His Way: The Unauthorized Biography of Frank Sinatra
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His Way: The Unauthorized Biography of Frank Sinatra

3.51 of 5 stars 3.51  ·  rating details  ·  863 ratings  ·  57 reviews
This is the book Frank Sinatra failed to stop,the unauthorized biography of one of the mostelusive public figures of our time. Celebratedjournalist Kitty Kelley spent three years researchinggovernment documents (Mafia-related material, wiretapsand secret testimony) and interviewing more than800 people in Sinatra's life (family, colleagues,law-enforcement officers, personal...more
Hardcover, 575 pages
Published September 1st 1986 by Bantam Books (first published 1983)
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Feb 28, 2014 Jeff rated it 1 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Masochists
Recommended to Jeff by: Thankfully, no one
Shelves: non-fiction, music
I read it so you don’t have to.

Yeah, this is another celebrity behaving (very) badly biography. It seems that Kitty Kelley had an axe to grind when she wrote this book. There’s very little here that reflects on Sinatra in a positive light. It’s one unpleasant story after another about Sinatra acting horribly. The ironic thing is that Kelley’s flat, toneless style barely makes any of this even remotely compelling.

There is barely any discussion or scholarship about what Sinatra will ultimately be...more
I suppose if you grew up with Sinatra, the way our parents did, a great deal of it would be familiar; as it is, I knew the broad outlines. Oddly, though, a reader unfamiliar with Sinatra could read this doorstop and come away with no idea of why the thug the book chronicles is of any interest at all. Kelly spends more time on the (mostly terrible) movies that Sinatra was in than on any aspect of his music-- and gives as much attention to tripe like "The Naked Runner" or "Von Ryan's Express" as t...more
Diane C.
Kitty Kelley is seen as a muckracker, trying to bring the mighty down to size and embarrass them. On the contrary.....after reading her books about Jackie O., Frank Sinatra, Nancy Reagan and the Bush family, I found a greater understanding of them as situated in the human condition we all share, no matter how much I might still disagree with their choices.
Kathie H
Aug 22, 2007 Kathie H rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: "Adults"
Although I adore Frank Sinatra's music, I felt physically ill reading about his life. This seems to be a meticulously researched book.
Riana Elizabeth
This took me a loooooong time to finish (over a month). First off, if I had been paying attention (read this in ebook form), I probably wouldn't have started a 650 page biography while trying to complete GoodReads 2013 Reading Challenge. Second, while well-researched, Kitty Kelley's book doesn't flow well. Facts are laid out in a dry manner, and even salacious gossip reads as boring. Third, Kelley is writing with an obvious bias. Sinatra sued when he heard of Kelley's intent to write his biograp...more
It's obvious why this biography (written while Sinatra was very much alive) is "unauthorized," as it dredges up memories that I'm sure Sinatra would have rather forgotten. Like his treatment of Lauren Bacall when they were engaged (seconded by Bacall herself in her own autobiography which is in itself a very good read). My idea of hell, would be to be engaged romantically with someone like Frank Sinatra--flakey, unreliable, immoral, adulterous, cruel and manipulative.

Musically? He was brilliant,...more
Apr 30, 2011 adventurat marked it as didn-t-finish  ·  review of another edition
Borrowed this e-book from the library and couldn't get all the way through it before it had to go back. Not sure I'll bother checking it out again, though, because I found even the first quarter of it (which takes us only up to about 1942) unsatisfying. I was hoping for meat, and got meringue.

Kitty Kelley may have interviewed more than 800 people who had known Frank over the years, but her lack of access to the man himself, his immediate family, and his intimate circle, is glaringly obvious, an...more
Karenbike Patterson
This is a very long and thoroughly researched book about Sinatra from before birth to his 70's. I would say that at least 80% of the book details what an absolutely ill tempered, immature, violent, and juvenile person he was. Of course, the book moves through his singing and acting career and the rise and fall of his relationships. There are brief stories of his trying to buy his way into people's good graces with expensive presents or paying for hospital bills. The book is true but very slanted...more
Amazingly brave expose about Frank Sinatra's youth and adult life, beginning with his humble beginnings in Hoboken, NJ. This made Frank so irate it was thought he had a hit put out on Kelley. He hated her because of this book, but once again, her attention to detail, sources, and research were so impeccable a lawsuit couldn't even stand up in court. Amazing.
Remember when Kitty Kelley was big in the 80's with these just side of completely trashy biographies? I picked up a copy of this at the thrift store for 30 cents, and it was worth that...but not much more than that. I liked it, but it was definitely the reading equivalent of watching Entertainment Tonight while reading People magazine.
There are descriptive biographies and then there are biographies that villifies and glorifies celebrities.
This is a flawfinding biography.
It is entertainig even though the tone is meanspirited. I have never thought Frank Sinatria was perfect but in this book it is all black. People are not all evil or good.
Sinatra is easy target, since his short temper and hatred of journalists (no doubt, created from first-hand experiences) was well documented and world known. Like all of us, he probably had some positive and negative sides - Kelley however is not interested in anything positive and she weaves a portrait so unflattering that it makes one wonder why anybody ever liked this man in the first place. His life work - music - is described only trough financial perspective and influence this creates, whi...more
Johnny Flora
How could I give anything else to a book that has a chapter devoted to my Uncle Joey D........I love everything by Frank recorded especially the Nelson Riddle recordings. I just had the pleasure of friending Nelson on Facebook, my all time favorite arranger....JJF
Ravis Harnell
The best unauthorized tell-all out there.
Dave Dunaway
Well written and eye opening about the man.
Scott Holstad
Kitty Kelley apparently interviewed more than 800 people in researching and writing this book, and at times, it really shows. There's a lot of detail here. A lot of stories I had never heard before. That said, it seems Kelley really slants this book toward showing what a complete prick Sinatra was. I mean it was it’s one nasty story after another about Sinatra acting like a horrible thug.

The book starts with Sinatra's upbringing in Hoboken, NJ. In later years, he would talk about his rough child...more
His Way
By Kitty Kelley

Publisher: Bantam Books
Published In: New York, NY
Date: 1986
Pgs: 575


Sinatra, the unauthorized biography of one of the most elusive public figures. An highly detailed anecdotal tour de force brought about through three years of research, government documents, government wiretaps and testimony, and interviews with 800 people in Sinatra’s life.

Biography, Music

Main Character:

Favorite Character:
Really don’t have a favorite character. Between the kowtowing...more
Helen Belova
I'm Russian and I has surprised by comments of people who write enthusiastically about this book. About Sinatra were written a lot of interesting, objective biographies. I have them for more than 30, but the most people adore this fabricated and libelous book. I think Americans should be ashamed to praise this book when you can read other books about Sinatra. Kitty Kelley is a very bad writer who no one read if she did not write about nasty things. Kelly did not speak with one friend or a close...more
I have an interest in biographies & was interested in this book because I didn't know much about Sinatra before reading this book. the book paints an unflattering portrait of frank sinatra. It discusses how he was a bully, racist, used bad language often and was a general bad guy. It discusses his friendships with known mafia members, but doesn't fully give proof of his associations. The book doesn't really discuss Sinatra's success as a singer, actor and I would've liked to learn more detai...more
As a lifelong Sinatra fan (I can still see my parents dancing to his music at our neighborhood block parties!)and having read many other books on him, I looked forward to reading this book. Kitty Kelly focused on Frank's Mafia connections and bad temper throughout most of the book and seemed to relish any and all negative publicity that was published about him. While I assume the Mafia connections and bad temper rings true, there was much more to the man that could have been highlighted. After a...more
Randy Friedlander
I knew the singing, but not the decadence, cowardice or generosity of this American Icon. Fascinating reading!
Gary Turner
I really enjoyed this book as i have every Kitty Kelley book i have read. As usual she goes deep into the life of Frank Sinatra. It is amazing how in our 'american society' we allow the rich to act like complete thieves and idiots and let them get by with it. Just as today not one damn wall-street thug or banker thug is in jail for stealing, yet one after another middle class persons are thrown out of their houses, some while they were serving their country in the military. One thing you can say...more
a brilliant portrait of a genius
Rena Searles
What an incredible story! Always one of my favorite singers, I cringed while reading much of this. I will never see him in the same light after so many instances of psychotic behavior and how he and his camp 'spun' the media. It is hard to believe that he was able to get away with so much for so much of his life - and also very sad to think that he needed all that attention to feel important and powerful. Well researched by Kitty Kelley.
Chris Vaughn
Very surprised at the apparent character flaws in Frank Sinatra. It's obvious that Kitty Kelley was not to portray Frank's life in a positive light, and I'm sure there was criticism about the way she depicted him, which was often unflattering. But even if only half of what she wrote was true, Frank Sinatra was about as unstable a personality as I have ever run across.
Stephanie Kline-Abney
It was much rougher and less well-written than The Voice, but it gave the expected juicy details on one of the most followed and dissected lives ever. If it were not for my intense want of knowledge on Sinatra, I would have stopped reading after the first chapter. In all honesty, it felt like compulsory reading.
This certainly kept my attention. The more I read the more I found out just how much of an ass this guy was. Great stories within. Ava Gardner had him on her little finger. Kind of funny. I love his music and voice, though he was a complete jerk to many people.
Believe it or not, I had to read this for work. While the style of writing is nothing to speak about - straight journalism, more or less - I have to hand it to the lady for the depth and breadth of her sources in all her biographies.
Marked this a 3 because although it was too long for what I would want to know about Sinatra, I learned about some stories I had heard about the 70's and 80's--new look at good and evil in our society. I like books where I learn.
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Kitty Kelley is an American investigative journalist and author of several best-selling unauthorized biographies of celebrities and politicians. Described as a "poison pen" biographer, her profiles frequently contain unflattering personal anecdotes and details, and their accuracy is often questioned. Though many of her books have topped the best sellers list, Kelley's credibility and sources have...more
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