Historian Joshua Zeitz gives us over 11 hours of stories, facts, and fun about the women of the roaring '20s in America. From the first words of the introduction, listeners will realize that this is no dry history lesson. Daniella Rabbani's raspy voice is so friendly and personable it is more like listening to a friend with a fabulous repertoire of stories up her sleeve.
Whether relating what the rules of dating was like in the '20's (and how those rules were broken), or chronicling the lives of some of the era's brightest stars, this audiobook is a wonderful, colorful and comprehensive history of the country's first sexual revolution.
Blithely flinging aside the Victorian manners that kept her disapproving mother corseted, the New Woman of the 1920's puffed cigarettes, snuck gin, hiked her hemlines, danced the Charleston, and necked in roadsters. More important, she earned her own keep, controlled her own destiny, and secured liberties that modern women take for granted. Her newfound freedom heralded a radical change in American culture. Whisking us from the Alabama country club where Zelda Sayre first caught the eye of F. Scott Fitzgerald to Muncie, Indiana, where would-be flappers begged their mothers for silk stockings, to the Manhattan speakeasies where patrons partied till daybreak, historian Joshua Zeitz brings the era to exhilarating life.
This is the story of America’s first sexual revolution, its first merchants of cool, its first celebrities, and its most sparkling advertisement for the right to pursue happiness. The men and women who made the flapper were a diverse lot. There was Coco Chanel, the French orphan who redefined the feminine form and silhouette, helping to free women from the torturous corsets and crinolines that had served as tools of social control. In California, where orange groves gave way to studio lots and fairytale mansions, three of America’s first celebrities - Clara Bow, Colleen Moore, and Louise Brooks - Hollywood’s great flapper triumvirate - fired the imaginations of millions of filmgoers. Towering above all were Zelda and Scott Fitzgerald, whose swift ascent and spectacular fall embodied the glamour and excess of the era that would come to an abrupt end on Black Tuesday, when the stock market collapsed and rendered the age of abundance and frivolity instantly obsolete.
With its heady cocktail of storytelling and big ideas, Flapper is a dazzling look at the women who launched the first truly modern decade.
©2006 Jushua Zeitz (P)2013 Audible, Inc.
Interesting book but...
Much good information about the Jazz age, Zeitz writes in an interesting way that keeps the reader engaged.
Absolutely not. Rabbani made an interesting topic almost unbearable.
An interesting book, certainly worth reading THE PRINT VERSION. However, the narrator reads the book as if she's auditioning for a role on a soap opera. In a non-fiction book it is good to have a narrator breathe some life into the quotes of the people being written about. But Rabbani gives such a melodramatic reading to even the narrative portions that it is distracting and annoying. She sounds at various points of the narrative like a gossip columnist dishing the latest dirt, a stereotypical 80's valley girl from a bad movie, and a grade school teacher trying desperately to engage her disinterested students. Her reading style might suit a kids' fairies book, but it doesn't suit non-fiction.
To be fair, she does settle down a bit after about the 3rd hour, as if someone listened to the tapes and told her to tone it down, but by then the melodrama (which gets so out of hand at times that Rabbani stumbles over phrasing) and mispronunciations (including but not limited to such as "indigNITTY" for "indignity," "jew-ler-ry" for "jewelry," and the four-syllable version of "mischievous" with the extra "eee" sound), make it all a chore to slog through. As I said above, definitely worth READING the book, but do yourself a favor and skip the audiobook.
Readability and adaptability (whispersync). Narration was flat.
I love that this title includes whispersync. Keeping up with my place across devices is a wonderful addition to the literary experience. The author intertwines the personal relationships between F. Scott Fitzgerald and Zelda Sayer with trinkets of facts wrapped up in a fictionesque coating. It's very readable.
The reader seems to have only two tones of voice, straight and quoting. Its difficulty to determine the appropriate tone in many of the quoted bits because of the inflection given the by the latter. The reader seems too slow at times and too flirty when quoting. For some parts, the flirtatiousness is appropriate; but its a constant for anything italicized or quoted throughout the work.
Why? Who's directing?
As an historian interested in social movements, this book offered a wonderful insight into the many women who first broke the old Victorian-Edwardian mold and threw the pieces out the window.
I wish I'd read instead of listened to this book. The narrator is terrible. She either over emotes or uses a monotone voice and there are many mis-pronunciations.
"If Jordan narrated A Brief History of Time..."
The dawning realisation that the appalling narration rendered the book unlistenable-to.
It could not have been worse.
The writing seemed to be very good.
It is inexplicable to me how someone can narrate a fine book so badly and yet no-one involved in the production process seems to notice.
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