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Joe DiMaggio: The Long Vigil

3.42 of 5 stars 3.42  ·  rating details  ·  43 ratings  ·  16 reviews
As the New York Yankees' star centerfielder from 1936 to 1951, Joe DiMaggio is enshrined in America's memory as the epitome in sports of grace, dignity, and that ineffable quality called "class." But his career after retirement, starting with his nine-month marriage to Marilyn Monroe, was far less auspicious. Writers like Gay Talese and Richard Ben Cramer have painted the ...more
Hardcover, 192 pages
Published March 8th 2011 by Yale University Press
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This is not so much a biography as an exploration of DiMaggio as American icon. As a fan of Marilyn Monroe, I have always wanted to learn more about Joe's life. Being English, baseball is foreign territory for me (but then, so is football.) I enjoyed Charyn's portrait of Joe in his athletic prime and his own memories of childhood as a baseball fan in NY. The relationship with Marilyn was described almost as a dark fairy-tale. There were a few points I disagreed with - for example, I'm not convin ...more
I'm going to be up front about this: I did not finish Joe DiMaggio. I meant to. Really. I just couldn't get into it. Which is not to say that the book itself is not a good one. It's incredibly well-researched, and Jerome Charyn is a skilled writer and biographer. Rather than simply regurgitating well-known (or even little-known) facts, Charyn inserts his own take on events where appropriate. He draws on myriad sources, quoting heavily when necessary and breezing through details when fitting. The ...more
Lenore Webb
Are there days you daydream? Your mind wondering around looking to escape? Well I have been in that state the last few days. Did you miss me? I know you wonder where I have been or up to. Well I was living the life of a star. Well in my head at least.

You see, I was lost in my daydreams, associating with Jolting Joe and America's Sexiest Woman. I finally have taken the book, The Long Vigil, away from Dear Hubby. He had been hogging it. And now I am getting to float through it myself. Jerome Char
The Sunday Book Review
Want to know about DiMaggio after he left baseball? This book will shed light on what his life was like and how others around him adjusted. Here we get an inside view to his sad marriage to Marilyn Monroe. What looked like the dream marriage to outsiders was a tormented and often lonely life. Which person would he wake up to: Marilyn or Norma Jean?

So often when we hear the name DiMaggio we picture him at his height in popularity in baseball. We tend to forget the man he was after he left and how

I love the picture on the cover. The photographer captured a moment in time where DiMaggio seems almost content and happy with his second wife, Marilyn Monroe.

Plot/Main Character

Watching baseball is one of my favorite pasttimes. To get to know more about one of the greatest players, Joe DiMaggio, was a bonus for me.

Jerome Charyn has given readers a glimpse into the emotionally reclusive life of the Dago. I almost feel sorry for him. But then I think, "How much of the reclusiveness could he
Article first published as Book Review: Joe DiMaggio: The Long Vigil by Jerome Charyn on Blogcritics.

Accessing the moments and memories of a bygone era and a time of spectacular achievements, Jerome Charyn has delved into the mystery of Joe DiMaggio and brought him to life. In Joe DiMaggio The Long Vigil, we follow Joe from his beginnings, to his fame in baseball, into his two marriages and then on to his decline. And through it all, we begin to get a picture of the man behind the legend.

He was
Donald Crane
More Charyn's personal remembrance of DiMaggio than a biography. My initial reaction was negative because it seemed as though most of the factual material was taken from other works rather than from original source materials; after I abandoned the notion that this was a biography, I accepted it for what it was.

Charyn paints a picture of an exquisite, almost balletic, ballplayer whose only venue of comfort was center field and on a baseball field. He was painfully shy, antisocial, aloof, and recl
Joe DiMaggio: The Long Vigil is one of the best baseball books I've read in some time and is certainly one of the best sports biographies of our time, though it's really more of a character study than a biography. Jerome Charyn is very passionate about his subject and paints a portrait of Joltin' Joe as only a true fan and student of the game could. Charyn portrays Joe as a complex and heavily burdened man who becomes the best there is at what he does, whose life has no meaning without baseball, ...more
Charyn, who worshipped DiMaggio as a boy, wrote this as a corrective to Richard Ben Cramer's biography, "Joe DiMaggio: A Hero's Life." But whereas Cramer's bio portrays DiMaggio as being cold and narcissistic, Charyn's book just makes him look pathetic.

DiMaggio was clearly only comfortable on the baseball diamond and was kind of an empty suit off of it. Charyn states that Joe needed a cue card in order to pronounce his own name while doing TV work and I almost believe him. Joe D. did find love,
Part of Yale's American Icon series, Charyn's sad, often even depressing, well written portrait of the inner life of one of The Game's greats portrays a man who lived in only two places, at the ballpark and in his love for Monroe, whose star was rising as his was descending. Very revealing, quite at odds with most of the written work on Jolting Joe, with lots of insight and information on baseball that should appeal to the fan or anyone who would like an intimate look at the flip side of an Amer ...more
Aly Baiter
Something was missing...maybe a bit of flatness. Perhaps, it was a mirror to Joe DiMaggio, himself. He's not a man, even on reflection, you can embrace. Interesting...despite how your left w/o depth of man or character, throughout the book (growing as you continue): man, I wish I could've seen DiMaggio play.
An aboslutely fascinating read and I do not even follow sports. My full review may be read on my book review blog Rundpinne.
This was a nice look into Joe's life after he left the Yankees. It was a little Marilyn heavy, but I have no doubt that his love for her made him behave the way he did later in life. He was truly a tortured soul whose one true place in life was center field.
Michelle Vasquez
Please read my full review of this book here:

I did not know how sad this great player was. How lonesome, how alone and all by his own choice.
Candace Elizabeth
Candace Elizabeth marked it as to-read
Aug 20, 2014
Sharon L. Sherman
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Jerome Charyn has been teaching film for the past fourteen years at the American University of Paris. His novel, The Green Lantern, was a finalist for the PEN/Faulkner Award and he has also received the Rosenthal Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. In Charyn's forthcoming book, I Am Abraham: A Novel of Lincoln and the Civil War, Lincoln himself narrates the story that deftly blend ...more
More about Jerome Charyn...
The Secret Life of Emily Dickinson Johnny One-Eye: A Tale of the American Revolution I Am Abraham: A Novel of Lincoln and the Civil War Blue Eyes (Isaac Quartet, #1) Gangsters and Gold Diggers: Old New York, the Jazz Age, and the Birth of Broadway

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