A simple, successful portrayal of an award-winning but humble artist.



Raymond offers a debut novel that tells the life story of famed film composer Henry Mancini.

Mancini is born in 1924 to Italian immigrants and grows up in a Pennsylvania steel town during the Depression. His father, Quinto, a “piccolo flute-playing steel worker,” is his first music teacher, training him in classical music and Italian folk songs—but Mancini truly loves ragtime and jazz. His forte is arrangement and improvisation, which earns him a spot at the Juilliard School; in his audition, he performs a “‘fantasy on Cole Porter’s ‘Night and Day’ ” which Raymond describes as “five minutes of pure musical genius filled with wonderful grace notes—those non-essential but inspired additions.” Soon after, he joins an Army band (and is lucky to return home from World War II unscathed), tours the United States as a professional band member, and eventually marries and settles in California. There, he’s hired by Universal Pictures as a staff composer and learns to work in a variety of musical genres. He later gets his big break after a chance encounter with director Blake Edwards, who asks him to score a new TV show: Peter Gunn. “Moon River,” The Pink Panther theme, and various other successful works follow. Raymond’s obvious intention in this fictionalized portrayal is to show her subject in a highly positive light. After all, this book is an entry in the Mentoris Project, a series about trailblazing Italians and Italian-Americans, which frames its subjects as role models. For instance, the author quotes popular singer Andy Williams as saying that Mancini was “one of the nicest men I have ever known,” and she writes that the composer’s peers were generally “inspired by how down to earth he was.” As a result, readers will indeed come away liking Mancini as a person. However, his flaws, if any exist, are left unexamined, so readers looking to read about the life of a tortured artist should look elsewhere. Overall, though, Raymond mostly avoids lionization, painting a low-key look at a kind and modest man with an impressive work ethic.

A simple, successful portrayal of an award-winning but humble artist.

Pub Date: Sept. 14, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-947431-14-0

Page Count: 256

Publisher: Barbera Foundation

Review Posted Online: Oct. 1, 2018

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

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

Did you like this book?


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

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet