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There's not much about the Rat Pack that we at GQ haven't read or indeed written. The same could be said of Shawn Levy, author of the definitive Rat Pack Confidential and a new limited-edition book, The Rat Pack (Reel Art Press, £400). But what is this one going to tell us about Frank Sinatra and co that we don't already know? "What's new is the images," explains Levy. "Tony Nourmand, the publisher and editor, discovered an archive in Los Angeles where a lot of guys who were around the Rat Pack in their heyday had stored all their famous images and, more crucially, things they hadn't published before. So for instance any iconic shot you can think of the Rat Pack, you know how photographers work, they'll take 80 pictures to get one: well, the other 79 had never been seen before."

Suffice to say though that there's a lot more to recommend The Rat Pack than umpteen shots of the gang swaggering outside the Sands Hotel - although there are more than a few of those too. "When Tony described it to me the first time, I was like, 'Well, that sounds interesting,' but you think, 'Yeah, yeah, yeah, I've seen lots.' When I finally saw the images I was like, 'Oh my God.' Backstage stuff, private parties in people's home... You knew these people did these things, and you had plenty of reason to believe they happened, but until you've actually seen them, I'm not sure that I really 100 per cent believed them. And now I've seen them. Things you've never seen before no matter how many of these Rat Pack books you've read or how into it you think you are. I guarantee you every page has stuff on it you've never seen." Here Levy exclusively reveals to his favourite unseen images, the one new thing he learnt and why Twitter means there will never be another Rat Pack...

To read full article and view images, click here.

16 Nov, 2010 Jamie Millar