An excellent look at the marijuana subculture, deluded or not, aspiring to the Middle-American mainstream.

The story behind the FBI raid on a Michigan farm that could have become the next Waco or Ruby Ridge—except that 9/11 intervened.

On September 9, 2001, Los Angeles–based journalist Kuipers read a newspaper article about the killing of two men by FBI sharpshooters at a southwestern Michigan campground, following a standoff that ran over the Labor Day weekend. Two days later, when people confronting the FBI were suddenly perceived less like defenders of their constitutional rights and more like terrorists, the story was dropped flat by most news media. Kuipers, however, had grown up near tiny Vandalia, Mich., and knew that smoking pot in the state was a misdemeanor, enforcement rare. “The shootings . . . smelled funny the moment I read about them,” he writes; he decided to follow up. For years, he relates, owner Tom Crosslin had groomed Rainbow Farm as a campground, meeting place and concert venue specifically for users and proponents of the legalization of cannabis. “Festivals,” usually dubbed something like Roach Roast or Hash Bash, were regular events; name artists performed for enthusiastic, presumably stoned audiences. The author goes to some lengths and generally succeeds in showing how the outlying conservative rural community, while hardly in favor of legal pot or post-hippie lifestyles, could tolerate Crosslin, his much-younger male lover Rollie Rohm and their crowd on the simple basis that what they did was their own business in a free country. But the county prosecutor’s office had other ideas. When Crosslin and Rohm were caught with a few cannabis plants growing in the basement, they were threatened with outright forfeiture of their property and possible prison time. Defaulting on their court date, the two armed themselves and prepared to burn Rainbow Farm to the ground. Was it spontaneous escalation, or did the War on Drugs go so far as to incorporate murder?

An excellent look at the marijuana subculture, deluded or not, aspiring to the Middle-American mainstream.

Pub Date: July 1, 2006

ISBN: 1-59691-142-5

Page Count: 384

Publisher: Bloomsbury

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2006



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 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 1996




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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