A mature, realistic look at a less-than-traditional relationship.

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And Then There Were Three: Sixty-Seven Letters to Sasha

Fox’s debut epistolary novel details a relationship between a woman and two men.

The unnamed narrator, a woman who has “wanted to be a boy ever since I could remember,” seems to be in a fairly normal relationship with George. That is, at least, until a chance look at a newspaper article reveals a “bi-curious” past. George, it turns out, had a relationship in college with a man named Sasha, who grew up behind the Iron Curtain. After some detective work and Skype sessions, the three eventually form a semivolatile group. Vacationing in Odessa, that “once glamorous and proud city,” the narrator finds herself excited by the idea of George and Sasha rekindling their physical relationship. It’s not long before this rekindling leads to a variety of sexual pairings. As the book consists of a collection of letters from the narrator to Sasha, it is this leg of the trio that is most fully investigated. “Is that what you felt, dear Sasha,” the narrator wonders, “when you had sex with me with your eyes shut and your thoughts drifting away imagining a man’s body or invoking memories of the past male lovers?” After Odessa, the three eventually cohabitate on a more regular basis, even though the closest “of friends and relatives seemed to be ignorant of the nature of our relationship.” Covering sexy bits (“I would by then be on my knees, unbuttoning your jeans and working the magic with my tongue while stroking your back with my fingers”) and not-so-sexy bits (“no matter how comfy the home is, a cup of coffee with the brioche does lift one’s spirits every time”), the story makes for a balanced account. Inevitably, the sexual mingling was accompanied by emotional mingling, and both are painted in adequately bold and believable colors. At times, though, characters can appear flat, particularly George, who, outside of his familiarity with “Adamo, Aznavour, Gainsbourg, Piaf, Balzac, Stendal [sic], Hugo, Flaubert, and everybody and everything French,” seems to not bring much to the table personalitywise. The intrigued reader will wonder just how long this arrangement can last.

A mature, realistic look at a less-than-traditional relationship.

Pub Date: N/A

ISBN: 978-1-45-754106-3

Page Count: 110

Publisher: Dog Ear

Review Posted Online: Oct. 23, 2015

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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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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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