"This shit would be really interesting if we weren't in the middle of it."--Barack Obama, September 2008
In 2008, the presidential election became blockbuster entertainment. Everyone was watching as the race for the White House unfolded like something from the realm of fiction. The meteoric rise and historic triumph of Barack Obama.... The shocking fall of the House of Clinton - and the improbable resurrection of Hillary as Obama's partner and America's face to the world.... The mercurial performance of John McCain and the mesmerizing emergence of Sarah Palin.
But despite the wall-to-wall media coverage of this spellbinding drama, remarkably little of the real story behind the headlines has yet been told. In Game Change, John Heilemann and Mark Halperin, two of the country's leading political reporters, use their unrivaled access to pull back the curtain on the Obama, Clinton, McCain, and Palin campaigns. How did Obama convince himself that, despite the thinness of his résumé, he could somehow beat the odds to become the nation's first African-American president? How did the tumultuous relationship between the Clintons shape - and warp - Hillary's supposedly unstoppable bid? What was behind her husband's furious outbursts and devastating political miscalculations? Why did McCain make the novice governor of Alaska his running mate? And was Palin merely painfully out of her depth - or troubled in more serious ways?
Game Change answers those questions and more, laying bare the secret history of the 2008 campaign. This is a reportorial tour de force that reads like a fast-paced novel.
©2010 John Heilemann and Mark Halperin; (P)2010 HarperAudio
I am an Audible.com Platinum subscriber, and my primary worry when downloading a book is that the book will waste my time by listening. The narrative is riveting and the narrator is outstanding. If you are interested in U.S. politics, you will not be able to put your iPod down once commencing a listen to this. I highly recommend it!
This is one of the best audio books I've ever purchased. The insight into the campaigns was fascinating, and while there was definitely more shared on the Democratic side of the contest, I think it was a balanced account. I strongly recommend anyone who was really moved by this most recently Presidential election to pick this book up. Furthermore, the narrator was about the best I've ever heard. I couldn't be more impressed with this book, and it's likely one that I'll play back in the future. Highly recommended!
I enjoyed every minute of this book. The cast of characters is amazing. I had thought the media had covered everything there was to know about the candidates, and there wasn't more to know. But Heilemann and Halperin expose their human side, as well as that of their spouses and their campaign staffs. Fascinating! Engrossing! Sorry that I've finished the book - but I'm pretty sure that I'll listen to it again in another month or two and still learn new things.
I listen while driving. When I review, I'm much more apt to discuss the performance than the content. Sometimes, a bit of both.
If politics is your thing then this a must read! The narrative is tight, proving the rule again from English Comp 101: "There is no good writing, only good rewriting". Well balanced and candid without sounding like gadflies, this is a fantastic book for the long commute.
It was also very well produced and the audio is very clean. Dennis Boutsikaris does a great job keeping the voices separate. Even his Bill Clinton voice is subtle enough to avoid the cardinal sin of being distracting.
I have been following John Heilemann since I saw him on Real Time with Bill Maher last year. I appreciate his work, and Game Change lived up to all my expectations. The election was fascinating, viewed through the mass media lens. It is ten times more fascinating viewed through the eyes of the people that are on the bus, in the meetings, and rubbing shoulders with the candidates.
Eventhough I find politics rather boring this book had some good moments. The one problem is that it makes everyone seem so "human". While I personally like Sarah Palin, this book (if you can believe it) makes it very clear how she was totally unprepared to be president. You'll enjoy the book.
The book is very well written, and I have to assume pretty much true. I didn't think 14 hours of this subject matter in an audio book would keep my attention.....well it did and then some.
I have to admit, although I placed this book on the old Wish List, it might have languished if it were not for these fake 1 star reviews on Amazon by those Kindle owners who were very unhappy about the publishers not making book available on Kindle right away. As a result the one stars prevailed over the 5 star. I downloaded it...just because of that. I have never read a political book before, even though I have wanted to, and I was interested. After reading the first chapter, I was dubious but after that it took off right away for me. This was the first election I really got behind so I was knowledgeable of time frames -- this book provided much insight to what goes on in the background that I could not believe. I just loved it -- these are political animals -- it's a different breed. Hearing about Obama and Clinton as well as Palin and John McCain behind the scenes was a delight. It was so informative for those who just don't know. I think the Palin & Hillary parts were the most revealing. It's not as dry material as one would think.
Read this book now while you clearly remember the 2008 election! It is fun to compare your perceptions of each campaign with what was actually happening behind the scenes. I am not a reader of political books, but this read like fast paced fiction. Lots of gossipy tid-bits that provide a fun look into each contender's campaign.
I thoroughly enjoyed listening to this book. It is hard believe the story it tells happened four years ago. I remember many of the events, and knowing the back story makes the events more fascinating. If any one of the candidates in the 2008 presidential election was your most or least favorite, you'll enjoy this book. Well written, reportedly balanced, and as much as an audio book can be a page turner, this is a page turner. I don't have HBO, but look forward to seeing the movie based on the book.
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