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The Men Who Would Be King: An Almost Epic Tale of Moguls, Movies, and a Company Called DreamWorks Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample The Men Who Would Be King: An Almost Epic Tale of Moguls, Movies, and a Company Called DreamWorks, by Nicole LaPorte Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (335 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Nicole LaPorte Narrator: Stephen Hoye Publisher: Tantor Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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For sixty years, since the birth of United Artists, the studio landscape was unchanged. Then came Hollywood’s Circus Maximus—created by director Steven Spielberg, billionaire David Geffen, and Jeffrey Katzenberg, who gave the world The Lion King—an entertainment empire called DreamWorks. Now Nicole LaPorte, who covered the company for Variety, goes behind the hype to reveal for the first time the delicious truth of what happened.

Audiences will feel they are part of the creative calamities of moviemaking as LaPorte’s fly-on-the-wall detail shows us Hollywood’s bizarre rules of business. We see the clashes between the often otherworldly Spielberg’s troops and Katzenberg’s warriors, the debacles and disasters, but also the Oscar-winning triumphs, including Saving Private Ryan. We watch as the studio burns through billions, its rich owners get richer, and everybody else suffers. We see Geffen seducing investors like Microsoft’s Paul Allen, showing his steel against CAA’s Michael Ovitz, and staging fireworks during negotiations with Paramount and Disney. Here is Hollywood—up close, glamorous, and gritty.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “LaPorte’s lenghty narrative is the definitive history of the studio, an achievement of dispassionate reporting in the genre of corporate decline-and-fall…Hollywood, with its penchant for sunny publicity and an obsession for secrecy, is a notoriously difficult business in which to uncover the truth…Most reporters are not up to the task. LaPorte is…The Men Who Would Be King will be required reading for anyone interested in the story of DreamWorks.”

    LA Times

Listener Reviews

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Review by Joe C | 2/19/2014

    " Entertaining look at the beginning and end of a vanity created studio. It hurts not having the participation of Spielberg, Katzenberg or Geffen - but since the book is not very flattering, it's not surprising. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Review by Andy | 2/12/2014

    " An intriguing insight into the business of Hollywood via the chronological history of Dreamworks. Although, as with any othese stories, you have to question the motivation of Nicole Laporte's motivations for writing such a book considering she was is a former Variety journalist. Writing about the three main characters in this book who are part of the (if not, THE) Hollywood elite, and their business affairs, is surely a career limiting move. Nonetheless, wonderful read and startling to see how truly enormously egocentric humans can be. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Review by Pat | 2/12/2014

    " Intriguing back story of the formation of the Dreamworks empire; and the egos that made it work; and helped it falter. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Review by Wendy Darling | 1/26/2014

    " A well-written, fascinating look at the founding and early days of Dreamworks SKG. It's interesting to learn more about each of the major players, as well as to mull over the astronomical sums spent/received on films. An immensely readable book for anyone who's interested in films. "

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About the Author

Nicole LaPorte is a former film reporter for Variety, where she covered the Hollywood movie industry for several years. She also wrote the “Rules of Hollywood” column for the Los Angeles Times Magazine and has also written for the New Yorker, the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, the New York Observer, the Sunday Telegraph Magazine, and W magazine. For The Men Who Would Be King, she did more than two hundred interviews with subjects at every level of the entertainment business.

About the Narrator

Stephen Hoye has worked as a professional actor in London and Los Angeles for more than thirty years. Trained at Boston University and the Guildhall in London, he has acted in television series and six feature films and has appeared in London’s West End.