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Youngblood Hawke

Narrated by: Nick Sullivan
Length: 41 hrs and 5 mins
Categories: Fiction, Literary
4.5 out of 5 stars (2 ratings)

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Summary

Arthur Youngblood Hawke, an ex-Navy man moves from rural Kentucky to New York to assault the citadel of New York publishing with his first novel, an oversized manuscript that becomes an instant success. Toasted by critics and swept along on a tide of popularity, he gives himself over to the lush life that gilds artistic success. Love comes with an affair with an older married woman and an unfulfilled flame with his editor, while wealth pours in with the publication of his second novel, and participation in real-estate developments. Yet the gilt of the New York high life can only last so long, before it wears off, sending Arthur into a downward, self-destructive spiral.   

Inspired by the life of Thomas Wolfe, Herman Wouk has captured a poignant tale of success and downfall.

©1962, 1990 Herman Wouk (P)2018 Audible, Inc.

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    5 out of 5 stars

Astonishingly good

I have always liked this authors work. I thought I had read his best books already; but I was mistaken. This really is exceptionally good.

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  • Arken
  • 24-10-18

More than a good yarn

I'm not sure there are many books like "Youngblood Hawke" being written anymore. While clearly a sort of melodramatic, best-seller-ish potboiler, it is also very literate, artfully constructed, deeply researched, and smart. I wish there were more books like it I usually don't like novels about novelists - it seems like a cheap trick usually, a way to avoid thinking up plots and characters by substituting autobiographical musings for fiction. But that isn't all what is happening here. Like all of Wouk's novels, the successes and failures of the characters turn on which deliberate choices they have made. The good, ultimately happy characters are the plodders who go along behaving well; the tragic or inept characters are the ones who make bad choices which expose their weaknesses. That sounds trite and moralistic, and sometimes it is. But usually it is, in a Wouk book, part of a detailed and consistent universe. He may espouse conservative values, but they are not the phony and hypocritical values of the brain-dead right of modern times. Youngblood Hawke is (apparently) a greater writer than Herman Wouk. He is on his way to becoming a genius if he could only stop undermining himself. The travails of a Kentucky mountain boy trying to make it in post-WWII New York is a plenty good setting for an interesting book, but this work is an education into all kinds of details about that world - investing, the movie business, how the rich and powerful behave, what they eat, what they value. I have loved being in that world. I've been waiting a long time for this to show up as an audio book, and I haven't been disappointed. The reader was very good - the characterizations and accents were all handled with aplomb. I highly recommend this entertaining and well-written work.

20 of 20 people found this review helpful

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  • Brian
  • 05-06-19

Classic

Fantastic story with an even better narrator. Mr. Sullivan does a marvelous job with the narration!!! Strongly recommend!!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 04-12-19

Top favorite

I wish there was a series to keep me entertained for longer.

Loved this book.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • L. Wroten
  • 17-10-19

First rate in every respect

Superb narrator...rich, vivid characters...smart dialogue...and a page-turner of a story, all set against the shimmering backdrop of mid-century Manhattan. Reading this would have been pleasure enough, but Nick Sullivan’s tour de force performance took it over the top, as he seamlessly transitioned from hardscrabble Kentucky coal folk to society grand dames to the sharp-tongued wags of the New York literary world. His turn as old Mrs. Hawke had me laughing out loud, it was such a delight. Highly recommended.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Seis man
  • 14-08-19

Hard to put this book/audible down

Another excellent Wouk tale. The performance/reading is extremely well done. At 41.5 hrs, it is one of the longer audible books i have listened to. I could not wait to get in my car and take a long drive. The story is woven into the most beautiful fabric in the Wouk style. Don't miss it.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • reader
  • 02-08-19

Waited a long time for my favorite novel by Wouk..

...and this was worth the long wait. This is a great, sweeping story narrated beautifully. Don't hesitate.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Linda F.
  • 29-11-19

So disappointed

This is a wonderful book and I was so excited to
listen. The narrator made the female voice sound like a parody. I wouldn’t dishonor Mr. Wouk’s amazing talent.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful