He is unquestionably the greatest tenor of his generation. Seductive, lazy, superstitious, relentlessly demanding of attention and bright shiny objects, Luciano Pavarotti is, in this gleefully entertaining memoir, like a greedy toddler with one supernatural gift. But what a gift it is.
Subtitled The Uncensored Tale of Luciano Pavarotti's Rise to Fame by His Manager, Friend and Sometime Adversary, Breslin's book paints a gruffly affectionate portrait of an exasperating maestro whose appetites take precedence over his artistry—and whose avarice leads him to continue hoisting his girth onstage long after most tenors would have retired. But as Breslin notes, Pavarotti does what no rival does half as well:"...make love to you with the sound of his voice."
Gossipy without being malicious, The King and I is as much about the opera business as it is about Pavarotti. It's a delicious crossover book about a crossover artist, not just for the cognoscenti but for those who think Giocon-da is a very large snake.