cover image The Hiltons: The True Story of An American Dynasty

The Hiltons: The True Story of An American Dynasty

J. Randy Taraborrelli, read by Robert Petkoff. Hachette Audio, unabridged, 16 CDs, 19.5 hrs. $35 ISBN 978-1-4789-2764-8

This detail-rich and substantial rags-to-riches history of the Hiltons makes for a solid and engaging audiobook. Tarborrelli traces Conrad Hilton’s rise to hotel magnate, along with all the challenges, scandals, and complex relationships that accompanied his family through the decades. Stage actor Petkoff has a matter-of-fact delivery, with clear projection and restrained emotions. He keeps a steady pace and can identify the proper emphasis of a scene, but keeps a distance from the text, allowing it to stand on its own. Occasionally, such as when the book quotes its subjects, he draws out scenes with a more deliberation for dramatic effect. He’s a strong choice for this production, which clocks it at nearly 20 hours, and will keep listeners engaged through the end. (Apr.)