MIA

THE LIFE OF MIA FARROW

Uninspired life of the little-girl-lost actress, by the authors of Paul and Joanna, Brando, Loretta Young, Jane Wyman, etc., etc. Here's a book as shallow as any scissors-and-paste job, with as little fresh material. Heavy attention is paid to mother Maureen O'Sullivan, Tarzan's Jane in the Weismuller series, and father John Farrow, a writer and director (The Big Clock). Mother retired from films for several years to raise a very large family, made a splash on Broadway, was less successful on TV, where her gift of gab fell short opposite Hugh Downs on the first Today show. Papa Farrow instructed Mia never to take up acting, but after his death she began acting school, then off-Broadway (triumphing as Cecily in The Importance of Being Earnest), was ushered into 20th Century-Fox by Vivien Leigh, began making movies, and crashed into the public mind as Allison McKenzie in TV's hit series Peyton Place. Then she crashed into Frank Sinatra, later accepting his proposal despite their 29-year age split. (When the authors have Sinatra singing with ``trumpet player'' Tommy Dorsey, all hope fades.) Farrow's later big roles in Roman Polanski's Rosemary's Baby and as Daisy Buchanan in The Great Gatsby are covered skimpily and her excellence as Daisy brought heavily into question. Meanwhile, Sinatra had been replaced by AndrÇ Previn, with whom she had three children and began the adopting mania that, with Woody Allen's Satchel, has given her mÇnage a total of nine. Her ten years and nine pictures with Allen get shortchanged with fewer than 40 pages. Not in any sense a companion volume to Eric Lax's richly researched, intimate Woody Allen (p. 457). (Sixteen pages of b&w photographs—not seen.)

Pub Date: July 9, 1991

ISBN: 0-385-30446-3

Page Count: 272

Publisher: Delacorte

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 1991

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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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WHAT A WONDERFUL WORLD

A LIFETIME OF RECORDINGS

Noted jazz and pop record producer Thiele offers a chatty autobiography. Aided by record-business colleague Golden, Thiele traces his career from his start as a ``pubescent, novice jazz record producer'' in the 1940s through the '50s, when he headed Coral, Dot, and Roulette Records, and the '60s, when he worked for ABC and ran the famous Impulse! jazz label. At Coral, Thiele championed the work of ``hillbilly'' singer Buddy Holly, although the only sessions he produced with Holly were marred by saccharine strings. The producer specialized in more mainstream popsters like the irrepressibly perky Teresa Brewer (who later became his fourth wife) and the bubble-machine muzak-meister Lawrence Welk. At Dot, Thiele was instrumental in recording Jack Kerouac's famous beat- generation ramblings to jazz accompaniment (recordings that Dot's president found ``pornographic''), while also overseeing a steady stream of pop hits. He then moved to the Mafia-controlled Roulette label, where he observed the ``silk-suited, pinky-ringed'' entourage who frequented the label's offices. Incredibly, however, Thiele remembers the famously hard-nosed Morris Levy, who ran the label and was eventually convicted of extortion, as ``one of the kindest, most warm-hearted, and classiest music men I have ever known.'' At ABC/Impulse!, Thiele oversaw the classic recordings of John Coltrane, although he is the first to admit that Coltrane essentially produced his own sessions. Like many producers of the day, Thiele participated in the ownership of publishing rights to some of the songs he recorded; he makes no apology for this practice, which he calls ``entirely appropriate and without any ethical conflicts.'' A pleasant, if not exactly riveting, memoir that will be of most interest to those with a thirst for cocktail-hour stories of the record biz. (25 halftones, not seen)

Pub Date: May 1, 1995

ISBN: 0-19-508629-4

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Oxford Univ.

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 1995

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