WHIRLWIND

A NOVEL OF THE IRANIAN REVOLUTION

Clavell's fifth novel in his Asian saga (King Rat, Tai-Pan, Shogun, Noble House) is a 1,216-page superblockbuster adventure story set in revolutionary Iran, between February 9 and March 4, 1979, long before the hostage crisis but with Shah Pahlavi just having left the country and Khomeini waiting in the wings. Scot Gavallan, son of the chairman and managing director of S-G, a Britishrun helicopter company servicing the government-owned oil fields in Iran, has his hands full trying to keep his fleet operational. Guerney Aviation, the American helicopter outfit, has pulled out of Iran, to cut its foreseeable upcoming losses. S-G's operations have doubled with the American pullout, but its corporate headquarters in Hong Kong (where S-G is secretly owned by the vast Noble House conglomerate run by Linbar Struan) also sees a British pullout ahead, since the fanatical revolutionaries will undoubtedly nationalize the fleet and bring financial ruin to S-G. Can Scot get his big international team and their choppers safely out of Iran? In the whirlwind wrath of God upon the infidels in Iran, the rioting madness of political and religious mobs, and the blades of the whirlybirds seeking escape in Gavallan's Operation Whirlwind (by the birds being secretly dismantled and stripped via Jumbo jet freighter), the novel is well-titled. Among the blast of subplots are the tragic love of pilot Tom Lochart for the ravishing Muslim Sharazad, with their memorably explosive last kiss; the struggle of Andrew Gavallan, Scot's father, with Linbar for control of Noble House and a takeover by Scot; the story of the loving Azadeh and her pilot husband, the giant, knife-bearing Finn Erikki Yokkonen's resistence to KGB agent Fedor Rakoczy, and then, Rakoczy's own descent into horror. Aside from length, Whirlwind is an achievement, distinguishable from dozens of zippy page-turners this year by the density of its experience of modern, tortured Iran. Tremendous readership assured.

Pub Date: Nov. 10, 1986

ISBN: 0340766182

Page Count: 1248

Publisher: Morrow/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Sept. 21, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 1986

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

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

Did you like this book?

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

Did you like this book?

more