The best audiobook I've listened to in a long time.
When Robert Altman died a few years ago, it put into doubt the book that he and Mitchell Zuckoff had been working on. It's hard, however, to imagine how their collaboration could be better than this. Robert Altman's discussions of his movie career are included throughout, but the observations by the other narrators make this audiobook better than the book could be.
Many participants in his movies are quoted at length. In many cases, the narration is done by the actors themselves. For example, Tim Robbins talks about the way he was hired for his starring role in the movie, The Player. Altman's wife, Kathryn, and several of their sons are the actual narrators for their sections. The result is a rich look at his life, as seen by Robert Altman and the people who knew him.
There's a lot of good information in this book, but it also has some problems which become evident to listeners who aren't David Wilcock fans.
First, most authors should not record their audiobooks, they aren't professional narrators. David is good in radio interviews and his own presentations, but not here. He hurts his narration on every page with an I'm-excited-so-you-should-feel-excited inflection rise and a high-pitched top. A little emotion goes a long way, but Wilcock does this "excited emphasis" trick maybe a thousand times.
Second, who edited the book? Lots of little problems, such as Wilcock's misuse of "alleged" and "allegedly." They don't mean whatever he wants. The result? On his acknowledgements section at the end, he cites the Law Of One material, "allegedly transmitted telepathically by very advanced extraterrestrials. " They were alleged but not convicted, I hope. Try "reportedly" or "claimed" or "reputedly." Alleged still has to do with a crime, not a creation.
Third, it needed less David Wilcock "personality.". Over and over, Wilcock tells us he was "stunned" and "shocked" and "amazed" to discover something. It didn't amaze me to hear he was amazed. Wilcock wasn't doing a Graham Hancock or Linda Moulton Howe field investigation that yielded amazing results, he was telling us about something he read!
Next, the book isn't an investigation so much as a survey of literature. The material covered is impressive in volume and often fascinating, but Wilcock is telling us what he read in other writers' books and website articles.
For future books, Wilcock should be replaced by a professional narrator, and the books need a tight editing to keep the information on the page relevant to the overall themes of the book. Finally, I only got through the book by playing it at double-speed on the iPod. That made his 1001 excited emphatic moments sound less immature.
I look forward to Wilcock's future books. He's worth reading and chases the truth.
Fifty years from now, only a few books about the JFK assassination will be remembered. One is Mark Lane's Rush To Judgment. Another is Crossfire, by Jim Marrs. Now we have maybe the best I've seen, JFK And The Unspeakable.
James Douglass provides the context needed to understand why the assassins of JFK would take the monumental risk of killing a U.S. President, then running a cover-up for decades. President Kennedy entered office as a cold warrior, but then he turned away from the Cold War. His nuclear test ban treaty was just a taste of the changes JFK envisioned. He was already starting a Vietnam withdrawal and was having secret communications with the Soviet Union and Cuba. The military-industrial-intelligence complex was threatened by a second JFK term, they felt double-crossed, so they killed him. They plotted a public assassination because it would send a message to anybody else who was thinking about crossing them. One result of the assassination is our permanent state of war in 2011.
Only a third of the book is about the assassination, but Douglass shows us enough. We see how the intelligence operative Lee Harvey Oswald was set up as the patsy. We observe the beginning of the cover-up. Douglass presents enough evidence to make his case, but he doesn't mire us in "assassination minutiae" which would disturb the clarity of his presentation.
The narration is what I call "transparent." If you've ever seen a movie and never noticed the music, the music was having its effect without being conspicuous. The narration by Pete Larkin is not a "performance," it's a clean transmission of the book to the listener, well done.
I used to visit the Google campus now and then, but my access was so limited, I felt like Ralphie pressing his nose to the department store window in Christmas Story. Googled does a good job taking the listener into the search/technology/media company. There are lots of narration inserts, but they aren't abrupt changes to the volume or cadence at all. Jim Bond narrates the book well, he keeps a good pace that lets the chapters flow well. Most people will learn a lot about Google with this book. The Google troika approach to management is surprising, but it gets the job done. I heard Ken Auletta on KQED's show, Forum, and got to hear him tell some of the stories read by Jim Bond. Probably nobody else will ever get the access to Google's leadership he had. How great it would be if somebody could do a book about Apple and have the same access, maybe Ken Auletta.
The fastest 17 hours I've heard. I only saw one of the movies Mark Harris writes about, The Graduate, but that didn't matter. Harris wrote so well about the other revolutionary movies, I was interested all the way. I hope Mark Harris picks another set of movies and writes about them. Also, Lloyd James did a first-rate job on the narration. Very easy on the ears.
This is a brilliant discussion of the centuries-old mystery, who wrote the Shakespeare plays. Mark Anderson lays it out so well, the conclusion can't be denied.
He is far from the first writer to realize Shakespeare from Stratford-on-Avon wasn't the real author, he credits them for their contributions. Mark's chronicle of the life of the Earl of Oxford enlivens the matter, we see how real events in his life found their way into the plays. He does such a good job, I'm left with a sense of loss, that the man who changed the English language and gave us so much would be forgotten. Edward De Vere died without the credit. There is also a sense of irritation. Many intelligent scholars and academicians, who should know better and act better, perpetuate the established view of Shakespeare. They're not the first people to continue a "cover-up", but they've made their money and careers by endorsing a fiction. At least they'll be forgotten.
I've never seen an episode of Everybody Loves Raymond, I gave away my television in 1990 before I moved to California. What irony, since tv shows come from here.
Anyway, I bought this because it was about writing. I'm into the fourth hour, and I can't turn the iPod off. Phil is funny and honest and insightful and kind. This is the first five-star rating I've given an audiobook. It's brilliant and genuine. I just wish somebody had written a book about my favorite tv series, Cheers, and done what this writer has done.
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