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Download Last Night at the Viper Room: River Phoenix and the Hollywood He Left Behind Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Last Night at the Viper Room: River Phoenix and the Hollywood He Left Behind Audiobook, by Gavin Edwards Click for printable size audiobook cover
0 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 5 0.00 (0 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Gavin Edwards Narrator: Luke Daniels Publisher: HarperCollins Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: October 2013 ISBN: 9780062319395
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Hollywood was built on beautiful and complicated matinee idols: James Dean and Marlon Brando are classic examples, but in the 1990s, the actor who embodied that archetype was River Phoenix. As the brightly colored 1980s wound down, a new crew of leading men began to appear on movie screens. Hailed for their acting prowess and admired for choosing meaty roles, actors such as Johnny Depp, Nicolas Cage, Keanu Reeves, and Brad Pitt were soon rocketing toward stardom while an unknown Leonardo DiCaprio prepared to make his acting debut. River Phoenix, however, stood in front of the pack. Blessed with natural talent and fueled by integrity, Phoenix was admired by his peers and adored by his fans. More than just a pinup on teenage girls' walls, Phoenix was also a fervent defender of the environment and a vocal proponent of a vegan lifestyle—well on his way to becoming a symbol of his generation. At age eighteen, he received his first Oscar nomination. But behind his beautiful public face, there was a young man who had been raised in a cult by nonconformist parents, who was burdened with supporting his family from a young age, and who eventually succumbed to addiction, escaping into a maelstrom of drink and drugs.

And then he was gone. After a dozen films, including Stand by Me and My Own Private Idaho, and with a seemingly limitless future, River Phoenix died of a drug overdose. He was twenty-three years old.

In Last Night at the Viper Room, bestselling author and journalist Gavin Edwards toggles between the tragic events at the Viper Room in West Hollywood on Halloween 1993 and the story of an extraordinary life. Last Night at the Viper Room is part biography, part cultural history of the 1990s, and part celebration of River Phoenix, a Hollywood icon gone too soon. Full of interviews from his fellow actors, directors, friends, and family, Last Night at the Viper Room shows the role he played in creating the place of the actor in our modern culture and the impact his work still makes today.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Twenty years after his death, River Phoenix remains as enigmatic and elusive as ever. Last Night at the Viper Room tells the heart-shredding story of how this haunted actor left such a big impression in such a brief time.”

    Rob Sheffield, New York Times bestselling author of Love Is a Mix Tape

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About the Author

Gavin Edwards is a contributing editor for Rolling Stone and has written for Details, Spin, and the New York Times. He is the author of several books, including VJ: The Unplugged Adventures of MTV’s First Wave; Is Tiny Dancer Really Elton’s Little John?: Music’s Most Enduring Mysteries, Myths, and Rumors Revealed; ’Scuse Me While I Kiss This Guy; and Last Night at the Viper Room. He lives in Los Angeles.

About the Narrator

Luke Daniels is a narrator whose many audiobook credits range from action and suspense to young-adult fiction, including works by Philip Roth and John Updike. He has been a finalist for the prestigious Audie Award in 2012 and 2014 and has earned thirteen AudioFile Earphones Awards. As an actor, he has performed at various repertory theaters around the country, with an emphasis on Shakespeare.