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.
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 TribbyCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved