I read this book as a counterpoint to Neal Gabler's excellent "Disney: Triumph of an American Imagination". While Gabler's work is exhaustively researched and thorough, Hiaasen's venomous jeremiad is almost purely based on emotion. Gabler descibes in great detail exactly how Disney built a brand that has come to be regarded as the gold standard in family entertainment for generations. Hiaasen seems to resent that it even exists.
Hiaassen criticizes Disney for creating an excessively controlled and artificially groomed environment inside their park, he criticized Disney for attracting tacky and uncontrolled sprawl outside the park.
He complains that Disney tries to force a sanitized and standardized narrative style upon the whole world, then accuses Disney of hypocrisy for tailoring its offerings to the tastes of different cultures, or for purveying non-family entertainment through its other brands.
In years past, Disney had (gasp!) a dress code for its employees. Today, Disney offers domestic partner benefits, but, according to Hiaasen, this policy is motivated purely by greed.
The most ironic criticism coming from Hiaasen is that Disney's branded movies are predictable and formulaic. Have you ever read a Hiaasen novel that took place in Wisconsin?
There are a few valid criticisms of Disney - for instance the excessive compensation granted to Eisner & Ovitz by a crony-packed board (hardly unique in American business) - that get lost in the river of bile.
If you already have a chip on your shoulder about Disney, this book will confirm your opinion. If you are looking for a rational critique of the media juggernaut, look elsewhere.
If fart jokes offend you, this is not the book for you. If the idea of a young Christ laughing at a fart joke offends you, this book is definitely not for you.
If you are open to an alternative view of the Messiah, and a how He came of age in the company of his sarcastic, libidinous, and totally devoted friend, you will love this book.
Narrator Fisher Stevens does an excellent job, and, in my opinon, is on the short list for "Best.Narrator.Ever."
I would give it zero stars if I could. This is a completely random list of words read first in English then in Chinese. Do not waste your time or money.
If you really want to understand the science behind the political noise, this lecture series is for you.
The lectures are technical, but still very accessible to a layperson. The lecturer explains complicated topics in a clear and easily understandable way without talking down to his listeners.
This is a very thorough and interesting story starting from Walt's youngest days. It describes in detail exactly how Walt created and built a brand that became the gold standard in family entertainment for generations of Americans.
I only wish the books scope had extended beyond Walt's life to chronicle the ups and downs of the company in the years since his death.
Normally, I find Hiaasen's books enjoyable. This book has all of the standard elements that usually make for an entertaining story, but this one just didn't click for me. The pace of the story was too slow, the characters lacked spark. There weren't any of the usual laugh-out-loud moments. Skip this one and try another Hiaasen book.
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