An impressively forthcoming reminiscence full of creative insight.

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ME & MARIO

LOVE, POWER & WRITING WITH MARIO PUZO, AUTHOR OF THE GODFATHER

Gino recollects her 20-year romance with Mario Puzo, the author of The Godfather

When author Gino (Where Dreams Come True, 2014, etc.) first met Mario Puzo, she was 37-years-old and ending her second marriage. Puzo was 58, and his wife of more than 30 years had just died. Neither was particularly ripe for a new romance, and the differences between them—Gino lightheartedly calls them the “Romantic Patriarch and the Radical Feminist”—made their intimate connection somehow improbable. But a deep connection flourished between them nonetheless, a touchingly authentic bond that lasted for 20 years, until Puzo’s death. Mario had written The Godfather 10 years before they met and had been catapulted into the rarified air of celebrity, a cosmos she initially found daunting. He also mentored her in the “carpentry of writing”—Gino had already taken some courses and a writing workshop and had authorial aspirations of her own. Much of the remembrance recounts captivating conversations between the author and Puzo, which provide an extraordinarily candid look at the man and his work. Gino was introduced to other literary luminaries like Joseph Heller and eventually became a successful author in her own right. At the heart of the memoir is the distance between Gino’s view of love and marriage and Puzo’s, which is built not around romantic passion but the dynamic interplay of power and equality. Puzo had said: “As soon as women find out what a rip off marriage is, they won’t even want it. It’s a thankless job” and an “archaic concept especially for an independent woman.” The author’s remembrance is a loving homage not only to an affectionate partner, but also an insightful, attentive teacher. Puzo’s discussions about his demanding craft, as well as the publishing industry, supply many of the book’s highlights. Gino is a natural storyteller—her style is effortlessly anecdotal, more charmingly informal than literarily polished. Her easy wit and openhandedness make for a delightful read, especially for those interested in the elusive mechanics of writing. 

An impressively forthcoming reminiscence full of creative insight. 

Pub Date: Oct. 15, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-936530-33-5

Page Count: 298

Publisher: aaha! Books

Review Posted Online: Oct. 9, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2018

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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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