Sinatra: The Life Sinatra aficionados know all about compartmentalization: There's the unrepentant hothead lothario and the greatest pop singer of the 20th century, and these two figures overlap… Sinatra: The Life Sinatra aficionados know all about compartmentalization: There's the unrepentant hothead lothario and the greatest pop singer of the 20th century, and these two figures overlap… 2005-05-17 Biography Nonfiction Knopf
Book Review

Sinatra: The Life (2005)

Sinatra: The Life | OH WHAT A 'LIFE' Summers and Swan's take on Sinatra
OH WHAT A 'LIFE' Summers and Swan's take on Sinatra
EW's GRADE
A-

Details Release Date: May 17, 2005; Writers: Anthony Summers, Robbyn Swan; Genres: Biography, Nonfiction; Publisher: Knopf

Sinatra aficionados know all about compartmentalization: There's the unrepentant hothead lothario and the greatest pop singer of the 20th century, and these two figures overlap in our imagination only to the extent that a little of that anger and libido romanticizes the lovely woundedness of his best records. But perhaps it is possible to learn too much, as we do in this, Sinatra: The Life by Anthony Summers and Robbyn Swan, the most definitive Sinatra bio to date, an absorbingly comprehensive — if curiously matter-of-fact — catalog of his triumphs and bottomless, alcohol-fueled rages. Maybe it was the alleged rape in 1969, the further documentation of lifelong Mob ties, the misogynistic verbal bullying, or the countless pummelings, but by the time a powerful casino boss reacts to Sinatra's threats by punching out his front teeth in chapter 30, I was almost rooting for that comeuppance. Eventually I'll enjoy Swing Easy again; right now, I need one less for the road.

Originally posted May 23, 2005 Published in issue #821-822 May 27, 2005 Order article reprints
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