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Mr. S: My Life With Frank Sinatra 1st Edition

63 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0786259182
ISBN-10: 0786259183
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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In this insider celebrity bio, Jacobs, who served as Sinatra's valet for more than 13 years, recalls the time when Sinatra (or "Mr. S," as he called him) first hired him, then fired him in a jealous rage in 1968. Jacobs, who grew up in New Orleans, offers glimpses of Sinatra's private life-his obsession with cleanliness, his professional and personal relationships, as well as his many sexual conquests (which Jacobs sometimes recounts with too much detail). Jacobs (writing with Stadiem, author of Marilyn Monroe Confidential), in sometimes overwritten prose, dishes out the dirt on everyone from Hollywood stars (he catches Marlene Dietrich and Greta Garbo in Sinatra's pool, swimming naked and kissing) to the Kennedy clan (future president JFK doing lines of coke with Rat Pack member Peter Lawford). The authors spare only Ava Gardner from the dirtiest gossip. Sinatra entrusted his valet with his most private affairs-Jacobs kept his various girlfriends and wives entertained while Sinatra was busy. (It was a paparazzo's photo of Jacobs dancing with Mia Farrow at a nightclub that ignited Sinatra's rage.) Despite Sinatra's temper tantrums, Jacobs maintains that Sinatra always treated him well; and despite Sinatra's off-color jokes, he insists that the star was not a racist. (Sammy Davis Jr. "was the only person in Mr. S's world who made me aware of being black, and made me feel second-class for it.") In the end this is a mostly respectful portrait of Sinatra by a man still stung by the singer's unforgiving temper. One only wishes the book included more of Jacobs.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

The Chairman of the Board's erstwhile valet purports to reveal, with Jacobs' help, Ol' Blue Eyes' private life. Jacobs didn't have to score heroin for Frank like Spanish Tony did for Keith Richards (see Sanchez's Up and Down with the Rolling Stones, 1980), but he was in a position to know of Sinatra's dealings with the Kennedys, Sam Giancana and associates, and Mia Farrow. Fine, fine, but does he endorse the oft-promulgated view of Ava Gardner as crazed, libidinous vixen? Well, no. Instead, he recalls cooking with her (both reveled in southern cuisine) and calls her "a cross between Miss Universe, a kick-ass girl-next-door, and a fairy godmother." In gently dishing tones, he relates insider tidbits on other Hollywood notables, too, and his main man comes off much better than in many other biographies. Jacobs doesn't so much ignore negatives as state them sympathetically. If his revelations won't be entirely new to avid Sinatraphile readers, his perspective provides fuller understanding of the object of their fascination. Mike Tribby
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Product Details

  • Series: Thorndike Biography - Large Print
  • Hardcover: 392 pages
  • Publisher: Thorndike Press; 1 edition (December 15, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0786259183
  • ISBN-13: 978-0786259182
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 5.4 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (63 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,267,467 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

26 of 28 people found the following review helpful By philip gallo on July 9, 2003
Format: Hardcover
Althought this book is a "kiss and tell" ( something Mr.S would not like) I do believe it shows a very human side of Frank Sinatra. There is no question that George Jacobs loved Sinatra and cared about him. His views on Sinatra's life are looked at from that perspective. But hearing about Sinatra's humbleness after Ava, his generosity, Christmas with his kids and ex-wife, distancing his womanizing from his kids, etc. all showed that despite the Mob connections (which by the way, all entertainers from the 1930's-1960's playing nightclubs you think Danny Thomas didn't know mobsters??? And he was considered a saint!) and violent outbursts he really was just a skinny, insecure kid from Hoboken. For all his talent, Sinatra was the son of immigrants who was too thin, had a scarred face and lost his hair. For me, this book made me feel not only his desire to be a star, but his desire to be accepted in "higher circles", i.e the Kennedys. As an Italian-American, I can appreciate Sinatra's anguish. Jacobs tells about the make up he wore and how he would tend to Sinatra's baldness. Again, it showed how fragile and human he was...just like all of us. And lets face it: Old Blue Eyes had a little dark side....ok so he wasn't perfect. Jacobs talks about that too, but have to take the good with the bad. The fact that Jacobs waited this long to tell this story I believe shows his feelings about his old boss.....Mr.S. All true Sinatra fans should read this book about an original American icon. Your grandchildren's grandchildren will be listening to his music....he was the greatest!
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29 of 32 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 6, 2003
Format: Hardcover
I found this book to be totally riveting and interesting to the point that Frank hated the modernization of the entertainment business but is apparently guilty of everything he hated in today's entertainers with the exception of drugs. George Jacobs rats on Frank but in a loving way. It is clear that Jacobs loved the man and his style but hated what the 60's and future were and did do to his boss.
I find the contents of the book to be open and honest. There's enough written here about the usual incidents, lots of confirmation of events but from a totally different perspective. It looks like Jacobs saw the world in a similar vain to Frank. And while I cannot imagine his children enjoying this book, at least the author is alligned with them on his feelings about Frank's 4th wife.
I recommend this book to anyone who loves Frank Sinatra, the whole person. I am a true fan. This book made me revere him more, although the womanizing would have killed a mere mortal long before Frank passed on. What a life! If it all weren't so true, it would be a great fairytale.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Robert Wellen on January 3, 2004
Format: Hardcover
George Jacobs is a good man. He dearly loved his job and "Mr.S" His account of his 15 years with Sinatra give you a glimpse of the Chairman that no one else ever has. It was really cool to read about the mob, the kennedys, Marilyn Monroe, Sammy, Dean, Peter Lawford, from an entirely new perspective. Sure, there is a ton of information about Sinatra's love life, but it is all fascinating. Mia Farrow, as usual, comes across as a nut. Jacobs' feelings about the later years' Sinatra is sad but moving. A fun read.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Daniel Berger VINE VOICE on March 12, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Reading George Jacobs' memoir of his years as Frank Sinatra's right-hand man, I am struck by the star's sense of failure, despite having almost everything. He never got over second wife Ava Gardner. He sought but failed to get a Best Acting Oscar. His career declined while third wife Mia Farrow, barely out of her teens, hit it big with "Rosemary's Baby." Sinatra was rejected by the Kennedys, as well as gangster Sam Giancana, whose loss in some ways he appears to have taken harder. And he severed various friends - including Jacobs - ultimately doing more damage to himself.

Sinatra did not age gracefully. Lucky enough to get a second youth after his 1953 comeback, he underwent a second midlife crisis in the mid-1960s. How hard must it must have been to enter one's fifties, while popular culture overnight became about teenagers - their rebellions, music, fashions, and most of all contempt for Frank Sinatra's generation.

As Jacobs leaves in 1968, fired for generating tabloid headlines one night when Farrow drags him onto a dance floor, Sinatra at 52 is getting lonelier and meaner, with hardly any boon companions from his heyday still in sight. Jacobs focuses on those earlier, happier, peak years, where Sinatra's star quirks were leavened by kindness and consideration, and tarnished with fewer tantrums and less vindictiveness; and he shows how the decline began.

The book exceeds my expectations, tribute to William Stadiem's great ghostwriting and Jacobs' three-dimensional Sinatra portrait. What seems remarkable is his determination not to trash a man who, at the end, treated him poorly. Neither does he take easy shots at the Rat Packers for the ubiquitous ethnic jokes and slurs; he sees it in the context of the time, as banter rather than hate.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 11, 2003
Format: Hardcover
I am reading this book now and cannot seem to put it down. I saw George Jacobs on "The Today Show" and he was fascinating. I immediately went out and bought this book which has had me shocked, intrigued and laughing out loud at some points. The way in which this book is written is downright hilarious sometimes as are the descriptions Jacobs uses to describe certain people in Sinatra's life. Aside from being funny, it also let's the reader in on the different side of Frank Sinatra. The human side.
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