madonna explores the full saga of Loretta Young's professional and personal life. She made her film debut at age four, became a star at fifteen, and many awards and accolades later, made her final television movie at age seventy-six. This biography withholds none of the details of her affair with Clark Gable and the daughter that powerful love produced. Bernard F. Dick places Young's affair in the proper context of the time and the choices available to women in 1935.

    Just says: "Dry, but informative"
    "Disappointing: in need of a good editor"
    Would you try another book from Bernard F. Dick and/or Cira Larkin?

    Hollywood biographies come in many flavors, but this one seems to defy categorization. It tries to take an academic approach when analyzing the films of Loretta Young (concentrating more on direction and lighting than seems warranted), but slips into romantic, decorous prose when describing Young's religious faith, her romances and "romantic fantasies" and the ways in which the author think his subject's life is paralleled in her film work. Romantic haze seems to affect the author too, as he asserts that Loretta Young's first sexual encounter was with Clark Gable in 1935, despite her having been married, and in at least one publicly acknowledged relationship prior to meeting Gable at 22. Could this be true? Possibly, but the author provides no evidence; not even a quote or source for his statement. There are odd tangents, too, such as taking the opportunity to allege a co-star's homosexuality in a way that has no connection to Loretta Young. In fact, the author's tendency to engage in long tangents about the history of a particular director or co-star makes the book hard to follow in some places. The tangents but one source of imbalance in the book. Between her early childhood and her retirement from film in the 1960s, Loretta Young's story is moved along almost exclusively by descriptions of the films she made. She is alleged to be a good businesswoman, but we learn next to nothing of her abilities in that area. I would also have expected a bit more about her personal life; relationships with her children and husband, etc.

    Would you be willing to try another one of Cira Larkin’s performances?

    The performance was engaging, but I was appalled by the number of words and names mispronounced. The mistakes were repeated.

    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Hollywood Madonna: Loretta Young (Hollywood Legends)?

    This book was in need of a good editor. Though the story is told chronologically, some incidents are inserted in odd places. Small anecdotes are repeated verbatim, or retold with slight alterations. The balance between life story and film review compendium is problematic. The author can't seem to decide whether he is an academic or a fawning fan of a movie star. The voice is garbled, and the book is sometimes simply over-written or repetitious.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Master of the Senate: The Years of Lyndon Johnson

    • ABRIDGED (8 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By Robert A. Caro
    • Narrated By Stephen Lang

    Master of the Senate carries Lyndon Johnson's story through one of its most remarkable periods: his 12 years in the U.S. Senate. At the heart of the book is its unprecedented revelation of how legislative power works in America, how the Senate works, and how Johnson, in his ascent to the presidency, mastered the Senate as no political leader before him had ever done. "There is something uniquely mesmerizing about the wily, combative Lyndon Johnson as portrayed by Caro," says Publishers Weekly.

    Shelly says: "Abridgement bad"
    "Abridgement bad"

    Robert Caro's Master of the Senate is a strikingly detailed look at the most pivotal years of Lyndon Johnson's pre-presidential career. I knew that much would be missing from this abridged recording, but I was shocked to find that entire chapters, as well as crucial incidents in LBJ's life, such as his heart attack, the presidential election of 1956 and many others, were ommitted. After all, it was from Caro, in one of his earlier LBJ volumes, that I learned how fearful LBJ was of a heart attack that would kill him at an early age. And after reading in such great detail about the hard-fought and crookedly won election of 1948, I was stunned to find no mention of LBJ's 1954 re-election campaign, or even the smallest discussion of Texas politics in the 50s, and how LBJ was affected by it. In short, this is the most unfortunate and poorest abridgement of a book I've ever read.

    13 of 13 people found this review helpful
  • Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them: A Fair and Balanced Look at the Right

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By Al Franken
    • Narrated By Al Franken

    Finding logical inconsistencies, factual errors, and doublespeak wherever he looks, Al Franken takes on and destroys the myth of liberal bias in the media, hoists the Bush White House on its own rhetorical petard, and punctures the mean-spirited sanctimony of such media darlings as Ann Coulter and Bill O'Reilly. Timely, provocative, unfailingly honest, and always uproarious, Lies is sure to raise hackles and spark hilarity inside the Beltway and from sea to shining sea.

    Peter says: "Franken's One Sided View"
    "Great read"

    I really enjoyed Franken's book, and was particularly impressed that he showed his reader the process by which he arrived at the information included. Just shws up his competitors in the political book market that much more.

    2 of 6 people found this review helpful

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