Florence Foster Jenkins

Florence Foster Jenkins

The Inspiring True Story of the World's Worst Singer

Book - 2016
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Publisher: New York : St. Martin's Griffin, 2016
Edition: First U.S. Edition
ISBN: 9781250115959
Branch Call Number: 782.1092 Mart
Characteristics: 249 pages, 16 unnumbered pages of plates (some color) : illustrations
Additional Contributors: Rees, Jasper - Author


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Jan 25, 2017

The underlying story (Ms. Jenkins) is interesting but I would not recommend this book. The info is there but you need to wade through a huge amount of irrelevant material and you have to overlook the constant put-downs by the author about his subject.
Although it is clear that Ms. Jenkins wasn’t a good singer in her 70s’, it is also clear she had notable musical taste and skill earlier in her life. Rather than looking at the arc of her abilities, the author assumes (against the evidence) that she was laughable from an early age. She gave a ridiculously bad concert in her 70’s (an age when many people’s voice “goes”) but she was highly respected in the New York social scene for her musical taste for many decades before.
The constant slights got tedious. The author also falls into the history-writers trap of larding the paragraphs with irrelevant dates and information, often going into detail about passing individuals who do not reappear elsewhere. I finally couldn’t wade through anymore and put the book down unfinished, which is exceptional for me

The movie may do a far better job with this interesting story but don’t bother with the book unless you are researching the New York social clubs in the first ½ of the 20th century.
I would not recommend this book.


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