A good balance of laugh-out-loud and tear-jerking recollections: Gethers makes Norton immortal, delivering an affecting...

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THE CAT WHO’LL LIVE FOREVER

THE FINAL ADVENTURES OF NORTON, THE PERFECT CAT, AND HIS IMPERFECT HUMAN

Famed feline Norton, the Scottish Fold, who enchanted readers in The Cat Who Went to Paris (1991) and A Cat Abroad (1993), makes his final appearance here, in a highly engaging collection of anecdotes, which Gethers weaves into a heart-wrenching tale of love and loss.

In a witty style reminiscent of William Styron, Gethers amuses with memories about traveling throughout the US and Europe with his famous, inseparable companion. During these journeys, Norton indulged in superb cuisine, charmed haughty concierges, and was accosted by throngs of fawning fans. Back in their weekend retreat in Sag Harbor, Long Island, Norton and Gethers mingled with the Hamptons elite, which included actor Anthony Hopkins, who invited the author to a private party on the condition that Norton would also attend. Gethers also escorted Norton to the home of an intimidating investor, known as the “Nightmare on Wall Street,” who ignored Gethers as she rolled around on the floor with Norton. These humorous accounts of the author being upstaged by his cat stand on their own, but Gethers goes on to add a mournful drama. Soon after man and cat moved into their dream apartment in Greenwich Village, tragedy struck: Norton was diagnosed with cancer. Suddenly, Gethers becomes a sobbing hysteric, as the fury creature with whom he shares a bond of unconditional love succumbs to illness. Although Gethers confesses to living selfishly—he has always refused to clutter his life with a wife and children—Norton’s illness transformed Gethers into a self-sacrificial caretaker who sought renowned veterinarians, gave Norton daily injections of saline solutions, and cooked natural home-remedy dinners.

A good balance of laugh-out-loud and tear-jerking recollections: Gethers makes Norton immortal, delivering an affecting narrative that belongs on the bookshelf of all cat-fanciers.

Pub Date: Sept. 9, 2001

ISBN: 0-7679-0637-3

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Broadway

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2001

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

THE ELEMENTS OF STYLE

50TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION

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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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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