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His Way: An Unauthorized Biography Of Frank Sinatra
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His Way: An Unauthorized Biography Of Frank Sinatra

3.53  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,106 Ratings  ·  69 Reviews
#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • With a new afterword by the author in honor of Frank Sinatra’s 100th birthday

This is the book that Frank Sinatra tried—but failed—to keep from publication, and it’s easy to understand why. This unauthorized biography goes behind the iconic myth of Sinatra to expose the well-hidden side of one of the most celebrated—and elusive—public figures
ebook, 688 pages
Published November 10th 2010 by Bantam (first published 1983)
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Feb 28, 2014 Jeff rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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 b
Diane C.
Jan 04, 2011 Diane C. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
May 12, 2011 Natalie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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,
Kathie H
Aug 22, 2007 Kathie H rated it really liked it  ·  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.
Jul 16, 2008 Bill rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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
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
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
Jan 15, 2014 Sasha rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
Apr 30, 2011 Wendy 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
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.
Aug 19, 2012 Ellen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Jul 14, 2007 Mary! rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Johnny Flora
Apr 08, 2011 Johnny Flora rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Aug 07, 2010 Ravis Harnell rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The best unauthorized tell-all out there.
Dave Dunaway
Dec 12, 2012 Dave Dunaway rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Well written and eye opening about the man.
Feb 03, 2016 Christa rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I mean, I'd never thought about what Frank Sinatra was like outside of his performances. APPARENTLY HE WAS AWFUL. I'm not sure if he was as terrible as this book portrayed him to be (he sued the author when he found out she was writing his ~unauthorized~ biography and while the suit was later dropped, I could understand if that swayed her to focus more on his negative points) or what, but MAN. I don't know that I can listen to his music the same way again.

From being a spoiled mama's boy as a chi
Kayla O'Regan
Jun 15, 2015 Kayla O'Regan rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biography
Kitty Kelley seems to have one goal in writing this book: Make it as interesting as possible, without much regard for actual fact. She certainly succeeds in this; watching a national icon turn into a volatile, careless, sketchy, gangster-loving monster and nothing more is interesting on the surface, but it failed to hold me for long. Even if he really was nothing more than a volatile, careless, sketchy, gangster-loving monster (and I don't believe that's all he was), why would I want to read a w ...more
Feb 01, 2013 Mark rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
Helen Belova
Dec 01, 2012 Helen Belova rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jul 10, 2012 Annie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Dec 20, 2015 Sara rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm conflicted on how to review this book. On one hand, it's obviously very well researched and goes into great detail on Mr. Sinatra's personal life. On the other hand, it was so LONG and tedious to read. Maybe I would have enjoyed it more if I was from my grandparents' generation and was more familiar with a lot of the famous names. My boyfriend stole a glance at a page of this one and said something to the extent of, "Damn, they're just name dropping everyone they can think of!" It was well w ...more
Don Halpert
Apr 19, 2015 Don Halpert rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Anyone who was a child of the 50's or 60's will remember Frank Sinatra as a legend. His songs and his movies were very much a part of our lives. When I read this was the celebration of 100 years since his birth, I wanted to read more. Sinatra was enormously talented. A great singer and a great actor.
Kitty Kelley tells the whole story. Sinatra's association with both the Mafia and several Presidents. His threats and bullying. His enormous spitefulness and his vindictiveness.
Personally, he was no
May 22, 2016 Bret rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction, biography
I must admit, I am biased as I am a huge fan of Sinatra's music and the public persona from the 40s, 50s and 60s. While this was a good book to read, with awesome quotes and stories using a plethora of details that aren't common knowledge, the author definitely opted to spend more time on the negative aspects of Frank than the positive. I can see why Frank tried to sue her. Still, I am glad I read it. Even though I didn't like finding out some of the more harsh "truths" about an intriguing man I ...more
Sep 25, 2015 Max rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I am a Kitty Kelly fan and didn't realized it untill in finished this book. I didn't even cared about Frank Sinatra's life, but Kelley is a great story-teller and founds just the right amount of juicy-gossip while finding good resources and well-documented stories. This book not only tells Frank Sinatra's stories but a few mafia tales along with some juciy stories with John F Kennedy, Robert F Kennedy, The Reagans, Tony Bennet, of course all Sinatra's former wives and even Queen Elizabeth!

Gary Turner
Jun 30, 2013 Gary Turner rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Frank Sinatra lived a charmed life - no one was willing to call him on his ridiculous behavior out of fear, respect, confusion and ultimately horror. He berated people on a daily basis but shrouded himself in a philanthropic cast as if that made everything alright and gave him the right to treat his close associates like dirt. But they stayed. He wouldn't let any criticism go but thought it was perfectly okay to use his stage as a podium to call people names and insult them mercilessly. His voic ...more
Andy Dale
Feb 03, 2014 Andy Dale rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jan 24, 2016 Helga rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Having been exposed to Ol' Blue Eyes' music growing up, I am a confessed Sinatra fan. I never truly understood why, other than over his talent, Sinatra was such a charismatic and controversial figure. I've come across snippets of his life in various references but not until I've read this 'unauthorized ' book did I fully understand why his life has been, and is, the fascinating subject that it is. "My Way" now presents more meaning to me.
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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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