A snappy little handbook that could easily lead to deeper involvement in the sport.

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South African national muay thai champion Gorman offers a concise introduction to this martial art.

Muay thai is one of the lesser-known martial arts, but with the rise of mixed martial arts and other “ring” martial arts, it is sure to gain in popularity—especially, Gorman notes with a measure of pride and caution, since it “is renowned as the world’s most brutal ring sport.” There is little doubt that Gorman revels in both the challenge and the more ethereal aspects of the sport, bringing forth its almost meditative aspects—composure, balance, calmness, breathing—and its sheer physicality: “He nearly knocked me down in the first twenty seconds, hitting me with a straight punch to the face….It was a bit of a surreal experience.” Gorman succeeds in giving readers a rounded sense of the sport, underlining the importance of discipline, commitment and respect—qualities that can’t help but be of benefit in all walks of life—as well as general body strengthening, weight loss, and the joy that comes with being intensely in the moment. For a primer without pictures, Gorman does a yeoman’s job explaining stances, punches, kicks, elbows (“Elbows were taken out of some forms of fighting, because they are considered deadly weapons”—but not out of muay thai), knees and clinches that can be easily, perhaps painfully visualized: “Muay Thai kicking is renowned as extremely dangerous, because we kick our opponents with the bones of our shins,” “Elbows are devastating,” and “a knee to the head will most likely end a fight.” Through all the mayhem, Gorman never loses sight of the fun he’s having, with one eye on the beauty of an ancient art form and the other making sure his chin is down and his hands are up.

A snappy little handbook that could easily lead to deeper involvement in the sport.

Pub Date: Sept. 16, 2014

ISBN: 978-1500454708

Page Count: 34

Publisher: CreateSpace

Review Posted Online: Nov. 7, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2014



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




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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