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Paul

BROOKLYN, NY, United States
  • 10
  • reviews
  • 11
  • helpful votes
  • 38
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  • Always Look on the Bright Side of Life

  • A Sortabiography
  • By: Eric Idle
  • Narrated by: Eric Idle
  • Length: 8 hrs and 12 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 597
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 549
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 548

 

We know him best for his unforgettable roles on Monty Python - from the Flying Circus to The Meaning of Life. Now, Eric Idle reflects on the meaning of his own life in this entertaining memoir that takes us on an unforgettable journey from his childhood in an austere boarding school through his successful career in comedy, television, theater, and film. 

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Eric Idle name-dropping, which can't be helped

  • By LJ on 10-09-18

All the Python You'd Want and More

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 11-11-18

Idle does a terrific job offering behind the scenes looks at every iteration of "Python" from his unique point of view as the songwriter of the bunch - which also means we get the genesis of "Spamalot" and other live stagecraft. Plus there's lots of celebrity dish: George Harrison, Carrie Fisher and Robin William's appear, among many others. There's also some musing on deeper questions like the meaning of life of life and citizenship - but always done with wit and a sense of fun. This is a fantastic read - even if you've already enjoyed other books like John Cleese's terrific "So, Anyway." ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

  • This Will Only Hurt a Little

  • By: Busy Philipps
  • Narrated by: Busy Philipps
  • Length: 7 hrs and 56 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,964
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 2,702
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,685

Busy Philipps’ autobiographical audiobook offers the same unfiltered and candid storytelling that her Instagram followers have come to know and love, from growing up in Scottsdale, Arizona, and her painful and painfully funny teen years to her life as a working actress, mother, and famous best friend. Busy is the rare entertainer whose impressive arsenal of talents as an actress is equally matched by her storytelling ability, sense of humor, and sharp observations about life, love, and motherhood. Her conversational writing reminds us what we love about her on screens of all sizes.

  • 1 out of 5 stars
  • I wanted to like it so much...

  • By Amy Isbell on 10-18-18

Getting Busy with It

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 10-28-18

I ate this book up like candy, and if you like Busy's signature charm from social media or her wonderful work as an actress, you will, too. Be forewarned: it is not all laughs. Busy describes sexual encounters, reproductive rights issues, career setbacks and some other touchy subjects with candor, but there is also plenty of oh-wow behind-the-scenes action from Freaks and Geeks, Dawson's Creek and more.

  • Call Me by Your Name

  • A Novel
  • By: André Aciman
  • Narrated by: Armie Hammer
  • Length: 7 hrs and 43 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 8,763
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 8,179
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 8,155

Call Me by Your Name first swept across the world in 2007. It is the story of a sudden and powerful romance that blossoms between an adolescent boy and a summer guest at his parents' cliffside mansion on the Italian Riviera. During the restless summer weeks, unrelenting but buried currents of obsession, fascination, and desire intensify their passion as they test the charged ground between them and verge toward the one thing both already fear they may never truly find again: total intimacy.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Amazing.

  • By Nico L. on 10-07-17

Seen The Movie? Read This Anyway!

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 08-07-18

Rarely could I more emphatically recommend both a book and its movie so genuinely. When I saw the film, I found it to be almost unbearably sexy and my interest in the book was mainly to see what else happened to the characters as I had heard there were decades more of what happened to them in the book.

Luckily, I had also heard that the book was intriguingly different from the film - rapturously filled with the interior monologue of Elio that was told in the film through long, smoldering stares and beleaguered, lovelorn sighs. I say luckily because - fair warning - you actually don't get decades more in the book - merely an epilogue that occurs decades later. What you do get, though, is pure poetry - a meditation on desire both frank and romanticized, both pleasurable and unbearable. Fans of the movie will find all their favorite moments here, but described with an entirely different sensibility.

What then makes the audiobook even more amazing is that - as read by Armie Hammer (who plays Oliver in the film), you see how deeply he understood his own character (whose clipped, American certitude he recreates with ease) but also how he understood his counterpart. In reading Elio's internal monologue, his voice is soft as crushed velvet, high as the buzz of a dragonfly, light as a single soft cloud in an otherwise blue sky. It is a performance worthy of both the film and the book, and I recommend you savor it as - much like love - once it's over, you'll wish you could experience it all over again for the first time.

  • Just the Funny Parts

  • ...And a Few Hard Truths About Sneaking into the Hollywood Boys' Club
  • By: Nell Scovell
  • Narrated by: Amy Hohn
  • Length: 8 hrs and 36 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 217
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 198
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 196

Just the Funny Parts is a juicy and scathingly funny insider look at how pop culture gets made. For more than 30 years, writer, producer, and director Nell Scovell worked behind the scenes of iconic TV shows, including The Simpsons, Late Night with David Letterman, Murphy Brown, NCIS, The Muppets, and Sabrina, the Teenage Witch, which she created and executive produced. In 2009, Scovell gave up her behind-the-scenes status when the David Letterman sex scandal broke.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • First return

  • By Sara Kershaw on 08-06-18

Oh, Men!

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
3 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 07-18-18

This is an intriguing but not too heavy look at why media and entertainment tend to be so monolithically male - ideal for the #metoo age. The reader is a little flat compared to the zing of the writing but overall it was a positive and enlightening experience. Also, you won't BELIEVE all the legendary shows Nell worked on!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • The Help

  • By: Kathryn Stockett
  • Narrated by: Jenna Lamia, Bahni Turpin, Octavia Spencer, and others
  • Length: 18 hrs and 16 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 37,832
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 23,705
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 23,718

In pitch-perfect voices, Kathryn Stockett creates three extraordinary women whose determination to start a movement of their own forever changes a town, and the way women - mothers, daughters, caregivers, friends - view one another. A deeply moving novel filled with poignancy, humor, and hope, The Help is a timeless and universal story about the lines we abide by, and the ones we don't.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • What a great surprise!

  • By Jan on 12-02-09

A Symphony of American Voices

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 10-26-13

"The Help" has just become my most rewarding audiobook experience ever.

One of the book's strengths is the many voices that tell the story. Abilene, Minnie and Miss Skeeter are a tremendous trio of narrators, and as their story unfolds, it is a delight to hear - not only their voices in the first person - but also the voices of the many other characters, white and black, southern and (in one hilarious case) "New Yawker". I found it particularly delightful when each of the narrators would appear in a scene narrated by one of the others. I liked hearing what they sounded like to each other.

The story is both one of relatable human relationships - nannies and babies, friends, partners in secret writing projects. But what makes them outstanding is the world of rules in which they live - the sharp divide between white and black people in Mississippi as the Civil Rights movement began to earnestly question ideas like "separate but equal."

But, truly, as good as the tale is, it is the way it is being told that wins the day here. You feel for this women: You feel their love and desire to be loved. You feel the icy chill of the racism. You feel joy as each, in her own way, awakens to her own potential beyond the dictates of what society has told them they are.

And it just sounds so darn good.

  • Let's Pretend This Never Happened

  • A Mostly True Memoir
  • By: Jenny Lawson
  • Narrated by: Jenny Lawson
  • Length: 8 hrs and 41 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 6,565
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,047
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 6,043

For fans of Tina Fey and David Sedaris - Internet star Jenny Lawson, aka The Bloggess, makes her literary debut. Jenny Lawson realized that the most mortifying moments of our lives - the ones we'd like to pretend never happened - are in fact the ones that define us. In Let's Pretend This Never Happened, Lawson takes readers on a hilarious journey recalling her bizarre upbringing in rural Texas, her devastatingly awkward high school years, and her relationship with her long-suffering husband, Victor.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • How the Bloggess almost made me crash my car!

  • By D. S. Smith on 05-19-12

Lucky Gamble

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 07-26-13

If you could sum up Let's Pretend This Never Happened (A Mostly True Memoir) in three words, what would they be?

Brilliant Warped Life

What did you like best about this story?

I totally rolled the dice with this one. I wasn't previously a fan of the blog; so I didn't know her. Usually I look for memoirs by super-successful people about how they got that way. But Audible recommended it to me based on my preferences, and it sounded like the kind of humor I would enjoy based on other blogs I like and podcasts that make me laugh. Boy, did it ever! Jenny has a way with words that knocked my socks off. And she's extremely good at taking what could be stream-of-consciousness rambling and making it endlessly entertaining.

Which character – as performed by Jenny Lawson – was your favorite?

Jenny as herself is absolutely hilarious and her long-suffering husband Victor is a hoot, but I'm actually tremendously impressed by the empathy she made me feel for her dead. He starts off seeming kind of off-putting - really into hunting and taxidermy and stuff I find pretty distasteful. And his antics (which often involved imposing wild-ish animals on his family) seemed gross. But by the time he's dumping out a bag of ducklings for his grandkids to enjoy, I came to see him as a big-hearted guy who wanted to share his joy of animals with kids while they're still wide-eyed enough to enjoy them.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

Laughed out loud a lot, but - fair warning - there are passages that involve interactions with animals (both living and dead) that definitely made me clench in that OH MY GOD THIS ROLLER COASTER IS FALLING way. I don't mind the sensation - actually, I kind of think it's an impressive feat for a writer - but PETA members may not be amused.

Any additional comments?

Kudos to Jenny for a) singing her chapter titles in absurdly funny ways and b) the collection of her rambling out-takes at the end - pure brilliance!

  • Revenge Wears Prada

  • The Devil Returns
  • By: Lauren Weisberger
  • Narrated by: Megan Hilty
  • Length: 12 hrs and 58 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 725
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 658
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 658

The sequel you’ve been waiting for: the follow-up to the sensational number-one best seller The Devil Wears Prada. Andrea "Andy" Sachs is on top of the world, running her own very successful high-fashion bridal magazine. But she got there with the help of her rolodex - actually, the rolodex of Miranda Priestly, her former nightmare of a boss. As Andy's success grows, she realizes she'll soon have to face Miranda. Still, Andy can hardly anticipate the horrifying reality that’s approaching - a reversal so profound that she will be squarely in Miranda’s crosshairs once more.

  • 1 out of 5 stars
  • Very Disappointed!

  • By Ana on 06-15-13

Hilty Helps

Overall
3 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 07-23-13

Is there anything you would change about this book?

It would be impossible for any follow-up to "The Devil Wears Prada" to match the original in terms of the sheer "I can't believe she'd expect that!" quality of Miranda Priestly's expectations. While there are certain insider tid-bits about how a real magazine works in "Revenge...", it could be more rewarding on that level.

How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

I know that soapy relationship drama - friends betraying friends, husbands and wives going behind each other's back, people from one's past reappearing out of nowhere, even falling in (maternal) love with one's own children - are Weisberger's stock in trade, but the most exciting material for me came when Andy was working - the book could use more of that.

What does Megan Hilty bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Megan Hilty is utterly charming and has a knack for making conversations jump off the page. She's especially good at differentiating between Andy's fraught interior monologues and the somewhat-more-put-together things she manages to get our of her mouth. I especially enjoy her employment of oversize accents for some of the more larger-than-life characters.

Was Revenge Wears Prada worth the listening time?

Absolutely. It was easy and breezy.

Any additional comments?

While it doesn't match the magic of the original, all the good will I felt for the characters (both from the book and the film) came rushing back and made me immediately invested. And though I've complained above that the book is heavier on less-inventive personal drama and lighter on more-interesting work drama, I did find myself invested in the characters' trials and tribulations and surprisingly charmed by Wesberger's portrait of Andy as a new mom. That said, I'm very glad they got the fabulous Megan Hilty to read this book. Without a doubt, she elevated some of the more meh parts with her sparkle and pizzazz.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Let's Explore Diabetes with Owls

  • By: David Sedaris
  • Narrated by: David Sedaris
  • Length: 6 hrs and 25 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7,554
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,837
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,796

From the unique perspective of David Sedaris comes a new collection of essays taking his listeners on a bizarre and stimulating world tour. From the perils of French dentistry to the eating habits of the Australian kookaburra, from the squat-style toilets of Beijing to the particular wilderness of a North Carolina Costco, we learn about the absurdity and delight of a curious traveler's experiences.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Always a Sedaris fan, but this isn't his best

  • By Amazon Customer on 04-29-15

Back to Life (Fables Schmables)

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 05-06-13

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

After a number of books with equal or greater weight given to fables starring animals, Sedaris is back to telling the iconic stories in which he confronts the foibles of modern life and mines his past for stories of growing up Sedaris.

What did you like best about this story?

You get a little bit of everything - from modern day Sedaris navigating the beauracratic absurdities of living abroad to the young Sedaris family gathered around the kitchen table, trying to stop their father from attacking their friends. Sedaris finds warmth and humor in unexpected places - taxidermy, for example, and a colonoscopy. You can't help but laugh out loud.

What does David Sedaris bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

The audiobook skillfully combines the fun of Sedaris reading before a live audience (with the - to be expected - accompanying raucous laughter) with the intimacy of Sedaris reading in a studio that made his first "Adventures in Santaland" so memorable.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

Yes. Laugh and laugh and laugh!

Any additional comments?

Overall - great production. This is a fabulous collection of essays - offering lots of essays drawn from life and a few of his more over-the-top fiction pieces (relegated to the end). Intriguing musical (and other sound-based interludes) make one feel that the producers were interested in creating a coherent whole, and - as someone who enjoys both Sedaris live and Sedaris in-studio, I appreciated the mix of both.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Girl Walks into a Bar...

  • Comedy Calamities, Dating Disasters, and a Midlife Miracle
  • By: Rachel Dratch
  • Narrated by: Rachel Dratch
  • Length: 5 hrs and 12 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 4,159
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,728
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 3,729

Anyone who saw an episode of Saturday Night Live between 1999 and 2006 knows Rachel Dratch. She was hilarious! So what happened to her? After a misbegotten part as Jenna on the pilot of 30 Rock, Dratch was only getting offered roles as "Lesbians. Secretaries. Sometimes secretaries who are lesbians." Her career at a low point, Dratch suddenly had time for yoga, dog- sitting, learning Spanish - and dating. After all, what did a forty-something single woman living in New York have to lose?

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Hanging out with Rachel Dratch

  • By LARRY on 04-30-12

Inhaled Over the Course of a Weekend

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 03-05-13

What did you like about this audiobook?

I'd been putting off listening to "Girl Walks into a Bar" because I'd previously enjoyed other audio books that include behind-the-scenes of "Saturday Night Live" type memories (Bedwetter, Bossypants). I'm pleased to say that Ms. Dratch proves once again that each performer's time at SNL is different enough to captivate all over again; plus - here - it's part of a much larger personal narrative.

How has the book increased your interest in the subject matter?

While she gets a lot of comedy mileage out of the parade of not-quite-worthy potential mates, Dratch never loses sight of what their interactions reveal about herself - without getting preachy about it.

Does the author present information in a way that is interesting and insightful, and if so, how does he achieve this?

Ms. Dratch has an uncanny sense for delivering inner monologue with all the conflicting impulses and over-the-top hilarity that so commonly marks a neurotic's conversations with oneself.

What did you find wrong about the narrator's performance?

Definitely a laugh-out-loud book, and definitely a can't-put-it-down.

  • Bossypants

  • By: Tina Fey
  • Narrated by: Tina Fey
  • Length: 5 hrs and 32 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 50,276
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 42,027
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 41,846

Before Liz Lemon, before "Weekend Update," before "Sarah Palin," Tina Fey was just a young girl with a dream: a recurring stress dream that she was being chased through a local airport by her middle-school gym teacher. She also had a dream that one day she would be a comedian on TV. She has seen both these dreams come true. At last, Tina Fey's story can be told....

  • 1 out of 5 stars
  • Can't anyone be funny without swearing? :(

  • By Sue on 03-07-13

The Fey Pride Parade

Overall
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 07-06-11

There is so much to love about this memoir, which anyone who's interested in what it's really like to work your way up through the ranks of television comedy should find very illuminating, but I have to give particular kudos to the book for two reasons:

1. As a gay reviewer, I found Fey's portrait of her many young gay friends figuring out their sexual identity's a nice combination of funny, sensitive and honest. The time in a gay person's life when he/she has either figured out their sexuality but not had sex or started experimenting sexually but is not sure what it means for their identity can be very confusing. The fact that Fey both manages to create portraits of these young people that both point out their foibles while acknowledging why they might be so en-foibled (yes, I made up that term) is like a successful high-wire act that incorporates a chair and a dog.

2. Apropos of Audible, this is DEFINITELY a book that's worth hearing in the audio format, even if you've read it already. Fey's intonations, imitations and inflections are not only super-enjoyable if you're a Tina Fey fan but also add a richness to the text that's characteristic of writers who have experience writing for performers.

"It is a testament to my parents that they never reacted negatively to the 4 year Pride parade that marched through their home." -Tina Fey, "Bossypants"

9 of 22 people found this review helpful