RANCH OF DREAMS

THE HEARTWARMING STORY OF AMERICA'S MOST UNUSUAL ANIMAL SANCTUARY

Cruelty is disgusting, and Amory (The Best Cat Ever, 1993, etc.) paints it just so in this story of the haven he helped create for animals suffering from every rank and radius of human abuse. By now Amory is perhaps better known for his advocacy of the decent treatment of animals than for his reviews in TV Guide, and his ranch in east Texas—Black Beauty Ranch, after the book chronicling the frightful abuse of the eponymous horse—is gaining a like reputation. There, animals are allowed to do as they please in a place they feel belongs to them (though ranch hands keep a weather eye out for them). Here Amory tells the stories of various animals and how they made their way to Black Beauty; the tales are by and large horrific, though most have happy endings. Amory is a wry companion whose aristocratic humor sparkles with a biting contempt for all those who would do harm to animals, from the US Navy, which allowed rare Andalusian goats to be shot for sport on one of its shelling ranges, to the National Park Service, with its cruel treatment of burros and buffalo, and the Bureau of Land Management, equally guilty in its handling of wild horses. He also gets in good clean digs at the much-heralded San Diego Zoo, where elephants are splayed and soundly beaten with ax handles if they prove too spunky. Not all is anecdotal as Amory includes an intelligent history of the horse, an explanation of brucellosis and how it relates to the shooting of buffalo that wander out of Yellowstone Park, and additional background information that makes supposedly ``humane'' extermination of animals look barbaric. Amory's simple point—that our treatment of animals should be governed by the rules of common decency and respect—is stated convincingly, with brio and great dignity. (16 pages photos, not seen) (Author tour; TV satellite tour)

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 1997

ISBN: 0-670-87762-X

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 1997

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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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