WILD FRUITS

THOREAU'S REDISCOVERED LAST MANUSCRIPT

A work that has escaped publication since Thoreau wrote it, Wild Fruits will only strengthen the author’s renown for his unique voice. A keeper of the Thoreau flame and Thoreau scholar, Bradley Dean (editor of a similar Thoreau work, Faith in a Seed, 1993, prematurely described in these pages as “no doubt [the] final Thoreau book of the century”), has now transcribed and brought to life still another of the Concord naturalist and philosopher’s manuscripts that was never published in his lifetime. It is, as Dean wisely characterizes it, both a sacramental and scriptural work. The product of years of naturalistic observation, these lovely essays’some extended, some as short as a sentence—about flowers, bushes, and trees were originally culled by their author for lectures he delivered. They reveal his characteristic Transcendentalist views, his never-ending search “to find God in nature.” A mix of empirical science, philosophical speculation, and occasionally tart wit, they are wonderfully pleasing for the knowledge they evince and for their calm, melodious cadences. Fortunately, too, Thoreau the keen and distinctive thinker is ever-present. Indignant, for example, at his contemporaries’ failure to appreciate the huckleberry, he likens their obtuseness to the loss of “natural rights,” thus giving fresh meaning to an ancient term. While never intruding on—in fact, scarcely explaining—Thoreau’s prose, Dean artfully provides notes glossing terms, names, and references that might be obscure to a modern reader. He thus makes this 150-year-old work fully accessible to everyone. A work of often incandescent prose likely to find many readers among historians, naturalists, literary scholars, and, most of all, those who have long loved and learned from the author of Walden and other beloved texts. (Line drawings throughout; 3 facsimile manuscript pages.)

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 1999

ISBN: 0-393-04751-2

Page Count: 400

Publisher: Norton

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 1999

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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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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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