Should Wallace suggest an article on the behavior of a sack of hammers, the smart editor will give him a fat advance and all...

CONSIDER THE LOBSTER

AND OTHER ESSAYS

Another savory, hard-thinking, wildly imaginative collection of essays and observations from the artful Wallace (Oblivion, 2004, etc.).

Included here is the wonderful “Up, Simba” (the director’s cut), a consideration of what John McCain’s presidential bid reveals about “millennial politics and all its packaging and marketing,” and how the “general sepsis actually makes us US voters feel.” It is an essay that showcases Wallace’s ability to capture the queer gamut of our citizenry, from “Talmudically bearded guys asking about Chechnya” to “the obligatory walleyed fundamentalist trying to pin [McCain] down on whether Christ really called homosexuality an abomination.” In “Joseph Frank’s Dostoevsky” he suggests why the Russian master is important to today’s American, citing his degrees of passion, conviction and engagement with deep moral issues, as well as his great plots and splendid, alive characterizations. He gets in a mighty dig at John Updike for his uncritical celebration of self-absorption, though he may have been premature in speaking of Philip Roth’s “senescence.” A lobster festival becomes an opportunity to explore the subjectivity of pain and suffering (lobsters are not likely dancing a happy fandango under the clattering lid of the boiling pot). He addresses the exformative associations in Kafka, the ethics of American English usage, the state of the porn industry and gets windy tearing apart tennis champ Tracy Austin’s “insipid” autobiography—but let the wind blow, for it is ever-refreshing.

Should Wallace suggest an article on the behavior of a sack of hammers, the smart editor will give him a fat advance and all expenses paid.

Pub Date: Dec. 12, 2005

ISBN: 0-316-15611-6

Page Count: 384

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2005

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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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MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR. AND THE MARCH ON WASHINGTON

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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