It´s said that Chaplin wanted you to like him, but Keaton didn´t care. I think he cared, but was too proud to ask. His films avoid the pathos and sentiment of the Chaplin pictures, and usually feature a jaunty young man who sees an objective and goes for it in the face of the most daunting obstacles. Buster survives tornados, waterfalls, avalanches of boulders, and falls from great heights, and never pauses to take a bow: He has his eye on his goal. And his movies, seen as a group, are like a sustained act of optimism in the face of adversity; surprising, how without asking, he earns our admiration and tenderness. - Roger Ebert A lot of time has been spent covering the lives of history´s most influential figures, but how much of the forest is lost for the trees? In Charles River Editors´ American Legends series, listeners can get caught up on the lives of America´s most important men and women in the time it takes to finish a commute. And they can do so while learning interesting facts long forgotten or never known. In the 1920s, the burgeoning movie industry was starting to come into its own. Alongside actor and director Charlie Chaplin, Buster Keaton was at the peak of Hollywood. It´s no surprise that Keaton was so effective in silent films. He had been practicing comedy in his family´s vaudeville acts as ´´The Little Boy Who Can´t Be Damaged´´, and became a popular performer by the age of five. Indeed, his physical form of comedy, which initially involved having his father throw him around the stage, translated well onto the screen. Some of his slapstick and other comic gags remain legendary even today, in part because Keaton practiced his own stunts. In fact, Keaton wrote his own material, and was a crucial comic influence on acts like The Marx Brothers and The Three Stooges. 1. Language: English. Narrator: Colin Fluxman. Audio sample: http://samples.audible.de/bk/acx0/035480/bk_acx0_035480_sample.mp3. Digital audiobook in aax.
Compiled by a veteran writer of the comic series, this collection of essays explores Batman’s motivations and actions, as well as those of his foes. Batman is a creature of the night, more about vengeance than justice, more plagued by doubts than full of self-assurance, and more darkness than light. He has no superpowers, just skill, drive, and a really well-made suit. One of the most recognized superheroes ever created, Batman has survived through campy TV shows and films, through actors like Adam West, Michael Keaton, and Christian Bale. It covers both the silly and the solemn, asking questions like Why is the Joker so good at pushing Batman’s buttons? What does Batman’s technology say about the times? Why are Batman’s villains crazier than average? and Why is Batman the perfect, iconic American hero? PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your My Library section along with the audio. 1. Language: English. Narrator: Colby Elliott. Audio sample: http://samples.audible.de/bk/last/000006/bk_last_000006_sample.mp3. Digital audiobook in aax.
Everything about Rudolph Valentino, from his body to the characters he played, was exotic. His career may have been abbreviated by his premature death at the age of 31, but Valentino popularized the (somewhat racist) stereotype of the ´´Latin lover´´ in Hollywood, and even his name was markedly more out of the ordinary than those of other actors. In an era dominated by hyper-masculine actors like Douglas Fairbanks, or comedians such as Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton, Valentino had a more ethnic and mysterious appeal, and he was lusted after by women to a degree that remains unsurpassed in the industry. The extent to which he captivated America can be seen in the response to his death; after passing away from a perforated ulcer in 1926, Ashton Trice and Samuel Holland note that his funeral ´´was one of the pop culture events of the century´´, and devastated women are alleged to have committed suicide out of heartbreak. If Valentino´s public persona was exotic, his personal life and background were no less fantastic, to the extent that it rivaled the improbable narratives of his movies. While he was identified as a Latin American in his films, Rudolph was actually born in Italy, the descendant of French and Italian heritage. The circuitous path that saw him reach the United States, and subsequently the film industry, is replete with outrageous good fortune. Even at an early age, Valentino was a dreamer, but there was no way that he could have anticipated the level of success he would achieve not long after landing in Ellis Island in the winter of 1913. 1. Language: English. Narrator: Doron Alon. Audio sample: http://samples.audible.de/bk/acx0/083619/bk_acx0_083619_sample.mp3. Digital audiobook in aax.
Rain of the Ghosts is the first in Greg Weisman´s series about a young girl, Rain Cacique, who discovers she has a mystery to solve, a mission to complete and, oh, yes, the ability to see ghosts. Welcome to the Prospero Keys (or as the locals call them, the Ghost Keys), a beautiful chain of tropical islands on the edge of the Bermuda Triangle. It´s the last weekend before school starts, and Rain already feels trapped. She works at the bed and breakfast her parents own, making beds, serving breakfast, etc. And it feels to her like her entire life is going to consist of working for tourists on these islands. Sebastian Bohique - her maternal grandfather and the only person who ever makes Rain feel like she could do something important with her life - gives her the gift of an heirloom that´s been in the family for 400 years. It´s an armband, two gold snakes intertwined, clasping each other´s tails in their mouths. But the armband brings gifts of its own: Rain can now see dead people. Starting with the Dark Man, a ghost determined to reveal the Ghost Keys´ hidden world of mystery and mysticism, intrigue and adventure. Rain of the Ghosts is an unabridged full-cast recording of Weisman´s first novel, with an amazing cast of 20 actors playing 30 roles, sound effects, and a full original musical score. Cast: Thom Adcox, Ed Asner, Jeff Bennett, Steve Blum, Daniella Bobadilla, Jim Cummings, Elisa Gabrielli, Bryton James, Josh Keaton, Eric Lopez, Vanessa Marshall, Jacqueline Obradors, Gregg Rainwater, Marina Sirtis, Brent Spiner, Deborah Strang, Joel Swetow, Brittany Uomoleale, Jacob Vargas and Greg Weisman. 1. Language: English. Narrator: full cast. Audio sample: http://samples.audible.de/bk/acx0/076767/bk_acx0_076767_sample.mp3. Digital audiobook in aax.
Children´s book author Eoin Colfer and British comedy duo Sean Foley and Hamish McColl on this edition of Fresh Air. Eoin Colfer is the creator of the Artemis Fowl series, featuring a twelve-year-old millionaire criminal mastermind. Two of the three books in the series have been on the New York Times best seller list. The books are a combination of science fiction, fantasy, fairy tale, and thriller. They are Artemis Fowl, Artemis Fowl: The Arctic Incident and Artemis Fowl: The Eternity Code. Colfer lives in Ireland. Sean Foley and Hamish McColl, together known as ´´The Right Size,´´ are the actor/ writers of the Broadway comedy, The Play What I Wrote. One critic described it as ´´full of music hall tricks, in jokes and surreal goonery.´´ It was a hit in London before coming to New York. The duo´s work is heavily influenced by Vaudeville and the sight gags of Buster Keaton, Charlie Chaplin and Harold Lloyd. Their plays Stop Calling Me Vernon and Baldy Hopkins were hits at the Edinburgh Festival. Their play Do You Come Here Often? was a Olivier award winning comedy in England. Foley and McColl met in Paris nearly 20 years ago when they were learning to be clowns at the feet of Philippe Gaulier. (Broadcast Date: May 15, 2003) 1. Language: English. Narrator: Terry Gross. Audio sample: http://samples.audible.de/rt/whyy/030515/rt_whyy_030515_sample.mp3. Digital audiobook in aax.
Ed Lowry joined the vaudeville circuit in 1910 at the age of 14. He never achieved stardom equal to the likes of Fred Allen, Jack Benny, George Burns, Buster Keaton, or Eddie Cantor, and he never considered himself an ´´artiste´´. Instead, he saw himself as a hoofer and comic simply trying to make a living on the vaude scene. My Life in Vaudeville recounts Lowry´s long career in entertainment from the viewpoint of a foot soldier with a big dream. Lowry´s story begins in the heyday of vaudeville in the early twentieth century and follows its gradual decline. Unlike many of his associates, he recognized that movies and other forms of entertainment were the future, and thus branched out into other venues. My Life in Vaudeville is an unpretentious record of a time when thousands of young people went into show business to escape the boredom of daily life, and Lowry´s story is a view of vaudeville not often encountered. Lowry does much more than recall the daily life of a working actor, musician, and comedian. His story brings vaudeville to life and places it within the larger narratives of popular culture and popular entertainment of the twentieth century. The book is published by Southern Illinois University Press. 1. Language: English. Narrator: James Romick. Audio sample: http://samples.audible.de/bk/acx0/031850/bk_acx0_031850_sample.mp3. Digital audiobook in aax.
From Lauren Graham, the beloved star of Gilmore Girls and Parenthood, comes a witty, charming, and hilariously relatable debut novel about a struggling young actress trying to get ahead - and keep it together - in New York City. It’s January 1995, and Franny Banks has just six months left of the three-year deadline she set for herself when she came to New York, dreaming of Broadway and doing ´´important´´ work. But all she has to show for her efforts so far is a part in an ad for ugly Christmas sweaters, and a gig waiting tables at a comedy club. Her roommates - her best friend, Jane; and Dan, an aspiring sci-fi writer - are supportive, yet Franny knows a two-person fan club doesn’t exactly count as success. Everyone tells her she needs a backup plan, and though she can almost picture moving back home and settling down with her perfectly nice ex-boyfriend, she’s not ready to give up on her goal of having a career like her idols, Diane Keaton and Meryl Streep. Not just yet. But while she dreams of filling their shoes, in the meantime, she’d happily settle for a speaking part in almost anything - and finding a hair product combination that works. Everything is riding on the upcoming showcase for her acting class, where she’ll finally have a chance to perform for people who could actually hire her. And she can’t let herself be distracted by James Franklin, a notorious flirt and the most successful actor in her class, even though he’s suddenly started paying attention. Meanwhile, her bank account is rapidly dwindling, her father wants her to come home, and her agent doesn’t return her calls. But for some reason, she keeps believing that she just might get what she came for. Someday, Someday, Maybe is a story about hopes and dreams, being young in a city, and wanting something deeply, madly, desperately. It’s about finding love, finding yourself, and perhaps most difficult of all in New York City, 1. Language: English. Narrator: Lauren Graham. Audio sample: http://samples.audible.de/bk/rand/003391/bk_rand_003391_sample.mp3. Digital audiobook in aax.
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER - From Lauren Graham, the beloved star of Gilmore Girls and Parenthood, comes a witty, charming, and hilariously relatable debut novel about a struggling young actress trying to get ahead?and keep it together?in New York City. It´s January 1995, and Franny Banks has just six months left of the three-year deadline she set for herself when she came to New York, dreaming of Broadway and doing ´´important´´ work. But all she has to show for her efforts so far is a part in an ad for ugly Christmas sweaters, and a gig waiting tables at a comedy club. Her roommates?her best friend Jane, and Dan, an aspiring sci-fi writer?are supportive, yet Franny knows a two-person fan club doesn´t exactly count as success. Everyone tells her she needs a backup plan, and though she can almost picture moving back home and settling down with her perfectly nice ex-boyfriend, she´s not ready to give up on her goal of having a career like her idols Diane Keaton and Meryl Streep. Not just yet. But while she dreams of filling their shoes, in the meantime, she´d happily settle for a speaking part in almost anything-and finding a hair product combination that works. Everything is riding on the upcoming showcase for her acting class, where she´ll finally have a chance to perform for people who could actually hire her. And she can´t let herself be distracted by James Franklin, a notorious flirt and the most successful actor in her class, even though he´s suddenly started paying attention. Meanwhile, her bank account is rapidly dwindling, her father wants her to come home, and her agent doesn´t return her calls. But for some reason, she keeps believing that she just might get what she came for. Someday, Someday, Maybe is a story about hopes and dreams, being young in a city, and wanting something deeply, madly, desperately. It´s about finding love, finding yourself, and perhaps most difficult of all in New York City, finding an acting job. Praise for Someday, Someday, Maybe ´´A winning, entertaining read . . . [Lauren Graham] has smartly mined just the right details from her own experience, infusing her work with crackling dialogue and observations about show business that ring funny and true.´´-The Washington Post ´´A charmer of a first novel . . . [Graham] has an easy, unforced style and, when the situation calls for it, a keen sense of the ridiculous.´´-The Wall Street Journal ´´With insight, care, and an abundance of humor . . . Graham demonstrates that her acting chops are not her only talent.´´-Library Journal ´´Thoroughly charming.´´-Entertainment Weekly ´´Sweet, funny, and full of heart . . . a dazzling debut.´´-Emily Giffin, New York Times bestselling author of Something Borrowed and Where We Belong ´´Warm and funny, charming and smart.´´-Diane Keaton, New York Times bestselling author of Then Again ´´Graham deftly captures what it´s like to be young, ambitious, and hopeful in New York City.´´-Candace Bushnell, New York Times bestselling author of Sex and the City and The Carrie Diaries ´´Fresh and funny and full of zingers, Lauren Graham´s charming writing style instantly drew me in.´´-Meg Cabot, bestselling author of the Princess Diaries and Heather Wells Mystery series