Bobby Darin: A Life

Bobby Darin: A Life

by Michael Seth Starr


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Bobby Darin fit a lot into his 37 years. By the age of 22, Darin topped the charts, but soon reinvented himself as a Sinatra-style crooner, winning a Grammy Award, the adulation of millions, a Hollywood contract, and a starlet wife. Bobby Darin examines the entertainer's entire life, from his boyhood in the Bronx to his rise as a musical sensation, his rocky marriage to Sandra Dee, the evolution of his career, and the shocking secret Darin learned later in life.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781589795983
Publisher: Taylor Trade Publishing
Publication date: 04/16/2011
Pages: 264
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.60(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

Entertainment columnist for the New York Post, Michael Seth Starr is the author of Mouse in the Rat Pack, Art Carney: A Biography, and Peter Sellers: A Film History.

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Bobby Darin: A Life 3.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 10 reviews.
Venqat65 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I am interested in the lives of the old "pop" stars, and Bobby Darin is one of them. While the book did teach me more about Darin, I had trouble staying involved in the book--it took me a very long time to read it because it just did not keep my interest. The lack of proof-reading and the writing style did not hold my attention for long.I am happy to have learned more about the man, but the book could have been written a bit better.
jonesli on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Bobby Darin: A Life provides an intimate look at the life of a charismatic and extremely talented performer. Driven by a sense of urgency due to his fragile health, Bobby Darin declared that he would be a legend by the age of 25. Perceived by many in the entertainment business as arrogant and perhaps a little disrespectful of other legendary performers, one cannot argue that he had the talent to back up his assertion.Not quite a Sinatra, Crosby or Bennett, Bobby Darin carved his own niche with the songs "Splish Splash", "Beyond the Sea", "Dream Lover" and many more. My personal favorite of his, and the song that I most associate with him, "Mack the Knife" became his most requested song. The fact that he was able to transform a very depressing song into a upbeat smash, is amazing.Married to the girl next door actress Sandra Dee, their idyllic marriage was wrought with problems: his mother-in-law's constant presence and influence, as well as the pressure of both of their careers. Eventually, Bobby was able to sing many different types of songs, and also did stand up comedy, variety shows and was instrumental in many political and social causes in the 1960's. The latter part of his life was marked by his bitterness over learning the family secret that his sister Nina was really his mother, becoming pregnant with him when she was 17. He was never able to forgive her for what he saw as betrayal.His health problems with his weak heart worsened and he passed away in December of 1973 after his second open heart surgery. Although he lived such a short life, he leaves a legacy behind as a consummate entertainer who accomplished what he set out to do.
FrankErrington on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Bobby Darin: A Life reveals the rollercoaster ride that was Bobby Darin's Life. Born Robert Walden Cassotto, May 14th, 1936 he truly came from humble beginnings in the Bronx, to a career in popular music, the moves and headlining in Las Vegas. The stories are all here, from his marriage to Sandra Dee to his last days in Vegas, doing shows with an Oxygen tank backstage so he can catch his breath as he struggled with his heart condition which would lead to his death at the age of 36. Some very intersting stories with some of the biggest names in showbiz. Well worth a read.
LisaMorr on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I didn't really know that much about Bobby Darin before opening this book, just that 'Mack the Knife' is always associated with him and that he died young.After reading the book, I can say that I've learned that 'Splish Splash' was one of his hits, that he was married to Sandra Dee, that he had a rheumatic heart requiring two open heart surgeries, the second one from which he did not survive. I also learned that the woman that he thought was his (much) older sister was actually his mother, and he learned this pretty late in his life. I also learned that he was a star born in the wrong time - he wanted to be a great showman like Frank Sinatra, but coming to the fore in the 60's his competition was the birth of rock and roll, and he just couldn't achieve what he wanted to, in the short time he was with us.Other than that, I¿m not so sure that I learned about the real Bobby Darin. After finishing the book, I vacillated on what my overall opinion was. Right from the start, I thought, uh-oh, I'm not going to like this biography. It's the first biography that I've read that is told mainly through direct quotes, which I found disjointed. I would normally expect the author to contribute more than just stringing together what amounts to 220 pages of quotes. And when I say disjointed, it's partly about the way the book was written - a long string of quotes, but also that so much of what was said in the quotes didn't necessarily agree.So, I think I learned about what other people thought about Bobby Darin, about what Bobby Darin said about himself to the press and about what people remember about conversations they had with Bobby Darin. I did read it through to the end, I was curious about how certain things were going to play out, but in the end I don¿t believe this was a good biography. I¿m giving it 2.5 stars.
andyray on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
AS A BIOGRAPHY, THE BOOK DOESN't quite hack it, but as a portrait of an era, it succeeds. Let us face it: Bobby Darrin would put you to sxleep, or at least he did me. I watc hed him on television two or three times and left the room during his performance. What made me keep turning the pages, however, were the interweavings of other stars I was much more inteested in (no, Sandra Dee was not one of them. she's a piece of star dust). suchj as Roger McGuinn, Neil Sedaka, Don Kirschner, and others. I read the second half of the book at a skimming read because I lost interest after the pictures. The pages almost burn with quotge after quote from everyone, but not so many from Bobby Darin. I have read the five volumes of George Washington's life by John Marshall and the same volumes by Washington Irfving and I doubt there is a quote in any of the books mentioned. tHIS NOT SO MUCH a biography as it is an extended prfofile of one individual amongst his times.
tloeffler on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Before reading this book, I knew very little about Bobby Darin, except for "Mack the Knife." After reading this book, I know more than I ever wanted to, and yet, less than I feel I ought to.I was not a fan of the structure of this book. It read like multiple unending interviews with multiple people, and it was difficult to connect the dots to come up with a cohesive "biography." It didn't seem researched as much as it did thrown together. And frankly, I came out of it with a real dislike for Bobby Darin. He sounded like a sexist, egotistical jerk, and the "but under it all, he was a great guy" didn't ring true for me. It might be interesting at some point to read a regular, dispassionate biography of him, but I just didn't end up liking him enough to want to put out that effort.
Prop2gether on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Standard biography of a talented musician, pretty good actor (do check out his work in "Captain Newman, M.D."), and often miserable person. I certainly expected more than a by the numbers celebrity biography with more than stock photographs, and was seriously disappointed by an author who couldn't get some basic facts straight--the series was "Ironside" and not "Ironsides" and, for heaven's sake, the actress's name is "Jean Simmons" and not "Jeanne." It makes wonder what else he got wrong.
surly on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
My knowledge of Bobby Darin was limited to childhood memories and the 2004 Kevin Spacey movie. I was happy to find that my memory and the movie were basically accurate. The story of his life, both personally and professionally, was as enjoyable, interesting and breezy as Darin's music. It was sad to realize he died so young.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago