Entertaining, and likely to hold strong appeal for hip-hop fans.

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NOTORIOUS C.O.P.

THE INSIDE STORY OF THE TUPAC, BIGGIE, AND JAM MASTER JAY INVESTIGATIONS FROM NYPD’S FIRST “HIP-HOP COP”

A former NYPD member teams up with journalist Diehl for a gritty memoir chronicling Parker’s transformation from a regular cop pounding the city streets to a hard-bitten lead detective in the “Rap Intelligence Unit.”

Crime and hip-hop have been inexorably linked ever since the genre emerged from the graffiti-covered New York City streets in the late 1970s. Parker, who grew up in an urban, African-American neighborhood, was an ardent hip-hop fan, but he wound up enforcing the laws flouted by many of the folks creating the music he loved. Delineating this process, and some of his most famous cases, the text at first favors a pulpy prose style, as if the coauthors were paying homage to hack crime fiction. (“Tersely we said our goodbyes. A.J. had other people to call. So did I.”) This affectation is quickly shed as Parker gets down to business, rattling off some visceral recollections of his early days on the force. Hip-hop was on the rise just as his career was kicking into gear, and he soon realized that many of the perps he was dealing with on the streets, such as Kenneth “Supreme” McGriff of the World Famous Supreme Team, were the same guys who were tearing up the charts. Things only escalated from there, and Parker was asked to head up the newly formed Rap Intelligence Unit in the ’90s, a response to the slayings of Tupac Shakur and the Notorious B.I.G. The former cop believes both these cases were solvable, but bungled by the police—a common theme to which Parker returns throughout the book, giving the impression that he was often fighting a lone battle against hip-hop-related crime. In a neat touch, the book ends with a few anecdotes from his post-NYPD career as head of a security firm whose clients are, naturally, some of the biggest figures in the rap world.

Entertaining, and likely to hold strong appeal for hip-hop fans.

Pub Date: July 5, 2006

ISBN: 0-312-35251-4

Page Count: 320

Publisher: St. Martin's

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2006

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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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Analyzing his craft, a careful craftsman urges with Thoreauvian conviction that writers should simplify, simplify, simplify.

SEVERAL SHORT SENTENCES ABOUT WRITING

New York Times columnist and editorial board member delivers a slim book for aspiring writers, offering saws and sense, wisdom and waggery, biases and biting sarcasm.

Klinkenborg (Timothy; or, Notes of an Abject Reptile, 2006), who’s taught for decades, endeavors to keep things simple in his prose, and he urges other writers to do the same. (Note: He despises abuses of the word as, as he continually reminds readers.) In the early sections, the author ignores traditional paragraphing so that the text resembles a long free-verse poem. He urges readers to use short, clear sentences and to make sure each one is healthy before moving on; notes that it’s acceptable to start sentences with and and but; sees benefits in diagramming sentences; stresses that all writing is revision; periodically blasts the formulaic writing that many (most?) students learn in school; argues that knowing where you’re headed before you begin might be good for a vacation, but not for a piece of writing; and believes that writers must trust readers more, and trust themselves. Most of Klinkenborg’s advice is neither radical nor especially profound (“Turn to the poets. / Learn from them”), and the text suffers from a corrosive fallacy: that if his strategies work for him they will work for all. The final fifth of the text includes some passages from writers he admires (McPhee, Oates, Cheever) and some of his students’ awkward sentences, which he treats analytically but sometimes with a surprising sarcasm that veers near meanness. He includes examples of students’ dangling modifiers, malapropisms, errors of pronoun agreement, wordiness and other mistakes.

Analyzing his craft, a careful craftsman urges with Thoreauvian conviction that writers should simplify, simplify, simplify.

Pub Date: Aug. 7, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-307-26634-7

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Knopf

Review Posted Online: May 14, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2012

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