Picks and Pans Review: Who's Sorry Now?
To answer bluntly the question posed by the title, just about everybody who plunks down cash for this interminably chatty but incomplete saga will be sorry. Writing with a Gidget-like exuberance ("I love my fan mail! I love my fans! So sue me!"), Francis, the diva of late '50s pop music, recalls every petty argument she had with her parents from the time she was a pudgy Italian princess growing up in Newark, N.J. Yet the book jumps from 1960 to 1974, dismissing her Hollywood years, two marriages, the adoption of her son, Joey, a miscarriage and several other potentially substantive matters in a few pages. Only her November 1974 rape at a Long Island motel and the death of her older brother, George, victim of a gangland rubout in 1981, are explored in detail. Even those incidents seem sterile; George comes off as the kindest person ever to have graced this planet. The late singer Bobby Darin, Francis reveals, was her first true love, before their romance was busted up by her domineering father. Connie says it was Arthur Godfrey who got her to change her name from Franconero and that Dick Clark was her true professional mentor. Stop the presses. Surely there is more in her bitter sweet yet successful life (she has sold more records than any female performer). Connie, alas, doesn't seem capable of telling the tale on herself. (St. Martin's, $14.95)