I'm really enjoying this. It's an interesting insiders' look at Broadway, Hollywood, and gay life in the 50s on. The obvious thing here is that since is a dual biography, switching back and forth between two people, there should have been two readers, making it easier to track who's speaking.
This is not edge-of-your-seat listening, which suits me fine. I listen to books while trying to fall asleep, and history that's interesting but not too demanding works well for me. I like the fact that it's 42 hours, meaning that it will give me many nights of listening. Scott Brick, the narrator, is just right for this kind of material, reading with clarity and a slightly aristocratic tone.
Washington is a more interesting character than I'd realized. Sometimes I notice a little bias in the way the author spins things, and some things remain unexplored. For example, Jefferson comes off rather poorly in this account, and the author portrays their relationship as warm while Jefferson was secretly sabotaging his policies. It doesn't quite add up.
Many issues in the news today, such as the North/South divide, "tea party" vs. progressives, state's rights vs. a strong federal government, were already raging then.
I wasn't that familiar with Rachel Dratch before listening to this. Now, I'm looking forward to hearing more from her.
Kristin Johnston transformed what could have been a grim story through her brilliant humor and delivery.
The back and forth narrative between father and son works well and made me interested in learning more about this family. They understandably diplomatically tiptoed around Charlie's recent meltdowns, which this book isn't really about. They are obviously trying to stay on good terms with him. Maybe greater frankness there will be possible in the future. It is just good to see a father and son who are close, even with the usual ups and downs.
The "I Hate" theme became a bit too much hate for me at times, and some things were repetitive. Her style is to not edit herself at all, which can be uproarious, but when she insults a particular person's physical appearance, I felt for the victim.
Shirley is a pleasure to listen to. She might have slowed down a bit, especially in the beginning.
When Paul Constanzo reads, he puts a slight gap between each word. I assume that some teacher told him to do that. I find it unnatural, off-putting and hard to get used to. Rather than flowing, it jerked along. I kept telling myself to ignore it, but soon it was bothering me again.
It could be interesting material but it's presented dryly.
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