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AUDIOBOOKS: Memoirs and satire

This week we have two memoirs and a humorous political satire.

This week we have two memoirs and a humorous political satire. Please remember that all titles are available at your local library and bookstore.

Elton John; read by Taron Egerton with John
Macmillan Audio, 12 hours, 10 CDs; $39.99/, $27.99

Macmillan Audio wisely chose Egerton, who played Elton John in “Rocketman,” to read this entertaining and well-written biography of the famous music man. John reads the epilogue and prologue without displaying much personality, but Egerton well makes up for it with an energetic narration that includes various accents and occasional tunes. John seems to hold nothing back; his candid revelations are both hilarious and poignant. While John does discuss the creative process, he also takes a deep dive into parental cruelty, depression, neglect and his bad behavior when under the influence of addiction. Grade: A 

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Idiot: Life Stories from the Creator of ‘Help Helen Smash’
Laura Clery; read by the author
Simon & Schuster Audio, seven hours and 15 minutes,, $17

Never having heard of Clery and her internet fame, this proved to be a great find for her revelatory and insightful humor. Clery was suicidal, addicted and mired in toxic relationships when she decided to get sober, get married and forge a career as a writer, actress and comedian. Her style is unflinching: She doesn’t pull any punches, which makes her memoir both inspiring and entertaining. As a narrator, Clery is sometimes over-the-top, but she does know how to deliver a punchline and you will find yourself laughing out loud more than expected in such a graphically honest account of a life reclaimed. Grade: A-minus

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A Woman First: First Woman
Selina Meyer; read by the author
Random House Audio, six hours,, $24.50

While this is probably best enjoyed by fans of HBO’s long-running “VEEP,” it works as a political satire even if you have never seen the show. However, the gags are repetitive and begin to wear thin after an hour or so. Meyer is played by Julia Louis-Dreyfus and her assistant Gary is played on the show and read here by Tony Hale. The “autobiography” is a riot, filled with unintentional revelations that poke holes in the self-importance of political figures. However, the constant interruption of the narration with quick asides and on-the-spot rewrites gets on one’s nerves after several repetitions. Grade: B