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Audition: A Memoir

3.66  ·  Rating Details  ·  4,968 Ratings  ·  900 Reviews
Young people starting out in television sometimes say to me: “I want to be you.” My stock reply is always: “Then you have to take the whole package.”

And now, at last, the most important woman in the history of television journalism gives us that “whole package,” in her inspiring and riveting memoir. After more than forty years of interviewing heads of state, world leaders,
Paperback, Large Print, 992 pages
Published May 6th 2008 by Random House Large Print
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Jul 14, 2008 Hilda rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everybody!
I finally finished "Audition". It took me a long time not because it's difficult to read - it's definitely not - I just read it in small increments. I really enjoyed the book. Although quite long (500+ pages) I didn't find it had any slow sections, which i find often happens in long books, particularly memoirs.

I've always liked Walters well enough, and this book may have made me like her a bit less. Although her professional accomplishments are spectacular, no question, I found her - at least t
This isn't a particularly well-written memoir, but certainly a worthwhile read (especially if you have an uncontrollable love of The View, like me).

Barbara Walters had a really interesting childhood - her father was a nightclub producer who constantly went between success and bankruptcy, so Babs grew up on each end of the economic spectrum.

Her career in television was pretty groundbreaking, which we take for granted at this point. She had no background in journalism, but ended up becoming the
Ryan Curell
Aug 20, 2009 Ryan Curell rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Barbara Walters's Audition is a massive, entertaining memoir that chronicles her troubled family life as she became one of television's most respected journalists.

My draw to the book was its focus on a television journalist who hob-knobs with celebrities, heads of state and American politicians while she juggles a career and a family life. Walters goes into great detail of growing up alongside her mentally disabled sister Jackie, her showman father Lou and later bringing up her adopted daughter
Jul 01, 2008 Karynn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this book. I am not a huge fan of non-fiction but found Barbara's story both informative and entertaining. She really had to work to get to where she is today and personally gave up a lot on the way.

The peak back into history was also very interesting and as she points out in the book, issues that we are facing today are issues that we have faced in the recent past. Barbara was a newswoman who was able to interview many of the world’s leaders (Fidel Castro, Yasir Arafat, Anwar
Dec 28, 2008 Harriet rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I slugged through this book! Her early life was most interesting. But really tired of the intimate details of everything else. What? Did she keep a journal? How did she remember what everyone said? And the name dropping really got to me. I was determined to finish it, but it was done with a lot of speed reading.
Jul 27, 2008 Jennifer rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Barbara Walters herself
Recommended to Jennifer by: when I find out . . . why I oughtta
An enjoyable memoir will weave interesting tale after interesting tale to create a thorough portrait of the writer. While one can hardly fault this book for not being "thorough," my "interesting tale" tally going through it = zero. It's the Encyclopedia Brittanica of Every Thought That Ever Crossed Barbara Walters's Mind Since the Day Her Ancestors Set Foot on American Soil.

Good Lord. Walters personality came across as somehow being a blend of relentless self-absorption with the tediousness of w
Mar 02, 2009 drowningmermaid rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio
The early reminisces of her childhood are far more engaging than the disconnected series of remembered interviews. Far too much attention to what everyone wears and how it coordinates for my taste, but perhaps she needed this to work in TV. But the repeated use of the phrase "I've never said this before" makes me question whether I am now, in truth, getting the "whole" story.

I found the Monica Lewinsky story a little disturbing, because it describes some of the wining and dining she, and many ot
Pris robichaud
Is Barbara A Journalist Or Is She Cher?" asks WalterCronkite, May 22, 2008
"Walters nonetheless takes care to report on the very public drubbing she received at the hands of her male peers during the summer between her departure from "Today" and the start of her tenure at ABC. "I am trying to have an open mind about it," was the less-than-supportive statement her future co-anchor Harry Reasoner made to the papers. CBS News president Richard Salant asked, "Is Barbara a journalist or is she Cher?"
Lorri Coburn
Aug 21, 2009 Lorri Coburn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Barbara Walters' story of her climb to the top is fascinating. She endured a lot of flack for being a woman, with Harry Reasoner openly scorning her on network news. While seen by some as audacious and pushy, she presents herself as always insecure about losing her job, hence her perfectionism, persistence, and the title "Audition," because she continually felt she was auditioning anew. While enduring backlash for being the first woman network anchor person, she received a card that said, "Don't ...more
May 04, 2010 Laurel-Rain rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Barbara Walters' memoir encompasses her more than forty years of television journalism interviewing heads of state, world leaders, movie stars, criminals, murderers, inspirational figures, and celebrities of all kinds. Finally she turns her gift for examination onto herself to reveal the forces that shaped her extraordinary life.

We learn about her childhood with a father whose love of show business first brought the glamour and risk-taking of that life into her world and a mother, supportive, bu
Who better to write a tell-all book about Barbara Walters than the woman herself. In her memoir, AUDITION, Walters tells of the men in her personal life; husbands and lovers who ranged from bland and boring to fascinating and profound. While she searched for, and to date has never found, the romantic Prince Charming to fulfill her private life, it seems that her professional life has more than compensated for those personal losses.

She has managed to cultivate a plethora of prominent friends, ac
May 23, 2009 Suzanne rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biography, nonfiction
Barbara Walters writes the way she talks and the informal style is conversational and pleasant. But something essential is missing in Barbara's recounting of her life. There is sadness and melodrama, affairs and broken marriages, professional triumphs and personal loss on every page in this lengthy book. Barbara is quite honest and critical in her self assessments and does not gloss over her personal mistakes. Nonetheless her life's meaning seems to be about "celebrity", not a surprise consider ...more
I read this in 2008. It was chosen as a bookclub book so I'm overjoyed to read it again....
2008 review...
This was one of those books I got totally lost in. I would read it in the Y and before I knew it, I was on the bike for 7 miles and it felt like only 1. Barbara Walters was like a fixture on our shelf in our living room as a kid. Always there, but I didn't pay much attention to her. Looking back, I remember that fixture and I am reliving my childhood and all the memories of my family and the
Linda Appelbaum
Jan 24, 2011 Linda Appelbaum rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Grab a cup of coffee, sit down and let Barbara tell you her story. This book is almost like having her sit down with you and tell you face to face her life story. I was never a big fam of hers, but I very much enjoyed reading this book because she had so many interesting stories and has interviewed almost anyone who is anyone! I came away with a different impression of her than I had before reading the book. She isn't the stuck up, haughty woman she sometimes appears to be, but rather a reserved ...more
Natalie Gamble
Aug 28, 2008 Natalie Gamble rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: not-good
Barbara Walters' memoir, "Audition," is an absolute disappointment. Her life offers much potential for a delightful and insightful read, and, sadly, the reader finds too much "telling" and not enough "showing." Barbara Walters tells the reader nothing more than a timeline of the events in her life. The reader's senses lie dormant, waiting for some morsel of description of flannel sheets from childhood, or warm jackets on chilly days in Boston, or the smell her mother's best dish. The characters ...more
Oct 02, 2008 Red rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sf, biography
Meh. It was interesting reading about Barbara's early life, but once she started her actual career it was just name dropping to the Nth degree. I actually skipped around the last 2/3rds of the book. Read the chapter entitled "Sept. 11th, and then nothing else mattered." But only a few paragraphs actually deal with the tragedy and how she felt or responded and the rest is just more of the same this name and that name. Blah, blah, blah. Possibly the most informative chapter for me, was the one tha ...more
Barbara Walters makes my "most fascinating people" list for sure. Her long memoir is a great example of the balanced mix of entertainment, education, gossip, personal anecdotes and world events that she has spent so many years perfecting on national television. I feel like she has tried in every instance to remain fair and objective, while standing on the uncompromising platform of telling her own story.

Pretty much for the last half-century, if there was anything of interest happening anywhere
Jun 16, 2008 Erica rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I cant remember why i wanted to read this book, but apparently I requested it from the library. I was a little apprehensive about trying to read it in 7 days due to the length and the fact that i seem to have a short attention span these days (Livermore Library only lets you check out new books for 7 days! a policy change is in order - at least give us 10).

The book is actually well written and kept my attention throughout. It was interesting to read about how she started out in the industry and
Jul 07, 2008 Rekha rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Stay with me here. It was good, really. Yes, Barbara Walters is cheesy. Yes, she has antiquated ideas. But man, her life is interesting. She dated closeted Ray Cohn, partner in crime to Joseph McCarthy! Errol Flynn hit on her at a party! She was cooling out socially with Henry Kissinger! She had a Baroness working for her as her kid's governess! She doesn't seem to have any political misgivings about anything, which was a little disturbing. In fact, in true reporter form, perhaps, she steers awa ...more
Oct 28, 2014 bfred rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ah, Babs. Fun read. Didn’t feel like 600 pages. I found her childhood particularly interesting, since I knew nothing about it in advance. Her father was the creator of the famous Copacabana nightclubs, and he had many financial ups and downs that resulted in an erratic experience for young Barbara. In addition to this, her older sister was mentally handicapped. It was interesting seeing how these two family members influenced Walters’ outlook and choices throughout life.

Of course, Walters was a
Melissa Ohara
Aug 18, 2016 Melissa Ohara rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed listening to Audition. At first I was disappointed that Barbara Walters wasn't narrating it herself but the woman reading it did such a good job that after the first few chapters I forgot it wasn't Barbara. I thought Barbara Walters did a wonderful job weaving her personal & professional stories together and kept them with a lot of detail but still keeping it interesting.
The book was also a great history lesson for world affairs during the 70's & 80's. I was a child &am
Aug 16, 2009 Teela rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
B Dub. What. A. Woman. I admit, I DVR 'The View' daily and I always was luke warm about Ms. Walters, as well as the rest of the "panel, but my perception has changed completely after reading this memoir; I now have such admiration for this woman.
She takes you on the journey of the girl that grew up in Boston, who was later shuffled back and forth from Miami and NYC in her adolescence (for her father's unstable and sometimes successful career), to later find herself at Sarah Lawrence as a young
Apr 08, 2013 Mary rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone who likes non-fiction
Recommended to Mary by: Bookmooch
After more than 40 years interviewing heads of state, world leaders, movie stars, criminals and murderers, inspirational figures and celebrities of all kinds, the most influential woman in the history of television journalism finally writes her memoir. Barbara Walters's perception of the world was formed from a very early age. Her father, Lou Walters, was the owner and creative mind behind the legendary Latin Quarter nightclub, and it was his risk-taking lifestyle that gave Barbara her first tas ...more
Apr 10, 2009 Louise rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: memoirs
From dust jacket:

"And now, at last, the most important woman in the history of television journalism gives us that "whole package", in her inspiring and riveting memoir. After more than forty years of interviewing heads of state, world leaders, movie stars, criminals, murderers, inspirational figures, and celebrities of all kinds, Barbara Walters has turned her gift for examination onto herself to reveal the forces that shaped her extraordinary life.

Barbara Walters's perception of the world was
Jun 25, 2009 Scott rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I am sure there are going to be people who think that Barbara Walters is nothing more than an arrogant uptight snob who only interviews the rich and famous, let me say that would be a wrong assumption to make.

For years, I like millions of others have found Ms. Walters to be one the best journalist on tv. In Audition, Walters, who has a made living from drilling down to the personal lives others, finally opens up about her own private life.

Family is the core of the book. Walters openly writes abo
I'm really torn about this book. I wanted to enjoy it. I've always looked up to and been fascinated by Barbara Walters. However, she herself has changed that view. First of all, I expected the book to be a little better written. Her sentence structure wasn't always the best. Anyway, I didn't know that Ms. Walters had had a sister that was mentally challenged. I definitely didn't know that Ms. Walters basically ran away from her family responsibilities with her parents and sister after she was an ...more
Jan 28, 2009 Denise rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was really good. She conducted some pretty facinating interviews. Some of the chapters got pretty long, especially if I wasn't sure who she was talking about.

Lines I loved from this book:

It feels to me that my life has been one long audition – an attempt to make a difference and to be accepted.

She saw the seams and not the satin.

When we grow up – forgive me for saying this – my life was so much more interesting than theirs. Not necessarily better, but much more interesting. And for be
Jun 25, 2014 George rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

[In lieu of wedding cake,] "...we had Twinkies, from the vending machines." —Tammi Menendez, commenting on her in-prison marriage, in 1999, to convicted murderer Eric Menendez; closing minutes of part 17

Of all the many poignant, important, world-shaking, and incredible quotes, and sound bites, in this book, Tammi Menendez's, quoted above, has got to take the cake. Apparently, love's not only blind, it also has sweet tooth.

Recommendation: AUDITION: A Memoir, by Barbara Walters
Dec 13, 2008 Pat rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
You have to like Barbara Walters at least a little bit in order to like this memoir. And there is a lot in the book that is interesting, from her childhood to her marriages and affairs to anecdotes about some of her more famous interviews to "behind the scenes" portraits of her relationships with people on the various TV shows she has worked on. However, it seems as if she "doth protest too much" abiout some of guilt she says she felt over her relationship with her parents and, particularly, her ...more
Apryl Anderson
I enjoyed the first half of this autobiography far more than the later, especially as Walters presented her viewpoints of working her way into the male-dominated society of early television newscasting. I remember watching her as a small child, and hearing family members regard her with awe and threat, as this knowledgable, (seemingly) self-assured woman set new standards. It's good to be able to look back at those days, knowing that we truly have advanced somewhat. Ironically, as Walters made s ...more
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Is this book worth the time and money? 8 64 Dec 02, 2014 01:12PM  
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Barbara Jill Walters is an American journalist, writer, and media personality who has been a regular fixture on morning television shows (Today and The View), an evening news magazine (20/20), and on The ABC Evening News as the first female evening news anchor. Walters was first known as a popular TV morning news anchor for over 10 years on NBC's Today, where she worked with Hugh Downs and later h ...more
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