In two apparently different lives, author Patricia Vinci saw parallelisms that gave way to a startling discovery and, ultimately, to a myth. In her new book, Frank'ly Dickens , she writes a brilliant narrative based on comparative stories taken from the lives of Charles Dickens and Frank Sinatra—two men who stand alone in popular culture in their respective representation of the century and the country that they lived in. It explores what was so “Frank” about Charles Dickens, leaving you wondering whether Frank Sinatra really was Charles Dickens or if they had merely lived the same myth.
Twenty years after PBS first aired the six-hour television series The Power of Myth with Joseph Campbell, the series remains one of PBS's most popular reruns with the subject of myth still captivating viewing audiences. This story of a shared myth between two famous men whose lives were, and increasingly continue to be, an open book serves to remind us that we do not always have to look to the ancient myths to gain insights into life. Charles Dickens and Frank Sinatra serve as perfect models of observation in demonstrating how myth operates in the universe in a span of two centuries.
This blending of biography, history, and journalism with esoteric thought, all in the context of myth, makes the subject of Frank'ly Dickens a totally original one—a new myth created by the author to help you tune in to some of the lessons of the Cosmos. “At the very least, I hope that my book will provoke some serious thought on the subject of myth and heighten awareness in more people so that they can more readily share in the mysteries of life that surround us. Only then can we begin to observe and to learn more on our own rather than to always rely on being taught by someone else's ideas,” says Vinci.
"The idea of 'Frank'ly Dickens' is brilliant and the execution is perfect: Patricia Vinci writes American! Her story is clear and precise, breezy and bright. Best of all, she offers something original for all of us to think about and believe in. I loved it! "
Cedric Charles Dickens
“Keen observation on the part of Ms. Vinci - who weaves a fascinating tale, while presenting inexplicable parallels in the lives of these two men - invites us to look at reality in a new way. Frank Sinatra would be complimented by this comparison to Charles Dickens. This shared myth theory is probably the most original thing written about the singer since his death.”
Frank Waters, a former editor at
Learnin' The Blues via Gad's Hill
A Review of Frank'ly Dickens by Patricia Vinci
Reviewer: T. J. Walsh
You are invited to a dance. One dancer is from the 20th century, while the partner is from the 19th Century. The dance will unite the two eras with perfect cadence. The music tells you to "put your dreams away for another day" because you are about to experience mythic enchantment.
To read this book is, to paraphrase one of its icons, a far, better thing you do than you've ever done.
The greatest asset of this book is this: Ms. Vinci does not stretch history to reveal unique links between Charles John Huffman Dickens, of the 19th Century, with Francis Albert Sinatra, of the 20th. She begins, in medias res, with simple, undeniable facts, comparing one to the other, point by point, until her personal symphony has us in its literary and musical grasp.
Surprisingly, she can cite events which are exactly one hundred years apart. The events of 1834 remarkably parallel the events of 1934, thanks to her creative research and mythic instincts.
Ms. Vinci carves out two parallel worlds, populated by two super-stars "who got the world on a string." (BTW, she cleverly italicizes phrases which link back to Sinatra song titles and/or films in the text.)
To cite some of the similarities between the two gentlemen would ruin your reading experience. However, let me whet your interest by the revelation of "just one of those things." Dickens favored the expression "Capital." Ms. Vinci, pushing on The Great Mandella, transports us through the universe, and ties the same word to Sinatra's recording company, which brought him fame and money.
Parallel myths, and all that jazz, is serious stuff, one Ms. Vinci balances with wit, insight, and much research. The oracle is told with an intelligent, confident voice. She curls her finger to the reader, and coaxes them down the rabbit hole, through the looking glass, and into a time machine with a flux capacitor. This book is for the reader who seeks originality and a good time.
Too often, one hears the quip: "You've got to read this book." Well, in this case, it's true. It's your destiny to read this magnificent and creative book. Rarely will you be witness to such a creative approach to history, myth and just plain vanilla karma.
So, "hey there, cutes, put on your Basie boots" and buy this book!!!
(And don't tell your Momma.)