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Editorial Reviews

Charlatan tells the audacious true story of quack doctor John Brinkley, who became fabulously wealthy in the 1920s implanting goat testes into impotent American men. Johnny Heller's vigorous performance of this tale of the ultimate hustler will keep listeners on the edge of their seats, tracking John as he accomplishes an unbelievable litany of achievements, including establishing himself as a respected authority on sexual rejuvenation, pioneering radio advertising, and running for governor of Kansas. It took Morris Fishbein, editor of the American Medical Association's journal, 15 years to bring Brinkley to justice - but when he finally got him into court, it was high drama. Wildly entertaining and completely bizarre, Charlatan is proof that truth is often stranger than fiction.
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Publisher's Summary

This is the enormously entertaining story of how a fraudulent surgeon made a fortune by inserting goats' testes into impotent American men. "Doctor" John Brinkley became a world renowned authority on sexual rejuvenation in the 1920s, with famous politicians and even royalty asking for his services. His nemesis was Dr. Morris Fishbein, editor of the Journal of the American Medical Association, but it took him 15 years to destroy Brinkley in a dramatic courtroom showdown. In the meantime, despite mounting evidence that his quack treatments killed many patients, Brinkley became a millionaire, and his pioneering use of radio not only kick-started country music as a national force in America but also invented the whole concept of radio advertising. He also became the first politician to campaign over the airwaves when he ran for governor of Kansas.
©2008 Pope Brock (P)2008 Tantor
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Critic Reviews

"Told with uproarious brio...heavenly...A book so lively that its wild stories are virtually wall to wall." ( The New York Times)
"Hugely amusing [but also] dark and cautionary, a reminder of the high price of gullibility and ignorance." ( Washington Post Book World)
"If Hollywood hasn't already optioned Pope Brock's Charlatan....what's keeping it?" ( Newsweek)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
3 out of 5 stars
By susan nenadic on 02-08-09

nix the narrator

Fascinating subject, but the narrator was amateurish beyond belief. He did not prepare by checking pronunciation of words. "Precis" he pronounced pre-sis. He did not realize that Gila monster is from the Spanish so it is "Hila" not a g sound. He called Pavia, Italy, PA' via when it is Pa- VI'-A. Kudos to the author; nix the narrator.

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5 of 5 people found this review helpful

4 out of 5 stars
By Betty on 05-21-08


This book is funny and sad, but most of all just mind-boggling. It proves in spades the observation (attributed to P.T. Barnum) that "There's a sucker born every minute." The only reason I didn't give it five stars is the mediocre narration, which included some startling mispronunciations. My favorite was "precis" pronounced PREE-sis.

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4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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