Although (or perhaps because) by current standards this collection tends more toward lite crit than lit crit, readers will find in Auchincloss (Tales of Yesteryear, 1994, etc.) an elegant and erudite companion in reading the canon. All but one of these 18 essays (many reprints or revisions of previously issued pieces) look at writers and their works: Percy Lubbock and his friendship with Edith Wharton; Gore Vidal's American history novels; and, in a capsule account, the works of novelist William Gaddis. Even the sole exception, on the ``inner FDR,'' sees the president's identification with the US as a ``kind of artistic creation.'' An account of correspondence between the retired Eton housemaster George Lyttleton and the author and editor Rupert Hart-Davis reminds us how much has been lost with the demise of the epistolary form. A discussion of the three dramatic episodes cut by Pound from ``The Waste Land'' raises questions on how Eliot originally conceived of the poem. Well-chosen examples help make a case for just how little Henry James learned from his unfortunate efforts at writing plays. Consistently thoughtful without being ponderous, Auchincloss employs a dry sense of humor. For example, one piece that intertwines the literary virtues of Clarissa with the moral virtues of its title character, casually notes that another Richardson heroine, Pamela, ``managed to hold on to her virtue and sell out in a bull market.'' It is a thick-skinned reader who can emerge from this collection without some yearning to look up at least one of the works Auchincloss plumbs with such obvious pleasure.

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 1994

ISBN: 0-684-19742-1

Page Count: 177

Publisher: Scribner

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 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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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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