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The Last Playboy


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A scandalous story of money, drugs, fast cars, high politics, lowly crime, hundreds of beautiful woman and one man, Porfirio Rubirosa from the celebrated author of RAT PACK CONFIDENTIAL. / Shawn Levy is the celebrated author of RAT PACK CONFIDENTIAL and READY, STEADY, GO. / RAT PACK CONFIDENTIAL has sold over 120,000 copies in the UK. / Levy has been given unique access to primary material including FBI and CIA files in his search for the last playboy. / Competition: Rat Pack Confidential; Easy Riders, Raging Bull by Peter Biskind; Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas by Hunter S Thompson;

About the Author

Shawn Levy is the author of King of Comedy: The Life and Art of Jerry Lewis, the bestselling Rat Pack Confidential and Read, Steady, Go!. His writing has appeared in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, the Village Voice, Movieline, Film Comment, and Pulse! He is a former senior editor of American Film.


Even readers who find the idea of a "playboy" somewhat questionable won't be able to put down Levy's biography of Porfirio Rubirosa (1909-1965). For one thing, there's delicious gossip: the women he courted (Eartha Kitt, Zsa Zsa Gabor), the men he prowled with (Prince Aly Khan, Sinatra, the Kennedys) and the fabulously wealthy women he married (Barbara Hutton, Doris Duke). There's also the story of his infamous penis-Doris Duke described it as "six inches in circumference... much like the last foot of a Louisville Slugger baseball bat with the consistency of a not completely inflated volleyball." Plus, there's sports-car racing, polo ponies and nonstop nightclubbing. But Levy, film critic for the Portland Oregonian, goes beyond the glitz to see Rubirosa as a product of a particular time and place: dictator Trujillo's Dominican Republic. Like many Trujillo intimates, Rubirosa was well paid for his loyalty, not his labor. By the 1960s, when Rubirosa crashed his Ferrari in Paris's Bois de Boulogne, he was an anachronism-at that point, even wealthy men were trying to have careers of some sort. All Rubi knew was how to enjoy himself, so this bubbly bio is a perfect tribute. Photos. Agent, Inkwell Management. (Sept.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.

'An excellent, gossipy study!Levy has a kinetic prose style!Levy's luscious, shimmering and titillating portrait is there for the world' Sunday Times '[Shawn Levy] has a fascinating story to tell!This is undoubtedly a page turner' Mail on Sunday 'Shawn Levy has brought all his customary energies to this study of Porfirio Rubirosa's life' Daily Telegraph 'A swish, always interesting collection of barroom tales' Night and Day, Mail on Sunday 'Levy is very thorough!This is a tale told with with great relish and style' GQ 'The story of Rubirosa is lovingly investigated in every titillating detail in The Last Playboy' Scotsman 'A superbly written account of the high life of a dead breed ! Levy's swinging narrative offers up a sharp portrait of a smooth man, an extinct species and a bygone world' The List Praise for READY, STEADY, GO / 'Definitive ! a remarkable book. Levy succeeds in pinning down a volatile movement, constantly reinventing itself.' George Melly, Guardian / 'A strikingly accurate portrait of an astonishing few years when the world suddenly went from grey to technicolor.' Ray Connolly, Daily Mail Praise for RAT PACK CONFIDENTIAL / 'Scotch-on-the-rocks cool' Loaded / 'A compulsive account of five men with America in their pockets -- and the money, power and sense to bleed every last moment of fun out of it. An immense book.' FHM

Film critic Levy (the Portland Oregonian) explores the life and career of Porfirio Rubirosa (1909-65), known as Rubi, one of the original international jetsetters, who relaxed with movie stars, served as an emissary-and possibly even a hit man-for the Dominican dictator Trujillo (his former father-in-law), and was known far and wide as a Latin charmer and ladies' man. He was married five times but was notorious mainly for his apparently insatiable sexual appetites, as well as his nearly supernatural charm, his thrill-seeking, and his hedonism. Although he died at the age of 56 after wrecking his Ferrari in Paris, he had packed a lot of living into those years. Levy's account of this fascinating, albeit largely forgotten, man makes for accessible and interesting reading, rating right up there with his best work, Ready, Steady, Go!: The Smashing Rise and Giddy Fall of Swinging London. A good addition to the biography collections of any public library; academic libraries might also wish to consider it, for although not a scholarly work, it gives students a picture of life in the Fifties entirely distinct from the one provided by "Happy Days."-Mark Bay, Cumberland Coll. Lib., Williamsburg, KY Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.

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