EASTERN SUN, WINTER MOON

AN AUTOBIOGRAPHICAL ODYSSEY

The acclaimed children's author now writes a children's story for adults—a remarkably vivid, often shocking memoir of his growing up in the US and the Philippines circa WW II. Paulsen's first memories set the harrowing tone: In powerfully precise declarative prose (far removed from the rhythmic lyricisms of his autobiographical Clabbered Dirt, Sweet Grass, 1992), he writes of sitting up late, as a toddler, and listening to the radio while his baby sitter, "an old woman" who "had hair out of her ears and nostrils," would drink wine from a jelly jar. "Father" was off with Patton; "Mother," a beauty, worked at a munitions factory, and her first extended appearance here is when she kicks to death a tramp who tries to molest her son. Such sudden violence, as well as graphic sex, riddles the narrative: Called to the Philippines to join Father after the war, Paulsen and Mother take a boat across the Pacific; along the way, they see sharks devour many 0survivors of a plane crash. In the Philippines, as Paulsen adjusts to life with his stern father, the violence continues: A man is cut in half by flying debris from a typhoon; Paulsen jumps from a great height and severs his tongue. But there are unexpected boyhood pleasures too: forays into the jungle and into the arms of a young female servant; the wild joy of "going native" under the tutelage of a male servant. Mother drinks too much, however, and sleeps around, and Father also loves the bottle dearly—and so, after one drunken, bitter Christmas Eve, Mother drags back to the States a boy who's older, perhaps not wiser, but vastly more experienced. An indelible account of a childhood lived on the edge, hallmarked by Paulsen's sinewy writing, purity of voice, and, especially, by his bedrock honesty.

Pub Date: March 1, 1993

ISBN: 0-15-127260-3

Page Count: 256

Publisher: Harcourt

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 1993

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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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