BROTHER SAM

THE SHORT, SPECTACULAR LIFE OF SAM KINISON

A tasteless, tell-all bio of the outrageous, screaming stand- up comic Kinison, by his manager/brother. But how else to write the life story of a comedian whose tag line was ``Oh! Oh! Aaaaaaugh!'' and whose on-stage rantings included riffs on serial killers, sissy POWs, Satan, crucifixion, Charles Manson, world hunger, cunnilingus, and homosexual necrophilia? The son of a blackballed Pentecostal minister, Kinison was a ``traveling evangelist'' until 1978 when he decided to try stand-up comedy. Starting out in Houston, he felt by 1980 that his loud, vulgar, abrasive routine was ready for the famed Comedy Store in Los Angeles. It took a few years, but by 1983 Kinison had become a ``paid regular.'' He parlayed his growing local notoriety into spots on an HBO special and in Rodney Dangerfield's film Back to School. By 1985, he was nationally known, his screaming diatribes against women and marriage earning him close to $1 million annually. But his drinking, excessive drug use, and abuse of his wives and numerous lovers (who included director Penny Marshall, actress Beverly D'Angelo, and porn star Seka) would take their toll. Despite such powerful admirers as Robin Williams, Howard Stern, and David Letterman, Kinison would alienate the power brokers who might have solidified his career. The ``rock and roll'' comic, Kinison will perhaps best be remembered for his video rendition of ``Wild Thing,'' in which he spits and screams abuse at a writhing, delirious Jessica Hahn (yet another former lover) while snarling Billy Idol and a motley crew of heavy-metal heroes join the fun. Kinison died at the age of 38 in a car accident. At least, writes his brother, ``he did not die of excess'' like John Belushi. Unrestrained, ugly, and grotesquely, perversely captivating. Like the man himself.

Pub Date: May 20, 1994

ISBN: 0-688-12634-0

Page Count: 256

Publisher: Morrow/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 1994

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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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IN MY PLACE

From the national correspondent for PBS's MacNeil-Lehrer Newshour: a moving memoir of her youth in the Deep South and her role in desegregating the Univ. of Georgia. The eldest daughter of an army chaplain, Hunter-Gault was born in what she calls the ``first of many places that I would call `my place' ''—the small village of Due West, tucked away in a remote little corner of South Carolina. While her father served in Korea, Hunter-Gault and her mother moved first to Covington, Georgia, and then to Atlanta. In ``L.A.'' (lovely Atlanta), surrounded by her loving family and a close-knit black community, the author enjoyed a happy childhood participating in activities at church and at school, where her intellectual and leadership abilities soon were noticed by both faculty and peers. In high school, Hunter-Gault found herself studying the ``comic-strip character Brenda Starr as I might have studied a journalism textbook, had there been one.'' Determined to be a journalist, she applied to several colleges—all outside of Georgia, for ``to discourage the possibility that a black student would even think of applying to one of those white schools, the state provided money for black students'' to study out of state. Accepted at Michigan's Wayne State, the author was encouraged by local civil-rights leaders to apply, along with another classmate, to the Univ. of Georgia as well. Her application became a test of changing racial attitudes, as well as of the growing strength of the civil-rights movement in the South, and Gault became a national figure as she braved an onslaught of hostilities and harassment to become the first black woman to attend the university. A remarkably generous, fair-minded account of overcoming some of the biggest, and most intractable, obstacles ever deployed by southern racists. (Photographs—not seen.)

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 1992

ISBN: 0-374-17563-2

Page Count: 192

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1992

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