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Flapper: A Madcap Story of Sex, Style, Celebrity, and the Women Who Made America Modern | [Joshua Zeitz]

Flapper: A Madcap Story of Sex, Style, Celebrity, and the Women Who Made America Modern

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.
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Audible Editor Reviews

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.

Publisher's Summary

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.

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.6 (11 )
5 star
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4.1 (10 )
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Story
2.8 (10 )
5 star
 (1)
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2 star
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 (2)
Performance
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  •  
    Scarlette9104 North Little Rock, AR 04-04-14
    Scarlette9104 North Little Rock, AR 04-04-14
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    2
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "B+ Good Value & Good Read/Listen"
    What did you like best about Flapper? What did you like least?

    Readability and adaptability (whispersync). Narration was flat.


    What did you like best about this story?

    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.


    How could the performance have been better?

    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.


    If this book were a movie would you go see it?

    Why? Who's directing?


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michael Champaign, IL, United States 03-16-14
    Michael Champaign, IL, United States 03-16-14 Member Since 2013
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    2
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Good Book, Poor Performance"
    If you could sum up Flapper in three words, what would they be?

    Interesting book but...


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Flapper?

    Much good information about the Jazz age, Zeitz writes in an interesting way that keeps the reader engaged.


    Would you be willing to try another one of Daniella Rabbani’s performances?

    Absolutely not. Rabbani made an interesting topic almost unbearable.


    Any additional comments?

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-2 of 2 results
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  • Beth
    AVIEMORE, United Kingdom
    9/26/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "If Jordan narrated A Brief History of Time..."
    What disappointed you about Flapper?

    The narrator


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Flapper?

    The dawning realisation that the appalling narration rendered the book unlistenable-to.


    How could the performance have been better?

    It could not have been worse.


    You didn’t love this book--but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    The writing seemed to be very good.


    Any additional comments?

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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