A solid combination of a street-tough attitude and a keen grasp of social and political hot-button issues.

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I WANT YOU TO SHUT THE F#CK UP

HOW THE AUDACITY OF DOPES IS RUINING AMERICA

Comedian and TV veteran Hughley drops an in-your-face mega-rant on the downward spiral of American culture.

The author’s debut is both serious and funny, without being seriously funny. But while the book may be short on belly laughs, Hughley has a strikingly original take on just about everything. Whether discussing fatherhood, the Democrats in Congress and their kid-gloved relationship with Obama, black stereotypes, growing up in South-Central Los Angeles or the negative influence of the NAACP, the author’s views are rarely predictable. Hughley’s own Horatio Alger success story is compelling enough: rising from the violent streets of LA to successful sales rep at the Los Angeles Times, all while holding together a family and making a name for himself as a standup comedian. Unlike many contemporary entertainers, Hughley prides himself on being unafraid of controversy. He recounts how his championing of free speech over political correctness led him to support Don Imus’ racial slur toward the Rutgers women’s basketball team—or at least his right to make those slurs. The author looks at the undeniable truths in racial stereotyping and the importance of acknowledging these truths. In fact, he uses this topic as a jumping-off point to lambast the NAACP for helping ruin mainstream black TV. Although he almost always finds a nuanced angle in presenting his outspoken opinions, it’s sometimes difficult to know where comedic provocation ends and deadly earnestness begins. Yet his views on marriage, women and kids seem strangely unhinged and harsh compared to the cool approach that makes the book so appealing throughout—e.g., “If they [women] want to make a man like them, then they should try shutting the fuck up once in a while.” But to his credit, Hughley’s a hard-line pragmatist whose brash opinions almost always transcend polarized black/white and liberal/conservative comfort zones.

A solid combination of a street-tough attitude and a keen grasp of social and political hot-button issues.

Pub Date: Aug. 7, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-307-98623-8

Page Count: 288

Publisher: Crown Archetype

Review Posted Online: July 1, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2012

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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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