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Download Living Dangerously: The Adventures of Merian C. Cooper, Creator of King Kong Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Living Dangerously: The Adventures of Merian C. Cooper, Creator of King Kong Audiobook, by Mark Cotta Vaz Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (25 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Mark Cotta Vaz Narrator: Patrick Cullen Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: June 2008 ISBN: 9781455192984
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Explorer, war hero, filmmaker, and cinema pioneer, Merian C. Cooper, the adventurer who created King Kong, was truly larger than life. Spellbound since boyhood by tales of life-threatening adventure and exotic locales, Cooper plunged into harrowing expeditions to places not yet civilized by modern man. One of the first bomber pilots during World War I, he would return to military service during World War II, flying missions into the heart of enemy territory. In addition to producing King Kong, he teamed Fred Astaire with Ginger Rogers, arranged Katharine Hepburn’s screen test, collaborated with John Ford on his greatest Westerns, and changed the face of film forever with Cinerama. Here is a stunning tribute to a two-fisted visionary who packed a multitude of lifetimes into eighty remarkable years and whose greatest desire was always to live dangerously.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Merian C. Cooper’s life reads like an adventure novel, as Mark Vaz proves perfectly with Living Dangerously.”

    Ray Bradbury, bestselling science fiction author

  • Living Dangerously is a wonderful addition to the literature of movies and popular culture but, on a personal level, it allowed me to understand the man who made the movie that had such a powerful effect upon me…Now finally…the legend comes out of the shadows.”

    Peter Jackson, director of The Lord of the Rings and King Kong

  • “Mark Cotta Vaz’s account of Cooper’s adventures as soldier, prisoner of war, explorer, documentarian, mogul, and director is breathtaking. We all know the ape was big. But the man behind the ape? Even bigger.”

    J. J. Abrams, creator of Lost and Alias

  • “Mark Cotta Vaz has drawn on an impressive amount of research…Cooper was lucky enough to live in an age when dreamers could inflict their fantasies upon the world, and smart enough to make indelible use of that privilege.”

    Washington Post

  • “[A] boisterous, chest-thumping biography…Vaz captures the mythic magic of Cooper’s cinematic creations…The charismatic Cooper, ‘a man living his own movie,’ is no longer an obscure, remote figure, thanks to Vaz’s exhaustive research and skillful writing.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “[Cooper’s] life rivaled that of any cinematic hero…readers will enjoy the ride. Recommended for all cinema collections.”

    Library Journal

  • “[A] readable, frequently gripping biography. An altogether appealing addition for film-history collections.”


Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jim Lindgren | 6/15/2012

    " Merian C. Cooper did a lot more than make "King Kong," which is what I remembered him for. His exploits as a pilot in World War I were exciting and dangerous - more so than his movies. Netflix carries two of his most famous silent movies, "Grass" and "Chang." They are definitely work checking out. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 BruceG | 2/4/2012

    " A vivid and thorough account of the life of the extraordinary adventurer, fighter pilot, movie mogul, author and creator of King Kong -- Merian C. Cooper, with an introduction by director Peter Jackson. "

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About the Author
Author Mark Cotta Vaz

Mark Cotta Vaz is the author of such New York Times bestsellers as The Art of Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones and Behind the Mask of Spider-Man. Living Dangerously is his nineteenth published book. His other works include the critically acclaimed The Invisible Art: The Legends of Movie Matte Painting (co-authored with filmmaker Craig Barron), which won the Theatre Library Association of New York Award for outstanding book on film in 2002 and the United States Institute for Theatre Technology’s Golden Pen Book Award. More recent projects include a first novel and a history of the segregated units of World War II.

About the Narrator

Patrick Cullen (a.k.a. John Lescault), a native of Massachusetts, is a graduate of the Catholic University of America. He lives in Washington, DC, where he works in theater.