Witty on the Web, ponderous on the page.

THE LAW OF SUPERHEROES

The creators of the popular website lawandthemultiverse.com expand the concept into a book-length exploration of tricky legal issues faced by comic-book heroes and villains.

Lawyers by trade, Daily and Davidson here analyze the types of issues only hard-core comic-book geeks can appreciate, ranging from the question of mutant civil rights to Superman’s citizenship status. The authors wholeheartedly acknowledge and embrace the ridiculousness of their endeavor, a factor that helps mitigate the frequently dry discussions. They know their audience: comic obsessives who view funny books not as a means of entertainment, but as a way of life, readers who spend hours debating whether Batman could beat Captain America in a fight or speculating on the sex lives—and sexual preferences—of their costume-clad heroes. Chapters on criminal law (can the Joker use insanity as a valid defense?), constitutional law (can the death penalty be applied to someone who’s invulnerable?), criminal procedure (can Spider-Man, as a private citizen unaffiliated with the police, legally arrest and detain someone?) and other creatively conceived issues illuminate the answers to questions few have dared to ask, providing cogent analysis in a way that should be largely understandable to general readers. Unfortunately, the concept is far more engaging than the actual analysis; the book reads like a standard, law-class primer, only all of the examples involve superheroes. It’s funny to think about the IRS hounding Superman every time he squeezes a piece of coal into a diamond, but it’s not all that exciting to delve into a thorough examination of the statutes under which he could actually be prosecuted.

Witty on the Web, ponderous on the page.

Pub Date: Oct. 11, 2012

ISBN: 978-1-592-40726-2

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Gotham Books

Review Posted Online: July 7, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2012

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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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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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