A memoir of a five-and-a-half year sojourn through some of the world’s more exotic, and dangerous, places.
As a recent college graduate with a sense of adventure, author Devine left New Orleans on a freighter in 1967 to meet up with her former boyfriend in Spain. It was the start of a multiyear “world odyssey” that took them through Europe, North Africa, the Middle East, and Asia, which she recounts in this poignant, if sometimes heavy-going, travel memoir. “Prospects for a beautiful life hovered, but something was missing,” she writes. “To find out what that was, I had to run away from home—in this case, sail away.” Later, they experimented with LSD and, in India, pursued yoga studies at an ashram. “Meat will make a scientist, but never a philosopher,” the vegetarian swami of the Ananda Ashram told his students. Travel offered Devine “the opportunity to discover something about myself,” but her journey ran aground on the unpleasant personality of her arrogant boyfriend, who “was living in his own world where I was only occasionally welcome,” and deviates unexpectedly into a tale of horror after the couple meet a would-be guru, in Spain, whom the author says later raped her in the fitting room of a London clothing store. Readers who recollect a more innocent era of travel may be beguiled by Devine’s keenly observed descriptions of the many places she visited and the colorful characters she encountered. In Istanbul, for example, the air is described as “thick with history and art, with dreams and nightmares, secrets of ages, and monuments to failed empires,” while in New Delhi, “No particle of physical space was unoccupied by some jostling living creature, two-footed, four-footed, man or molecule-sized being, in perpetual scuffle for survival.” “I would always be a traveler, even if I never went [to] another place,” she concludes, but her book ultimately reads like a cautionary tale about the hazards of a hedonistic lifestyle.
A book full of vivid descriptions of adventures from Spain to Thailand that later descends jarringly into horror.
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").
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)