All I want to add to what the other reviewers had to say is that this is the best narration of any book I have listened to and I have listened to a great many. His voice and pacing fit perfectly for this book. It would not be nearly so interesting or compelling without him. Its a fascinating book but the narration raises it to another level and brings home as no regular narrator could the true meaning of his words
The narrator was speaking in a pseudo-wise guy voice which made listening hard. Then its also not really about the life of Johnny Carson, I learned nothing about his early life and his art, all you get are the worst sides of his life during the time he was working with the author. The fact that the author was a lawyer should have been a tipoff.
Lawrence in Arabia
A different narrator who does not try to speak in a pseudo-wise guy voice.
Get another author who would write a real bio not character assassination and stories that make him seem more important than he was.
This book is not about Johnny Carson as its more about the authors life with Johnny Carson.
My review only applies to the audio version. Whatever the merits of the book itself. I found it very hard to follow as the mass of detail and the manner of writing was such that it was difficult to listen. For a work of this type you need to be able to go back and reread sentences and whole paragraphs. The narrator was good but the complexity of the subject matter was hard to keep up with. I found I had to stop and think about what was just said. I have listened to hundreds of audio books over the years and this was the most difficult book to listen to given the way the subject is presented and the not exactly clear presentation of it. Plus the fact that some of the material is dated particularly that on the Soviet Union and the characterization of Lenin.
I liked the book but I had trouble with the narrator. I am not sure what type of accent she has or if she has any training for speaking but it seemed to me she was awful. I struggled to understand her in some places and she mispronounces many common english words. She detracts from the story. I am not sure what qualifications she brought to the job as at least as an english speaker she is lacking.
I never read a book by Gay Talese before, so I thought this would be what the intro claimed. It had some of his life but also a lot of it seems to be unused stories and essays he never sold, combined into a pastiche. I would avoid this unless your a real fan of his writing. It contains more, much more, about the Bobbits, John and Lauraina than you ever want to know as well as more about the NYC restaurant business.
This is an outstanding book to listen to. It has high production values, in that the sound quality is good and the author, who also narrates, does an outstanding job. As for the book itself it touches on for me unknown and interesting incidents in American history as well as the fate of black loyalists who emigrate to Canada and then to Sierra Leone.
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