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Download A Tale of Two Valleys: Wine, Wealth and the Battle for the Good Life in Napa and Sonoma Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample A Tale of Two Valleys: Wine, Wealth and the Battle for the Good Life in Napa and Sonoma Audiobook, by Alan Deutschman Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (91 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Alan Deutschman Narrator: Michael Cerveris Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: May 2003 ISBN: 9780739304976
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When acclaimed journalist Alan Deutschman came to the California wine country as the lucky house guest of very rich friends, he was surprised to discover a raging controversy. A civil war was being fought between the Napa Valley, which epitomized elitism, prestige and wealthy excess, and the neighboring Sonoma Valley, a rag-tag bohemian enclave so stubbornly backward that rambunctious chickens wandered freely through town. But the antics really began when new-money invaders began pushing out Sonoma’s poets and painters to make way for luxury resorts and trophy houses that seemed a parody of opulence. A Tale of Two Valleys captures these stranger-than-fiction locales with the wit of a Tom Wolfe novel and uncorks the hilarious absurdities of life among the wine world’s glitterati.
Deutschman found that on the weekends the wine country was like a bunch of gracious hosts smiling upon their guests, but during the week the families feuded with each other and their neighbors like the Hatfields and McCoys. Napa was a comically exclusive club where the super-rich fought desperately to get in. Sonoma’s colorful free spirits and iconoclasts were wary of their bohemia becoming the next playground for the rapacious elite. So, led by a former taxicab driver and wine-grape picker, a cheese merchant, and an artist who lived in a barn surrounded by wild peacocks, they formed a populist revolt to seize power and repel the rich invaders.
Deutschman’s cast of characters brims with eccentrics, egomaniacs, and a mysterious man in black who crashed the elegant Napa Valley Wine Auction before proceeding to pay a half-million dollars for a single bottle. What develops is nothing less than a battle for the good life, a clash between old and new, the struggle for the soul of one of America’s last bits of paradise. A dishy glimpse behind the scenes of a West Coast wonderland, A Tale of Two Valleys makes for intoxicating reading. Download and start listening now!

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Quotes & Awards

  • Critics Toast
    The Second Coming of Steve Jobs
    “Delicious… a pleasure to read.
    Chicago Sun-Times
  • Compulsively readable Washington Post
    “Great read
  • Get a spoon. Your deep dish treat has arrived. New York Post
    “A fascinating book.
  • Intoxicating . . . Deutschman serves up the drama glass by glass . . . Rarely has such an exclusive world and its inhabitants been made so accessible. Publishers Weekly (starred review)
  • A San Francisco Chronicle Bestseller

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Phil | 1/14/2014

    " Good accounting of the story behind the story - the small winemakers and their everyday lives in the Napa(and more particularly) Sonoma Valleys. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jeffrey | 1/9/2014

    " I enjoyed the book quite a lot. I didn't expect to have that much of a story to tell. The various characters,the locales, and the comparison between the two valleys was enjoyable as well as very informative. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Dawn | 12/27/2013

    " A somewhat interesting history on the differences between the Napa and Sonoma valleys. It wouldn't have been as interesting if I hadn't been vacationing in the area for a significant amount of time. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Todd Lloyd | 12/15/2013

    " I read this book twice, and I happen to live in Sonoma during the time. For me it was a good read because a lot of the characters in my town were familiar to me. It's a great audiobook for driving through the Sonoma and Napa valleys. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Jodi | 12/5/2013

    " Preparing for our Sonoma trip in Aug. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Brigid | 10/16/2013

    " a somewhat disheartening view of the real life behind the glamour of wine country. lots of history and wine world gossip "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Mary Jo | 7/8/2013

    " I just didn't like this book at all, but I did make it to the end and to tell the truth, I don't know how. I ended up scanning alot of it and thought it would get better, but it never did! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mike | 5/11/2013

    " Napa, Sonoma, and the rich people who drink wine and drive up real estate values there. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Hadley | 4/9/2013

    " Fun read especially if you're into wine or have traveled or are planning to travel to Napa or Sonoma. Gives a brief history on both valleys but also dishes tons of juicy gossip! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Lisa | 4/9/2013

    " Really intriguing, the area is so corrupt! A must read! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Maura | 11/20/2012

    " I was born and raised in Sonoma Valley, I loved this book! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Becky | 9/18/2012

    " I liked this book alot going in. Very informative, lots of juicy gossip, but it lagged towards the end for me,waaaaay too much detailed info on the glassy-winged sharpshooter. I kept waiting for him to move on, but thats what he left his readers with in the end. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jim | 3/29/2012

    " Not a researched effort by the author, but more of a tale about his life and times in the Sonoma Valley. He compares the Sonoma Valley as a sleepy town trying to prevent big industry in, unlike Napa Valley. Good short read. The chickens are a fun storyline. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Krista | 12/8/2011

    " I learned that I really want to eat hand-crafted cheese in Sonoma. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Rochelle | 8/13/2011

    " Living in the Bay Area, I'm up in Napa & Sonoma often so I enjoyed this gossipy, fun little "history". "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kathleen | 4/23/2011

    " Sense of evolution of Napa & Sonoma - a place I love. Easy to see how love of a place by many can also destroy the soul of what made it beautiful "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Curtis | 3/15/2011

    " The message was really positive. I ended up giving it to Dizz Diamonds yo. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jay | 11/11/2010

    " Author uses some interesting examples, especially Delancy Street, to illustrate his concept. Concept is simple and oft repeated, but mixed with the ilustrative stories it is not overbearing. Good read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jay | 9/3/2010

    " Pretty lightweight, but a nice quick read. Parts of it remind me of a slimmed version of The Innovator's Dilemma. And I've heard better versions of the GM/Toyotal NUMMI plant. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Allison | 8/10/2010

    " This was an interesting self help book with alot of good examples of individuals and institutions making positive changes. I don't think Deutschman has a mind-blowing thesis, but his advice to connect with individuals who are agents of change was the best take away. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mandy | 6/27/2010

    " Another fascinating nerdy book! With case studies ranging from heart patients, ex-cons, and businesses the author analyzes why change works and why it doesn't. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Silke | 6/26/2010

    " A must read for anybody interested in human behavior. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Susan | 10/18/2009

    " a fascinating look at the psychology of change...especially great for anyone interested in personal change or inspiring it in others. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Luellen | 5/26/2009

    " Excellent, One of the BEST books I have ever read for these times. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Paula | 1/28/2009

    " This book was compelling, but I'd have liked it better if there had been fewer lengthy examples of groups and companies that had effected change and more concrete examples of individuals who had effected and maintained change in their lives. It's well worth reading though. "

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About the Author
Author Alan Deutschman

Alan Deutschman is a senior writer at Fast Company and the author of two previous books, The Second Coming of Steve Jobs and A Tale of Two Valleys. He lives in Atlanta, Georgia, with his wife.

About the Narrator

Michael Cerveris is an American singer, guitarist, and actor. He has performed in many stage musicals and plays including Romeo & Juliet, Sweeney Todd, and Hedwig and the Angry Itch. He won the Tony Award for Best Featured Actor for his role in the Stephen Sondheim musical Assassins. His most notable television role has been as September in the series Fringe.