A pleasurable ride with aviatrix Gosnell on her leisurely summer odyssey, flying in to out-of-the-way airfields and seeing the US from a fresh perspective. The lure of the blue sky outside her office window in midtown Manhattan finally proved irresistible to Gosnell. Taking a three- month leave of absence from her reporter's job at Newsweek, she set out in her small, single-engine Luscombe Silvaire to hop-skip-and- jump to the West Coast and back. Gosnell had fallen in love with flying during a summer vacation in Kenya when she took a charter flight over the game-rich African plains, and she extended her vacation there in order to take flying lessons. Back home, she finished her flight training and bought her first airplane—``a weekend cabin that moved.'' On the cross-country trip described here—flying below 1500 feet whenever the weather and terrain permitted, stopping off at familiar and unfamiliar places, dropping in on friends, hiking and backpacking when the mood struck, exploring caves, spending the nights in her sleeping bag and as often as not under the wing of her beloved little plane—Gosnell saw America as few do: the ocean shores, the Mississippi, the Rockies, the Great Plains, and terrain both benign and terrifying. The characters she met were as interesting as the sights—among them, crop-dusters, tow-plane pilots, fire spotters, flight instructors, trading-post managers, cave specialists, and, of course, the FBOs (fixed-base operators: the term stands for both the small, private airfields and the dedicated folk who run them). A notable stop on the way back was at Columbus, Ohio, for a homecoming visit with her family. A satisfying companion to Laurence Gonzales's One Zero Charlie (1992). Like Gonzales, Gosnell is hopelessly in love with flying, and we are ensnared by her enthusiasm. (Photographs—not seen).

Pub Date: June 11, 1993

ISBN: 0-679-40025-7

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Knopf

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 1993

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This is not the Nutcracker sweet, as passed on by Tchaikovsky and Marius Petipa. No, this is the original Hoffmann tale of 1816, in which the froth of Christmas revelry occasionally parts to let the dark underside of childhood fantasies and fears peek through. The boundaries between dream and reality fade, just as Godfather Drosselmeier, the Nutcracker's creator, is seen as alternately sinister and jolly. And Italian artist Roberto Innocenti gives an errily realistic air to Marie's dreams, in richly detailed illustrations touched by a mysterious light. A beautiful version of this classic tale, which will captivate adults and children alike. (Nutcracker; $35.00; Oct. 28, 1996; 136 pp.; 0-15-100227-4)

Pub Date: Oct. 28, 1996

ISBN: 0-15-100227-4

Page Count: 136

Publisher: Harcourt

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 1996

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An extravaganza in Bemelmans' inimitable vein, but written almost dead pan, with sly, amusing, sometimes biting undertones, breaking through. For Bemelmans was "the man who came to cocktails". And his hostess was Lady Mendl (Elsie de Wolfe), arbiter of American decorating taste over a generation. Lady Mendl was an incredible person,- self-made in proper American tradition on the one hand, for she had been haunted by the poverty of her childhood, and the years of struggle up from its ugliness,- until she became synonymous with the exotic, exquisite, worshipper at beauty's whrine. Bemelmans draws a portrait in extremes, through apt descriptions, through hilarious anecdote, through surprisingly sympathetic and understanding bits of appreciation. The scene shifts from Hollywood to the home she loved the best in Versailles. One meets in passing a vast roster of famous figures of the international and artistic set. And always one feels Bemelmans, slightly offstage, observing, recording, commenting, illustrated.

Pub Date: Feb. 23, 1955

ISBN: 0670717797

Page Count: -

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: Oct. 25, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 1955

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