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Powerhouse  By  cover art

Powerhouse

By: James Andrew Miller
Narrated by: James Andrew Miller,Kirby Heyborne,Ann Richardson
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Publisher's summary

An astonishing - and astonishingly entertaining - behind-the-curtain history of Hollywood's transformation over the past five decades as seen through the agency at the heart of it all, from the number-one best-selling author of Live from New York and Those Guys Have All the Fun.

In 1975, five young employees of a sclerotic William Morris agency left to start their own strikingly innovative talent agency. In the years to come, Creative Artists Agency would vault from its origins in a tiny office on the last block of Beverly Hills to become the largest and most imperial, groundbreaking, and star-studded agency Hollywood has ever seen - a company whose tentacles now spread throughout the world of movies, music, television, technology, advertising, sports, and investment banking far more than previously imagined.

Powerhouse is the fascinating, no-holds-barred saga of that hot-blooded ascent. Drawing on unprecedented and exclusive access to the men and women who built and battled CAA as well as financial information never before made public, acclaimed author James Andrew Miller spins a tale of boundless ambition, ruthless egomania, ceaseless empire building, drugs, sex, greed, and personal betrayal. Powerhouse is also a story of prophetic brilliance, magnificent artistry, singular genius, entrepreneurial courage, strategic daring, foxhole brotherhood, and how one firm utterly transformed the entertainment business. Here are the real Star Wars - complete with a Death Star - told through the voices of those who were actually there. Packed with scores of stars from movies, television, music, and sports as well as a tremendously compelling cast of agents, studio executives, network chiefs, league commissioners, hedge fund managers, tech CEOs, and media tycoons, Powerhouse is itself a Hollywood blockbuster of the most spectacular sort.

©2016 James Andrew Miller (P)2016 HarperCollins Publishers

What listeners say about Powerhouse

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

A terrific look behind the curtain

While too long and repetitious, the book offers great insights from major players. Inexcusable were the mispronunciation of prominent people such as John Calley and Guy McElwayne.

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4 people found this helpful

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

oral history

This is an oral history of CAA. It is 95% transcribed interviews with CAA employees and clients. Has lots of potential, but if you are looking for a multiple angle,deep analysis of the agency business this book is not it.

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2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

This audio recording session was NOT produced.

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Not really.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Powerhouse?

The number of individual names incorrectly pronounced.

What did you like about the performance? What did you dislike?

I disliked the lack of booth direction.There's a female performer who told sad anecdotes with a smile in her voice.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

The lack of phonetic support made me angry.

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2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Full Circle, it seems...

“Live From New York” was the last book that I physically couldn’t put down. Never had I read a book from beginning to end in such a short time. The stories about SNL from all the names we know and a few we forgot were involved was simply fascinating and nostalgic at the same time.
“Powerhouse” reads in much the same way, except for the fact that most of the names involved are unfamiliar and for the most part, they are self-congratulatory. However, some of the stories are interesting.
This book is certainly not for everyone. If you don’t care about the movie/tv business, then you won’t find this book interesting except to discover just how cutthroat Hollywood can be.
By the end, it really felt like a bunch of bragging from every direction. And I found it sort of amazing how the whole story more or less came full circle.

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1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Way too long!

This book is like a reporter’s notes for a much more concise, readable book. This book should be an “endnotes appendix” to a much shorter narrative.

All that said, the story of CAA is a good one, and however told it’s a fascinating listen. But I highly recommend 2x speed or faster.

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1 person found this helpful

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

Disjointed storyline and one-aided.

It was really hard to follow a storyline. The whole book is a series of disjointed interviews. It was also very on-side, focused one all the wins. I would have liked to hear more about the disasters, failures, and struggles also. There was also almost zero time spent on how the industry viewed CAA and the players along the way. I know their relationship with the studios was not always so rosy.

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1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Superficial and skin deep

There are no great insights here and the narration is annoying at best. This book is a series of comments from interviews that is somehow stitched together with NO actual editorial commentary or deep observations. Some of the most colorful people in Hollywood come off dull and flat.

The three narrators present this bizarre assembly of comments as if trained by by “Siri” or “Alexa”.

You won’t learn much about the super agency and will be left to fill in the blanks on your own.

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1 person found this helpful

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

Good info..bad structure

Some cool stories and behind the scenes info on Hollywood agencies and the players. Slow structure with tons of short quotes from pieces of interviews and very repetitive.

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1 person found this helpful

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

Tough w/ 3 narrators but very informative.

Once again, authors are not the best narrators and using a male and female narrator for all male and female quotes was tough to get used to. Could have used less of the long (self promoting) quotes, or perhaps more of the counterpoints from David Geffen and Ari Emanuel.

Despite that, it was very informative and I learned a lot about a Hollywood institution.

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1 person found this helpful

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

Exciting story with real events.

This story is so good parts of it seem made up. If you work in any area of Hollywood it’s a great read and also great for people who don’t!

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