Elegantly soulful and uplifting.



The eloquent account of a Western poet’s encounters with the land, culture and people of Iran.

When Housden (Ten Poems to Change Your Life, 2007, etc.) was a young man living in London in the early 1970s, he fell profoundly and permanently in love with Iranian literature, music, art and architecture. His vision of and attachment to Iran were highly idealized, however, based on second-hand cultural experiences that were “never tested by reality.” In 2007, as he was casting about for his next writing project, he had a flash of intuition. He would undertake an exploration of “the other Iran,” the country behind the politics and sensationalist headlines. The guides along this journey would include Rumi, the Persian mystic poet he had held close to his heart since youth; outspoken artists, thinkers, politicians and spiritual leaders; and everyday men and women. In his travels across Iran, Housden discovered a vibrant country made all the livelier by its abundant internal contradictions. Though austere on the surface with its apparent adherence to the fundamentalist tenets of Islam, Iran was a place where anything—from alcohol, Western films, drugs and sex—could be “delivered like a pizza” and where nose jobs and “Elvis haircuts” were the most popular and pervasive forms of social rebellion. At the same time, it was also a place steeped in tradition and a magnificent history that had deeply impacted the cultural and religious development of the West. But most movingly of all for Housden, a self-proclaimed romantic, Iran was where “Beauty [was] one of the names for God.”

Elegantly soulful and uplifting.

Pub Date: May 17, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-307-58773-2

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Broadway

Review Posted Online: April 4, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2011

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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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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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