Shelly Brisbin

Texas USA
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Hollywood Madonna: Loretta Young (Hollywood Legends) audiobook cover art

Disappointing: in need of a good editor

2 out of 5 stars
2 out of 5 stars
2 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 01-06-13

Would you try another book from Bernard F. Dick and/or Cira Larkin?

Hollywood biographies come in many flavors, but this one seems to defy categorization. It tries to take an academic approach when analyzing the films of Loretta Young (concentrating more on direction and lighting than seems warranted), but slips into romantic, decorous prose when describing Young's religious faith, her romances and "romantic fantasies" and the ways in which the author think his subject's life is paralleled in her film work. Romantic haze seems to affect the author too, as he asserts that Loretta Young's first sexual encounter was with Clark Gable in 1935, despite her having been married, and in at least one publicly acknowledged relationship prior to meeting Gable at 22. Could this be true? Possibly, but the author provides no evidence; not even a quote or source for his statement. There are odd tangents, too, such as taking the opportunity to allege a co-star's homosexuality in a way that has no connection to Loretta Young. In fact, the author's tendency to engage in long tangents about the history of a particular director or co-star makes the book hard to follow in some places. The tangents but one source of imbalance in the book. Between her early childhood and her retirement from film in the 1960s, Loretta Young's story is moved along almost exclusively by descriptions of the films she made. She is alleged to be a good businesswoman, but we learn next to nothing of her abilities in that area. I would also have expected a bit more about her personal life; relationships with her children and husband, etc.

Would you be willing to try another one of Cira Larkin’s performances?

The performance was engaging, but I was appalled by the number of words and names mispronounced. The mistakes were repeated.

If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Hollywood Madonna: Loretta Young (Hollywood Legends)?

This book was in need of a good editor. Though the story is told chronologically, some incidents are inserted in odd places. Small anecdotes are repeated verbatim, or retold with slight alterations. The balance between life story and film review compendium is problematic. The author can't seem to decide whether he is an academic or a fawning fan of a movie star. The voice is garbled, and the book is sometimes simply over-written or repetitious.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

The Founding Father audiobook cover art


2 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 09-16-07

I hate to be petty about it, but this bookConte, whatever its merits, is significantly harmed by the author's choice to read his own work. He is halting and his pacing is inconsistent. It's extremely hard to listen.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Master of the Senate audiobook cover art

Abridgement bad

1 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 09-05-04

Robert Caro's Master of the Senate is a strikingly detailed look at the most pivotal years of Lyndon Johnson's pre-presidential career. I knew that much would be missing from this abridged recording, but I was shocked to find that entire chapters, as well as crucial incidents in LBJ's life, such as his heart attack, the presidential election of 1956 and many others, were ommitted. After all, it was from Caro, in one of his earlier LBJ volumes, that I learned how fearful LBJ was of a heart attack that would kill him at an early age. And after reading in such great detail about the hard-fought and crookedly won election of 1948, I was stunned to find no mention of LBJ's 1954 re-election campaign, or even the smallest discussion of Texas politics in the 50s, and how LBJ was affected by it. In short, this is the most unfortunate and poorest abridgement of a book I've ever read.

26 of 26 people found this review helpful

Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them audiobook cover art
  • Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them
  • A Fair and Balanced Look at the Right
  • By: Al Franken
  • Narrated by: Al Franken

Great read

5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 11-14-03

I really enjoyed Franken's book, and was particularly impressed that he showed his reader the process by which he arrived at the information included. Just shws up his competitors in the political book market that much more.

2 of 6 people found this review helpful