Sunday, February 8, 2009

jerry lewis: "dean & me (a love story)" book review

i interrupted my current reading list to re-read "dean & me (a love story)" jerry lewis' memoir(w/coauthor james kaplan). i first read this great book when it was published in 2005. luckily, last fall, i picked up a copy for only a buck at the book fair! what brought jerry lewis back to my attention was the incredibly wonderful news that he would receive a special oscar, the jean hersholt humanitarian award, at the ceremonies on february 22. the academy's tribute to him belongs in the "better late than never" category - but, regardless, he's finally getting an "oscar" (even if, not one for acting).

it's a short, fast read. for a team that spent 10 years together and made 16 movies, martin and lewis were superstars before the term was even coined. some of the vignettes lewis relates about their club performances rival the heights "beatlemania" almost a decade later. and the completely happenstance meeting in nyc in the mid-40's - that eventually led to a "team" act within a year, is already legend.

so too is the acrimonious break-up - ten years to the day that they first performed together! but throughout the book lewis is not bitter, not taking pot-shots at dean (or anyone else for that matter). it's clear from page one - until the very last - that jerry lewis genuinely loved dean martin as a "big brother" - decades before the term bromance found it's ridiculous way into the vernacular.

this short book is well worth reading - especially for the casual martin and lewis fan. it's an especially topical read with jerry taking the stage again in a couple of weeks :D

before reading it, check out this wonderful interview with jerry on national public radio.

then read the entertainment weekly story on his reaction to the news of the award.

here is coverage of jerry accepting his oscar at the academy awards!


Anonymous said...

Dean is the one I always liked - not that I don't like Jerry, but Dean's voice... Mmmm.
And it really IS about time they give Jerry an award - why has it taken so long?
I spotted Dean from the photo you have in the blog roll on "What You Do Not Know Because You Are Not Me" page

golf101tv said...

Just started reading this book. After putting up with today's "entertainers" for as long as I could, I decided to try and get to know the real performers of yesterday,where, I'll admit, I wish we still were....