ALL MY ROAD BEFORE ME

THE DIARY OF C.S. LEWIS, 1922-1927

Lewis's private account of his undergraduate years at Oxford, edited and introduced by his literary executor and former personal secretary. In 1922, Lewis was completing his studies of philosophy and the classics at University College, Oxford, and looking for some means of advancement in the academic world. Still an atheist, he had already fought as an infantry officer in France and established a reputation as a scholar of great promise. His diary records all the usual routines of a man in his situation—notations on books, debates with tutors and classmates, examinations—set against the backdrop of a domestic life shared with Janie King Moore, his companion and (probable) lover. Some 30 years his senior, Moore was the mother of one of Lewis's classmates who had been killed in the war. Lewis kept his relations with her secret from his family and colleagues (possibly out of a fear of blackmail from her estranged husband), and they lived precariously on his student allowance, moving frequently from house to house as their money gave out. In 1925, Lewis was elected a Fellow of Magdalen College. This confirmed his academic status and eased his finances, but his career was still far from assured, and the picture that emerges from his journals is one of great uncertainty tempered by youthful optimism. Always gregarious, Lewis had already formed a large circle of friends, who are portrayed vividly and effectively throughout. Editor Hooper organizes his material admirably, supplying annotations and several pages of biographical outlines, as well as a brief and readable introduction. Despite the omissions (about a third of the manuscript was cut), the narrative is smooth and comprehensible. An agreeable depiction of a writer's private life, but limited in scope. Essential reading for Lewis fans, it may strike the general reader as too parochial.

Pub Date: July 22, 1991

ISBN: 0156046431

Page Count: 350

Publisher: Harcourt

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 1991

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NUTCRACKER

This is not the Nutcracker sweet, as passed on by Tchaikovsky and Marius Petipa. No, this is the original Hoffmann tale of 1816, in which the froth of Christmas revelry occasionally parts to let the dark underside of childhood fantasies and fears peek through. The boundaries between dream and reality fade, just as Godfather Drosselmeier, the Nutcracker's creator, is seen as alternately sinister and jolly. And Italian artist Roberto Innocenti gives an errily realistic air to Marie's dreams, in richly detailed illustrations touched by a mysterious light. A beautiful version of this classic tale, which will captivate adults and children alike. (Nutcracker; $35.00; Oct. 28, 1996; 136 pp.; 0-15-100227-4)

Pub Date: Oct. 28, 1996

ISBN: 0-15-100227-4

Page Count: 136

Publisher: Harcourt

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 1996

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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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