The necessary specifics first (before you flinch at the one with the dollar sign above) — this is a coffee-table-shaped photovisual presentation of Marilyn including some 100 photographs (full page, black and white or color) representing the work of 24 major photographers. That aside, it is also a full length if free-form story of her life as nearly as it can be known — perhaps it never will be — so many inventions, including her own, abound. Marilyn was "every man's love affair with America." Mailer's too even if in the beginning you may be more conscious of him than his subject, or love object: Mailer with his endless "factoids" (a word all his own meaning emanations from the media); Mailer with his ripe persimmon prose ("an avowal of a womb fairly salivating in seed") sometimes turning to high on the hog ("and blows his nose to get the sexual gunk of the night before out of his nostril hairs"); Mailer hypothecating as guru on almost anything from psychoanalysis which he deplores to some of its speculation which he takes advantage of; Mailer as Mailer. But in time Marilyn appropriates the book beyond any question — her shyness and vulnerability, her slovenliness, her undimmable expectancy, her variability, her creativity and artistic taste. And in time, particularly when time runs out, Mailer's writing becomes cleaner, sharper, stronger, catching the desperate downdrift of the last years from success to failures, from Greene to Miller to Sinatra, from nembutals to chloral hydrate — certainly the sad facts need no reiteration here. The dazzling transaction that was Marilyn is all that matters and her immanent allure — so hard to isolate or perpetuate — is as palpable as it ever was.

Pub Date: Aug. 1, 1973

ISBN: 0446718505

Page Count: 381

Publisher: Grosset & Dunlap

Review Posted Online: Sept. 28, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 1973

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Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis...



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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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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