Lyrical reminiscences of a footloose journey from Yugoslavia to India, undertaken 40 years ago by the then-25-year-old author of the enchanting The Japanese Chronicles (1992) and an equally young companion. Traveling in a distinctly fractious Fiat, the two friends, appealingly optimistic and resourceful, make their way ``on the cheap,'' settling in at peasant inns, earning their expenses by writing articles, delivering lectures, and organizing exhibitions. Perhaps because of their winning ways, they attract a colorful band of cohorts as they wend their way eastward—beggars and brigands, muezzins and Marxists. In recounting his adventures, Bouvier frequently provides thought-provoking insights: At one point, discussing the shortcomings of US humanitarian aid programs, he observes that ``practicing charity demands endless tact and humility''—qualities he finds lacking even in well-intentioned Americans; later, he points out that, ``like a mirror, an intelligent face is the same age as what it reflects.'' Wherever he travels, Bouvier displays an artist's eye for the image-conjuring detail: a moustache ``like a furled umbrella''; a Tabriz cinema in which the projectionist, eager to get home, speeds up his machine until ``the story would take on a disturbing pace: caresses looked like slaps, ermine-clad empresses hurtled downstairs.'' Throughout, Robyn Marsack's translation from the French is a model of lucidity and smoothness, capturing the author's unique blend of humanity and humor, and, as a bonus, there's a gracefully appreciative introduction by travel-writer Patrick Leigh Fermor. Travel writing to be cherished and reread.

Pub Date: April 10, 1993

ISBN: 0-910395-86-1

Page Count: 309

Publisher: Northwestern Univ.

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 1993

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This early reader is an excellent introduction to the March on Washington in 1963 and the important role in the march played by Martin Luther King Jr. Ruffin gives the book a good, dramatic start: “August 28, 1963. It is a hot summer day in Washington, D.C. More than 250,00 people are pouring into the city.” They have come to protest the treatment of African-Americans here in the US. With stirring original artwork mixed with photographs of the events (and the segregationist policies in the South, such as separate drinking fountains and entrances to public buildings), Ruffin writes of how an end to slavery didn’t mark true equality and that these rights had to be fought for—through marches and sit-ins and words, particularly those of Dr. King, and particularly on that fateful day in Washington. Within a year the Civil Rights Act of 1964 had been passed: “It does not change everything. But it is a beginning.” Lots of visual cues will help new readers through the fairly simple text, but it is the power of the story that will keep them turning the pages. (Easy reader. 6-8)

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 2001

ISBN: 0-448-42421-5

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Grosset & Dunlap

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2000

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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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