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Why Sinatra Matters (English Edition) [Format Kindle]

Pete Hamill

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Descriptions du produit

Revue de presse

"The most intimate and thoughtful eulogy for 'the Voice'....It leaves you wanting to listen again to Sinatra's best songs."―Entertainment Weekly

"As succinct and laconically classy as its title."
Adam Woog, Seattle Times

"Hamill's illuminations are considerable without ever stooping to facile psychologizing....He does a better job of placing Sinatra's saga in a social and political context than any of his biographers have....Why Sinatra Matters is most valuable in its explication of how Sinatra came to formulate a musical style that was a sound track to urban American life."
Dan DeLuca, Philadelphia Inquirer

"A graceful reminiscence of Sinatra after hours serves as the frame for shrewd reflections on the singer's art, his personality, his audience, and--most interesting--his ethnicity, a subject about which Hamill, against all odds, contrives to say fresh and persuasive things."
Terry Teachout, New York Times Book Review

"A brief but eloquent homage....Hamill succeeds--convincingly, with natty aplomb--in explaining why Sinatra, even now, matters."
Tom Chaffin, LA Weekly

Présentation de l'éditeur

In this unique homage to an American icon, journalist and award-winning author Pete Hamill evokes the essence of Sinatra--examining his art and his legend from the inside, as only a friend of many years could do. Shaped by Prohibition, the Depression, and war, Francis Albert Sinatra became the troubadour of urban loneliness. With his songs, he enabled millions of others to tell their own stories, providing an entire generation with a sense of tradition and pride belonging distinctly to them.

Détails sur le produit

  • Format : Format Kindle
  • Taille du fichier : 5889 KB
  • Nombre de pages de l'édition imprimée : 189 pages
  • Pagination - ISBN de l'édition imprimée de référence : 0316347965
  • Editeur : Back Bay Books (28 février 2009)
  • Vendu par : Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Langue : Anglais
  • Synthèse vocale : Activée
  • X-Ray :
  • Word Wise: Activé
  • Composition améliorée: Activé
  • Classement des meilleures ventes d'Amazon: n°538.482 dans la Boutique Kindle (Voir le Top 100 dans la Boutique Kindle)
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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.3 étoiles sur 5  70 commentaires
39 internautes sur 39 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 There will never be another... 16 mai 2004
Par JR Pinto - Publié sur Amazon.com
I only saw my hero, Frank Sinatra, perform once. It was at the end of his career - and his life. It was a strange evening; he was obviously at the end - he couldn't remember the words to his songs or read the teleprompter. Few people left however - the evening soon became about us - his fans - letting him know that we still loved him. "I LOVE YOU FRANK!" a huge, middle-aged, rough-looking man yelled out during a pause. Sinatra, taken aback by the violence of the outburst, chuckled and replied, "I love you too, pal." As Pete Hamill once pointed out, "Seeing Sinatra in ruins is like seeing the Coliseum in ruins - it's still magnificent."
Why Sinatra Matters is a must-read for any Sinatra-phile. In the Overture, Hamill cites Sinatra's death as the impetus for writing this book. He saw all these young reporters from MTV and VH1 doing stories on Sinatra (obviously prepared in advance) telling the world Sinatra was important, without really understanding why. It certainly wasn't just because he did it "his way."
This is a very short book. As Hamill points out it is not a "definitive biography" - although once he was in talks with Sinatra to write just that. It is, as the title plainly states, an explanation of why Sinatra matters - artistically and culturally - and why he always will. In terms of Culture, Hamill reminds the reader of a time when America felt it was morally obligated to persecute Italians - Sinatra helped change all that. Musically, the reasons are more complex. To put it succinctly, no one ever sounded like Sinatra before.
The book is great because it also sheds light on Sinatra the man, who is often lost in the obscurity of his own public image. He was not just some gruff tough guy - a kind of idiot savant who could churn out a great recording in one take. He was a fiercely intelligent, well-read, well-cultured, self-educated man who worked hard at his craft. The most enjoyable parts of the book are the conversations Hamill recounts between himself and Sinatra. Most shocking of all - to me at least - was to imagine Sinatra using the F-word!
28 internautes sur 28 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 A wonderful read--like an old song 18 février 2002
Par Robert Wellen - Publié sur Amazon.com
Pete Hamill, beyond a doubt, is an excellent writer. He does a wonderful job here. The book is part bio, part history of immigrants in America, and part memoir. It works on all levels. Hamill treats Frank with the respect he deserves. The book is not a gossipy memoir--Kitty Kelly fans should look elsewhere. Instead, he makes the important arguement that Sinatra gave voice to first, a generation, and then an entire country. His artisty is what matters. The myth of the man is fun and gets most the attention, but that is besides the point for Hamill. And he is right. We all talk about the "Sinatra in a hat" (as Hamill dubs him) and the Rat Pack--but the music endures. It is, argues Hamill, what matters in the Wee Small Hours of the Morning. It is what will stand the test of time and give voice to a thousand broken dreams, hearts, and help us--like Frank after the Fall--get back up and start all over again. Thanks, Pete Hamill for getting it right.
23 internautes sur 23 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 THE MOST LUCID, INTELLIGENT LOOK AT THE LEGEND 8 octobre 1998
Par Un client - Publié sur Amazon.com
I am the eleventh of twelve kids. I am 42, and come out of Brooklyn. I have walked the streets of Hoboken. It reminds me of Bay Ridge, but the Statue of Liberty is facing the other way, and the Twin Towers are so big and close. My father had a bar in Brooklyn: a place that catered to the lonely: longshoreman who didn't want to go home for whatever reasons, older women who were jilted by the latest bum. They drank, a concordat of losers. In silence, they smoked unfiltered cigarettes and listened to that guy on the jukebox. The guy who really felt their pain, decades before it became some rank political joke. The voice was Frank Sinatra's, and he was my hero since I could walk. Pete Hamill, whom I've been reading for over twenty-five years, has the lapidary's eye, the poet's words, in his brilliant analysis of Sinatra the man, and what his essence really meant. Speaking of Sinatra after his death, Hamill writes: "Now Sinatra is gone, taking with him all his anger, cruelty, generosity, and personal style. The music remains. In times to come, that music will continue to matter, whatever happens to our evolving popular culture. The world of my grand-children will not listen to Sinatra in the way four generations of Americans have listened to him. But high art always survives. Long after his death, Charlie Parker still plays his version of the urban blues, Billie Hoilday still whispers her anguish. Mozart still erupts in joy.....In their ultimate triumph over the banality of death, such artists continue to matter. So will Frank Sinatra." This slim volume is the best thing I've read about Sinatra. Hamill hides no blemishes, and still gives us a totality of the man that no other biographer could. Alas, most great singers and writers now repose on the other side of the grass. We no longer have Sinatra in the flesh, yet, through his music, he will outlive everyone. And in the year 2067, a young adult will listen to the unparalleled majesty of his voice for the first time, and then go to the library to read WHY SINATRA MATTERS by Pete Hamill to make some sense of it all. KEVIN FARRELL
20 internautes sur 20 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 It's marvelous, Baby 19 octobre 2000
Par Boffin - Publié sur Amazon.com
When Frankie died, I felt I had lost an uncle. Not the uncle you hear from when misfortune occurs or fortunes are won. No, the kind of uncle who is there like a guardian angel, guiding and protecting you. For me, Frank Sinatra was my American Uncle, symbolizing the rich, great country I always heard about and envisioned through his music. I remember first hearing him while being tossed toward the ceiling by my real uncle, on a wet, stormy day in Australia. I had never heard a voice like that before, and after I slammed into the ceiling, and the family stood around waiting for me to cry, I simply sat, dazed, still listening to this new magnetic voice. I didn't know it at the time, but I was listening to America. Hamill's book returned me to that never-fogotten afternoon. For Hamill, in his elegant spot-on prose, doesn't just write about Frank, he writes about a country which changed the world. When he states that Crosby was America's Husband, while Sinatra was America's Lover, he hits it right on the head. Hamill writes what I've always wanted to say, about Frank, his times, and the world which Ol Blue Eyes helped to change. From its cover art to its last sentence, this is one elegant piece of work. I'd never read any of Hamill's work before, but now I have a new treasure to uncover, if any of his other offerings come close to this. As Frank would say, "It's marvelous, baby."
39 internautes sur 45 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 The man who owned loneliness 14 août 2000
Par Theodore A. Rushton - Publié sur Amazon.com
It is enough to say "Sinatra," any literate American knows that means only Frank Sinatra -- the singer, draft-dodger, actor, bully, womanizer, Mafia star, founder of the old Hollywood Rat Pack and the Chairman of the Bored.
In this loving portrait, Hamill explains Sinatra as an American icon. In so doing, he explains a lot about the values of the United States; this isn't a country where you become an "American" by getting off the boat or, in today's terms, wading across a river. Several factors are involved; starting with basic talent, then a single-minded ability to work hard, plus an instinct for self-publicity, and finally that most American of all characteristics -- redemption, the ability to rise above defeat and start over.
Sinatra is the only major star of the 1940's who remained popular into the 1980's and whose music has rarely been matched. The entertainment world has a voracious appetite for fresh young talent; for most, the formula for lasting success was nicely summed up in the 1949 film `Knock on Any Door' when Johnny Romano says, "Live fast, die young, and have a good-looking corpse." Sinatra tried and failed to get the part of Romano in the film, it went to John Derek. John who?
Sinatra matters because he represents the American faith in redemption. He became the top vocalist in the early 1940's, was washed up by the end of the decade; then worked his way back to respectability and a roller coaster career. His story is as current as the year 2000, and Hamill's version of it will remain popular for years to come.
It's the story of pride; in Sinatra's youth, the Italians were regarded with less favor than illegal Mexican immigrants today. Rosemary Clooney had a hit with "C'mon-a my house," which embarrassed Sinatra and made many Italians wince; Sinatra mastered the delicate intricacies of English pronunciation which enabled him to add subtle yet commanding enhancements. He wasn't simply a crooner, there were hundreds of those when he began his career in the late 1930's. He worked exceedingly hard to create a sound and mood that still defines the loneliness of a long empty night.
Hamill brings out the character of Sinatra that made him a success. He ignores his dark alter ego, the "evil twin" that contributed nothing to the legend. This isn't a biography, although it covers much of Sinatra's life; the focus is on his success, then his redemption. For that reason, it's a better book than most biographies; instead of dates and places, Hamill explains what made Sinatra so popular.
How else do you explain a kid who was a high school dropout, but who recorded hundreds of songs that had more impact than any diploma? It's why he was finally awarded an honorary doctorate from a college; success wasn't in following the old rules, it was a triumph over the odds.
After reading "Why Sinatra Matters," it's easy to understand the success and intense hatred generated by two modern politicians -- Richard Nixon and Bill Clinton. Like Sinatra, both men were "born again" in terms of reviving their careers. Nixon came back as the "New Nixon" in 1968; and, in 1992, Hillary saved Bill's political career by going before the nation to forgive his amorous past.
"Most Americans love stories of redemption, of course, but men identify more often with the tale of the hero, the man who comes back wearing the scars of battle, harder and wiser than when he left," Hamill writes. That sums up Sinatra's career; and, in some ways, the redemption of Nixon and Clinton. Both politicians reverted to their old ways, a failing Americans cannot forgive.
Sinatra was an honored guest at Nixon's second inaugural. After Watergate, he said of Nixon, "You think some people are smart, and they turn out dumb. You think they're straight, they turn out crooked." I shudder to think would he would have said about Clinton.
It nicely sums up Sinatra. In understanding him, you learn a lot about America.
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