A touchingly triumphant remembrance combined with sober analysis.



A memoir about one man’s determination to beat the odds with alternative treatments after a grim prognosis. 

In 2005, debut co-author Rodney Stamps discovered a small lump on his collarbone. Then a doctor found another one under his armpit—bigger than a golf ball—which prompted a round of medical tests. Eventually, an oncologist determined that Rodney was suffering from non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and that with immediate chemotherapy he could likely secure another five to 10 years of life—but without it, he’d likely be dead within 90 days. The news shocked both Rodney and his wife, debut co-author Paige Stamps. However, he wanted to beat the cancer, not simply postpone its victory, and he was wary of chemotherapy because two of his family members had died while undergoing such treatment. Against his doctor’s vehement orders, Rodney and Paige charted their own course, scouring the internet for unconventional alternatives. They eventually found a book describing a cure that characterized cancer as a “deficiency of the pancreatic enzymes,” and they largely attacked the disease with a rigidly restrictive diet along with a regimen of enzymes extracted from New Zealand pigs. The authors describe Rodney’s extraordinary recovery, and the emotional roller-coaster ride that they experienced in the process, with humor and poignancy. They note that the treatments weren’t as expensive as chemotherapy, but they weren’t cheap, either, and the couple struggled to pay for them while running an alarm-installation business and raising two young daughters. Along the way, they furnish a fascinatingly instructive critique of traditional medicine and of how doctors are incentivized to avoid recommending alternative cures, which, the authors say, can amount to “professional suicide.” Their account is an appropriately balanced one, however, pointing out that the world of alternative medicine is often populated by charlatans who encourage wishful aspiration instead of rigorous thought. Above all, though, this is a love story, as the authors movingly chronicle the arc of their relationship and their unwavering support of each other. 

A touchingly triumphant remembrance combined with sober analysis.

Pub Date: Dec. 13, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-9993722-1-0

Page Count: 268

Publisher: Attacking Cancer, LLC

Review Posted Online: Jan. 11, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2019

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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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Necessarily swift and adumbrative as well as inclusive, focused, and graceful.


A light-speed tour of (mostly) Western poetry, from the 4,000-year-old Gilgamesh to the work of Australian poet Les Murray, who died in 2019.

In the latest entry in the publisher’s Little Histories series, Carey, an emeritus professor at Oxford whose books include What Good Are the Arts? and The Unexpected Professor: An Oxford Life in Books, offers a quick definition of poetry—“relates to language as music relates to noise. It is language made special”—before diving in to poetry’s vast history. In most chapters, the author deals with only a few writers, but as the narrative progresses, he finds himself forced to deal with far more than a handful. In his chapter on 20th-century political poets, for example, he talks about 14 writers in seven pages. Carey displays a determination to inform us about who the best poets were—and what their best poems were. The word “greatest” appears continually; Chaucer was “the greatest medieval English poet,” and Langston Hughes was “the greatest male poet” of the Harlem Renaissance. For readers who need a refresher—or suggestions for the nightstand—Carey provides the best-known names and the most celebrated poems, including Paradise Lost (about which the author has written extensively), “Kubla Khan,” “Ozymandias,” “The Charge of the Light Brigade,” Wordsworth and Coleridge’s Lyrical Ballads, which “changed the course of English poetry.” Carey explains some poetic technique (Hopkins’ “sprung rhythm”) and pauses occasionally to provide autobiographical tidbits—e.g., John Masefield, who wrote the famous “Sea Fever,” “hated the sea.” We learn, as well, about the sexuality of some poets (Auden was bisexual), and, especially later on, Carey discusses the demons that drove some of them, Robert Lowell and Sylvia Plath among them. Refreshingly, he includes many women in the volume—all the way back to Sappho—and has especially kind words for Marianne Moore and Elizabeth Bishop, who share a chapter.

Necessarily swift and adumbrative as well as inclusive, focused, and graceful.

Pub Date: April 21, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-300-23222-6

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Yale Univ.

Review Posted Online: Feb. 9, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2020

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