A slow-driving account of the development and building of Ironhorse, a ``country club community'' in West Palm Beach. ``Designing a golf course,'' Strawn, a devoted golfer and former construction entrepreneur, is told, ``is five percent common sense and ninety-five percent drainage.'' The Ironhorse property, a flat 350 acres in the Florida wetlands, presented an array of challenges to golf-course architect Arthur Hills. The area was drained 20 years ago, prior to legal restraints aimed at maintaining ecological balance. Still, when Alan Sher, a wealthy button manufacturer, purchased an option on the property, he met resistance from ``tree huggers'' and the Audubon Society on the grounds that the course abutted a preserve area, threatening the well-being of the rare Everglade swail kite. Hills and the team of designers and landscape artists and technicians hired by general partner Joshua Muss, who bought control of the project, had to contend with a low water table and the moving or removal of a rich variety of plant life, including bald cypress, Australian pines, sabal palm, and wild myrtle. Legal maneuvering, financing, designing, clearing, selecting and planting fairways and greens, and shaping the 18-hole course took four years. While absorbing in small bites, Strawn's frequent asides and tangential anecdotes on golf literature, the history of golf-course design, botany, architecture, and the failure of the savings-and-loan industry become tiresome. Strawn also gets bogged down in the early financial stages and initial planning of Ironhorse—he's a third of the way through before ground-breaking. Too long by half or, as they say, ``uses a bit too much club.''

Pub Date: May 22, 1991

ISBN: 0-06-016659-2

Page Count: 352

Publisher: HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 1991



This is not the Nutcracker sweet, as passed on by Tchaikovsky and Marius Petipa. No, this is the original Hoffmann tale of 1816, in which the froth of Christmas revelry occasionally parts to let the dark underside of childhood fantasies and fears peek through. The boundaries between dream and reality fade, just as Godfather Drosselmeier, the Nutcracker's creator, is seen as alternately sinister and jolly. And Italian artist Roberto Innocenti gives an errily realistic air to Marie's dreams, in richly detailed illustrations touched by a mysterious light. A beautiful version of this classic tale, which will captivate adults and children alike. (Nutcracker; $35.00; Oct. 28, 1996; 136 pp.; 0-15-100227-4)

Pub Date: Oct. 28, 1996

ISBN: 0-15-100227-4

Page Count: 136

Publisher: Harcourt

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 1996




An extravaganza in Bemelmans' inimitable vein, but written almost dead pan, with sly, amusing, sometimes biting undertones, breaking through. For Bemelmans was "the man who came to cocktails". And his hostess was Lady Mendl (Elsie de Wolfe), arbiter of American decorating taste over a generation. Lady Mendl was an incredible person,- self-made in proper American tradition on the one hand, for she had been haunted by the poverty of her childhood, and the years of struggle up from its ugliness,- until she became synonymous with the exotic, exquisite, worshipper at beauty's whrine. Bemelmans draws a portrait in extremes, through apt descriptions, through hilarious anecdote, through surprisingly sympathetic and understanding bits of appreciation. The scene shifts from Hollywood to the home she loved the best in Versailles. One meets in passing a vast roster of famous figures of the international and artistic set. And always one feels Bemelmans, slightly offstage, observing, recording, commenting, illustrated.

Pub Date: Feb. 23, 1955

ISBN: 0670717797

Page Count: -

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: Oct. 25, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 1955

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