• Lucille

  • The Life of Lucille Ball
  • By: Kathleen Brady
  • Narrated by: C. M. Hébert
  • Length: 12 hrs and 48 mins
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars (586 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

In 20 years of show business, Lucille Ball had only modest and sporadic success. Her television program, I Love Lucy, was her last chance to fulfill the ambition that had sustained her through the frustrations of her professional life and the anguish of a failing marriage. The role of Lucy Ricardo revealed her true gifts, but it changed her life immeasurably, and the remarkable individual who was Lucille Ball became slowly obscured in the shadows of Lucy.

This definitive portrait of Lucille Ball is based on the recollections of fellow performers, including Milton Berle, Ginger Rogers, Bob Hope, and Katherine Hepburn; her closest friends and family; and Lucille herself. From her childhood, when her virtual abandonment instilled in her a relentless drive for love and attention, through her struggling years in Hollywood and her troubled relationship with Desi Arnaz, Brady vividly recounts the story of this passionate and vulnerable woman.

Love Lucy? Search our list of classic radio shows featuring Lucille Ball.
©1994 Kathleen Brady (P)1996 Blackstone Audio Inc.

Critic Reviews

"While Brady is a fan, she is also a fine biographer. Her admiration is both clear-eyed and penetrating. With insight and impressive detail, Brady goes beyond Ball's most famous creation, Lucy Ricardo, to expose the complex, determined woman." (Chicago Sun-Times)

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What listeners say about Lucille

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars

A So-So Look at Lucy

While you'll learn nothing new in this well-crafted look at a TV icon and entire era, if you're a fan of Lucy, Desi and all the rest, you'll smile nostalgically at the facts you've known for a long, long time. Worth a listen if for nothing more than a friendly walk down memory lane.

13 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

I Love Lucy...evenmore

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Yes. It gave me an insight to who Lucille Ball was and her challeges and comedic genius.

What other book might you compare Lucille to and why?

The Life and Time of Charlie Chaplin.

What about C. M. Hébert’s performance did you like?

She was okay. It took me a while to get use to her sleepy style voice. But, the more I got into the book, the more I got into the story and not her voice.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Not really. It was nice to listen while I went for a run each day. It gave me something to look forward to instead of running

Any additional comments?

You need more books on comedian biography. I just downloaded an Abbott and Costello book, and was disappointed that it wasn't a story, but instead, it was their radio show, which I'm enjoying. But, I prefer a story. There are so many great comedians, like Red Skelton, Milton Berle, Laurel and Hardy, Fanny Brice, Mabel Normand (which in the Chaplin book, it was covered a little). Thank you.

5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

not for me

not for me. it seemed to drag and couldn't get into it. I love Lucy but not this book

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Thorough study with perfect narrator.

I really enjoyed this book. She was a real person, very strong really who was surprisingly unhappy. Not miserable, just unhappy. She got totally ripped off but what was dealt to her and one can only wonder what might have happened had her husband been a real husband.

5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Lucille

It was a great book. Well, all except the curse words. Thank you! I love Lucy!

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Great story, not so great performance

this book was very interesting and informative. the performance was a bit lack luster and at times words were read incorrectly.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Bad performance

Names mispronounced , words mispronounced... was there a director here? Takes away from a decent story

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars

Again, prep work and pronunciation issues

Not even for my love of Lucy can I overlook yet another ill-prepared reading of a book. Helen Brady, the performer for "Lucille: The Life of Lucille Ball" may be able to roll her R's for "arroz con pollo" but "cringingly" mispronounces general accepted names such as Garson Kanin as "Garson Cannon". Pantages, rather than with the expected emphasis on the second syllable, has the emphasis on the first, requiring the listener to rewind or playback to make sure they heard it correctly.

Are there editorial/performance meetings before such recordings? At least with the author performing their own work you know that however they pronounce something it is uniquely them. When a hired performer reads another's work, listeners who purchase/license work have some expectation of more than a soothing, modulated voice. We want accurate phrasing and pronunciation.

7 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Lucy will always be loved

Lucy came from a different time and was able to do what she’d always wanted to do. She left all of us the gift of laughter, which is timeless. She will never be forgotten. The world loves Lucy.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Lucille

Loved It! Lucy Ball was a true star! Fortunate to have opportunity to understand the person that made the star!!