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by Pete Hamill

One of the first books about Sinatra published after his death and also one of the most prestigious, since the author was a personal friend of the artist and a candidate chosen by him to write his biography, something that unfortunately never happened.

The book had its origins after Pete Hamill learned the news of Frank’s death at an airport. Observing how a good part of the travelers temporarily stopped their movement to pay attention to the information given by the news on the television screens in the terminal made Hamill wonder why THE VOICE was still so important to so many people despite of the time elapsed.

Pete responded to himself and to the millions of people who flew on the back of the Hoboken singer’s songs with this short but affectionate work in which, throughout six chapters (baptized with the titles of Frank’s songs) and little More than 180 pages outlines a portrait using mainly the personal circumstances that surrounded the man during his growth as the son of immigrants in a land that welcomed all those who wanted to take their part in the American dream, but were still viewed with resentment.

Delving into Sinatra’s life story, Hamill aims to explain or justify the lights and shadows of the character without stopping, normally, in judgments. Although it is a well-written work – with some memorable paragraphs – and respectful that helps complete our vision of the idol, it is somewhat disappointing that having been so close to Frank he does not expand more on his professional side; He even addresses the subject in a superficial way, something incomprehensible in any profile of an artist. It feels like it was written in a hurry to benefit from the commotion created by Frank’s disappearance; Regarding the few opinions he expresses about Sinatra’s art, I can say that I disagree with his assessment of the cinematographic aspect and the work of Gordon Jenkins, but it is his vision and deserves respect.

I think this is a book for Sinatra completists and not for a general audience since it does not offer anything relevant compared to other existing works. I am aware that this is not a fair assessment since, as I said at the beginning, it was one of the books that most immediately followed Frank’s death.

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