A delightfully captivating swatch of autobiography from the author of Kiss. Kiss, Switch Bitch and many others. Schoolboy Dahl wanted adventure. Classes bored him, there was work to be had in Africa, and war clouds loomed on the world's horizons. He finds himself with a trainee's job with Shell Oil of East Africa and winds up in what is now Tanzania. Then war comes in 1939 and Dahl's adventures truly begin. At the war's outbreak, Dahl volunteers for the RAF, signing on to be a fighter pilot. Wounded in the Libyan desert, he spends six months recuperating in a military hospital, then rejoins his unit in Greece, only to be driven back by the advancing Germans. On April 20, 1941, he goes head on against the Luftwaffe in the Battle of Athens. On-target bio installment with, one hopes, lots more of this engrossing life to come.

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 1986

ISBN: 0142413836

Page Count: 209

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: Oct. 16, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 1986

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Seuss, with 82 years and 44 books to his credit, is in better than "pretty good shape"; he's in top form with this book...


Over the past 30 years, Dr. Seuss has endeared himself to millions of youngsters (and harried older types) with his tales of such giggle-producing creatures as "The Cat in the Hat" and "Yertle the Turtle."

Now, finally, he's written a book for those he calls "obsolete children." It's the nicest thing to happen to "senior citizens" since Medicare. This time around, the Doctor enlists his jaunty rhymes and sprightly illustrations to present a not altogether tongue-in-cheek look at that unnerving ritual of aging, "the medical check-up." His reactions to the whole demeaning (and distinctly expensive) process are so wryly knowing he might well have entitled his opus "The Cynic in the Clinic." The medical profession, under Seuss' steady gaze, comes in for some hilarious—and pointed—joshing. The action takes place at the "Golden Years Clinic on Century Square for Spleen Readjustment and Muffler Repair." Here, after first undergoing an "Eyesight and Solvency Test" (the chart reads "Have you any idea how much money these tests are costing you?"), the grey-mustachioed hero meets a battery of specialists including "Von Crandall, the World-Renowned Ear Man" and "Dr. Pollen, the Allergy Whiz." These worthies pinch, prod and poke about in search of such maladies as "Prone Picker's Plight" and "Chimney Sweep's Stupor." Diets are devised—"What you like. . .forget it!" Seuss has a great deal of fun with the "Pill Drill," in which the hero must memorize the dosages of a bewildering medicinal array: "I take the pill with zebra stripes to cure my early evening gripes. . .This long flat one is what I take if I should die before I wake." Having mastered that challenge, he goes from being "properly pilled" to being "properly billed." Finally, socks, coat and pants restored, necktie back under his chin, he's pleased to assure himself, "You're in pretty good shape for the shape you are in."

Seuss, with 82 years and 44 books to his credit, is in better than "pretty good shape"; he's in top form with this book that's sure to delight "obsolete children," and even those of us who are merely obsolescent. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Feb. 12, 1986

ISBN: 0394551907

Page Count: 56

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: Oct. 19, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 1986

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Historian Bober (Abigail Adams, 1995, etc.) clearly and gracefully examines the exciting pre-Revolutionary period in Georgian England and its 13 North American colonies. A "braided" organization—one chapter devoted to Britain, starting with the accession of George III; the following to the events of the soon-to-be nation, culminating with Independence—charts the social and political ideas, actions, and personalities that changed history. With rapid-fire style and syntax, the author builds appropriate suspense, rendering the events and players vividly and moving the story along quickly. The large cast of characters is shown with all its faults as well as strengths—including George III, a decent family man out of his intellectual depth in a decidedly upended era. Many other historical figures—some famous, some not—are sketched in fine detail. And the book is replete with period illustrations of people and places, which with its clear identifications, provides a very helpful complement to the solid text. Bober asks: "What forces were at work that swept these people into a conflict that ultimately precipitated a shocking revolution and severed the ties between Britain and her American colonies?" Here is a quite successful attempt to explain just that. Stimulating, lively, and informative. Excellent documentation includes index (not seen), chronology, reference notes, list of characters, and an extensive bibliography. (Nonfiction. 12+)

Pub Date: March 1, 2001

ISBN: 0-689-81329-5

Page Count: 368

Publisher: Atheneum

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2001

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