The Sterns (Way Out West, 1993, etc.), pop culture's Boswells, turn their attentions to more blue-blooded purlieus in this deeply satisfying chronicle of a year spent on the dog-show circuit. Some time back the Sterns owned a purebred dog, a flatulent bulldog, Richard by name. Richard was entered in a local show. Richard savaged the judge's trouser cuff. So much for Richard's championship season. No matter, the Sterns retained their fascination with the show ring, and this book is the result. Attaching themselves to Mimi Einstein, breeder and shower of bullmastiffs, they sought maximum immersion in the dog show ``subculture with its own rules, lingo, and codes of behavior.'' The Sterns tour with Einstein from small venues to large, from the early season Eastern shows, then the grueling summer show in Texas, to the apex of the circuit at the Westminster Dog Show in New York City, with many a stop in between. They detail the competitive maneuverings of the owners and handlers, breed trends, the search for bodily perfection according to the American Kennel Club standard. They delve deep, exploring the ``original intent'' of the breed (bullmastiffs have no white in their coat, for they were bred to be guardians of the night at country estates, where a splash of white might give them away) and how show dogs ``express the soul of the culture at large,'' a Stern specialty for any topic they tackle. There are forays into poodleland (how about a Royal Dutch clip and high-teased topknot?) and Canary Island Gripping Dog turf (they'd as soon be at your throat as look at you), but mostly the Sterns lavish their attentions on Einstein's dogs. Readers will emerge with a real feeling of kinship with Sam and Rusty and Mugsy Malone. Droll, warm, and impeccably researched—another Stern treasure. (Author tour)

Pub Date: Feb. 1, 1997

ISBN: 0-684-82253-9

Page Count: 192

Publisher: Scribner

Review Posted Online: June 24, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 1996

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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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