I had neither read nor listened to any of DFW's work, but I decided to check into it upon hearing of his recent death. Accolades called him our great lost voice and an amazing essayist. Well, he is a fantastic writer. These essays, about a lobster festival in Maine, a long essay about a porn awards ceremony, and another about his experience of 9/11 from the safe remove of Indiana are engaging and outstanding. He writes with a funny slant, great asides and observations. And he's laugh-out-loud funny. Also, check out his week-long tour with the John McCain press corps while a Rolling Stone correspondent in 2000 in another fine listen called "McCain's Promise"
Forget the controversy surrounding the tale's authenticity--it's irrelevant. This is a very powerful story containing great lessons about tragedy and redemption. Phillips has survived so many trials that would have incapacitated so many other people, and beat the odds to tell her story. I'm glad she found the words and the strength to give it voice.
I have to agree with earlier posts. I love Hollywood, and I could love this book so much more ( a solid 5 stars!) but it's marred by the reader. Great to see others were also annoyed by the massacre of names and concepts by this ill-guided, ill-produced narrator. Even "foreign" names like Richard Burton are clammed. It takes something away from the experience, as another listener mentioned, to wince at howlers like biopic, (it doesn't rhyme with myopic!!). This guy shouldn't read without adequate supervision. It's so bad that Tantor should consider re-recording this book properly.
Excellent collection of journalistic bits and pieces. Jacobson is a really engaging writer who loves New York. He worked at Village Voice and New York magazine. Several stories focus on the NY underworld, but they are biographical sketches of characters. As such, they provide great historical backdrop to NY in the 70's, 80's and the 21st century. HIs stories sparked the TV series Taxi, and the movie, American Gangster.
Who knew this would prove such an enjoyable read? In the tradition of Dale Carnegie and other "early" self-help books, this non-biographical gem is a series of chapter-length topics designed to get you on the path to laughter and a full life. "With whom do you associate?; does an unsound mind or body keep you from being the best person you can be?; are you unnecessarily fearful?"...very conversationally and clearly discussed. A real find.
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