For diehards who want to know more about Prince Charles and the love of his life—who is definitely not Princess Di—British journalist Wilson redigests 20 years of royal gossip. British expository style makes this different from American rehashes, and there is a decidedly exotic quality to the subject matter. To read about Charles's affair with Camilla Parker Bowles is to read about a tribe at least as strange and anachronistic as the Yanomami of Brazil and the Amish of Pennsylvania. Wilson (ghostwriter of James Whitaker's Diana v. Charles, not reviewed) gives a tour of the customs of blue-blooded Britons, of a world in which a prince could conduct an affair with a woman whose public school was decorated with the stuffed body of a ``crucified'' bat, and who is married to someone formerly called the ``Silver Stick in Waiting'' to the Queen. The sex may be old, but the anthropology is riveting: the royal calendar, the London season, the rituals around mating and breeding, the aristocratic pastimes of polo and fox hunting, and the household courtiers and guards who still dress in the same costumes, so Camilla's father observes, they once wore to fight Napoleon. And where the Prince of Wales apparently spends his days and nights preparing to be King of England and thinking about Camilla Parker Bowles's knickers (a transcript of the famous Camillagate tape is included). When the world watched Diana Spencer walk down the aisle of St. Paul's—yes, even then—Charles and Camilla had just shared what they claimed would be their last tryst. Diana gets little sympathy: Though often on moral high ground, she is a neurotic ``bag of bones.'' Camilla, with her ``voluptuous curves,'' is devoted and discreet, a ``woman who cares deeply for her man''—the Tammy Wynette of the Beaufort hunt club. Less interesting are arguments about whether the monarchy will stand. More than anyone cares to know about the prince's sex life. But as a scandalizing glimpse into a closed society, it's rather fascinating.

Pub Date: Nov. 18, 1994

ISBN: 0-688-13808-X

Page Count: 288

Publisher: Morrow/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 1994

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Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis...



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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Analyzing his craft, a careful craftsman urges with Thoreauvian conviction that writers should simplify, simplify, simplify.


New York Times columnist and editorial board member delivers a slim book for aspiring writers, offering saws and sense, wisdom and waggery, biases and biting sarcasm.

Klinkenborg (Timothy; or, Notes of an Abject Reptile, 2006), who’s taught for decades, endeavors to keep things simple in his prose, and he urges other writers to do the same. (Note: He despises abuses of the word as, as he continually reminds readers.) In the early sections, the author ignores traditional paragraphing so that the text resembles a long free-verse poem. He urges readers to use short, clear sentences and to make sure each one is healthy before moving on; notes that it’s acceptable to start sentences with and and but; sees benefits in diagramming sentences; stresses that all writing is revision; periodically blasts the formulaic writing that many (most?) students learn in school; argues that knowing where you’re headed before you begin might be good for a vacation, but not for a piece of writing; and believes that writers must trust readers more, and trust themselves. Most of Klinkenborg’s advice is neither radical nor especially profound (“Turn to the poets. / Learn from them”), and the text suffers from a corrosive fallacy: that if his strategies work for him they will work for all. The final fifth of the text includes some passages from writers he admires (McPhee, Oates, Cheever) and some of his students’ awkward sentences, which he treats analytically but sometimes with a surprising sarcasm that veers near meanness. He includes examples of students’ dangling modifiers, malapropisms, errors of pronoun agreement, wordiness and other mistakes.

Analyzing his craft, a careful craftsman urges with Thoreauvian conviction that writers should simplify, simplify, simplify.

Pub Date: Aug. 7, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-307-26634-7

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Knopf

Review Posted Online: May 14, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2012

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