A companionable, if occasionally overwrought, tale of adventure.



A recounting of a couple’s voyage by boat from France to California.

Hofmann writes that she and her husband, Günter, left their biotech company after what she describes as a “traumatic coup,” and, as a result, they felt compelled to reassess their lives. Instead of a conventional retirement, they chose adventure and decided to circumnavigate the world by boat—a trip that would ultimately take eight years and would land them in 62 countries. The author and her husband commissioned the building of a 43-foot Catana—“the Rolls Royce of catamarans”—in France, and took courses in sailing and navigation. They encountered frustrating delays in the construction and delivery of their vessel, but eventually set sail from Canet, France, in 2000, intending to end their first voyage in San Diego. (This debut is the first of three volumes that, taken together, document the trip in its entirety.) Over the course of their travels—with memorable, thoroughly described stops in Morocco, Panama, El Salvador, Guatemala, and many other locations—the two wrestle with tumultuous weather, injury, and mechanical malfunction. The threat of crime reared its head when another couple was robbed at knife point in Costa Rica. While in Mexico, their laptop broke down, and the accumulation of troubles caused Hofmann to have a dispirited meltdown. But she recovered her stride and returned with renewed commitment to their expedition. The book is an eclectic hybrid of multiple genres, including travelogue, personal memoir, and photo essay, and it can even be understood as inspirational self-help when Hofmann reflects deeply on the lessons she learned at sea. The work is illustrated with gorgeous color photography throughout, and sidebars furnish interesting cultural and historical information. That said, the overall aesthetic of the work—which is large and glossy, like a coffee-table book—is still a bit cramped; there’s so much stuffed onto to the pages that it sometimes feels visually chaotic. Hofmann’s prose is always lucid, although she’s inclined toward melodramatic theatricality: “Tomorrow, we must enter that turbulent Strait again, then to the sea beyond. Only God knows what I will find out there.

A companionable, if occasionally overwrought, tale of adventure.

Pub Date: N/A

ISBN: 978-0-9845493-2-0

Page Count: 266

Publisher: PIP Productions

Review Posted Online: Nov. 2, 2018

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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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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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