by E. M. Fintan ‧ RELEASE DATE: July 26, 2019
Caustic, strident, and trite.
A collection of political cartoons that lampoon President Donald Trump’s policies, character, and physique.
In these satirical images, cartoonist Fintan presents a corpulent Trump in a pendulous red tie and with a pouty-lipped gape. The artist harps on familiar anti-Trump themes, portraying the president as a racist who has “a lot in common” with a Klan-robed, swastika-emblazoned alt-righter and as a lecherous creep to whom former U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May must say, “do not grab the Queen by her p___y.” Trump is depicted as a venal grifter who cheats at golf and accepts bags of cash from lobbyists and Arab sheikhs. He’s shown to be the puppet of a bare-chested Russian President Vladimir Putin in two cartoons and the punching bag and giddy waltz partner of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. The artist personifies Trump’s immigration policies as a U.S. Border Patrol agent shrieking “Incoming!” at a little girl clutching a teddy bear. Former Justice Department Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s probe is represented as a wrecking ball that’s about to smash into an oblivious Trump, and the probe’s aftermath is envisioned as Trump asking first lady Melania Trump if he should wear orange prison fatigues or striped ones. Fintan is an equal-opportunity politico-basher, showing U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders proclaiming that “banks will break themselves up once I crash the international and domestic economies” and dressing former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in a pantsuit stuffed with cash. Overall, though, the cartoons are somewhat cruder than standard op-ed page fare—one features a nude Trump with “GOP” stamped across his anatomically detailed derriere—although they display the genre’s weakness for plodding literal-mindedness. One didactic tableau, for example, has a boy inflating a balloon labeled “Russia” while deflating balloons labeled “NATO” and “Paris Accord,” with a caption reading, “Trump reveals world view at first G7 summit.” Often, the imagery is colorful and even striking. However, Fintan isn’t a superb caricaturist; indeed, it’s sometimes hard to ascertain the identity of the non-Trump figures. There’s plenty of red meat for politically like-minded readers here, but it’s neither a subtle nor imaginative take on politics.Caustic, strident, and trite.
Pub Date: July 26, 2019
Page Count: 104
Review Posted Online: Jan. 31, 2020
Review Program: Kirkus Indie
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by Sherill Tippins ‧ RELEASE DATE: Dec. 3, 2013
A zesty, energetic history, not only of a building, but of more than a century of American culture.
A revealing biography of the fabled Manhattan hotel, in which generations of artists and writers found a haven.
Turn-of-the century New York did not lack either hotels or apartment buildings, writes Tippins (February House: The Story of W. H. Auden, Carson McCullers, Jane and Paul Bowles, Benjamin Britten, and Gypsy Rose Lee, Under One Roof In Wartime America, 2005). But the Chelsea Hotel, from its very inception, was different. Architect Philip Hubert intended the elegantly designed Chelsea Association Building to reflect the utopian ideals of Charles Fourier, offering every amenity conducive to cooperative living: public spaces and gardens, a dining room, artists’ studios, and 80 apartments suitable for an economically diverse population of single workers, young couples, small families and wealthy residents who otherwise might choose to live in a private brownstone. Hubert especially wanted to attract creative types and made sure the building’s walls were extra thick so that each apartment was quiet enough for concentration. William Dean Howells, Edgar Lee Masters and artist John Sloan were early residents. Their friends (Mark Twain, for one) greeted one another in eight-foot-wide hallways intended for conversations. In its early years, the Chelsea quickly became legendary. By the 1930s, though, financial straits resulted in a “down-at-heel, bohemian atmosphere.” Later, with hard-drinking residents like Dylan Thomas and Brendan Behan, the ambience could be raucous. Arthur Miller scorned his free-wheeling, drug-taking, boozy neighbors, admitting, though, that the “great advantage” to living there “was that no one gave a damn what anyone else chose to do sexually.” No one passed judgment on creativity, either. But the art was not what made the Chelsea famous; its residents did. Allen Ginsberg, Bob Dylan, Andy Warhol, Janis Joplin, Leonard Cohen, Robert Mapplethorpe, Phil Ochs and Sid Vicious are only a few of the figures populating this entertaining book.A zesty, energetic history, not only of a building, but of more than a century of American culture.
Pub Date: Dec. 3, 2013
Page Count: 448
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Review Posted Online: Sept. 18, 2013
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2013
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A wondrous mix of races, ages, genders, and social classes, and on virtually every page is a surprise.
Photographer and author Stanton returns with a companion volume to Humans of New York (2013), this one with similarly affecting photographs of New Yorkers but also with some tales from his subjects’ mouths.
Readers of the first volume—and followers of the related site on Facebook and elsewhere—will feel immediately at home. The author has continued to photograph the human zoo: folks out in the streets and in the parks, in moods ranging from parade-happy to deep despair. He includes one running feature—“Today in Microfashion,” which shows images of little children dressed up in various arresting ways. He also provides some juxtapositions, images and/or stories that are related somehow. These range from surprising to forced to barely tolerable. One shows a man with a cat on his head and a woman with a large flowered headpiece, another a construction worker proud of his body and, on the facing page, a man in a wheelchair. The emotions course along the entire continuum of human passion: love, broken love, elation, depression, playfulness, argumentativeness, madness, arrogance, humility, pride, frustration, and confusion. We see varieties of the human costume, as well, from formalwear to homeless-wear. A few celebrities appear, President Barack Obama among them. The “stories” range from single-sentence comments and quips and complaints to more lengthy tales (none longer than a couple of pages). People talk about abusive parents, exes, struggles to succeed, addiction and recovery, dramatic failures, and lifelong happiness. Some deliver minirants (a neuroscientist is especially curmudgeonly), and the children often provide the most (often unintended) humor. One little boy with a fishing pole talks about a monster fish. Toward the end, the images seem to lead us toward hope. But then…a final photograph turns the light out once again.A wondrous mix of races, ages, genders, and social classes, and on virtually every page is a surprise.
Pub Date: Oct. 13, 2015
Page Count: 432
Publisher: St. Martin's
Review Posted Online: July 27, 2015
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2015
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