A freeform category, then, marked by a rather shapeless but still quite readable, collection. Good stuff, if you like that...


Is an outlaw writer one who threatens to fill Marshall McLuhan with pencil lead?

The editors of this overstuffed anthology never quite get around to defining just what “outlaw literature” is and what makes it illicit, dangerous, or otherwise suspect, except to hint that it stands in some sort of opposition to the world of “reality shows, Botox, or IPOs,” to say nothing of a “culture coming of age in the grip of Google and Wal-mart.” Resounding sentiments, those, and the editors, famed counterculturists in their own right, presumably know outlaw literature when they see it. Still, you might wonder: What do Richard Brautigan and Mickey Spillane, who took home hefty advances and even heftier royalty checks, really have in common with, say, Boxcar Bertha and Sonny Barger? Would Emma Goldman have much to say to Valerie Solanas, Ray Bradbury to DMX? Only a deconstructionist, perhaps, could say with any authority. For our purposes, being an outlaw writer appears mostly to mean using lots of naughty words (Barry Gifford: “Willie Wild Wong, you dumb motherfucker!”; Jim Carroll: “‘I am the proletariat, you dumb bastard,’ he said, ‘and I think those motherfuckers are off their rockers”) and doing lots of naughty and unhealthful things (Norman Mailer: “I threw up a little while ago and my breath is foul”; William Burroughs: “Junk sickness, suspended by codeine and hop, numbed by weeks of constant drinking, came back on me full force”). Still, there are lots of good and memorable things here, among them Paul Krassner’s memoir of dropping acid with Groucho Marx; Dee Dee Ramone’s heartfelt plea, “Please don’t kill me now, God. I would love to be the last Ramone to die” (no such luck, sorry); and Malcolm X’s spot-on prediction that after his death “the white man, in his press, is going to identify me with ‘hate.’ ”

A freeform category, then, marked by a rather shapeless but still quite readable, collection. Good stuff, if you like that sort of thing.

Pub Date: Feb. 1, 2005

ISBN: 1-56025-550-1

Page Count: 704

Publisher: N/A

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2004

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Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis...



Privately published by Strunk of Cornell in 1918 and revised by his student E. B. White in 1959, that "little book" is back again with more White updatings.

Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis (whoops — "A bankrupt expression") a unique guide (which means "without like or equal").

Pub Date: May 15, 1972

ISBN: 0205632645

Page Count: 105

Publisher: Macmillan

Review Posted Online: Oct. 28, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 1972

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Noted jazz and pop record producer Thiele offers a chatty autobiography. Aided by record-business colleague Golden, Thiele traces his career from his start as a ``pubescent, novice jazz record producer'' in the 1940s through the '50s, when he headed Coral, Dot, and Roulette Records, and the '60s, when he worked for ABC and ran the famous Impulse! jazz label. At Coral, Thiele championed the work of ``hillbilly'' singer Buddy Holly, although the only sessions he produced with Holly were marred by saccharine strings. The producer specialized in more mainstream popsters like the irrepressibly perky Teresa Brewer (who later became his fourth wife) and the bubble-machine muzak-meister Lawrence Welk. At Dot, Thiele was instrumental in recording Jack Kerouac's famous beat- generation ramblings to jazz accompaniment (recordings that Dot's president found ``pornographic''), while also overseeing a steady stream of pop hits. He then moved to the Mafia-controlled Roulette label, where he observed the ``silk-suited, pinky-ringed'' entourage who frequented the label's offices. Incredibly, however, Thiele remembers the famously hard-nosed Morris Levy, who ran the label and was eventually convicted of extortion, as ``one of the kindest, most warm-hearted, and classiest music men I have ever known.'' At ABC/Impulse!, Thiele oversaw the classic recordings of John Coltrane, although he is the first to admit that Coltrane essentially produced his own sessions. Like many producers of the day, Thiele participated in the ownership of publishing rights to some of the songs he recorded; he makes no apology for this practice, which he calls ``entirely appropriate and without any ethical conflicts.'' A pleasant, if not exactly riveting, memoir that will be of most interest to those with a thirst for cocktail-hour stories of the record biz. (25 halftones, not seen)

Pub Date: May 1, 1995

ISBN: 0-19-508629-4

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Oxford Univ.

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 1995

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