Good on character poor on career analysis.,
This review is from: Dino: Living High in the Dirty Business of Dreams (Paperback)
This book is written with a style similar to a James Elroy novel, which means you need effort to extract the essence. You also need to understand the scattering of obscenities is part of the lifestyle rendering.
Very strong on research, particularly on the early life associates. It gives a very believable reading of a talented, handsome, affable man who suffered chronic and overwhelming ennui throughout his life. This was coupled with an inability to turn anything down as long as it did not confict with his sense of isolation. Anyone who got to know him to well was stealing his soul.
At the end of the book I felt I had a good understanding of Dean's character but little understanding of what made him so successful. Success must have been more than luck. especially for a man who it seemed did not like audiences but could not quite get round to telling them.
I would not have paid to see him sing and have only ever bought his music as part of mixed albums (with Sinatra and Davis), but his musical renditions have lasted and he must tie with Louis Armstrong for use of his songs in adverts and to set the scene in 50s & 60s based film and TV dramas.
The contrast with Sinatra is well brought out in character, though not in performance style.
You get the impression at a party Sinatra's accolytes would be in awe and some fear but Martin's would be having fun.
The contrast in singing styles one who at his best sounded like he meant it the other who always sounded like he did not care, is just about covered but Martin's fast wit is given little airing.
If you are looking for what made Martin a great performer you will not really be wiser. If you are interested in why Dean Martin's life was like it was, pretty good.