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The Voyeur's Motel

Narrated by: Joe Barrett
Length: 5 hrs and 13 mins
3.5 out of 5 stars (214 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

On January 7, 1980, in the run-up to the publication of his landmark best seller Thy Neighbor's Wife, Gay Talese received an anonymous letter from a man in Colorado. "Since learning of your long-awaited study of coast-to-coast sex in America," the letter began, "I feel I have important information that I could contribute to its contents or to contents of a future book." The man went on to tell Talese an astonishing secret: that he had bought a motel to satisfy his voyeuristic desires. He had built an attic "observation platform", fitted with vents, through which he could peer down on his unwitting guests.

Unsure what to make of this confession, Talese traveled to Colorado where he met the man - Gerald Foos - verified his story in person, and read some of his extensive journals, a secret record of America's changing social and sexual mores. But because Foos insisted on remaining anonymous, Talese filed his reporting away, assuming the story would remain untold. Now, after 35 years, he's ready to go public, and Talese can finally tell his story.

The Voyeur's Motel is an extraordinary work of narrative journalism and one of the most talked about books of the year.

©Gay Gay Talese. Recorded by arrangement with Grove Atlantic, Inc. "I Can't Stop Loving You," words and music by Don Gibson. Copyright 1958 Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC. Copyright Renewed. All Rights Administered by Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, 424 Church Street, Suite 1200, Nashville, TN 37219. International Copyright Secured. All Rights Reserved. Reprinted by Permission of Hal Leonard Corporation. (P)2016 Audible, Inc.

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Average Customer Ratings

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Reads like a movie...a delusional pervert whose narcissism justifies all

I have always been fan of the writing style of Gay Talese and New Journalism. The blending of raw facts with a rich and deep anthropological vantage point results in an enlargement of my structure of judgement of people and their thoughts and resulting actions.
Mr. Talese's voice is alway in the reporter mode, no judgements, that's up to the reader. He writes with a smooth almost silky style which compliments the rawness of the characters.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Strangely captivating

This was an odd book. Most times it was difficult to tell if it truly was fact or just longing of an voyeur. Regardless, it was fascinating to listen to. I enjoyed every minute of the book, even though it made me feel like a voyeur myself by just listening to this powerful and compelling story.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

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Get ready to be appalled

I loved this book. Not because of the stories the Voyeur wrote down.
The Voyeurs "research" recollections, presented as true observations, are criminal and others fictions of a twisted mind. The scenes are difficult to get through. And the author's seeming complicity in working with this man makes me upset.

However, Mr Talese has woven in similar examples of people, like this man Gerald Foos, and other fascinating facts and anecdotes. He has done his due diligence as a reporter and brought it all together wonderfully. This is what I loved about this book.

You will get angry, disgusted, repulsed and fascinated by the questions you ask yourself throughout. I think anyone who can listen objectively should listen.

Im checking the vents in my hotel room from now on.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Live through the eyes of a voyeyor!<br />

This book let's us takes a brief look into a voyeyor's mind but at the same a peep into human behaviour and sexual behavior when nobody is supposed to be watching.

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Ambivalent with the narrator.

The tone the narrator uses for his impression of the voyeur gives the book a special feeling of listening to some kind of pervert, buy it makes it pretty difficult for listening above 1.75x speed. Altogether I think he could have been more clear in his narration.

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Fascinating Story of a Voyeur.

Narration: Clear. Joe Barrett is a pro.

Content: While a fascinating and informative story, the ethics are obviously horrid. Spying on people while they are having sex is a violation of research ethics. I wonder, however, whether this man's ethics were any more compromised than was Kinsey's (who spied on men having sex with prostitutes). Would make for an interesting question put to students in a research ethics course. One might think Kinsey on the lesser end of the unacceptable continuum, but the voyeur at the far end of that continuum.

I do not agree that "no harm was made by these clandestine" spying. If discovered, a subsequent owner would have been investigated, potentially costing expenses in procuring a lawyer. Moreover, potentially the identies so those spied upon might be discovered thereby causing embarrassment and even more legal expenses. Furthermore, those committing illegal acts might seek to cover their tracks by harming potential witnesses, including the voyeur and employees. The voyeur and his wife simply did not think this matter through. And, oh yes, the voyeur procured his wife's assistance which certainly involved her in this criminal activity as well.

Had the voyeur taken the time to study sexology, especially research methods and ethics, for which he had ample opportunity, I reasonably close approximation might have been had. This would make for an interesting question in a research methods class.

Fascinating descriptions of different sexual behaviors and the different types of people who engage in them. I thought the sheep thing was just a myth. Apparently not if the sheep is faux.

The descriptions of sexual behavior are interesting, but the voyeur's interpretations of their meaning are at best speculative and conveys unconfirmed convey understanding, which is why sexologists--good ones, in any event--confirm interpretations using supplementary verification; i.e., subjects' reports.

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fascinating

A strange story of times gone by combined with questionable behaviours. I found it facinacting and disturbing at times.

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Most entertaining

I'm prepared to listen to it again from start to finish. Story exceeded my expectations

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Fascinating

a well-written story about a fascinating man. I'll never be able to stay in a motel again without wondering.... Superb narration. Five stars no complaints.

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The Voyeur’s Motel

While I question the ethical ness of the motel owners actions, it’s nevertheless amazing if not sometimes downright hilarious what he and his companions observed and experienced. This interlaced with the sometimes sad and tragic observations he was privy to evoked in me a respect for his otherwise respectfulness to his guests by never profiteering from his voyeurism. This along with the deadpan gravelly voice of the narrator made it a memorable listen for those of us who are curious of and make a study of human sexuality.