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Jones has not learned enough since his previous biography to warrant fresh publication with a new title. A definite pass for...

A slim revised biography of the Lizard King.

A quarter-century after his first attempt at illuminating his subject (Jim Morrison: Dark Star, 1991), Jones has changed more than his subject has. The author has earned renown in his native Britain and won awards as editor of the British edition of GQ. His career accomplishments make his decision to return to the subject of Jim Morrison (1943-1971) all the more curious. This overwritten, underreported revision, with a new title but much of the same material and flaws as the earlier biography, offers little in the way of fresh insight or revelation. Though he claims to have interviewed “thirty or so people” for this book (most of them presumably for the earlier biography), the only one he singles out for personal contact is magazine editor (and “practicing white witch”) Patricia Kennealy, perhaps the final love of Morrison’s life and the one who might have saved him from the fate of having “died of self-indulgence.” Much of the rest of the book seems taken from the reporting and reviewing of others, except for the gravesite visit that provides the book with its framing and which could have made for an engaging magazine article. When Jones describes a performance in detail, it is generally without date and location, perhaps apocryphal, as if the author is working from other descriptions rather than personal experience. He inflates the significance of his subject, writing that Morrison was “becoming the most adored American entertainer since Elvis” and that the Doors, on their good nights, were “the best band in the world.” (After Morrison’s death, the author dismisses the other musicians in that band as a “bunch of flyweights.”)

Jones has not learned enough since his previous biography to warrant fresh publication with a new title. A definite pass for all but the most obsessed Morrison devotees.

Pub Date: April 9, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-4088-6056-4

Page Count: 192

Publisher: Bloomsbury

Review Posted Online: Aug. 15, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2015

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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

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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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