There are never enough nonfiction audiobooks, so when I saw Frank Lloyd Wright by Ada Louise Huxtable at the Downers Grove Public Library, I grabbed it. I have been to Robie House in Chicago, the house and studio in Oak Park, Unity Temple also in Oak Park, and Taliesin West in Arizona, and I had an architecture major roommate in college, so I know "a fair amount" about Wright, but I have never until now read a biography. What a life!
Huxtable tries to be an even-handed biographer, telling alternate versions of Wright's stories. The truth is often fuzzy. Wright often fudged the facts in his books and interviews, and even his birthdate and birthplace are subjects of debates. In life he was charming and outrageous, usually in debt, and certain of his place in history as the most influential architect ever. He always claimed that he was unique and followed no other's lead.
At 251 pages in print or 6 hours 45 minutes in audio, Huxtable's book is just an introduction to Wright's life. Like all the Penguin Lives series, it tells the essentials in an entertaining way. Real students of Wright will want much more - there are many books on Wright.
Huxtable, Ada Louise. Frank Lloyd Wright. New York: Lipper/Viking, 2004. ISBN 0670033421
6 CDs. Santa Ana, California: Books on Tape, 2004. ISBN 1415903212