An numbingly comprehensive biography strictly for the obsessed.

NIRVANA

THE BIOGRAPHY

Everything you always wanted to know about Nirvana . . . and a lot you didn’t.

Despite their relatively small recorded output, Nirvana put together a catalogue worthy of time-capsule placement alongside The Beatles, Miles Davis, Led Zeppelin and James Brown, which is why you can almost justify a 500-plus-page study of the band. Since veteran rock journalist and Cobain intimate True was a grunge insider, one would assume that his doorstop of a book would present insights and factoids somehow missed in Michael Azerrad’s fine Come as You Are (1993) and Charles R. Cross’s excellent Heavier Than Heaven (2001). Azerrad and Cross, though, didn’t miss much. This new entry is a rehash bulked up by 200-or-so pages of insider gossip and True’s self-serving I-was-there digressions. The author gets points for experimenting with form and format (oddball footnotes and non-linear asides that almost come off as dream sequences), but it makes for a frustrating read: Think Lester Bangs meets Mark Z. Danielewski. The author is a fine musical analyst, offering up solid evaluation and reevaluation of virtually every note that Nirvana ever played. Many of the anecdotes about random debauchery, ear- and soul-shattering concerts and recording-studio drama make for enjoyably voyeuristic reading. But the this-one-slept-with-that-one-and-that-one-got-wasted-with-this-one material becomes tiresome long before even the halfway point. The innumerable Nirvana fanatics will snap this up, but the more serious-minded are better off sticking with Azerrad and Cross.

An numbingly comprehensive biography strictly for the obsessed.

Pub Date: April 1, 2007

ISBN: 0-306-81554-0

Page Count: 512

Publisher: Da Capo

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2007

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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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IN MY PLACE

From the national correspondent for PBS's MacNeil-Lehrer Newshour: a moving memoir of her youth in the Deep South and her role in desegregating the Univ. of Georgia. The eldest daughter of an army chaplain, Hunter-Gault was born in what she calls the ``first of many places that I would call `my place' ''—the small village of Due West, tucked away in a remote little corner of South Carolina. While her father served in Korea, Hunter-Gault and her mother moved first to Covington, Georgia, and then to Atlanta. In ``L.A.'' (lovely Atlanta), surrounded by her loving family and a close-knit black community, the author enjoyed a happy childhood participating in activities at church and at school, where her intellectual and leadership abilities soon were noticed by both faculty and peers. In high school, Hunter-Gault found herself studying the ``comic-strip character Brenda Starr as I might have studied a journalism textbook, had there been one.'' Determined to be a journalist, she applied to several colleges—all outside of Georgia, for ``to discourage the possibility that a black student would even think of applying to one of those white schools, the state provided money for black students'' to study out of state. Accepted at Michigan's Wayne State, the author was encouraged by local civil-rights leaders to apply, along with another classmate, to the Univ. of Georgia as well. Her application became a test of changing racial attitudes, as well as of the growing strength of the civil-rights movement in the South, and Gault became a national figure as she braved an onslaught of hostilities and harassment to become the first black woman to attend the university. A remarkably generous, fair-minded account of overcoming some of the biggest, and most intractable, obstacles ever deployed by southern racists. (Photographs—not seen.)

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 1992

ISBN: 0-374-17563-2

Page Count: 192

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1992

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