I listened to the audiobook before I saw the movie. I preferred listening to the nonfiction account of the mission in Iran and other fascinating CIA missions rather than the Hollywood-ized version of events for the movie. The truth really was amazing and there was no need to fictionalize it.
Antonio Mendez is a hero and I'm glad he got the credit he deserved.
I took my dog for an extra long walk, ironed, and did other chores to give me excuses to keep listening to this audiobook. It's a fast-paced, sweet, funny love story with a wonderful, well-developed protagonist. If you're a fan of Sophie Kinsella, I bet you'll be a fan of this book too.
This is an entertaining and well-researched biography of Flip Wilson, a popular and groundbreaking African-American TV star.
Flip Wilson's life was fascinating. After Flip's mother abandoned him and his eleven siblings when he was seven years old, Flip had to tough it out in foster homes, juvenile hall, and in relatives' homes. He lied about his age in order to serve in the Korean War. Then he spent many years trying to make it as a comedian in an era in which African-Americans were openly discriminated against. He found huge success as the star and writer (along with Richard Pryor and George Carlin) of his own TV variety show, making millions and then semi-retiring and raising his children. He became a Vegas headliner, a motorcyle enthusiast, and a hot air balloon pilot.
The author paints a full picture of Flip Wilson, showing his good sides and his bad sides. This audiobook is fast-paced, yet also thoughtful and inspiring.
I love Suzanne Collins' colorful characters, creative world-building, and exciting plot twists.
I'm surprised a better narrator was not chosen for this bestselling book. The narrator sounded old and prissy, with a vague English accent at times, like Madonna's when she's trying too hard. She sounded more like Dana Carvey's Church Lady on Saturday Night Live than a brave teenage hunter.
This story of an alcoholic realtor in a small Massachusetts town is not for those who love fast-paced action and adventure novels. But if you like character-driven novels with humor, heart, and depth, you'll love this book. The main character and all the characters are shown as unique human beings, with individual talents, good qualities, and serious flaws. And the small town setting really comes alive.
After reading this novel, I understood a lot more about living in a small town, fishing, suffering from alcoholism, being a realtor in a one-person shop, owning horses, and, well, being human. I can't wait to read Leary's other books.
Also, Mary Beth Hurt did a fantastic job narrating this book. She's one of the best narrators I've heard.
Corey Feldman had it hard. His parents were awful and he was sexually abused as a teen. I felt really bad for him and admire him for speaking up now about the abuse.
But he still blames virtually all of his adult behavior on other people. Almost every time he took a hard drug, he says someone duped him into it or at least worked hard to convince him. According to him, he was a devoted friend/boyfriend/husband, but was continually let down by others. He's outraged that Michael Jackson had the gall to accuse him of wanting to write about him in a book; yet this book spends a lot of time doing just that. Almost every schlocky movie Feldman did was because he was desperate for money or was fooled into believing it would be a good film when he signed onto the project, according to Feldman. It's just excuse after excuse.
He brags about his current artistic and financial successes and charitable endeavors, but if you Google him you'll find him partying on multiple recent occasions with what look like cheap prostitutes and read that his landlord is trying to evict him for nonpayment of rent.
He had a very difficult childhood, but now that he's in his forties I believe it's time for him to take responsibility for his actions instead of blaming everyone else. I like memoirs to be honest and open. This one seemed to have a lot of subterfuge.
I enjoyed this imaginative, fast-paced novel in which an alien takes over the body of a British mathematician and develops feelings for and complicated relationships with the man's wife and son. It's a lot of fun as the alien learns about life on Earth, makes wry, sometimes painfully truthful observations about human beings, and starts to appreciate our world. It got a bit preachy at the end, but over all this is a really entertaining novel with depth.
Also, the narrator gave a lively, well acted performance.
Listening to this book made me grateful I'm married, because most of the guys Klausner dated seem like creeps and/or weirdos. I appreciated her honesty as she talked about sexual positions, sexual kinks, sexual diseases, and other topics most people keep private. While I didn't agree with some of Klausner's choices in life, I found her entertaining and funny and rooted for her to find a good guy or at least to stop sleeping with the bad ones.
One of the best novels I read this year, and I read about forty of them. Each of the three main characters has her own unique personality, compelling story, and internal growth. Their lives intersect in fascinating ways. This book has it all: an engrossing plot, interesting characters, and depth.
This novel is set in contemporary Australia, and features an unsolved murder, a marital separation, family tension, and not just a husband's secret, but small and large secrets of many characters.
I only wish the cover and title of this book didn't make it seem like a romance novel. It is deeper and more literary than it first appears.
Kevin Pollak is fantastic at doing impersonations, so audio is the best way to experience this book. In this audiobook, he impersonates Johnny Carson, Tom Cruise, Jon Voight, Bill Clinton, William Shatner and many others.
He knows how to tell a good story, dish dirt about celebrities he's worked with, and make people laugh.
He does brag too much and I'm sure he's withholding some interesting things. For instance, he has only positive things to say about Demi Moore, Bruce Willis, Tom Cruise, and other controversial stars he's worked with, and he doesn't talk about why his marriage dissolved.
But even though this memoir is somewhat shallow, it's a ton of fun.
I learned a lot about disabled children and their parents. Much of it was very heartwarming. The book presented wonderful life lessons in love, acceptance, and struggling against the odds.
However, it could have been a stronger book it if had been edited down. Many of the examples were repetitive (for instance, showing many different families similarly affected by schizophrenia), and there were entire chapters that didn't seem to fit within the topic of the book (for instance, children conceived from rape). It was as if the author felt compelled to use every bit of research he'd done, and no one at the publishing house stopped him.
Also, sometimes the author didn't allow much room for alternate viewpoints.For instance, the idea that it is beneficial for children to change their genders if they desire, no matter their age, was accepted with little argument.
That said, the book was emotionally affecting and I know that much of what I learned about people in difficult circumstances will stay with me a long time.
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