American Rhapsody

American Rhapsody

4.4 10
by Joe Eszterhas
     
 

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  If the Watergate scandal was a previous generation's National Nightmare, then maybe the Clinton scandal was our National Wet Dream, and who better to narrate it than the screenwriter Joe Eszterhas?  In American Rhapsody, Eszterhas, whose credits include Basic Instinct and Showgirls, and Charlie Simpson's Apocalypse, for which

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Overview

  If the Watergate scandal was a previous generation's National Nightmare, then maybe the Clinton scandal was our National Wet Dream, and who better to narrate it than the screenwriter Joe Eszterhas?  In American Rhapsody, Eszterhas, whose credits include Basic Instinct and Showgirls, and Charlie Simpson's Apocalypse, for which he was nominated for a National Book Award, takes us through the events that threatened to topple a president and left most of the nation's citizens with, at the very least, a bad taste in their mouths. 
   Taking full advantage of his considerable journalistic and storytelling talents, Eszterhas gives us every fact, rumor, or innuendo surrounding the president's foibles in the context of late century American politics and entertainment.  Here Washington and Hollywood do more than just flirt with each other; they share the same bed.  From scandalmongers Matt Drudge (who began as a Hollywood gossip) and Ken Starr, to would-be president paramours Sharon Stone and Barbra Streisand, to his final, unimpeachable witness, Willard—none other than President Clinton's talking penis—Eszterhas gives us the goods on the story that nobody could stop talking about and, thanks to American Rhapsody, will be impossible to think about the same way again.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"This is a truly naughty book, but it is also a strangely moral one." -Talk

"Part tell-all, part fiction, part rant, part history.  It's all wicked and witty and hard to ignore." - The Denver Post

"A fact-based, ranting, rocking -and-rolling screed with none of the full-frontal scissored out... a long yell of protest... extremely funny." - Christopher Hitchens,  The New York Times Book Review

Ed Vulliamy
It's a hilarious and scandalous book, part-fact, part-fantasy, about a serious subject: Washington observed through the prism of Hollywood and vice versa.
The Observer (London)
Anthony Venutolo
If there's one thing writer Joe Eszterhas knows how to do, it's how to push the envelope.

Best known for authoring such guilty pleasures as Basic Instinct, Showgirls and Flashdance, the Hungarian-born scribe might have some explaining to do after the public gets hold of American Rhapsody, a walloping 432-page uppercut that connects square on the jaws of Washington and Tinseltown.

If you like dish served on a big, flat, silver platter, look no further, because Eszterhas (after a significant hiatus from screenwriting) has returned to his journalistic roots. Only this time, instead of digging up compelling facts, he aims for the jugular in the guise of "news."
Playboy
Library Journal
Let's be honest. This review could be as negative as it wanted to be, and librarians brave enough to unleash this venomous item on their shelves would still watch it be devoured by every type of reader, from the elderly lady who wants to "tsk-tsk" over some of the seamier scenes to the political fanatics who believe Bill Clinton to be the Devil Incarnate. Eszterhas, a Hollywood screenwriter responsible for Basic Instinct and other movies and who has become the highest paid author in the industry, trains his well-turned phrases on the White House intern scandal and the diverse cast of characters who wander in and out of this sordid tale of political power gone amok. The guy can write, and he is viciously funny, but his work must be a rampant stream of free-flowing consciousness that could be difficult for some readers to follow. The audiobook solves that problem for them; actors such as Ed Asner, Susan Ruttan, and Nina Foch have worked hard on this version to corral that wandering prose thought and bring their skills to interpreting the random, disjointed text. What reads like gibberish now sounds like reality. It's not flattering to anyone, and there are some scenes that will have even the most jaded listener wincing, but the crudest, most disgusting, and degrading language is saved for Clinton and the now-famous "Willard." Eszterhas loves words and loves the damage they can do even more. Go ahead and order this program and then make certain you have a fresh supply of Customer Complaint Forms on hand.--Joseph L. Carlson, Lompoc P.L., CA Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
American Rhapsody is an intimate and comprehensive survey and history of contemporary American political culture, the personalities, conflicts, compromises, and events that held the popular (as well as political) attention of the American public over the past decade. Here are Bill and Hillary Clinton, George W. Bush, Al Gore, John McCain, Ken Starr, Monica Lewinsky, Warren Beatty, James Carville, Sharon Stone, Larry Flynt, Vernon Jordan, Linda Tripp, Matt Drudge, and a host of others who are viewed through the lens of fact, fiction and speculation. American Rhapsody is a superbly produced, unabridged, highly recommended, multi-cast audiobook featuring the talents of Ed Asner, David Dukes, Nina Foch, Melissa Gilbert, Arte Johnson, Bill Maher, Deborah Raffin, Susan Ruttan, Will Sasso, and Joe Eszterhas. REVIEW%> Hay House PO Box 5100, Carlsbad, CA 92018 hayhouse.com 1-800-654-5126 REVIEW%> Three fine self-help audios are recommended picks for buyers interested in healing and self-empowerment. Bernie Siegel's Healing Meditations (1-56170-771-6, $18.95) provides the surgeon's guided imagery meditations, which provide an auto-hypnosis set of healing admonishments for overcoming physical and emotional challenges. Natural Healing For Anxiety And Depression by Harold Bloomfield and Deepak Chopra (740-6, $10.95) presents a dialogue between the two doctors, exploring the nature of mental disturbance and how to approach it holistically. The two discuss different approaches to handling anxiety. John Edward's Developing Your Own Psychic Powers (762-7) is a six-cassette course in self-psychic development. From psychic self-defense and meditations to tapping into hidden psychic potentials, thisprovides explanations of growing abilities and their uses. All are excellent self-help guides.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780375725548
Publisher:
Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date:
03/13/2001
Edition description:
1 VINTAGE
Pages:
464
Product dimensions:
5.13(w) x 7.98(h) x 0.96(d)

Read an Excerpt

I thought I recognized and knew Bill Clinton and what made him tick. I understood the ambition, the success, the political duplicity, the Hollywood charm. I started reading everything ever written about Bill Clinton . . .

As the impeachment psychodrama began, I watched every minisecond of it . . . learned a lot . . . about myself and Bill Clinton and about America . . .

I wasn't just thinking of Bill Clinton anymore, but about a generation, my generation, which, in some ways, even though it was entrenched in power, creeping up on sixty, was still struggling to find itself.

This book is filled with everything I thought about and learned. Ah, yes, except it's not that simple. If only it were . . . but it never is.

I am loath to confess that I have had a writing partner who has cursed my career from the time I was in the sixth grade . . . "the twisted little man inside me."

And as I wrote this book -- about a cultural shadow war that resulted in the figurative assassination of a president (Bill Clinton) -- I realized that the Twisted Little Man was writing feverishly, too. And hallucinating. Daydreaming. Wet-dreaming. Projecting. . . . If you get angry while you're reading this brazen book, blame it on the crude, insulting little prick -- Lord knows, he's gotten too many people terribly angry through the years.

The little devil and I had a nerve-racking, maddening, revolting, hilarious, and climactic time writing this book. We hope that your time reading it will be similar.

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