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Boys in the Trees Audiobook

Boys in the Trees: A Memoir

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Publisher's Summary

Simon's memoir reveals her remarkable life, beginning with her storied childhood as the third daughter of Richard L. Simon, the cofounder of publishing giant Simon & Schuster; her musical debut as half of The Simon Sisters, performing folk songs with her sister, Lucy, in Greenwich Village; to a meteoric solo career that would result in 13 top 40 hits, including the number-one song "You're So Vain". She was the first artist in history to win a Grammy Award, an Academy Award, and a Golden Globe Award, for her song "Let the River Run" from the movie Working Girl.

The memoir recalls a childhood enriched by music and culture but also one shrouded in secrets that would eventually tear her family apart. Simon brilliantly captures moments of creative inspiration, the sparks of songs, and the stories behind writing "Anticipation" and "We Have No Secrets", among many others. Romantic entanglements with some of the most famous men of the day fueled her confessional lyrics as well as the unraveling of her storybook marriage to James Taylor.

Includes original music composed especially for the program by Carly Simon and Teese Gohl plus a previously unreleased bonus song from Carly Simon.

©2015 Carly Simon (P)2015 Macmillan Audio

What the Critics Say

"Carly Simon exuberantly narrates her memoir, which reads like a history of rock and roll from the 1970s onward. Simon's warm and personal style sounds as if she's telling her story directly to each listener." (AudioFile)

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What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.7 (11 )
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3.9 (11 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Stan 12/11/2016
    Stan 12/11/2016 Member Since 2017
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    25
    19
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
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    Overall
    Performance
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    "Songwriter's story"

    I knew and enjoyed Carly Simon's early albums pretty well and after a friend's recommendation, looked forward to this. But she's a songwriter not an author and it shows - some good lines but not good sustained writing.

    It's interesting enough if you already have an interest. Despite her singing sometimes as part of the audio, it did not grab me.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    T. Oakley Sydney, Australia 13/07/2016
    T. Oakley Sydney, Australia 13/07/2016 Member Since 2016

    TomO

    ratings
    REVIEWS
    25
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Honest and massively enjoyable"

    This is one of the best audiobooks I've listened to for years. Carly reads her book perfectly, peppering the audiobook with her own music, adding to the emotion and stories.

    Carly's life, growing up in the 50s and the trials of her life beyond are fascinating, and her seemingly balanced portrayal of James Taylor left me slightly heartbroken.

    This really made me appreciate Carly's massive back catalogue and the meaning behind both the hits and wealth of hidden gems therein. The book was over 14 hours long but still had me aching for more. I listened to the final chapter twice, which is a first for me. Highly recommended, and for the whole experience I recommend having a serious listen to her autobiographical songs outside the book, between sessions!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Matt 25/02/2016
    Matt 25/02/2016 Member Since 2017
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    3
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "a delight"
    What did you like most about Boys in the Trees?

    any author reading their biography is always special. The nuances, the emphasis's and the emotions show through. Carly has a wonderful singing voice (of course!) but she has a wonderful reading voice too.


    What other book might you compare Boys in the Trees to, and why?

    Mike Fleetwood, similar era music wise (and behaviour wise?)


    Which character – as performed by Carly Simon – was your favourite?

    Carly...


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    yes, was hard to leave!! sad when it finished. Can't wait for next installment!


    Any additional comments?

    lovely book, well produced, having the musical interludes was a great bonus. Best book I have ever listened too!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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  • Adele
    Columbus, OH, United States
    30/11/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Gorgeous and Sad"

    Still trying to decide how I felt about it. On the one hand it was gorgeous. She reads it herself and the audiobook is interlaced with lots and lots of her music throughout. It has to be a completely different experience from reading it with eyes only. In many ways it confirms how sensitive and brilliant she is.

    On the other hand it also seems like it was her attempt to come to terms with the fact that she has never come to terms with the failure of her 10ish-year marriage to James Taylor which ended in the early 1980's. Yet she was married again for about 20 more years to someone else, and unless I nodded off toward the end, there's not even a mention of that. There's something disturbing and downright pitiful about how she seems so determinedly stuck in the long-ago.

    18 of 19 people found this review helpful
  • E. Anderson
    USA
    27/11/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Beautifully told with Carly's music."

    Beautifully written and narrated by Carly Simon. The book is scored to many of the songs she's written, thanks to the genius of Ken Burns. The music and lyrics enhance the story Carly shares. Interesting insight into her relationship with James Taylor--not the easiest man to love or live with. One of the best audio books I've ever listened to. This particular book demonstrates the power of an audio book over the printed version. So many feelings and subtleties are conveyed to paint a more vivid account of the events in her life. After all the years have past since her divorce from Taylor, you can see that Carly still has a place in her heart for James Taylor.

    17 of 19 people found this review helpful
  • I Still Read Books
    26/11/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Surprisingly AWESOME Audio."
    If you could sum up Boys in the Trees in three words, what would they be?

    Entertaining, revealing, thoughtful.


    What other book might you compare Boys in the Trees to and why?

    "Me" by Katharine Hepburn.


    What about Carly Simon’s performance did you like?

    Who knew that she'd be as good acting out her life story on an audio as she is singing it out on a record? This is really wonderful. She's got a great voice for storytelling, her pace is spot-on and she brings you right into the story.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    I usually find the childhood stories in biographies to be tedious, but this one really is colorful and is just as interesting as the rest. I like the first story of the book, and like glimpsing into the world of her dad, who was the Simon in Simon and Schuster.


    Any additional comments?

    I did not expect this to be as entertaining as it was. Listened all the way through and enjoyed the whole thing. She's honest about her flaws and strengths.

    14 of 16 people found this review helpful
  • Gretchen SLP
    Sacramento, California
    27/11/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "She's Not Vain"
    What made the experience of listening to Boys in the Trees the most enjoyable?

    I enjoyed hearing Carly's familiar voice and inflections, which ensure that the story is told as she would tell it to a friend (minus the few details she leaves out of the print version to spare the feelings of still-living family members and friends). While she "overplays the drama" (as Janet Maslin of the NYTimes wrote) sometimes in her writing, with a style slightly overdone, precious, and redundant (stringing together multiple metaphors to describe the same person or event in the same sentence), she is humble and self-effacing enough to prevent that style from seeming overly pretentious.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Boys in the Trees?

    The story behind the writing/recording of her hit song You're So Vain...and all of her other celebrity conquests (or, more accurately, their conquests of her). As the title implies, there are a lot of boys, men, and sexual encounters OF ALL KINDS in this book...YOU WON'T BE BORED! One of my favorite moments was when she finished telling her therapist about the night before, which she had spent with Warren Beatty, and her stunned-looking therapist replied.....but NO! That would spoil a hilarious story for you, if I revealed the punchline here.


    What about Carly Simon’s performance did you like?

    The singing!! I hadn't known there would be any, and that was a nice surprise.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    There are some laughs, some "Oh my ---" jaw-dropping shockers, and some times when listeners who have had some of the author's same experiences might be moved to tears. I felt as if anyone who has ever been through a difficult breakup could relate to the author's pain surrounding the terrible times in her own marriage and divorce. She made that pain especially palpable, as if it is still fresh to her and she has never really gotten over it.

    One thing this book MIGHT make the reader feel is a little bit disgusted by the hyper focus on sex. Honestly, as the child of sexually wild parents, and as a little bit of a sexually shy, somewhat sexually conservative person myself, I sometimes found this aspect of the book hard to swallow (pun acknowledged). Let's put it this way: If you are a true social conservative, you should be forewarned that you will probably actively dislike much of Carly's memoir...and if you're a sexually liberated former flower child you may very well love it!


    Any additional comments?

    I ended up very much wishing that this memoir had covered all of Carly's life, continuing to the present, not just up until her split from James Taylor. Perhaps there will be a second volume??

    28 of 33 people found this review helpful
  • annie whitney
    29/12/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "annie whitney"

    I love the book I love the story only one problem when she's telling her story her music is too loud you can not hear what she's saying over the music

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Andrea Pro
    23/10/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Music detracted from Story"
    What would have made Boys in the Trees better?

    I chose to return this book after the second chapter because of the distracting loud music that was randomly interspersed through the reading. There seemed to be no rhyme or reason for the music- suddenly music begans playing at the same decibel as her voice so listening was an arduous task for my brain. It was so annoying that I cannot tell if I liked the book or not. This was mostly piano music- I began to dread what would happen later when the story describes the 60's! This one is better to read than hear!


    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • David
    STAMFORD, CT, United States
    20/01/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "That husky voice..."

    I chose this book because Carly Simon was reading it herself, and I have always loved her voice. She did not disappoint, reading with a wistful softness. Her life has been filled with privilege and opportunities, yet she is candid about her anxiety and--something I never knew--her stutter. (Another great book about a stutterer is David Mitchell's bildungsroman "Black Swan Green"). Her childhood was fascinating, filled with artists, writers and musicians who visited her famous but troubled father. Her brief career as a rock star is amusing, and it was fun to hear about how she wrote songs like "You're So Vain." There are a couple of suspenseful set pieces toward the end, as her failing marriage to James Taylor tears her up.

    The audiobook includes a lot of guitar strumming and piano, which tended to be distracting. Sometimes I could not follow what Carly was saying because the music was too loud. But this grew on me, and by the end of the book I was moved by the new songs she sang, new to me at least, including the Walt Whitman poem O Captain! My Captain set to music.

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • Dianne Coughlin
    27/12/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Music overlaid over narration"

    Loved the book; very open and sweet and honest and a great listen except for one thing: music was played during many parts of the narration, which made it (1) difficult to hear and concentrate on the narration, and (2) the tempo and mood of the music being played did not necessarily match what was being conveyed at the time. Very distracting and irritating. Made me wish I had the book instead of the audiobook.

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • Amazon Customers DEBORAH
    11/12/15
    Overall
    "best audio book ever heard and i have listen to over 50"

    This is a 10 the reading with music more musician should read this before they audio a book totally amazing

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • CAT-Pisces
    Boston MA
    9/02/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Great Narrative, wonderfully detailed"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes ...
    Carly Simon not only reads her own book "Boys In The Trees" but the background music and her occasional vocals make this a thoroughly entertaining experience. She put a great deal of thought and time into this audible version of her book and the result is a delightful, poignant journey with a soulful, honest woman struggling with her relationships, insecurities and fame. Her detailed remembrances with dulcet often emotional narratives draw the reader in and we're made to feel as if she is speaking only to us as her intimate closest friends. I have loved her music for over 40 years and then fell in love with her words all over again .. Highly recommend !


    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
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  • TRIDENT
    UK
    10/01/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Quite simply the best audio book I have ever heard"

    This mixture of honesty ,intensely moving story, and music. The best I've ever heard & I have over 200 titles thanks Carly.Brilliant !

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Tanika
    UK
    7/05/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Just wonderful"

    I can't believe reading this book is better than listening along to Carly Simon herself read it aloud. Full of emotion and song, though at times early on, the music balance was a little too loud for me, making it hard to focus on the speech. But this didn't detract from the audiobook as a whole, maybe you just need time to tune into the mix.
    It's an open, sometimes raw story but filled with love. I didn't want it to end. I'm a fan of all the Taylors as well as Carly, especially Ben. As well as a stellar performer, she is clearly a wonderful, warm mother. Makes me wish I lived on the island myself, i have happy memories from my two visits in the 90s, though I never ran into them!I wonder if JT

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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