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That's Amore: A Son Remembers Dean Martin Hardcover – December 17, 2001
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From Publishers Weekly
Celebrity-watchers keep tabloids in business hoping to catch a glimpse of the "real" side of favorite movie stars. This scattershot memoir by Dean Martin's youngest son proves that sometimes the image on the screen is a lot more colorful than the father who comes home and enjoys a slice of bread before dinner. Martin's affectionate, innocuous and slightly dull book of memories will be a treat only for true Dino fans, affording them an intimate look at the performer at home. The anecdotes have an "I guess you had to be there" flavor ("One of Dad's favorite jokes, which he would pull when we went out to dinner, was to be having a conversation and absent-mindedly butter his big hands as if they were pieces of bread") that should appeal to those who enjoy the humor in Reader's Digest. The younger Martin's focus is strictly Dino-as-Dad, with very few peeks into his father's work on screen or in the recording studio. Life at 601 Mountain Drive was pretty idyllic, with parents who didn't mind their kids shooting guns inside the house and who were blas when older son Dean Paul bought a tank. The latter part of the book is sparked to life by a too-close-for-comfort association with Charles Manson and the tragic fatal plane crash of Dean Paul, which precipitated Dino's health deterioration. More than 100 b&w photos. (Feb.)Forecast: Those looking for a companion to Nick Tosches's definitive Dino: High Living in the Dirty Business of Dreams (1992) won't find much juice here.
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
I love this book...First part choked me up. (Regis Philbin)
I cried, I laughed as I read the real story of Deano-the-Dad recorded so lovingly by his son Ricci; a heart-warming legend. (Phyllis Diller)
This book is too good. (Tony Curtis)
The book brought back wonderful memories of those magical happy times; well done. (Janet Leigh)
Martin sang, danced, and joked his way past the Dean Martin/Jerry Lewis routine into the Rat Pack and starring roles in a number of movies. His son reminisces about their home life and his father's career in this illustrated memoir. (Richmond Times-Dispatch)
Ricci Martin invites readers into his Beverly Hills childhood home... (Los Angeles Times)
...a warm, affectionate portrait of the popular performer... (The Orange County Register)
Ricci, an entertainer himself, chronicles life at home in That's Amore: A Son Remembers Dean Martin. The book reveals the true Martin: the Beverly Hills family man. (Tv Guide)
The son of the Rat Pack's most mysterious member creates a complete, honest protrait of his father, bringing to life his childhood and revealing the trials, tribulations, and exploits that colored the life of this legend. (The Lima News)
...proves that sometimes the image on the screen is a lot more colorful than the father who comes home and enjoys a slice of bread before dinner ... an intimate look at the performer at home. (Publishers Weekly)
"That's Amore" reveals the triumphs, tradgedies and escapades that colored Ricci's childhood. (Cedar City Daily News) --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
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Top customer reviews
I am trying to be very careful not to reveal anything that would spoil this for readers. The photo section is wonderful. Also, there are some facts about racial relationships that I found very revealing in this book, especially since Sammy Davis, Jr was a part of the notorious "Rat Pack". I found Ricci's insights and childhood experiences to be very revealing about that side of things.
There are also some secrets revealed, ones that might not surprise those who already know every detail of Dean's life that can be found at various fan sites but I honestly did not know some of the information about Shirley Maclaine that was included in the book. If your imagination is going wild about that, let me add that you'll probably be surprised and perhaps intrigued by the info included but it probably won't be what you expect. Enough said about that. Yes, I'm really, really against lurid details and spoilers so if you're finding that disappointing, I'm sure someone here has written a more explicit review. If you want spoilers, just post a comment to me and I'll fill in any details for you, gladly. But not in this review.
Another part of the book that was enjoyable? Learning about what it was like to grow up in "old Hollywood" before the Sharon Tate murders and other incidents made people lock their doors and hire more security. It was truly a different era, a time when the Martin kids could sell items to tourists from their front lawn (can you imagine the look on the tourists' faces?) or even give some lucky fans a tour of the house.
This is a very personal look from one son's perspective. I recommend reading Deanna Martin's book as well because it gives a whole different view of growing up as the child of Dean Martin and reveals more about Dean's first wife. Ricci clearly adored his father and it shows. Deanna was more critical about him. Both books present a rounded picture of Dean Martin.