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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on December 3, 2012
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
I love this new journalism format. A buck ninety nine to sit absorbed in the unfiltered, seemingly unedited words of the author. I am a gigantic John Wells fan, and only partially because I'm a gigantic Alex Berenson fan. And I most like to read them via audiobook, where I can feel as though the storyteller is speaking directly to me. Well, that's pretty much how Kindle Singles work -- guy's got something to say and he says it.

Here the topic is the sad and lonely life of a world class screw-up. August Busch IV is like King Midas in reverse -- everything he touches turns to crap. In the hands of a lesser writer I would have found myself hating Busch IV, who'd been handed everything and threw it all away, unraveling an iconic American brand and the employer of 30,000 in the process. But Berenson manages to extract some empathy even for this boorish rake. Busch's struggle to win the approbation of an aloof and demanding father will be recognizable even to those whose fathers didn't happen to run the biggest brewery in the world. It doesn't absolve baby Busch for the two women whose death he at least had an ignoble role in hastening, if not outright causing. But I feel for the guy.

As I finished reading this, the Pink Floyd song "Comfortably Numb" came on my ipod. Fitting.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on November 28, 2012
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
I don't drink much beer, don't care for celebrity bios, really hate celebrity expos, but I greatly admire author Alex Berenson's prose, so when I saw this profile article, I immediately downloaded it & read it, start to finish in 1 sitting. (That's just 1 of the benefits of a Kindle single.) This fascinating review of August Busch IV, heir to the Anheuser-Busch beer brewing empire, is a dynamic but sad story of someone who has never emerged from his father's long shadow to make his own positive mark in his family, much less in the world his ancestors so affected.

You wouldn't think a bio of a beer brewer in St. Louis would have the drama & chaos of, say, a Manhattan insider trader or a Paris couture maven, but Berenson's observations & insights draw us into this tragic story. Busch IV never experienced his father's love, never demonstrated the ability to run the A-B empire, never gave his love to another, & thus never found peace & happiness. Two of his female companions died in his presence, at least partly because of the spill-over of his self-destructive ways. But these are only the most glaring examples of his failures, failures despite his family's legacy, fortune, & interventions to keep him out of trouble. Now in his late 50s, Busch IV is marking time w/his millions -- no job, no philanthropies, no friends. Even his family, Berenson points out, left him in CO while they holidayed in HA recently.

Without Berenson's deft touch, this would be a completely depressing story. But as w/any of his best-selling suspense novels, this story reminds us that the story is not yet over, & the losses of yesterday still have the potential to point toward tomorrow. I didn't care about Busch IV before I began reading this profile. I do now. I hope Berenson will revisit this man in future & that the landscape will not be so bleak.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on November 28, 2012
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
basically, "the prince of beers" is a history book. facts are presented, interviews conducted and insights are gleaned, in this case about august busch iv, heir to the anheuser busch brewing company. in another writer's hands such a tale might be nothing more than a sensationalist morality tale better served on cable television than the written page. however, in the hands of alex berenson, a writer who is both a journalist and compelling mystery/thriller writer (see the john wells series of books, of which "the night ranger" is due out next), the story takes on a life of its own even as it dissects the lives of busch iv and the women who tragically got too close to him. august busch iv was a party boy with an age-old tale to tell, he wanted his father's respect. he lived a life of privilege and excess. berenson touches upon some of that life here. there are things left out, but this is written as a kindle single, and there is enough for us to get the point. berenson somehow takes this unsympathetic, spoiled, rich boy and imbibes him (yes, it's a drinking pun) with just enough pathos to leave him more tragic and less insipid than i previously thought. i have some history with the anheuser busch company, some firsthand knowledge of its business practices and some previous knowledge of "four" (as he was known), but here in "the prince of beers" (whether it was intentional by berenson or not), i have learned that he might have deserved less hatred and more sympathy for his life choices.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on January 9, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
I didn't know much about the Bush family but I live in stl so I've always seen the headlines. This book was filled with facts & stories of a rich lonely man who was extremely over privileged to the point where he has absolutely no personal responsibility. He killed 2 women and paid his way to freedom. His desperate need for daddy's approval is sickening.....Aside from jumping around on the dates, I found this novel to be well written, accurate, and intriguing
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on November 30, 2012
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
Alex is a master of the quick-pace genre that leaves you unable to stop reading. This story is both exciting and tragic at the same time. I'm glad he decided to write this and found it a worthy look into this sad story.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on November 29, 2012
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
I found this 30 minute read to be quite informative and entertaining about a public figure that I almost knew nothing about. While reading "The Prince of Beers," I kept wanting more of the family history. I know the single centered on just August Busch IV and his "sad" relationship with his father, but I was anticipating more of the background history on the Busch family. But that was my expectations and nothing against Berenson as a writer. I eagerly anticipate his next single, as I do the same for the next John Wells novel.
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on February 26, 2014
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
This is a story that I sincerely wish the author had developed into a full blown novel.

For only 31 pages, the Kindle Single manages to touch on many facets of the Busch empire. From infighting, to guns, drugs, and death, this story has it all. The story of August Busch IV is riveting - an inside look at the destruction fame and fortune have wreaked on the family behind one of the biggest brands in the world.

If you're looking for a solid, short read, this is a Single you need to take a crack at. My only regret is not owning a book 10x this size to give the saga of the Busch family room to fully unravel.
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on February 18, 2014
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
This is a readable history of the last of the Busch family and the weakening of Anheiser-Busch to the point that it was acquired by ImBev.
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on September 10, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
This a short, interesting, behind the scenes of the rich and famous, kind of story, about a very iconic family & the iconic brand & product they represent.
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on June 12, 2013
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
Seem like an easy way to make a buck off a short story. Not going to get deep on the details. This is more of an introduction, but for the price I guess its worth the read.
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