DRUMS ALONG THE CONGO

ON THE TRAIL OF THE MOKELE-MBEMBE, THE LAST LIVING DINOSAUR

Nugent (The Search for the Pink-Headed Duck, 1991—not reviewed), a specialist in cryptozoological adventures—combing the far regions of the earth for undiscovered beasties—takes on Mokele-Mbembe, a brontosaurus-like dinosaur reported to dwell in the rain forests of central Africa. Most of Nugent's wry account consists of his misadventures in getting to Lake Tele in the Congo, purported home of Mokele-Mbembe. The clues are scarce: a few sightings by explorers; a questionable footprint; Pygmy tales of a rusty-skinned, long-necked creature with a single giant tooth. The natives, avid fetishists, revere Mokele-Mbembe as an immensely powerful spirit or god. A determined Nugent spends weeks in the broiling heat of Brazzaville, pleading with petty officials for a travel permit, even undergoing a naked exorcism to help his cause. Finally, the permit materializes and the author sets out for Lake Tele. Along the way, he collects gorgeous butterflies and hideous beetles, drinks crocodile brains, gets butted by a pangolin. And some illusions are shattered: He arrives at a remote village with trinkets for the natives only to find mowed lawns, clipped hedges, and stereos blasting heavy-metal music. But eventually the primeval jungle appears, and Nugent gets lost in it, encountering Pygmies who threaten him with bows and arrows. At last, he spots from about a kilometer away an ``elongated black form that curves in on itself,'' but when he dashes in for a closer look, his guides restrain him at gunpoint, explaining that ``The god can approach man, but man NEVER can approach the god. He would have killed us all.'' Much wittier than most cryptozoological reports (which veer toward stuffiness to counterbalance the jeers)—and a spanking good travelogue to boot. (Photos—not seen)

Pub Date: June 28, 1993

ISBN: 0-395-58707-7

Page Count: 256

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 1993

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

THE ELEMENTS OF STYLE

50TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION

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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IN MY PLACE

From the national correspondent for PBS's MacNeil-Lehrer Newshour: a moving memoir of her youth in the Deep South and her role in desegregating the Univ. of Georgia. The eldest daughter of an army chaplain, Hunter-Gault was born in what she calls the ``first of many places that I would call `my place' ''—the small village of Due West, tucked away in a remote little corner of South Carolina. While her father served in Korea, Hunter-Gault and her mother moved first to Covington, Georgia, and then to Atlanta. In ``L.A.'' (lovely Atlanta), surrounded by her loving family and a close-knit black community, the author enjoyed a happy childhood participating in activities at church and at school, where her intellectual and leadership abilities soon were noticed by both faculty and peers. In high school, Hunter-Gault found herself studying the ``comic-strip character Brenda Starr as I might have studied a journalism textbook, had there been one.'' Determined to be a journalist, she applied to several colleges—all outside of Georgia, for ``to discourage the possibility that a black student would even think of applying to one of those white schools, the state provided money for black students'' to study out of state. Accepted at Michigan's Wayne State, the author was encouraged by local civil-rights leaders to apply, along with another classmate, to the Univ. of Georgia as well. Her application became a test of changing racial attitudes, as well as of the growing strength of the civil-rights movement in the South, and Gault became a national figure as she braved an onslaught of hostilities and harassment to become the first black woman to attend the university. A remarkably generous, fair-minded account of overcoming some of the biggest, and most intractable, obstacles ever deployed by southern racists. (Photographs—not seen.)

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 1992

ISBN: 0-374-17563-2

Page Count: 192

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1992

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