"We are of opinion that instead of letting books grow moldy behind an iron grating, far from the vulgar gaze, it is better to let them wear out by being read." - Jules Verne
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Saturday, July 7, 2018


Published by Penguin Audio in May of 2018.
Read by the author, Charlie LeDuff.
Duration: 7 hours, 21 minutes.

Charlie LeDuff has done a lot of things, but mostly he's been a reporter. He's worked all over the place, he won a Pulitzer Prize in New York City but lately he's settled down in Detroit. He told his irreverent version of the collapse of Detroit in Detroit: An American Autopsy. He takes that same vision outside of Detroit and talks about the rest of the country and finds that Detroit may be a mess, but it's hardly unique.

In 2013, LeDuff was offered a job at Fox News travelling the country and taking a look at regular Americans and their struggles in a segment called The Americans. He jumped at it and went all over the place. He went to New York City to look into topless women in Times Square (it's legal). He went to both of the Bundy family standoffs and spent most of his time talking to the hangers on that joined the family. He looked into why car factories in the South are not voting to unionize and into the fast and loose situation at the border (you will never forget the Jet Skis on the Rio Grande).

He went back home to Detroit to tell about the mayor and how his friends caught cushy contracts to tear down abandoned homes and then didn't tear them down. He also looked at the Flint, Michigan water situation and explains it better than anyone else I have heard try to explain it.

He covered the GOP Presidential Debates in 2016, but he was pulled from that story because he refused to take it seriously. LeDuff called it in 2013 before anyone else - America is struggling and would not be in the mood for business as usual in 2016, explaining the rise of both Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders.

LeDuff's style is often that of an irreverent rant. He frequently adds in curse words to add some punch (as demonstrated by the title of this book), so if curse words are an issue for you, don't even think about reading this book. His storytelling style sometimes makes you wonder if he is off of his attention-deficit medication, what with the random interjections and the off-the-cuff remarks.

I have no idea if LeDuff votes Democrat or Republican but, as you listen, you realize that he has a larger point, no matter the topic and that point is that the little guy is getting the shaft over and over again while the guys at the top are helping each other get rich.

LeDuff's reading of his book was excellent. This book was so good that I wish it were twice as long and he had covered twice as many topics. LeDuff is always smart, always irreverent and always interesting.

I rate this audiobook 5 stars out of 5 and it can be found in multiple formats on Amazon.com here: SH*TSHOW: THE COUNTRY'S COLLAPSING and the RATINGS ARE GREAT  by Charlie LeDuff.

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