Howard Hughes was a true American original: legendary lover, record-setting aviator, award-winning film producer, talented inventor, ultimate eccentric, and, for much of his lifetime, the richest man in the United States.
His desire for privacy was so fierce and his isolation so complete that even now, 25 years after his death, inaccurate stories continue to circulate, and many have been published as fact. Hughes explodes the illusion of his life and exposes the man behind the myth. He was a playboy whose sexual exploits with Hollywood stars were legendary. He was a man without compassion; an entrepreneur without ethics; an explorer without maps; and ultimately, an eccentric trapped by his own insanity, sealed off from reality, who died a lonely and - until now - mysterious death.
Newly uncovered personal letters, over 110,000 pages of sealed court testimony, recently declassified FBI files, never-before-published autopsy reports and exclusive interviews reveal a man so devious in his thinking, so perverse in his desires, and so influential that his impact continues to be felt even today. From entertainment to politics, aviation to espionage, the influence and manipulation of this billionaire has left an indelible and unique mark on the American cultural landscape.
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"In the most exciting bio of the year, Hack presents the American dream curdling into the American nightmare, personified in a legend who at last has an accounting worthy of him." (Publishers Weekly)
"A fascinating, captivating listen." (AudioFile)
Essentially this is a rehashing of all the other biographies written about the world's most famous billionare. There is little new information, and many pertinent facts are left out. The only redeeming quality is a thorough account of the battle over Hughes estate, which is often merely summarized in other volumes.If this is your first foray into works about Howard Hughes, it is a good start, but there are better references out there.
I didn't see the movie, nor did I read the book. I enjoyed the audio book, good reader, an interesting story that sheds a lot of light on the myth of America's first billionaire. The story is entertaining and focuses a great deal on Hughes' eccentricity; don't expect to learn how to make money by reading this book, since he had little to do with the accumulation of his wealth; for that, you'd need to read a biography on Noah Dietrich, his top executive who actually ran Hughes' businesses while Hughes focused more and more on his eccentricities. I recommend this book.
I was interested in reading this book after seeing The Aviator. This book is filled to the rafters with details and minutia, which isn't bad, but the abriged version might be better for some people. It is informative and a bit entertaining. It doesn't go into his businesses much, other than how it affected his personal life - so if you're looking to see how he became so rich, this probably isn't the right book.
The reader (Cashman) is good (not great, but not bad) except for his pronounciation. It is HORRIBLE. It actually is entertaining and part of the fun to try and figure out what he's referring too. The director/producer/audio engineer were either asleep or laughing their asses off. It is seriously that bad.
I listed to this while jogging or biking long distances, and it was entertaining enough. I wouldn't recommend it for long drives as the details wouldn't keep you up. Also, listening while doing anything that requires any concentration is difficult, because the long lists of details can get drowned out by what you're doing.
All in all, I'm glad I used my subscription credits for this one. And, if you're very interested in various personal aspects of HRH, it's not bad.
There's no question that Hughes lived a life interesting enough to justify several biographies, but this one is pulled down by its many flaws. The reader is OK, barely, but it's the writing that falls short; it's pedestrian at best and downright annoying at times. Details can add to a book, but not when they're meaningless, like the names of all of the members of the medical team who would have treated Hughes but who didn't because he was DOA. Or the full menu of what his parents had for dinner one night before Hughes was born. Most annoying to me were the constant nonsensical metaphors, dumb enough to make Dan Rather blush. Hughes' life was fascinating enough to help overlook some of these weaknesses, but it isn't enough to make you completely forget them.
I was a teenager when I first heard of this elusive millionaire, Howard Hughes. I really enjoyed the audiobook, as I was able to listen to an hour per day while I commuted to work each day. It was all I could do to not listen to the CD's during the weekends. This book provides very interesting and sometimes very odd insight on a man who had all the money you would ever want - but nothing else. I'll take my "simple life" any day over his..........
This wonderful and fascinating look at the life of Howard Hughes is severly damaged by the frequent mispronunciation of key words. Forget the mispronunciation of names ("Dore Schary" and "Faith Domergue" to name a couple). Even the simplest of words ("gaffe" and "substantive" being just two of the many) are slaughtered. Forget legal terms like "nolo contendere". The content of the book tries to override these moments, but each mispronunciation jolts one out of the book for 20 to 30 seconds in disbelief. It is a shame that the narrator and/or producer of this audio edition did little or no research before hitting the "record" button.
The author's opinion of Hughes came out clearly in the narrative of the story. This book is not one that future researchers should use to find the history of Hughes, it is a novel with the writer's opinions laced throughout the book.
An earlier reviewer remarked on reader Dan Cashman's atrocious pronunciation. I have to wholeheartedly agree. I'm familiar with both Dallas and Houston, where Hughes childhood takes place, and Cashman's mispronunciation is driving me crazy! It's really distracting. For example, it's MON-trose, not mont-rose. And ga-NO, not GAN-o. FON-ten-o, not font-e-not. On it goes.
Another thing that bothers me is Cashman's rendering of Southern female voices. Though I'm sure it's not Cashman's intent, he just sounds condescending doing those voices and it comes across like he studied the accent from watching old Bugs Bunny cartoons or something.
I will say Cashman has a nice voice and a lively reading. But that pronunciation! Oy!
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