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Dean And Me: A Love Story Hardcover – Unabridged, 5 May 2006

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Macmillan; 1 edition (5 May 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1405052643
  • ISBN-13: 978-1405052641
  • Product Dimensions: 15.3 x 3.1 x 23.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,315,734 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


'Lewis writes with awe about Martin's unflappable stage persona,
and with humour and affection' -- Sunday Times

'Read with a Martini and cigarette in hand' -- Independent

Book Description

For ten years after WWII, Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis weren't only the most successful show business act in history, they were history. Starting as a fill-in for another act in Atlantic city, their improvised, anarchic routines soon sold out all the greatest venues in America. They made films, they made millions. They made a legend. But amidst the dazzling success and the late night laughter, tensions developed between the reserved straight man, Martin, and the manic goon, Lewis. When the duo, who had reinvented the comic double-act, split acrimoniously in 1956 they didn't speak to one another for the next 20 years. This is an intimate memoir of those years of fame and success by one of the only surviving legends of the rat-pack era. Jerry Lewis remembers everything - the casinos, the mobsters, the endless pranks, the cocktails, the women, the meteoric rise to stardom. Here for the first and only time and in his own inimitable, wise-cracking voice he re-lives his days of glory with Dean Martin and gives a frank account of their relationship and break-up. A hilarious ride and heart-breaking, cautionary tale of what fame and fortune can do to love and friendship.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By prisrob TOP 50 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 18 Dec. 2005
Format: Hardcover
The conversations between Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis always began the same:
"Hey Paul, how you doin'"
"How you doin', polly?"
You still don't remember my f****** name?"
The simple fact that these two men started their conversations with silly nicknames says it all about their love for each other.
On Tuesday, July 25, 1956, ten years to the day after their first appearance together at Skinny D'Amato's club in Atlantic City, Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis played their last show together at the Copacabana in New York City. This day forever resounded in the mind of Jerry Lewis, who, along with James Kaplan wrote this book. This is a well written and entertaining read. No excuses are given by Jerry Lewis for the break-up or the mistakes that ensured that these two men would not be able to play together for long term. It is an honest portrayal of two men who, well, really loved each other. Remember the song, "When the moon hits your eye like a bigga' pizza pie, that's Amore?" Essentially, that is what these two men, who worked professionally for ten years, learned and loved about each other. There was the monkey, Jerry Lewis and the suave, romantic, handsome singer, Dean Martin. How these two men, who really had nothing in common came together and made the best comedy team of the century is a story in itself.
Jerry Lewis was a comic, and he met Dean Martin, a crooner on a street curb in New York City. Their managers knew each other and they were introduced. At the time they were playing at the same small club. Jerry Lewis played a trick on Dean as he started his singing act, and Dean gave him that slow take and was grinning, and that was the beginning of the team. They made it big, they made lots of money, and they spent a lot of it.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Peter Devaney on 15 Jan. 2007
Format: Hardcover
Having just finished the book I was forced to admit to myself that for as many years as I care to remember, I had totally misread the dynamic between the two men responsible for one of the most amazing partnerships in showbiz history,

I was always under the impression that it was a pretty lopsided setup and especially toward the end, with the focus being strongly towards Jerry at the detriment of Dean,

Now having read Jerry's book I've been forced to reassess my thinking, clearly many tangible issues were present between these complex individuals, both having clear idea's on how to proceed but with one ultimately deciding that a break up was the only option available where both could continue,

Though it would never have been acknowledged at the time, the break-up clearly had a far greater effect on Jerry than would be expected, the general consensus being that Jerry would go on to major solo success whereas Dean would languish by the wayside and though this seemed likely initially,in the long run Dean would eclipse his ex partner with a string of movie, TV and record successes, not to say that Jerry vanished without trace but in comparison it was obvious who had the greater impact with the public,

In view of this it could be expected that this book would be filled with bitterness and bile, bear in mind that there is no Dean Martin around to actually dispute the issue and so Jerry had carte blanche to write as he pleased, that said what you get is a book clearly written from the heart from a man showing regrets for what happened in the past and what could have been in the future, occasionally the hurt does show and the recriminations manifest themselves in print but even so what comes through is the loss of what could have been,

There can be NO
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Kona TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 15 Sept. 2007
Format: Hardcover
I grew up watching and loving the Martin and Lewis movies, so reading Jerry's account of their ten years together brought back a lot of good memories. From their first chance meeting, Jerry was in awe of the charming Dean, and spent years trying to impress him and feel equal to him. After hectic early years playing night clubs, the duo found huge success in Hollywood, but mutual jealousy and the basic differences in their personalities eventually led to a bitter break-up. Years later, distance and maturity made a reconciliation possible for both.

Jerry speaks of his undying admiration for his partner's showbiz talents and unflappable coolness, yet sadly describes Dean as a man incapable of deep, intimate friendship who was ultimately quite sad and lonely. This is a quick read and a touching tribute to the man Jerry always wished was his big brother.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Mr. A. Whiteside TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 8 Jan. 2008
Format: Hardcover
This book was bought for me as a Christmas present and immediately caught my attention. I have heard a few stories over the years about what a difficult man Jerry Lewis could be to work with so this book surpised me with it's honesty. While you can never be 100% sure that a book of this type tells you the whole truth, Jerry Lewis admits that he has been a pain in the butt at times and also an extremely difficult and awkward performer. So it was with genuine surprise that he constantly talks about his old partner with so much love and respect.

Dean Martin was his partner for ten years until their very public split. At no time does Jerry Lewis completely blame his partner for the split even though they were probably as much to blame as each other. Lewis praises Martin with obvious feeling and the utmost respect and it is with warmth and no soft soaping. He raves about Martin's abilities and states several occassions when other artists commented how great he truly was. Yes,there are times when Lewis goes on about how massive a team they were and how lucky we were to have them, but I guess they really were huge back in the 1940s and 50s.

It must be said that this story is not without sadness. You reel from the blow when Lewis told Martin about the love they had and how it would be a shame to throw it away. When Martin replied that all Lewis was to him was a dollar sign, you can feel the hurt that Lewis still feels to this day. It is also very touching when he discusses the death of Dean Martin's beloved son and how Lewis crept into the back of the church during the funeral so as not to impose on his former partners grief. This part of the book was very well told and seemed totally genuine.

This is a very good read. The narrative does jump about at times and you are only hearing one side of the story. But Jerry Lewis paints a loving portrait of his partner and you feel that he wants the world to know just what he really thought of him. Recommended.
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