A hilarious, collectively appealing index of words and pictures drawn with wry exuberance and a head-nodding relevancy.

READ REVIEW

WHAT I HATE

FROM A TO Z

Beloved New Yorker cartoonist shares an alphabetized listing of life’s little irritants.

Veteran illustrator and humorist Chast (Too Busy Marco, 2010, etc.) has crafted a colorful career from parodying unsavory situations and maladies alongside the happenstances of the human condition. To truly enjoy her nimble pen and watercolor sketches, readers must be willing to laugh at their own harmless foibles. In the charming introduction, the author admits to being a life-long “anxious person,” a chronic insomniac who is “genetically inclined to worry,” and she brilliantly plays this personal shortcoming to maximum comical effect with the jagged line-drawing style and ironical wit that have become her trademarks. From the unsettling possibility of waking up during general anesthesia to the offbeat catastrophes of “Jell-O 1-2-3” and spontaneous human combustion, the author presents an A-to-Z catalog of distressing concerns and her unique take on “what might funny about them.” Chast prefaces each pictorial with a short, personal preamble describing what it is about each subject that has become so bothersome for the apprehensive author. She lightheartedly exposes the inconvenient nuisance of nightmares and beach undertows, the unknown consequences of Ouija boards and the wincing “imminent explosion” of annoying balloons. Chast doesn’t have much use for assumptive doctors, quicksand or carnivals, either (they’re “particularly awful at night”). Her takes on vision loss (“the girl who sat too close to the TV”), “mysterious” dental tools and the dark sides of the color yellow are sure to elicit knowing chuckles. With realistic, tongue-in-cheek foresight, the author spotlights a selection of the most commonplace, phobia-inducing situations (elevators, air travel, heights, etc.) and defuses them with brilliantly dry, flippant humor.

A hilarious, collectively appealing index of words and pictures drawn with wry exuberance and a head-nodding relevancy.

Pub Date: Oct. 11, 2011

ISBN: 978-1-60819-689-0

Page Count: 64

Publisher: Bloomsbury

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2011

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Proves without a doubt that even masters of the universe sometimes lose their heads, and then their shirts.

BAMBOOZLED AT THE REVOLUTION

HOW BIG MEDIA LOST BILLIONS IN THE BATTLE FOR THE INTERNET

Knowing inside account of the major media conglomerates’ efforts to embrace and profit from the ’90s dot.com boom.

As the New York Post’s first computer/Internet columnist, Motavalli had a ringside seat while Disney, Time Warner, News Corp., and others tripped over themselves to get on board the emerging Internet phenomenon. With little certainty about what the successful and manageable applications of the World Wide Web would be, media corporations and their leaders nonetheless rushed to spend hundreds of millions of dollars so as not to get left behind. They helped create the dot.com bubble of inflated salaries and unlimited expectations that burst so mercilessly in 2000–01. Motavalli, who admits being swept up like everyone else in the initial euphoria, narrates with an intimate feel for the year-by-year developments: the promises and glorious optimism of a dawning technological age, the maneuvering moguls and CEOs, the media executives who doubled their income by switching to the dot.com start-ups, and the chilling reality bath that awaited all. AOL’s Steve Case, Time Warner’s Bob Pittman and Gerald Levin, John F. Kennedy Jr. of George, Time magazine’s Walter Isaacson, and iVillage’s Candace Carpenter are among the many prime movers whose trajectories are analyzed here. Some big winners emerge (AOL, Amazon, eBay, Yahoo), but more common is the fate of one Internet-related stock that fell from $150 to just $3 per share. Motavalli sees this not solely as a tale of greed and ambition run wild, but a telling parable of the herd mentality; when it appears the wheel has been reinvented, everyone wants to go along for the ride, even though the ultimate destination is unknown. Well-researched and dense with names, dates, meetings, and numbers, the author’s recollections may provide more information than most will be willing to download, but he convincingly captures the boardroom machinations of this extraordinary era.

Proves without a doubt that even masters of the universe sometimes lose their heads, and then their shirts.

Pub Date: Aug. 5, 2002

ISBN: 0-670-89980-1

Page Count: 336

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2002

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Soccer fans will appreciate these tales of life on the pitch.

A SOCCER LIFE IN SHORTS

Lincir’s debut, a slim collection of reminiscences in the form of personal essays and poems, relates his love affair with the world’s most popular sport.

Over 30 years, Lincir has played “thousands” of games of soccer. He’s watched and written about it religiously. For a short period, he even refereed. “Loving the game,” he writes, “is what it’s all about.” As in most romances, there were victories, losses and lessons in humility. Traumatized by his first booking (yellow card) as an 8-year-old footballer, which was the result of a mistake made by his coaching father, he was brought to tears at the dinner table when his younger sister, also a soccer player, asked if she might see the yellow card, unable to comprehend why Lincir wasn’t actually given one. At the age of 12, he scored the game-winning goal in a tough 2-1 match; problem was, he scored in his own goal, making the car ride home with his dad and teammate Sean especially unpleasant. In his freshman year of college play, Lincir tells of scoring the perfect Pele-like “bicycle kick goal,” only to have it taken away by the ref as “dangerous play.” When Lincir writes of his minor league soccer days, he describes it as a rough road of “long drives and low per diems,” a lifestyle so cramped that getting his own room for a night felt like hitting it “big time.” Despite all of these humbling experiences, Lincir concludes that “not trying is the only disgrace.” Slight but endearingly told, the tales are jargon-rich, with references to getting “nut-megged” and the “flip-throw.” The author’s honest heart is strong and his gentle sense of humor engaging, and an assortment of black-and-white photos help bring the stories to life. Lincir writes with the energy of a young striker at the start of a big match, although his poetry adds little to the assembled snippets. Additional inspirational essays might have been a better choice.

Soccer fans will appreciate these tales of life on the pitch.

Pub Date: June 15, 2011

ISBN: 978-0615466439

Page Count: 84

Publisher: Leftback Publishing LLC

Review Posted Online: Feb. 19, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2013

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