Heimel's new collection takes up where her last one (If You Can't Live Without Me, Why Aren't You Dead Yet?, 1991) ended: In 36 short pieces previously published in Playboy, the Village Voice, and the Independent, the humorist parades the goofy, smart, obsessive-yet-perceptive persona that many downtown Manhattan- dwellers have come to identify with. But this time, she shows us a little more of her mature, maternal, responsible side before slipping in the news that she's defected for California to write for a sitcom. Maybe that's why she sounds happier and more relaxed. In five pieces that fall under the heading ``Feminist Rants,'' Heimel demonstrates her mastery of the endlessly thorny subject of men: ``A woman needs a man like a fish needs a net,'' she says, beefing up Gloria Steinem's flip 70's slogan that ``A woman without a man is like a fish without a bicycle.'' Times are tougher now than they were in the 70's, and Heimel envies the easy confidence that she's seen lesbians demonstrate: ``I remember only once in my life feeling as content and confident as these women: It was 1979 and I was out of my mind on a combination of Quaaludes and cocaine. This method no longer strikes me as practical.'' But in short pieces on her brief stint as a welfare mother, and in the angry, zingy ``How to Be Creative,'' she tells us how she got tough enough to let her talent shine through, showing us the seatless toilets in the welfare office and all the twisted little jokes and reflections she had along her difficult way. And in many little pieces on shopping (including the buying of deliciously vengeful Christmas gifts) and on life in L.A., as well as in further thoughts on guys, Heimel demonstrates that a good writer can peer over the edge of middle-aged looniness without quite falling in. Funny and smart: a great way for beset urban women to chase the blues.

Pub Date: June 1, 1993

ISBN: 0-87113-538-8

Page Count: 192

Publisher: Atlantic Monthly

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 1993

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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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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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