A profound engagement with travel on the astral plane.

NOMAD’S HOTEL

TRAVELS IN TIME AND SPACE

These journeys of prizewinning Dutch novelist Nooteboom (Lost Paradise, 2007, etc.) are as much head trips as passages through space.

A footloose soul, the author finds within the cacophony of ever-changing milieus the composure in which to write. The feeling Nooteboom conveys of always floating several inches above the ground lends an appealing mystery to the places he visits. This MO works equally well for Zurich, where he admires the choreography of the swans in the lake, or the great square in Isfahan, where he conjures the heyday of mighty Persian Shah Abbas, who “once stood, lay, or sat, while watching the polo matches and races far below him. On such occasions the sides of the big terrace would be closed off, the silk curtains billowing in the wind.” These travels in the mind’s eye are supplemented by the author’s intensely observed experiences. Of a ratty, gray hotel in Mali he writes, “it does not get much uglier than this.” In Taourirt, Morocco, “I did see Death. Over in a dark corner where it is damp and cold, a pile of dirty rags lies moaning.” Nooteboom conveys the excitement of things he doesn’t understand, signs and languages he can’t decipher, a culture that rebuffs him and the refreshing shock of the wholly unknown. Yet he also finds a bemused thrill in the quotidian. At the Ritz in Barcelona, the mirror on the cupboard opens toward the bed: “this mirror must have reflected a thing or two, but it remains silent as the earth into which so many of those guests have already disappeared.” In his travels, Nooteboom discovers a balance of movement and peace, welcoming the indelible chance encounters that inevitably occur along the way.

A profound engagement with travel on the astral plane.

Pub Date: April 2, 2009

ISBN: 978-0-15-603535-4

Page Count: 256

Publisher: Mariner/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2009

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?

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

Did you like this book?

more