It could be a thriller, or a spy novel, but no, this is a work of non fiction accurately signalled by its subtitle 'lies, spies and a conspiracy to protect predators'. Investigative journalist Ronan Farrow documents the serial exploitation of women by Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein, and the collusion by many in the media to block these revelations.
Although focusing on investigations between 2016 and 2019, this meticulously researched investigation is guaranteed future relevance with its shocking revelations about the institutionalised widespread abuse of power and its confronting evidence of success and morality at odds.
A gripping and admirably readable quest for the truth from an award-winning #MeToo journalist.
We discussed the book at length. Although very convoluted it gave us all knowledge of what can happen when powerful predators can manipulate people in the media and the law.
The group found the book interesting even though most said they would not have sought it out, given the subject matter. We felt it warranted a score of 4/5 because of the importance and impact of Farrow's research. He was undaunted in his search for the truth, and pursued every avenue. He brought to light the involvement of so many people, and showed so many who were effectively complicit in the harm done by Weinstein.
Generated a lot of discussion. It gave great insight into the Hollywood culture, and abuse of power.
Such an incredible book, meticulously researched and well-written. Heavy subject but has a pace like a thriller. Well worth the read, but too heavy for some in the group.
Some of us found the book difficult to read - however we had an excellent discussion, using the questions as topics.
It was hard not to be both fascinated and horrified at both the conduct of the perpetrators and apologists.What a cast of degenerate and amoral characters. The author has told the story well and in truth it is a bit of a rollercoaster ride , with so many stories to tell - but lacks a little spark . The danger with such expansive narratives is that it can become too detailed . We felt the writer was a journalist as opposed to a writer - and this was reflected in its meticulous style - which was more of a challenge to read . The story needed to be told - and we all had comments.
A fascinating insight into the tactics men of wealth and power will use in order to protect themselves and their friends from the consequences of their actions.
All agreed that this book was a monumental effort. The sheer number of people interviewed and the meticulous detail presented guaranteed that. There were some quibbles about the length of the book and the writing style was not to everyone's liking, but it is an important book. Yes, of course it was written for an American audience and no, it wasn't an an easy book to read, but that doesn't detract from its merits. Well done.
Only half the group was able to finish the book. We all felt, though powerful, it was too long. Those of us who had read the 'New Yorker' article felt that was more powerful. Given that, the quality of discussion was great - that deserved a 5!
Everyone found it a confusing book with too many names, but despite that most persisted and got caught up in the story. Interesting and depressing. Glad he wrote it though!
Those who read the book considered it an important and powerful account of male predation, not just by Harvey Weinstein, but by many others. We had a lively discussion on the subject. It was not an easy read and three did not persevere with it.
Most enlightening as to what money can buy, also power and entitlement.
A truly riveting and compelling read. It was difficult to get into because of the American acronyms used and names that we NZers are not familiar with, but once they became part of a story, it was a hard book to put down. 1 member read it in a single sitting! A book that is easy to recommend to others!
Tighter editing would have made this book a better read. Amazing investigative journalism that held a real monster of a man accountable for his actions.
Not all members had time to read it (lockdown), but those who did found it fascinating and scary - excellent investigative journalism.
This is a fast paced, at times unsettling and disturbing, expose of the web of deceit and cover ups in the world of entertainment and news networks. It is powerful and a must read for all those interested in finding out more about the power world of Harvey Weinstein and his cronies. Ronan Farrow should be commended for his dogged determination to bring this story to light.
Group discussion was as varied and interesting as usual! Several had done more research on both author and Harvey Weinstein. Others had not been able to read it in depth as it was thought to be 'dense' writing. We wondered if the need to publish quickly meant it wasn't as well edited as it might have been. Provided a good insight into the film world.