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Dino: Living High in the Dirty Business of Dreams Paperback – 4 Oct 1993

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Product details

  • Paperback: 592 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage; New edition edition (4 Oct 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0749398973
  • ISBN-13: 978-0749398972
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 3.2 x 20 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 278,368 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Nick Tosches was born (1949) in Newark, New Jersey, and raised by wolves from the other side. Through nepotism he became a barroom porter at the age of fourteen. Casting this career to the wind in his quest for creative fulfillment, he became a paste-up artist for the Lovable Underwear Company in New York City. On January 12, 1972, he went to lunch and never came back, drifting south to Florida, where, among other things, he worked as a snake-hunter for the Miami Serpentarium. After being bit on the shin one morning, he decided to forsake all further employment, and thus became a writer of poetry and prose.

Critical Acclaim for Nick Tosches:

"...'In the Hand of Dante can be classified as a work of mystery or crime, but the paths to and from its core mystery are far from predictable...'..." - Ian Penman, Guardian Unlimited

"...[Tosches] combines the starkness of Jim Thompson and the grittiness of Charles Bukowski with a highly literate sensibility...Mr. Tosches's powerful writing is often beautiful...." - Wall Street Journal

"...Few writers would even think of this kind of book, much less attempt to write it. And somehow, the sheer audaciousness of Tosches' writing not only blasts through our resistance to suspend disbelief but it also makes most other fiction seem phony by comparison...Tosches is ready to take his place at the front of the class in contemporary American inspired piece of fiction...." - San Francisco Chronicle

"...A splendid, passionate mess, with a moral fervor far exceeding most novels of better grooming...." - Will Blythe, New York Times

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Customer Reviews

3.5 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Cinzia on 3 Dec 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I found this book fairly interesting but felt that the author was reluctant to use the many good tales of Dean Martin's generosity but decided instead to concentrate on all the negativity and even filled up with pages and pages of mafia information, which could have been about 10 pages less! This book is written part factual, part fantasy, which really spoils the book. If it had been written as factual rather than adding imaginary thoughts of how Dean Martin spoke and how he viewed the world, I would have enjoyed this book more. This author never even interviewed or even met Dean Martin yet he imagined he knew what he was thinking?! The bad language and the profanities were totally unnecessary as they weren't quotes from Dean Martin himself, but just the indulgence of the author, which was unnecessary and irrelevant to the book. He also added many Italian words but sometimes forgot to translate, which was incomplete. Also, he added his own opinions at times showing contempt for his subject, not the makings of a good journalist, I'm afraid. At times, the hatred for Frank Sinatra was also very evident. Towards the end of the book, it felt as if the author had given up on his subject and had lost interest finishing the book with Italian prose (without translation). On the whole, Dean Martin doesn't come out of this book too badly as there are many quotes from various people who worked with him and said they found him to be very professional and a wonderfully, warm and generous person without ego (this was often repeated by many people). There are notes at the back of the book with sources of information, a discography, movie section and index which show the depth of research made by the author, which I did find useful and interesting.Read more ›
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By SPECTRE on 5 Mar 2014
Format: Paperback

As a Dean Martin Filmography and Discography (with dates of actual recording sessions,record numbers,etc)and not just details of the contents of albums and records,etc,it's a very good referance book - the biblography and source material referance section is also informative and interesting.
Dean Martin,besides being one of the most handsome men,who was the archetypal tall,dark,handsome,romantic leading man in films and television,etc,was a highly talented singer,actor,comedian,and an all round entertainer who had great charisma.Other objective facts were that he had an amusing "cool,happy-go-lucky,boozing and smoking,wine,women and song" image that the general public rightly loved.And at least some of this image was not just a publicity gimmick,but was a genuine ingredient of his personality - you saw some of this on his television shows when he was being his self. There have been several excellent and accurate biographies on Dean Martin,such as those by Arthur Marx and Michael Freedland and Deana Martin -Dean-Dino's daughter.
And then along comes this so-called biography DINO by this Nick Tosches guy,which objectively reads more like a half fantasy novel and half biography,a large part of which is subjectively written by the author who assumes, inacurrately,the thoughts of Dean Martin.Tosches expects us to believe that Dean Martin was a man who did not give a damn about anything - on the contray for one thing,Dean was most upset about his career after he had the bust-up with Jerry Lewis. Dean was almost down and out,and so was his marriage to Jeanne - he was in tears over both his marriage and career,but both of these were rebuilt.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By wiggypig on 28 April 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If you hold Dean Martin in any regard as a performer, then avoid this book. I wanted to read about Dean Martin's life, but now wish I hadn't bothered, as all I've taken from the book's "scorching" content is an image of a sad drunk who didn't care about himself or anyone else - no "living high" as far as I could tell.
Ridiculous prose, Italian words used without translation on every page and unwieldy sentences - almost every one with an extra bit inserted like this - make it hard work to follow what is going on in this book. The author has clearly done a lot of research, although very little of it includes actually speaking to people close to Dino, and he tries too hard to shove every last fact or vaguely related name-drop into the story. I kept reading in case the narrative suddenly started painting a personal picture of the man, but this never happened. I got a completely different picture of Dean from the mentions he got in George Jacob's memoir of life with Sinatra and I do wonder who knew him better? Not a nice read in either content or style.
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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Paula Lees on 13 Feb 2002
Format: Paperback
Absolutely fantastic! A must read book for everyone who has heard of Dean Martin (and let's face it there can't be many people who haven't). Think you may know all there is about Dean and the Rat Pack?, then think again after reading this book. Mr Sinatra, big chief with the Mafia? think again. Dean had just as much power if not more. It takes you right back to the very beginnings, through the adventures, the Rat Pack Years and towards his eventual reclusiveness. (Oh, did I forget about the broads and the booze!!!)
A real stunner of a story which you must read soon. Buy this book now.
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