A tender love letter to the plateau continent.

READ REVIEW

The Shameless Full Moon, Travels in Africa

Miller, a Mexico-based American journalist, celebrates Africa in this compelling travel memoir.

While awaiting her flight to Nairobi, Miller found herself in close proximity to an explosion at Charles de Gaulle Airport. Shaken but remaining levelheaded, she later boarded a plane to begin her African adventure. The tempo of the memoir is thereby set: fast-paced, occasionally bordering on the urgent, yet always coolly informative. Miller writes that during her time spent away from Africa, she missed it as she might “a close friend or beloved relative”—a sentiment palpable throughout the memoir, as the continent and its diverse array of people are described in tender detail. The author’s journey takes her to Kenya, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe. The Nairobi men are “lean and long, with chiseled features,” whereas the Masai men, have “[d]eep-set eyes, [and a] penetrating gaze, yet soft and soulful.” This form of earnest portraiture captures the manner in which, as with the landscape, human physical characteristics change as the miles pass. The political landscape is also carefully considered, with a specific focus on the impact of colonialism and subsequent waves of tourism. The book’s true power lies in its ability to communicate the freedom and wonder of traversing through Africa’s wide-open spaces. Readers share in the amazement of seeing wild animals in their natural habitats and traveling under a “canopy of moon and stars.” The author describes spiritual aspects of the continent—for example, the legend of Nyami-Nymai, the river god of the Zambezi—yet this travelogue is also an intimate account of a deeply moving inner journey. Although Africa’s dangers are present, not central, the memoir has its thrills and spills, most notably a shipwreck in Zimbabwe. Focus is placed upon the positive impact the continent can have on the individual, which is helpful in debunking Western perceptions of Africa as merely perilous and politically unstable. Carefully researched and written with passion, the narrative buzzes with an energy drawn from the land itself.

A tender love letter to the plateau continent. 

Pub Date: Feb. 25, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-4949-3654-9

Page Count: 246

Publisher: CreateSpace

Review Posted Online: April 7, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2014

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

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

Did you like this book?

SLEEPERS

An extraordinary true tale of torment, retribution, and loyalty that's irresistibly readable in spite of its intrusively melodramatic prose. Starting out with calculated, movie-ready anecdotes about his boyhood gang, Carcaterra's memoir takes a hairpin turn into horror and then changes tack once more to relate grippingly what must be one of the most outrageous confidence schemes ever perpetrated. Growing up in New York's Hell's Kitchen in the 1960s, former New York Daily News reporter Carcaterra (A Safe Place, 1993) had three close friends with whom he played stickball, bedeviled nuns, and ran errands for the neighborhood Mob boss. All this is recalled through a dripping mist of nostalgia; the streetcorner banter is as stilted and coy as a late Bowery Boys film. But a third of the way in, the story suddenly takes off: In 1967 the four friends seriously injured a man when they more or less unintentionally rolled a hot-dog cart down the steps of a subway entrance. The boys, aged 11 to 14, were packed off to an upstate New York reformatory so brutal it makes Sing Sing sound like Sunnybrook Farm. The guards continually raped and beat them, at one point tossing all of them into solitary confinement, where rats gnawed at their wounds and the menu consisted of oatmeal soaked in urine. Two of Carcaterra's friends were dehumanized by their year upstate, eventually becoming prominent gangsters. In 1980, they happened upon the former guard who had been their principal torturer and shot him dead. The book's stunning denouement concerns the successful plot devised by the author and his third friend, now a Manhattan assistant DA, to free the two killers and to exact revenge against the remaining ex-guards who had scarred their lives so irrevocably. Carcaterra has run a moral and emotional gauntlet, and the resulting book, despite its flaws, is disturbing and hard to forget. (Film rights to Propaganda; author tour)

Pub Date: July 10, 1995

ISBN: 0-345-39606-5

Page Count: 432

Publisher: Ballantine

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 1995

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more