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August 17 , 2007

Frank Sinatra Has a Cold

And Other Essays


Gay Talese is the father of American New Journalism, who transformed traditional reportage with his vivid scene-setting, sharp observation and rich storytelling. His 1966 piece for Esquire, one of the most celebrated magazine articles ever published, describes a morose Frank Sinatra silently nursing a glass of bourbon, struck down with a cold and unable to sing, like 'Picasso without paint, Ferrari without fuel - only worse'. The other writings in this selection include a description of a meeting between two legends, Fidel Castro and Muhammad Ali; a brilliantly witty dissection of the offices of Vogue magazine; an account of travelling to Ireland with hellraiser Peter O'Toole; and a profile of fading baseball star Joe DiMaggio, which turns into a moving, immaculately-crafted meditation on celebrity.

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