A compelling and disturbing reminder to heed those inner warning lights.

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TERRIBLE OMENS

HAPPINESS IS THE OTHER WAY

A memoir presents an “autopsy” of a marriage that was doomed from the start.

Gray (Madame Blavatsky’s Victorian Nightmares, 2017, etc.) met Darren during orientation at Palmer College of Chiropractic in Iowa. She was from Florida, he from Verona, Pennsylvania, just outside of Pittsburgh. For her, it was indifference at first sight. Not so for him. It took almost four months of persistence for Darren to get the author to start dating him seriously. Three months later, they were engaged. He took her home for Christmas to meet his parents and sister. That would have been a good time for Gray to call it quits. Future mother-in-law Charlene welcomed the news of their engagement with tears and profanities. Future sister-in-law Krystal “stalked around the house like a feral cat.” Misgivings notwithstanding, the couple were married about a year before graduation and returned to Iowa following the wedding. After graduation, they made their first mistake. They came back to the Pittsburgh area and moved in with Darren’s parents. Over the next few months, as they searched for chiropractic jobs, the author channeled her rage at Charlene’s constant snipes and general hostility into a journal. She left that journal behind, tucked in a drawer beneath her underwear, when the couple went to North Carolina to visit Gray’s parents. Charlene found the journal and called Darren in a crazed, vituperative rage. The couple decided to move to North Carolina. In prose overflowing with a healthy dose of sarcastic humor, considerable anger, and an ample supply of recriminations (self- and otherwise), Gray chronicles the 15 mostly dysfunctional years they spent together, from the time they met until they parted. In her engrossing, sharp-edged book, the author—who sometimes overindulges in cathartic expletives—shows that abuse comes in many forms. While Gray details several occurrences of physical violence, she recalls that she held on to the marriage through countless incidents of alcohol-infused verbal aggression. According to the author, Darren’s simpering acquiescence to Charlene—who vociferously ruled her family with a nasty iron fist—was in stark contrast to his demeaning and controlling behavior toward Gray. Readers will find themselves frequently yelling at her, “Get out now!”  

A compelling and disturbing reminder to heed those inner warning lights.

Pub Date: Dec. 4, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-937258-20-7

Page Count: 370

Publisher: Thinktorium, LLC

Review Posted Online: Feb. 14, 2019

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

THE ELEMENTS OF STYLE

50TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION

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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WHAT A WONDERFUL WORLD

A LIFETIME OF RECORDINGS

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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