Readers who have been waiting for Tucker Max to travel more fully will be thrilled to discover Maslin’s antics, which will...


An ambitious, uneven account of hitchhiking across three continents, from a smart but surprisingly immature British travel writer.

Beginning on the island of Tasmania in Southern Australia, Maslin (Socialist Dreams and Beauty Queens: A Couchsurfer's Memoir of Venezuela, 2011, etc.) set out to travel home to London relying entirely on free rides from strangers. The author spends just as much time describing the characters he met—with their strange customs and languages—as on painting a full picture of the places he visited. After recounting a ride that delivered him “into the Indonesian equivalent of the Sopranos,” Maslin devotes an entire chapter to describing what he sees as key in understanding modern Indonesia: “the bloody legacy of the country’s former dictator…and the role Western governments…played in his rise to power.” The author’s use of footnotes helps him expand on and support his opinionated political views and well-researched accounts of history, which give context to his personal experiences. He also employs footnotes less seriously—e.g., when a Thai man asked about the size of a certain body part of Maslin’s, his response, “Erm, sufficient,” is accompanied by this footnote: “Remember that British understatement a moment ago?” The author’s boyish humor and privilege can come across less than favorably, such as when he throws a “petulant” fit at a local tour operator or the ways in which he refers to women—e.g., a language confusion in China resulted in “a rather worn-looking middle-aged woman in high heels…classic mutton dressed as lamb” appearing at his hotel room door.

Readers who have been waiting for Tucker Max to travel more fully will be thrilled to discover Maslin’s antics, which will likely turn off some readers. However, those charmed by the author’s guile and those who choose to push past their annoyance will be rewarded with an honest and gripping travel narrative.

Pub Date: Feb. 3, 2015

ISBN: 978-1620878316

Page Count: 384

Publisher: Skyhorse Publishing

Review Posted Online: Dec. 7, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2014

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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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This early reader is an excellent introduction to the March on Washington in 1963 and the important role in the march played by Martin Luther King Jr. Ruffin gives the book a good, dramatic start: “August 28, 1963. It is a hot summer day in Washington, D.C. More than 250,00 people are pouring into the city.” They have come to protest the treatment of African-Americans here in the US. With stirring original artwork mixed with photographs of the events (and the segregationist policies in the South, such as separate drinking fountains and entrances to public buildings), Ruffin writes of how an end to slavery didn’t mark true equality and that these rights had to be fought for—through marches and sit-ins and words, particularly those of Dr. King, and particularly on that fateful day in Washington. Within a year the Civil Rights Act of 1964 had been passed: “It does not change everything. But it is a beginning.” Lots of visual cues will help new readers through the fairly simple text, but it is the power of the story that will keep them turning the pages. (Easy reader. 6-8)

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 2001

ISBN: 0-448-42421-5

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Grosset & Dunlap

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2000

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