Dave Barry Is Still At It. Laughing will only encourage him—but that would be okay.

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DAVE BARRY HITS BELOW THE BELTWAY

Dave Barry has written more than a score of funny books, a full 69% of them bearing the words “Dave Barry” in the title (Dave Barry Turns 50, 1998, etc.). Now, maintaining Dave Barry’s high standards, Dave Barry turns political pundit, employing Dave Barry’s firm grip on matters governmental as well as a lot of other foolishness.

We are assured that this profoundly cogent text is totally research-free. That leaves plenty of room for everything we must know about Washington’s ways. Naturally, this includes a quick history of civilization through the birth of the nation. As Dave Barry notes, the colonists “had dared squeeze the tube of independence . . . and there was to be no putting it back.” Later, a “low point came in 1967, when the tinder box of urban unrest reached the boiling point.” Not since the late Bill Nye has there been such elegant historical syntax. Barry’s intimate knowledge of governmental organization surely qualifies him for a Cabinet post, perhaps at the Department of Infrastructure (which, we learn, was created in error instead of “Yarn Safety Week”). Helpfully, there’s a strangely familiar version of the Constitution. Perhaps it’s the one carried in Senator Byrd’s vest pocket; perhaps it’s the prevalent usage of “shall” regarding interns, the Supreme Court, and other objects of national derision. Concluding, for little discernible reason, with much ado about Florida, there’s some courtroom dialogue worthy of the Marx Brothers. The author suggests requiring political candidates, like race-car drivers, to wear the logos of their corporate sponsors. Finally, he advises us to simply consider the federal government as an extravagant entertainment we’ve paid plenty for. For full enjoyment, ignore all the references to the Giant Prehistoric Zucchini.

Dave Barry Is Still At It. Laughing will only encourage him—but that would be okay.

Pub Date: Oct. 9, 2001

ISBN: 0-375-50219-X

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2001

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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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