Buoyant advice for readers ready to hit the river.

Sweep Rowing


With 20 years’ experience coaching crew, Cherry talks not just mechanics, but the potential art in the rowing experience.

This guide to rowing comes at the sport from a pre-Socratic angle, digging to its essence, then shifting to the Platonic ideal of release, strike, recovery sweep, catch, drive—the perfect stroke, like a dive without a splash. When you put all the elements together—nothing more, nothing less—there’s a mysterious elevation of spirit. Cherry, in his debut, brings a pleasingly old-school formality to rowing: do it right, do it to perfection, but have fun while you’re at it. Sense the atmosphere of the wooden boathouse—the deep shadows, the slanting rays of Rembrandt light—and you learn that there is a way to conduct yourself as a rower: with respect and consideration for others, with quiet camaraderie and an offering hand, and with an eye for the common good. “You must embrace the fact that as soon as you lay hands on the racing shell, you surrender your unique identity absolutely.” Cherry offers clear instruction and advice to oarsmen and -women, coxswains, and coaches, like how to get the shell from the rack to the dock and into the water, where to halt the catch—“Only enough force to bury the blade’s paint”—and how to execute the drive: “No matter if you’re on the square or feathering, it is the job of the drive hand to strike at the finish and unweight at the catch.” (Don’t worry, the lingo becomes self-explanatory.) There are checklists for the coxswain and the coach. There are playlists of songs that Cherry recommends. In fact, gentleman rower that he is, Cherry always recommends, never claiming the last word: “What I’ve written here is not intended to be the final word on technique but only pieces of accessible guidance that will make some good sense to you.”

Buoyant advice for readers ready to hit the river.

Pub Date: May 14, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-4575-2285-7

Page Count: 104

Publisher: Dog Ear Publishing

Review Posted Online: Aug. 8, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2015

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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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An extravaganza in Bemelmans' inimitable vein, but written almost dead pan, with sly, amusing, sometimes biting undertones, breaking through. For Bemelmans was "the man who came to cocktails". And his hostess was Lady Mendl (Elsie de Wolfe), arbiter of American decorating taste over a generation. Lady Mendl was an incredible person,- self-made in proper American tradition on the one hand, for she had been haunted by the poverty of her childhood, and the years of struggle up from its ugliness,- until she became synonymous with the exotic, exquisite, worshipper at beauty's whrine. Bemelmans draws a portrait in extremes, through apt descriptions, through hilarious anecdote, through surprisingly sympathetic and understanding bits of appreciation. The scene shifts from Hollywood to the home she loved the best in Versailles. One meets in passing a vast roster of famous figures of the international and artistic set. And always one feels Bemelmans, slightly offstage, observing, recording, commenting, illustrated.

Pub Date: Feb. 23, 1955

ISBN: 0670717797

Page Count: -

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: Oct. 25, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 1955

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