MUDDY BOOTS AND RED SOCKS

A REPORTER'S LIFE

A top foreign correspondent's anecdotal memoir that, despite its ramshackle structure, affords many pleasures and not a few surprises. Browne (The New Face of War, 1965) made a name for himself during the early 1960's as the AP's man in Vietnam, where his ``muddy-boots'' reporting earned him a Pulitzer. (The title's allusion to red socks is a private joke: Browne has worn them since his days as a Korean-era GI who loathed olive drab.) But there's far more to the author's story than Southeast Asia. With time out for an unhappy year at ABC-TV, Browne ran news bureaus in Eastern Europe and South America for The New York Times, which also dispatched him to cover Pakistan's 1971 clash with India and, most recently, the Desert Storm campaign. The author provides vivid accounts of the risks and rewards of front-line journalism: Among other feats, he's survived three plane crashes, countless fire fights, Scud missile raids, detainment by Soviet Bloc constabulary, and the ire of domestic hawks. He also comments on the high-profile luminaries, lesser lights, and media colleagues he's encountered on his travels—from Peter Arnett through Pavel Kohout, Pablo Neruda, and Prince Sihanouk. And, on occasion, Browne editorializes shockingly, most notably in a Malthusian rant on the threat posed to Western civilization by Third World have-nots. While the author says little here about his private life, his episodic recollections of a news-gathering career in the world's combat zones and boondocks make for an absorbing chronicle. (Sixteen pages of photographs—not seen)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 1993

ISBN: 0-8129-6352-0

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Times/Henry Holt

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 1993

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SLEEPERS

An extraordinary true tale of torment, retribution, and loyalty that's irresistibly readable in spite of its intrusively melodramatic prose. Starting out with calculated, movie-ready anecdotes about his boyhood gang, Carcaterra's memoir takes a hairpin turn into horror and then changes tack once more to relate grippingly what must be one of the most outrageous confidence schemes ever perpetrated. Growing up in New York's Hell's Kitchen in the 1960s, former New York Daily News reporter Carcaterra (A Safe Place, 1993) had three close friends with whom he played stickball, bedeviled nuns, and ran errands for the neighborhood Mob boss. All this is recalled through a dripping mist of nostalgia; the streetcorner banter is as stilted and coy as a late Bowery Boys film. But a third of the way in, the story suddenly takes off: In 1967 the four friends seriously injured a man when they more or less unintentionally rolled a hot-dog cart down the steps of a subway entrance. The boys, aged 11 to 14, were packed off to an upstate New York reformatory so brutal it makes Sing Sing sound like Sunnybrook Farm. The guards continually raped and beat them, at one point tossing all of them into solitary confinement, where rats gnawed at their wounds and the menu consisted of oatmeal soaked in urine. Two of Carcaterra's friends were dehumanized by their year upstate, eventually becoming prominent gangsters. In 1980, they happened upon the former guard who had been their principal torturer and shot him dead. The book's stunning denouement concerns the successful plot devised by the author and his third friend, now a Manhattan assistant DA, to free the two killers and to exact revenge against the remaining ex-guards who had scarred their lives so irrevocably. Carcaterra has run a moral and emotional gauntlet, and the resulting book, despite its flaws, is disturbing and hard to forget. (Film rights to Propaganda; author tour)

Pub Date: July 10, 1995

ISBN: 0-345-39606-5

Page Count: 432

Publisher: Ballantine

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 1995

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MOMOFUKU MILK BAR

With this detailed, versatile cookbook, readers can finally make Momofuku Milk Bar’s inventive, decadent desserts at home, or see what they’ve been missing.

In this successor to the Momofuku cookbook, Momofuku Milk Bar’s pastry chef hands over the keys to the restaurant group’s snack-food–based treats, which have had people lining up outside the door of the Manhattan bakery since it opened. The James Beard Award–nominated Tosi spares no detail, providing origin stories for her popular cookies, pies and ice-cream flavors. The recipes are meticulously outlined, with added tips on how to experiment with their format. After “understanding how we laid out this cookbook…you will be one of us,” writes the author. Still, it’s a bit more sophisticated than the typical Betty Crocker fare. In addition to a healthy stock of pretzels, cornflakes and, of course, milk powder, some recipes require readers to have feuilletine and citric acid handy, to perfect the art of quenelling. Acolytes should invest in a scale, thanks to Tosi’s preference of grams (“freedom measurements,” as the friendlier cups and spoons are called, are provided, but heavily frowned upon)—though it’s hard to be too pretentious when one of your main ingredients is Fruity Pebbles. A refreshing, youthful cookbook that will have readers happily indulging in a rising pastry-chef star’s widely appealing treats.    

 

Pub Date: Oct. 25, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-307-72049-8

Page Count: 256

Publisher: Clarkson Potter

Review Posted Online: Jan. 13, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2011

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