Slowly, slowly, but sometimes delightfully, O'Toole takes us through just his first year at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts in this second volume of his memoirs (after (Loitering with Intent: The Child, 1993). At the current rate of progress, fans will have to wait quite a bit longer to get to O'Toole's celebrated screen career in films such as Lawrence of Arabia and The Lion in Winter. Actors are notoriously self-obsessed, but O'Toole breaks new ground as he batters us with insignificant anecdote after anecdote on the ephemera of his life. For a few pages, this looping, discursive style is engagingly oddball, and in a profession whose practitioners are not known for their literary abilities, O'Toole's prose is certainly polished and playful, although too self- consciously Joycean at times. But as with the first volume, he is not content merely to bore and frustrate us with a laundry list of details (and, yes, he even discusses his laundry), he also feels compelled to constantly digress in all directions and at length. In particular, he never misses an opportunity to discuss the great Shakespearean actor (and presumed kindred spirit) Edmund Kean. O'Toole does have some interesting thoughts on acting and on the teaching of acting, amusingly comparing the Stanislavski Method to the game of cricket. Like many British actors, O'Toole prefers a more deliberately constructed and calibrated style of acting. As he says rather severely of rehearsals, ``[They] are no occasion for dabblings in the inexact science of nature, functions, and phenomena of the human soul and mind.'' If only he could have brought his actor's precision and discipline to his prose. There is a charming, witty, lapidary, very slim volume somewhere in here, but it is buried under minutiae.

Pub Date: Feb. 13, 1997

ISBN: 0-7868-6065-0

Page Count: 416

Publisher: Hyperion

Review Posted Online: June 24, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 1996

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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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