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Hello, Gorgeous

Becoming Barbra Streisand
Narrated by: Elizabeth Morton
Length: 20 hrs and 40 mins
4.1 out of 5 stars (15 ratings)

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Editor reviews

Acclaimed show biz biographer William J. Mann turns his perceptive and thorough eye on an icon whose rise to fame was fueled by brilliant talent and "a wave of master salesmanship", the legendary Barbra Streisand. Performed in an engaging, studious, and occasionally skeptical tone by New York actor Elizabeth Morton, Hello Gorgeous is a study of Streisand’s early years, when she transformed herself from a working-class Brooklyn kid at Erasmus High School into "a superstar the world either loved…or loathed".

Streisand’s talent and marketing acumen are effectively dissected, and the meticulously detailed backdrop of 1960’s New York - rehearsal halls, penthouse suites, and ubiquitous power brokers - are sure to be of interest to any aficionado of Mad Men, Broadway, and, of course, Babs herself.

Summary

The best-selling biographer of Katharine Hepburn and Elizabeth Taylor tells the electrifying story of how Barbra Streisand transformed herself into the greatest star of her era, etching "an indelible portrait of the artist as a young woman" (Publishers Weekly).

In 1960, she was a 17-year-old Brooklyn kid with plenty of talent but no connections and certainly no money; her mother brought her soup to make sure she stayed fed as she took acting classes and scraped out a living. Just four years later, Barbra Streisand was the top-selling female recording artist in America and the star of one of Broadway’s biggest hits. Now the acclaimed Hollywood biographer William Mann chronicles that dizzying ascent, telling the riveting behind-the-scenes story of how Streisand and her team transformed her from an unknown dreamer into a worldwide superstar.

Drawing on the private papers of Jerome Robbins and Bob Fosse, and interviewing scores of the friends and lovers who knew Barbara before she became Barbra, Mann recreates the vanished world of 1960s New York City and uncovers the truth behind the myths of her formative years. He shows us how Funny Girl was slowly altered, by Fosse and Robbins among others, from a Fanny Brice bio into a star-making vehicle for Streisand; takes us into the clubs and onto the set for her early nightclub and television appearances, including her torch-handing turn with Judy Garland; and introduces the canny marketing team whose strategies made her stardom seem inevitable. The Streisand who emerges is a revelation: a young woman who, for all her tough-skinned ambition, was surprisingly vulnerable in love.

Everyone who has felt outside the gate, as she once did, remembers a time when the newness and difference of Barbra Streisand changed everything and rewrote all the rules. In Hello, Gorgeous, Mann incisively illuminates the woman before she became the icon and pays tribute to one of the world’s most beloved performers.

©2012 William J. Mann (P)2013 Audible, Inc.

What listeners say about Hello, Gorgeous

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Barbara The Beautiful

From a very small girl when I first saw Barbra in Funny Girl sing 'Don't Rain On My Parade" I was hooked ! Hearing her sing "People" and many other favourite songs. Watching Hello Dolly I just loved her and so wanted to meet her. Because like her I have a large nose but because of Barbra I chose not to change it !! My dream eventually came true when I attended the Chaplin Award at the Lincoln Centre NY in 2013 to honour Barbra. Even though I was a long way back, I was in her company it was Fantastic. Thank you Barbra from your British sister who loves you so very much. This book gave me an even greater in site, it is a must read. very good.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Terry Darden
  • 19-11-14

Needs New Narrator

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

No - narrator should be better.

How could the performance have been better?

The narrator spoke way too slow and sounded like she was reading the book to grade school children.

If this book were a movie would you go see it?

Yes.

Any additional comments?

I absolutely love Barbra Streisand and am going to finish the book because of that, but the narrator makes it very difficult for me to concentrate on the book's content.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Linda
  • 04-10-20

Not a Barbra fan. Thought it might change my mind

I never have gotten Barbras fame. I thought she was aloof and annoying, occasionally had a good song but always rehashing someone else’s material. I thought this might show me some secret reasons to like her. Nope! This book pretty much showed me I was right. Well researched and written.

1 person found this helpful

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  • george sanchez
  • 18-12-17

Excellent attention to detail

I wish this book was longer to really capture Every decade in a long career

1 person found this helpful

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  • JimmyRae
  • 14-02-14

LIKE BUTTAH!

Would you listen to Hello, Gorgeous again? Why?

I would listen again and again as this delight is so chock full of wonderful details only one read may leave you missing out on some of its many gems.

What other book might you compare Hello, Gorgeous to and why?

I don't know...

Which character – as performed by Elizabeth Morton – was your favorite?

Barbra, but of course

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

becoming Barbra Streisand

Any additional comments?

Pure delight...just like BUTTAH

1 person found this helpful

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  • Alina
  • 02-10-20

love

delightful wonderful encouraging fun crazy series and adorable.thanj you for letting me hear this today

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  • C. lopez
  • 18-07-20

Enjoyed book

Very interesting book about Barbra Streisand. Not sure if all true, but still good entertainment

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  • Oceaangirl
  • 26-02-20

Great story

Loved the story but the narrator was very dry. Not good at keeping you awake. Monotone and boring voice.

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  • Lynn
  • 07-01-20

Boring

This was boring to me, Its talked about things that I wasn't interested in. Maybe I' not old enough the enjoy this book.

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  • james martin
  • 24-07-19

interesting listen

the autor tried to evoke the time, place and texture of the life of a star. the book ends on a screetching halt..as if the author wanted to say more but was cut off.. the narrator was terrible..a grating almost mechanical reading that rarely came to life. . I wish I had just splurged on a hardbound copy of the book and not wasted my credit on the audio copy

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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • Tyler R
  • 22-03-15

Dreadful

Avoid, nothing worthwhile. The narrator is just terrible. No credible facts or insights. Cash grab.

1 person found this helpful