2011: 3. Frank, The Voice

"A raw December Sunday afternoon in 1915, a day more like the old century than the new among the wood-framed tenements and horse-shit-flecked cobblestones of Hoboken's Little Italy, a.k.a. Guinea Town."

Frank: The Voice, James Kaplan

        Picked this up on a whim from the library, thought it might be too trashy to actually read.  Surprise! I totally loved it (and who was I kidding - I like nothing more than a well-written book about Hollywood/pop culture), and, even better, it was reviewed in the New York Review of Books, a few editions ago, so it isn’t even that trashy!

       So it’s the story of Frank Sinatra, at least the first half of his life (which was totally a surprise to me, as I went into it expecting to get the whole deal, and all of a sudden realized there were ten pages left and it was only about 1953.  The book is very well written - it manages to be accessible and slightly gossipy while still respectable, and historically well sourced. There are a few ticks that bothered me - Kaplan sort of assumes you know the broad outlines of Sinatra’s life, and will sometimes tell us things in a way that sort of presumes you know what’s coming (like, for example the first time he meets Ava Gardener, Kaplan writes it so you’ll be all “aha” which only works if you know about Frank and Ava - but then, I guess I did, so maybe the joke is on me).  Honestly, I’m not even that into Sinatra, and the book was so interesting that it made me hope for a sequel.  Luckily, it looks like one is coming! 

Categories:  Non-Fiction; Library Book

© Carrie Dunsmore 2017