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The Memory of All That: George Gershwin, Kay…
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The Memory of All That: George Gershwin, Kay Swift, and My Family's… (edition 2012)

by Katharine Weber

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5520214,390 (2.85)5
Member:bbellthom
Title:The Memory of All That: George Gershwin, Kay Swift, and My Family's Legacy of Infidelities
Authors:Katharine Weber
Info:Broadway (2012), Paperback, 288 pages
Collections:Early Reviewer
Rating:***
Tags:2012

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The Memory of All That: George Gershwin, Kay Swift, and My Family's Legacy of Infidelities by Katharine Weber

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Showing 1-5 of 20 (next | show all)
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I should really read something else by Katherine Weber, because the very end of this book (dealing with the end of her Grandmother's life) was really lovely, and I caught I glimpse of Weber's skill with words. But mostly I didn't like this book. Weber's childhood was hard. The first half focuses on her father who was unfaithful, as the book's title suggests, but also just a crappy father and husband (and crazy/delusional/narcissistic). It's hard to read. The second half, focused on her grandmother (she of the long-running affair with George Gershwin) is more interesting, and her grandmother was an impressively accomplished woman. I would have preferred a book focused just on that, but perhaps Weber felt she couldn't tell one story without the other. ( )
  cransell | Jan 11, 2014 |
A really interesting hybrid of memoir and good family dish, very bittersweet and often funny. It works on many levels, but a certain tenderness comes through always, and I found the book not only wry and gossipy and smart but ultimately really touching. Families are all odd when you pull back and look at them, and I very much enjoyed this glimpse into a very complex and vibrant set of family dynamics. Well done. ( )
  lisapeet | May 8, 2013 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Knowing nothing about Kay Swift and only the bare minimum about George Gershwin, this book was quite informative for me. However, I had a tough time trying to keep up with the other assorted family members of the author. It was strange that she would write at first about her father and then eventually make it back to Kay Swift and George Gershwin. My husband, who grew up in NYC and knows a lot more about these people also found that strange. Somehow it seems backwards ( )
  yukon92 | Mar 5, 2013 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
This book was a challenge and a chore to finish. I typically enjoy memoirs, but this seemed a dramatization of family dysfunction and less about the relationship between Gershwin and Swift. Additionally, the writing style was disjointed and the name-dropping was tedious. Should a reader in the 21st century know social figures of the 20's, 30's & 40's? Even the title falls into pretentious name-dropping, as George Gershwin is a minor character in the overall memoir. ( )
  Jeanomario | Dec 21, 2012 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
This book wasn't my favorite but it was ok. It tells an interesting story about a truly fascinating family and all their dysfunctions but there are so many references to different people that the reader gets lost in the who's who.

I would have enjoyed this book more if there wasn't so many people mentioned and there was more written about the main characters. ( )
  bbellthom | Nov 15, 2012 |
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"For readers of Rich Cohen's Sweet and Low, this is a fascinating memoir of an extraordinarily influential American family, from the celebrated author of True Confections, Triangle, and The Music Lesson. The Memory of All That is Katharine Weber's memoir of the rich, strange, and fascinating cast of characters in her family, including her grandmother, Kay Swift, known both for her own music (she was the first woman to compose the score to a hit Broadway show, Fine and Dandy,) and for her ten-year romance with George Gershwin; her great-grandfather, Paul M. Warburg, the creator of the Federal Reserve System (for which he was vilified by Henry Ford, Charles Lindbergh, and countless conspiracy theorists as the ringleader of the so-called international Jewish banking conspiracy), the model for Annie's Daddy Warbucks, and the man known as the Cassandra of Wall Street for having forecast the Wall Street crash of 1929; and her crazy father, an eccentric filmmaker who made propaganda and training films for the OSS during World War II and who subsequently invented the regrettable and forgettable Aromarama movies (yes, you could smell them). The Memory of All That is an enthralling look at this tremendously influential family as well as a consideration of how their stories--with their myriad layers of truth and fiction--have both illuminated and influenced who Weber is today"--… (more)

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