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Talk Audiobook

Talk: A Novel

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Publisher's Summary

An explosive novel exposing the inner workings of conservative talk radio and campaign politics from New York Times best-selling author and one of America's leading talk-radio hosts and political commentators, Michael Smerconish.

Stan Powers finds himself at a crossroads. Poised to take the last step in his unlikely ascent to the top of conservative talk radio, his conscience may not let him. Set amid the backdrop of "the most important presidential election of our lifetime", Powers - as the most influential voice in Tampa’s hotly contested I-4 Corridor - holds the key to Florida, and therefore the Oval Office. His on-air attacks singlehandedly put an abrupt end to the top candidates' main competitors in the primaries, and now he is in the singular position to influence who wins the highest elected office in the world. Will he continue playing the game according to his cynical advisors, or listen to his own conscience and drop an even bigger bomb than expected?

With a story that could have been ripped from the headlines, deeply developed characters and interconnected plotlines, and one of the most shocking and rewarding denouements you’ll ever experience, this is the perfect political thriller for today’s America.

©2014 Michael A. Smerconish (P)2014 Audible, Inc.

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.0 (122 )
5 star
 (52)
4 star
 (34)
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Overall
3.8 (114 )
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Story
4.1 (113 )
5 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    J.Cozzens Bartlett, TN 05-15-14
    J.Cozzens Bartlett, TN 05-15-14 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Good Read"
    What did you like best about Talk? What did you like least?

    Great performance, instructive story about how talk radio industry works. Language was more vulgar than expected.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Stan was a compelling character.


    Which character – as performed by James Edward Thomas – was your favorite?

    Stan professional coach was cool


    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Errol B. 07-28-14
    Errol B. 07-28-14
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    "Great Summer Listen...."
    What about James Edward Thomas’s performance did you like?

    The presenter did a great job. He was able to convey the feeling of the different characters in the books with only slight inflections of his voice.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Wouldn't listen through in one sitting. That would be a really long car ride. That said, I looked forward to getting in the car to continue the story.


    Any additional comments?

    Great light reading that gives you a little behind the scenes glimpse of how the talk radio world operates.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dubi New York, NY 12-15-14
    Dubi New York, NY 12-15-14
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    "From the Horse's Mouth"

    Michael Smerconish knows talk radio. He has hosted his own political talk show for a decade and a half and now has his own show on CNN after years as a talking head on other political TV shows. And he knows something else that is central to the story contained in his first (and to date only) novel -- what it's like to abandon the lucrative field of right wing talk radio, as well as the Republican Party, to try to find a civil and sustainable independent middle ground.

    Talk recounts the role played by a rising star in conservative talk radio, Stan Powers, during a contentious presidential campaign. I don't want to give anything away, but Powers battles a crisis of conscience from start to finish -- what he's willing to do to further his personal ambition vs. what he knows is the ethical alternative. In the process, Smerconish gives us an insider's view of talk radio, demolishing it -- not an expose per se, because all he is really doing is confirming what we already know about talk radio.

    The beauty of his story is in the details -- the details of how Powers crafts his career as a talking head, how a talk show (and the talk radio industry) works, and most entertainingly, how his fictional presidential campaign unfolds. James Edward Thomas comes through for us in this first person narration by capturing Smerconish's well-known voice -- not in timbre, Thomas's voice being deeper and rougher, but in tone.

    Two minor points of quibble that cost Smersh a star: he is a talking head, not a writer (his five nonfiction titles notwithstanding), so I should not expect him to be Hemingway, but I did long for a bit more show and little less tell -- there is too much exposition that could've been dramatized rather than narrated (great example: instead of telling us what each candidate stands for, let them do that themselves during the debate that Smerconish does in fact dramatize). His last chapter, while containing good stuff, is also too much tell and no show (and too preachy), especially since it comes after Stan has made his ethical decisions.

    The other thing, more in terms of Smerconish's stance rather than in his story or writing, is his frequent fallback on false equivalency. He should know better, his story being Exhibit A -- most of the ills he describes, in talk radio and TV news, in political campaigning and policy setting, emanate from one side. False equivalency is the gratuitous assumption that both sides are equally complicit, but if you look at the facts and do the math, the ratio is in fact far from 50-50, skewed more like 70-30 or more.

    Well, you can tell from that last paragraph which side I fall on. If you're coming from the other end of the spectrum, you are going to find that this story comes out of a different part of the horse than its mouth. I would still recommend you listen to it. You may end up taking the same road Smerconish took, restoring moderation in place of polarization. For everyone else, especially the silent majority of independent thinkers, this may be a case of preaching to the choir, but it is both entertaining and illuminating.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Haven 05-25-14
    Haven 05-25-14
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    "Well Said"

    Would that there were a real talk host who felt this way. Wait, there is.

    3 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Craig Harry Sweetnam 07-12-17 Member Since 2017
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    "Great contemporary "historical" fiction"
    Where does Talk rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    If you have ever wondered how did we get here with the polarized media and the crazy partisan politics Talk offers a historical fiction account of how we got here. It's the most entertaining book about why our politics and media is all screwed up I have ever read. If I was to have any complaint it is that it is a great story about a guy, but it really has limited solutions to the problems.


    What did you like best about this story?

    It's a great story and while the protagonist is not a real person he feels real and your really interested in what is going to happen next. I would love a sequel to find out what happened to the guy.


    What about James Edward Thomas’s performance did you like?

    The story is 75% told by the protagonist with 10 other people having recurring roles with dialog on a semi regular basis. The top 5 people have very distinctive changes in voice and it's easy to hear the difference between them. The next 5 are not quite as unique in their voice and sound somewhat generic. The pace and timber are very easy to listen to.


    If you could take any character from Talk out to dinner, who would it be and why?

    I would love to take the protagonist our for dinner a year after the book end. But I would live with the end of the book. The consultant would also be really amazing to talk with.


    Any additional comments?

    I really love the message of this book we need to have less partisanship in our discussions. We need to talk and listen not just soapbox.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nick 01-15-17
    Nick 01-15-17
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    "great story!"

    very gripping, didn't want to turn it off. would like to hear more of this

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Blake Robl 12-29-16
    Blake Robl 12-29-16 Member Since 2016
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    "Great Book!!!"

    The beginning of the book is really good and the story continues to evolve throughout the book. However, the last chapter ends the book to abruptly.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Steven M. Colley 10-22-16 Member Since 2015
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    "Wow!"

    Wow! this is my new favourite book. Michael Smerconish is a great author as well as a radio host. Highly suggest it to anyone who wants a good read, just wow!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    G. 10-11-16
    G. 10-11-16
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    "excellent! pure Smerconish"

    listened to it in less than 24 hours. it is awesome and recommended for any political junkie

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nelle nell 03-11-16
    Nelle nell 03-11-16 Member Since 2017
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    "good look into talk radio"

    it was good if you like politics and understand the humor I would suggest that if you listen to talk radio

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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