PAVAROTTI: MY WORLD

A big serving of Luciano Lite, ladled out by the affable tenor in generous portions. Pavarotti and collaborator Wright have made a veritable industry out of the singer's life; this is their third ``as-told- to'' project, picking up the thread of Pavarotti's life story about 15 years ago. The Three Tenors concerts; Latin American tours; running the Philadelphia Vocal Competition; sponsoring a new international horse show; performing in exotic locales like China and Singapore are the highlights of the singer's recent life. The character that Pavarotti and Wright create in this memoir is unrelentingly upbeat, positive, and never bears a grudge; Wright describes him as a person of ``unwavering humanity . . . across- the-board compassion . . . [and] absence of rancor.'' Although Pavarotti's larger-than-life personality dominates the book, some of the colorful characters who make up the operatic world also appear, particularly Hungarian-born promoter Tibor Rudas, who specializes in arranging grand-scale extravaganzas like Pavarotti's outdoor concert on Miami Beach. Pavarotti offers us brief portraits of the many famous people he has met, from Princess Diana (``so lovely, so kind, and so poised'') to Bruce Springsteen (``Like me, he appears to draw terrific energy from an audience''). Rumors of ill will between Pavarotti and his archrival Placido Domingo are quickly brushed aside (``We [are] completely friendly''), although there are no amusing anecdotes about Pavarotti spending his free time with Domingo, or indeed any other superstar singer. He reveals little tension or anxiety in his extended family (``My Wonderful Family,'' as one chapter titles them), even when he discusses a mysterious illness that plagued his youngest daughter. Coauthor Wright annoyingly inserts himself in the narrative as a character; Pavarotti is constantly commenting on ``Bill's'' presence, as if he were as important as the other characters. As light as a puff pastry, and as sugary sweet, but you'll be left hungry for more. (color and b&w photos, not seen) (Author tour)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 1995

ISBN: 0-517-70027-1

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Crown

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 1995

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

SEVERAL SHORT SENTENCES ABOUT WRITING

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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