Monday, March 18, 2013

Barbara Walters - Audition: A Memoir

21. Audition: A Memoir by Barbara Walters (2008)
Length: 579 pages
Genre: Non-Fiction
Started: 8 March 2013
Finished: 18 March 2013
Where did it come from? From Bookmooch
How long has it been on my TBR pile? Since 30 June 2010
Why do I have it? I like autobiographies and biographies and have always been curious about Barbara Walters's life. I've wanted to read this book ever since it came out.

After more than 40 years interviewing heads of state, world leaders, movie stars, criminals and murderers, inspirational figures and celebrities of all kinds, the most influential woman in the history of television journalism finally writes her memoir. Barbara Walters's perception of the world was formed from a very early age. Her father, Lou Walters, was the owner and creative mind behind the legendary Latin Quarter nightclub, and it was his risk-taking lifestyle that gave Barbara her first taste of glamour. It also made her aware of the ups and downs, the insecurities, and even the tragedies that can occur when someone is willing to take such great risks, for Lou Walters not only made several fortunes - he also lost them. 

Barbara learned early about the damage that such an existence can do to relationships - between husband and wife as well as between parent and child. Throughout her roller-coaster ride of a childhood, Barbara had a constant companion, her mentally-challenged sister, Jackie. True, Jackie taught her younger sister much about patience and compassion, however Barbara also writes honestly about the resentment she often felt having a sister who was so "different" and the guilt that still haunts her.

All of this - the financial responsibility for her family, the fear, the love - played a large part in the choices Barbara made as she grew up: the friendships she developed, the relationships she had, the marriages she tried to make work. Ultimately, thanks to her drive, as well as a decent amount of luck, she began a career in television. And what a career it has been! Against incredible odds, Barbara has made it to the top of a male-dominated industry. She is a true trail-blazer within the industry, becoming the most trusted television journalist of all time. She has not only interviewed the world's most fascinating figures, she has become a part of their world.     

I really enjoyed this book! After having it on my bookshelf unread for almost three years, I finally took the plunge and read it. At 579 pages, I was somewhat daunted to begin reading, despite really wanting to read this book almost from the moment it was published! Overall, it was an incredibly interesting and engaging book for me to read, even though there were one or two chapters that were slow reading. I must say that Barbara Walters has lived an incredibly exciting life and has done much to be admired for by her peers. Ultimately, I give Audition: A Memoir by Barbara Walters an A+!

A+! - (96-100%)   

Till we Meet Again, Glow Brightly as Moonlight


  1. Sounds good...thanks for the review. Wow...579 pages...quite a lot. Glad it was good.

    Stopping by from Carole's Books You Loved March Edition. I am in that list as #15.

    Silver's Reviews
    My Book Entry

  2. Mary, well done on finishing such a huge book - shows great powers of concentration. Thanks for linking in to Books You Loved. Have a great week.

  3. Hello Elizabeth,
    Thanks for stopping by today! :) Audition: A Memoir by Barbara Walters certainly was very good! However, I very rarely read books over 500 pages these days - I think it has something to do with the type that's used when they print the book - it's so small! I try to read Large Print books whenever I can, but I can't seem to stay away from reading small-print books. Oh well!

    By the way, The Crooked Branch by Jeanine Cummins looks very interesting - I'll keep a lookout for it!

    Thanks Elizabeth, stop by any time! :)

  4. Hello Carole,
    I would also say that my 'great powers of concentration' came about because this book was so interesting - it drew me in and I was really invested in Barbara Walters's life story. :)

    Thanks Carole, see you next month! :)

  5. I read this memoir a few years ago and really enjoyed it - I have mixed feelings about Barbara Walters but she has definitely lived an interesting life!

  6. Great review, Rosefire, though biographies aren't generally my cup of tea unless it's about great scientists.

  7. Hello Carmen,
    Maybe it is because my own life is very quiet (perhaps dull by some people's standards) but I really enjoy biographies and autobiographies. Could you recommend any biographies of famous scientists that someone like me might enjoy? I like to learn about the private life rather than the working life of people - and the more dysfunctional the better!!! :) I'm living vicariously at this stage in my life.

  8. Hello Booksnyc,
    I totally agree with you. I'm not a great fan of Barbara Walters but I really did enjoy her book. She certainly blazed a trail. Thank you so much for your comment! :)


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