A serviceable place holder while we await more from this talented artist.

EXCUSE ME

CARTOONS, COMPLAINTS, AND NOTES TO SELF

A New Yorker cartoonist gathers more than 500 of her pieces from that magazine, other publications, and Instagram.

Though she has been writing and drawing for years, Finck experienced a breakthrough of sorts with her impressively multilayered graphic memoir, Passing for Human (2018). Here, the author provides one or two simple sketches or lists per page, ranging across such sections as “Love and Dating,” “Gender Politics and Politics in General,” “Animals,” “Art & Myth-Making,” and “Time, Space, and How to Navigate Them.” As with many collections of cartoons from illustrators, comedians, or other artists, the quality here varies widely. Further culling would have been welcome (especially in the “Notes to Self” section, which many readers may skim); some of the cartoons feel rushed or even unfinished. However, when she hits, Finck is incisive in her observations of modern life—e.g., two nearly identical sketches of someone typing on their phone; one caption says “Work,” and the other says “Fun.” While Finck is certainly in line with Roz Chast when it comes to expressing anxiety and neurosis (“Can everyone else stop doing anything while I figure out what’s paralyzing me?”) in an approachable, even appealing manner, Finck is also sharp in her exposures of hypocrisy and double standards, especially when it comes to gender relations—e.g., an old man and old woman standing side by side, and the caption under the woman reads, “Too old to been seen as sexual,” while under the man, “Too old to be blamed for hitting on everyone.” Or a woman saying to a man, “I don’t want your last name. Can I have your sense of entitlement instead?” As a two-color paperback, the book should serve well as a holiday gift for fans of Chast, New Yorker cartoons, and droll humor delivered in bite-size chunks.

A serviceable place holder while we await more from this talented artist.

Pub Date: Sept. 24, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-984801-51-7

Page Count: 416

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: July 14, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2019

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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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