Crotchety and erudite as ever, Thorne (Simple Cooking, 1987; Outlaw Cook, 1992) gets mired for a good third of this collection in the gravitas of his stubborn reverence for the Maine he calls home and the fugitive ethos of its foodways. He's the kind of man who takes his potatoes seriously (all of them: Early Bangor, Irish Cobbler, Levitt's Pink); ditto his beans, baked and otherwise, and his piecrusts (strictly composed of freshly rendered lard). And his barbecues—the ``serious pig'' of the title essay refers to his passion for perfection, the limitless patience for getting it just right that's the ``particularity'' of the real Mainer; as Thorne covers his usual unusual territory (farmstands, diners, folklore, old books), it's exalted into an obsession, and it won't be everyone's. An extended piece on chowders showcases his literary sensibility: He hails the `` `fishy flavor to the milk' '' described in Moby-Dick as ``a merger crying out to be made.'' Moving on to the Cajun/Creole cuisine that he cites as a secondary influence on his cookery, Thorne writes languorous socio-culinary history. He comes across at his best when he breaks out of the merely regional, whether proffering a structured sequence on the evolution of chili recipes, wittily deconstructing the original Toll House cookie recipe, examining the American perception of aging Camembert as ``rot,'' or reflecting on the seductiveness of the white loaves piled in a remembered Paris boulangerie. When not freighted with indignation-overload, Thorne's high- and-lowbrow take on the foodscape at large makes for a singular vision.

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 1996

ISBN: 0-86547-502-4

Page Count: 416

Publisher: North Point/Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 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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This early reader is an excellent introduction to the March on Washington in 1963 and the important role in the march played by Martin Luther King Jr. Ruffin gives the book a good, dramatic start: “August 28, 1963. It is a hot summer day in Washington, D.C. More than 250,00 people are pouring into the city.” They have come to protest the treatment of African-Americans here in the US. With stirring original artwork mixed with photographs of the events (and the segregationist policies in the South, such as separate drinking fountains and entrances to public buildings), Ruffin writes of how an end to slavery didn’t mark true equality and that these rights had to be fought for—through marches and sit-ins and words, particularly those of Dr. King, and particularly on that fateful day in Washington. Within a year the Civil Rights Act of 1964 had been passed: “It does not change everything. But it is a beginning.” Lots of visual cues will help new readers through the fairly simple text, but it is the power of the story that will keep them turning the pages. (Easy reader. 6-8)

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 2001

ISBN: 0-448-42421-5

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Grosset & Dunlap

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2000

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