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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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This is not the Nutcracker sweet, as passed on by Tchaikovsky and Marius Petipa. No, this is the original Hoffmann tale of 1816, in which the froth of Christmas revelry occasionally parts to let the dark underside of childhood fantasies and fears peek through. The boundaries between dream and reality fade, just as Godfather Drosselmeier, the Nutcracker's creator, is seen as alternately sinister and jolly. And Italian artist Roberto Innocenti gives an errily realistic air to Marie's dreams, in richly detailed illustrations touched by a mysterious light. A beautiful version of this classic tale, which will captivate adults and children alike. (Nutcracker; $35.00; Oct. 28, 1996; 136 pp.; 0-15-100227-4)

Pub Date: Oct. 28, 1996

ISBN: 0-15-100227-4

Page Count: 136

Publisher: Harcourt

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 1996

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An extravaganza in Bemelmans' inimitable vein, but written almost dead pan, with sly, amusing, sometimes biting undertones, breaking through. For Bemelmans was "the man who came to cocktails". And his hostess was Lady Mendl (Elsie de Wolfe), arbiter of American decorating taste over a generation. Lady Mendl was an incredible person,- self-made in proper American tradition on the one hand, for she had been haunted by the poverty of her childhood, and the years of struggle up from its ugliness,- until she became synonymous with the exotic, exquisite, worshipper at beauty's whrine. Bemelmans draws a portrait in extremes, through apt descriptions, through hilarious anecdote, through surprisingly sympathetic and understanding bits of appreciation. The scene shifts from Hollywood to the home she loved the best in Versailles. One meets in passing a vast roster of famous figures of the international and artistic set. And always one feels Bemelmans, slightly offstage, observing, recording, commenting, illustrated.

Pub Date: Feb. 23, 1955

ISBN: 0670717797

Page Count: -

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: Oct. 25, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 1955

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