An intriguing assortment of work from an athlete with a lot on his mind.

BEAUTIFULLY UNIQUE SPARKLEPONIES

ON MYTHS, MORONS, FREE SPEECH, FOOTBALL, AND ASSORTED ABSURDITIES

NFL punter Kluwe riffs on everything from social justice to dinosaur obsessions in a lively collection of stories, essays, letters and poems.

Those who’ve never watched Kluwe attempt to boot his team out of trouble on fourth and long are still probably familiar with his much-talked-about support of same-sex marriage. Marriage equality, however, is just a thin slice of what the avid video gamer, rock-’n’-roll bassist and Kurt Vonnegut devotee has percolating inside his contemplative mind. Much of it, like when he imagines a “sportsball” showdown between the “Lustful Cockmonsters” and the “Beautifully Unique Sparkleponies,” has comedic value. Kluwe can’t help but dispatch a few politicians and other assorted close-minded pontificators as “douchebags,” but he spends a lot more time pondering other things, like paradoxical time traveling and mankind’s penchant for self-annihilation. In mixing the profane with the prophetic while using a variety of literary devices, the author succeeds at being both entertaining and enlightening. Haters can forget trying to paint Kluwe as some kind of loudmouth who doesn’t spend enough time thinking about his day job. At least two entries—one painstakingly detailing the intricate process of successfully punting a football downfield while a phalanx of world-class juggernauts hurl their cinder-block bodies at him and another creatively cataloging the variety of painful injuries he has sustained over his long football career—clearly attest to his dedication to gridiron greatness. Football concerns Kluwe, but so do a lot of other things—including being a good parent. “Never be ashamed of who you are. I’m a nerd who plays football,” he cheerfully advises his kids. The advice is empowering and displays the author’s overarching belief in empathy and reason.

An intriguing assortment of work from an athlete with a lot on his mind.

Pub Date: June 25, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-316-23677-5

Page Count: 272

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: May 26, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2013

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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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