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Publisher's Summary

If you're going to listen to one book about Hollywood, this is the one. 

As the cofounder of Creative Artists Agency, Michael Ovitz earned a reputation for ruthless negotiation, brilliant strategy, and fierce loyalty to his clients. He reinvented the role of the agent and helped shape the careers of hundreds of A-list entertainers, directors, and writers, including Steven Spielberg, Martin Scorsese, Meryl Streep, Sean Connery, Bill Murray, Robin Williams, and David Letterman.  

But this personal history is much more than a fascinating account of celebrity friendships and bare-knuckled deal making. It's also an underdog's story: How did a middle-class kid from Encino work his way into the William Morris mailroom and eventually become the most powerful person in Hollywood? How did an agent (even a superagent) also become a power in producing, advertising, mergers & acquisitions, and modern art? And what were the personal consequences of all those deals?  

After decades of near-silence in the face of controversy, Ovitz is finally telling his whole story, with remarkable candor and insight.

©2018 Michael Ovitz (P)2018 Penguin Audio

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Yep, that's the guy

Ovitz seemed muted in the CAA oral history, and I wanted to hear his side of things. Boy, did I get them. He rarely attempts to couch himself and lets you inside his most historic schemings. He pulled off what he probably wanted in the first place: Cementing his place in history on his terms, coming off as both The Best and Terribly Flawed. No surprise, he even agented his own book. There are only a few revelations (if you've followed him over the years) but they are definitely ear candy when they pop out. The surprise of the book is the reader Dennis Bouthsikaris, who nails a tone that allows him to be anything that he needs to be: vicious, abhorrent, kind, surprised, embarrassed, curious, learned, scornful, remote and aggressive. I read this while driving around LA for work mostly, and it gave me a new sense of the landmarks I was passing along the way.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Been waiting for this book for years.

I've listened to this book as soon as I bought it. I've long admired Ovitz for his discipline. Couldn't stop listening. I highly recommend.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Self congratulations on ambitious achievements

If you are interested in reading about how business in Hollywood is done, then this is the novel for you. Otherwise, it is a self promotional book about a narcissistic showbusiness agent who shares boring details about how he successfully made deals. There is no real insight into the people with whom he represented and how they shaped his career. By the time I finished with the book, I felt as if I just took a course in mergers and acquisitions. #ModernWorkplace #Cynical #Celebrity #Tagsgiving #Sweepstakes,

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Certainly interesting but weak on introspection

This is an interesting book and worth a read/listen. That said, throughout I kept hear Bruce Springsteen’s “Glory Days” in my head. Michael is clearly successful, but he doesn’t address the drivers for success; other than not sleeping, to achieve this. Additionally, his future endeavors can be boiled down to being rich and willing to take risk. That isnt something to scoff at but not really impressive.

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A fascinating mind

Setting aside how true or not the stories and accounts may be, the way Michael thinks and built and schemed is fascinating to hear. I bought the hardcover too so I can make notes in a second read. I really enjoyed the telling and the learning. Good on ya, Mike.

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A Brilliant Account of the Hero Behind the Mask

This work is very well written and performed to near perfection! It was refreshing to hear detailed thoughts behind so many deals and people we've all read about and seen on-screen for decades! It was also heartwarming to "meet" the real Mr. Ovitz; his family; his true friends; those he served and mentored; those who screwed him and even those who felt screwed by him.

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One of those books that is hard to put down.

I have read a lot of books over the years that included Ovitz, but it was nice to hear the stories direct from him. It was tough to quit listening at night and hated for it to end.

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Great book with vivid narrative

This is one of the few books I listen over 3 times and still enjoy it. A great book with vivid narrative and I can really visualize the characters and I was smiling when listenning to author's old-fassion way of doing business.

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I couldn’t put it down—great stories and really enlightening to hear about his journey

I read or listen to a lot of books, and often go through several books in tandem, where I shift from one kind of book to another depending on my mood. With his one, I started and then plowed through it continuously – it was completely engrossing. I’ve heard a lot about Michael Ovitz while I was growing up, but hearing his inside story about his career was fascinating. But it was also a terrific book for the way he revealed the thought processes behind the different moves he made, both strategic and personal. I was also fascinated by his transition into technology which, in retrospect seems obvious, but I’m sure it was anything but at the time. This is one of those books I’m going to go back and reread.. I’m sure there’s a lot more in there than what I was able to get in just one pass.

Congratulations to the office for having had the guts to write this book I’m sure will be fine.

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Excellent and Insightful

An excellent book about Hollywood's most powerful man through the 70s and 80s. Mr. Ovitz is tough, but he had to be. His insightfulness is remarkable. This book reads well and helps me to understand Mr. Ovitz's thinking and analysis. He is a master chess player among Hollywood elites. I only wish I could have worked for him back in the 70s and 80s and he built CAA into the powerhouse it became. An excellent book! Highly recommended.