PIECES OF THE FRAME

As everyone knows, McPhee is a man of many parts and interests and this is an assortment of his casuals which take place here and there. From a week's Travels in Georgia with two experienced ecologists inventorying the area's wildlife—opossums snakes, a nighthawk and a canebrake, a weasel (which they roast)—to the title piece in which he and his family spend a day at Loch Ness wondering whether they'll sight that monster who might be a serpent or just a worm. Other stops in Scotland include a distillery with its very special Josie's Well and a ten-mile pilgrimage from Birnam Wood to Dunsinane. His sports pieces include canoeing, basketball, tennis (Rod Laver on the court); the most exciting is Ruidoso in New Mexico where there's an All-American Futurity for a $766,000 purse attended by all the Texas cowboy millionaires, their abdomens sparkling with platters of silver, and one plain man from Arkansas who hopes his unknown Calcutta Deck will bring it home. Outclassing all of them, there's his own applied game of Monopoly in the Atlantic City where it originated—and the present day Search for Marvin Gardens in the one-time exclusive resort's deep and complex decay, rubble, dogs, rooming houses. This is an inspired piece. Occasional reading—McPhee is one of the most unobtrusively instructive and pleasurable writers around.

Pub Date: June 23, 1975

ISBN: 0374514984

Page Count: 324

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: Oct. 12, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 1975

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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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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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