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Beastie Boys Book

Length: 12 hrs and 41 mins
5 out of 5 stars (208 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

A panoramic experience that tells the story of Beastie Boys, an audiobook as unique as the band itself. 

Formed as a New York City hardcore band in 1981, Beastie Boys struck an unlikely path to global hip hop superstardom. Here is their story, told for the first time in the words of the band. Adam “ADROCK” Horovitz and Michael “Mike D” Diamond offer revealing and very funny accounts of their transition from teenage punks to budding rappers. For more than 30 years, this band has had an inescapable and indelible influence on popular culture. 

With a style as distinctive and eclectic as a Beastie Boys album, Beastie Boys Book upends the typical music memoir, featuring a collection of voices reminiscent of your favorite mixtape. 

Photo Credit © 1987 Lynn Goldsmith  

Audiobook cast includes: Steve Buscemi / Ada Calhoun / Bobby Cannavale / Exene Cervenka / Roy Choi / Jarvis Cocker / Elvis Costello / Chuck D / Nadia Dajani / Michael Diamond / Snoop Dogg / Will Ferrell / Crosby Fitzgerald / Randy Gardner / Kim Gordon / Josh Hamilton / Adam Horovitz / LL Cool J / Spike Jonze / Pat Kiernan / Talib Kweli / Dave Macklovitch / Rachel Maddow / Tim Meadows / Bette Midler/ Mix Master Mike / Nas / Yoshimi O / Rosie Perez / Amy Poehler / Kelly Reichardt / John C. Reilly / Ian Rogers / Maya Rudolph / Rev Run / Luc Sante / Kate Schellenbach / MC Serch / Chloe Sevigny / Jon Stewart / Ben Stiller / Wanda Sykes / Jeff Tweedy / Philippe Zdar

Advance praise for Beastie Boys Book

“This entertaining look at Beastie Boys history is as innovative and raucous as the band’s music.” (Publishers Weekly, starred review)

“Beastie Boys fans will devour this book, as will anyone interested in the early days of hip-hop, the art/music/street life of New York City in the 1980s, and the alternative-nation zeitgeist of the ’90s.” (Kirkus Reviews)

©2018 Michael Diamond (P)2018 Random House Audio

What the critics say

“A fascinating, generous book with portraits and detail that float by in bursts of color.... As with [the band’s] records, the book’s structure is a lyrical three-man weave.... Diamond’s voice is lapidary, droll. Horovitz comes on like a borscht belt comedian, but beneath that he is urgent, incredulous, kind of vulnerable.... Friendship is the book’s subject as much as music, fame and New York.” (The New York Times Book Review)

“Wild, moving...resembles a Beastie Boys LP in its wild variety of styles.” (Rolling Stone

“As nutty, irreverent, and fun as you think it would be.” (Vogue

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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phenomenal

one of the best audiobook experiences I've ever had. the narration by the two surviving band members was magical and the supplemental voices were extremely entertaining.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Awesome; I (also) Read That!

While reading is a loose term for this one because I had it going in tandem with the audiobook (which is necessary for this book) it was still an awesome and quick read. It’s a great memoir from one of the best bands to ever come from planet Earth and also a fitting memorial for Adam Yauch. Both book and audiobook contain their own secret parts but the story is a gem no matter which format you choose. I can’t recommend this one enough if you ever cared about the Beasties. It’s so good you will want to read it again which is what makes the book/audio combo so appealing.

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Fun and Nostalgic

I you were born in the 70s this will bring back some great memories. Fun and interesting stories of the band and the people around them throughout their career.

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Fantastic

Awesome story, very personal and moving. Beastie history from beginning through all the records.
Thanks Guys

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Great listen

Loved this book. The guest readers were amazing for the most part as well. Totally recommend

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The best band autobiography ever!

I didn't know much about them. I just liked their most popular singles... now I want to listen to every track these 3 guys ever created! amazing audio book!

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masterpiece of music history

Can't recommend this title enough. Wether your a Beadtie boys fan, a fan of hip-hop, punk, audio engineering/production or just a music fan in general there is so much you content here to entertain and educate delivery in a fresh way.

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A Great Story About A Great Career

Mike D and Ad-Rock did a wonderful tribute to Adam Horovitz and the illustrious career that they had as a trio in Beastie Boys. The storytelling by their friends and fans over the many chapters was a wonderful added touch. I thoroughly enjoyed listening to the audio book.

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a must for any beastie boys fan

a must for any beastie boys fan. a few slow spots and I wish I could view the pictures but overall a classic

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  • Bs
  • 2019-02-05

Not as good as I expected

I had pretty high hopes, but didn’t live up to them. Interesting at times but kind of boring really. All of the guest readers was a neat idea,but ultimately seemed like a way to cover up the blandness of the book. Oh well.

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  • J. Combs
  • Arvada, Colorado
  • 2018-12-12

License to Listen - The Illest Communication

So...

I have been an Audible member since 2007. I have NEVER reviewed a recording before. I HAD to write a review for this.

I am not some major Beastie fan although they are certainly a favorite of mine, but then, I grew up with them. I'm 48 and African-American. I got into hip-hop around the time that they did. I was invested in the same styles, fads, allusions/references that they were. Heck, I even became a Vajrayana Buddhist around the time MCA did.

From a generational standpoint, they were essential; vital. They were the brothers or cousins you had that influenced you while occasionally, you were ahead of them. They grew as you grew and evolved as you did. Then, you have children and you only speak once in a while (by listening to a record here or there) but you KNOW that you wouldn't have been the same without them.

Being black in America is fraught with many things; one of the least talked about and in some ways, most damaging, is that you're never REALLY sure that you are LIKED. Y'know, whether that person 'just put up with you', that the micro-aggression masks the macro-agitation.

The Beastie Boys LOVED black culture; and that means that they LOVED black people. Not is some fetishized way, but were early progenitors of cross-cultural exchange.

You know what it means to know FOR CERTAIN that a powerful, influential group finds a style, a slang, A WAY OF BEING that comes from your diaspora, IMPORTANT?

The Beastie Boys were one of the most creative forces in the then nascent world of hip-hop. They were and are simply GREAT. This book, full of stories read by great folks like Chuck D, Rachel Maddow, Ben Stiller etc., is a testimony to their far-reaching and important hip-hop/ musical/cultural ambassadorship.

I miss MCA. Probably monthly. More than other acts that I possibly love as much (Bowie, Prince). Sometimes, you just know you'd have gotten along with somebody...

This recording is simply wonderful. Laugh out loud funny, pensive, whimsical, wise - I could go on. If you've read this far, you know that I'm saying that you should pick this up. If you're Generation X, it is a must-buy. If you want a slice of life from the 80s on, it is insightful.

One of the best recordings I have ever heard. (I mentioned that I am an O.G. Audible listener, right?!)

Thanks to the authors, the vocals from the wide array of talent and for Audible for giving us such a gift in a time when thoughts of gratitude, cultural appreciation, honesty and growth are in such short supply.

Rest in Peace my Dharma brother MCA. And thanks, FOR ALL OF IT, Mike D and Adam.

144 of 147 people found this review helpful

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  • Chuck
  • Rochester, New York United States
  • 2018-11-08

One of the best audiobooks I've ever listened too

I could be described as a casual fan, not a huge fan of the Beastie Boys. This was a fantastic audiobook. The cast of readers from the surviving members and former band mates was great, , and frankly the story of their lives in general to this very day was interesting.

17 of 17 people found this review helpful

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  • Christine Bolt
  • 2018-11-15

I cried

It’s true. I cried multiple times listening to this book. Both happy and sad tears. This book is utterly amazing. If you call yourself a B Boys fan and don’t listen to this book???
B Boys fan pass revoked!

10 of 10 people found this review helpful

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  • JG
  • 2018-11-05

A Love Letter to Adam Yauch

This book is a must for any fan. It reads like a love letter to Adam Yauch, which I love.. but it's also filled with great stories and process. The readings gave me chills multiple times. By the end, everyone will wish they were cool enough to have noticed the gift that was their last album. They did something only they could do, just as they did with this audiobook.

18 of 19 people found this review helpful

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  • Danny Savage
  • Modesto, CA United States
  • 2018-10-30

amazing!

a delight in every way imaginable. so much to take in, for fans of everything punk, hip hop, NYC and everything in between.

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

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  • Sabra
  • Woburn, MA, United States
  • 2018-12-13

This books makes me so happy and a little sad...

This book is amazing. I love the book's format with not only the authors reading their thoughts and experiences, but also narrators who impacted them or were impacted by them. I had no idea the connections between the Beastie Boys and other artists, which answered so many questions I had regarding my personal music preferences. It's incredible to learn about the huge range of artists who impacted their work and/or were used in their songs.

The book is incredibly funny. As a fan, I think I subconsciously knew they were really funny, but this book proves it. Learning about the impact Beatie Boys had in the early computer/internet days and how their music was used to influence what today we take for granted (e.g., music and information about that music at our fingertips) was so interesting.

Tip: After beginning this book I quickly started keeping Spotify open while listening to the book so I could flip back and forth to hear the music mentioned in the book. It's not just their music but other artists. A fun musical journey...

RIP MCA

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Ryan
  • Indianapolis, Indiana United States
  • 2018-11-29

I waited my entire life for this book!

Awesome listen, with some tasty bits of background on songs and the early club life in NYC. Thanks Beastie Boys. RIP Adam Yauch. I'm gonna go make a mix tape now.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Kamel
  • New Jersey
  • 2018-11-22

B boys!!!

Best audiobook I’ve ever listened to. I laughed out loud so many times! Great narrators and an amazing story. Run don’t walk to download this book!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • VWS
  • 2018-10-30

Aw Yeah...

Just like the McDLT, Beasties keeping the hot side hot, and the cool side cool."

8 of 10 people found this review helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 2019-04-11

please return hot sauce part 1

having different voices throughout is awesome! i also enjoyed their history blended with the history of hip hop

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Pascal Forneri
  • 2019-04-09

Sublime et essentiel

Le meilleur audio book musical imaginable. Très chaudement recommandé. Raconte or plusieurs voix. Aussi inventif que l’est le groupe.