I never understood what all the excitement was about regarding Sinatra's singing or personal life, although I admired his film career. I've even visited his Palm Springs home, Twin Palms, and still couldn't tell why he was a sensation. Now I get it, thanks to this awesome book! I've read lots of biographies for decades and this is one of the best I've ever picked up. The book is exhaustively researched and written in a way that envelopes the reader in another world. And the photos are memorable. Even though it was over 700 pages, I was sorry when I finished it and could no longer immerse myself in the rich details about Frank's life in New Jersey, New York, Los Angeles, Hollywood, and Palm Springs during the first half of the 20th century.
Great biopic about blue eyes.
In his notes, the author, James Kaplan mentions that he wrote this book after reading another Sinatra biography "in which, remarkably, the subject (and certainly the great artist) neither lived or breathed.
In Kaplan's book, Sinatra most certainly lives and breathes, an amazingly well researched account of this remarkable artist's life. Kaplan gets inside Frank's head and certainly drew this reader in with him.
My only complaint is that he ends the story in 1954. Hopefully further volumes will follow.
"A very complicated man. A musical tsunami who sang with such unprecedented beauty, taste and ease that he helped to create a genre called the Great American Songbook. In complete contrast to his musical beauty, Sinatra behaved like a thug, kept mobsters as friends and was a misogynist."
Review by Ross Porter
Globe & Mail Jan 1 2011
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