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Synopsis

For the first time, the full story of what happened when Frank Sinatra brought his best pals to party in a land called Vegas.

January 1960. Las Vegas is at its smooth, cool peak. The Strip is a jet-age theme park, and the greatest singer in the history of American popular music summons a group of friends there to make a movie.

One is an insouciant singer of Italian songs, ex-partner to the most popular film comedian of the day. One is a short, black, Jewish, one-eyed, singing, dancing wonder. One is an upper-crust British pretty boy turned degenerate B-movie actor, brother-in-law to an ascendant politician. And one is a stiff-shouldered comic with the quintessential Borscht Belt emcee's knack for needling one-liners.

The architectonically sleek marquee of the Sands Hotel announces their presence simply by listing their names:

FRANK SINATRA.
DEAN MARTIN.
SAMMY DAVIS, JR.
PETER LAWFORD.
JOEY BISHOP.

Around them an entire cast gathers: actors, comics, singers, songwriters, gangsters, politicians, and women, as well as thousands of starstruck everyday folks who fork over pocketfuls of money for the privilege of basking in their presence. They call themselves The Clan. But to an awed world, they are known as The Rat Pack.

They had it all. Fame. Gorgeous women. A fabulous playground of a city and all the money in the world. The backing of fearsome crime lords and the blessing of the President of the United States. But the dark side--over the thin line between pleasure and debauchery, between swinging self-confidence and brutal arrogance--took its toll. In four years, their great ride was over, and showbiz was never the same.

Acclaimed Jerry Lewis biographer Shawn Levy has written a dazzling portrait of a time when neon brightness cast sordid shadows. It was Frank's World, and we just lived in it.


From the Hardcover edition.

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Rat Pack Confidential
Average rating
3 / 5
Should have titled it "All About Frank"
January 4th, 2015
Mr Levy obviously is smitten with Frank Sinatra and after each chapter about Frank you expect him to move onto some of the other Ratpack individuals but he doesn't. When he does write a sentence or two about Dean or Sammy he quickly brings Sinatra back to the fore front and keeps him there. Not a bad read not great. Some interesting characters do manage to squeeze in between Levy/Frank such as the mobsters behind all the action. I find myself not liking the man Frank Sinatra after reading this. He comes across as a modern day pop dive spoiled rich and catered to.A star who sold his soul and died lonely and pathetic,
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