This initial entry in an international vegetarian series disproves the myth that vegetarian cooking is always light and healthy. Della Croce (Antipasti, not reviewed) packs these simple recipes with large amounts of oil and cheese. In pasta recipes, her frequent encouragement to use some of the pasta-cooking water to keep things moist is puzzling, since oil-based preparations like walnut sauce and lemon-and-black-olive sauce have more than enough olive oil to coat the noodles. Although the introduction claims that the book contains ``many nonegg and nondairy recipes,'' vegans are pretty much out of luck here. Out of 19 main courses, only two contain no dairy or egg products, and one of those is unsauced polenta. (Several could easily be converted by replacing butter with olive oil, just as several pasta and soup dishes could be served without grated Parmesan sprinkled on top, but neither of these is provided as an option.) The use of animal products itself would not be objectionable, since della Croce correctly notes that many of the vegan first-course pastas and soups are substantial enough for a whole meal, but in main dishes like a zucchini casserole, one pound of mozzarella, one cup grated Parmesan, and four eggs cover up, rather than enhance, the fresh flavor of vegetables. Ultimately, since Italy's food is vegetable-based to begin with, many of these offerings have been covered in general Italian cookbooks by Marcella Hazan and others. Photographs have the rustic-yet-upscale look that is now apparently de rigueur for Italian cookbooks. Nothing new under the sun.

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 1994

ISBN: 0-8118-0458-5

Page Count: 168

Publisher: Chronicle Books

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1994

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


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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