A mixed bag of horror fiction from three of Britain's most innovative practitioners—Clive Barker, Ramsey Campbell, and transplanted Texan Lisa Tuttle—in the third volume of an ongoing series. Editor Martin introduces the fare by delivering the sort of "horror fiction is literature" testimony that today is de rigueur for any horror collection with literary, pretenses—like this one. Martin promises that this "showcase anthology" gives its writers "freedom, and the challenge of producing the very best work of which they are capable" in 30,000 words each. Who says the British love a challenge? Overall, the work here is a cut above average for the genre, but only at par for the represented authors. Of Campbell's seven stories, only the first, "In The Trees"—a spooky gem about a man lost in a woods haunted by what appear to be animate, craved walking sticks—and the last, "Bedtime Story"—an unsettling tale told from the point of view or a boy who may or may not be a psychopath—rise sharply above the drearily experimentation of the others. Tuttle's three stories share the vagueness of Campbell's, but, in a refreshing change of pace, all feature female protagonists; the best of the lot is "The Dragon's Bride," detailing the eerie ways of a matriarchy of—dragons? Rounding out the collection is Barker's contribution, "The Hellbound Heart." Although not creme de la creme Barker, this novella is a nerve jangler—and confirmation of why his is the most exciting voice in horror fiction today: a deft blend of poetry and gore about a lacquered-box puzzle, whose solution permits access to a fantastic world of excruciating, overwhelming sensuality. A sturdy collection, somewhat disappointing given the proven talents of the contributors, but still better than most of its kind.

Pub Date: Dec. 1, 1986

ISBN: 0913165123

Page Count: 225

Publisher: Dark Harvest

Review Posted Online: Sept. 30, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 1986

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This early reader is an excellent introduction to the March on Washington in 1963 and the important role in the march played by Martin Luther King Jr. Ruffin gives the book a good, dramatic start: “August 28, 1963. It is a hot summer day in Washington, D.C. More than 250,00 people are pouring into the city.” They have come to protest the treatment of African-Americans here in the US. With stirring original artwork mixed with photographs of the events (and the segregationist policies in the South, such as separate drinking fountains and entrances to public buildings), Ruffin writes of how an end to slavery didn’t mark true equality and that these rights had to be fought for—through marches and sit-ins and words, particularly those of Dr. King, and particularly on that fateful day in Washington. Within a year the Civil Rights Act of 1964 had been passed: “It does not change everything. But it is a beginning.” Lots of visual cues will help new readers through the fairly simple text, but it is the power of the story that will keep them turning the pages. (Easy reader. 6-8)

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 2001

ISBN: 0-448-42421-5

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Grosset & Dunlap

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2000

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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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