The Speed of Sound

  • by Scott Eyman
  • Narrated by Adams Morgan
  • 13 hrs and 43 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

It was the end of an era. It was a turbulent, colorful, and altogether remarkable period, four short years in which America's most popular industry reinvented itself.Here is the epic story of the transition from silent films to talkies, that moment when movies were totally transformed and the American public cemented its love affair with Hollywood. As Scott Eyman demonstrates in his fascinating account of this exciting era, it was a time when fortunes, careers, and lives were made and lost, when the American film industry came fully into its own.In this mixture of cultural and social history that is both scholarly and vastly entertaining, Eyman dispels the myths and gives us the missing chapter in the history of Hollywood, the ribbon of dreams by which America conquered the world.

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What the Critics Say

"Eyman captures the tenor and the terror of the times....A fascinating account of what Eyman terms 'the destruction of one great art and the creation of another.'" (Booklist)
"Eyman combines a historian's zeal for detail and context with a storyteller's talent for the perfect illustrative anecdote....A remarkable book that belongs in every film history collection." (Library Journal)
"Eyman is particularly good at conveying the beauty of the fully developed art that was silent cinema....Eyman tells this story with wit and skill, detailing a surprisingly overlooked but crucial period in Hollywood history." - Kirkus Reviews

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Great History of Talkies

What made the experience of listening to The Speed of Sound the most enjoyable?

I knew very little about early talkies when I began this book. All I knew was that Jolson's The Jazz Singer was the first talkie (and I was wrong about that). This book is full of well-researched details about the revolution that sound brought to film. Mr. Eyman's prose is precise and full of the kind interesting detail that comes from extensive research.


What other book might you compare The Speed of Sound to and why?

Most of Mr. Eyman's Hollywood books are similar in topic, extent of research, and curiousity about the film ndustry.


Have you listened to any of Adams Morgan’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

I do not recall this narrator reading any other books I have read. He has a beautiful voice and enunciates clearly. My only complaint is that he mispronounces some Hollywood names (SH-enk for SK-enk and Wang-ger for Wayne-jer). Unfortunately a lot of narrators of Hollywood books do this.


If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

Mute No More


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- Laura A. Cella

Better than nothing!

This book was a fun read and with a total lack of any film history books available as audio book, it shines. Really enjoyed it and may listen to it again, where else can you here about the early days of Warner Brothers and the history of American Cinema. Great technical facts about early film processes, can't believe they used to sync records to films and thought that was a good idea!
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- Colin

Book Details

  • Release Date: 04-15-2009
  • Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.