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Beastie Boys Book

Narrated by: full cast
Length: 12 hrs and 42 mins
5 out of 5 stars (173 ratings)

Non-member price: $37.98

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Publisher's Summary

Formed as a New York City hardcore band in 1981, Beastie Boys struck an unlikely path to global hip-hop superstardom. Here is their story, told for the first time in the words of the band. Adam "AD-ROCK" Horovitz and Michael "Mike D" Diamond offer revealing and very funny accounts of their transition from teenage punks to budding rappers; their early collaboration with Russell Simmons and Rick Rubin; the almost impossible to fathom overnight success of their debut studio album, Licensed to Ill; that album's messy fallout; and their break with Def Jam, move to Los Angeles and rebirth as musicians and social activists, with the genre-defying masterpiece Paul's Boutique. For more than 20 years, this band has had a wide-ranging and lasting influence on popular culture.

With a style as distinctive and eclectic as a Beastie Boys album, Beastie Boys Book upends the typical music memoir. Alongside the band narrative you will find pieces by guest contributors and many more surprises.  

Readers:

Steve Buscemi, Ada Calhoun, Bobby Cannavale, Exene Cervenka, Roy Choi, Jarvis Cocker, Elvis Costello, Chuck D, Nadia Dajani, Michael Diamond, Snoop Dogg, Will Ferrell, Crosby Fitzgerald, Randy Gardner, Kim Gordon, Josh Hamilton, Adam Horovitz, LL Cool J, Spike Jonze, Pat Kiernan, Talib Kweli, Dave Macklovitch, Rachel Maddow, Tim Meadows, Bette Midler, Mix Master Mike, NAS, Yoshimi O, Rosie Perez, Amy Poehler, Kelly Reichardt, John C. Reilly, Ian Rogers, Maya Rudolph, Rev Run, Luc Sante, Kate Schellenbach, MC Serch, Chloe Sevigny, Jon Stewart, Ben Stiller, Wanda Sykes, Jeff Tweedy and Philippe Zdar. 

Design: Purtill Family Business with Michael Diamond and Adam Horovitz 

Case photograph: © 1987 Lynn Goldsmith  

©2018 Michael Diamond and Adam Horovitz (P)2018 Faber Audio

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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The Illest Communication

Not really taken to audiobooks before, same goes for ebooks. I'm too much of an old school elitist. Give me something to hold on to, with the familiar smell of paper and that sound each page makes when you flip it over.
I had to have this one. I'm reading the hardcover edition and it's so enthralling, so warm and witty and engaging, getting the audiobook was a no-brainer.
And damn, if it isn't just a perfect reinterpretation of the book.
The wit is there, found in the careful and respectful tones of all these awesome cats. Makes me smile hearing Beastie contemporaries and fellow musicians like Chuck D, Nas, Jarvis Cocker, Kim Gordon, Elvis Costello et al, imbuing the words written by Mike D and Adrock with just as much anecdotal passion as the original texts.
Add to that luminaries like Steve Buscemi, Will Ferrell, Chloe Sevigny, who aren’t just equally talented entertainers, but also fans who sound rapt to be lending their voices to a tremendous story.
I've found myself reading both in sections. I'll consume a chunk of the book, then bring up the audio and hear it read aloud right after. I can't put either down for very long.
It's the imagery of 70's/early 80's New York come to life. The stink of the streets, the sounds of the traffic, the chords of the hardcore punk, the tentative scratches of the early hip-hop pioneer DJs. It's all in these magnificent tales woven from the Boys' memories.
And then there's Yauch. Eulogising a lost loved one is a difficult slope, because the temptation is to romanticise the person beyond the reality. There's no fear of that here. Yauch is immortalised as real as they come. It's the absolute, unwavering love these guys have for him, had for him, always will have for him that makes his many references come to life. Make him come to life. This book may be written by D and Adrock, but Yauch is right there with them, on every page. Triple Trouble, like always.
If you like these guys, even just a little bit, even just for a couple of their songs, I guarantee you'll tear up over the way they pay respects to their brother.
And if you love the Beastie Boys, then you should be downloading this already.
God, I can't rate this high enough.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

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BEST AUDIO BOOK EVER

The first book I’ll listen to more than once. So good. Hooked from start to end, even the credits were entertaining...

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Definitely worth the listen

to be honest I'm not the biggest beastie boy fan but truely enjoyed this book. definitely inspired me to listen to all their albums in greater detail and with much more respect for their effort.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Lee
  • 19-12-2018

hard to follow.

It's a good story but really hard to follow because of too many different narrators.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Stunning

An amazing book that works really well as an audiobook. Can’t recommend this enough. #stunning

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Very Beastie Boys

Great book and actually unexpected from some very loose dudes. It has a couple of bits it the narrating that's is quite odd like different languages and stuff but if you're a Beastie Boys fan you'll understand it's their creative style like it or not

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Easily one of the best audio books ever. Top 3.

Just get it. If you're a beasties fan it's a no brainer. A music fan? It's for you too. Want to hear what next level sounds like? It's all here. RIP Yauch!

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what a book

listen up. if you don't think you can read your way through the paper version, this is the next best thing.

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Check your head and listen to this book.

I am so glad I audiobooked this one. so many celebrity voices lending their voice. It is exactly what you would expect from Beastie Boys. Funny, sarcastic and a little naughty. One of the best I've listened to.

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what a great read

what a cast that read this book! so much information, brought back a lot of memories from listening to the b.boys when I was younger. it was funny, sad and will be a very memorable read. have since bought the hard copy and can't wait to look at all the pictures! wasn't too long at all as the chapters were short. RIP MCA. Well done Ad Rock. Mike D and the rest of the crew!

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  • Anonymous User
  • 07-05-2019

A story as good as the best crate diggin

Honest, straight up, inventive tale of the three teens who inspired many! Particularly loved the musical playlist that woven through the story.

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  • C A Davies
  • 27-02-2019

6 stars

great story telling, loved it throughout and the guest narrators were awesome. really enjoyed the early parts about growing up as a punk in new York

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  • M. Siebenhaar
  • 09-02-2019

Genius

Straight genius. No more no less. Best audiobook ever. I mean it. Seriously. Come on.

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  • Claire
  • 01-11-2018

Audio book ill communication.<br />I loved it

It shouldn't come as a surprise to any fans that Beastie Boys have delivered an innovative, open, funny memoir, full of geeky detail to delight in.

However, this is more than that.
Unlike most, this is not an audio version after thought; quite the opposite.
Reading a paper version would mean you'd miss out on the extraordinary delivery from a full, and exceptional cast.

Disclaimer: I love this band, so am totally biased... but still, if you are remotely interested, do yourself a favour and get this audiobook!

It will leave you wanting to reconnect with your record collection, and your old friends.

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

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  • Matthew Tassell
  • 05-12-2018

Fantastic Beasties (and where to find them)

This is a wonderful book. An honest, charming and insightful scrapbook of adventures, ideas and dumb funny stuff that will make you laugh your bum off. The cast of voices (an insanely impressive and eclectic lineup) takes the delivery to another place when compared to other audible music bios (make that all audiobooks ever). It’s a wonder audiobooks bother with just one author when this smorgasbord of a-list voices proves such fun. Every single performance is a bonafide smash. Each one delivered with heart and evident love for the Beasties. I particularly enjoyed Amy Poehler’s video rundown and Jarvis Cockers’ delivery of Ad-Rock’s first visit to London. Every chapter bursts with ideas and the way in which the delivery constantly twists and turns in tone and style perfectly mirrors the Beastie’s raison d'être. The whole thing is made all the more poignant by the Yauch-shaped hole at the centre of it. Mike and Adam paint a moving and fitting portrait of the silent player in their collective story. And so this book proves to be a beautifully creative, powerful articulation of the legacy they leave. I loved it so much I went out and bought the actual book just to see the snaps Spike Jonze was banging on about. Read it. It’s a solid gold hit.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Laird Sutherland
  • 04-12-2018

Thee New Standard in AudioBooks

If you’ve never listened to Audible and plan on doing so...? Please do not read this book! It will ruin every other book you ever listen to... Like your first hit of Heroine, you’ll be chasing the natural highs and start to crave another chapter, wondering who is going to be reading next! Instant addiction! The Beastie Boys book is simply essential to any and all music fans, history fans and people that like like a laugh! This book is sad, funny, inspiring and very emotional! You’ll be so surprised how quickly you absorb everything from the Audible version! Personal favourite Guest Reader: John. C. Riley! He absolutely loves it! Already ‘forcing’ the missus to listen to it, now...! First sitting was over 2 hours...! She’s loving it, too! The Beastie Boys Book is an absolute Instant Classic! R.I.P. Adam Yauch/MCA/Nathaniel Hörnblówer/Inspiration to us all...! XxX

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • D Brewster
  • 01-11-2018

My First Audiobook

I doubt there will be a better Audiobook made. Funny, silly, profound, enlightening, and nerdy. As with their music The Beastie Boys set the gold standard for everyone to follow. Thanks Adam, Mike, and the narrators and contributors and most of all thanks Yauch.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

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  • 5of7
  • 09-06-2019

Makes you nostalgic for a life you never lived

I knew a bit about the Beasties growing up but missed most of their work due to the electronic club scene that dominated my social circle, my city even, at the turn of the century. Although we had our own great times, and I would change very little, I can't help feeling envious of the life lived and described by the Beasties in the dirty and dingy NYC of the early 80's.

Really evocative descriptions help transport you to that place and time, it's certainly the best part of the book. Having an all star ensemble to read various chapters was cool but I enjoyed the parts read by Ad-Roc and Mike D the best, so I think they could have done the whole thing themselves and actually enhanced the experience.

Still, as well as being a paen to a sorley missed brother and friend it is, aside from the odd chapter, ultimately a well told and engaging story of youth and friendship.

I certainly would recommend. I'm now going to delve into their back catalogue to fully discover a band I really should have discovered years ago.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Lewis Copson
  • 01-06-2019

What a fan needed

Fun and fascinating to hear from the horses mouths and then some! Make some noise!!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Mr. Jon Barr
  • 23-05-2019

exceptional , illuminating, a labour of love...Wow

So many voices and stories tell the rich and moving tale of the journey of the NYC punks from rappers to musical mischief makers. Read by an all star cast you won't believe. A great listen.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Jonathan T.
  • 22-05-2019

Incredible

Just an amazing story, told with love and humour and delivered by a stellar cast.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • ryan
  • 21-05-2019

The BEST music biography ever

I’ve enjoyed this audiobook so very very much. I’ve recommended it to everyone that has looked at me strangely on the train when I’ve burst out laughing or just sat there with a stupid smile on my face.

I bought the book because the Beasties were supporting RunDMC on the first concert I ever went to. It was like nothing I’d ever seen and I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything as good ever since. Adams comment about having to store a 12’ inflatable penis had me in howls of laughter.

Please buy this book, it’ll be the best thing you do this year. I’m off to dig out some records.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Mr. G. J. Matthews
  • 07-12-2018

Long awaited insight!

I’ve been waiting for years for the beasties to write this book. True memoirs and some fantastic stories. I’ve been a fan since ‘licensed to ill’ and liked them more when I was told ‘they are a bad influence, no you can’t listen to them’! Fantastic listen. RIP YAUCH

1 of 1 people found this review helpful