8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on 19 February 2005
What a tale Engelbert has to tell, and how entertaining is the way he tells it; it's been a life full of twists and turns, and he writes it all, with all the bumps and bruises along the way.
From his childhood in Madras, India, where he lived through the violence of pre-Independence terrorism, to the many hardships of trying to make it as a singer, which were made that much tougher by the ever-present "couch-casting" that went on, a form of getting ahead that he would not participate in...and its prevalence explains why many of the untalented seem to "make it", if only for a season, while some of the really gifted have a rough time getting noticed.
Engelbert's rise to stardom was meteoric, with the single song of "Release Me" in 1967, and he went from living in a sparsely furnished flat into the lap of luxury, and all the pitfalls that come with fame and fortune.
Through it all, he has had Patricia, or Popea, as he calls her, with him since the early days. Beautiful as well as intelligent and strong, she's been the one that has kept the family of 3 boys and one girl (the stunning and talented Louise Dorsey) together, and "stood by her man" through thick and thin. Popea writes a portion of Chapter Fifteen with gritty honesty, and explains how, and why, she withstood the many women, the paternity suits, and all the paparazzi that hounded them through those many years of notoriety.
The women, as Engelbert explains, were an "occupational hazard", certainly not helped by his years of lonely nights and hard drinking on the road, and the many females who would make themselves exceedingly available.
Engelbert comes off as an extremely complex individual, but very likeable. A perfectionist in his work, living life to the fullest, and discovering in his later years that he has the gift of healing; this assertion I believe, as I find that the sound of his voice can have curative effects.
There are portions that are laugh-out-loud funny (like the UFO story in Chapter Seventeen), and adding to the charm of his writing style is some of the "Brit-speak" slang, with expressions like the now rarely heard "grotty" (a favorite word of mine coined by George Harrison in the '60s).
The book has two sections of photographs, from the age of 17 on. Favorites of mine are the one with Muhammad Ali, and a lovely family shot taken by the pool in one of their USA homes, affectionately named "The Pink Palace".
The final 12 pages are devoted to a UK discography, and include chart positions.
This is fast reading, and riveting, so walk the dog, feed the cat, turn off the telephone, and make yourself a big cuppa, because once you open this book, its going to be very hard to put down.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on 30 October 2004
I received my copy of Engelbert: What's In A Name? - The Autobiography.........yesterday, and have already read it from cover to cover. It is a very well written, forthright, honest and revealing portrayal of the trials and tribulations of one of the worlds best entertainers.
Engelbert shares with his readers, the brutal competition one must face, trying to make their mark in the world of show business. It is a story that brings tears to ones eyes, but at the same time there is much humor, as he tells of pranks,jokes and tricks played on each other, as all involved try to get through the frustrating periods of hurry up and wait! It is a love story that remained constant, no matter what hurdle appeared on the path of life.I recommend it highly, not just for fans of Engelbert and his Music, but for all who share the love of the entertainment world. I thank the publisher, the woman who assisted in setting up the format, Amazon Books, for getting my copy in the mail so quickly, and certainly, last but not least, Engelbert and his family for allowing all of us to have an inside peek as he struggled to reach that seemingly unreachable star.....and he did it his way!