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Publisher's Summary

They were the unlikeliest of pairs: a handsome crooner and a skinny monkey, an Italian from Steubenville, Ohio, and a Jew from Newark, N.J. Before they teamed up, Dean Martin seemed destined for a mediocre career as a nightclub singer, and Jerry Lewis was dressing up as Carmen Miranda and miming records on stage. But the moment they got together, something clicked, something miraculous, and audiences saw it at once. Before long, they were as big as Elvis or the Beatles would be after them, creating hysteria wherever they went and grabbing an unprecedented hold over every entertainment outlet of the era: radio, television, movies, stage shows, and nightclubs. Martin and Lewis were a national craze, an American institution. The millions (and the women) flowed in, seemingly without end, and then, on July 24, 1956, 10 years from the day when the two men joined forces, it all ended.
After that traumatic day, the two wouldn't speak again for 20 years. And while both went on to forge triumphant individual careers, Martin as a movie and television star, recording artist, and nightclub luminary (and charter member of the Rat Pack); Lewis as the groundbreaking writer, producer, director, and star of a series of hugely successful movie comedies, their parting left a hole in the national psyche, as well as in each man's heart.
In a memoir by turns moving, tragic, and hilarious, Jerry Lewis recounts with crystal clarity every step of a 50-year friendship, from the springtime, 1945 afternoon when the two vibrant young performers destined to conquer the world together met on Broadway and 54th Street, to their tragic final encounter in the 1990s, when Lewis and his wife ran into Dean Martin, a broken and haunted old man.
©2005 Jerry Lewis; (P)2005 Books on Tape
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Critic Reviews

"Fans will be surprised and entertained by Lewis' honesty and diminished ego and bitterness." (Publishers Weekly)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

By Boone29680 on 12-05-05

You've got to listen to this!

This is one of the 3 best audio books I've ever listened to - gripping, entertaining, and full of memories. If you've ever seen a Martin/Lewis movie, or remember either of the stars on TV or film, or even just watched the MDA fundraiser - you'll laugh out loud and sometimes tear up listening to this 50-year love story by Jerry Lewis. The narrator Stephen Hoye is phenomenal - his mimicry of Jerry's Jersey and "jerk" voicing, plus Dean Martin's soft mid-western/Italian, makes you feel like they are sitting right beside you. Hoye is so perfect in the reading I came back to Audible to look him up - I was convinced that Mr. Lewis must have picked the reader from the professional acting community, but Hoye has numerous books to his credit and I intend to seek out his readings (which I've never felt compelled to do before). The pacing is superb - there are no boring parts - you're engaged every minute. Mostly, this audiobook is a walk down memory lane - not only Dean and Jerry, but Sinatra and the Rat Pack, June Allyson, Marilyn Monroe, and many many more. Mr. Lewis seems to hold nothing back - including his own addiction to prescription painkillers, the tragedy of his son Gary and Dean Martin's son Dino, divorces, the acrimony of the act breaking up, the tearful reunions years later. Mr. Lewis is painfully honest, yet forgiving and compassionate in describing himself and all the others - giving us an open, often hilarious and sometimes teary behind-the scenes of two of the greatest names in comedy entertainment of our time. If you are younger than 40, you may not recognize many of the names, but that is a minor matter - you'll love this read anyway. Buy this audiobook. (I note there is an abridged version, but don't know why and haven't heard it. The unabridged is just over 8 hours to about 5 for the abridged. Get this one.)

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20 of 20 people found this review helpful


By Christopher on 03-07-08

A fond remembrance

The story of Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis, as only Jerry Lewis could tell it.

Along with the great anecdotes, and the meteoric rise and fall of their partnership and what made it work so well for 10 years, Jerry tells about Dino's real unrecognized comic genius, long overlooked by the critics until Dino and Jer went solo. It takes a real genius to play the straight man, and Dino was every bit as good as George Burns in that regard.

A must listen for fans of classic comedians and especially Martin & Lewis.

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7 of 7 people found this review helpful

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