BLACKBIRD

THE LIFE AND TIMES OF PAUL MCCARTNEY

Prince Paul conquers the world as a Beatle, then daringly starts his own group (Wings) and lives forever after in tight- fisted happiness with his Lady Linda—in this vapid gusher from Giuliano (Dark Horse: The Secret Life of George Harrison, 1990). Giuliano begins with a 90-page rehearsal of the Fab Four's career—nothing new here, it's all from familiar and secondary sources. He then turns to the marriage of Linda Eastman and McCartney. Potentially of interest, this union of a son of a cotton factor and a daughter of a Cleveland heiress—but after a run through old fan magazines and previously published interviews, enlivened only by Giuliano's fillips (``Linda McCartney...is today a mature, creative, socially concerned woman with no illusions about either her complicated place in pop history or her role as a responsible, caring citizen of Spaceship Earth''), we know no more than we began with. Giuliano's chief informant, Denny Laine—who played guitar in Wings for several years—does provide some interesting insights. Money: ``McCartney was always making excuses for not paying us properly by saying his money was all tied up in the Beatles' company, Apple...I was kept in the dark all the time about money, just given a check now and again.'' Recording: ``He and Linda did smoke a fantastic amount of stuff by anybody's standards...so much of it makes you very indecisive and takes away your self-confidence. That's why Paul's albums take him ages and ages to make. He just cannot be decisive about anything.'' Laine left the band when McCartney was arrested for drug-possession in Tokyo. In subsequent years, McCartney forbade the band to carry any drugs across the border. This prohibition, says Giuliano, did not apply to McCartney himself; he used the hood on his daughter's coat and his son's diaper as stash bags. For True Believers only. (Thirty-two pages of b&w photographs—not seen.)

Pub Date: Nov. 15, 1991

ISBN: 0-522-93374-3

Page Count: 384

Publisher: Dutton

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1991

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NUTCRACKER

This is not the Nutcracker sweet, as passed on by Tchaikovsky and Marius Petipa. No, this is the original Hoffmann tale of 1816, in which the froth of Christmas revelry occasionally parts to let the dark underside of childhood fantasies and fears peek through. The boundaries between dream and reality fade, just as Godfather Drosselmeier, the Nutcracker's creator, is seen as alternately sinister and jolly. And Italian artist Roberto Innocenti gives an errily realistic air to Marie's dreams, in richly detailed illustrations touched by a mysterious light. A beautiful version of this classic tale, which will captivate adults and children alike. (Nutcracker; $35.00; Oct. 28, 1996; 136 pp.; 0-15-100227-4)

Pub Date: Oct. 28, 1996

ISBN: 0-15-100227-4

Page Count: 136

Publisher: Harcourt

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 1996

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TO THE ONE I LOVE THE BEST

EPISODES FROM THE LIFE OF LADY MENDL (ELSIE DE WOLFE)

An extravaganza in Bemelmans' inimitable vein, but written almost dead pan, with sly, amusing, sometimes biting undertones, breaking through. For Bemelmans was "the man who came to cocktails". And his hostess was Lady Mendl (Elsie de Wolfe), arbiter of American decorating taste over a generation. Lady Mendl was an incredible person,- self-made in proper American tradition on the one hand, for she had been haunted by the poverty of her childhood, and the years of struggle up from its ugliness,- until she became synonymous with the exotic, exquisite, worshipper at beauty's whrine. Bemelmans draws a portrait in extremes, through apt descriptions, through hilarious anecdote, through surprisingly sympathetic and understanding bits of appreciation. The scene shifts from Hollywood to the home she loved the best in Versailles. One meets in passing a vast roster of famous figures of the international and artistic set. And always one feels Bemelmans, slightly offstage, observing, recording, commenting, illustrated.

Pub Date: Feb. 23, 1955

ISBN: 0670717797

Page Count: -

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: Oct. 25, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 1955

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