A cute memoir of living in India with some advice for expatriates as well.




The story of the author’s move from New York to Delhi.

After living in Brooklyn for years, Prager (co-author: Poop Culture: How America Is Shaped by Its Grossest National Product, 2007) and his wife took up his company’s offer to move to India for 18 months. Leaving behind their Park Slope brownstone, Prager immediately fell in love with Delhi—at least for a while. “Five months later,” he writes, “I hated it.” The couple would “vacillate back and forth between the two extremes—love India, hate India, love India, hate India”—before finding a balance between the best and worst their new home had to offer. Prager structures the book as a guide for other expatriates, with chapters on food, shopping, workplace culture and transportation (especially Delhi’s traffic, about which Prager seethes). More than just a how-to guide, the book is an appealing memoir, as the author recounts his social blunders and interactions with curious neighbors. There are a few unsatisfactory moments along the way—e.g., his snarky swipes at New Yorkers and living in New York City feel dated and out of place. Prager’s wife never quite comes across as genuine, and readers learn more about her misadventures with India’s health care system than her work for a rural school trying to lift girls out of poverty. Some of the author’s “problems” may occasionally induce eye-rolling for some readers—in one chapter, he details how his need for “periodic respites from…driving past beggars and slums and sidewalk-sleeping laborers” meant taking a room in a five-star hotel so he could indulge in sushi for brunch at “one of the few places [he] trusted the fish.” These flaws aside, Prager is a solid storyteller, and the book is an enjoyable tour through an overwhelming and irresistible city.

A cute memoir of living in India with some advice for expatriates as well.

Pub Date: June 1, 2013

ISBN: 978-1-61145-832-9

Page Count: 416

Publisher: Arcade

Review Posted Online: May 12, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2013

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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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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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