Read advance reader review of Frank & Ava by John Brady, page 2 of 3

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Frank & Ava

In Love and War

by John Brady

Frank & Ava by John Brady X
Frank & Ava by John Brady
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  • Published Oct 2015
    304 pages
    Genre: Biography/Memoir

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There are currently 19 member reviews
for Frank & Ava
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  • dlt (Tacoma, WA)
    Very Long Gossip Column
    I considered this book to be mildly interesting. My first complaint is that it continuously inserts short snippets (paragraphs) of information about someone's relationship or an action that seems irrelevant to the main story thread at the time. It also meanders around a bit in a seemingly distracted way.

    It is written more like a stream of conscious than a well planned outline of two famous individuals and their love and trials with each other and others.

    Liberally sprinkled through out are names of individuals - many famous, some infamous and the then the not so famous. I actually grew tired of trying to remember who all these people were and why they were added to the story.

    It did give me a feeling for the life actors/actresses lived under the "studio" system. It also provided a picture of how hard and sad life could be for a star that did not know how to manage their own life properly.
  • Cheri S. (Newburgh, IN)
    Frank & Ava: In Love and War by John Brady
    Love and War: what a perfect subtitle for a book about two of the most insecure, emotionally immature and self-destructive individuals ever to grace the stage and screen of the purported halcyon days of Hollywood! John Brady did nothing to sugar-coat the turbulent lives of Frank Sinatra and Ave Gardner – the unvarnished truths of their individual and collective lives are researched, verified and laid bare for all to read, thereby removing any remaining doubt that the combination of these two was the human version of gasoline and a blow torch.

    While the construction of the book lacks smooth transitions and finesse, the details of this relationship are all there. And if one held any manner of mythical memories of the load of lies the publicists of the day fed the adoring fans, this book will push them out of mind as fast as a locomotive express. Brady shows us that Frank Sinatra was a domineering, patriarchal male who viewed women as chattel. And Ava Gardner was a neglected little girl who used a broad and aggressive manner with men to hold her own among them. Yet in some way, they became addicted to each other and as with all addicts, if left untreated, the thing they want the most is the worst thing for them.

    This is a detailed telling of a deeply dysfunctional relationship that played out to its dying day in front of the whole world. If you want to read about pain and emotional recrimination, this is the book for you. You cannot read this book and view Frank and Ava the same ever again.
  • Marjorie H. (Woodstock, GA)
    The Way They Were
    For those who remember Ol' Blue Eyes and the sultry Ava, this book is one long gossip column. Most of the information is old news, but there are a few juicy tidbits. Frank and Ava were at the top of their game back in the 50's and when they met the sparks never stopped. The book is a good read - light weight, but well written. While Ava was boozing and seducing men, Frank was pining for her. In the ways of Hollywood - they both flamed out, Ava not so glamorously after years of wild living. If you loved the star power of the 50's this book is for you.
  • Dawn C. (Meridian, ID)
    Frank & Ava: In Love and War by John Brady
    This was interesting in that I got to learn some of the backstory of Hollywood in the 50's & 60's. That said, Frank & Ava's story is so sad. They got together, causing quite a scandal. The divorces, affairs, parties, self-indulgence, and living in excess was fun to read. I'm not sure this book gave us much more about the couple than other books, but it was an interesting era in Hollywood history, and I did enjoy that.
  • Courtney B. (Monroe, WA)
    History of Hollywood Love
    I love the history of this book. I have always been intrigued by old Hollywood and I absolutely love Frank Sinatra. I like the story, but it was difficult for me to keep my head in it. I am more of a fiction reader.
  • Laura P. (Atlanta, GA)
    Frank and Ava
    Frank and Ava recounts the story of the "relationship" of two celebrities who come off as shallow, self-absorbed, impulsive hedonists demanding loyalty from others but unwilling to offer the same. While there are plenty of interesting books written about such people, this is not one of them. Brady's "compelling drama of live and emotional war" might better be displayed as a spreadsheet of sexual conquests than presented as a 246 page book. The book is basically a listing of the affairs of two people who could not or would not control themselves. There is some interesting detail on the Hollywood studio system in the 50s and 60s, and commentary on the scandal created by the Hollywood lifestyle adopted by these two and others during a highly conventional era. While Brady has compiled a lot of material on his two principle characters, the detail does not make the story deep (it operates at the depth level of your typical Photoplay or People Magazine article) - just long.
  • Shirley L. (Norco, LA)
    Interesting but Shallow
    I don't judge a book by how much I like or don't like the characters. Great books can be full of despicable characters and a story about only virtuous people can be a bore. I did find the tidbits about Hollywood in the 40s and 50s interesting. And that is my problem with how this story was told. Each paragraph was interesting but there was no central theme. I sometimes felt the author was just reporting any unrelated facts that he knew about any and all Hollywood characters. In reading it I had the sensation of multiple facts being thrown at me with very little insight into the motivation of the characters or their inner life. I have no problem with a well written book about shallow people. My problem was this book itself felt shallow and inconsequential and over all more boring than this story should have been.
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