A Review of The Good Life

The Good LifeThe Good Life by Tony Bennett

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I like Tony Bennett. I have for years. I have a number of his CDs and listen to them at various times. I’ve always wanted to know more about him, so I was happy to find this book. And it’s not too bad. It’s well written — I assume the co-author did that — and it tells some interesting stories, but the reason I’m giving it four stars rather than five is twofold: 1) Tony name drops a lot in this book. It’s like he wants us to be really impressed with the famous people he hung out with or even were impressed with him. 2) I didn’t feel like I learned enough about Tony’s personal life, and that really stood out for me. We learned about his childhood, but after his career started, the book concentrates almost solely on his career and you barely find out he was married with two boys, then divorced, then married again with a woman he started dating while still married to his first wife, had two girls, then was divorced again. At the very end of the book, he brings his kids into play when they’re grownups and tells us what they do now, but nowhere do we get an image of Tony as father or really even as husband. I wonder why that is? Why did he choose to leave such critical information out of an autobiography? It’s like he just wanted to talk about his records, his shows, and his paintings, and nothing else. Except for all the famous people he hung out with and who liked him. It almost seemed like he has an inferiority complex that needs to be satisfied by impressing people. It’s kind of sad. Nonetheless, I did indeed enjoy hearing his stories about Frank Sinatra, Don Rickles, MTV, Duke Ellington, and others. Made the book an enjoyable read. I don’t know if there are other books out there that delve more deeply into Tony’s personal life or not. If there are, by all means, read them. But if there aren’t, this isn’t a bad book to read, and finally, it was personally satisfying to read about Tony’s unwillingness to sell out while remaining popular his whole career. Most people can’t say that.

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