A must-buy book for first-timers bound for the male-dominated Cannes Film Festival, by two old-timers who began as observers 15 years ago and now have decided to combine their notes and tapes. The 45-year-old festival was put on the map in 1954 when French actress Simone Sylva ``threw off her bikini top and replaced it with Robert Mitchum's hands,'' a photo of which doings went around the world and defined Cannes forever as sex and cinema. Today, AIDS has reduced the extracurricular activities so much that Cannes has become a working festival. With about 1500 films to sort out at the two-week festival each May, the attenders, explain Beauchamp (a former NPR reporter) and Behar (a Le Monde reporter), fall into two groups: the ``moles,'' who try to see everything and discover an unannounced masterpiece—they start daily at 8:00 a.m. and stop at midnight; and the ``moths,'' who party, make deals, and see only a few films. The authors tell the smart way to get passes and hotel rooms and to cut costs. In 1979, Francis Coppola, at Cannes with Apocalypse Now, simply rented a yacht in the bay for the entire festival and cooked a lot. Sample of Cannes dialogue: ``Did you hear the hostages were released?'' ``Released? I didn't know they were in postproduction.'' Beauchamp and Behar discuss the competing films, the marketplace, the partying, the stars, the studios, and America's presence in Cannes (as you enter the city, a sign declares: ``WELCOME TO CANNES, SISTER CITY OF BEVERLY HILLS, USA''); the critics, the agents, the flacks, the jury's selection process, and closing night. Special Jury Prize for Sheer Amusement. (Sixteen pages of b&w photos—not seen.)

Pub Date: May 7, 1992

ISBN: 0-688-11007-X

Page Count: 384

Publisher: Morrow/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 1992

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Analyzing his craft, a careful craftsman urges with Thoreauvian conviction that writers should simplify, simplify, simplify.


New York Times columnist and editorial board member delivers a slim book for aspiring writers, offering saws and sense, wisdom and waggery, biases and biting sarcasm.

Klinkenborg (Timothy; or, Notes of an Abject Reptile, 2006), who’s taught for decades, endeavors to keep things simple in his prose, and he urges other writers to do the same. (Note: He despises abuses of the word as, as he continually reminds readers.) In the early sections, the author ignores traditional paragraphing so that the text resembles a long free-verse poem. He urges readers to use short, clear sentences and to make sure each one is healthy before moving on; notes that it’s acceptable to start sentences with and and but; sees benefits in diagramming sentences; stresses that all writing is revision; periodically blasts the formulaic writing that many (most?) students learn in school; argues that knowing where you’re headed before you begin might be good for a vacation, but not for a piece of writing; and believes that writers must trust readers more, and trust themselves. Most of Klinkenborg’s advice is neither radical nor especially profound (“Turn to the poets. / Learn from them”), and the text suffers from a corrosive fallacy: that if his strategies work for him they will work for all. The final fifth of the text includes some passages from writers he admires (McPhee, Oates, Cheever) and some of his students’ awkward sentences, which he treats analytically but sometimes with a surprising sarcasm that veers near meanness. He includes examples of students’ dangling modifiers, malapropisms, errors of pronoun agreement, wordiness and other mistakes.

Analyzing his craft, a careful craftsman urges with Thoreauvian conviction that writers should simplify, simplify, simplify.

Pub Date: Aug. 7, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-307-26634-7

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Knopf

Review Posted Online: May 14, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2012

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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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