STILLNESS

The final book of Delbanco's trilogy (Possession, Sherbrookes) about the odd-fated Vermont manorial family, the Sherbrookes. Maggie Sherbrooke, 55, the much younger wife and now widow of old Judah, is still living in the family mansion with grown son Ian and her two-year-old illegitimate daughter Jane. Maggie is losing hold of reason, though; and Ian, alarmed, has called for help from Jane's father and Maggie's ex-lover, Andrew Kincannon, a rich New York talent agent. Andrew drives north and fetches both Jane and Maggie back to the city with him, leaving Ian his strange relationship of faith with the mansion (now part of the National Preservation Trust and thus open to visitors once every two weeks) and the shaky Sherbrooke lineage. Like the previous installments, the story this time often seems to waver between soap-opera and heavily artful interior landscaping. And, though Delbanco's prose continues to become less mannered—here it is generally steady, sturdy, and sensitive—the narrative effects still seem skittery, more than a little half-hearted. Required reading, of course, for those who enjoyed the previous two volumes (and Delbanco does a firm job of closing out the trilogy for them), but the author seems understandably eager to wrap up and move on—perhaps to richer, livelier material.

Pub Date: Sept. 12, 1980

ISBN: 0688009786

Page Count: 222

Publisher: Morrow/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Oct. 14, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1980

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WHAT A WONDERFUL WORLD

A LIFETIME OF RECORDINGS

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...

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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