Wednesday, February 09, 2011

The Men Who Would Be King (by Nicole LaPorte)*

Here's the subtitle of this book: An Almost Epic Tale of Moguls, Movies, and a Company Called DreamWorks. You can see why I kept it out of the post title.

So, this was another audiobook where the narrator drove me crazy. First of all, the book is by a woman, and she's a character in the book occasionally (as in, "when I met with so-and-so at the Ivy" or whatever). So it was irritating on general principle that the narrator was a man. ("It's a Hollywood story about dudes! We need a MAN VOICE.") But I could have gotten past that if I enjoyed his narration. I could nitpick about the words he mispronounced or the ones he pronounced annoyingly, but really the problem is that rather than speaking the words, he intoned them. Every sentence is... intoned. It's this inflated, stentorian, annoying voice that really bugged me from start to finish.

That being said, I still listened to the whole thing. It's a fun and insidery book full of Hollywood gossip. I could boil it down for you: DreamWorks was a series of dumb decisions, Spielberg is somewhat selfish, Katzenberg is a putz, Geffen is rich and pointless. There was never any unity among them. Hollywood is all about holding stupid grudges and being ridiculously greedy about money and awards. And about people with penises, who have all the power. Probably stuff we already knew, but still fun to read about, if you like that kind of thing. Just don't get the audiobook!