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AROUND THE WORLD IN A BAD MOOD

CONFESSIONS OF A FLIGHT ATTENDANT

Not quite as funny as it should be, but the behind-the-scenes peek at the flight attendant’s life makes it mostly worthwhile.

Humorous (and not so humorous) sketches about the life of a flight attendant, a follow-up to the author’s musical revue of the same title.

Exposés by members of the service professions, from doctors and waiters to cab drivers and cops, are a publishing mainstay. Sixteen-year veteran flight attendant Foss knows the genre’s requirements: (1) insider accounts of training, working, and scandal within the profession; (2) funny stories about encounters with the public. The author is at her best, however, when not trying so hard to be amusing. It’s a jolt to learn that flight-attendant training shares much of the discipline and brutality of boot camp. Despite impressive perks (free air-travel anytime), the work itself is grueling; meanwhile, though, readers will enjoy the author’s nuts-and-bolts description of her duties. Meal service up narrow aisles is a complex, by-the-numbers team effort quickly thrown into chaos when too many passengers decide to go to the bathroom. And a delightful chapter describes the attendant’s interminable chore of collecting trash. Inevitably, the jokes and attempts at humor miss as often as they hit, though there are plenty of zingers (“How does a flight attendant say ‘Fuck you’ to a passenger? ‘I’ll be right back’ ”), and the rules for passengers are worth memorizing (“Never poke a flight attendant”). Anecdotes about passengers from hell are a staple, and many are amusing. Unwanted, though, are the lyrics and sketches from Foss’s revue; they were probably entertaining when performed but shouldn’t have been included here. It was also misguided to add a final chapter describing her in-the-air experiences on September 11, no matter how de rigueur it seems for writers these days.

Not quite as funny as it should be, but the behind-the-scenes peek at the flight attendant’s life makes it mostly worthwhile.

Pub Date: March 6, 2002

ISBN: 0-7868-9011-8

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Hyperion

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2002

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THE ELEMENTS OF STYLE

50TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION

Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis...

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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NUTCRACKER

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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