Passmore (Asia the Beautiful Cookbook, not reviewed) was inspired to put together this group of Asian noodle recipes when she left Hong Kong and experienced ``noodle withdrawal,'' and she has done a bang-up job of collecting and replicating dishes. In fact, this book's only major flaw is that the recipes are a little too authentic for Western taste buds. Perhaps that's why the final chapter, containing Passmore's own vigorous innovations, like cold sesame noodles with grilled eggplant and squash, is so pleasing. Descriptions of unfamiliar products like dried rice sticks and bean-thread vermicelli are helpful, and margin notes are innovative and fun, covering everything from creating scallion-curl garnishes to noodle-slurping and how to avoid it. Sometimes, however, cross- referencing is out of whack. A note on how to fry tofu is mentioned in one recipe where fried cubes are called for, but other recipes command the reader to fry without explaining how. Not all of these recipes are foolproof, either. Three of the ingredients in a recipe for spicy Chinese bean threads are listed separately as seasonings but must be added along with the other ingredients, a move that is sure to cause confusion in the middle of a stir-frying frenzy. And in a cookbook calling not only for exotic noodles but also for hard-to-find items like kecap manis (sweet Indonesian soy sauce) and lap cheong (Chinese pork sausages), it's thoughtless not to include a list of mail-order sources. Far above Spaghetti-Os but not quite up to Tampopo standards on the noodle achievement scale. (14 illustrations, not seen)

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 1994

ISBN: 0-02-594705-2

Page Count: 192

Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 1994

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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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Analyzing his craft, a careful craftsman urges with Thoreauvian conviction that writers should simplify, simplify, simplify.


New York Times columnist and editorial board member delivers a slim book for aspiring writers, offering saws and sense, wisdom and waggery, biases and biting sarcasm.

Klinkenborg (Timothy; or, Notes of an Abject Reptile, 2006), who’s taught for decades, endeavors to keep things simple in his prose, and he urges other writers to do the same. (Note: He despises abuses of the word as, as he continually reminds readers.) In the early sections, the author ignores traditional paragraphing so that the text resembles a long free-verse poem. He urges readers to use short, clear sentences and to make sure each one is healthy before moving on; notes that it’s acceptable to start sentences with and and but; sees benefits in diagramming sentences; stresses that all writing is revision; periodically blasts the formulaic writing that many (most?) students learn in school; argues that knowing where you’re headed before you begin might be good for a vacation, but not for a piece of writing; and believes that writers must trust readers more, and trust themselves. Most of Klinkenborg’s advice is neither radical nor especially profound (“Turn to the poets. / Learn from them”), and the text suffers from a corrosive fallacy: that if his strategies work for him they will work for all. The final fifth of the text includes some passages from writers he admires (McPhee, Oates, Cheever) and some of his students’ awkward sentences, which he treats analytically but sometimes with a surprising sarcasm that veers near meanness. He includes examples of students’ dangling modifiers, malapropisms, errors of pronoun agreement, wordiness and other mistakes.

Analyzing his craft, a careful craftsman urges with Thoreauvian conviction that writers should simplify, simplify, simplify.

Pub Date: Aug. 7, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-307-26634-7

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Knopf

Review Posted Online: May 14, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2012

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