Audiobook

Black Man, White House: An Oral History of the Obama Years

By D.L. Hughley; Narrated by Keith Szarabajka, John Reynolds, Fran Tunno, Cherise Boothe, Dan Woren, P.J. Ochlan, Gregory Itzin, Paula Jai Parker-Martin, Mia Barron, Ron Butler, and James Shippy

I really enjoyed the first two CDs of this audiobook. I laughed out loud a large number of times. I can’t help it; I’m a sucker for a full cast recording. The book is mainly narrated by a woman impersonating Michelle Obama. She and the rest of the cast cover all the highlights of the Obama administration from his rousing speech in 2004 to a hurried look at the last two years of his administration. The political cast that is impersonated includes Joe Biden, Mitt Romney, Mitch McConnell, Harry Reid, Hillary Clinton, Bill Clinton, Nancy Pelosi, Ruth Bader Ginsberg, and basically any other political power player from the last eight years.

I was enjoying the book fully, then Hughley’s casual misogyny got to me. When you choose to listen to this book, you’re expecting a left-wing perspective, but all the female characters, besides Michelle Obama, are portrayed to varying degrees as harpies. It frustrated me to such a degree that I put the book down during a work trip because I wanted to have a pleasant time.

The voices are mostly dead on, with the notable exception of Hillary Clinton. The woman narrating as Michelle Obama had her down perfectly. The vocal work is completely top-notch, it’s more the material and direction that I had a problem with. Overall, B- needs work.

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