The Secret History of Wonder Woman

Customer Reviews

539 Ratings

Overall Ratings

  • 4 out of 5 stars
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2 out of 5 stars
By Julia on 09-11-2014

Narration ruined it for me

The story was interesting, but I was so annoyed by the narration, I had a difficult time getting into it. She should have hired a professional reader. She alternated between mumbling, as if she was bored with her own book, and YELLING. I can't recommend this audio book unless it's rerecorded with a better narrator. Listen to a sample before you buy this one.

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16 of 16 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Tea on the Veranda on 12-02-2015

Some authors should not read their publications...

Love, Love, Love the book! Hate, Hate, Hate the performance. The author's voice is not trained in speaking at all (sorry but it is true.) I finally purchased it in hb from Amazon so I could actually enjoy the AMAZING wealth of knowledge I gained from reading the book. WONDERFUL book, HORRIBLE performance.

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13 of 14 people found this review helpful

3 out of 5 stars
By Tricia B on 03-01-2016

The most annoying reading

The author read the book and she has such an annoying voice. Her voice was high C or raspy.

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4 of 4 people found this review helpful

4 out of 5 stars
By Caroline on 09-03-2015

Brilliant Content - Production Values - Lacking

Would you consider the audio edition of The Secret History of Wonder Woman to be better than the print version?

No, I don't think I would. I haven't seen the print edition, but I imagine it, and hope it is filled with frames from wonder woman comics. Many have complained about Jill Lepore's 'voices' and I understand that comment, I didn't mind them so much, and sometimes thought they were great because they gave that 1930's/1940's comics, newspaper, radio etc announcer 'feel' to the book. Sometimes they were a little over the top... They helped me to imagine frames of wonder woman comics in the print edition. My complaint, as someone with a background in audio production and narration recording - is far more technical.

Jill has an outstanding enthusiasm for her subject - it's why I bought the book - seeing her interview with Jon Stewart got me excited about this book. I think a better performance could've been drawn out of her by the right director and in a better studio environment. There's too much room in the overall sound of this book. She's too far away from the mic, the walls of the room are too hard and the room is probably too big. I perfer readers who feel like they're sitting right next to me. As I said in my good reads review "The recording is too roomy, like the author just set up in her living room, which has no rug, no curtains and a lot of glassware laying about... If the director or engineer were there at all providing direction, they must've nodded off a few times."

The edit is good. I've sat through audio books with glaring edit mistakes ie. "I've sat thr-I've sat through audio books..." that's assuming the editor took all the best takes. It would bring be out of the book a little when I found myself thinking 'why did no one ask for a pick up of that sentence?!' All this said - the content was engaging enough that this fell away most of the time, and I, as a slow reader, and someone with too much going on, never would've been able to read this book so soon after publication without the audio edition, so I will take what I can get.

I do recommend having a listen to the sample so you're prepared for what you're getting into.

Any additional comments?

I loved this book, despite the audio quality and I found it a great gateway into further study of the various feminist movements (I like to point out - all your favorite feminists make an appearance!). I was never a big Wonder Woman fan, but thought this story behind her creation would be fascinating enough - and it was - and now I'm willing to give her a second chance.

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4 of 4 people found this review helpful

2 out of 5 stars
By Teresa on 08-11-2014

Authors should not always narrate their own books

The story behind the creation of Wonder Woman is interesting, but I suspect this book is better in print than in audible format. This is, after all, about a comic book--a visual art--and hopefully the book included many of the actual strips. When listening to this book I wished I could see the comic book section the author was referring to.

As to the narration, there have been times when I was thrilled that the author read his/her own book (think Eudora Welty), but Jill Lepore doesn't do her book any favors. She is a narrator who too often indulges in goofy voices for emphasis. I heard her interviewed on Fresh Air about Wonder Woman's release, and although the interview led to me purchasing Wonder Woman on Audible, as the interview progressed the author's excitement over her discoveries became more and more unhinged. So it was, when the Audible book began, I fervently hoped I'd misunderstood when the intro seemed to indicate that Jill Lepore would be reading the book. Sigh. I wish I had skipped the Audible and checked the actual book out of the library. That's my recommendation--do what I didn't.

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8 of 9 people found this review helpful

3 out of 5 stars
By Murphaleen on 19-04-2015

Book was fantastic! Audiobook was money wasted!

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

Time, and money, wasted!

What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

Many secrets were revealed throughout, except for the one presented on page 297 in the epilogue. The very last line of the book reads: "This was, at best, a half truth."

Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Jill Lepore?

Actually, I fully expected that a male would have been the reader. The book is definitely more about Wonder Woman's creator, Charles Moulton Marston, than it is about Wonder Woman herself. That is how I somehow jumped to the conclusion of a female narrator. However, a woman with a commanding voice would also have been a fitting choice – perhaps Suzanne Toren. Ms Lepore has penned a well-researched and quite interesting book, but as for narration, she should stick to writing. Her voice is not trained for this art. I know because I have similar vocal resonance – acceptable some of the times, but with a shrillness that seems to pop up out of nowhere. I wonder what or who encouraged Ms Lepore to even consider narrating her book? Has she ever done so before? Do audiobooks have editors or voice coaches? If so, someone appears to have made a wrong call.

Did The Secret History of Wonder Woman inspire you to do anything?

The book inspired me to relish all of the Wonder Woman lore that I have accumulated in my 75 years. Wish I still had all of those comic books that my uncle in New Orleans bought for me when I was about 4 years old – and not just for their monetary value.
Ms Lepore's book re-opened my long-standing search for more and more info on my heroine. Boy, oh, boy, did it ever fulfill and more! If Mr. Marston's lifestyle inspired him in any measure to create a strong, feminine, and just superhero, it made me wonder who or what would he have spawned had he been meek and perhaps even puritanical. It might not have made any difference, but interesting in that his revealed lifestyle seemed to play such an important part in the creation of Wonder Woman.

Any additional comments?

Buy the book! Skip the audiobook!

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3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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