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Catch and Kill: Lies, Spies, and a Conspiracy to Protect Predators

4.62  ·  Rating details ·  8,166 ratings  ·  1,201 reviews
In a dramatic account of violence and espionage, Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative reporter Ronan Farrow exposes serial abusers and a cabal of powerful interests hellbent on covering up the truth, at any cost.

In 2017, a routine network television investigation led Ronan Farrow to a story only whispered about: one of Hollywood's most powerful producers was a predator,
Hardcover, 448 pages
Published October 15th 2019 by Little, Brown and Company
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  • Catch and Kill by Ronan Farrow
    Catch and Kill: Lies, Spies, and a Conspiracy to Protect Predators
    Release date: Oct 15, 2019
    Enter for a chance to win a hardcover of Ronan Farrow's incendiary and bestselling account of serial abusers and the cabal of powerful interests that ...more

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    Giveaway dates: Nov 15 - Nov 27, 2019

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    Margaret Sullivan They do cover different ground. I mentioned this in my review: Kantor and Twohey had the New York TImes backing them up. A lot of Farrow's story is…moreThey do cover different ground. I mentioned this in my review: Kantor and Twohey had the New York TImes backing them up. A lot of Farrow's story is just being thwarted by NBC in trying to report the story. There is some overlap but generally they are complementary. Both very much worth reading.

    Both books do not just talk about the Weinstein story. Kantor and Twohey cover the Brett Kavanaugh hearing, and Farrow covers Matt Lauer and the operations of the Black Cube investigators.(less)

    Community Reviews

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    Average rating 4.62  · 
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     ·  8,166 ratings  ·  1,201 reviews

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    Start your review of Catch and Kill: Lies, Spies, and a Conspiracy to Protect Predators
    Oct 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
    You think you already know this story, but you don’t. This is essential reading.
    Aug 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
    Shelves: nonfiction, favorites
    do i spend $30 to preorder this vote now

    Update— 11/11/19

    So glad I did. Stellar, stellar, stellar.
    Rebecca Crunden
    Aug 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
    November 2019

    In Ronan I trust, basically.

    August 2019

    Ronan Farrow has a new book, you say?

    Excuse me while I search under the sofa for spare change because I must have it.

    Julie Ehlers
    Move over, Bad Blood —I've got a new favorite nonfiction read for 2019. The important story Catch and Kill tells—of Harvey Weinstein's horrifying behavior and its decades-long cover-up—is disturbing in the extreme. Fortunately, it's also compellingly written by Ronan Farrow, who even manages to scrounge up a few moments of humor from his own experiences of being threatened and spied on in the course of his work. Exhaustively detailed and impressively current, Catch and Kill is one of those ...more
    Bill Kerwin
    Oct 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
    Shelves: 21st-c-amer

    “I’m sick of all the predatory scum like Harvey Weinstein, Matt Lauer, and Mark Halperin! They deserve to rot in hell, and I hope they do, but I’d rather not read any thing more about them!"

    I understand. Believe me, I understand. But I think you should make an exception for one book, and that’s Catch and Kill: Lies, Spies, and a Conspiracy to Protect Predators. And why exactly is this book exception? In two words: Rowan Farrow. And for three good reasons.

    Reason # 1. As a person, Farrow is
    Neville Longbottom
    Oct 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
    Shelves: 2019, nonfiction
    It’s probably cliché to describe this book as seeming like a real life spy thriller… but it truly does read at times like a real life spy thriller. Catch and Kill extensively covers the behind the scenes of Ronan Farrow’s reporting on Harvey Weinstein, how he was trailed by intelligence agencies, and the tactics that were used to try and stop him from getting the story published.

    Reading this book really gives the big picture about how Harvey was able to prey on women for such a long period of
    Oct 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
    I'd give this more than 5 stars if I could. What a masterpiece.

    This is so well-researched, well-sourced, everything I've come to know as the standard of Ronan Farrow's reporting. But beyond that, it's such a powerful account of corporate silence and failure, complicity, of brave sources coming forward, a frankly wild look into the world of international espionage, and so much more. It is also harrowing and incredible to read what Ronan personally went through to get these stories out. Part II of
    Elyse (retired from reviewing/semi hiatus) Walters
    Farrow wrote the ultimate
    ‘can’t-stop-reading’, book!!!
    I haven’t read a book faster!!

    I read “She Said”, by Jodi Kantor and Meg Twohey about a month ago .....
    I’ve followed the Harvey Weinstein scandal....
    So I was wasn’t expecting to learn as much as we learn in “Catch and Kill”.

    Ronan Farrow is the Babe Ruth hero of investigative journalism!! He nailed the truth.

    Shocking...creepy...infuriating ....
    with truth’ brilliantly exposed!
    Nov 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    Recommends it for: Fans of Carreyrou's BAD BLOOD; those wanting the inside story
    ***NO SPOILERS***
    BOOK TRIGGER WARNING: rape and sexual assault

    “Catch and kill” is a term from the tabloid world that refers to tabloids’ purchase of scandalous stories with the express intent of burying them. Ronan Farrow used the term more generally here as he detailed the accusations of abuse surrounding Harvey Weinstein, Matt Lauer, and Donald Trump.* Countless people “caught and killed” to protect these men.

    This book did three things very well, pulling them together to paint a complete
    L.A. Starks
    Oct 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
    Oct 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
    Shelves: 2019
    Sixty years ago, sociologist C. Wright Mills stated, "acts of elite deviance that cause social harm, regardless of their criminality in a legal sense, are part of the 'higher immorality of the power elite.'" Published on the heels of McCarthyism, his book, The Power Elite, had its critics ("an uneven blend of journalism, sociology, and moral indignation,") but if this morning you woke up to the news of current events anywhere on this globe, you understand too well that "Mills’ warning rings true ...more
    Oct 22, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
    Shelves: politics
    This is a nonfiction book that legitimately reads like a thriller. Even though it feels like the Harvey Weinstein scandal has been extensively covered, it's mind-boggling just how much more detail and nuance Ronan Farrow puts into this account of the reporting, and the measures that Farrow had to take to get this incredibly important story out at all.

    This is a story about the Weinstein scandal, but it's also a story about the male-dominated hierarchy of NBC, which repeatedly refused to report
    Nov 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
    Shelves: governance
    This book is not about the MeToo movement. Nor is it about sexual harassment and abuse in the entertainment industry. And while Farrow's difficulties in finding a media outlet to support his reporting on predatory behavior by famous men in the workplace receives great attention, this is not the underlying subject of his account. The issue he is addressing here is a truth he builds toward throughout the many chapters of his story, and is crystalized at long last on Page 347:

    One after another, the
    Oct 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing

    About as compulsive as book-form investigative journalism gets. Farrow's biggest service with this fascinating and harrowing account is to unpeel in systematic detail the multi-levels of a carefully-rigged system of attrition and protection put in place by the monster-emperors presiding over it. Control everybody with inducements and the threat of swift and irrevocable ruination and behave however you want to. Enormous bravery shown by those pushing back, all of whom, had they failed, faced
    Oct 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
    I’ve known the name of Ronan Farrow but not much about his credentials except the Pulitzer Prize he won for the Weinstein story. I got to know a bit more about him when I read the recent book She Said by Megan Twohey and Jodi Kanter, who were his fellow recipients of the prize for their part in the exposé of the sexual harassment allegations. So, when I got to know about this book and some related controversy surrounding it, and also watched Chris Hayes’s remarks at the time of the release, I ...more
    Oct 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
    Truly truly exceptional. I listened to the audio version of this book and listening felt like a clean slice through the heart: devastating, unflinching, lethal. As a woman, I'd always been aware of the structural power imbalances that I and others had to work against, but Farrow lays bare the layers upon layers that society creates to insulate and protect powerful male predators and makes it clear that in ways both subtle and menacing, the rules are stacked against us. There are some really ...more
    Donna Backshall
    Every year I seek out a few political and true crime reads that I hope will be important ones, to intersperse between the escapist scifi and thrillers dominating my TBR list.

    This year I've found more than a few, and I feel so fortunate I got to include Catch and Kill: Lies, Spies, and a Conspiracy to Protect Predators to that list. Ronan Farrow does a superb job of relating the day-to-day frustration of his search for justice for the many women left in Harvey Weinstein's greasy wake. As well,
    Oct 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
    WELL. This is every bit as intense as advertised and (you knew this) Ronan Farrow can WRITE. I might have to go read his other book now. But I also strongly agree with all the reviews that said it also feels very hopeful because as much as it's a story about people doing the wrong thing, it's also about people fighting hard to do the RIGHT thing and SUCCEEDING at it. I mean, I had no idea of Rich McHugh's role in all of this! And all the women who came forward and all the people who worked on ...more
    Oct 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
    Shelves: ebook-owned, audio
    This is a tense, propulsive read that kept me engaged start to finish. Many of the more headline grabbing take aways have come out in the last few weeks, but even knowing that some of those revelations were coming didn't diminish the impact the book as a whole has. I highly recommend the audio (if for no other reason, to hear Farrow's imitations of Woody Allen & Trump). I'd say that the thing that kept this book from being a little higher for me is that I wish there had a been a couple of ...more
    Christine (Queen of Books)
    Oct 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
    Shelves: nonfiction
    Absolutely one of the best books of the year. (Of the 180+ I've read so far)

    I hung on every word. Catch and Kill is a shining example of investigative journalism. It may: lead you to reflect on power and influence, consider who it is we as a society listen to, and appreciate those who won't stop trying to get the story out there.

    It also made me really frustrated and angry. I know saying that will turn some people off from this one. But listen: it's an important book. It's about so much more than
    Oct 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
    Holy shit. Ronan Farrow, Ultimate Friend of the Pod, knocked this one out of the ballpark. You think you know this story, but there’s so much I learned. This reads like the ultimate spy thriller, but is in fact reality. Not only did Ronan did an outstanding job sharing the stories of all these women, what he went through personally will blow your mind.q I honestly couldn’t put this book down and cannot wait for pictures of the Lovett/Farrow wedding.
    Nov 17, 2019 rated it really liked it

    At one time, Farrow was best known as the son of Mia Farrow and Woody Allen, but he came fully out of that shadow by being one of the journalists who broke the Harvey Weinstein sex scandal, eventually winning the Pulitzer Prize for his investigative journalism. Who would have known that the story behind the story works be even more bonkers?

    In Catch and Kill, Farrow details how the story began while he was working with NBC, but once Weinstein got wind of Farrow's investigation, the higher ups
    Katie Long
    Nov 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    Well, that was exciting and completely depressing. It feels weird to say that a book about such awful things is great and everyone should read it, but it’s great and everyone should read it.

    I don’t think I would recommend the audio version though. On one hand, you hear some bone chillingly effective audio of Weinstein himself; on the other, you have to hear Farrow imitate everyone’s voice and accent, which is pretty awful in a lot of ways.
    julia ☆ [owls reads]
    Oct 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
    Shelves: nonfiction
    I’m so sad and so proud and so angry.

    If you’re at all interested in the culture of abuse in Hollywood, especially the Weinstein rape and sexual assault cases, and how the media often helps protect abusers and cover up the crimes, please read this.
    Oct 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
    Shelves: favorites
    Ronan really came for NBC’s throats with this one.

    also, the Jon Lovett content?? unparalleled
    Oct 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
    This is the second book I've read (She Said: Breaking the Sexual Harassment Story That Helped Ignite a Movement) in the last 30 days about serial sexual assault/abuse and sexual criminal behavior in Hollywood and Washington, and I think if you are going to read one book, you need to read them both. While She Said concentrates on the victim's stories, Catch and Kill takes it a step further and delves into the lies, intimidation and cover-up by the people, including NBC, that protect predators ...more
    If you have been following the whole Weinstein scandal, you need to read this.

    Farrow can write - he is far, far more than a pretty face or the son of a famous actress.

    The book reads like a spy thriller, which makes the truth it relates far more damning.
    Kasa Cotugno
    Oct 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
    At a recent appearance, it was pointed out that this exposé was written very cinematically, that there "was a lot of rain." That set the tone for the interview in which he was by turns serious and showed his lighter side. But he is deadly serious about this subject of powerful predators and the women who have suffered at their hands and their bravery in calling them out. His accomplishments are astounding given his relative youth, but he also is a real person, deeply committed to his professions ...more
    Nov 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
    This book is amazing! I highly recommend picking it up soon because I can promise you will be enthralled! I ended up staying up past 3 am in the morning to finish it in one sitting and do not regret one moment of the lack of sleep! It leaves you with tremendous respect for investigative journalism and frustrated for the hurdles they have to overcome to get some of their stories out there to the public. It’s a great book that stays with you after completion.
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    Ronan Farrow is a contributing writer to The New Yorker, where his investigative reporting has won the Pulitzer Prize for public service, the National Magazine Award, and the George Polk Award, among other honors. He previously worked as an anchor and investigative reporter at MSNBC and NBC News, with his print commentary and reporting appearing in publications including the Wall Street Journal, ...more
    “In the end, the courage of women can't be stamped out. And stories - the big ones, the true ones - can be caught but never killed.” 10 likes
    “In the end, the employees said, Jonathan’s routine had been so boring the subcontractor surveilling him had given up. 'I’m interesting!' Jonathan said, when I told him. 'I am a very interesting person! I went to an escape room!” 6 likes
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