NO SUCCESS LIKE FAILURE

THE AMERICAN LOVE OF SELF-DESTRUCTION, SELF-AGGRANDIZEMENT AND BREAKING EVEN

A striking debut collection from a journalist whose articles for the Village Voice and Esquire portray people—some famous, some obscure—hovering somewhere around the edges of pop culture. In Reno, Nevada, on the trail of the heavy-metal band Judas Priest, whose albums allegedly caused the suicide attempts of two very troubled teens, Solotaroff captures the weirdness of this metastasizing ``town for losers'' and the leather-clad bandmen who love golf more than Satan. In the Yankee Stadium bleachers, he finds cheery, beery, foul-mouthed fans who tell macho stories of sports bonding. On a Yugoslavian island of Sveti Stefan for the renegade chess ``championship'' between Bobby Fischer and Boris Spassky, he concludes that the surrounding war—the ``anarchy of freak individualism run amok''—absolutely fits Bobby Fischer's chess history. Trailing ex-footballer Mark Gastineau as he chases elusive glory in boxing, Solotaroff finds an overbearing stage father. He poignantly probes the lost dreams of playground hoops legend Earl Manigault, whose few personal effects include a dog- eared notebook and a photocopy of his Hollywood film option. He observes legendary musician James Brown, in perpetual trouble with the law, manically referring to himself in the third person—it sounds like ``Jamebrown''—amidst ``global/biblical self- pronouncements'' not entirely without foundation. A few short pieces—on the subculture of trick bikers, cracked-up comedian Charlie Barnett, and toilet-head comic Andrew Dice Clay—could use some more depth but are still arresting. Despite the unfortunate subtitle, a collection full of powerful descriptions and memorable moments. Ivan is the son of Ted Solotaroff, literary critic and former Harper editor.

Pub Date: April 15, 1994

ISBN: 1-878818-32-5

Page Count: 260

Publisher: N/A

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 1994

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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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IN MY PLACE

From the national correspondent for PBS's MacNeil-Lehrer Newshour: a moving memoir of her youth in the Deep South and her role in desegregating the Univ. of Georgia. The eldest daughter of an army chaplain, Hunter-Gault was born in what she calls the ``first of many places that I would call `my place' ''—the small village of Due West, tucked away in a remote little corner of South Carolina. While her father served in Korea, Hunter-Gault and her mother moved first to Covington, Georgia, and then to Atlanta. In ``L.A.'' (lovely Atlanta), surrounded by her loving family and a close-knit black community, the author enjoyed a happy childhood participating in activities at church and at school, where her intellectual and leadership abilities soon were noticed by both faculty and peers. In high school, Hunter-Gault found herself studying the ``comic-strip character Brenda Starr as I might have studied a journalism textbook, had there been one.'' Determined to be a journalist, she applied to several colleges—all outside of Georgia, for ``to discourage the possibility that a black student would even think of applying to one of those white schools, the state provided money for black students'' to study out of state. Accepted at Michigan's Wayne State, the author was encouraged by local civil-rights leaders to apply, along with another classmate, to the Univ. of Georgia as well. Her application became a test of changing racial attitudes, as well as of the growing strength of the civil-rights movement in the South, and Gault became a national figure as she braved an onslaught of hostilities and harassment to become the first black woman to attend the university. A remarkably generous, fair-minded account of overcoming some of the biggest, and most intractable, obstacles ever deployed by southern racists. (Photographs—not seen.)

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 1992

ISBN: 0-374-17563-2

Page Count: 192

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1992

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