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Dean and Me: A Love Story | [Jerry Lewis, James Kaplan]

Dean and Me: A Love Story

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.
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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

What the Critics Say

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

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.3 (281 )
5 star
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4.4 (116 )
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4.5 (116 )
5 star
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Shawn Lindon, UT, United States 11-05-13
    Shawn Lindon, UT, United States 11-05-13 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
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    37
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    "Entertaining and touching"

    This book made me feel like I was there. A big thumbs-up to the narrator who succesfully took on the characters without being over-dramatic. The story is honest and touching and very funny. I highly recommend.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jordan New Brockton, AL, United States 12-31-12
    Jordan New Brockton, AL, United States 12-31-12 Member Since 2011
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    10
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Endearing"
    Would you listen to Dean and Me again? Why?

    Yes, the first listen was very enthralling.


    What did you like best about this story?

    Jerry's endearing admiration for Dean


    What about Stephen Hoye’s performance did you like?

    He accuratey portrayed the characters as if they were telling the stories themselves.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    yes! a 16 hour road trip went by much smoother with this book entertaining me


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kathy Phoenix, AZ, United States 12-23-11
    Kathy Phoenix, AZ, United States 12-23-11
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    2
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Must Read"
    What made the experience of listening to Dean and Me the most enjoyable?

    Going back to the 40s nd 50s era was fun..


    What about Stephen Hoye’s performance did you like?

    Stephen kept me interested


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    Dean and Jerry reuniting after 20 years.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    C.S.Kelly United States 10-01-11
    C.S.Kelly United States 10-01-11 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    5
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    Performance
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    "A great deal of fun"

    Jerry Lewis is his #1 fan and never misses a chance of trying to convince us of his greatness. Yet the story is well told and very a interesting take on one of the worlds great comedic duos.
    Now the telling of the story is a true gift...this is not only well read it is a magnificent performance by a true conveyor of the persons involved in the story-he gives a us much more then one would expect. I enjoyed every minute.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Van 04-30-11
    Van 04-30-11 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    8
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    "Brilliant!"

    I never knew the depth and compassion of Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis's relationship until now. A beautiful book that, quite honestly made me cry at the end. A must read!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Minoru Kawasaki-shi, N/A, Japan 02-19-10
    Minoru Kawasaki-shi, N/A, Japan 02-19-10
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
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    "Nostalgic brings back good memories"

    I really enjoyed listening to the book, it brought back fond memories of times gone by. Martin & Lewis were a great act, too bad we could only hear the point of view from Jerry. Only thing would have liked to heard more details when they finally were talking to each other again in the later years.
    Still I give it a good thumbs up!!!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    David Brown 12-12-05
    David Brown 12-12-05 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A little strange; Great for fans of Dino"

    Jerry Lewis has had a great career financially. But he was the biggest thing in showbix with Dino, and known as a B-movie stooge afterwards. Those days ended 49 yeas ago, but Jerry longs for them.
    At times it seems that his cronological narrative has little to talk about. Then he can dig into retelling Dino inspecting his (Jerry's) itchy crotch to find crabs (seriously).
    90% of the book is about their years together 1946-56 so there is not a lot about the stuff that most big fans of Dean's are fans of his because of. As a huge fan of Dean's, I like the backstory. If you are old enough, you will hear great stories of the Martin and Lewis years. But if you want to go the the video store and see them now, ....sorry. It is clear that their magic was in nightclub performance, which made them so famous that they got to make a bunch of mediocre movies. Those movies are what you will rent, not the real magic.

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    James Gordon New York, NY 10-04-06
    James Gordon New York, NY 10-04-06 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Is It Just Me?"

    Apparently I'm in the minority here. I didn't much care for Jerry Lewis' self-serving memoir. It's true that I don't think either Martin or he were particularly talented, but I have enjoyed books about and by other "stars" whom I don't consider first class. What I did find interesting, however, is how Jerry Lewis, after all these years, is still begging for Martin's approval. Sort of sad, if not especially entertaining.

    1 of 7 people found this review helpful

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