Fosse

Narrated by: Jim Meskimen
Length: 21 hrs and 23 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (155 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

We see Bob Fosse's legacy everywhere - from Broadway to "Billy Jean" to Beyoncé's moves in the "Single Ladies" video. Yet in spite of Fosse'sdeep cultural significance, no biography has ever brought him fully to life, unveiling the man behind the bowler hat and the swaggering sex appeal. Now acclaimed cultural historian Sam Wasson traces Fosse's numberless reinventions of himself over a career that would spawn The Pajama Game, Cabaret, Pippin, Chicago, All That Jazz, and other iconic works of art andearn him Tonys, Emmys, and an Oscar.

Wasson traces not only Fosse's prodigious professional life but his intense relationships with everyone from Liza Minnelli, FredAstaire, and Neil Simon to Shirley MacLaine, Jessica Lange, and Dustin Hoffman.Through extensive interviews with collaborators and lovers and unprecedented access to Fosse's archives, Wasson also reveals the deep wounds that propelled his subject's excessive appetites - for spotlights, women, and life itself. In Fosse, Wasson's stylish, effervescent prose proves the ideal vehicle for reanimating Bob Fosse as he truly was - after hours, close up, and in vibrant color.

©2013 Blackstone Audio; 2013 Sam Wasson

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What listeners say about Fosse

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  • Overall
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    5 out of 5 stars

High concept biography, well executed

Wasson does more than just chart the life and career of Bob Fosse. He uses the dancer/choreographer/director to paint a sprawling picture of the sea change in the performing arts from vaudeville to MTV. Fosse is fascinating in his own right, but it is his connection to so many aspects of American culture that is particularly compelling. The worlds of dance, theatre, television, and film are all deftly handled. The paradoxes of the man are front and center throughout, with Wasson being alternately critical and forgiving of his shortcomings. There are hints of mythologizing throughout, but they're often balanced by acknowledging Fosse's insecurities and contradictions. Fosse is an innovator and a relic, an artist and a hack, kind and cruel, selfish and selfless. This biography is informative, but its value doesn't come from learning the details of Fosse's life. It's Wasson's ability to contextualize and synthesize his 60 years that make this book essential reading.

The reader Jim Meskimen is excellent. Confident, articulate, expressive, and a great tone. A wonderful audiobook experience on all fronts.

6 people found this helpful

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Didn't want it to end.

A must for anyone who loves American musical theater. Made me want to see all his shows.

6 people found this helpful

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Well researched, well written, well narrated

While Fosse is a tragic tale, it includes the highs and lows of one of Broadway's legends. I enjoyed all of the history this book strung together for me. Meskimen is a master narrator and he kept me engaged and interested throughout.

4 people found this helpful

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Glad to not be a genius

Where does Fosse rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

One of the best!

What other book might you compare Fosse to and why?

I would compare it to other Broadway biographies I've read, Meryl Secrest's on Sondheim for instance, but it's looser and sharper and less reverent.

What does Jim Meskimen bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Jim's voice provides warmth and humor to an otherwise lurid tale.

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

The man behind the razzle dazzle

Any additional comments?

A must read for anyone thinking of going into the business...a cautionary tale.

3 people found this helpful

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Interesting Listen

I am an ex Broadway actress/dancer so this was immensely entertaining to me. If you’re interested in learning more about Fosse as a man, and his contributions to theater, film, and dance, you will enjoy this. Narrator and writing were great.

2 people found this helpful

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Fosse, Fosse, Fosse !!!

I was motivated to read this book while watching the FX Series "Fosse/Verdon". I've always been a big fan of both of these two incredible artist's. I thought it was a GREAT READ !! What an incredible look into the career of Bob Fosse's work and personal struggles that impacted his creativity in both a negative and positive way. Exasperating !.....I felt like I'd hoofed my way through 50 years of show business and needed to go to bed and rest for another 50 !!!!

2 people found this helpful

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Entertaining and In-Depth

A very enjoyable listen of a fascinating career. Well written, read, and realized, this is a great downloads for fans of the American musical.

2 people found this helpful

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The plethora of mispronounced words killed my soul

A really fantastic bio of the person who redefined Broadway and dance!!! But the audiobook is completely marred by the mispronounciations of basic dance terminology and key people who are equal legends of Broadway. Hint: Rond de jambe is pronounced rahn-d'-zham; Apache is pronounced ah-PAHSH (not Apacheee like the Native American tribe); and for the love of all things good and Broadway it's JOO-LEE (like Julie) Stein NOT JOOL STEIN!!! Whoever produced this recording should forever pay full price for Hamilton and buy 10 tickets for underprivileged kids. Did Mr. Meskimen never think to ask how terms and names are properly pronounced? Ugh. Skip the audiobook and buy the actual book. Your soul, and sanity, will thank you.

3 people found this helpful

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Amazing

Fascinating book enhanced by a masterful read by Jim Meskimen.
A must read/listen to for anyone involved in the arts.

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interesting

the book was very interesting and had alot of facts about his life.. the book was long

1 person found this helpful