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Brandon Ogborn

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A Curious Mind audiobook cover art

Interminably Redeundant

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

Reviewed: 12-07-16

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

The narration was engaging but after nearly an hour and 20 minute prologue and opening chapter in which the word, "curious" must rival the use of the F-word in Scarface, I could barely contain myself. The following chapters were, (as I had been cautioned in other reviews), masterful self-aggrandizement of his producer credentials. If Mr. Grazer had a better ghostwriter or one at all to frame and compile these interviews I would be on board. In fact, I was beyond excited to hear/read this having heard him promote it on WTF with Marc Maron. A fan of self-help, books on Hollywood, and of a "curious mind" myself, I was entirely annoyed. With such a lauded career in packaging film and TV along with brilliant writers, one would have expected much more for a book of interviews he sites as the keys to his own success.

Would you ever listen to anything by the authors again?

Nope.

What three words best describe Norbert Leo Butz’s voice?

Smooth, earnest.

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

Certainly, by premise: Be curious. Don't be afraid to chit chat.

The Run of His Life audiobook cover art

A Phenomenally Researched American Tragedy

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

Reviewed: 09-19-16

What did you love best about The Run of His Life?

Toobin's research, knife-sharp wit and meticulous prose combine for a multi-faceted account of one of the most memorable crimes and trials in American History. You think you know the story but have little idea and this masterful book expands and contracts between the granular details of the case and the egos involved to the national dialogue of racism and terrorism within the LAPD. Marsha Clark and DA's office, Cochran and the defense, OJ and his entourage are given fair, even generous treatment in this addictive, highly engaging tome.

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Run of His Life?

What stuck out beyond all the details, reveals and operatic nature of the trail is Toobin's dedication to remind the reader, and America, that there are two brutally murdered human beings beyond the chaos and glamour of the case. The financial weight of the trial, the arguments of racial revenge against the LAPD, the cultural and media watershed of it all amidst the transcendent celebrity power of OJ himself rests only like dirt over their graves.

Have you listened to any of Stephen Bel Davies’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

I've not heard Stephen Bel Davies before but, Lord, will I be looking for more of his work. He has taken on a sprawling, difficult piece of work full of nuance with many points that could easily tip into anger, camp or sarcasm. He performed this with heart and sincerity, with an engaging demeanor and allowed space for the reader to breathe.

If you could give The Run of His Life a new subtitle, what would it be?

You Don't Know Jack About The OJ Thing

Any additional comments?

Any chance I got I put this book on, often even in the midst of other work. Has made me a fan of both Toobin and Stephen Bel Davies performance. Will be seeking out the bulk of their work.

I Must Say audiobook cover art

A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Kindness

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

Reviewed: 04-21-16

A narration that feels like you're the only one in the room with him, bonding close after a late night, star-studded Hollywood gala. Martin Short vacillates between the juicy gossip, (which you soon realize is not gossipy but a pointedly human story to attribute to the greatest entertainers of our lifetime), and the deeply emotional, if not the theological transcendence of what it is to be a human and experience death and reinvention, the growth and loss of family and the monumental love of your life. It's jokes, sure, but pulls out of you your own history, giving the fullest meaning to being, or trying to be, a good human being. Like Mr. Short, we should all hope to seek by the end of his memoir, to make our lives as great, in all nine categories of humanity.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

On Michael Jackson audiobook cover art

Poetically Brilliant Cultural Analysis

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

Reviewed: 01-23-16

Creates a concise and meaningful interpretation of what Mr. Jackson means to humanity in so many facets: his Freudian duality, morphing sex and sexuality, his skin as an argument to the history of race and species, and as a child star in tragic self-flagellation. Worth a second listen.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

Born Standing Up audiobook cover art

A Gorgeous and Melancholy Reflection on Entertaining

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

Reviewed: 07-07-15

Steve Martin is a lyrical writer whose reflections on both his Southern California childhood and magic-infused early days of standup transcend the genre of "comedy autobiography" to reach a mystical, albeit heartbreaking meditation on death and, you might say, joy. Read with a forlorn and at times hilarious tone, he digs deep into his past as a new-comedy pioneer and the wounds of his disapproving father as he goes from joke-magician to television writer to the biggest live comedy act in history. Too, he explores how the bits got stale, and, as he so aptly describes, "when comedy stopped being fun and got serious," and he left the world of live performance for the ease of film. An essential read for any fan of Martin, and, for those with a cursory interest in entertainment and the history of television. "Born Standing Up", like Steve Martin, is wise, insightful, hilarious, and often devastatingly sad.

The Marshmallow Test audiobook cover art

Great Info But Redundant

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

Reviewed: 07-04-15

Great performance by Alan Alda. The research and antidotes are wonderful. Only criticism is it often felt redundant and that a good 25% of the book was continuously repeated and could have easily been edited down. Otherwise, very eye-opening and a motivating listen.

17 of 18 people found this review helpful