Howard Hughes was a true American original: legendary lover, record-setting aviator, award-winning film producer, talented inventor, ultimate eccentric, and, for much of his lifetime, the richest man in the United States.
His desire for privacy was so fierce and his isolation so complete that even now, 25 years after his death, inaccurate stories continue to circulate, and many have been published as fact. Hughes explodes the illusion of his life and exposes the man behind the myth. He was a playboy whose sexual exploits with Hollywood stars were legendary. He was a man without compassion; an entrepreneur without ethics; an explorer without maps; and ultimately, an eccentric trapped by his own insanity, sealed off from reality, who died a lonely and - until now - mysterious death.
Newly uncovered personal letters, over 110,000 pages of sealed court testimony, recently declassified FBI files, never-before-published autopsy reports and exclusive interviews reveal a man so devious in his thinking, so perverse in his desires, and so influential that his impact continues to be felt even today. From entertainment to politics, aviation to espionage, the influence and manipulation of this billionaire has left an indelible and unique mark on the American cultural landscape.
"In the most exciting bio of the year, Hack presents the American dream curdling into the American nightmare, personified in a legend who at last has an accounting worthy of him." (Publishers Weekly)
"A fascinating, captivating listen." (AudioFile)
This is a good read, and i highly recommend it. But I'm not sure about the author, I think he's a Hack.
7 of 9 people found this review helpful
As a Brit, I had always had a vague notion that Howard Hughes was a mainstay of the US economy, an aviator, and an eccentric.
I had no idea that he was as wacked in the head as he obviously became in later life - the readings from his memos in the "Operations Manual" for his company are astounding.
Thouroughly enjoyed this book - the narrator is nicely neutral adding to the experience without ever becoming irritating.
Give it a go.
25 of 34 people found this review helpful
Forget everything you thought was motivating Howard Hughes. This is a highly entertaining inside story of a man who marched to a drummer on a different planet. The richest man in the world sits in the stench of a filthy darkened room, obsesses about germs, mucks up multi-million dollar business deals, compulsively lies and has no comprehension, much less concern, about the havoc he causes others. This is a great listen.
10 of 16 people found this review helpful
I thought The Last Lion, American Cesar, and John Adams were the best biographies Audible had to offer. I was wrong, Howard Hughes is a must read !
16 of 26 people found this review helpful
It is difficult to like a book about an unlikable character and in Howard Hughes there was much not to like. Had he not had the cash machine of the Hughes Tool Company, he would have been one of those people who drifted through life never quite putting it together in either their personal or professional lives. In his later years, he either would have been institutionalized (in one era) or living on the street (in another). Nevertheless, this author and this reader pull it off and make the experience of listening to this life a fascinating experience. I will never forget the Howard Hughes instructions on opening a can of peaches.
9 of 15 people found this review helpful
Many people were introduced to the story of Howard Hughes through the 2004 film, The Aviator. Martin Scocese covered highlights from the 1920s - 1940s. However, those wanting the whole story will definitely appreciate this audiobook! In great detail, Richard Hack tells of Hughes' curious dealings in business and his odd personal relationships. What I found most interesting was Hughes' accomplishments as an aviator and businessman (many of which were ommitted in the movie) and his ongoing battles with the government - which included censorship, anti-trust lawsuits, federal surveillance. My only critism, if any, is how long this book is(17.5 hours!). Yet the narrator does a good job at keeping you hooked to the story.
6 of 10 people found this review helpful
While some might read this because their curiosity was peaked by The Aviator, the actual events of Howard Hughes' life are far more interesting than Scorsese's biopic. Genius, degenerate, innovator, cheapskate, philanthropist and narcissist are words that characterize the eccentric Mr. Hughes. The unbelievable stories of his business life, personal life and his spiraling mental state will stun you. And despite this, his influence can still be seen today with multiple namesake real estate holdings, the work of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and his contributions to aerospace. Mr. Hughes is a one-of-kind human being that certainly didn't change the world a la Edison, Ford, Gates or Jobs, but, his story is arguably among the most interesting of the 20th century.
3 of 6 people found this review helpful
Richard Hack did a fine job researching the enigmatic and always fascinating Howard Hughes. The story is fascinating, at least at the beginning, before Hughes descends into addiction and mental illness.
Sadly, even a fine book can be ruined by a poor reading. And this is an especially poor one. Dan Cashman apparently does not share Mr. Hack's penchant for research. He may not even own a dictionary. As a result, words and names are constantly mispronounced. In Mr. Cashman's reading, director George Cukor becomes George Sue-core. The Glomar Explorer is the Glommer. The city of Tonapah, Nevada becomes tuh-NO-puh. When Mr. Hughes gets a haircut, he is described as freshly coy'fed.
There is nothing wrong with Mr. Cashman's voice, but his unwillingness to do his homework created a major distraction that took away much of the pleasure from this book.
9 of 20 people found this review helpful
I liked the book in general, but I got to the point where I was feeling sorry for the man that had so much going for him. If he would have just had someone that he trusted and would help him through his illness wonder what might have been.
2 of 5 people found this review helpful
This could well be 'the most exciting bio of the year'. Poor old Howard Hughes, who really had nothing much apart from his looks and his vast fortune, would be turning in his grave to know how much of his private life is now public and how many of his secrets are in the public domain. His strange rituals and habits are morbidly fascinating, but in the end I just felt sorry for him. Life lived and ended almost entirely in one filthy room, filled with drugs and attended by people who cared more about themselves than about him is a terrible way to go.
2 of 5 people found this review helpful
A man known for his wealth and life, this book let's you in to his world and opens our eyes in to what kept him in the dark, well worth a listen.
The narration of this book is very well done, he captures the character and the content is delivered in a way that brings the whole story to life. I have read several accounts if Hughes' life but was left thinking the story was incomplete. This book fills in many of those gaps, the depiction of Hughes last journey being particularly good. I thoroughly recommend this book to both Hughes fans and to those who wish to gain a good understanding of the eccentric.