SPEAK FICTION AND POETRY!

THE BEST OF BOMB MAGAZINE'S INTERVIEWS WITH WRITERS

G+B Arts—dist. by D.A.P. (298 pp.) $49.95 paper $24.95 Jun. 12, 1998 ISBN: 90-5701-271-5 paper 90-5701-351-7 It would at first be difficult to find fault with this clubby, generous anthology of interviews previously published in the pages of BOMB magazine, a respected journal of contemporary arts; it becomes easier as one grows ever more aware that the book, as conceived, lacks all reason for being. The volume is weighted toward writers of fiction (Russell Banks, Peter Carey, Tobias Wolff, et al.), with a few poets (James Merrill among them) and fence-sitters (Michael Ondaatje, Jeanette Winterson, Sapphire, and the ubiquitous Paul Auster) as well. The sampling seems diverse enough, amiably accommodating differences of geography, ethnicity, gender, and sexual orientation. Nonetheless, the proceedings have about them an air of almost corporate homogeneity. The aggrandizement is only reinforced by the copious listing (in an appendix) of prizes and honors accrued by each writer and interviewer. It is certainly, then, an unintended irony that this familiar array of authors—in their words as in their writing—should serve to illustrate the very narrowness of our literature, as defined not only by the publishers and university writing programs but, the more pitiably, by journals of culture like BOMB. Further, the editorial decision to utilize interviewers who are, in numerous cases, friends, even acolytes, of the writers involved precludes the sorts of tension that allow for revelation in this format. Carole Maso, who interviews Lucie Brock-Broido, is not only sycophantic in that task, but provides an overview of the poet’s work so smug and hyperbolic as to be unreadable; ditto Jim Lewis with respect to his charge, Bradford Morrow. A few of the authors do, however, fare a bit better. Fans won’t mind a peek through the windows of this venerable establishment; others are advised to seek out insight elsewhere. (25 b&w photos, not seen)

Pub Date: June 12, 1998

ISBN: 90-5701-271-5

Page Count: 298

Publisher: N/A

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 1998

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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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