An engaging multimedia project offering even more food for thought when translated to the linearity of the printed page.

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NOTE BOOK

Literary-based reflections on and of the virtual age.

Nunokawa (English/Princeton Univ.), whose professional interests run the gamut from George Eliot and Henry James to Oscar Wilde (Tame Passions of Wilde: The Styles of Manageable Desire, 2003, etc.), here excerpts favorite musings on random topics that happened to cross his mind daily from August 2007 through July 2014. Over this time period, Nunokawa used Facebook’s notes feature to post a daily entry consisting of a title or inspirational quotation, a brief personal reflection, a footnote, and an accompanying photo, all with the aim of communicating “some version of ‘me’ to some version of ‘you,’ as near and far as the closest heart.” For example, “3095. ‘Why this overmastering need to communicate with others?’ / Virginia Woolf, ‘Montaigne’ / I used to think it was because I was good at it. Now I think it’s because it may be my only shot at being good.” Though not deeply wedded to their chronology, Nunokawa’s posts have both an episodic and journalistic feel to them. Though best read in several sittings, the collected notes convey an urgency for audience, whether it be through deep existential contemplation or identification of common interests like soccer and Joni Mitchell. Because Nunokawa is quite introspective and revelatory about the unusually public medium selected for his diarylike, more typically private enterprise, one takes at face value his somewhat Whitmanesque belief that “the loneliness at the heart of my project is not mine alone” but “the hunger for a feeling of connection” that “flows from a common break in a common heart.” Looking to befriend the reader yet not exactly open a conversation, Nunokawa draws one in with these temptingly lyric essays while resisting the larger buffers of narrative or explicit chronological context.

An engaging multimedia project offering even more food for thought when translated to the linearity of the printed page.

Pub Date: May 1, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-691-16649-0

Page Count: 336

Publisher: Princeton Univ.

Review Posted Online: April 1, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2015

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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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SLEEPERS

An extraordinary true tale of torment, retribution, and loyalty that's irresistibly readable in spite of its intrusively melodramatic prose. Starting out with calculated, movie-ready anecdotes about his boyhood gang, Carcaterra's memoir takes a hairpin turn into horror and then changes tack once more to relate grippingly what must be one of the most outrageous confidence schemes ever perpetrated. Growing up in New York's Hell's Kitchen in the 1960s, former New York Daily News reporter Carcaterra (A Safe Place, 1993) had three close friends with whom he played stickball, bedeviled nuns, and ran errands for the neighborhood Mob boss. All this is recalled through a dripping mist of nostalgia; the streetcorner banter is as stilted and coy as a late Bowery Boys film. But a third of the way in, the story suddenly takes off: In 1967 the four friends seriously injured a man when they more or less unintentionally rolled a hot-dog cart down the steps of a subway entrance. The boys, aged 11 to 14, were packed off to an upstate New York reformatory so brutal it makes Sing Sing sound like Sunnybrook Farm. The guards continually raped and beat them, at one point tossing all of them into solitary confinement, where rats gnawed at their wounds and the menu consisted of oatmeal soaked in urine. Two of Carcaterra's friends were dehumanized by their year upstate, eventually becoming prominent gangsters. In 1980, they happened upon the former guard who had been their principal torturer and shot him dead. The book's stunning denouement concerns the successful plot devised by the author and his third friend, now a Manhattan assistant DA, to free the two killers and to exact revenge against the remaining ex-guards who had scarred their lives so irrevocably. Carcaterra has run a moral and emotional gauntlet, and the resulting book, despite its flaws, is disturbing and hard to forget. (Film rights to Propaganda; author tour)

Pub Date: July 10, 1995

ISBN: 0-345-39606-5

Page Count: 432

Publisher: Ballantine

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 1995

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