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Download The Gospel According to Coco Chanel: Life Lessons from the World's Most Elegant Woman Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample The Gospel According to Coco Chanel: Life Lessons from the Worlds Most Elegant Woman Audiobook, by Karen Karbo
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (910 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Karen Karbo Narrator: Bernadette Dunne Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: May 2017 ISBN: 9781538465004
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Delving into the long, extraordinary life of renowned French fashion designer Coco Chanel, Karen Karbo has written a new kind of book, exploring Chanel’s philosophy on a range of universal themes—from style to passion, from money and success to femininity and living life on your own terms.

Chanel is credited not simply with giving us the little black dress and boxy jackets, but with popularizing pants for women and easy, practical clothes that allowed women a chic freedom they’d never known before. In her strong-headed, elegant, opinionated, passionate, entirely French way, Coco Chanel helped bring women into the modern era, and because of this she was the only person in fashion to be named one of Time magazine’s 100 Most Influential People of the Twentieth Century.

Karen Karbo weaves Chanel’s life story into chapter themes that subtly convey life lessons and leave the reader utterly entranced with Chanel’s amazing individuality, confidence, and determination. The story of the designer’s extraordinary life and rise to unprecedented success is both compelling and admirable. And while the great Coco may have launched her singular empire a hundred years ago, her methods, attitude, and élan are as relevant and modern as ever, and perhaps more appealing. Chanel was a self-made girl who knew how to make do with less until she had more, discover and stay true to her own style, problem solve using the tools at hand, and do it all with seemingly effortless flair. The Gospel According to Coco Chanel is a captivating, offbeat look at style, celebrity, and self-invention—all held together with Karbo’s droll Chanel-style commentary and culled from an examination of Chanel’s difficult childhood and triumphant adulthood, passionate love affairs, career choices, habits, eccentricities, and personal philosophies.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Reading Karbo is like listening to a dear friend talk about the legendary designer over brunch.”

    Los Angeles Times

  • “We’re in a period of Coco-worship, with a number of new books and films about her. But before you overdose, check out ‘The Gospel’ for useful insights into some of the strategies and traits that made Ms. Chanel a mogul…The humorous commentary makes it all worthwhile.”

    Wall Street Journal

  • “Anyone with a good sense of humor should hugely enjoy, or should I say enjoie, Karen Karbo’s funny and stylish take on Coco Chanel. Like a little black dress, this handy life guide will take you from day into evening. K. K. on C. C.: oui, oui!”

    Henry Alford, author of How to Live: A Search for Wisdom from Old People (While They Are Still on This Earth)

  • “Wise, witty, and refreshingly colloquial, The Gospel according to Coco Chanel is an enchanting tour through the complex, often controversial life of fashion icon Chanel. Filled with relevant life lessons for the modern woman, this book is Karbo at her irrepressible best.”

    Hilary Black, editor of The Secret Currency of Love

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Martha | 2/15/2014

    " Just as with her books about Kate Hepburn and O'Keefe, i loved it! I wonder who she'll tackle next. i wrote and asked but I doubt she'll feel compelled to inform me since the last two I got from the library so I'm not lining her pockets. Just a bit of humor. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 L. Brady | 1/24/2014

    " Although I think the fashion world is more ridiculous than most soap operas, I nonetheless do view certain designers as true artists. Coco Chanel may not have been Galliano-tastic or have the quirkiness of Gaultier, but she created a baseline of elegance that few designers have reached. The book is less about fashion, I feel, and more about creating the self. Chanel, like most designers, was her own biggest fan. She would have to be in the cut-throat arena of fashion. Her iconoclastic and legendary status often overshadows her actual work. Who really knows about her work beyond the boucle suit and the #5 perfume? She has many great, albeit contradictory at times, aphorisms about topics ranging from the necessity of good shoes to what it means to be feminine. The author occasional critiques, or calls buls--t, on the philosophy of Chanel, but nevertheless admires the fashion icon for the same reason I do: Coco Chanel was who she was and made no apologies. In a world where women are simultaneously praised and prosecuted, Chanel is sometimes a reminder that greatness can be based in simplicity and not every woman wants to be a wife and mother, which does not make her less as a woman. She reminds us that there is a power in choosing, along with consequences, which are not necessarily negative but what we must live with in the end. Her "no regrets" philosophy appeals particularly to me, a woman swimming in a sea of petty regrets. It also inspired me to go through my wardrobe and really consider what I like to wear and the fact that a monochromatic wardrobe is easy to deal with. I even bought a few strands of pearls and glass jewels with chains. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Celeste | 1/5/2014

    " Quick and easy w/just enough history. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Tracy | 1/4/2014

    " I couldn't even finish the book....just never got into it. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Maria | 12/16/2013

    " I honestly didn't know anything about Coco Chanel before reading this book. I know her a little better now, but I don't think we would've hit it off. The story was interesting, but I didn't get much from the author's opinions. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Stacy | 12/13/2013

    " A brief biography of Coco Chanel themed loosely around the idea of her "life philosophy"; the concept only vaguely holds together and this is likely best as a light read for someone who wants to find out a little about Chanel without reading one of the most weighty and extensive bios that are available. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jenna | 11/25/2013

    " The history and philosophy of Coco Chanel as it has never been written - by a 'west coast casual' american women who is in search of a perfect Chanel jacket. I laughed from cover to cover. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Elizabeth S | 11/13/2013

    " Shallow and annoying. Which is remarkable because the material has so much potential. Skip this one. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kaitlyn | 11/9/2013

    " I enjoyed this book for what it was: a way to learn about the life of Coco Chanel and how you can apply her life lessons to your own. I found it very entertaining. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Hillary | 10/20/2013

    " It was okay.. I listened in the car. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Julie | 9/23/2013

    " No argument that Chanel was an important fashion innovator. Just not interested in topic. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Missy | 7/18/2013

    " I laughed outloud. Bonus that I read it on my way to Paris 11/2011. "

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

    " light,entertaining and interesting. a fun read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Beth | 5/17/2013

    " Not a complete biography on Coco to be sure. However a cute reminder about being your own woman. Don't know that I walked away from this with anything more than a desperate desire for a little black dress ala Coco for an upcoming swanky holiday cocktail party! "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Phyllis | 5/2/2013

    " I expected this book to be humorous - but it was mostly boring. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Meaghan | 3/22/2013

    " This book is worth reading. It is funny, informative, and gives a refreshingly approachable view of Coco Chanel and her influence on fashion. She was only who she could be....and that is a model that should be brought back into todays fashion world. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Rita Tiwari | 11/19/2012

    " A fun, light read; short on biography, but what little was included I enjoyed. This was a quick one, and the author's wit was mostly welcome. Definitely summer reading. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Rory | 4/17/2012

    " A lively and fun introduction to Chanel's life and philosophies, if a bit rambly or repetitive at times. Also, the parts where the author talks about herself are boring. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Brinda | 6/9/2011

    " Chanel was definitely an interesting woman. Tales of her life are interspersed with somewhat less interesting opinions and anecdotes from the author's life. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Pritta Wibisono | 5/27/2011

    " I'm a big Chanel fan and I like biographies but this one's just boring. It is light but it doesn't really give you that sense of excitement, just through in a quote and relate a story to it. I've read better bios than this. But props to the art and cover! The hardcover is nice. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Julie | 4/19/2011

    " No argument that Chanel was an important fashion innovator. Just not interested in topic. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Missy | 4/7/2011

    " I laughed outloud. Bonus that I read it on my way to Paris 11/2011. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Emily | 2/28/2011

    " A fun, intriguing read on the fascinating life of Coco Chanel! I loved the authors insights and the life lessons, it added an interesting feel to an otherwise typical biography. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Sarah | 2/18/2011

    " Annoyingly written, but it did make me want to read a real biography of Chanel... "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Paula | 2/13/2011

    " Disappointing. I wanted to learn so much more about this icon. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Liz | 1/12/2011

    " An odd mix of biography and the author's own interjections...good as it wasn't a straight up bio on her.... "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Savannah | 11/30/2010

    " This book was GREAT!! It was really funny and I really enjoyed it. I dont normally care about Coco Chanel, I just needed somthing to read... But this was great and interesting and I would reccomend it to anyone and everyone. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 erica | 9/12/2010

    " Author didn't seem to know very much about Chanel, doesn't seem to embody Chanel at all and comes off as an American trying desperately to tap into a shallow understanding of French culture and fashion. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Shannon | 7/3/2010

    " Not my usual cup of tea, but I learned about a lady that I didn't know much about. That's why I love book club. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Supriya | 7/2/2010

    " First indication in ages that chicklit isn't totally warped, and that it *is* possible to be funny about couture, man woes and being a tiny chic bitch. Helps that it's about a woman in history, but cannot be mistaken for biography. Pleasant illustrations. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Janet | 6/26/2010

    " A very interesting read. I didn't know much about Coco Chanel, but her fashions definitely have shaped what I like to wear today. Comfort, comfort, classic comfort - so true. I don't like her much, but I do admire her greatly. I'd say rather the reverse about the author. "

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About the Author

Karen Karbo is the author of three novels, all of which were named New York Times Notable Books; four nonfiction books—including How to Hepburn and The Stuff of Life, a People magazine’s Critic’s Choice—and three books for young adults. Her essays, articles, and reviews have appeared in the New York Times, Entertainment Weekly, Outside, Elle, Vogue, More, and Salon.com.

About the Narrator

Bernadette Dunne is the winner of seventeen AudioFile Earphones Awards and has twice been nominated for the prestigious Audie Award. She studied at the Royal National Theatre in London and the Studio Theater in Washington, DC, and has appeared at the Kennedy Center and off Broadway. She lives in Brooklyn.