Mr S Book Review George Jacobs

Mr. S: My Life with Frank Sinatra is a tell-all book written by Sinatra’s long-time right-hand man, George Jacobs, and with the help, I suppose, of William Stadiem who also gets an author credit.

It’s not the type of book I would have normally picked up on my own, and I didn’t really know it was tell-all until I started reading it. It will, at least knowingly, be my last tell-all book. For every chapter except the Afterword, it felt like I was reading one of the weekly celebrity gossip magazines.

However, the Afterward is what I was hoping for from the whole book. The Afterward is written after Jacobs is fired from Sinatra’s employ, and it goes on to describe how he felt after being released into space away from Ol’ Blue Eyes’ orbit. It talks about his feelings for his employer who felt more like a father to him.

In the Afterward, we actually get to know George Jacbos, as opposed to the rest of the book, where he simply dishes on what the celebrities in Sinatra’s orbit did or said either while with Frank or at one of his many properties.

Mr. S is a novel that, unless you’re looking for early 1960s celebrity gossip I can’t really recommend. The book takes place during Sinatra’s second rise to fame. This also happens to be the same timeline as the second book of James Kaplan’s two-volume Sinatra biography; the first book is Sinatra: The Voice, and the second, which I read because Sinatra’s resurrection is amazing, is Sinatra: The Chairman.

Mr. S Paperback Cover

I thought this book would offer some further insight, or at least a little more context around some stories I have heard through reading The Chairman, but I was wrong.

Until the last chapter that really humanizes Jacobs and puts his actual feelings into a cohesive sentiment, this entire book is much more about dropping famous names in both quantity and quality. I’m not going to name those names here, but know that it’s a long list from which even someone born after the millennium would recognize at least a few names.

It’s not poorly written, but it just isn’t the kind of thing I’m likely to ever pick up without some ulterior reason. So if you want more of the gossip of the time, this may be for you, but if you want to understand more of Sinatra as a man, perhaps Kaplan’s Sinatra: The Chairman is going to suit your interests better.