A Canadian woman’s remembrance of her heartbreaking childhood with her twin sister.
Debut author Kline and her identical twin sibling, Holly, were born in London, Ontario, in 1966. Their mother, the author says, found it difficult to cope with them from the start, often leaving them in soiled diapers for hours on end. After their father left the family, she says, their mother’s drinking, partying, and physical abuse only increased. Although their mother adored their older sister, Theresa, she treated the twins with cold indifference, the author writes—even as they suffered extreme torment from their bullying brother, Todd. Kline goes on to write that she was repeatedly sexually assaulted by neighborhood boys, starting when she was 5 years old, and that she endured further abuse in incidents involving her mother, her father, and an older gentleman in the neighborhood who was later arrested for murder. Kline’s story offers a barrage of horrors, as seemingly every new person she met brought her pain and suffering—from her young school friend Michael, who was decapitated by a passing city bus, to her stepfather, Hunter, who dug graves on their farm as part of a plot to murder the family. It’s dark and difficult reading, made even more intense by accounts of seemingly supernatural occurrences; from an early age, Kline writes, she and her sister were capable of picking up otherworldly messages—voices that warned them when they were in danger, or even tried to comfort them. Once, the author says, a psychic explicitly told her that she would one day write a book that would “help millions of people.” These fantastic elements lend the book a frightening tone in the beginning, but an account of a UFO encounter simply feels bizarre. Still, Kline does excellent work in reconstructing a troubling past. She paints her memories with excruciating detail, but also with a slightly detached tone that gives the accounts a grave realism. However, the book addresses so many shocking events that readers may find it difficult to process it all.
A riveting but overwhelming memoir that might have benefited from a more focused approach.
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").
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)