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Publisher's Summary

From the best-selling author - the story of an award-winning comedian who decided to run for office and then discovered why award-winning comedians tend not to do that.

Al Franken, Giant of the Senate is a book about an unlikely campaign that had an even more improbable ending: the closest outcome in history and an unprecedented eight-month recount saga, which is pretty funny in retrospect. It's a book about what happens when the nation's foremost progressive satirist gets a chance to serve in the United States Senate and, defying the low expectations of the pundit class, actually turns out to be good at it. It's a book about our deeply polarized, frequently depressing, occasionally inspiring political culture, written from inside the belly of the beast. In this candid personal memoir, the honorable gentleman from Minnesota takes his army of loyal fans along with him from Saturday Night Live to the campaign trail, inside the halls of Congress, and behind the scenes of some of the most dramatic and/or hilarious moments of his new career in politics.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your Library section along with the audio.

©2017 Al Franken (P)2017 Hachette Audio

Critic Reviews

"Al Franken fans, rejoice! Franken narrates his latest book in a voice that captures both of his key public personas: current U.S. senator and former humorist. This is a balance that cannot be underestimated, as Franken clarifies at the onset that the Senate requires a level of decorum that most former comedians would find excruciating." (AudioFile)

What members say

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Al blames the Republicans for all that is wrong.

The other reviews said that he was fair.
He accused the Republicans for everything. It takes 2 to tango. It is never just a one-sided story.
And, Al says over and over, If only Hillary was president. Gees!

He is a good story teller. But, that's it.

Save yours ears for more levelheaded books.
Gina


2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Perspective is everything

It is common in this day and age to use litmus test to paint politicians one way or the other. One litmus test that rarely fails is ... is this guy funny or not? Senator Franken without a doubt is funny. A rare quality amongst politicians these days. The early chapters of this book reveal a man that understands comedy often reveals truth better than facts, debates or lofty speeches. The book is riddled with humorous self deprecating stories that truly reveal a man of great character. I honestly wish he lived next-door to me and we could hang out together. How many politicians can you say that about? If you're a political junkie or you are manic depressive about the current state of affairs, please take time to listen to this angst free presentation by a truly great American.Thanks Al, I really needed this book.

52 of 71 people found this review helpful

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  • Nancy
  • Santa Rosa, CA
  • 06-08-17

I Fell In Love This Week with Al Franken

It's true. I fell in love this week with Al Franken. I didn't mean to fall in love. But it's hard to resist the straight shooting, intelligent, folksy, charming, clever storyteller that Al Franken is. Oops, I forget to mention funny. I should mention funny. He'd probably like that. He's also a true patriot. A hard-working honest one at that. I don't know that I'd necessarily agree with him on all his political views, but that's not the point.

I especially appreciated how approachable the book is for those of us with very little knowledge of the political process yet how enjoyable it is for those of us who know full well how the political process works. I think it's important for people who have felt disengaged from politics to somehow get engaged, and this book would be an easy way to get started, no matter your party. It's an interesting glimpse behind the curtain, if you will.

He eases the listener into politics by beginning the book with his early years at Harvard, and then amuses with tales of SNL. He's wily in explaining his Minnesota campaign run. It's all very fascinating, but I felt like he was maybe testing the waters to see if we were ready as a nation to understand the power of the de-humorizer and be ready to de-bunk that junk for a potential presidential run in the future. While I think he'd make an exceptional President, I have zero confidence in the rest of the population to see through the de-humorizer. Sorry, Al, hope I'm wrong. Or, maybe I'm reading that section wrong and that's not the intent.

For me, the best meat of the book comes when he really gets into what goes on day to day in D.C. It wasn't a Civics class, don't worry. But, it kind of gave you a feel for the day in the life of a Senator. I got a kick hearing the jokes he had to edit in his head that he now gets to let out -- apparently before his head explodes. Ted Cruz is the Dwight Schrute of the Senate, I knew it! I also appreciated that he acknowledges discouragements but leaves the reader with an overall tone of optimism. You know, if we work on this together, we can do this!

Al Franken, Giant of Senate? Tongue in cheek title? Clever, clever, man.

69 of 98 people found this review helpful

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I was reading this when the allegations against Franken came out

Please listen to the book anyway. It gives you a funny and honest review of what it is like to be a progressive in the US Senate right now. Also interesting to hear what the other senators are like. For someone like me who is a progressive going through a rough time with the Trump presidency, this was the shot of tonic I needed to know what to do next. Thanks Senator Franken for your service to our country.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Prescient: “The worst is yet to come.”

Finished the book the week Al Franken announced resignation. Overall a very informative book laced with humor and in retrospect, pathos. Regardless, a good read.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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So good I didn't want it to end!

Seriously, there are several things that stood out to me that made this book such a joy! First, I loved that Senator Franken narrated because it just feels better. Like he's really speaking to me. Also, this book is educational. For instance, I learned several things about how our elected officials act behind the glare of the camera and like any workplace, there are the bright and helpful politicians that really want to put in the time and effort to make our lives better. Then there are the total nimrods that just want to be well... you wonder if they can even tie their shoes! (I'm being nice). I learned how bills really are written, presented and brought to a vote. Yes, we basically knew these things already but Sen. Franken has a wonderful way of describing all these things and more. I would like Sen. Franken to know that this Republican from Texas thoroughly enjoyed his book. I voted for Hillary, you see, so there's hope. Not because she's a woman but, because she was the most qualified person probably ever to run for our nations highest office. I am an Air Force veteran and I'm so glad that he wasn't my Commander In Chief when I was on active duty! I saw Trump for the liar and despicable human he is. Many of us did, just not enough. Sen. Franken isn't my Senator but I kinda wish he were and I hope he continues to bring intelligence, honesty and humor to Washington. Great book!

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Fascinating.

Very informative and provides interesting insights into the senate with a behind the scenes look. Franken does a great job of narrating. Definitely worth a listen regardless of political affiliation.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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WOW!!!

This was my favorite book of 2017 so far, and wildly exceeded expectations. Holy cow! Just when you think there's absolutely nothing funny about politics, government, world affairs or current events, and that there's no way you could ever laugh at these things, along comes Al Franken to prove you wrong. So, so many laugh-out-loud moments made my commute miles fly by, and I found myself actually sorry every time I had to turn off the book. Thank you, thank you, Al, for putting this educational, inspirational, and above all, hilarious page-turner out there to cheer us all up and remind us it's NEVER too late to try to make a positive difference in our communities, our home states, and the country we all ❤️ love. Recommended for mature audiences of all political persuasions. This one, like patriotism itself, is truly bipartisan.

69 of 103 people found this review helpful

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  • C. Telfair
  • Shepherdstown, WV, United States
  • 06-04-17

Seriously...

It seems that Senators are people.

Along with the not-so-surprising qualities of the Senate - the deep division, the hunger for power, the money grubbing, the self-promotion - Al Franken, in "Giant of theSenate", presents this feature that so often gets completely overlooked: Senators have grandchildren and hobbies and senses of humor (sometimes); and he has been making a genuine effort to get to know each and every one of them.

That disclosure may be the most unique and appealing aspect of this charming and eminently listenable book. I can't imagine that experiencing the book in any other format than audibly could be as satisfying. Franken obviously is the best and only narrator who makes sense.

This is a Senator who takes his work - and the people he represents - seriously. Senator Franken has been careful over the past 10 years to make this clear, so it is a real treat to hear him finally cut loose with some of the humor he has kept carefully at bay for a long time. There's not much that is surprising in his revelations (Ted Cruz is unlikable, can you imagine?) except that he views his new position and his colleagues with more tolerance and empathy than one might think.

And that's a good thing. Franken maintains respect for the Institution, heart-felt dedication to improving the Country, and hope for the future that is evident in even the most frustrating and horridly funny stories about the situation in Congress now. Intelligence, heart, hope, and persistence are excellent qualities in a Senator - and, for that matter, in all citizens who desperately wish to survive this period in American history.

Is "Giant of the Senate" an indication that there might be Presidential aspirations in Al Franken? Maybe, and why not? If a man who seemed at one time so unlikely a Senate prospect has been effective and dedicated and still kept his lively sense of the ridiculous, we should be so lucky!



49 of 74 people found this review helpful

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Franken's book is a relief for the sorely troubled

Would you consider the audio edition of Al Franken, Giant of the Senate to be better than the print version?

Because Franken reads the book, it is probably at least twice as funny as the print version.

What was the most compelling aspect of this narrative?

Franken is a nice guy trying to do what's right. I am so happy that someone in the senate can be described this way. He does his homework, he has compassion for his constituents, and he reaches out to conservatives on a personal level to court friendship.He comes across as a very decent human being.

Which character – as performed by Al Franken – was your favorite?

Definitely himself.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

Al Franken, humor and humility as an anecdote to ignorance and hubris now poisoning our democracy.

Any additional comments?

This book helped me cope with the seemingly endless stream of cruel, angry, diatribes pouring forth from everywhere all the time.

49 of 75 people found this review helpful

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  • Scott
  • 07-30-17

Brilliant

This is a really good listen detailing Franken's campaign and for his Senate seat and time in the Senate.

It's read by him very well which is a great contribution because it sounds like he's telling you the story rather than reading off a script.

I'd recommend this to anyone with an interest in politics.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 07-12-17

Informative, powerful and very funny

Really enjoyed, learnt a lot about American politics & Al Franken himself and was very entertained in the process. Recommend!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Barking Geek
  • 12-06-17

Very good

One of those books you wish was longer than it is. Al Franken is prophetic in saying the worst is yet to come, but gives the world hope that America is not quite as stupid as they appear. Very eloquent, lucid and satirical in equal measure.

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  • Ms Areej Elmaazi
  • 12-02-17

Highly recommend

Fantastic insight for the reader. Engagingly read. A good heart in a seemingly bad system.

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  • Mark
  • 10-20-17

Hugely insightful and enjoyable.

Purchased on a whim. Very glad I did, had me laughing out loud several times particularly his inner battles between what he wants to say and what his conscience will allow him to say.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 09-21-17

So Worth It

Well written , excellent narration. Different nations,cultures but honesty and belief trans national Good Stuff

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  • gingernut
  • 09-03-17

Excellent !

Excellent book! A wonderfully informative and entertaining read. Great to share the journey and look forward to the sequel when Al Franken is President!

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  • Curly
  • 08-16-17

Franken for President 2020

there is no good reason not to support the author to be chief executive of the USA or vice President to Elizabeth Warren. This is a funny heartfelt book about solving problems and what a politician should be like.

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  • Miranda
  • 10-14-17

Brilliant

Hilarious, honest, insightful and extremely entertaining. Whether you care about the current state of American politics or not, this book is well worth your time.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 09-29-17

I love Al Franken

brilliant, funny, informative, sad, uplifting. so many great things I could say about this book and everything he writes.
this has to be my favourite so far.

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  • Damon
  • 09-09-17

Excellent

For an Australian observing the machinations of the US political environment, this was a refreshing and hopeful tale. I enjoyed the anecdotes, and for their sake hope that politicians of Frankens ilk rise up from 'the swamp' created over the last 9 months. Great work Al.