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His Way: The Unauthorized Biography of Frank Sinatra Hardcover – September 1, 1986


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 575 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam (September 1, 1986)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0553051377
  • ISBN-13: 978-0553051377
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.6 x 1.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (83 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #129,326 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

This is the expose that Sinatra went to court to prevent. It's all herethe tumultuous marriages, the countless affairs, the Mafia ties, the arrogance, the drunken brawls, the sudden violence, the adulation of powerful figures, whether Mafia or presidential. This is obviously a one-sided portrait, and there are no real surprises, but Kelley has documented her facts with such thorough detail that the total effect is numbing. Barely mentioned are Sinatra's devotion to his parents and his children, and his unquestioned musical talent. This is unpleasant but compulsive reading, which most public libraries will need in order to fill demand. Marcia L. Perry, Berkshire Athenaeum, Pittsfield, Mass.
Copyright 1986 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Review

"The most eye-opening celebrity biography of our  time." -William Safire, The New York  Times

"A  compelling page-turner...Kitty Kelley's book has made all  future Sinatra biographies virtually redundant."  --Los Angeles Herald-Examiner


From the Paperback edition.

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More About the Author

Among the awards that Kitty Kelley has been honored with by her professional peers are the Outstanding Author Award from the American Society of Journalists and Authors for her "courageous writing on popular culture," the Philip M. Stern Award for her "outstanding service to writers and the writing profession," the Medal of Merit from the Lotos Club in New York City, and the 2005 PEN Oakland Literary Censorship Award. She has also been selected as a member of Vanity Fair magazine's Hall of Fame. Her articles have appeared in the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, Newsweek, People, Ladies' Home Journal, McCall's, the Los Angeles Times, and the Chicago Tribune.

Customer Reviews

The book was detailed and well researched.
Summer Rain
I borrowed Kelley's book from the library out of respect to Mr. Sinatra -- I didn't want to spend five bucks on this kind of garbage.
Jon Warshawsky
I can't blame Sinatra for not wanting to go there - it was a real dump, like a prison.
morton marks

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

54 of 61 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 6, 1999
Format: Mass Market Paperback
One would not expect a Kitty Kelley book about Frank Sinatra to have any great profundity, but *His Way* stands as a major cultural and social document of our times. Sinatra is one of the most-worshipped gods of our age. His life story shows all over again how much misery goes into "lifestyles of the rich and famous," and how much corruption comes out. Sinatra's origins were unromantic. His mother was a neighborhood abortionist. This was an albatross around young Frank's neck. Symbolic of our age, he grew up to personify the "good life" -- the suave, wealthy, hyper-romantic, carefree, yet blues-ridden one -- in his art, while his life embodied many kinds of evil. His mafia connections are well known and, like other unpleasant details of his legend, the book removes all doubt as to their authenticity. The most remarkable thing about *His Way* is in fact the superb job Kelley does of writing and documenting it. She researches and writes like a seasoned college professor. Like most muckrakers Kelley's truthfulness has been called into question, but the book seems entirely trustworthy, especially at a time so many entertainment deities are revealing themselves as tragically flawed or worse. Sinatra, the king of musical romance, bullied, used, and abused women, including his gentle wife Mia Farrow. The worlds of entertainment, crime and politics came together when Frank and company helped get JFK elected President. Frank was supposedly king of the heap himself, but displayed a pitifully boyish awe toward his fellow rake Kennedy, even after he himself helped to "create" Kennedy as president. *His Way* is a chronicle of an egomaniac who knew no restraints. He cause endless harm to others, then wrote them a check to cover their suffering.Read more ›
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27 of 29 people found the following review helpful By William E. Adams on May 1, 2007
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This is a lengthy look at the shadows in Sinatra's personality, and is not the one to read if you are interested in how he developed his approach to singing so well. Frank appears to have been a victim of what we now call bipolar disorder, back in the days when no effective medications existed for it except alcohol and nicotine. He sank into scary depressions, and soared into wild bouts of manic activity, exhibited both grandiosity and generosity in excess, supported violence against his enemies and often uncritical acceptance of his friends. He grew up with a passive dad and a forceful but not likable mom, was a spoiled child who sometimes was a victim of discrimination due to his Italian heritage, and developed such an intense drive to be successful that he frequently drove away the people who might have been best for him. Upon finishing this gossipy yet apparently truthful biography, I didn't want Frank as a friend, but I didn't give away any of my dozen CD's, either. Sometimes one has to divorce the artist from the person in order to remain a fan.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 27, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Yes, the book is full of well documented dirt on Sinatra, but Kelley also liberally includes the goods on Sinatra, such as his frequent generosity. Full of facts, but no agenda there unless you arrive with one yourself.
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23 of 29 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 1, 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This book is very readable. Pick it up at any page and go. A lot of Sinatras wild exploits are written about. Many are of a negative nature (as many interesting wild exploits are), but there are many references supporting them.
The long length of this book, combined with its interesting items, and its ease of reading, make this book great.
Truth or not? Who knows to what degree. Certainly there have been enough well documented incidents with Sinatra that the content of this book is not unreasonable to believe.
It does focus on his behavior, and life, more than his actual music activities. If that makes this book "tabloid" then fine, it also makes it interesting and readable.
For in depth Sinatra music related biographical information, there must be a better book than this.
This book is great if you are intersted in the wild exploits of his life. And oh they were wild.
The book keeps moving. Its fast (though long). Nothing in the book is uninteresting.
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13 of 16 people found the following review helpful By E. Dahm on October 11, 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Kitty Kelley made headlines when she released her book on the life of Frank Sinatra. "His Way: The Unauthorized Biography of Frank Sinatra" created a controversy where Frank Sinatra fans were claiming the biography was one sided. Before Sinatra passed away, he went to court trying to prevent books such as this. He didn't want his many secrets of affairs, bar fights and mob ties to be public knowledge. Kelley did a great job of explaining these instances. But that is just what made this book just mediocre, and not great. She explained the many negative aspects of his life with great detail but left out all of the positive; his love for his family, influence on the music industry and most of all his great talent.

If you want to learn of the dark side of Frank Sinatra, this book is perfect. But, if you want to learn of his great musical impacts and his musical history, this book should be steered away from. When Kelley released it, controversy arose about the one-sidedness of the biography. I feel that even though I don't like Sinatra's dark side exploited, it is still a good book. Kelley includes great detail of his life and includes very interesting facts that were previously not known to the public.

When choosing a book to read about the life of Frank Sinatra, you must first decide what part of him you would like to read about. There are some well-rounded books out there outlining his life, both good and bad parts, but they do not go into as much depth of Kelley's. Over all this a well-written and interesting book that shows a side of Sinatra the public has heard about briefly but never knew the real stories behind the rumors.
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