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...



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 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2007

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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

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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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