ZEN IN THE ART OF WRITING

ESSAYS ON CREATIVITY

Bradbury, all charged up, drunk on life, joyous with writing, puts together nine past essays on writing and creativity and discharges every ounce of zest and gusto in him. In the opening piece, he tells us: "The first thing a writer should be is—excited. He should be a thing of fevers and enthusiasms. Without such vigor, he might as well be out picking peaches or digging ditches; God knows it'd be better for his health." In a Writer's Digest piece on writing, he also tells about overcoming his early years of imitating Poe, Dickens, Lovecraft, and finding his real voice in word lists with homey associations ("THE LAKE. THE NIGHT. THE CRICKETS. THE RAVINE. THE ATTIC," and so on), of writing The Martian Chronicles in unconscious imitation of Winesburg, Ohio. Other essays are "The Care and Feeding of the Muse" (". . .I have had a metaphor jump at me, give me a spin, and run me off to do a story"); "Drunk, and in Charge of a Bicycle," more about word-association and where many of his famous stories sprang from; separate pieces on the writing of Fahrenheit 451 (on a dime-operated typewriter rented for half-hours in a UCLA basement) and Dandelion Wine; the rise of science fiction after long neglect; his thoughts on playwriting; and Zen thoughts on writing ("Work. Relax. Don't think"). He ends with a cycle of poems on creativity. Bradbury lovers will find this a Bradbury feast. Nonlovers may find the fare a bit exotic and rich.

Pub Date: March 26, 1990

ISBN: 1877741094

Page Count: 190

Publisher: N/A

Review Posted Online: March 20, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 1990

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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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