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Condition: Used: Good
Comment: The item shows wear from consistent use, but it remains in good condition and works perfectly. All pages and cover are intact (including the dust cover, if applicable). Spine may show signs of wear. Pages may include limited notes and highlighting. May include "From the library of" labels.
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Bing Crosby: The Hollow Man Hardcover – May, 1981

4.0 out of 5 stars 9 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 326 pages
  • Publisher: St Martins Pr; 1st edition (May 1981)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312078668
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312078669
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 5.7 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,426,860 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Mass Market Paperback
I thought this was a great book! I chose to pick it up after finally seeing 'Holiday Inn' this winter. I was interested to learn more about Bing Crosby and I certainly did. This isn't even close to a total Bing-bashing book, as the title/cover art of it may begin to suggest. More accurately, I found it to be a well-researched and objective account of his life and the lives of those around him. The tale was really fascinating-complete with humor (I especially liked the funny story when he and his friends were playing hooky from school as children), success (Bing's rise to fame was interesting to watch unfold and it happened so quickly. His business decisions off stage were really something as well!), and sadness (Particularly, Bing's inability to form a truly warm connection with anyone and his tendency to neglect or "disappear" those friends and loved ones who aided him the most in life. The most disheartening parts for me involved his interactions with first wife Dixie Lee and his first four kids, as well as his break from Al Rinker and Harry Barris of the Rhythm Boys). This book takes nothing away from Bing's talent or outward charm, but rather tries to form a complete picture of his personality and all aspects of his life.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
I approached The Hollow Man with the knowledge that it would be a less than glowing review of the life of Bing Crosby. In that respect, I got what I expected. What I didn't expect however, and what drove me to distraction, was the constant substantiating by the authors of every statement that they made that they felt might suffer some criticism. I became annoyed with the lengthy explanations of the logic they used to come to their conclusions. And the way they used quotes from obscure players to back up their assertions reminded me of the tabloids. Another major drawback is that while they review Bing's early performing days quite extensively, they then skip through huge chunks of his life with hardly a mention. A thoroughly dissatisfying read.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
I picked this book up because of the title. I wanted to know why Bing was called "The Hollow Man." Of course he wasn't called that during his lifetime. I think the authors of the book thought the title would sell the book.

Always an admirer of Crosby's style and entertainment gifts I was pleased to find the book refreshing and educational regarding his early career and climb to mega stardom. It's clear that much research went into the writing of the book. While, at times, it seems like the authors are most critical of Bing Crosby and more supported of the close relationships he had, I still found the book to be a fairly factual read about Crosby's life and his achievements. Title aside, and it's clear the authors do not care much for Crosby as a man, I wouldn't call them vindictive. However they certainly referenced him from the beginning of the book as a man who used everyone else to achieve his goals. He was most commonly referred to as "lazy" and not in a favorable manner.

Much in this book is about other famous people who worked with Crosby and the relationship he had with them; however the content is viewed through these authors' eyes. So take the pleasure of reading about this icon and do your own assessment of Bing based on prior knowledge and this books references.

I would recommend it to anyone wanting to research Crosby's life or anyone who just wanted to read a biography about Bing Crosby. As I said, it's a good read and well written. That's my opinion.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
From all that has been said- about using people-and the coldness, it fits the description of a sociopath ( I am not talking about a crazed killer- most sociopaths are not criminals but totally self-centered because they have no ability to be otherwise). The part of the brain that deals with conscience is either stunted or has never developed. The sociopath is in no way responsible for being such. The charm is a necessity for existence; the charm is developed by the more successful sociopaths- their lives are filled with lies- they cannot allow anyone to find out they are devoid of sympathy, conscience or empathy. They tend to feel themselves superior to others. The laziness described is another trait many sociopaths possess. The "hollow man" would be a perfect description.

Again, I'm not saying he was a sociopath, but, rather, that much I have read about him fits that description, and I do remember reading many years ago Gary's description of how he was treated by his father; I believe it.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Idolized crooner of my parents' generation, Bing Crosby reigned as the epitome of stars throughout the pre- rock-n-roll years. His voice was probably one of the most recognized and beloved singing (and speaking) voices of all time. I grew up watching such movies as White Christmas and the Bells of Saint Mary's and like most people, thought of Bing as one of the kindest, fatherly and most affable of Hollywood stars. Even when rock-n-roll burst on the scene during the year I was born and it became the music that I listened to, I watched and enjoyed Bing's TV specials because of his outstanding talent and his beloved demeanor.

"Bing Crosby, The Hollow Man" dispels the image of Bing and reveals a side of Bing that the public, at that time, knew nothing about. There is no doubt that Bing was his own man, as attested to not only in this book, but even that of his second wife, Kathryn, and that of Rosemary Clooney in an interview that she had given concerning working with Bing on White Christmas. Bing did what he wanted to do and he seldom, if ever, let anything get in the way of his golf outings, hunting and fishing expeditions, and other amusements. He was, after all, a man after his own heart and if we're honest, many of us know men like that. They're human and being human, they have flaws. Bing, like Elvis after him, was no different.

"Bing, The Hollow Man" was written several years after Bing passed away. It was also published (and possibly written) before Gary (Bing's first-born son) had written his own memoirs. The book is well researched and well written and I perceived that while it showed a less pristine, less flattering side of Bing, it also didn't hesitate to give praise and credit where it was due Bing.
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