Next book



The last of Wilson's five volumes of journals is as entertaining and full of gossipy detail as the first four (The Fifties, 1986, etc.)—and together they form an amazing literary document of the first half of the century. A cosmopolitan intellectual, Wilson knew most of the great cultural figures of his time. The journals are a record of his travels, a compendium of personalities, and a chronicle of his sexual history. Wilson examines himself in depth but is never self- absorbed or particularly mean-spirited. The names tumble across the page: In New York, Wilson hobnobs with Stravinsky, Auden, Kenneth Tynan, and Virgil Thomson, as well as with younger friends Mike Nichols, Jason Epstein, and Penelope Gilliat. In Cambridge, Massachusetts, he socializes with Isaiah Berlin, Arthur Schlesinger, Robert Lowell, and Stuart Hughes; in Wellfleet, he parties with survivors of Cape Cod's bohemian heyday; and in his ancestral home in Talcottville, New York, he displays as much interest in local friends as in his more famous pals. During the 60's, Wilson traveled extensively, and, here, he takes notes in Canada (for his study, O Canada); in Hungary (for his interest in the language); in Israel (for writings on the Dead Sea Scrolls); and in England, France, and Italy (for enjoyment). A self-described "man of the twenties," he nevertheless is sensitive to "nuclear age jitters" and opposes the war in Vietnam. Throughout, he worries about his declining health and failing libido, but he adjusts to old age gracefully, maintaining his lifelong interest in magic and puppetry. Children bring out his best, while stupid people feed his misanthropy. Not only are the extended profiles indelible—a manic Robert Lowell; a dazzlingly witty Elaine May— but the short-takes are unforgettable as well. Paddy Chayefsky is "cheap, conceited, and vulgar"; Tom Wolfe is a "smart-aleck jellybean"; and Susan Sontag is "pretentious." Candor and intelligence come through on every page—in this always absorbing journal by perhaps the last great man of American letters.

Pub Date: July 1, 1993

ISBN: 0-374-26554-2

Page Count: 664

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 1993

Next book



Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis...

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

Next book


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

Close Quickview