Troost is now washed up in landlocked Sacramento, but this “unapologetic escapist” should soon be on the move.



Troost returns to the South Pacific, where he had spent a couple years on Kiribati (The Sex Lives of Cannibals, 2004), when the sensory overload of life in Washington, D.C., gave way to a gilded weariness.

His life as a well-paid drone for the World Bank got to Troost. He yearned for his days on Kiribati, at their wonder and mystery, of water so blue it made him gasp. Forget the human feces on the beach, ringworm and dengue fever, the unrelieved diet of rice and rotten fish and the dreadful time the beer delivery went to the wrong island. Living on a South Pacific island could be grim, horrifying and revolting, Troost writes, but never less than interesting. So off he goes with his wife to Vanuatu, where the earth is alive and well and reminds you of it everyday, whether through volcanic eruptions or earthquakes. Troost works hard to find all that is fine and weird on the former British-French land mass. There will be coconut shells filled with kava—the local recreational intoxicant wrung from a masticated spitball of pepper bush root; discussion of the impulse behind cannibalism (“while I may not have completely understood what holy communion was all about, Catholicism did allow me to see the nuances in cannibalism”); and considerations of the spectacular governmental corruption of the island. Troost, who also briefly nests in Fiji, is a travel writer who delivers the gratifying, old-school goods: curious cultural practices; encounters with venomous, nay murderous, creatures; perspective on recent history, with all the chaos wrought by European interlopers.

Troost is now washed up in landlocked Sacramento, but this “unapologetic escapist” should soon be on the move.

Pub Date: June 13, 2006

ISBN: 0-7679-2199-2

Page Count: 288

Publisher: Broadway

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2006

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Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis...



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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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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