Awards & Accolades

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT


  • Kirkus Reviews'
    Best Books Of 2023

Next book

BUSTER

A LIFE IN PICTURES

A nuanced and surprisingly tender depiction of a movie giant and a vanished industry.

Awards & Accolades

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT


  • Kirkus Reviews'
    Best Books Of 2023

A graphic novel focuses on the life of Hollywood legend Buster Keaton.

Barnett’s book, illustrated by Tavares, opens in Montreal in 1963. Thirty-two-year-old animation director Gerald Potterton is struck with the inspiration for a new film, the story of a funny “little man who travels across Canada on one of those little rail-speeders” and has lots of misadventures along the way. He brings his idea to the National Film Board of Canada along with his dream: to cast an aging Keaton as the protagonist. Keaton agrees, and Barnett’s narrative splits between chronicling the day-to-day triumphs and challenges of making The Railrodder and looking back at the celebrity’s long film career. Early on, he writes, directs, and appears in the 1921 silent movie The Playhouse. Keaton’s story progresses, flashback by flashback, through all the triumphs and challenges the star experiences on the path to becoming a cinematic titan, from pausing his career in order to serve in World War I to the making of the films that cemented his reputation as the greatest comic actor of all time. Since many of Keaton’s early movie projects have a spotty preservation record at best, every flashback has the feel of captivating speculation. Barnett has obviously steeped himself in Keaton lore, and the cast of characters, from studio foils and collaborators to the various people the filmmaker has personal relationships with through the years (the author provides a handy list of the players), is intriguing. But the consistent strength of Barnett’s writing is its complex, grounded affection for the older, more disillusioned Keaton, who works with Potterton on The Railrodder. That mature Keaton is also consistently well captured by Tavares’ artwork, particularly when contrasted with the younger, anything-goes, idealistic version of the man seen in flashbacks. Through the illustrator’s artwork and Barnett’s unaffected prose, a bygone Hollywood era beautifully comes to life.

A nuanced and surprisingly tender depiction of a movie giant and a vanished industry.

Pub Date: Dec. 1, 2022

ISBN: 9781778288302

Page Count: 96

Publisher: Knockabout Media

Review Posted Online: Dec. 21, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2023

Awards & Accolades

Likes

  • Readers Vote
  • 19


Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT


  • Kirkus Reviews'
    Best Books Of 2017


  • New York Times Bestseller


  • IndieBound Bestseller


  • National Book Award Finalist

Next book

KILLERS OF THE FLOWER MOON

THE OSAGE MURDERS AND THE BIRTH OF THE FBI

Dogged original research and superb narrative skills come together in this gripping account of pitiless evil.

Awards & Accolades

Likes

  • Readers Vote
  • 19


Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT


  • Kirkus Reviews'
    Best Books Of 2017


  • New York Times Bestseller


  • IndieBound Bestseller


  • National Book Award Finalist

Greed, depravity, and serial murder in 1920s Oklahoma.

During that time, enrolled members of the Osage Indian nation were among the wealthiest people per capita in the world. The rich oil fields beneath their reservation brought millions of dollars into the tribe annually, distributed to tribal members holding "headrights" that could not be bought or sold but only inherited. This vast wealth attracted the attention of unscrupulous whites who found ways to divert it to themselves by marrying Osage women or by having Osage declared legally incompetent so the whites could fleece them through the administration of their estates. For some, however, these deceptive tactics were not enough, and a plague of violent death—by shooting, poison, orchestrated automobile accident, and bombing—began to decimate the Osage in what they came to call the "Reign of Terror." Corrupt and incompetent law enforcement and judicial systems ensured that the perpetrators were never found or punished until the young J. Edgar Hoover saw cracking these cases as a means of burnishing the reputation of the newly professionalized FBI. Bestselling New Yorker staff writer Grann (The Devil and Sherlock Holmes: Tales of Murder, Madness, and Obsession, 2010, etc.) follows Special Agent Tom White and his assistants as they track the killers of one extended Osage family through a closed local culture of greed, bigotry, and lies in pursuit of protection for the survivors and justice for the dead. But he doesn't stop there; relying almost entirely on primary and unpublished sources, the author goes on to expose a web of conspiracy and corruption that extended far wider than even the FBI ever suspected. This page-turner surges forward with the pacing of a true-crime thriller, elevated by Grann's crisp and evocative prose and enhanced by dozens of period photographs.

Dogged original research and superb narrative skills come together in this gripping account of pitiless evil.

Pub Date: April 18, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-385-53424-6

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Doubleday

Review Posted Online: Feb. 1, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2017

Awards & Accolades

Likes

  • Readers Vote
  • 59


Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT


  • New York Times Bestseller

Next book

TANQUERAY

A blissfully vicarious, heartfelt glimpse into the life of a Manhattan burlesque dancer.

Awards & Accolades

Likes

  • Readers Vote
  • 59


Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT


  • New York Times Bestseller

A former New York City dancer reflects on her zesty heyday in the 1970s.

Discovered on a Manhattan street in 2020 and introduced on Stanton’s Humans of New York Instagram page, Johnson, then 76, shares her dynamic history as a “fiercely independent” Black burlesque dancer who used the stage name Tanqueray and became a celebrated fixture in midtown adult theaters. “I was the only black girl making white girl money,” she boasts, telling a vibrant story about sex and struggle in a bygone era. Frank and unapologetic, Johnson vividly captures aspects of her former life as a stage seductress shimmying to blues tracks during 18-minute sets or sewing lingerie for plus-sized dancers. Though her work was far from the Broadway shows she dreamed about, it eventually became all about the nightly hustle to simply survive. Her anecdotes are humorous, heartfelt, and supremely captivating, recounted with the passion of a true survivor and the acerbic wit of a weathered, street-wise New Yorker. She shares stories of growing up in an abusive household in Albany in the 1940s, a teenage pregnancy, and prison time for robbery as nonchalantly as she recalls selling rhinestone G-strings to prostitutes to make them sparkle in the headlights of passing cars. Complemented by an array of revealing personal photographs, the narrative alternates between heartfelt nostalgia about the seedier side of Manhattan’s go-go scene and funny quips about her unconventional stage performances. Encounters with a variety of hardworking dancers, drag queens, and pimps, plus an account of the complexities of a first love with a drug-addled hustler, fill out the memoir with personality and candor. With a narrative assist from Stanton, the result is a consistently titillating and often moving story of human struggle as well as an insider glimpse into the days when Times Square was considered the Big Apple’s gloriously unpolished underbelly. The book also includes Yee’s lush watercolor illustrations.

A blissfully vicarious, heartfelt glimpse into the life of a Manhattan burlesque dancer.

Pub Date: July 12, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-250-27827-2

Page Count: 192

Publisher: St. Martin's

Review Posted Online: July 27, 2022

Close Quickview