©2003 Bryan Burrough and John Helyar; (P)2007 HarperCollins Publishers
"A superlative book...steadily builds suspense until the very end." (Los Angeles Times Book Review)
The book has lost a lot in transcription, the original is far too heavily abridged. It is too linear, and has lost a lot of its journalistic depth. The book itself, however, is an absolute must.
I have read the full book at least three times. This was a good abridgment but not perfect. The personalities never really got developed completely and the stories that really demonstrated Ross Johnson's extravagance (the dog at the golf tournament) didn't make the cut. If you have read the book you will enjoy this version.
It's only 3 hours long and the narration (done by the authors) is poor at best.
I am surprise to find out that the audiobook was a cut-down version from the original book. No wonder it is only 3 hour long. I am abit disappointed..
Interesting story. Seemed to be well researched and it narrated many behind the scenes activities. Was somewhat brief--a shorter book than I expected at just over three hours for the audio edition from audible.com. The epilogue, of what took place after the buyout , would have been interesting had it gone into a lot more detail then the 4 minutes allocated to it, and would have been a good way to flesh out the story some more. If more couldn't be found to write about this deal, more discussion on the rise and fall of LBOs in general would have been welcome. There was only passing mention of the junk bond rage of the 80s. More on that would have been a good way to flesh out this book also. That being said, I just realized this was an abridged version. If an unabridged version ever comes out, I will get it.
The narration was clear, but might have been a little more emotional and animated, especially in the beginning. Towards the climax, the narration seemed more animated to good effect--either that or I had gotten used to and warmed up to the narrator's intonation.
Give the characters more depth, more color. If they are nothing more than names they will be hard to keep straight.
Someone who reads a bit slower. The presentation is too rushed, both the writing and the reading.
Yes, it's a good story but poor story-telling.
I'd stick with the unabridged print version. If you definitely want to go the easy route get the HBO feature film starring James Gardner, far more enjoyable and right on point in delivering the lessons behind what could best be described as a greed-fest of Shakespearian proportions.
The flamboyant F. Ross Johnson and what could go down in history as the most famous advertisement slogan never used... "Tastes like shit and smells like a fart."
Get the HBO feature film of the same name, far superior to this audiobook that in reality reads more like a long feature article from Vanity Fair.
Fascinating story. It went by so quickly that I'm sure it left out a lot of details that I would have liked to learn about. I wish Audible had an unabridged version.
The readers are pretty bad, especially one because he read so fast I had to listen at 0.75 speed.
"Lost in translation"
I was disappointed to find that the full version was not available on audible so was forced to go with this abridged version on the off chance. Bearing in mind the original was critically acclaimed as being an engrossing thriller as well as a thought-provoking business book. The resulting narrative here is pallid and uninspiring. All excitement and compelling material has been boiled out leaving the listener with one of the most dull and tedious descriptions of a business deal ever written.
The narration is at least authentic, but even their authoritative tones cannot resuscitate this dead dog of an audiobook.
"Fascinating subject - poorly served."
Anyone interested in the machinations of corporate excess, skulduggery and the financial world should benefit from this. A classic illustration of how the business world has changed from emphasising producing goods of quality and looking after their employees and the communities in which they operate into rapacious profit machines which care only about enriching directors and large shareholders.
The authors are far from being natural or accomplished narrators. Dull and monotonous - although care would need to be taken to ensure that another narrator did not attempt to be too dramatic!
No. The story has been told. No doubt there are many similar cautionary tales - but it was the sheer size of the deal and the place Nabisco held in American consumer culture which made this tale worth telling.
Buy the book instead!
Reads more like a fiction novel than a business book.
A case of history repeating itself. A good general cautionary tale for the business world!
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