Monday, August 24, 2009

"Dean Martin, Through His Daughter's Eyes"

This week I have been reading this book, by Deana Martin about her famous father. She writes, "Sometimes, just sometimes, they ask me the most important question of all: "Was he a good father?" To their surprise, I shake my head and smile. "No," I reply. "He wasn't a good father, but he was a good man. Where Dad came from, that meant a great deal more."

So begins Deana's heartfelt memoir of her father.

Deana recalls her early childhood, when she and her siblings were left in the care of Dean's loving but alcoholic first wife, Betty MacDonald. One day when Deana was nine years old, her mother Betty left the children with their Aunt Anne. Anne realized that Betty could no longer care for the children, therefore she took them to Dean at his home and explained the situation. From that point on the three sisters lived with Dean and Jeanne. Dean got custody of the children, and they finally gained stability in their young lives.

Deana displays remarkable understanding of her father's complex temperament. An unemotional man, Dean disliked small talk and enjoyed golf because it was a game he could play without too much social interaction. He was disciplined and actually drank very little, though he gained a reputation as a drunk because he sometimes acted that way. (A glass of apple juice in his hand masquerading as scotch, he perfected the role.)

I am only half way through the book so more will come later.....

Saturday, August 29, 2009

I finished reading the book yesterday. It was an OK read, but my question is: Why do these children of famous people write books about their famous parents anyway? Is it for the 15 minutes of glory, the money, the sensationalism, insensibility, WHY?

We all had problems in our lives, and we have wonderful fun-filled memories. So keep a journal... But, why do they feel they have to write about it and tell the world all the nitty-gritty sordid details?

I think Dean was right when he told her the first time she decided to write a book about her memories. Dean told her to burn it!!!! She was only going to write it the first time for the money, which amounted to $10,000. In this day and age $10,000 dollars doesn't go very far... I wonder what she got to write the book this time?

This is my viewpoint and my viewpoint only, I think she is riding on the coat-tail of her father as long as she can.

Maybe, she should have taken the wise advice her father gave her the first time, and burned this book also!


  1. Hmmmm, I'll have to get this book, although I hate to have all my beliefs about Dean Martin shattered!

    He was my favorite singer of all, although I certainly liked many other singers in the 50s and on. I have a picture of him autographed to me, it sez (ha!) "To Renie, Always, Dean" then signed with his full name. Sigh!

    I know he and Jeanne had like 5 kids of their own, besides the three kids from his first wife. Hard to believe he didn't like to socialize and chat and stuff. I knew he didn't really drink, like we all thought he did. That was a myth. He was such a rogue, though, always so charming and lovable. I shed tears that Christmas morning when I heard on my radio that he died! Oh, well, I am going on and on. I want to read the book, but again, I hate to have the myths about him shattered. I will just have to put my CD of Return to Me, in the CD player and swooooooon, and remember him as I thought he was!

    Got to run. Have a good night.


    Oh, I almost forgot, I have the new list for Dancing with the Stars, and the only name I recognize in the whole bunch is Donny Osmond!

  2. An avid Dean Martin fan for decades, I read this book when it was first published. Frankly, I've read books written in a much better style, with regard to both organization and grammar.

    Furthermore, Deana may have an axe to grind as she was a child by Dean's first wife.

    A couple of books I found better, on the topic of Dean Martin: one by Ricci Martin and one by Jerry Lewis.

    I didn't care at all for Nick Tosches Living High in the Dirty Business of Dreams as the book contained way too much speculation and author's license, the latter with regard to channeling the mind of Dean Martin.