ROMAN CANDLE: The Life of Bobby Darin

David Evanier, Author . Rodale $24.95 (288p) ISBN 978-1-59486-010-2

Like Michael Starr's Bobby Darin ( Forecasts, Oct. 4), Evanier's sturdy bio quickly notes how the specter of early death spurred Bobby Darin to early fame. When, at 13, Darin overheard his doctor giving him about three more years to live (rheumatic fever had weakened his heart), the teenager decided he'd better not waste any time in becoming a star. Former senior Paris Review editor Evanier (Making the Wise Guys Weep ) follows Darin's career from his early days in the New York music scene through the commercial success of "Splish Splash" and "Mack the Knife" to his later, much-maligned attempt to be a folk singer (Frankie Avalon: "I said to him, 'Bobby, what the fuck are you doing?' "). He also details Darin's attempts to launch a music publishing company (first by encouraging Wayne Newton, then an aspiring young singer, to record "Danke Schoen," a song Darin could have recorded himself) and to begin an acting career. Evanier also takes a hard look at Darin's personal relationships, particularly his troubled marriage to "America's Sweetheart," Sandra Dee. Informed by scores of interviews with Darin's friends and associates and written in no-nonsense, just-the-facts prose, Evanier's book paints a picture of a ruthlessly ambitious musician with a compelling, if not entirely sympathetic, reason for so much of his behavior. Sinatra may have had the bragging rights to "My Way," but Darin (1936-1973) lived out the lyrics. Agent, Andrew Blauner . (Nov.)

Reviewed on: 10/18/2004
Release date: 11/01/2004
Genre: Nonfiction
Paperback - 256 pages - 978-1-4384-3458-2
Open Ebook - 291 pages - 978-1-4416-6968-1
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