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Al Franken, Giant of the Senate Audiobook

Al Franken, Giant of the Senate

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Publisher's Summary

From the best-selling author - the story of an award-winning comedian who decided to run for office and then discovered why award-winning comedians tend not to do that.

Al Franken, Giant of the Senate is a book about an unlikely campaign that had an even more improbable ending: the closest outcome in history and an unprecedented eight-month recount saga, which is pretty funny in retrospect. It's a book about what happens when the nation's foremost progressive satirist gets a chance to serve in the United States Senate and, defying the low expectations of the pundit class, actually turns out to be good at it. It's a book about our deeply polarized, frequently depressing, occasionally inspiring political culture, written from inside the belly of the beast. In this candid personal memoir, the honorable gentleman from Minnesota takes his army of loyal fans along with him from Saturday Night Live to the campaign trail, inside the halls of Congress, and behind the scenes of some of the most dramatic and/or hilarious moments of his new career in politics.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your My Library section along with the audio.

©2017 Al Franken (P)2017 Hachette Audio

What the Critics Say

"Al Franken fans, rejoice! Franken narrates his latest book in a voice that captures both of his key public personas: current U.S. senator and former humorist. This is a balance that cannot be underestimated, as Franken clarifies at the onset that the Senate requires a level of decorum that most former comedians would find excruciating." (AudioFile)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.8 (71 )
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4.9 (62 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Scott 30/07/2017
    Scott 30/07/2017 Member Since 2017
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Brilliant"

    This is a really good listen detailing Franken's campaign and for his Senate seat and time in the Senate.

    It's read by him very well which is a great contribution because it sounds like he's telling you the story rather than reading off a script.

    I'd recommend this to anyone with an interest in politics.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Anonymous 12/07/2017
    12/07/2017 Member Since 2017
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Informative, powerful and very funny"

    Really enjoyed, learnt a lot about American politics & Al Franken himself and was very entertained in the process. Recommend!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mark 20/10/2017
    Mark 20/10/2017 Member Since 2014
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    4
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    "Hugely insightful and enjoyable."

    Purchased on a whim. Very glad I did, had me laughing out loud several times particularly his inner battles between what he wants to say and what his conscience will allow him to say.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 21/09/2017 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    41
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    "So Worth It"

    Well written , excellent narration. Different nations,cultures but honesty and belief trans national Good Stuff

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    gingernut 03/09/2017
    gingernut 03/09/2017 Member Since 2017
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    "Excellent !"

    Excellent book! A wonderfully informative and entertaining read. Great to share the journey and look forward to the sequel when Al Franken is President!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Curly 16/08/2017
    Curly 16/08/2017 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Franken for President 2020"

    there is no good reason not to support the author to be chief executive of the USA or vice President to Elizabeth Warren. This is a funny heartfelt book about solving problems and what a politician should be like.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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  • srqartist
    SARASOTA, FL. USA
    06/07/17
    Overall
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    "Perspective is everything"

    It is common in this day and age to use litmus test to paint politicians one way or the other. One litmus test that rarely fails is ... is this guy funny or not? Senator Franken without a doubt is funny. A rare quality amongst politicians these days. The early chapters of this book reveal a man that understands comedy often reveals truth better than facts, debates or lofty speeches. The book is riddled with humorous self deprecating stories that truly reveal a man of great character. I honestly wish he lived next-door to me and we could hang out together. How many politicians can you say that about? If you're a political junkie or you are manic depressive about the current state of affairs, please take time to listen to this angst free presentation by a truly great American.Thanks Al, I really needed this book.

    43 of 57 people found this review helpful
  • Nancy
    Santa Rosa, CA
    08/06/17
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    "I Fell In Love This Week with Al Franken"

    It's true. I fell in love this week with Al Franken. I didn't mean to fall in love. But it's hard to resist the straight shooting, intelligent, folksy, charming, clever storyteller that Al Franken is. Oops, I forget to mention funny. I should mention funny. He'd probably like that. He's also a true patriot. A hard-working honest one at that. I don't know that I'd necessarily agree with him on all his political views, but that's not the point.

    I especially appreciated how approachable the book is for those of us with very little knowledge of the political process yet how enjoyable it is for those of us who know full well how the political process works. I think it's important for people who have felt disengaged from politics to somehow get engaged, and this book would be an easy way to get started, no matter your party. It's an interesting glimpse behind the curtain, if you will.

    He eases the listener into politics by beginning the book with his early years at Harvard, and then amuses with tales of SNL. He's wily in explaining his Minnesota campaign run. It's all very fascinating, but I felt like he was maybe testing the waters to see if we were ready as a nation to understand the power of the de-humorizer and be ready to de-bunk that junk for a potential presidential run in the future. While I think he'd make an exceptional President, I have zero confidence in the rest of the population to see through the de-humorizer. Sorry, Al, hope I'm wrong. Or, maybe I'm reading that section wrong and that's not the intent.

    For me, the best meat of the book comes when he really gets into what goes on day to day in D.C. It wasn't a Civics class, don't worry. But, it kind of gave you a feel for the day in the life of a Senator. I got a kick hearing the jokes he had to edit in his head that he now gets to let out -- apparently before his head explodes. Ted Cruz is the Dwight Schrute of the Senate, I knew it! I also appreciated that he acknowledges discouragements but leaves the reader with an overall tone of optimism. You know, if we work on this together, we can do this!

    Al Franken, Giant of Senate? Tongue in cheek title? Clever, clever, man.

    65 of 89 people found this review helpful
  • Shager670
    Ballwin, MO USA
    10/09/17
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    "Listen to the first half; second half optional"

    The first half of this book is 'how Al Franken became a US Senator.' It's interesting and instructive.

    The second half is partly 'what I've done in the Senate' and partly 'why the Democrats are right on everything.' There's sometimes good content in the second half, but if you would prefer to avoid the Democratic screed, just skip it.

    1 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • SV
    09/09/17
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    "Good content, entertaining to boot!"

    Didn't know a lot about Al before listening, heard book referenced in a podcast so downloaded. Interesting, funny, well read and thought provoking. About all you can ask for in a book!

    Did find it to be not overly balanced, but I suppose that's to be expected and was also a-ok with me. As someone who leans right of center generally, learning the perspective of others in a well done book is always a good way to try and balance oneself, well for me anyway...

    I hope our own Senators take their jobs as seriously and as passionately as Al seems to.

    3 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Snake39
    Bozeman, MT
    26/08/17
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    "I am a Conservative, however"

    this author makes many good points. Also a few I do not share, however that is life. Recommended reading...I mean listening.

    4 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • Matthew
    23/08/17
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    "Starts so good...."

    This book started so good. Al Franken is very funny and gives a great retrospective on his youth, years on SNL and gaining office. He is very funny and bucks the trend of authors reading their own books which I normally stay away from. Unfortunately about a third of the way in he goes from joking about liberal and conservative perspectives to a very politicized piece. I was hoping for Al to stay as an omnipresent observer but he just goes right into a manifesto on his political views. Whether you agree with his points or not that swing in approach really turned me off from the book .... but the man is very funny. I promise you will laugh out loud multiple times.

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Gretchen SLP
    Sacramento, California
    10/06/17
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    "WOW!!!"

    This was my favorite book of 2017 so far, and wildly exceeded expectations. Holy cow! Just when you think there's absolutely nothing funny about politics, government, world affairs or current events, and that there's no way you could ever laugh at these things, along comes Al Franken to prove you wrong. So, so many laugh-out-loud moments made my commute miles fly by, and I found myself actually sorry every time I had to turn off the book. Thank you, thank you, Al, for putting this educational, inspirational, and above all, hilarious page-turner out there to cheer us all up and remind us it's NEVER too late to try to make a positive difference in our communities, our home states, and the country we all ❤️ love. Recommended for mature audiences of all political persuasions. This one, like patriotism itself, is truly bipartisan.

    68 of 102 people found this review helpful
  • C. Telfair
    Shepherdstown, WV, United States
    04/06/17
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    "Seriously..."

    It seems that Senators are people.

    Along with the not-so-surprising qualities of the Senate - the deep division, the hunger for power, the money grubbing, the self-promotion - Al Franken, in "Giant of theSenate", presents this feature that so often gets completely overlooked: Senators have grandchildren and hobbies and senses of humor (sometimes); and he has been making a genuine effort to get to know each and every one of them.

    That disclosure may be the most unique and appealing aspect of this charming and eminently listenable book. I can't imagine that experiencing the book in any other format than audibly could be as satisfying. Franken obviously is the best and only narrator who makes sense.

    This is a Senator who takes his work - and the people he represents - seriously. Senator Franken has been careful over the past 10 years to make this clear, so it is a real treat to hear him finally cut loose with some of the humor he has kept carefully at bay for a long time. There's not much that is surprising in his revelations (Ted Cruz is unlikable, can you imagine?) except that he views his new position and his colleagues with more tolerance and empathy than one might think.

    And that's a good thing. Franken maintains respect for the Institution, heart-felt dedication to improving the Country, and hope for the future that is evident in even the most frustrating and horridly funny stories about the situation in Congress now. Intelligence, heart, hope, and persistence are excellent qualities in a Senator - and, for that matter, in all citizens who desperately wish to survive this period in American history.

    Is "Giant of the Senate" an indication that there might be Presidential aspirations in Al Franken? Maybe, and why not? If a man who seemed at one time so unlikely a Senate prospect has been effective and dedicated and still kept his lively sense of the ridiculous, we should be so lucky!



    45 of 70 people found this review helpful
  • Tay
    04/06/17
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    "Franken's book is a relief for the sorely troubled"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Al Franken, Giant of the Senate to be better than the print version?

    Because Franken reads the book, it is probably at least twice as funny as the print version.


    What was the most compelling aspect of this narrative?

    Franken is a nice guy trying to do what's right. I am so happy that someone in the senate can be described this way. He does his homework, he has compassion for his constituents, and he reaches out to conservatives on a personal level to court friendship.He comes across as a very decent human being.


    Which character – as performed by Al Franken – was your favorite?

    Definitely himself.


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

    Al Franken, humor and humility as an anecdote to ignorance and hubris now poisoning our democracy.


    Any additional comments?

    This book helped me cope with the seemingly endless stream of cruel, angry, diatribes pouring forth from everywhere all the time.

    47 of 74 people found this review helpful
  • Rebecca
    Seattle, WA, United States
    09/06/17
    Overall
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    "Giant of the Senate"

    Informs as it entertains in his inimitable Franken style.
    What I love about this book is that Senator Franken is bursting with exuberant love for people. For Minnesotans, for Americans. for his wife, his children, his friends and even some of his adversaries.
    I really love his sense of outrage at the "Lying Liars", his fear and worry in the face of Trump's election, and his final note of hope.
    I have a daughter, son in law, and two grandchildren a sister and a brother in law in Minnesota, and I'm just as happy as can be that their senator cares so much about them.
    The other thing I love about this book is that I learned a lot about what a senator DOES. I laughed a lot of course, because Al Franken is a very funny man, but I also learned a great deal.
    This book is hot of the press and speaks to current events but I have no doubt that people reading this book in twenty years will find it equally fascinating as a look inside an American head at a time when the country appears to have gone bat sh*t crazy. I'm reassured to think that those readers will judge us less harshly after reading Giant of the Senate.

    26 of 43 people found this review helpful

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