A. Scott Berg, Author , read by Tony Goldwyn. Putnam Berkley Audio $39.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-399-15166-8

Berg's memoir of Katharine Hepburn was written over a number of years but held back, according to Hepburn's wishes, until her death (on June 29, 2003, at the age of 96). One of the most telling passages in Berg's love letter to the four-time Oscar-winning actress has been omitted (along with the entire two-page Author's Note) from this otherwise unabridged recording. In it, Berg clarifies, "This book is, thus, not a critical study of either Katharine Hepburn's life or her career... more than my remembrances, this book intends to convey hers." This is Hepburn the way Hepburn wanted to be seen and few people will have qualms about that since, as she was famously quoted as saying, "I'm endlessly fascinating." Berg charts their growing friendship from 1983 onward, recounting personal stories of their interactions (as a producer on her final film, Love Affair , he expertly skewers Warren Beatty) and retelling familiar tales of Kate lore on and off-screen. One of the funniest incidents narrator Goldwyn nimbly reenacts is a fumbling meeting between Michael Jackson and his "favorite movie star," whose films he had obviously not seen. Listeners will enjoy Goldwyn's smooth reading of Berg's tight, evocative prose. There were few lulls in Hepburn's long life and the same can be said for this audio package, which should be a holiday gift favorite. Based on the Dutton hardcover. (Oct.)

Forecast: This audio book may face some tough competition from Hepburn's recently reissued 1992 memoir Me: Stories of My Life (Random Audio, abridged), which is read, with aplomb, by Hepburn herself.

Reviewed on: 11/03/2003
Release date: 10/01/2003
Genre: Audio
Hardcover - 544 pages - 978-0-7862-6005-8
MP3 CD - 978-0-7927-3089-7
Compact Disc - 978-0-14-305748-2
Hardcover - 370 pages - 978-0-399-15164-4
Hardcover - 336 pages - 978-1-4711-3012-0
Ebook - 336 pages - 978-1-4711-3013-7
Analog Audio Cassette - 978-0-399-15167-5
Analog Audio Cassette - 978-0-7927-3087-3
Paperback - 384 pages - 978-0-425-19909-1
Compact Disc - 978-0-7927-3088-0
Analog Audio Cassette - 978-0-14-305749-9
Open Ebook - 384 pages - 978-1-101-49734-0
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