With nearly 100 photographs, including an 8-page four-color insert, and illuminating details about the life of a working actor, from inspired costars and demanding directors to her distinct perspective on how she developed and honed her Tony Award–winning performances, Patti LuPone: A Memoir is as inspirational as it is entertaining. And though the title might say “a memoir,” this is ultimately a love letter to the theatre by a unique American artist.
OK so I admit upfront I am a massive musicals fan so perhaps I was always going to live this - but then if you are not a musicals fan then you wouldn't be considering buying this anyway, right?
This 'memoir' is a story of a truly amazing career on the stage told by Patti herself. In all honesty, I was only aware of Patti as a somewhat legendary diva, someone with a ferocious anger and that is difficult to work with; as Patti addresses herself, this is the pre-conception many have of her. BUT what this book does is give you is a real insight into what an amazing lady this is. Yes she has a temper, but what is clear is that this temper comes from nothing but utter passion for her craft - ACTING - not singing, but ACTING. The singing is something in which Patti has invested so much to master, and master she has, while is it the telling of story on the stage and her growth as a performer that has driven much of her career.
You get utterly wonderful, funny stories from her incredibly varied career, from plays to musicals to films and back to plays and musical again. What I found SO exciting was that Patti has chapters dedicated to her experiences in some of the most iconic musicals of all time, both on Broadway and in the West End (there are chapters on Evita, Les Mis, Sunset Boulevard, Gypsy to name a few).
What makes this book EXTRA special is that Patti really doesn't hold back! I had no idea of the controversies, difficulties, personal traumas, egos, back-stabbing, grudges and down-right disasters that went on in the world of musicals; Patti's discussion of her experiences with Sunset (and more specifically Andrew Lloyd Webber) are just so insightful, I had no idea...you must read this!
Patti reads this audiobook herself, which adds so much. She has a bit of an odd delivery, at first sounding peculiar and stuttery - but I suspect this is a product of trying to annunciate as clearly as possible - by Chapter 2 you are so engrossed you won't care! Seriously READ THIS!
Stephen Sheerin was born to play on Broadway - or at least, under it. He's a musician, a conductor, and his dream is to music-direct a big Broadway musical. After years of toiling in the pit of some of the best-loved (and loathed) hits on the Great White Way, he's just been given his big break. Can life really be going that well? Of course not.
I'm a musical fanatic living in the UK. Initially, the WAY over-the-top 'Americanishness' of this book (mainly from the author as the narrator) was difficult to get past - BUT - I am so glad I persisted.
This book is HILARIOUS and an absolutely JOY for those with good musicals knowledge - the references to previous shows and little stories and insights to how the whole 'putting on a show' process works is absolutely wonderful and enthralling. Clearly anyone not into musicals probably wouldn't get past 5 minutes listening to this - but then you would only buy this in the first place if that was the case.
Despite my initial reservations about the narrator, he really is funny and brings the whole thing alive. Really really great stuff. The fact that some of the other characters are voiced by other actors also really helps - and some of the interpretations are just comically brilliant!
A really enjoyable listen - loved it!
Meet Emily and Paul: The parents of two young children, Emily is the newly promoted VP of marketing at a large corporation while Paul works from home or from clients' offices as an independent IT consultant. Their lives, like all of ours, are filled with a bewildering blizzard of emails, phone calls, yet more emails, meetings, projects, proposals, and plans. Just staying ahead of the storm has become a seemingly insurmountable task.
Sorry, but this is just terrible.
It is so monotonous, and in all honesty all the 'advice' and 'insight' is just plain common sense - don't try to do too much at once, you use energy to think so have a snack, go for a walk to clear your head, brains are easily distracted so disconnect the phone, etc. etc. You don't need to sit and listen to a book for goodness knows how many hours to realise this - come on, you already know this stuff.
The whole 'take two' thing is a nice idea, but it just doesn't work because its all circumstantial given that the author can just say all the right things were done by the character, but this does absolutely nothing to help YOU do the right things; reading a book will never change the way your own brain functions, I'm afraid.
Oh, and if I ever hear 'PRE-FRONTAL CORTEX' ever again I will go insane. Just by saying a medical term lots and lots does not make this anything clever or insightful, just flipping annoying.
Finally, at the risk of sounding zenophobic, this book really is very 'American' in its tone and approach, so if you are into all this self-help stuff then perhaps you might get something from it (it is clear that my 'give it a go' approach to this did not pay off myself!), but otherwise it will probably just annoy the hell out of you.
7 of 11 people found this review helpful
My name is Peter Grant and until January I was just probationary constable in that mighty army for justice known to all right-thinking people as the Metropolitan Police Service (as the Filth to everybody else). My only concerns in life were how to avoid a transfer to the Case Progression Unit--we do paperwork so real coppers don't have to--and finding a way to climb into the panties of the outrageously perky WPC Leslie May.
I wont say too much as I am clearly in the minority on this one!
Don't get me wrong, I did enjoy it, but maybe it was just a bit out-there for me. I found the setting in London and Covent Garden great, but I wonder how non-Londers might find this? (I suspect I would have struggled even more if I did not know the area). Its certainly imaginative, and amusing at times. But overall I can only give it 3 starts as I was not totally absorbed in, or 'believed' the story (some things has no 'reason' behind them at all...and I know this is perhaps silly thing to say given the book is about magic, when anything can happy, but still - this found me rolling my eyes a few times)...but based on the other reviews clearly that is just me!
The narration is odd! Very breathy and 'interesting' phasing used throughout, however credit is due as after you get used to the style the narrator does have an excellent flair for the accents and conveying the character attitudes.
4 of 5 people found this review helpful
Wolf Hadda's life was a fairytale - successful businessman and adored husband. But a knock on the door one morning ends it all. Universally reviled, thrown into prison, Wolf retreats into silence. Seven years later Wolf begins to talk to the prison psychiatrist and receives parole to return home. But there's a mysterious period in Wolf's past when he was known as the Woodcutter. Now the Woodcutter is back, looking for truth and revenge...
I should probably start by saying this was the first audiobook I have EVER listened to. I struggle with reading 'real' books as my job involves reading factual information for much of the day, but longed for some kind of creative outlet to transport me away. So, I decided to give audio books a crack.
This was one of the best sellers when I first signed up, and was exceptionally long (call me cheap, but this gave me some feeling of smugness for getting the most value out of my first credit!).
Ok so the actual story - I wondered where the hell it was going to start with, and was concerned I was loosing interest. However after persisting through the first few confusing chapters, things started to unravel, in a very good way. I became truly interested in the characters, and it was clear there were some mysteries to be revealed later down the line and I really wanted to know what was going to happen next! There are some EXCELLENT twists (one which was totally left field - maybe I was too dumb to pick up any clues! - which literally made me gasp out loud...and also laugh out loud in other places...what more would you ask from a book?!).
The narrator is really, really excellent. I think my interest may have lulled a little in the middle (it is a VERY long story) - but that is purely a result of the intricate and clever story. The way the chapters are structured, so you get different character's perspectives on the same events really is so clever, I loved it.
So, give it a go. Stick with it, and you will be rewarded with a wonderfully gripping story. I am so pleased I picked this as my first audiobook...and look forward to listening to it all again in the future (I'm sure there are SO many clever little things in the early chapters that will make so much more sense the second time around!).