ON STORIES

AND OTHER ESSAYS ON LITERATURE

A minor but occasionally stimulating collection (nine of the 20 pieces originally appeared in Of Other Worlds) on fiction, fantasy, and related topics. Some of the items look suspiciously like fillers (a one-paragraph tribute to E. R. Eddison, for example, or the transcript of a chat on science fiction with Kingsley Amis and Brian Aldiss); and none of them is truly memorable. But Lewis' wide reading and sturdy common sense (in some ways he was a scaled-down version of Dr. Johnson) make him a rewarding, if not illuminating, critic. Even when his case is dubious ("bad art never enraptures"), his debating skills are formidable. And while not steadily eloquent, Lewis can hammer out a well-turned phrase: "We must not listen to Pope's maxim about the proper study of mankind. The proper study of man is everything." Lewis has no all-encompassing system to offer, thank goodness. He praises the work of his friend J. R. R. Tolkien indiscriminately, and he often fails to substantiate his prejudices (against The Arabian Nights, for instance). Still, when it comes to fundamentals, to showing why Animal Farm is a classic and 1984 is not, to defending H. Rider Haggard's creative importance despite his wretched style, to explaining the appeal of The Wind in the Willows, Lewis does a more than satisfactory job. The book won't stir up a great deal of interest except among his admirers, but their number seems to be large—and growing larger.

Pub Date: April 30, 1982

ISBN: 0156027682

Page Count: 184

Publisher: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich

Review Posted Online: Oct. 17, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 1982

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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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MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR. AND THE MARCH ON WASHINGTON

This early reader is an excellent introduction to the March on Washington in 1963 and the important role in the march played by Martin Luther King Jr. Ruffin gives the book a good, dramatic start: “August 28, 1963. It is a hot summer day in Washington, D.C. More than 250,00 people are pouring into the city.” They have come to protest the treatment of African-Americans here in the US. With stirring original artwork mixed with photographs of the events (and the segregationist policies in the South, such as separate drinking fountains and entrances to public buildings), Ruffin writes of how an end to slavery didn’t mark true equality and that these rights had to be fought for—through marches and sit-ins and words, particularly those of Dr. King, and particularly on that fateful day in Washington. Within a year the Civil Rights Act of 1964 had been passed: “It does not change everything. But it is a beginning.” Lots of visual cues will help new readers through the fairly simple text, but it is the power of the story that will keep them turning the pages. (Easy reader. 6-8)

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 2001

ISBN: 0-448-42421-5

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Grosset & Dunlap

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2000

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