A joy ride for those who crave a Corvette Stingray or care about torque; others may want to get out at the next light.

DRIVING LIKE CRAZY

THIRTY YEARS OF VEHICULAR HELL-BENDING, CELEBRATING AMERICA THE WAY IT’S SUPPOSED TO BE--WITH AN OIL WELL IN EVERY BACKYARD, A CADILLAC ESCALADE IN EVERY CARPORT, AND THE CHAIRMAN OF THE FEDERAL RESERVE BANK MOWING OUR LAWN

Hard-edged humorist O’Rourke (On the Wealth of Nations: Books That Changed the World, 2007, etc.) certifies his American manliness with a gathering of automotive reveries, most of them originally published in Esquire, Rolling Stone and Car and Driver.

Certainly the funniest guy on the right side of the political road, the author begins with a youthful essay about “How to Drive Fast on Drugs While Getting Your Wing-Wang Squeezed and Not Spill Your Drink.” That piece predates “Taking My Baby for a Ride,” which regards the safe transportation of his children—in anything other than the cursed minivan, of course. O’Rourke also includes the requisite recollections of road trips, including a cross-country journey in a ’56 Buick, already two decades old and cursed with vapor lock; and a few expeditions to Mexico likely to appeal only to like-minded car enthusiasts. The author presents an appreciation of Jeeps in everyday life in the Philippines; writes fondly about his discovery of NASCAR; and provides the obligatory fond memories of jalopies of yesteryear. For the most part, the waggish reporter eases up on his accustomed libertarian fun as he happily tools along in his Roadmaster, coasting along and sometimes going a little too light on the brakes. Ultimately, he proudly declares that his is a car guys’ book.

A joy ride for those who crave a Corvette Stingray or care about torque; others may want to get out at the next light.

Pub Date: June 1, 2009

ISBN: 978-0-8021-1883-7

Page Count: 272

Publisher: Atlantic Monthly

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2009

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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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