Entertainment & Sports Book Reviews (page 301)

VAN CLIBURN by Howard Reich
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: May 15, 1993

"Prospective Cliburnites are better advised to invest in the CD re-release of his legendary performances of Tchaikovsky's first piano concerto and Rachmaninoff's second. (Illustrations—16 pp. color & b&w—not seen) (First printing of 35,000)"
The noted American pianist receives an overlong popular biography, stuffed with irritating detail on virtually every page. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: May 8, 1993

"But with no chronology, life story, or even obituary, this is an interpretation without a narrative, a biography without a life. (Thirty illustrations, including eight pp. color—not seen)"
In what she claims ``might be called a postmodern biography,'' Brownstein (English/Brooklyn College; Becoming a Heroine, 1982) does not present the life-story of the 19th-century French ``star'' known only as ``Rachel'' (1821-58)—but, rather, she considers her as a ``text,'' interprets her as a ``cultural construct,'' and examines this daughter of peddlers who became an empress of the stage as a ``function of her personal effects.'' ``Stars,'' says Brownstein, because they are ``invented by writers,'' attract other writers, especially biographers—of which Rachel has had many (e.g., Joanna Richardson's Rachel, 1957). Read full book review >

CHICAGO JAZZ by William Howland Kenney
ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTS
Released: May 1, 1993

"A worthy bringing-back of Chicago's Roaring Twenties, with the jazz history layered like beds of coal beneath the phonograph recordings. (Twenty halftones)"
Cultural history of early Chicago jazz, less anecdotal than social, told in an impersonal voice that distances the reader from the music but strives to dig beneath an ``isolated world of instrumental mastery, chord progressions, and orchestral formations and disintegrations.'' A rousing history of Chicago jazz that buries its nose in the fumes and funk of the cafes and dance halls, in other words, is not what one gets here—or, rather, is what one gets only when Kenney (American Studies/Kent State) quotes leading figures in their own voices. Read full book review >
TRAVELS WITH MY TROMBONE by Henry Shukman
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: May 1, 1993

"These are slim pickings, however, in a dull and disappointing work."
Thin, uninflected report on several months that English author/musician Shukman (Sons of the Moon, 1990) spent caroming about the Lesser Antilles and the South American highlands of Ecuador and Colombia. Read full book review >
NOEL AND COLE by Stephen Citron
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: May 1, 1993

"Coward's own Future Indefinite, 1986, and Charles Schwartz's Cole Porter, 1977). (Thirty halftones)"
Witty, urbane, and enormously gifted, Noel Coward and Cole Porter were both born in small towns and encouraged by strong mothers. Read full book review >

THE MEMORY OF ALL THAT by Joan Peyser
ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTS
Released: May 1, 1993

"Stick with Edward Jablonski (Gershwin, 1987), Deena Rosenberg (Fascinating Rhythm, 1991), and the other more balanced Gershwin commentators. (Thirty-two pages of b&w photographs)"
A Gershwin run-through, by the biographer of Bernstein (1987) and Boulez (1976): a disjointed mix of familiar anecdotes, so-so musicology, rancid gossip, and psychobabble. Read full book review >
ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTS
Released: May 1, 1993

"Straight reporting with no surprises—or even anything that wasn't obvious to the most casual fan. (Eight pages of b&w photographs—not seen)"
Georgia sportswriter Zack's first book follows the 1992 Atlanta Braves from spring training to their second straight World Series loss. Read full book review >
I LOVE THIS GAME! by Kirby Puckett
ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTS
Released: April 28, 1993

"Leo Durocher notwithstanding, nice guys don't always finish last—but perhaps they should be cautioned about wearying fans with their Panglossian perspectives on the sporting life. (The relentlessly upbeat text has eight pages of b&w photographs—not seen.)"
On the evidence of this bland, sunny-side-up (and apparently unassisted) autobiography, Puckett—one of major-league baseball's more solid citizens on the field and off—would be well advised to stick with his seasonal trade for as long as possible. Read full book review >
JOE MORGAN by Joe Morgan
ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTS
Released: April 26, 1993

"A winner all the way. (Photographs)"
Acutely intelligent baseball memoir by retired second-baseman Morgan, now a commentator for ESPN, and freelance baseball writer Falkner (The Short Season, 1986). Read full book review >
ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTS
Released: April 26, 1993

"The subtlety and richness of Till's argument cannot be conveyed by prÇcis: A feast for the intellectually adventurous. (Photographs—not seen)"
An erudite mix of music, history, philosophy, biography, sociology, and even depth psychology—adding up to a triumphant study of Mozart's supreme masterworks. Read full book review >
ORNETTE COLEMAN by John Litweiler
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 16, 1993

"Litweiler focuses strongly on the music, though if one hasn't heard it, no words can describe it—and newcomers will find it tough to follow the overload of ever- shifting personnel changes. (Eight page of b&w photographs—not seen.)"
Life of the innovative, ``free jazz'' composer-musician that attempts to place him among the gods with Louis Armstrong and Charlie Parker. Read full book review >
ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTS
Released: April 16, 1993

"A tip of the hat to this playful yet thought-provoking work. (Fifty-two illustrations)"
Robinson (English/University of San Diego; Comic Moments, 1992, etc.—not reviewed) traces the cultural significance of the bowler hat from 1850 to the present—in a study as lighthearted and charming as its subject. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Sara Paretsky
author of BRUSH BACK
July 28, 2015

No one would accuse V. I. Warshawski of backing down from a fight, but there are a few she’d be happy to avoid. High on that list is tangling with Chicago political bosses. Yet that’s precisely what she ends up doing when she responds to Frank Guzzo’s plea for help in Brush Back, the latest thriller from bestselling author Sara Paretsky. For six stormy weeks back in high school, V.I. thought she was in love with Frank. He broke up with her, she went off to college, he started driving trucks for Bagby Haulage. She forgot about him until the day his mother was convicted of bludgeoning his kid sister, Annie, to death. Stella Guzzo was an angry, uncooperative prisoner and did a full 25 years for her daughter’s murder. Newly released from prison, Stella is looking for exoneration, so Frank asks V.I. for help. “Paretsky, who plots more conscientiously than anyone else in the field, digs deep, then deeper, into past and present until all is revealed,” our reviewer writes. View video >