Bestselling author James Kaplan redefines Frank Sinatra in a triumphant new biography that includes many rarely seen photographs.
Frank Sinatra was the best-known entertainer of the twentieth century—infinitely charismatic, lionized and notorious in equal measure. But despite his mammoth fame, Sinatra the man has remained an enigma. As Bob Spitz did with the Beatles, Tina Brown for Diana, and Peter Guralnick for Elvis, James Kaplan goes behind the legend and hype to bring alive a force that changed popular culture in fundamental ways.
Sinatra endowed the songs he sang with the explosive conflict of his own personality. He also made the very act of listening to pop music a more personal experience than it had ever been. In Frank: The Voice, Kaplan reveals how he did it, bringing deeper insight than ever before to the complex psyche and turbulent life behind that incomparable vocal instrument. We relive the years 1915 to 1954 in glistening detail, experiencing as if for the first time Sinatra’s journey from the streets of Hoboken, his fall from the apex of celebrity, and his Oscar-winning return in From Here to Eternity. Here at last is the biographer who makes the reader feel what it was really like to be Frank Sinatra—as man, as musician, as tortured genius.
From the Hardcover edition.
About the Author
James Kaplan is a novelist and nonfiction writer whose essays, reviews, and profiles have appeared in The New Yorker, the New York Times Magazine, Vanity Fair, Esquire, and New York. He coauthored John McEnroe’s autobiography, You Cannot Be Serious, a number-one New York Times bestseller, and coauthored the bestselling Dean & Me with Jerry Lewis. He lives in Westchester, New York, with his wife and three sons.
Praise for Frank…
“A biography that reads like a novel. . . . Kaplan does a nimble, brightly evocative job of tracing the development of Sinatra’s art, and his remarkable rise and fall and rise again.” —Michiko Kakutani, “Top 10 Books of 2010,” The New York Times
“Fascinating, superbly written. . . . Whatever you think of Ol’ Blue Eyes, he led an incredible life, and his adventures make great reading. This book is biography at its best.” —The Dallas Morning News
“Marvelously thoughtful. . . . A propulsive narrative that never flags.” —Los Angeles Times
“Jim Kaplan’s great gift is his own voice, in peak form—stylish, seductive, and richly resonant—that stands up to Sinatra’s powerful baritone. This is a perceptive, passionate biography.” —Bob Spitz, author of The Beatles
“Just when you think you know all the stories . . . along comes James Kaplan’s Frank to tell us more. . . . Sinatra lovers will be enthralled.” —O, The Oprah Magazine
“[Readers] will be carried along by the undeniable pleasure of reading Kaplan’s page-after-page-turner, dense with details of long-forgotten trysts and tiffs, career and emotional highs and lows, movie- and record-business shenanigans. . . . A classic.” —San Francisco Chronicle
“Monumental. . . . Nobody has spun the old yarns with the raconteur’s touch and attitude that Mr. Kaplan brings to the job. . . . Illuminates the incredible-but-true origins of a 20th-century phenomenon.” —The Wall Street Journal
“Riveting. . . . The book does music history a huge favor by reminding us that from his days with Tommy Dorsey to the twilight of his Columbia years, Sinatra was a singularly incandescent vocal phenomenon.” —Stephen Holden, The New York Times
“This is biography at its very best—the story of a fascinating character brought to life as never before through superb writing, impeccable research and penetrating insight. It is a terrific book.” —Doris Kearns Goodwin, author of Team of Rivals
“With its neat dramatic arc, Frank: The Voice could be the template for the ultimate Sinatra biopic.” —Newsday
“The answer to ‘what is there left to say about Sinatra’ is staggeringly answered in James Kaplan’s new book. This story has never been told with such incisiveness, care, research and respect. With so many new revelations, you might never really know who Frank Sinatra is until you read this book.” —Michael Feinstein
“Kaplan is skilled at painting a scene, and he turns readers into ‘flies on the wall.’ . . . The music comes alive.” —The Seattle Times
“James Kaplan succeeds not just in bringing Frank Sinatra alive in all his complexity, but in revealing in detail how he consciously, deliberately, and painstakingly transformed himself into a triumphantly successful entertainer and a national icon.” —Michael Korda, author of Ike
“A very enjoyable book that will surely enthrall Sinatra’s most serious fans. But it will also attract a whole new generation who will understand how the man who drove Bobbysoxers to the heights of emotional intensity became the sound that most likely will be considered the most important marker for the postwar era and the beginnings of the pop music phenomenon.” —Bookreporter.com
“Sinatra was to 20th Century stagecraft what Churchill was to statecraft: the towering presence of the age. In this lyrical narrative, suffused with a mastery of popular culture, Frank is back—this time as a major figure in American history.” —Jonathan Alter, author of The Promise: President Obama, Year One
“At every step of the journey, Kaplan does a good job of capturing what he feels is Sinatra’s fragile ego, contradictory impulses, and—when possible—separating fact from fiction.” —The Christian Science Monitor
“At long last, we have a biography of Sinatra worthy of the man . . . a pop innovator whose influence remains incalculable, whose art remains undiminished. James Kaplan tells this story with the authority of a writer who inhabits his subject from deep inside. The pages fly by on the wings of song.” —Gary Giddins, author of Bing Crosby: A Pocketful of Dreams and Warning Shadows