The author’s love for a flawed-but-deep-down-okay dude, plus his amazing eye for detail, make this one of the finest rock...

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IGGY

OPEN UP AND BLEED

Is it possible to adore a rock star who has been known to throw watermelons at concertgoers, defecate onstage behind an amplifier and purposefully cut his bare chest with a shard of glass? You betcha.

Born and raised in Nowheresville, Mich., James Osterberg was every mother’s dream: brilliant, charismatic, an all-around good guy. But during high school, Jimmy took up the drums and decided that playing loud was more fun than being an all-around good guy. He joined a band, some music-making thugs introduced him to mind-bending drugs, and before long, our hero was front man for a dumb but charming group called The Stooges. Jimmy Osterberg became Iggy Pop, and Iggy Pop became one of the most iconic musical figures of the late ’60s and early ’70s. But those drugs took their toll, and Ig’s career turned into a peaks-and-valleys mess. He betrayed friends, antagonized audiences, alienated supporters like David Bowie and yet found time to cut a batch of records that defined the punk era and made an indelible imprint on rock that resonates today. Music writer Trynka makes a solid case for Iggy’s anointment as rock divinity. With The Stooges and on his own, he created some terrific music—“I Wanna Be Your Dog,” “Lust for Life,” “The Passenger” and the entire Metallic K.O. album, for instance—though he’s definitely an acquired taste, and a good chunk of his catalogue is all but unlistenable. The author’s enthusiastic, lucid song analysis encourages readers to rethink the rougher material. Unashamedly enamored of his subject, he’s even able to make Iggy’s bad behavior—and there was tons of it—seem acceptable and even enchanting.

The author’s love for a flawed-but-deep-down-okay dude, plus his amazing eye for detail, make this one of the finest rock bios of recent memory: Music and pop culture fans will dig it even if they don’t dig Ig.

Pub Date: April 10, 2007

ISBN: 978-0-7679-2319-4

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Broadway

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2007

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Analyzing his craft, a careful craftsman urges with Thoreauvian conviction that writers should simplify, simplify, simplify.

SEVERAL SHORT SENTENCES ABOUT WRITING

New York Times columnist and editorial board member delivers a slim book for aspiring writers, offering saws and sense, wisdom and waggery, biases and biting sarcasm.

Klinkenborg (Timothy; or, Notes of an Abject Reptile, 2006), who’s taught for decades, endeavors to keep things simple in his prose, and he urges other writers to do the same. (Note: He despises abuses of the word as, as he continually reminds readers.) In the early sections, the author ignores traditional paragraphing so that the text resembles a long free-verse poem. He urges readers to use short, clear sentences and to make sure each one is healthy before moving on; notes that it’s acceptable to start sentences with and and but; sees benefits in diagramming sentences; stresses that all writing is revision; periodically blasts the formulaic writing that many (most?) students learn in school; argues that knowing where you’re headed before you begin might be good for a vacation, but not for a piece of writing; and believes that writers must trust readers more, and trust themselves. Most of Klinkenborg’s advice is neither radical nor especially profound (“Turn to the poets. / Learn from them”), and the text suffers from a corrosive fallacy: that if his strategies work for him they will work for all. The final fifth of the text includes some passages from writers he admires (McPhee, Oates, Cheever) and some of his students’ awkward sentences, which he treats analytically but sometimes with a surprising sarcasm that veers near meanness. He includes examples of students’ dangling modifiers, malapropisms, errors of pronoun agreement, wordiness and other mistakes.

Analyzing his craft, a careful craftsman urges with Thoreauvian conviction that writers should simplify, simplify, simplify.

Pub Date: Aug. 7, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-307-26634-7

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Knopf

Review Posted Online: May 14, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2012

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MOMOFUKU MILK BAR

With this detailed, versatile cookbook, readers can finally make Momofuku Milk Bar’s inventive, decadent desserts at home, or see what they’ve been missing.

In this successor to the Momofuku cookbook, Momofuku Milk Bar’s pastry chef hands over the keys to the restaurant group’s snack-food–based treats, which have had people lining up outside the door of the Manhattan bakery since it opened. The James Beard Award–nominated Tosi spares no detail, providing origin stories for her popular cookies, pies and ice-cream flavors. The recipes are meticulously outlined, with added tips on how to experiment with their format. After “understanding how we laid out this cookbook…you will be one of us,” writes the author. Still, it’s a bit more sophisticated than the typical Betty Crocker fare. In addition to a healthy stock of pretzels, cornflakes and, of course, milk powder, some recipes require readers to have feuilletine and citric acid handy, to perfect the art of quenelling. Acolytes should invest in a scale, thanks to Tosi’s preference of grams (“freedom measurements,” as the friendlier cups and spoons are called, are provided, but heavily frowned upon)—though it’s hard to be too pretentious when one of your main ingredients is Fruity Pebbles. A refreshing, youthful cookbook that will have readers happily indulging in a rising pastry-chef star’s widely appealing treats.    

 

Pub Date: Oct. 25, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-307-72049-8

Page Count: 256

Publisher: Clarkson Potter

Review Posted Online: Jan. 13, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2011

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