HOLLYWOOD KRYPTONITE

THE BULLDOG, THE LADY, AND THE DEATH OF SUPERMAN

A muddled look at the mysterious death of George Reeves, the first Superman, by poets and Hollywood buffs Kashner and Schoenberger (coauthors of A Talent For Genius: The Life and Times of Oscar Levant, 1994). The strong-jawed Reeves's real superpower seems to have been a capacity for alcohol. He also carried on a long affair with Toni Mannix, an older woman married to studio exec Eddie ``Bulldog'' Mannix, who approved of the affair. Reeves and Toni set up house in Benedict Canyon and generally lived a contented, suburban life, except for the 13 weeks in which Reeves was required to wear a blue and yellow padded suit and perform wonders on television. Reeves was a quiet fellow, well-liked on the set, though at times he was irritated by his brand of fame (he once greeted a young female fan, ``Hello, you little ovary clanker!''). But ten years into his affair with Toni, which the authors evoke with real tenderness, Reeves met Leonore Lemmon, a blonde party girl with an appetite for aging stars and gin. Toni was devastated by the breakup—by some accounts, she even had Reeves's beloved schnauzer put to sleep—and her incessant phone calls disturbed the new lovers day and night. Within a short time, Reeves was dead, apparently committing suicide in his room during a cocktail party on June 16, 1959. But rumors of a gunman persist—though just when the plot gets interesting (for Reeves comes off as little more than a cardboard figure, greatly overshadowed by his two lovers), the book becomes unhinged. The various accounts of Reeves's death are poorly presented—who was at the party? whose gun was it?—and characters flit in and out. The authors conclude it was murder, but they never assemble the pieces of the mess into a full and coherent picture. A sad life and death in Hollywood, but the gossip isn't much and the promising title turns to leaden prose.

Pub Date: Oct. 29, 1996

ISBN: 0-312-14616-7

Page Count: 224

Publisher: St. Martin's

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1996

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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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MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR. AND THE MARCH ON WASHINGTON

This early reader is an excellent introduction to the March on Washington in 1963 and the important role in the march played by Martin Luther King Jr. Ruffin gives the book a good, dramatic start: “August 28, 1963. It is a hot summer day in Washington, D.C. More than 250,00 people are pouring into the city.” They have come to protest the treatment of African-Americans here in the US. With stirring original artwork mixed with photographs of the events (and the segregationist policies in the South, such as separate drinking fountains and entrances to public buildings), Ruffin writes of how an end to slavery didn’t mark true equality and that these rights had to be fought for—through marches and sit-ins and words, particularly those of Dr. King, and particularly on that fateful day in Washington. Within a year the Civil Rights Act of 1964 had been passed: “It does not change everything. But it is a beginning.” Lots of visual cues will help new readers through the fairly simple text, but it is the power of the story that will keep them turning the pages. (Easy reader. 6-8)

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 2001

ISBN: 0-448-42421-5

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Grosset & Dunlap

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2000

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