Too many detours confuse this account of an inspiring achievement.

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WALLACE

THE PIT BULL WHO CONQUERED A SPORT, SAVED A MARRIAGE, AND CHAMPIONED HIS BREED--ONE FLYING DISC AT A TIME

Sports Illustrated senior editor Gorant (Lost Dogs: Michael Vick's Dogs and Their Tale of Rescue and Redemption, 2010, etc.) recounts the tale of a rescue dog who became a world champion Frisbee dog and a mascot for pit bulls.

Apparently slated for an illegal dogfighting operation, Wallace was discovered by a policeman and eventually left with an animal shelter. His next owners, Andrew (Roo) Yori and his wife, Clara, had already adopted four dogs from the shelter, where she worked and he volunteered. At first, they hoped to find the puppy—whom they later named after NBA star Rasheed Wallace—a new adoptive home, but it became a problem. Not only do pit bulls have a bad reputation, but Wallace was a difficult dog. He was obstreperous with an unfortunate tendency to nip at other dogs, but he was playful and fundamentally friendly. Although the shelter turned to euthanasia only as a last resort, as time passed this seemed to be the future awaiting Wallace. Roo and Clara decided to take him in despite the problems. Roo used his own athletic prowess to train Wallace in disc-catching, and the sport provided an extreme athletic challenge for both man and dog. Gorant describes how they rose to the top in this highly competitive sport, and he also looks at the strains and rewards experienced by the newly married couple. Dog lovers will certainly enjoy the story of Wallace’s journey, but the author’s digressions interrupt the narrative flow.

Too many detours confuse this account of an inspiring achievement.

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2012

ISBN: 978-1-592-40731-6

Page Count: 256

Publisher: Gotham Books

Review Posted Online: July 1, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 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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Analyzing his craft, a careful craftsman urges with Thoreauvian conviction that writers should simplify, simplify, simplify.

SEVERAL SHORT SENTENCES ABOUT WRITING

New York Times columnist and editorial board member delivers a slim book for aspiring writers, offering saws and sense, wisdom and waggery, biases and biting sarcasm.

Klinkenborg (Timothy; or, Notes of an Abject Reptile, 2006), who’s taught for decades, endeavors to keep things simple in his prose, and he urges other writers to do the same. (Note: He despises abuses of the word as, as he continually reminds readers.) In the early sections, the author ignores traditional paragraphing so that the text resembles a long free-verse poem. He urges readers to use short, clear sentences and to make sure each one is healthy before moving on; notes that it’s acceptable to start sentences with and and but; sees benefits in diagramming sentences; stresses that all writing is revision; periodically blasts the formulaic writing that many (most?) students learn in school; argues that knowing where you’re headed before you begin might be good for a vacation, but not for a piece of writing; and believes that writers must trust readers more, and trust themselves. Most of Klinkenborg’s advice is neither radical nor especially profound (“Turn to the poets. / Learn from them”), and the text suffers from a corrosive fallacy: that if his strategies work for him they will work for all. The final fifth of the text includes some passages from writers he admires (McPhee, Oates, Cheever) and some of his students’ awkward sentences, which he treats analytically but sometimes with a surprising sarcasm that veers near meanness. He includes examples of students’ dangling modifiers, malapropisms, errors of pronoun agreement, wordiness and other mistakes.

Analyzing his craft, a careful craftsman urges with Thoreauvian conviction that writers should simplify, simplify, simplify.

Pub Date: Aug. 7, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-307-26634-7

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Knopf

Review Posted Online: May 14, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2012

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