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Download The Elephant to Hollywood Audiobook (Unabridged)

Extended Audio Sample The Elephant to Hollywood (Unabridged) Audiobook, by Michael Caine
3.63 out of 53.63 out of 53.63 out of 53.63 out of 53.63 out of 5 3.63 (30 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Michael Caine Narrator: Michael Caine Publisher: Macmillan Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: October 2010 ISBN:
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Born in a working-class neighborhood of London called Elephant and Castle, Michael Caine, née Maurice Micklewhite, was the son of a porter and a char-lady. He was an unprepossessing young man who initially faced rejection as an actor; he was told that he was too awkward and effeminate. Eventually, he changed his name to Michael Caine, taking the "Caine" part from Bogart's The Caine Mutiny and rose to prominence in Hollywood, hobnobbing with celebrities like Frank Sinatra and John Wayne.

The Elephant to Hollywood is Caine's second autobiography and is written without the help of a ghostwriter, allowing his urbane, sophisticated voice to shine through. Caine is mostly optimistic and, if you didn't know about his humble beginnings, you'd be forgiven for believing that his blasé attitude came from having been born with a silver spoon in his mouth. Instead, the truth is that he got to where he is today by working for it.

Like other actors, Caine's career has had its ups and downs. Since this is Caine's second memoir, it covers the latter part of his life more than the beginnings. At a certain age, Caine noticed that he was only being offered parts meant for older actors, and this brought him down for a bit. However, he rallied and soon became a favorite of Christopher Nolan who tapped him for the Batman movies and Inception. Caine also tells the story of how he fell in love with his second wife, Shakira Baksh, by seeing her in an advertisement on TV. He proceeded to contact her, and she helped him clean up his act because he was having problems with alcoholism at the time.

Another major thing that's happened to Caine in his later life is being knighted, and he describes this, like he describes everything else, in a humorous and slightly self-deprecating way. He notes that when the Queen shakes hands with you, she pushes your hands away slightly to make sure you understand the handshake is at an end. Plus, there's a room in the back for those being knighted to practice getting back up again, possibly not something everyone performs gracefully.

Overall, there's a feeling of old Hollywood about this memoir—something gentlemanly and suave, like Caine himself. Reading the book is like watching Caine on the screen—he's dignified, even if he's not always proper. His expressions of emotion are restrained and seem to pass amidst the jollity of life in general.

Michael Caine, born Maurice Micklewhite, is a British actor who rose to prominence in the 1960s with films such as Alfie, The Ipcress File, Zulu, The Italian Job etc. He received his first Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor in 1986 for Hannah and her Sisters. His second Academy Award came in 1999 for The Cider House Rules. He was married to actress Patricia Haines for seven years, and they have a daughter named Dominique. After his divorce, he briefly dated Bianca Jagger and is currently married to model and actress Shakira Baksh with whom he has another daughter named Natasha Haleema.

Charming, engaging, and surprisingly forthright, Michael Caine gives us his insider's view of Hollywood and the story of his brilliant second act.

When he was in his late 50s, Michael Caine believed his glamorous, rags-to-riches Hollywood career had come to an end. The scripts being sent his way were worse and worse. When one script really disappointed, he called the producer to complain about the part. The producer said, No, no, we don't want you for the lover, we want you for the father.

Salvation came in the unlikely form of his old friend Jack Nicholson, who convinced him to give acting one more shot. What followed was not only an incredible personal transformation but also one of the most radical comebacks in film history. Learning to accept his new role both on camera and in his own life, Caine went on to win his second Oscar, be knighted by the queen, and deliver some of his best performances to date.

Now he shares the spectacular story of his life, from his humble upbringing in London's poverty-stricken Elephant and Castle, his military service, touching marriage and family life, and lively adventures with friends, to legendary meetings with fellow stars, forays as a restaurateur, and hilarious off-screen encounters from his glittering five-decade career. Caine brings his gift for storytelling and his insider's view to a tale that is funny, warm, and deeply honest.

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Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 David | 2/16/2014

    " I read very few autobiographies, I think the last one was Richard Attenborough's. And after reading Michael Caine's "The Elephant to Hollywood", I won't be in a hurry to read another. Not that there were not lots of interesting stories, but that the writing was so poor. Nearly every page had something like (and I opened the book at random here) "... I became good friends with ...". How many friends can one man have? Well I suppose quite a few when you are Michael Caine. I was hoping that there would have been more about the restaurants he owned, but there was not much at all. I guess most people would only want to hear about his movie career. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Liz | 2/10/2014

    " This book was great!!! I really enjoyed learning about the behind the scenes stories behind my favorite movies. My movie watching list is now longer too!!! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Merril Hope-brown | 2/5/2014

    " I listened to this audio book read by Michael Caine and thoroughly enjoyed it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Paul Kerr | 1/21/2014

    " While I was never a huge fan of Michael Caine's movies, I always liked him as an actor and thought of him as a fairly down to earth person. All of which is justified in this highly entertaining autobiography. As expected, fairly sentimental in parts, with a slow drift into the comforts of old age (cooking, gardening, grandchildren etc), but the wide-eyed shock of the young Caine being thrust into the wealth of movie stars and parties in LA is perfectly translated in these memoirs. Glimpses into his views on fellow actors and producers, and his honesty on assessing some of his best friends' attributes (with the likes of Connery embraced and gently ribbed simultaneously) are excellent. However, the relationship with his mother and wife are perhaps the closest and most revealing insights, lending far more weight to the man than his passing critiques of current British social issues... "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Mackay | 1/8/2014

    " Michael Caine is a great raconteur and it's fun spending time with him. He has a sharp but kind eye for humanity, and he's lived an interesting life. This breezy memoir may not be as in-depth high interest as his first, What's It All About, and covers some of the same territory, but it's worthwhile. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Joolz | 12/29/2013

    " Simply brilliant. Littered with stories of his youth, Hollywood and his UK actor friends and of course his life with Shakira, this had me laughing a lot. Some amazing stories of the people he met, and worked with. He is obviously very down to earth and never takes himself seriously. Wonderful book. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Betty | 12/26/2013

    " Enjoyable story of Caine's career. It's a real rags to riches tale, and Caine's obvious delight in his success and the famous celebrities he came to know is endearing. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Marija | 12/10/2013

    " I knew nothing about the life of MC. He walked a long way. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ginnz | 12/7/2013

    " An intesting view of a life in Holywood and bejond. Yes he name drops... Yes he name drops films and tells a few stories behind films, and somethimes it feels like a whistlestop tour through all his films but I ended up feeling like I knew him better. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Lauren | 12/6/2013

    " I really like Michael Caine and I heard him talking about his book on NPR a couple of weeks ago --made me really want to read it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Catherine | 10/17/2013

    " Michael Caine is such a congenial person that it's hard to find fault with him. His journey from Elephant and Castle to Hollywood is amazing, and he has more friends than the sky has stars--and lucky in love, too! "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Susanne Lynch | 5/9/2013

    " I love Michael, but the book is pretty boring. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Tony Matthews | 11/29/2012

    " Some interesting and funny stories, but book doesn't flow very well. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Maureen | 8/25/2012

    " Love Michael Caine in almost anything and everything. And he plays in everything. No pretense on his part. His book is the same. It is the story of a working actor who made it big. But the regular guy is still there and it comes through. Likable guy, likable book. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kirsten | 7/4/2012

    " Not bad for a random celebrity memoir. He even talks about his time making The Muppet Christmas Carol. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jo Beth | 5/18/2012

    " One of the best autobiographies I've ever read--it was as if Michael Caine was sitting down at a table with me, relating his life story. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Natalie | 3/27/2012

    " An entertaining memoir by the very funny and humble Michael Caine. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Marge | 12/18/2011

    " This lovely book confirms my impression of Caine as a generous, kind man. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Ellie Revert | 11/29/2011

    " Would love to be their neighbors! Sounds like they have a wonderful marriage, and he is truly appreciative of the life he's led---AND he's so funny! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jeremy | 7/26/2011

    " Great stories. Love Michael Caine! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Bill | 5/4/2011

    " Interesting vignettes. Definitely not a must-read but if you like the man , you will like this book. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Alannah | 4/5/2011

    " amazing. Michael Caine is funny, adorable, and tells a good story. Old film buffs will love the candid stories about some of hollywood's greatest :)
    one of the best books I've read! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Zandra | 3/31/2011

    " I listened to Michael Caine read this, and he did an excellent job. I'm sure the book would hold up in print, as it's full of great stories and funny anecdotes, and Mr. Caine has led an amazing life. But his narration is wonderful and definitely adds something to the book. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Betty | 3/25/2011

    " Enjoyable story of Caine's career. It's a real rags to riches tale, and Caine's obvious delight in his success and the famous celebrities he came to know is endearing. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kirsten | 3/15/2011

    " Not bad for a random celebrity memoir. He even talks about his time making The Muppet Christmas Carol. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Barbara | 3/9/2011

    " This audiobook is wonderful. And the sound of Caine's laughter made me feel he was chatting over a glass of wine. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Toni | 2/7/2011

    " so enjoyable - i have always liked Michael Caine, his acting, watching his interviews with his great sense of wry humour and this book lived up to all of the above "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Elizabeth | 2/2/2011

    " Cheerful, not often serious. Juicy, but not trashy. Tells you something about how his career worked, how the film industry works. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Carol | 1/27/2011

    " What a wonderful read by a self-effacing, modest nice guy. He has endless stories of show biz, but this is not a kiss & tell like so many memoirs. I enjoyed going on this poverty to wealth journey with him. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Slawter | 1/24/2011

    " Really, there's just nothing not to love about Michael Caine. He seems like a very humble and likeable guy. "

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