Thanks to Anna at Hachette for letting me review this audiobook.
About the Book
Here is the story of Jerry Weintraub: the self-made, Brooklyn-born, Bronx-raised impresario, Hollywood producer, legendary deal maker, and friend of politicians and stars. No matter where nature has placed him--the club rooms of Brooklyn, the Mafia dives of New York's Lower East Side, the wilds of Alaska, or the hills of Hollywood--he has found a way to put on a show and sell tickets at the door. "All life was a theater and I wanted to put it up on a stage," he writes. "I wanted to set the world under a marquee that read: 'Jerry Weintraub Presents.'"
In WHEN I STOP TALKING, YOU'LL KNOW I'M DEAD, we follow Weintraub from his first great success at age twenty-six with Elvis Presley, whom he took on the road with the help of Colonel Tom Parker; to the immortal days with Sinatra and Rat Pack glory; to his crowning hits as a movie producer, starting with Robert Altman and Nashville, continuing with Oh, God!, The Karate Kid movies, and Diner, among others, and summiting with Steven Soderbergh and Ocean's Eleven, Twelve, and Thirteen.
Along the way, we'll watch as Jerry moves from the poker tables of Palm Springs (the games went on for days), to the power rooms of Hollywood, to the halls of the White House, to Red Square in Moscow and the Great Palace in Beijing-all the while counseling potentates, poets, and kings, with clients and confidants like George Clooney, Bruce Willis, George H. W. Bush, Armand Hammer, Brad Pitt, Matt Damon, Bob Dylan, Led Zeppelin, John Denver, Bobby Fischer . . .well, the list goes on forever.
And of course, the story is not yet over . . .as the old-timers say, "The best is yet to come."
As Weintraub says, "When I stop talking, you'll know I'm dead."
With wit, wisdom, and the cool confidence that has colored his remarkable career, Jerry chronicles a quintessentially American journey, one marked by luck, love, and improvisation. The stories he tells and the lessons we learn are essential, not just for those who love movies and music, but for businessmen, entrepreneurs, artists . . . everyone.
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I liked this book. I had heard the name Jerry Weintraub before but I never really knew who he was. After hearing all of the things he has accomplished in his life I now realized that I've probably heard his name a million times but since he's not the star of anything I've never really paid that much attention to who he was.
This book is like sitting with your grandfather listening to the stories of his life and taking in all the advice he has to give. It was very enlightening. Jerry never really had a formal education, he just had the mindset that if he wanted something he was going to get it. His entire life he made things happen for himself, weather he was "prepared" for them or not. I wish I would have kept a pen and paper near by while listening to this one as there were so many nuggets that I can't even begin to remember them all.
I think this without realizing it this book has started to make subtle changes in my life. Since I've finished this I've had a bit more of a positive outlook and have been stepping outside my comfort zone to get things accomplished. Jerry says throughout the book that if a kid from the Bronx can do it... And while I don't think being from the Bronx is a detriment in life I do get what Jerry is trying to say. That he's nothing special, he's just another person, and if he can accomplish these things there is no reason that anyone else wouldn't be able to reach their goals.
What I really liked was that Jerry has such a great sense of humor. There were so many times in this one where he was able to laugh at himself. Even though he is a millionaire and has worked with Sinatra, Elvis, John Denver, Bob Dylan, Led Zeppelin, Brad Pitt, and so many others he gives off the feel that he is a truly humble person.
As I first started listening to this book I thought Jerry's voice would get a bit irritating, but the longer I listened the more I was endeared to Jerry because of his voice. I know it was his story, but he read the book like he was just sitting down and having a conversation. You could hear the emotion in his voice as he talked about the moments that really changed his life. He made a great narrator.
I really liked this book. It made me want to meet Jerry. And I keep calling him Jerry because after spending 8 hours with him and his life story I feel like I know him. I feel like if I were to be given the chance to speak with him it would be like catching up with a long lost friend.
When I Stop Talking, You'll Know I'm Dead: Useful Stories from a Persuasive Man