WHEN YOU CAN'T COME BACK

In 1989, major-league pitcher Dravecky—who struggled back from surgery on his cancerous left arm only to break the arm ruinously while pitching—learned a bitter lesson about comebacks. It's too bad he didn't heed it instead of writing this awkward missive. Dravecky has come back to the writing table, though, with a sequel to his 1990 Comeback, which was a far more affecting memoir with its focus on his baseball career and dramatic medical ups and downs. Dravecky's wife has coauthored this update on the family saga (she and Dave contribute alternating passages), which finds the couple suffering the torments of Job, she falling into a major clinical depression and he finally losing the arm to amputation. One can only sympathize with the Draveckys' difficulties, but the tone here is so long-suffering and so self-involved (it's no anomaly that a passage in which the couple goes to the White House and meets Bush contains no impression whatsoever of the President) that only close friends are likely to find much of interest. The problem is compounded by the Draveckys' born-again philosophy that permeates the narrative, since on the page the authors' wrestlings with God lack fresh insight (``God doesn't promise us a life full of mountaintop experiences. There will be valleys to go through too,'' Dave points out): Do we really need Dave's commentary on how Field of Dreams is for him a metaphor for returning to God? Only when the agony's so raw that it seeps through the clichÇs does the book come alive—as in Dave's admission that, finally, he doesn't understand why he has suffered so; or in his description of the pain he's felt in his phantom amputated limb. The Draveckys' sincerity shines through even this orgy of soul-beating, which says a lot for them. (Eight pages of b&w photographs—not seen.)

Pub Date: Sept. 25, 1992

ISBN: 0-310-58560-0

Page Count: 216

Publisher: Zondervan

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 1992

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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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IN MY PLACE

From the national correspondent for PBS's MacNeil-Lehrer Newshour: a moving memoir of her youth in the Deep South and her role in desegregating the Univ. of Georgia. The eldest daughter of an army chaplain, Hunter-Gault was born in what she calls the ``first of many places that I would call `my place' ''—the small village of Due West, tucked away in a remote little corner of South Carolina. While her father served in Korea, Hunter-Gault and her mother moved first to Covington, Georgia, and then to Atlanta. In ``L.A.'' (lovely Atlanta), surrounded by her loving family and a close-knit black community, the author enjoyed a happy childhood participating in activities at church and at school, where her intellectual and leadership abilities soon were noticed by both faculty and peers. In high school, Hunter-Gault found herself studying the ``comic-strip character Brenda Starr as I might have studied a journalism textbook, had there been one.'' Determined to be a journalist, she applied to several colleges—all outside of Georgia, for ``to discourage the possibility that a black student would even think of applying to one of those white schools, the state provided money for black students'' to study out of state. Accepted at Michigan's Wayne State, the author was encouraged by local civil-rights leaders to apply, along with another classmate, to the Univ. of Georgia as well. Her application became a test of changing racial attitudes, as well as of the growing strength of the civil-rights movement in the South, and Gault became a national figure as she braved an onslaught of hostilities and harassment to become the first black woman to attend the university. A remarkably generous, fair-minded account of overcoming some of the biggest, and most intractable, obstacles ever deployed by southern racists. (Photographs—not seen.)

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 1992

ISBN: 0-374-17563-2

Page Count: 192

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1992

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