• Hollywood Ending

  • Harvey Weinstein and the Culture of Silence
  • By: Ken Auletta
  • Narrated by: Jonathan Coleman
  • Length: 19 hrs and 41 mins
  • 4.8 out of 5 stars (207 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

A vivid biography of Harvey Weinstein—how he rose to become a dominant figure in the film world, how he used that position to feed his monstrous sexual appetites, and how it all came crashing down, from the author who has covered the Hollywood and media power game for The New Yorker for three decades

Twenty years ago, Ken Auletta wrote an iconic New Yorker profile of the Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein, who was then at the height of his powers. The profile made waves for exposing how volatile, even violent, Weinstein was to his employees and collaborators. But there was a much darker story that was just out of reach: rumors had long swirled that Weinstein was a sexual predator. Auletta confronted Weinstein, who denied the claims. Since no one was willing to go on the record, Auletta and the magazine concluded they couldn’t close the case. Years later, he was able to share his reporting notes and knowledge with Ronan Farrow; he cheered as Farrow, and Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey, finally revealed the truth.

Still, the story continued to nag him. The trail of assaults and cover-ups had been exposed, but the larger questions remained: What was at the root of Weinstein’s monstrousness? How, and why, was it never checked? Why the silence? How does a man run the day-to-day operations of a company with hundreds of employees and revenues in the hundreds of millions of dollars, and at the same time live a shadow life of sexual predation without ever being caught? How much is this a story about Harvey Weinstein, and how much is this a story about Hollywood and power?

In pursuit of the answers, Auletta digs into Weinstein’s life, searching for the mysteries beneath a film career unparalleled for its extraordinary talent and creative success, which combined with a personal brutality and viciousness to leave a trail of ruined lives in its wake. Hollywood Ending is more than a prosecutor’s litany; it is an unflinching examination of Weinstein's life and career, embedding his crimes in the context of the movie business, in his failures and the successes that led to enormous power. Film stars, Miramax employees and board members, old friends and family, and even the person who knew him best—Harvey’s brother, Bob—all talked to Auletta at length. Weinstein himself also responded to Auletta’s questions from prison. The result is not simply the portrait of a predator but of the power that allowed Weinstein to operate with such impunity for so many years, the spiderweb in which his victims found themselves trapped.

©2022 Ken Auletta (P)2022 Penguin Audio

Critic Reviews

“It is impossible to read Hollywood Ending without an escalating sense of dread and fury. Ken Auletta offers a riveting account of the ascent and savagely abusive behavior of one of the movie industry’s most powerful figures. And he meticulously documents a story that’s equally disturbing: the dismal pattern of willful ignorance, complicity and cover-up among film producers, financiers, executives, lawyers, and actors who, with just a bit of courage, could have put a stop to Harvey Weinstein’s sociopathic assaults against so many women.” - Martin Baron, Executive Editor (Retired), The Washington Post

“You think you know everything about the deplorable Harvey Weinstein? You don’t. The incomparable Ken Auletta delivers revelation after revelation.” - Graydon Carter, editor, Air Mail  

"Excellent . . . The world turned a blind eye, Auletta explains, in large part because of the perception that Weinstein’s contributions to the industry outweighed his transgressions.” Bloomberg, The 10 Best Books for Your Summer Reading List

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Ken Auletta does in again

I’ve never been disappointed in any of Auletta’s work and he’s one of the main reasons I subscribe to the New Yorker.

If you thought there was nothing new to learn, you’d be wrong. There are many painful and excruciating details noted but it’s so well researched and reported that I have a better understanding of the how and to some degree, the why. Not to be missed.

1 person found this helpful

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Great Insights and Details of the Trial

I knew the Weinstein story, having followed the NYT and other reporting and having read Ronan Farrow’s book. Nonetheless, this book put more meat on the bones and provided a detailed description of the trial, which I did not follow as closely. It is well written and researched. Auletta sticks to the facts as a good reporter should. It is a very good book.

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Monster of a man

Harvey is truly a self involved, selfish, insecure, and an overall a vicious person who hurt many people, men and women. Story was well written and allowed the reader to get a good understanding of who Mr Weinstein really is!

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Not bad, but not particularly well executed

I think this audiobook could have been significantly less than 19 plus hours in length had someone else narrated it. That being said, I found it entertaining and informative. I think Auletta tried to be fair and balanced when examining the rags to riches rise, as well as the horrific excesses and eventual fall of Harvey Weinstein.

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Fantastic

I loved this book. Parts are a bit repetitive, but overall a totally engrossing view of HW and the system that enabled him. Normally with autobiographies I can’t stand the part about their childhood I just skip right through it. I don’t care about how you were scarred for life because your kindergarten teacher wouldn’t give you a cookie. But this one was short and interesting. I enjoyed everything about this book and I am hard to please I don’t give five stars like ever. I would completely recommend this book.

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Still horrible and even more fascinating

Auletta always great even with horrible stories. Narration very odd at 1.0x but flow is much better at 1.2x. Auletta deserves a first-rate narrator but at least is listenable when speeded up.

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Excellent reporting

This book is an excellent telling of Harvey Weinstein. It is thoroughly researched and unbiased. A superb author wrote a superb books.

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“Monster”

A very thorough examination of Harvey Weinstein as a powerful film maker and twisted seeker of power.
Auletta’s recounting is both absorbing and, necessarily, repulsive.

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Where is "Sissorhands" when we need him?

This is a lengthy 18-plus hours of Harvey Weinstein. It's a lot to swallow even in small doses.

The author's documentation and the factual explication in the book treats Harvey's film skills fairly while focusing on his repulsive abusive behaviors with females. But the storyline veers off into pointless psychological speculation about the causes of his aberrant behaviors, and the repetitive documentation of Harvey's patterns of abuse - told over and over again - spoils the narrative. "Sissorhands" (read the book and you'll understand the reference) could have reasonably edited out about 4 hours of needlessly repetitive narration.

The book may also be considered an expose of the continuation of what we might describe as the old "Hollywood system" dating back to the film mogul days of the 30's and 40's where a wink and a nod helped perpetuate patterns of abuse to women by persons in control without exposure or confrontation. And it exposes the pressures on and possible consequences to the women who come forward to bring light to the abuse.

Auletta's story line also offers an interesting chronology of how deals are made, how films get produced, directed and distributed and some of the arcane film industry accounting methods. Interesting for those of us far from the film industry.

Even with the excessive and unnecessary length, the book is worth a read. And the narration is excellent.

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Not Boring

Well read and documented background on Harvey. A lot of interesting facts, that keeps the listener wanting more.

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