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Extended Audio Sample Dean and Me: A Love Story Audiobook, by Jerry Lewis Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (997 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Jerry Lewis, James Kaplan Narrator: Stephen Hoye Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: November 2005 ISBN: 9781415929681
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They were the unlikeliest of pairs—a handsome crooner and a skinny monkey, an Italian from Steubenville, Ohio, and a Jew from Newark, New Jersey. 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, ten years from the day when the two men joined forces, it all ended.

After that traumatic day, the two wouldn’t speak again for twenty 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 fifty-year friendship, from the springtime, 1945 afternoon when the two vibrant young performers destined to conquer the world together met on Broadway and Fifty-fourth Street, to their tragic final encounter in the 1990s, when Lewis and his wife ran into Dean Martin, a broken and haunted old man.

In Dean & Me, Jerry Lewis makes a convincing case for Dean Martin as one of the great—and most underrated—comic talents of our era. But what comes across most powerfully in this definitive memoir is the depth of love Lewis felt, and still feels, for his partner, and which his partner felt for him: truly a love to last for all time.

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Quotes & Awards

  • This is a wild, joyous book, but also a heartbreaking one. In some ways, friendships between men can be more fragile than those between women, something Lewis grasps intuitively. What kind of guy laughs when you upstage his crooning with a piece of raw meat on a fork? Whoever he is, you’d better hang onto him: he’s probably the best friend you’ll ever have. Stephanie Zacharek, The New York Times
  • They were the unlikeliest of pairs — a handsome crooner and a skinny monkey, an Italian from Steubenville, Ohio, and a Jew from Newark. But from the moment they got together, something clicked — something miraculous — and audiences saw it at once. Martin and Lewis were a national craze—an American institution. Then on July 25, 1956, ten years to the day after the two men joined forces, it all ended. Their parting left a hole in the national psyche, as well as each man’s heart.
  • A perceptive and entertaining showbiz memoir that should become a classic of its kind . . . Bruce Handy, Vanity Fair
  • a classic”
  • Vanity Fair

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 George Dimitrov | 1/22/2014

    " so delightful and fresh account of days gone bye. Elegantly written easy flowing narrative and load of jokes on every page. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jenn | 1/9/2014

    " Does it still count as reading if I'm listening to it on tape? With a 2+ hour drive every work day, I get tired of listening to the radio jocks and top 20 hits. Enter in: books on tape. I am enjoying this book for two reasons: (1) the oratory is very good, mellow voice and even does the voices (but not obnoxiously so) and (2)the relationship between Dean and Jerry is fascinating and multi-faceted, and I love that Jerry Lewis is the author. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Tommy Bat-Blog Brookshire | 12/30/2013

    " I finished this book last night & really enjoyed it. It's not the kind of book I usually read, but I like to mix it up occasionally, I'm glad I did. The basic premise of this book, co-written by Jerry Lewis, is sharing his thoughts about the 10 year partnership he had with Dean Martin. It covers how they originally met for the 1st time, how they "accidentally" became partners, & their rise to fame. There's a ton of inside info on the Entertainment Business which is also pretty interesting. They were a team for 10 years & this book gives you a great idea of what it was like. Eventually they broke-up & the story turns kind of sad. Overall the book is very well-written & has a lot of heart. Plus, this is NOT a "Bash Dean Martin" book in any way. Lewis shares this story with a lot of honesty & it's a great read. My only complaint would be that more photos would have been nice. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Amy Pratt | 12/20/2013

    " This book made me laugh and go "hmmmm." You just never know what really goes on in a celebrity's life. It was a fun read for me as a fan of both their movies and their TV shows. I highly recommend it for those who remember these two geniuses of comedy. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ray | 12/8/2013

    " For a fan of Martin and Lewis this book was really great. Funny, sad, it has it all. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Olivia Cockerill | 12/2/2013

    " I really did thoroughly enjoy this book. It had me in stitches and towards the end in tears. I generally felt for Jerry as he writes about the slow process of Dean and him drifting apart. It has lots of information from when they were starting to finish. I usually get bored with books, but this is entertaining throughout. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Teo smite | 12/2/2013

    " Very entertaining and funny. I knew Dean from hte Rat Pack and Jerry Lewis as a comedian but I had no idea they started out together. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Applebear | 12/1/2013

    " This is a fantastic book!!! MY FAVOURITE!!! <3 i love jerry lewis, and this is just a cherry on top of my knowledge!! ahaha its written beautifully.... the onlt bad thing is the back cover gets dirty verrrry easily. otherwise its just an absolute perfect book... "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ward Anderson | 11/23/2013

    " Forget what you think you know. An amazing look back at the old days of Hollywood, and a touching look at two misunderstood geniuses. You will love and hate them both. Should be required fading for entertainers. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kim | 11/22/2013

    " This was a light easy read with insight to a couple of people that no one really knows "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 A.J.K. | 4/22/2013

    " Entertaining as all hell!!! Loved it!! Im a big nostalgia fan. Dean Martin, Frank Sinatra, Ray Charles...Anything around that time frame. Well well written book. Easy read. Knocked it out in less than a week. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Amy Mccauley | 2/2/2012

    " It amazed me how detailed his memories were. I can't remember what happened last week and he remember so many facts, people, dates, etc. I always wondered what happened to them, now I know. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Book Concierge | 10/9/2011

    " It's subtitled: "A love story" and that it definitely is. But Lewis's ego gets in the way about 2/3 of the way through ... as the strain in their original partnership has to be explained. Still it's a very good book. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 B. zee | 1/25/2011

    " Like all good love stories this one goes to shit. But they had a great time getting their and that's what matters most. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jennifer | 10/14/2009

    " I love Jerry Lewis -- always have -- I had a great time reading this book. Like all of us who have loved ones, times were not always light and funny for this dynamic duo, but Lewis writes with candor and love in each line. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lindsay Winter | 7/16/2009

    " As a massive fan of Dean Martin I thoroughly enjoyed reliving some of his life and learning more about him through the eyes of his one time friend and partner Jerry Lewis and great insight into a talented and legendary icon. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Mycala | 6/24/2009

    " This was really an interesting story, but my god was it sad. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kfsax416 | 9/1/2008

    " One of the best Autobiographies I've read. I discovered Martin and Lewis by accident and fell in love with them. The stories are hilarious and if you are a fan of Dino or Jerry this is a must have "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sneph | 12/20/2006

    " I loved this book, although it was heartbreaking to learn how and why these two broke up. It shares great details about what it was like in hollywood back then. I was in awe. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Marianne Amato | 6/6/2006

    " if a dean martin fan then its a must read....it really was a love story..... "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mark Arnold | 4/5/2006

    " I really like this book a lot. What keeps it from being five stars to me is how Jerry kind of glosses over certain parts of their career. Maybe it wasn't necessary to him, but I felt like I wanted more when I was done... "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Peter Millett | 12/23/2005

    " Fascinating insight into the formation of comedy's most beloved duo. Jerry Lewis is older now - but somehow his youthful playfulness still shines through in the text. Great read. "

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About the Author
Author Jerry LewisJERRY LEWIS and Dean Martin sandwiched sixteen money-making films in between nightclub engagements, recording sessions, radio shows, and television bookings during their ten-year partnership. Over the following years Lewis remained in the spotlight as the groundbreaking creator and star of a series of hugely successful movie comedies, and scored triumphs in stage appearances in Europe, where he has been hailed as one of the greatest director-comedians of the twentieth century. He was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize, and has received numerous other honors for his tireless efforts in the fight against the fourty neuromuscular diseases.
JAMES KAPLAN has written novels, essays, and reviews, as well as over a hundred major profiles for many magazines, including The New Yorker, the New York Times Magazine, Vanity Fair, Esquire, Entertainment Weekly, and New York. In 2002 Kaplan coauthored the autobiography of John McEnroe, You Cannot Be Serious, which was an international bestseller (and #1 on the New York Times list). He lives in Westchester, New York, with his wife and three sons.
About the Narrator

Stephen Hoye has worked as a professional actor in London and Los Angeles for more than thirty years. Trained at Boston University and the Guildhall in London, he has acted in television series and six feature films and has appeared in London’s West End.