A treasure chest of images that coalesce into a distinct, original sense of place and time.

AT THE EDGE OF IRELAND

SEASONS ON THE BEARA PENINSULA

Serendipitous Gaelic wanderlustings from the ever-peregrinating Yeadon (Seasons on Harris: A Year in Scotland’s Outer Hebrides, 2006, etc.).

The author has hit upon a winning formula: Disappear somewhere, preferably a wild, back-of-beyond place, then spend a year charting its seasons and exercising a strong streak of inquisitiveness. The Beara Peninsula is tailor-made for such an endeavor. Poking into the Atlantic off Ireland’s Southwest coast, it is stubbornly, gloriously remote, a long way from the tourist buses clogging the Ring of Kerry, but riotously alive with history, powerful landscapes and curious characters. Yeadon is one of those travelers you have to admire. He’s not afraid to make a fool of himself to gain insight, nor to look around at horse-and-buggy speed. Nothing epitomizes his refusal to hurry more than his evocations of the art of the pour, described in yearning detail as he awaits a pint of the black in the many pubs he enters with wife Anne, who adds smart observations along the way. While the Celtic Tiger makes its dent in the global economy, the Beara steps to a relaxed beat. On its narrow, windy roads, the author notes, “we’d been told many drivers were unlicensed, uninsured, and far too often, unsober.” The residents—a critical mass of musicians, cheesemakers, cooks, artists, poets, fishermen, shepherds, healers and crazy sportsmen—indulge in the sport of hurling, “an ancient bogman’s game of pure unrestrained, skull-crushing passion.” Yeadon meets them all and captures them in robust illustrations as well as words. When he needs to provide historical background, he makes it into a story, coaxing readers to engage in Ireland’s furious past filled with class warfare, famines, enclosures and colonial perfidies. He’s at his best when taking in the lay of the land: glacier-gouged mountain passes, stone circles, black-water lakes, moors and peat bogs, hills “as rugged as a rhino’s carapace” and the strange, unrepentant weather that marks life on the western shore.

A treasure chest of images that coalesce into a distinct, original sense of place and time.

Pub Date: Feb. 10, 2009

ISBN: 978-0-06-115127-9

Page Count: 416

Publisher: Perennial/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2009

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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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