Picks and Pans Review: Pavarotti: My World

updated 11/06/1995 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 11/06/1995 AT 01:00 AM EST

by Luciano Pavarotti with William Wright

Like a big plate of his beloved with garlic, Pavarotti's second book bursts with flavor. In addition to being a world-class tenor and worldwide superstar, the oversize Italian is a connoisseur of unadorned pleasures, and his infectious appreciation of life's little wonders—the sweet smell of the air in Naples, the taste of tiny clams over linguine ("fantastic!")—infuses every page of this seductive memoir.

Whether he's bumming food from Princess Diana at a dinner ("Those shrimp must be very good, yes?"), peddling a bicycle around startled pedestrians in Tiananmen Square or singing My Way live for half the world, Pavarotti exudes an irresistible gentleness. That quality is appealingly evident in the simple prose he uses to describe his passions (opera, food, soccer and horses, roughly in that order), his friendships with Sting and Bruce Springsteen, his endless struggle to stay healthy ("If I get sick, even a little sore throat, I disappoint thousands of people") and, most poignantly, his daughter's successful battle against a rare nerve disease. Sentimental and uplifting, Pavarotti's story resonates with the artist's great gusto for life. Crown, $25)

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