Poor Doris—to have a biographer who begins his narrative, ``I never loved my godmother, Doris Duke. I doubt if anyone, other than her father, Buck Duke, ever really loved her.'' At one time considered the third richest woman in the world, after the queens of England and the Netherlands, Doris Duke counted her assets in billions and her yearly income in millions. She died—some say was helped to die—in October 1993 at the age of 81, leaving her butler, Bernard Lafferty, as executor of her estate. A hard-drinking Irishman who is rumored to have ``arisen for breakfast wearing some of his mistress's most expensive silk and satin flowing robes and nightclothes,'' Lafferty was soon pushed out by family and other interests, who are still squabbling over the will. That wouldn't surprise Duke, who learned to beat away fortune hunters from the time she was 12 years old and inherited her father's tobacco wealth. Coauthored by Duke's cousin/godson and by novelist and journalist Thomas, this book revels in excess; genuine tragedies mingle indiscriminately and repetitiously with nights at Studio 54, and secret generosity with public scandal. Following her father's death, Duke became a much-publicized debutante, the Princess Di of the Depression, and the press was to follow her marriages and affairs with glee over subsequent decades. Her celebrated lovers included Hawaiian swimming star Duke Kahanamoku, Errol Flynn, Gen. George Patton, and the legendarily endowed (measurements are provided) Porfirio Rubirosa, her second husband. A deliberately terminated advanced pregnancy led her to fantasize about the daughter, Arden, that might have been and ultimately to adopt a woman, Chandi Heffner, whom Duke believed to be the reincarnation of Arden. Eventually ousted from Duke's life, Heffner later sued for a share of the estate. Coarse and clichÇd biography of another poor little rich girl, whose passions were orchids, animals, jazz, and sex, not necessarily in that order. (8 pages b&w photos, not seen) ($50,000 ad/promo; author tour)

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 1996

ISBN: 0-06-017218-5

Page Count: 288

Publisher: HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: June 24, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 1995

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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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With this detailed, versatile cookbook, readers can finally make Momofuku Milk Bar’s inventive, decadent desserts at home, or see what they’ve been missing.

In this successor to the Momofuku cookbook, Momofuku Milk Bar’s pastry chef hands over the keys to the restaurant group’s snack-food–based treats, which have had people lining up outside the door of the Manhattan bakery since it opened. The James Beard Award–nominated Tosi spares no detail, providing origin stories for her popular cookies, pies and ice-cream flavors. The recipes are meticulously outlined, with added tips on how to experiment with their format. After “understanding how we laid out this cookbook…you will be one of us,” writes the author. Still, it’s a bit more sophisticated than the typical Betty Crocker fare. In addition to a healthy stock of pretzels, cornflakes and, of course, milk powder, some recipes require readers to have feuilletine and citric acid handy, to perfect the art of quenelling. Acolytes should invest in a scale, thanks to Tosi’s preference of grams (“freedom measurements,” as the friendlier cups and spoons are called, are provided, but heavily frowned upon)—though it’s hard to be too pretentious when one of your main ingredients is Fruity Pebbles. A refreshing, youthful cookbook that will have readers happily indulging in a rising pastry-chef star’s widely appealing treats.    


Pub Date: Oct. 25, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-307-72049-8

Page Count: 256

Publisher: Clarkson Potter

Review Posted Online: Jan. 13, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2011

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