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Publisher's Summary

Not so long ago, wine was an exclusively European product. Now it is thoroughly American; emblematic of Napa Valley, an area idealized as the epicenter of great wines and foods and a cultural tourist destination. But the romanticized accounts you find about it and its denizens is not what you'll encounter in James Conaway's candid book.

Napa at Last Light exposes the often shadowy side of the latter days of Napa Valley - marked by complex personal relationships, immense profits, passionate beliefs, and sometimes desperate struggles to prevail. In the balance hang fortunes and personal relationships made through hard work and, in too many cases, manipulation of laws, people, and institutions.

Napans who grew up trusting in the beneficence of the "vintner" class now confront in the 21-century multinational corporations and their allies who have stealthily subsumed the old family landmarks and abandoned the once glorious conviction that agriculture is the highest and best use of the land. Inherent in that conviction is the sanctity of the place, threatened now by a relentless drive for profits at the expense of land, water, and even life.

©2018 James Conaway (P)2018 Tantor

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

A mispronunciation in every paragraph

This brilliant and important insider’s view is painful to listen to. Narrator Tom Perkins might have done just a bit of homework before recording such bloopers as MA-rin County, VY-Ader Winery, Pol Roger ( rhymes with dodger) champagne, Jean-Charles Boisset (rhymes with basinet) and St. HE-lena (this is Napa, Tim, not Montana) repeated hundreds of times. Even common English words like nascent (NAW-sent) get bungled. If I were James Conoway, I would demand a new recording. It’s he who is made to sound like a clueless outsider.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Excellent book with a terrible narrator

What made the experience of listening to Napa at Last Light the most enjoyable?

Very well written and researched presentation of the sad situation whereby Napa's political leaders are helping corporate profit seekers to undermine and destroy so much of what has made this beautiful valley a very special place.

Would you be willing to try another one of Tom Perkins’s performances?

Not unless he learns the correct pronunciation for key words in what he's reading. It grates on the Napa native to hear his narration. Appalling that he does not know how to pronounce St. Helena (it's Hel-eena in the Napa Valley) or Boisset (the T should be silent), as well as other French-based words. His worst clunker was "closs" for the French term clos.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful