Sunday, January 10, 2010

BOOK REVIEW: Audition (Barbara Walters)


Title: Audition (A Memoir)
Author: Barbara Walters
How I learned about this book? Everywhere!!! (and The View)
How long did it take to read it? One month.
Was it a hard read? No.

For some reason I have never been to fond of Barbara Walters. Even with me LOVING “The View” (even before all the host changes), I would always like the show better when she was absent. I feel that she has a very “elitist” attitude/personality and I just could not figure her out. Being that she was older, she always (in my opinion) came off as a prude. When there was the whole “Star vs. Barbara” situation, I did not like how she handled it. Sooo with all that being said, some would ask, “Why are you reading her bio?”

At first, I did not want to, but after they kept plugging it on the show, I felt maybe I should. After all, I never really had a good (and/or valid) reason to dislike her. I felt that if I read her biography that I could get to know her a little better and not judge her. I hate judging individuals without a reason and that was actually what I was doing to Ms. Walters.

At over 550 pages, it is obvious that I was not going to read in one day. I picked it up from the library the day before Thanksgiving and finished reading it on January 2nd. Nevertheless, it was very well written, informative, and engaging. Even though I still have some of the same feelings I had before, I gained a lot of respect for her. This is because I found her (professional accomplishments aside) quite cold and shallow. She kept expressing guilt towards her sister and later her daughter, but I never felt that she did anything about it.

The book was a little (I am being nice) longwinded but an interesting read about a very influential woman. Once I got to the middle of it, I started questioning whether I should continue to read it. If it was not for me being nosy, I would have stopped but I was really interested in reading about her daughter (which I felt was she kept a lot of things out – not juicy enough) and “The View”. Both being let downs for me.

Her early life was very interesting, her father was a real character and shaped the paranoid person she is today (one of the reasons why she named the book “Audition”). She always had it good even when she felt her family was living “poor”. I can tell you the hardest chapter to get through was called, “Heads of State: The Good, Bad, and the Mad”. For some reason I did not find it interesting (at least not her point of view). I am not the type to skip through sections/chapters of books, so I force myself through it hoping that it will get better. There was nothing in the book that made me go WOW, even the affairs (and yes that is plural, meaning she had more than one), did nothing for me.

Basically it was a little to “hokie dokie”, everyone (well at least half of the men she worked with) treated her wrong, but she never really acknowledge any wrong doing on her part, she is nearing retirement, I felt that she could have spoken the entire truth and she did not. I am sure she stepped on a few toes along the way.

Would I buy it? No.
Is it library worthy? Most definitely.

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