Years ago I read Helter Skelter. It was interesting but sketchy of believable information. Because it was authored by the Manson prosecutor, it seemed to have a narrow perspective with obvious exaggeration so as to boast about himself. I am a fan of Jeff Guinn. (I read "Going Down Together" Bonnie & Clyde which hooked me on Guinn.) His research is very thorough. This audiobook has a lot of Mason's background, unknown to me before reading it. Guinn puts the story in the right place for history and culture. Most of all, Guinn did not attempt to make Mason a god, devil, or magician. He stayed with the facts. Mason's history was plenty colorful without need for exaggeration. I will read it again.
It was factual, not sensationalized, and was supported by research.
The story is a human tragedy. Manson victimized many people. He also was a victim. While it is hard to balance the different victims and types of victimizations, I clearly saw Manson's manipulations and his sociopath.
I hate that Manson feels rewarded and glorified by continuing publicity. However, it is important this story be told.
First, I read The Smartest Guys In The Room. Next, I read Power Failure. Both were informative but only seemed to scratch the surface. I continued to have questions. I needed an elementary level explanation for how the accounting charade and stock market credit ratings intertwined. I wanted to know how multiple frauds could be established and survive over a long period within the same corporate structure. I was curious how each fraud came into being, whose baby it was, and who nurtured it. Conspiracy of Fools walked me through all of it. It didn't glorify the Whistleblower nor vilify any of the players. Rather, it just put the facts out and allowed me to draw my own conclusions. If I had read Conspiracy Of Fools first I would not have read the other two books as there simply would have been no need to do so.
In spite of the many layers of protection surrounding each key player, the book defined the responsible culprit. It cut through the chase.
He did an outstanding job on Jeff Skilling.
I was thrilled as the world of fraud collapsed. On the other hand, I felt sorrow and anger that the imploding financially devastated so many innocent people.
I am a big fan of Erik Larson's but this book totally missed the mark for me. The other books by Larson that I've read were chock full of great history and well researched. So, that was my expectation for Isacc's Storm. I found it a disappointment in that regard as well as even the story which it seems should have been intriguing.
I just purchased a book about Wall Street Hetty. I will start it tomorrow.
The narrator was hum drum; no pazzzzz.
The story telling was well organized.
I have already recommended this book to two friends, and I purchased it as a gift for a third one (who is 99-1/2 years old and thrilled with it). The time period is like a history book with living characters.
It's hard to narrow and rate the good parts of the book and I don't think it was the kind of spellbinding book that has a big zinger. The entire plot was a money brain teaser. That is, I cannot imagine such opulence. (I do realize things were much different before the establishment of the IRS, but still, Mr. Clark's riches were breathtaking. For the audio book (which I guess, the hard copy will not have), the telephone recordings between Huguette and one of the co-authors was truly enticing. It allowed me to hear her reasoning and judge her mental alertness first hand. A rare privilege for book reading. It added a whole different dimension to the story.
Well, of course, Huguette was the centerpiece of the book as she had been for her Mom and Dad. When I finished the book, I felt that I had the opportunity to know her as well as anyone. For sure, she had her quirks (putting it lightly) but nevertheless was well defined. Maybe the next interesting character was Huguette's personal nurse who enjoyed Huguette's wealth to the tune of millions of dollars, multiple homes, and a Bentley. The nurse was an immigrant who had married a taxi driver.
You couldn't possibly listen to the book in one sitting because it is detailed and chock full of so much good information that a bit of reflection to absorb it is really a must.
The book is well worth the investment. I love the gilded era and that's where this one begins. It ends nearly 104 years later. As I mentioned earlier, there is a lot of history, society changes, and a world of which most folks have never glimpsed. The reader did a very good job, as did the authors.
I have recommended the book to a friend but with a huge caveat.
The ending was already well known, so there were not any surprises. It was sad, of course. In most cases, loss of life is not a victory.
I believe that narrating her book was therapeutic for Stephanie. As for me, I didn't need the co-therapy and would have enjoyed a professional narrator.
No. I personally would not purchase a follow up book. I'm through. Too much therapy for my liking.
Stephanie's attempt to portray herself as a penniless Cinderella is not believable and collides with her admission that an attorney was hired to protect her assets. If she didn't have any assets in the beginning of the marriage and her husband/father-in-law did not funnel dirty money to her during the marriage, what assets were in need of protection? She was quite angry toward Ruth as she did not immediately sever ties to her husband of 50+ years. According to Stephanie's perspective, Ruth was blinded by denial surrounding Bernie, the crook. However, Stephanie exhibits the same characteristics in her relationship with her husband, whom she claims was a mere innocent bystander, as well as victim, of the tragedy caused by his father. It was hard for me to conjure up sympathy for the poor rich kids who had become adults. There are too many unacknowledged questions which Stephanie chose to leave alone. I will add that I appreciate the review by another reader who said the story was troubling on many levels. It is and that is very accurate. I continue to be bothered by what I learned -- and did not learn -- through this book.
This plot could have been told in a fabulous way but this author and the reader completely missed the boat. I think every hater of the young company President and his Mom will be thrilled with every single word. For anyone else -- those folks, like me, who didn't have a personal stake in the bankrupted company, this writing hardly qualifies to be called a book.
If the author had done even a tiny bit of investigation and/or consultation with legal minds, i.e., a lawyer), the story could have been riveting. As it is, the author was apparently oblivious to the points that would have cast light on critical information. Or, perhaps the author elected not to go down that route because it would have destroyed his tar and feather mission. Either way, omission of the legalities is damning.
Pretty much anyone else but Nolan, who mispronounced words; and drug on-and-on-and-on-and-on. It was all I could do to continue through his poor voice infliction when he bothered to have infliction. It was nearly monotone. If I ever see him as reader on a book in the future, I definitely will not buy it.
The characters needed to be developed, particularly the targets. I don't know that I would have cut any characters. The book is written targeting a young man who by circumstances not designed by him became the head honcho of the family corporation. The author's intended vindictiveness quickly became apparent, then boring, and finally -- just plain annoying. The author's portrayal of the young company president and his Mom places them in a bad light without mentioning a single positive word about either of them. Really? That style casts doubt on the author's credibility, as well as the authenticity of his perception of facts. The character assassination went on from the beginning to the end. Additionally, there must have been a word count issue because getting through the maze of endless, ridiculous, and worthless detail was a challenge.
Terrible author; terrible reader. A total disappointment of what could have been an outstanding book.
Yes, I would recommend this book -- but, depending on the person. It really is a very bothersome story and the severe cruelty is detailed throughout the book. The black cloud cast by it lingered for sometime after I finished. The same was true for the movie. I was glad I read the audiobook and watched the movie, but am not sure I could ever do either again. It brought a lot of history to light. Although I knew of the war, of course, it provided me additional layers of knowledge for which I have an appreciation. There were times that I held my breath; out loud said, "Oh, noooo!"; and shook my head. The story grabbed me. I was completely absorbed.
Solomon, but all of the characters were very well defined.
I haven't listened to other Gosset's performances, but would not hesitate to do so. He is excellent.
A film has already been made, released in December 2013.
I absolutely will listen to Boardwalk Empire again. It is a sensational story about a time period that I love. I could nearly hear the jazz playing in the background. Every character is so well defined that it leaps from the recording. The plot is easy to follow, no bogging down in details but still detailed enough to make it real and interesting. I watched the HBO series (based on this book) before getting the audiobook. The book is better in a lot of ways but the series was fabulous and I was disappointed when both came to an end.
Of course, the main character but there were many colorful ones.
I learned about corruption of that era and geographical area in a way I had not known before reading the audiobook.
A delightful book.
The fact that the story is a true drama.
There are so many. One great moment was when the three men were on the raft and met the great white.
Realness. Being in the moment-- every moment. (It's almost exhausting.)
Again, the story is moving many times. The 1 mile speed buster was fabulous.
This really is one of the best books that I've read in a long time. When I purchased it, I did so just based on the fact that it was a true story, a time of history in which I'm interested, and the good reviews. It is very hard to put it down while reading it but a necessity to do so. It takes much energy to absorb the story and the reader is fully engaged emotionally. There is a sprinkling of wonderful humor throughout the story. Overall, the story is so very serious that there must be some comic relief or the reader couldn't endure it. The book took me mentally through every word, living the character. It is real life and feels like real life. I thought it was excellent writing, as well as the narration.
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