Entertainment & Sports Book Reviews (page 294)

ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTS
Released: Oct. 1, 1995

"Still, this is as thorough a recounting as we can probably hope for of this extraordinary but neglected talent. (50 b&w photos, not seen)"
Knowledgeable and meticulous, this is the first full-scale biography of America's first horror-film auteur. Read full book review >
ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTS
Released: Oct. 1, 1995

"Western Civilization: The Movie'' is unlikely to be playing at the local multiplex any time soon."
A muddled series of essays investigating the limits and possibilities of film as a medium for comprehending the past. Read full book review >

BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Oct. 1, 1995

"Not the best of Bombeck, but as always, a welcome poke at the misguided dieters, shoppers, spouses, TV hosts, and others in the animal kingdom who prize propriety over a belly laugh. ($400,000 ad/promo; Literary Guild selection; first serial to Good Housekeeping)"
Here's Erma, to human beings what Jane Goodall is to chimpanzeesan ardent student and a whole lot funnier. Read full book review >
THE VANISHING VISION by James Day
ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTS
Released: Oct. 1, 1995

"Still, much of this book feels like an interminable PBS pledge drive (which Day helped invent) but without the premium tote bags and coffee mugs as consolation. (16 pages b&w photos, not seen)"
A plodding history of American public television by someone present at its creation. Read full book review >
BILLIE HOLIDAY by Stuart Nicholson
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Sept. 29, 1995

"This Lady is still waiting for her Day in the biographical sun. (16 pages b&w photos, not seen)"
Less-than-satisfying biography of a well-beloved jazz singer, despite some interesting musical analysis. Read full book review >

CHOPIN by Jeremy Siepmann
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Sept. 29, 1995

"If these features lead the Chopin novice to further exploration, Siepmann's literary smudges will merit forgiveness. (illustrations, not seen)"
A short biography of the Polish composer and piano virtuoso, seasoned with nontechnical musical discussion. Read full book review >
X-RAY by Ray Davies
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Sept. 25, 1995

"An overweening but entertaining mess."
The genius behind the Kinks escorts a fictional interlocutor through the first three decades of his life, with much of the perversity, charm, and uneasy wit of his most ambitious lyrics. Read full book review >
DOGS THAT POINT, FISH THAT BITE by Jim Dean
ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTS
Released: Sept. 25, 1995

"As fun and important as a rainy day sittin' round the cracker barreland with none of the corn pone."
A lighthearted, pleasantly diverting collection of Dean's columns on hunting and fishing the woods and streams of North Carolina. Read full book review >
SUDDEN GLORY by Barry Sanders
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Sept. 18, 1995

"Refreshing, although the promise of subversion fizzles."
Often ebullient, but sometimes just gassy, this ambitious study sketches a counterhistory of Western thought by tracing the salient roles of laughter. Read full book review >
ONLY IN AMERICA by Jack Newfield
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Sept. 14, 1995

"What emerges from this study is a solid, factual, and uncommonly entertaining profile of boxing's reigning scumbucket. (23 b&w photos, not seen)"
A two-fisted, no-punches-pulled exposÇ of boxing promoter Don King. Read full book review >
IRON MAN by Harvey Rosenfeld
ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTS
Released: Sept. 13, 1995

"Too bad an Iron Man inspired such leaden prose."
Timed to come out just as he breaks the fabled Gehrig streak of 2,130 consecutive games played, this is the first adult bio of Cal Ripken Jr., written by freelancer Rosenfeld (Roger Maris: A Title to Fame, not reviewed). Read full book review >
PAST IMPERFECT by Mark C. Carnes
ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTS
Released: Sept. 11, 1995

"A remarkable resource. (400 b&w photos, not seen) (Book-of-the-Month Club/Quality Paperback Book Club selections; History Book Club main selection)"
A boffo collection of 60 brief essays detailing the historical accuracy of popular movies from Jurassic Park to Gone With the Wind to All the President's Men. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Jennifer Keishin Armstrong
author of SEINFELDIA
August 22, 2016

Jennifer Keishin Armstrong’s new bestseller Seinfeldia is the hilarious behind-the-scenes story of two guys who went out for coffee and dreamed up Seinfeld —the cultural sensation that changed television and bled into the real world. Comedians Larry David and Jerry Seinfeld never thought anyone would watch their silly little sitcom about a New York comedian sitting around talking to his friends. NBC executives didn’t think anyone would watch either, but they bought it anyway, hiding it away in the TV dead zone of summer. But against all odds, viewers began to watch, first a few and then many, until nine years later nearly 40 million Americans were tuning in weekly. In Seinfeldia, TV historian and entertainment writer Armstrong celebrates the creators and fans of this American television phenomenon, bringing readers behind-the-scenes of the show while it was on the air and into the world of devotees for whom it never stopped being relevant, a world where the Soup Nazi still spends his days saying “No soup for you!” “Armstrong’s intimate, breezy history is full of gossipy details, show trivia, and insights into how famous episodes came to be,” our reviewer writes. “Perfect for Seinfeldians and newcomers alike.” View video >