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Martini Man: The Life of Dean Martin [Kindle Edition]

William Schoell
2.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Martini Man goes beyond the simple caricature of the boozy lounge singer with a penchant for racy humor to reveal the substantive man behind that mask. Although Martin's movie roles receive in-depth attention in this incisive biography, as does his career-defining partnership with Jerry Lewis, details of Dino's personal life also abound, such as how Shierly MacLaine dropped by his house "to tell Dean she was in love with him-even though his wife was in the other room." William Schoell's chronicle is a sympathetic portrait that recreates the life and times of one of America's favorite entertainers.

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... an engaging book ... San Antonio Express-News ... this whirlwind bio takes Martin out from the shadows of Jerry Lewis and the Sinatra-led Rat Pack and puts the popular crooner, film actor, comedian and TV personality center-stage. Publishers Weekly Schoell pleasantly recalls rodent number two in the Sinatra Rat Pack. Booklist Schoell has done a masterful job of capturing the true Dean Martin -- John Austin Dino fans will lap it up. Film Review

About the Author

William Schoell, co-author (with Lawrence J. Quirk) of The Rat Pack: The Hey-Hey Days of Frank and the Boys, lives in New York.

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Customer Reviews

2.7 out of 5 stars
2.7 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Very disappointing 12 April 2000
By A Customer
Expecting a book that would open up the Dean Martin that we'd like to know about, it was a huge disappointment to find that Martini Man is little more than an overlong filmography. If that is what you are after then this is the book for you, but it wasn't what I had hoped for.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good perspective of Dean Martin movies 21 Oct. 2003
This book may be unsatisfactory to the ones who seek a careful examination of Dean Martin's recording career, but for the ones who have a deep interest in is movies this is a very good book. Full of interesting details about the movies in witch Dean starred, this is a valuable book for amateur movie historians, or Dean Martin fans. Let's not forget that his movie career was as importantant to the Dean Martin legend as his recordings.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars interesting 8 Jan. 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
gives an insight into "martini man" that I didn't know much about, his early career, and why he and Jerry Lewis eventually split as there had been a lot of speculation on that subject
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 3.5 out of 5 stars  29 reviews
32 of 33 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Ain't That a Kick in the Head? 27 Feb. 2000
By - Published on
Okay, perfect, but I liked it much more than I disliked it, and here's why: The information was presented in a palatable, consistent manner. For example, the development of the Jerry Lewis partnership seemed reasonable in light of the aloof, distant qualities that Martin demonstrated from his early days 'til the end, and the interviews with Lewis, himself, seem to support the author's view. The glimpses into his personal life seem grounded in facts and substantiated by ex-wives and others who reinforce the insights. While the entire book was heavy on movie details, no apologies are really necessary since the accompanying musical information was appropriate and useful (if not equal to the film info.) The often understated details of the television program seem reasonable given Martin's apparent lack of interest in the medium (devoting roughly one day a week to a TV show represents a moderate--if not minimal--effort.) And when it's all said and done, the picture that Schoell paints of a charasmatic, easy-going talent who preferred a "night in" versus a "night out" sits just fine with me. I feel like I've seen an even, fair, and unbiased portrayal of an imperfect man's imperfect life. It was certainly worth my time.
21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars not bad...but 17 Dec. 1999
By A Customer - Published on
This book isn't bad, but the great biography of Dean Martin is still to be written. Nonetheless, this book is a vast improvement over Nick Tosches' "Dino." While Tosches elected to write the fluffy, tabloid nonsense version of Martin's story, this is at least a traditional biography. Other reviewers are correct that entirely too much time is spent on Martin's films; much more detail should have been spent on his singing. In particular, I would like to see a biographer discuss the divide between Martin's earlier hits and his later ones. It seems to me that there is a lot to be said about the traditional tunes, such as "Memories Are Made of This" and "I'd Cry Like A Baby" and later ones, such as "One Cup of Happiness" and "Lay Some Happiness on Me." These later songs come long after the high tide of the Rat Pack (circa 1966). While Martin's life certainly is complicated, and he was a purposeful enigma, I think a biographer can do better than exhaustively discussing "Irma La Duce."ÿ
15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars From on Dino fan to another.... 16 April 2001
By Bradley Cunningham - Published on
This book was pretty good. But it spent way too much time talking about his movies. It did fill me on on a few of the facts that I did'nt know, like Dean's arrest for having a gun in his car. He was for sure the best entertainer that ever walked the earth because he did'nt really do anything but be himself and get paid for it. I bet everyone would like to be able to do that for a living. What a cool guy he was. The stars today or really lacking, and it is sad that there will never really be anymore superstars like Dean Martin, how can you top his act? It had everything! Wine, women, song, films, TV, and he did it all by just not giving a crap and doing what he wanted. I really loved the stories about how he got by in the lean years before he made it big. He really was just a normal blue collar guy at heart, and probibly would have been just as happy if he continued to deal blackjack in some backroom the rest of his life. We miss you Dean, I hope you are knocking them dean in that big La$ Vega$ in the sky .
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars How's Your Bird? 14 Dec. 1999
By Paul Fiddler - Published on
This is a nice, level-headed biography of the man and his work. It's short on fluff and long on detail. A bit too much attention, though, is paid to the movies, especially the terrible ones. All in all, a terrific character study. You'll learn a lot.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A straightforwardly presented life story 7 Mar. 2004
By Midwest Book Review - Published on
Superbly written by William Schoell (the co-author of "The Rat Pack"), Martini Man: The Life Of Dean Martin is an informed and informative biography of the famous celebrity and entertainment legend Dean Martin (1917-1995). One result of this authoritative biography is to dispel the public image of Dean Martin as a ladies' man and hard drinker who casually used and tossed aside comrades, colleagues, associates, and ladyfriends alike. Martini Man also defends Dean Martin's memory against allegations that he was a "Mafia singer" claiming that Martin's contact with gangsters was inevitable and unavoidable as they owned the best clubs and most popular casinos of the day. Martini Man is an upbeat, detailed, thoroughly researched, and straightforwardly presented life story that is a "must read" for the dedicated legions of Dean Martin's fans.
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