Growing Up Getty: The Story of America’s Most Unconventional Dynasty

S. & S. Audio. Jul. 2022. 10:02 hrs. ISBN 9781797141688. $23.99. BIOG
Four generations of the Getty family are profiled in this collective biography, which traces the family’s history from the founding of Getty Oil to the present day. Patriarch J. Paul Getty made his fortune in petroleum, but he was so notoriously frugal that he installed a pay phone for guests visiting his palatial English estate. Combined with clever business decisions, this allowed him to grow the family fortune into billions. Although some branches of the family tree are more memorable than others, Reginato brings the same level of detail to each family member, highlighting their unique accomplishments and personal dramas. Avoiding sensationalism, Reginato employs a journalistic tone with even the most notorious episodes in the family’s history. The youngest generation of Gettys is deeply involved in the arts and includes an actor (Balthazar), a fashion designer (August), a model and trans activist (Nats), and a social media influencer (Ivy). Kevin R. Free’s engaging narration conveys the family’s story with a mix of gravitas and gossip—at times it feels like he’s leaning in to impart a particularly juicy tidbit.
VERDICT A captivating, if occasionally overawed, portrait of extraordinary wealth across multiple generations. Suggest to listeners who enjoyed Anderson Cooper’s Vanderbilt.
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