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Young people starting out in television sometimes say to me: “I want to be you.” My stock reply is always: “Then you have to take the whole package.” And now, at last, the most important woman in the history of television journalism gives us that “whole package,” in her inspiring and riveting memoir. After more than forty years of interviewing heads of state, world leaders, Young people starting out in television sometimes say to me: “I want to be you.” My stock reply is always: “Then you have to take the whole package.” And now, at last, the most important woman in the history of television journalism gives us that “whole package,” in her inspiring and riveting memoir. After more than forty years of interviewing heads of state, world leaders, movie stars, criminals, murderers, inspirational figures, and celebrities of all kinds, Barbara Walters has turned her gift for examination onto herself to reveal the forces that shaped her extraordinary life. Barbara Walters’s perception of the world was formed at 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 great risks, for Lou Walters didn’t just make 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. Through her roller-coaster ride of a childhood, Barbara had a close companion, her mentally challenged sister, Jackie. True, Jackie taught her younger sister much about patience and compassion, but 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 she 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, combined with a decent amount of luck, she began a career in television. And what a career it has been! Against great odds, Barbara has made it to the top of a male-dominated industry. She was the first woman cohost of the Today show, the first female network news coanchor, the host and producer of countless top-rated Specials, the star of 20/20, and the creator and cohost of The View. She has not just interviewed the world’s most fascinating figures, she has become a part of their world. These are just a few of the names that play a key role in Barbara’s life, career, and book: Yasir Arafat, Warren Beatty, Menachem Begin, George H. W. Bush, George W. Bush, Jimmy Carter, Fidel Castro, Hugo Chávez, Bill and Hillary Clinton, Roy Cohn, the Dalai Lama, Princess Diana, Katharine Hepburn, King Hussein, Angelina Jolie, Henry Kissinger, Monica Lewinsky, Richard Nixon, Rosie O’Donnell, Christopher Reeve, Anwar Sadat, John Wayne . . . the list goes on and on. Barbara Walters has spent a lifetime auditioning: for her bosses at the TV networks, for millions of viewers, for the most famous people in the world, and even for her own daughter, with whom she has had a difficult but ultimately quite wonderful and moving relationship. This book, in some ways, is her final audition, as she fully opens up both her private and public lives. In doing so, she has given us a story that is heartbreaking and honest, surprising and fun, sometimes startling, and always fascinating.


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Young people starting out in television sometimes say to me: “I want to be you.” My stock reply is always: “Then you have to take the whole package.” And now, at last, the most important woman in the history of television journalism gives us that “whole package,” in her inspiring and riveting memoir. After more than forty years of interviewing heads of state, world leaders, Young people starting out in television sometimes say to me: “I want to be you.” My stock reply is always: “Then you have to take the whole package.” And now, at last, the most important woman in the history of television journalism gives us that “whole package,” in her inspiring and riveting memoir. After more than forty years of interviewing heads of state, world leaders, movie stars, criminals, murderers, inspirational figures, and celebrities of all kinds, Barbara Walters has turned her gift for examination onto herself to reveal the forces that shaped her extraordinary life. Barbara Walters’s perception of the world was formed at 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 great risks, for Lou Walters didn’t just make 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. Through her roller-coaster ride of a childhood, Barbara had a close companion, her mentally challenged sister, Jackie. True, Jackie taught her younger sister much about patience and compassion, but 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 she 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, combined with a decent amount of luck, she began a career in television. And what a career it has been! Against great odds, Barbara has made it to the top of a male-dominated industry. She was the first woman cohost of the Today show, the first female network news coanchor, the host and producer of countless top-rated Specials, the star of 20/20, and the creator and cohost of The View. She has not just interviewed the world’s most fascinating figures, she has become a part of their world. These are just a few of the names that play a key role in Barbara’s life, career, and book: Yasir Arafat, Warren Beatty, Menachem Begin, George H. W. Bush, George W. Bush, Jimmy Carter, Fidel Castro, Hugo Chávez, Bill and Hillary Clinton, Roy Cohn, the Dalai Lama, Princess Diana, Katharine Hepburn, King Hussein, Angelina Jolie, Henry Kissinger, Monica Lewinsky, Richard Nixon, Rosie O’Donnell, Christopher Reeve, Anwar Sadat, John Wayne . . . the list goes on and on. Barbara Walters has spent a lifetime auditioning: for her bosses at the TV networks, for millions of viewers, for the most famous people in the world, and even for her own daughter, with whom she has had a difficult but ultimately quite wonderful and moving relationship. This book, in some ways, is her final audition, as she fully opens up both her private and public lives. In doing so, she has given us a story that is heartbreaking and honest, surprising and fun, sometimes startling, and always fascinating.

30 review for Audition: A Memoir

  1. 4 out of 5

    Hilda

    I finally finished "Audition". It took me a long time not because it's difficult to read - it's definitely not - I just read it in small increments. I really enjoyed the book. Although quite long (500+ pages) I didn't find it had any slow sections, which i find often happens in long books, particularly memoirs. I've always liked Walters well enough, and this book may have made me like her a bit less. Although her professional accomplishments are spectacular, no question, I found her - at least t I finally finished "Audition". It took me a long time not because it's difficult to read - it's definitely not - I just read it in small increments. I really enjoyed the book. Although quite long (500+ pages) I didn't find it had any slow sections, which i find often happens in long books, particularly memoirs. I've always liked Walters well enough, and this book may have made me like her a bit less. Although her professional accomplishments are spectacular, no question, I found her - at least the way she presents herself in this book - to be rather shallow. For example, I am bothered that she goes out of her way to not reveal her age (she'll be 79 in September) when anyone can do what I did and Google it! Hell, if I were 79 and looked the way she looks and was still working in my chosen profession I'd holler it from the roof tops! The story of her professional trajectory is fascinating because of the barriers she broke down without really meaning to - she just did it. She talks about a lot of the interviews she had with a plethora of fascinating people, and I found myself remembering them. When put all together the way they're presented in the book, you realize she really has interviewed practically anyone who was anyone in the last 40 years! A clear representation of that is the inside of the front and back covers where the names of all the people she's interviewed are listed alphabetically - very cool. Not only did she interview important people, in some cases, she actually played small parts in the actual history, serving as a go-between or delivering messages. Again, very cool. Also, in addition to describing the interviews, getting the interviews, etc. she also provides a brief historical overview, enough so that we can understand why the interview was significant and what the ramifications were. Despite her exposure to the world however, she came across to me as somewhat naive and rather old-fashioned in some aspects. She is after all a woman of her generation and although I'm not in any way saying she's a racist, at points she views and reacts to racial issues as a person of her generation would, and it's a little jarring - at least to me. And although she's obviously clever, she doesn't strike as particularly intelligent. There's also the matter of her affairs with married men (yes there was more than one) that personally disappoints me. However, she is very honest about her difficulties raising her daughter, her inability to maintain a marriage, and her inability to deal in a healthy manner with her family's issues. I definitely recommend the book and encourage everyone to not be intimidated by the length of the book - again it is very easy to read and will bring back a lot of memories - as Walters has been witness to a lot of history. By the way, I don't care what she says - I still think she slept with Fidel Castro!

  2. 4 out of 5

    Ryan

    Barbara Walters's Audition is a massive, entertaining memoir that chronicles her troubled family life as she became one of television's most respected journalists. My draw to the book was its focus on a television journalist who hob-knobs with celebrities, heads of state and American politicians while she juggles a career and a family life. Walters goes into great detail of growing up alongside her mentally disabled sister Jackie, her showman father Lou and later bringing up her adopted daughter Barbara Walters's Audition is a massive, entertaining memoir that chronicles her troubled family life as she became one of television's most respected journalists. My draw to the book was its focus on a television journalist who hob-knobs with celebrities, heads of state and American politicians while she juggles a career and a family life. Walters goes into great detail of growing up alongside her mentally disabled sister Jackie, her showman father Lou and later bringing up her adopted daughter Jackie (named after her sister). Walters is candid in revealing her mistakes and especially her guilt. In no small measure she talks about how it's difficult - however otherwise it seems - for a woman to maintain a grasp on marriage (she's been married and divorced three times), to raise a well-adjusted daughter (who rebelled in her teen years) and to further her career (despite her huge success, she faced numerous challenges rising through the ranks of "Today" and later as co-anchor of the evening news with Harry Reasoner). Walters talks about how she was ashamed of having a sister who was a drag on her social life. She talks about how it was hard to talk to her father late in his life, after his many successes and bitter failures. She talks about how she neglected her husbands and daughter. She not only expresses but is very aware of her guilt - but she hardly pities herself, is always grateful for her tremendous success and thankful to the many hands that helped her along the way. Not surprising, Walters's book is at its best when she's being most honest: She never acts like she had it all, and she describes what she gave up to get where she is. Though at times she provides maybe too much detail about her own struggles, one can't help but sympathize with her as she describes her life being pulled in different directions. But eventually she decides she's talked enough about herself, and the book abruptly switches gears and she talks about the last 25 years of interviewing movie stars, presidents, first ladies, murderers, white-collar criminals, Monica Lewinsky and her tenure on 20/20 and The View. The gossipy tidbits, while interesting, are also mildly empty after she stops intertwining her personal life with the struggles and triumphs of her career. While an alternate work that evenly mixed personal and professional may have been a staggering 900-page memoir, it would have been a complete work instead of one that feels like it may have become tiresome for its author as she neared completion (or maybe cut by a non-judicious editor). But that's not to say the tidbits aren't anything but fascinating. Her chapter focusing on interviewing and getting to know presidents and first ladies is one of the best of the book. Most revealing is her story about interviewing Gerald and Betty Ford. Betty, who was apparently drunk and slurring words throughout the interview, was mercifully saved by Walters, who opted to narrate over parts featuring Betty instead of showing her in an inebriated state - a decision, she says, she would have never made today. Sadly, no juicy tidbits for Walters's chapters on The View - which provide detail but no real insight on her very public spats with Star Jones, Rosie O'Donnell, Donald Trump, etc. (as my friend Debbie said, maybe she was afraid of lawsuit...). Nor does Walters get too descriptive of her highly-rated interview with Monica Lewinsky - which was seen by more than 50 million viewers less than a month after President Clinton was acquitted by the U.S. Senate. Despite its late-book shortcomings, it is an exceptional book - a genuine work full of insight on women's careers, journalism and the highly competitive world of broadcast news.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Karynn

    I really enjoyed this book. I am not a huge fan of non-fiction but found Barbara's story both informative and entertaining. She really had to work to get to where she is today and personally gave up a lot on the way. The peak back into history was also very interesting and as she points out in the book, issues that we are facing today are issues that we have faced in the recent past. Barbara was a newswoman who was able to interview many of the world’s leaders (Fidel Castro, Yasir Arafat, Anwar I really enjoyed this book. I am not a huge fan of non-fiction but found Barbara's story both informative and entertaining. She really had to work to get to where she is today and personally gave up a lot on the way. The peak back into history was also very interesting and as she points out in the book, issues that we are facing today are issues that we have faced in the recent past. Barbara was a newswoman who was able to interview many of the world’s leaders (Fidel Castro, Yasir Arafat, Anwar Sadat, Menachem Begin and Golda Meir to name a few). The interviews give the reader a sense of how we got to where we are today in terms of world politics. I would recommend this book to anyone who is willing to take a trip back in time. The insights into both the political figures and the movie stars were fascinating. I have more respect for Barbara Walters after having read the book and learning how hard she had to work to get to where she is today. She blazed trails for women in the men’s club profession of journalism.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Harriet

    I slugged through this book! Her early life was most interesting. But really tired of the intimate details of everything else. What? Did she keep a journal? How did she remember what everyone said? And the name dropping really got to me. I was determined to finish it, but it was done with a lot of speed reading.

  5. 5 out of 5

    drowningmermaid

    The early reminisces of her childhood are far more engaging than the disconnected series of remembered interviews. Far too much attention to what everyone wears and how it coordinates for my taste, but perhaps she needed this to work in TV. But the repeated use of the phrase "I've never said this before" makes me question whether I am now, in truth, getting the "whole" story. I found the Monica Lewinsky story a little disturbing, because it describes some of the wining and dining she, and many ot The early reminisces of her childhood are far more engaging than the disconnected series of remembered interviews. Far too much attention to what everyone wears and how it coordinates for my taste, but perhaps she needed this to work in TV. But the repeated use of the phrase "I've never said this before" makes me question whether I am now, in truth, getting the "whole" story. I found the Monica Lewinsky story a little disturbing, because it describes some of the wining and dining she, and many other journalists, were doing in order to cozy up to potential interviewees. But that makes it sound like I didn't like the book. I thought it was clearly written, informative, and engaging, if a bit longwinded, and I learned a great deal about one of my childhood heroines.

  6. 4 out of 5

    BarbaraW

    This was a great read. Beautifully written. Well organized. Fascinating. She intertwined her own life, the tough road she traveled and conquered and riveting descriptions of her encounters with others famous and not.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Koren

    Well, Barbara has certainly led an interesting life. She has met kings and queens, every president since Richard Nixon, and hundreds of the most famous actors and actresses. The beginning of the book talks about her early life and after she gets into the news business she talks about many of her experiences meeting famous and infamous people. The book is well-organized. Most of the time it is chronilogical but sometimes it is organized into the type of people she interviewed, such as grouping th Well, Barbara has certainly led an interesting life. She has met kings and queens, every president since Richard Nixon, and hundreds of the most famous actors and actresses. The beginning of the book talks about her early life and after she gets into the news business she talks about many of her experiences meeting famous and infamous people. The book is well-organized. Most of the time it is chronilogical but sometimes it is organized into the type of people she interviewed, such as grouping the presidents together and the criminals together. I found this book very interesting, but at times thought it could have been a bit shorter, but then I dont know what she could have left out. I found it to be honest, she readily admits mistakes she made both persoanally and professionally. It is amazing that she so often says that the people she has met have become life-long friends, but there are a few she didnt get along with. The book is long but worth the read.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Kellie

    I read this in 2008. It was chosen as a bookclub book so I'm overjoyed to read it again.... 2008 review... This was one of those books I got totally lost in. I would read it in the Y and before I knew it, I was on the bike for 7 miles and it felt like only 1. Barbara Walters was like a fixture on our shelf in our living room as a kid. Always there, but I didn't pay much attention to her. Looking back, I remember that fixture and I am reliving my childhood and all the memories of my family and the I read this in 2008. It was chosen as a bookclub book so I'm overjoyed to read it again.... 2008 review... This was one of those books I got totally lost in. I would read it in the Y and before I knew it, I was on the bike for 7 miles and it felt like only 1. Barbara Walters was like a fixture on our shelf in our living room as a kid. Always there, but I didn't pay much attention to her. Looking back, I remember that fixture and I am reliving my childhood and all the memories of my family and the history of our time during the 60's and 70's. Yes, Barbara does a little bragging about her success in TV, as she should. However, she is also a very honest and down to earth celebrity. Although she felt comfortable in front of the camera, she did not always feel comfortable in her own skin, especially in her personal life. She felt a lot of guilt when it came to her family. Especially with her father and sister, Jackie. I admire her for her success as a woman. She paved the way for the opportunities that women have today. I also admire her for her candidness. She does not hold back in this book. She tells you the celebrities she liked to interview and those she did not. She was very honest about her professional relationships with her colleagues like Harry Reasoner, Frank McGee, Star Jones and Rosie O'Donnell. This book is a very thorough look at her life from beginning till now. It is a complete history of her life with humor sprinkled through out each chapter. I am so glad I read this book. It makes me want to learn more about her, watch "The View", listen to her new radio show that is replaying her "Specials" and google every name mentioned in her book. I also feel like I have completed a history lesson. A lesson through the eyes of one of the best female journalists of our time.To the woman who traveled everywhere, met almost every important person there was to meet and achieved more than ever imagined, thank you for setting an example for the woman of today. Bravo!! 2010 Review First, It is amazing to me how much I forgot, after 2 years, about a book I've read. Rereading the parts about Barbara's childhood was interesting and I couldn't remember it from before. I'm impressed with the way she was able to recognize memories from her childhood and how it impacted her adult life. Especially, around famous people and how she handled them during interviews. She believes the atomosphere in her father's nightclubs educated her. " Those early years at the Latin Quarter also affected the way I later asked questions and listened to answers. I knew that the childhood years of most celebrities were their most poignant and oculd often explain their future choices, as of course, it has mine. I learned when to be quiet and just listen. And I knew what could bring tears." "For the next 20-30 years, maybe even forty, I would feel no matter how high my profile became, how many awards I received, or how much money I made, may fear was that it all could be taken away from me. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to link that insecurity to my father's roller-coaster career or to my mother's constant anxiety or my sister's needs. I have, as I've said, always felt I was auditioning, either for a new job or to make sure that I could hold on to the one I had. Important events and people mentioned in this book: Al Capone Joe Kennedy WWII The Rosenburg Trial and Roy M. Cohn The sinking of the Andrea Doria Interviews Judy Garland Truman Capote Rose Kennedy Lawrence Olivier Warren Beaty-not one of her favorite interviews Princess Grace-another one of her not so favorites Arafat-This is the interview where 2 of her colleagues were killed flying the interview feed to Jordan. She was almost on that plane. Begin and Sadat Here is a quote from Reagan when Barbara was visiting him on his ranch. He just blurted this out while he was showing her around. Amazing! "I've always believed that there was some plan that put this continent here to be found by people from every corner of the world who had the courage and the love of freedom enough to uproot themselves, leave family and friends and homeland, to come here and develop a whole new breed of people called American. You look at the beauty of it. And God really did shed his grace on America as the song says." I like Barbara's comment about why she doesn't give her political views on camera. This is one of the things I really like about her. Here's a quote from Margaret Thatcher. A Quote Margaret's father said to her "You never just go and do something because someone else is doing it. That is wrong. You never just follow the crowd for the sake of following the crowd because you don't like to stand out. You make up your own mind about what is right. And then you try to persuade other people to follow you." After reading this book again, I realized why I loved this book so much. Barbara is a fascinating woman and a great writer. This book was WELL written. Plus, her interviews of just about all the famous people in the last 30 years, are so interesting. I learned a lot from this book and I like Barbar Walters. That's about it in a nut shell.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Brittany Ren

    My favorite moment in this is when Barbara Walters mentions she was dating both Alan Greenspan and Alan C. Greenberg. They would leave messages on her voicemail saying “It’s Alan.” To which she couldn’t infer which Alan it was except by their tone of voice or manner of speech.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Pris robichaud

    Is Barbara A Journalist Or Is She Cher?" asks WalterCronkite, May 22, 2008 "Walters nonetheless takes care to report on the very public drubbing she received at the hands of her male peers during the summer between her departure from "Today" and the start of her tenure at ABC. "I am trying to have an open mind about it," was the less-than-supportive statement her future co-anchor Harry Reasoner made to the papers. CBS News president Richard Salant asked, "Is Barbara a journalist or is she Cher?" Is Barbara A Journalist Or Is She Cher?" asks WalterCronkite, May 22, 2008 "Walters nonetheless takes care to report on the very public drubbing she received at the hands of her male peers during the summer between her departure from "Today" and the start of her tenure at ABC. "I am trying to have an open mind about it," was the less-than-supportive statement her future co-anchor Harry Reasoner made to the papers. CBS News president Richard Salant asked, "Is Barbara a journalist or is she Cher?" while Walter Cronkite announced that Walters' move gave him "the sickening sensation that we're all going under." Rebecca Traister By now Barbara Walters has been on every TV, radio and media event to publicize her new book, 'Audition'. There is very little we do not know about her. Barbara is an icon to many, as she was the first woman to co-star on NBC's 'Today'. She went on to appear on ABC's nightly news with Harry Reasoner. Her unfortunate experiences colored the feeling so many women had towards Barbara's male colleagues. She certainly tried to break the barriers. Barbara's early childhood was difficult but it gave her a certain confidence on how to relate with almost anyone. Her father, Lou Walters, was rarely home and at one point wanted a divorce from his wife. Barbara's mother cajoled her into going to her father and begging him not to leave his family. From that moment on what interview could be more difficult than that? As we are learn the interviews came one after another and Barbara became the competitive woman she is today. She tells us in this book, that she is through auditioning, but if, someone were to call her and say that Osama Ben Laden was willing to grant an interview, she would be ready. Barbara tells us of the difficulty she had with her young daughter, Jackie. Jackie became a drug addict and left home. Barbara assisted Jackie in putting her life together and today they have a wonderful relationship. Jackie was named after Barbara's sister Jackie. She was disabled and Barbara spent much if her childhood alone. She did not want to bring anyone home. Though Barbara was very attentive to her sister and to her familyh. At a certain point in her life, she was the breadwinner for the entire family. Barbara has been married three times. Many wonder if Barbara has been looking for her father. Why do we care and why do we wonder? Barbara reveals the loves and lives of some of the men she met along the way. The most shocking to many people, was her affair with Sen. Edward Brooks. With these revelations, Barbara has attempted to show us that she is a regular person who has had a life of ups and downs, miseries and happiness . She has experienced a life that most of us would envy but she wonders if she had the time to appreciate all that her life afforded. She has interviewed most of the famous people in her world. But did she have fun during this time? "Surely the finest and most revealing moment in "Audition" comes near the end, when Walters describes being interviewed by Oprah Winfrey, for O magazine, on the occasion of her retirement from "20/20." Oprah asks her what it "means" to be Barbara Walters, a question that may exceed even the high Walters-ian bar for pop-psych pseudo-depth. Walters responds that she's not sure. "I realize how blessed I have been but sometimes I still feel inadequate," she tells Oprah. "I don't cook. I can't drive. Most of the time, when I look back on what I've done, I think: Did I do that? Why didn't I enjoy it more? Was I working too hard to see?" As Walters reports in her book, "I looked up at Oprah and saw that she had tears in her eyes." And there it is, the meaning of Barbara Walters. She can even make her interviewer cry." Nicholas Lemann 'Audition' has been likened to Katharine Graham's autobiography, 'Personal History'. There is a slight resemblance, but what is missing from Barbara Walter's book is the frankness of Katharine Graham. The inner revelation of the woman, and the one story after another of the public people she has interviewed. There are not enough stories interwoven to bring this storyline continuity. However, this book is highly entertaining and even at its great length, 579 pages. Recommended. prisrob 05-22-08

  11. 4 out of 5

    Louise

    From dust jacket: "And now, at last, the most important woman in the history of television journalism gives us that "whole package", in her inspiring and riveting memoir. After more than forty years of interviewing heads of state, world leaders, movie stars, criminals, murderers, inspirational figures, and celebrities of all kinds, Barbara Walters has turned her gift for examination onto herself to reveal the forces that shaped her extraordinary life. Barbara Walters's perception of the world was From dust jacket: "And now, at last, the most important woman in the history of television journalism gives us that "whole package", in her inspiring and riveting memoir. After more than forty years of interviewing heads of state, world leaders, movie stars, criminals, murderers, inspirational figures, and celebrities of all kinds, Barbara Walters has turned her gift for examination onto herself to reveal the forces that shaped her extraordinary life. Barbara Walters's perception of the world was formed at 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 great risks, for Lou Walters didn't just make 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. Through her roller-coaster ride of a childhood, Barbara had a close ccompanion, her mentally challenged sister, Jackie. True, Jackie taught her younger sister much about patience and compassion, but 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 she made as she grew up: the friendships she developed, the relationships she had, the marriages she tried to make work. Ultimately, thanks for her drive, combined with a decent amount of luck, she began a career in television. And what a career it has been! Against great odds, Barbara has made it to the top of a male-dominated industry. She was the first woman cohost of the 'Today Show', the first female network news coanchor, the host and producer of countless top-rated 'Specials', the star of 20/20, and the creator and cohost of 'The View'. She has not just interviewed the world's most fascinating figures, she has become a part of their world. These are just a few of the names that play a key role in Barbara's life, career, and book: Yasir Arafat, Warren Beatty, Menachem Begin, George H.W. Bush, George W. Bush, Jimmy Carter, Fidel Castro, Hugo Chavez, Bill and Hillary Clinton, Roy Cohn, the Dalai Lama, Princess Diana, Katharine Hepburn, King Hussein, Angelina Jolie, Henry Kissinger, Monica Lewinsky, Richard Nixon, Rosie O'Donnell, Christopher Reeve, Anwar Sadat, John Wayne...the list goes on and on Barbara Walters has spent a lifetime auditioning for her bosses at the TV networks, for millions of viewers, for the most famous people in the world, and even for her own daughter, with whom she has had a difficult but ultimately quite wonderful and moving relationship. This book, in some ways, is her final audition, as she fully opens up both her private and public lives. In doing so, she has given us a story that is heartbreaking and honest, surprising and fun, sometimes startling, and always fascinating."

  12. 5 out of 5

    Laurel-Rain

    Barbara Walters' memoir encompasses her more than forty years of television journalism interviewing heads of state, world leaders, movie stars, criminals, murderers, inspirational figures, and celebrities of all kinds. Finally she turns her gift for examination onto herself to reveal the forces that shaped her extraordinary life. We learn about her childhood with a father whose love of show business first brought the glamour and risk-taking of that life into her world and a mother, supportive, bu Barbara Walters' memoir encompasses her more than forty years of television journalism interviewing heads of state, world leaders, movie stars, criminals, murderers, inspirational figures, and celebrities of all kinds. Finally she turns her gift for examination onto herself to reveal the forces that shaped her extraordinary life. We learn about her childhood with a father whose love of show business first brought the glamour and risk-taking of that life into her world and a mother, supportive, but often frustrated by the numerous times the family had to uproot in order to follow his dreams. We share her pain as she describes what it was like growing up with a mentally disabled sister whom she loved, but with whom she could share very little as they grew older. Despite her own ambitions, Ms. Walters made sure that her family was cared for during the lean times. Her love affairs, her marriages, her child—we find out about each event in her life as she tells us in an anecdotal way, almost as if we're having a conversation. That is what I most enjoyed about this book...the feeling that I, as the reader, had somehow been granted admission into her living room or dining room while she described in detail the numerous aspects of her life. Her efforts to achieve recognition in a journalistic world that often overlooked women; the competitive moments; her occasional mistakes along the way—all shared with candor, humor, and insight. Her awesome and inspiring climb to a success that has included not only the famous interviews, but the numerous shows she has hosted, from the Today show, 20/20, the Specials...and now The View. I must admit that the political aspects of the memoir were less-fascinating to me than the celebrity features, but it was clear that she is knowledgeable and that she very diligently did her homework for each and every assignment. And obviously she has kept impeccable records over the years to be able to recount all these moments with such detail. A most admirable and extraordinary tome, "Audition," by its very name, sums up an aspect of the author that, perhaps, can shed light on this unique individual. In her own words, she talks about having to "audition" constantly, in the sense that she had to stand out and shine in order to achieve her goals. She had to be better than the best in a highly competitive world, and she excelled. If I could, I would give this book ten stars, but I will settle for five.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Natalie Gamble

    Barbara Walters' memoir, "Audition," is an absolute disappointment. Her life offers much potential for a delightful and insightful read, and, sadly, the reader finds too much "telling" and not enough "showing." Barbara Walters tells the reader nothing more than a timeline of the events in her life. The reader's senses lie dormant, waiting for some morsel of description of flannel sheets from childhood, or warm jackets on chilly days in Boston, or the smell her mother's best dish. The characters Barbara Walters' memoir, "Audition," is an absolute disappointment. Her life offers much potential for a delightful and insightful read, and, sadly, the reader finds too much "telling" and not enough "showing." Barbara Walters tells the reader nothing more than a timeline of the events in her life. The reader's senses lie dormant, waiting for some morsel of description of flannel sheets from childhood, or warm jackets on chilly days in Boston, or the smell her mother's best dish. The characters remain one dimensional, and the stories follow in suit. We do not get a "sense" of Barbara Walters from this book. We get the events of Barbara Walters' life. While none among us would dispute her importance as a woman in the world of journalism, and that many of her interviews have become milestones in television, she regularly deprives the viewer (and now the reader) of depth, really digging into the meat of the person she's interviewing. In this writer's opinion, Walters regularly fails to ask "the burning question." However, she conveys the idea that her questions are original, and probing, and important. That her book lacks that same depth should come as no surprise. More disappointing, however, is the arrogance with which she writes. Most readers would not consider growing up in a penthouse in New York City with a gambler of a father a struggle, and her desire to convince the "average American" reader fails. The reader empathizes with Barbara in her struggle to build lasting friendships throughout her childhood, but the reader remains unconvinced that, as an adult, "many people over the years would question my friendship" with "this person." In this writer's experience, nobody really cares. Additionally, the reader tends to get slightly winded each time they read about some "important" person's devotion to Walters' father, and thus, Walters' long standing friendship with the aforementioned "important" person. In all, Barbara Walters presents herself as a shallow, trite woman who has achieved a remarkable amount of success asking pedestrian questions to familiar faces. "Audition" does not get a call-back.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Suzanne

    Barbara Walters writes the way she talks and the informal style is conversational and pleasant. But something essential is missing in Barbara's recounting of her life. There is sadness and melodrama, affairs and broken marriages, professional triumphs and personal loss on every page in this lengthy book. Barbara is quite honest and critical in her self assessments and does not gloss over her personal mistakes. Nonetheless her life's meaning seems to be about "celebrity", not a surprise consider Barbara Walters writes the way she talks and the informal style is conversational and pleasant. But something essential is missing in Barbara's recounting of her life. There is sadness and melodrama, affairs and broken marriages, professional triumphs and personal loss on every page in this lengthy book. Barbara is quite honest and critical in her self assessments and does not gloss over her personal mistakes. Nonetheless her life's meaning seems to be about "celebrity", not a surprise considering her reputation. I didn't get a sense of an interior spiritual life, an inner sense of moral boundaries, of what is right and what is wrong. Barbara is a loyal friend to those who have been good to her. For example the late Roy Cohn had her father's IRS taxes and penalties "fixed" for which she is eternally grateful. She testifies to Roy's good character (???)at his disbarrment hearing in New York out of such loyalty. He was rightfully disbarred regardless, for other extensive ethics violations. She is appalled that a retired Cabinet official takes a taxi like the rest of us and doesn't have a government paid driver for life. She has affairs with married men without any sense of guilt. Barbara was raised without any formal religion despite being ethically Jewish. Yet countless others raised that way develop their own sense of higher purpose. Hers seems to be all about self-promotion and fame. Perhaps I am being harsh, but this memoir has the feel of one of her TV specials. She has a detachment from herself that is unsatisfying to the reader, like eating junk food. The book's length will fill you up, but it lacks any nutritional value or substance. She certainly was a traiblazer for women in television and her recounting of that journey is the best part of an otherwise disappointing memoir.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Sandie

    Who better to write a tell-all book about Barbara Walters than the woman herself. In her memoir, AUDITION, Walters tells of the men in her personal life; husbands and lovers who ranged from bland and boring to fascinating and profound. While she searched for, and to date has never found, the romantic Prince Charming to fulfill her private life, it seems that her professional life has more than compensated for those personal losses. She has managed to cultivate a plethora of prominent friends, ac Who better to write a tell-all book about Barbara Walters than the woman herself. In her memoir, AUDITION, Walters tells of the men in her personal life; husbands and lovers who ranged from bland and boring to fascinating and profound. While she searched for, and to date has never found, the romantic Prince Charming to fulfill her private life, it seems that her professional life has more than compensated for those personal losses. She has managed to cultivate a plethora of prominent friends, acquaintances and "interview subjects" that could (and do) fill the pages of Who's Who. From Presidents, religious leaders and princesses to movie stars, murderers and despots, she has rubbed shoulders with them all. Ms. Walters tome manages to titillate in inform her readers with a candid look at her life while maintaining the same dignity and reserve she displays in her television interviews. (No National Enquirer type mud slinging for this gal). What comes to light in Ms. Walter's tale is that she is a woman who is the sum total of her many parts. Like her father, she is a risk taker who has sometimes made poor and somewhat capricious choices. She tends toward procrastination in her personal life but never professionally. She sacrificed family for fame and for many years had a tenuous relationship with her adopted daughter. Ultimately, Barbara Walters is the poster child for female success in television journalism. She is a woman possessing the verve, initiative, persistence and willingness to make the sacrifices required in order to achieve success and flourish in her chosen profession. Selfish, perhaps! Financially successful and independent, definitely!!

  16. 5 out of 5

    Lorri Coburn

    Barbara Walters' story of her climb to the top is fascinating. She endured a lot of flack for being a woman, with Harry Reasoner openly scorning her on network news. While seen by some as audacious and pushy, she presents herself as always insecure about losing her job, hence her perfectionism, persistence, and the title "Audition," because she continually felt she was auditioning anew. While enduring backlash for being the first woman network anchor person, she received a card that said, "Don't Barbara Walters' story of her climb to the top is fascinating. She endured a lot of flack for being a woman, with Harry Reasoner openly scorning her on network news. While seen by some as audacious and pushy, she presents herself as always insecure about losing her job, hence her perfectionism, persistence, and the title "Audition," because she continually felt she was auditioning anew. While enduring backlash for being the first woman network anchor person, she received a card that said, "Don't let the bastards get you down." It was from John Wayne. Her insecurity stemmed from watching her father succeed and fail at several famous night clubs, and when he failed, the family was thrown into poverty and her mother's severe anxiety. Through his night clubs she became acquainted with famous people at an early age. She describes her tenacity at pursuing interviews, many of which would take her years to obtain. Her insights into Nixon, Anwar Sadat, Moshe Dayan, the Shah of Iran, Fidel Castro, and many other people are captivating. I don't usually read the early childhood years of a biography, and intended to just skim the early years of this one. It was so interesting, however, that I kept reading. She was deeply affected by her developmentally disabled sister, and to this day feels guilty that she got more from life than her sister did. She also describes several love affairs and marriages, and writes in a tone as if she's talking to you over coffee. What comes through in the book, as in her interviews, is her ability to respect those she disagrees with, with the exception of a few male co-workers, with which she openly discusses her problems.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer

    An enjoyable memoir will weave interesting tale after interesting tale to create a thorough portrait of the writer. While one can hardly fault this book for not being "thorough," my "interesting tale" tally going through it = zero. It's the Encyclopedia Brittanica of Every Thought That Ever Crossed Barbara Walters's Mind Since the Day Her Ancestors Set Foot on American Soil. Good Lord. Walters personality came across as somehow being a blend of relentless self-absorption with the tediousness of w An enjoyable memoir will weave interesting tale after interesting tale to create a thorough portrait of the writer. While one can hardly fault this book for not being "thorough," my "interesting tale" tally going through it = zero. It's the Encyclopedia Brittanica of Every Thought That Ever Crossed Barbara Walters's Mind Since the Day Her Ancestors Set Foot on American Soil. Good Lord. Walters personality came across as somehow being a blend of relentless self-absorption with the tediousness of watching paint dry. And she seriously questions failed marriage after failed marriage. How could someone with this illustrious a journalism career be this much of a dullard? We really didn't need to know what she ordered for lunch. Every day of her life. And come to find out, when she does her schticky deadpan lengthy takes, wide-eyed, into the camera, she's not being ironic or dumbing herself down. She really thinks she's funny. Normally I save my "reviews" until after my Book Club discusses a book, but with this doorstop of a book, I officially declare a mutiny. I don't think I can choose fewer than one star to rate a book on goodreads, or else I would. Goodreads politely describes one star as, "I didn't like it," and doesn't give the reader a Holy Crap, this Really Sucked non-star option.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Linda Appelbaum

    Grab a cup of coffee, sit down and let Barbara tell you her story. This book is almost like having her sit down with you and tell you face to face her life story. I was never a big fam of hers, but I very much enjoyed reading this book because she had so many interesting stories and has interviewed almost anyone who is anyone! I came away with a different impression of her than I had before reading the book. She isn't the stuck up, haughty woman she sometimes appears to be, but rather a reserved Grab a cup of coffee, sit down and let Barbara tell you her story. This book is almost like having her sit down with you and tell you face to face her life story. I was never a big fam of hers, but I very much enjoyed reading this book because she had so many interesting stories and has interviewed almost anyone who is anyone! I came away with a different impression of her than I had before reading the book. She isn't the stuck up, haughty woman she sometimes appears to be, but rather a reserved, very informed, hardworking woman who was fortunate to be in the right places at the right times! Getting into TV in the early years when women were clearly 2nd clas citizens was hard on her and other women. Her experiences that she shared in the book are fascinating to learn about because it is so different now. I liked her stories about some of the people she interviewed - the Menendez brothers, Robert Blakely, Anwar Sedat, Fidel Castro, Monica Lewinsky, the Presidents. I also liked how she sometimes laughed at herself and made fun of some of her experiences and thoughts. She seemed so down to earth and shared some very painful parts of her life. It was a very enjoyable read.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Jenifer

    Barbara Walters makes my "most fascinating people" list for sure. Her long memoir is a great example of the balanced mix of entertainment, education, gossip, personal anecdotes and world events that she has spent so many years perfecting on national television. I feel like she has tried in every instance to remain fair and objective, while standing on the uncompromising platform of telling her own story. Pretty much for the last half-century, if there was anything of interest happening anywhere Barbara Walters makes my "most fascinating people" list for sure. Her long memoir is a great example of the balanced mix of entertainment, education, gossip, personal anecdotes and world events that she has spent so many years perfecting on national television. I feel like she has tried in every instance to remain fair and objective, while standing on the uncompromising platform of telling her own story. Pretty much for the last half-century, if there was anything of interest happening anywhere in the world, Barbara Walters was found to be somewhere in the vicinity. She is a woman of a previous generation, and obviously is mannered in a way that we are just not that used to. I find it quaint and interesting to see those behaviors and opinions juxtaposed against the liberal and feminist path that her life has traveled. I enjoyed this quite a bit.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Erica

    I cant remember why i wanted to read this book, but apparently I requested it from the library. I was a little apprehensive about trying to read it in 7 days due to the length and the fact that i seem to have a short attention span these days (Livermore Library only lets you check out new books for 7 days! a policy change is in order - at least give us 10). The book is actually well written and kept my attention throughout. It was interesting to read about how she started out in the industry and I cant remember why i wanted to read this book, but apparently I requested it from the library. I was a little apprehensive about trying to read it in 7 days due to the length and the fact that i seem to have a short attention span these days (Livermore Library only lets you check out new books for 7 days! a policy change is in order - at least give us 10). The book is actually well written and kept my attention throughout. It was interesting to read about how she started out in the industry and what she actually accomplished back when women were relegated to more "pretty" roles within news organizations. It was also interesting to read about the many interviews she has conducted over the years. I reccomend this one if you have the time (it is over 500 pages).

  21. 5 out of 5

    Rekha

    Stay with me here. It was good, really. Yes, Barbara Walters is cheesy. Yes, she has antiquated ideas. But man, her life is interesting. She dated closeted Ray Cohn, partner in crime to Joseph McCarthy! Errol Flynn hit on her at a party! She was cooling out socially with Henry Kissinger! She had a Baroness working for her as her kid's governess! She doesn't seem to have any political misgivings about anything, which was a little disturbing. In fact, in true reporter form, perhaps, she steers awa Stay with me here. It was good, really. Yes, Barbara Walters is cheesy. Yes, she has antiquated ideas. But man, her life is interesting. She dated closeted Ray Cohn, partner in crime to Joseph McCarthy! Errol Flynn hit on her at a party! She was cooling out socially with Henry Kissinger! She had a Baroness working for her as her kid's governess! She doesn't seem to have any political misgivings about anything, which was a little disturbing. In fact, in true reporter form, perhaps, she steers away from introspection of any kind and just tells you what happened. And there is plenty that happened.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Wade Snowden

    Yes, I read this 600 page memoir in 3 days (on audio). With such an incredible, trailblazing, long, and exciting career - this memoir truly does not disappoint. As someone who reads many hollywood/celebrity memoirs - I appreciated from the start that Ms. Walters does not spend too long on her childhood. However, the parts about her early years pre-fame were VERY interesting. I learned a lot throughout this memoir from politics, international affairs, celebrities, murderers, television, and more. Yes, I read this 600 page memoir in 3 days (on audio). With such an incredible, trailblazing, long, and exciting career - this memoir truly does not disappoint. As someone who reads many hollywood/celebrity memoirs - I appreciated from the start that Ms. Walters does not spend too long on her childhood. However, the parts about her early years pre-fame were VERY interesting. I learned a lot throughout this memoir from politics, international affairs, celebrities, murderers, television, and more. Truly does not disappoint. A very good audiobook. I think the parts about international diplomacy, etc would have been boring to read but were easier to follow on audio.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Carol

    I've admired Barbara for a lot of years, but I knew very little about her. She had a very difficult family life, quite an amazing father but one that also had a lot of sadness to their family. Barbara was an amazing sister and daughter. She took amazing care of her family members all her life. She had difficulties with marriages, was married three times. She adopted a lovely daughter. There was a period of time their relationship was quite rocky, but later in life they healed and have a wonderfu I've admired Barbara for a lot of years, but I knew very little about her. She had a very difficult family life, quite an amazing father but one that also had a lot of sadness to their family. Barbara was an amazing sister and daughter. She took amazing care of her family members all her life. She had difficulties with marriages, was married three times. She adopted a lovely daughter. There was a period of time their relationship was quite rocky, but later in life they healed and have a wonderful relationship now. Her homelife as a youngster was difficult. She has a sister that is mentally retarded, and was a challenge a lot of her life, but she took amazing care of them. Her career was one that one stands in wonder whom she interviewed, and the respect she gained over many many years. We learn of all her shows, news, partnerships, different channels, times of day, and such that she worked very very hard at. We also learn of the men in her life, her marriages, whom she had affairs with and the friendships both professional and personal she has had. This book is quite long--over 600 pages. I've enjoyed it very much all in all. I'm trying to broaden my different genres of reading. Recommend if you like this type of reading.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Teresa Johnson

    Very revealing look at the life of Barbara Walters.....her tumultuous childhood, her successes and failures, and her most intimate relationships......from three husbands to her daughter 's difficult teenage years. This book is humorous, open, revealing and an acknowledgement of her real impact on the future of women in television and reporting, and her relationship with many of the history makers of the last 5 decades! Very revealing look at the life of Barbara Walters.....her tumultuous childhood, her successes and failures, and her most intimate relationships......from three husbands to her daughter 's difficult teenage years. This book is humorous, open, revealing and an acknowledgement of her real impact on the future of women in television and reporting, and her relationship with many of the history makers of the last 5 decades!

  25. 4 out of 5

    Lauren Hartwick

    Someone gave me this as a graduation present after university close to six years ago and I still think of it from time to time, mostly for the historical references. For example, when Monica Lewinsky comes up in the news, I think back to everything Barbara wrote on that topic. There was a lot of good advice in this book and lots of great stories that humanized people I have only read about in the news.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Denise

    This book was really good. She conducted some pretty facinating interviews. Some of the chapters got pretty long, especially if I wasn't sure who she was talking about. Lines I loved from this book: It feels to me that my life has been one long audition – an attempt to make a difference and to be accepted. She saw the seams and not the satin. When we grow up – forgive me for saying this – my life was so much more interesting than theirs. Not necessarily better, but much more interesting. And for be This book was really good. She conducted some pretty facinating interviews. Some of the chapters got pretty long, especially if I wasn't sure who she was talking about. Lines I loved from this book: It feels to me that my life has been one long audition – an attempt to make a difference and to be accepted. She saw the seams and not the satin. When we grow up – forgive me for saying this – my life was so much more interesting than theirs. Not necessarily better, but much more interesting. And for better or worse I came to value “interesting” far more than “normal.” It’s hard to have a broken heart when you’re having the time of your life. I’ve always felt that if it’s a choice between spanking the child or killing the child, spanking is better. One excuse, I’ve learned, works just fine, and you are much more believable. I had wanted to be free for a long while and now I was. But freedom has consequences. The same person whom you have yearned to leave or to leave you is also the person you miss when you want someone to care and to fuss over you. We are not terrorists; we catch terrorists. When the terrorists stop, we’ll stop. When a relationship doesn’t grow, it gradually diminishes. Don’t make decisions when you’re exhausted. One does not work for money, one works for love. When God is ready to take me, he’ll take me. But you don’t have to help. As much as you try to profit from your parents’ mistakes, you make others they didn’t make. She marches to her own drummer. It may not be my music, but I guess, in a way, I marched to my own drummer and it wasn’t necessarily Jackie’s music. I’d always felt that Jackie was born to be mind and, at the end of the interview, it was lovely to hear that Jackie felt the same way. The devil you know is than the devil you don’t. All the things that used to bother me don’t seem very important anymore. I think it made me more determined to use my time in a way that gives other people the chance to live the life I’ve had. I am sustained by prayer, my own prayer and the fact that others pray for me. Stand up and scream and we will interview you, or be reasonable and unheard. When you grow up comfortable and in peace and happiness, all those things will produce a very balanced person and a good person, but it will not create the will and determination and hunger that you need to be the best in the world. It is humour that got me through a lot of the pain. It is how I connect with people. Most of the time when I look back on what I’ve done, I think: Did I do that? Why didn’t I enjoy it more? Was I working too hard to see?

  27. 4 out of 5

    Mary

    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 tas 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+!

  28. 5 out of 5

    Bethany

    I picked this up because I studied journalism in college and I was curious about a firsthand account of one of the most successful female journalists. Admittedly, I did not finish before I ran out of renewals at the library. It was interesting, but not compelling. I only got about half way but I hear the second half is much better. The book is way too long and there are too many details delivered in a boring, list-like fashion. It's written the way you speak..short sentences and matter-of-fact.. I picked this up because I studied journalism in college and I was curious about a firsthand account of one of the most successful female journalists. Admittedly, I did not finish before I ran out of renewals at the library. It was interesting, but not compelling. I only got about half way but I hear the second half is much better. The book is way too long and there are too many details delivered in a boring, list-like fashion. It's written the way you speak..short sentences and matter-of-fact..like a news story. You can just hear Barbara's voice as you read. I am betting the audio version (if there is one) would be so much better because the natural inflection and variety of voice would make it interesting. However, in a written format, it just felt lifeless and boring. Still, kudos to how she made a career for herself.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Karen Yelton-Curtis

    Of books about journalists that I've read, Walters's memoir is one of the best chronicles of a career. It's broad enough to guarantee authenticity and focused in places designed to sustain reader attention. Her role in shaping TV journalism is well documented, covering successes as well as conflicts. I like that she addresses difficult personalities in a professional manner and includes insider details about experiences that at the time they were reported, omitted critical information. The book Of books about journalists that I've read, Walters's memoir is one of the best chronicles of a career. It's broad enough to guarantee authenticity and focused in places designed to sustain reader attention. Her role in shaping TV journalism is well documented, covering successes as well as conflicts. I like that she addresses difficult personalities in a professional manner and includes insider details about experiences that at the time they were reported, omitted critical information. The book is long (about 600 pages) but the reader easily moves through the narration.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Samantha

    I'm really torn about this book. I wanted to enjoy it. I've always looked up to and been fascinated by Barbara Walters. However, she herself has changed that view. First of all, I expected the book to be a little better written. Her sentence structure wasn't always the best. Anyway, I didn't know that Ms. Walters had had a sister that was mentally challenged. I definitely didn't know that Ms. Walters basically ran away from her family responsibilities with her parents and sister after she was an I'm really torn about this book. I wanted to enjoy it. I've always looked up to and been fascinated by Barbara Walters. However, she herself has changed that view. First of all, I expected the book to be a little better written. Her sentence structure wasn't always the best. Anyway, I didn't know that Ms. Walters had had a sister that was mentally challenged. I definitely didn't know that Ms. Walters basically ran away from her family responsibilities with her parents and sister after she was an adult. There are many times in this book where Ms. Walters says I know I should feel guilty about whatever but I really just want to be free from them. Ms. Walters wasn't around for any of their deaths and even lied to her mother about her sister's passing. With my occupation, it's hard for me to read about Barbara Walters making a decision to adopt a child and then leaving her all the time. She hires two ladies after her divorce as babysitters to her daughter, Jackie and then leaves Jackie while she goes off chasing stories. She didn't even make a police report when Jackie disappears for a month or more and is found in Kansas. I just found this so irresponsible and that's not the picture that I had of her. I think if a biographer had written this book unauthorized it might have been easier for me to take but Barbara herself wrote this book. Now the good parts. She definitely wrote a book warts and all. I loved the fact that I could relive my life with this book. I remember so many of her interviews or the events she describes. It was fascinating to learn a lot of the behind the scenes of the programs and interviews. I loved her talking about her times at the Today show. Definitely liked the chapter about The View. Overall, I think it is a fascinating information book about a pioneer in the world of female news reporting, but just realize that Barbara Walters has some flaws and she lets them all hang out.

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