THE BROKEN BUBBLE

Like last year's Mary and the Giant, yet another haunting mainstream novel unpublished during Dick's lifetime. Once again, the setting is California during the 50's. The protagonist is popular San Francisco disc jockey Jim Briskin, who does everything from rock to classical on station KOIF, but gets sick and tired of announcing inane commercials for Looney Luke's Used Cars, says so on the air, and is given a one-month suspension by his irate boss. Jim then begins trying to woo back his lovely, alcoholic ex-wife Pat Grayson, who had divorced him when she found out he was sterile, and is now engaged to the shallow station manager at KOIF. Except that meanwhile Pat has gotten drunk and seduced poor Art Emmanuel—a teen-ager with a pregnant teen-age wife (both of them are fans of Jim's)—who refuses to stop at a one-night stand, blackening Pat's eye when she wants to back out of the relationship. By the time Jim rescues her from a motel on the outskirts of town, Pat is a suicidal wreck. Hovering around the edges of this mainstream plot—a kind of Dickian joke—is a weird group of kids, members of a science fiction-fan club called The Beings from Earth, who have hooked up with a truly weird paranoid named Ludwig Grimmelman, who wants to cleanse the world with fire and violence. Dick is never quite able to bring the two plots together; Grimmelman and his charges merely fade out of the action. But Pat and Jim's bittersweet reconciliation—a story of epic forgiveness—makes for a dramatic and even suspenseful close. Basically a love story, then—quirky, alternately hopeful and bleak, sad and funny, quintessentially Philip K. Dick—with a less successful stab at social issues like juvenile deliquency, teen-age pregnancy, and the like.

Pub Date: July 20, 1988

ISBN: 0586090665

Page Count: 246

Publisher: Arbor House

Review Posted Online: Sept. 22, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 1988

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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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WHAT A WONDERFUL WORLD

A LIFETIME OF RECORDINGS

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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