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A Book

by Desi Arnaz

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Got to say, one stupid title for a book!

This was my first attempt at writing a review on GR’s shiny new book page! & so far everything very slow. & private notes don’t show while writing the review.

Much the same, as trying to do anything now as a GR librarian!

But I digress.

I have never seen I Love Lucy (other than excerpts on various television specials) but my late mother loved this show & said it was way funnier than any of Lucille Ball’s subsequent TV programmes.

The start of the book about Desi’s privileged childhood in Cuba & the contrast in his life after the family had to flee to Miami after the Cuban Revolution in 1933. From a life of luxury Desi went to cleaning canary cages in Miami. I really admired the boundless optimism, self belief & creativity that kept him going & eventually he did make it in the music world.

When he fell in love with, & then married Lucille Ball, to make the marriage work they needed to live in the same place. Lucille was always (rightly most of the time!) jealous, & Desi admits to also having a jealous nature. I Love Lucy was born not without some (racist) resistance to the idea of having Lucille’s character married to a Latino. (even though that was what had happened in real life!) The programme was a huge success, & the Arnazs showed a strong entrepreneurial streak with subsequent ventures.

The couple in 1957. Public Domain photo.

But all this hard work, infidelity, & Desi’s alcoholism (although he doesn’t use this term) & health issues took a toll on their marriage, & the couple divorced in 1960. On the jacket blurb Desi does promise a sequel, but I can’t find any evidence that this eventuated.

I enjoyed this book very much! Desi has a lively writing style & has lived such an interesting life. The book does sag just a little in the middle before an ending to the fairytale romance that shocked me a little. I’m glad they became friends again in later life.

This book is supposed to be collectable now. I guess I will find out if that is true for the NZ market when I list it on TradeMe.

& an extra for WordPress. What does everyone think of Goodreads new book page?

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