Next book

ALWAYS IN PURSUIT

FRESH AMERICAN PERSPECTIVES, 1995-1997

A self-impressed, capriciously hit-and-miss collection of New York Daily News columns and longer thought pieces by jazz guru and social/cultural critic Crouch (The All-American Skin Game, 1995, etc.). Crouch is at his poetic best conjuring jazzmen like Ellington, Parker, and Monk. Here he is elegant and confident, a masterful guide to the artistry of blues and swing. He excels too, in his nuanced look at the novels of Albert Murray, where he probes the crucible of race and the ``bass clef of American life'' in the South. He is equally commanding on Christopher Darden, whom he lambastes for incompetence and for playing an exculpatory race card of his own. However, when Crouch is glib, most often in his Daily News riffs, he bludgeons the obvious with slangy diatribes, offers muddled, vague analyses, and takes flimsy swipes at pet peeves such as ``liberal racism'' and ``Afrocentric types.'' His rants tweak with moot barbs the common wisdom on pedophiles (a menace), Michael Jackson (a fascist idol), army sex (get over it), Hiroshima (a necessary evil), foreign policy (``evangelical humanism''), and Princess Di (why the fuss?). He's at his worst as literato, where everything is Melvillian, and his tendency to condescend often obscures his better insights—as when he feels the sudden need to define ``onomatopoeia'' or when he dubs Faulkner an ``aesthetic scrapper.'' Such errant pedantry has none of the breezy erudition of an Irving Howe, and if anything, underscores Crouch's seeming discomfort with the material. Throughout, his attempts to jumble and reinvent meaning and word order often fail, either because they ring hollow when he has nothing clever to say, or because they fall flat when he misses the beat. Crouch sustains whole stretches of fine, sometimes expert material, but overall this ``intellectual medley'' is wildly erratic, and its best verses rarely transcend its verbiage.

Pub Date: Feb. 9, 1998

ISBN: 0-375-40153-9

Page Count: 336

Publisher: Pantheon

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 1997

Awards & Accolades

Likes

  • Readers Vote
  • 27


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
  • 27


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

Next book

NIGHT

The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the...

Elie Wiesel spent his early years in a small Transylvanian town as one of four children. 

He was the only one of the family to survive what Francois Maurois, in his introduction, calls the "human holocaust" of the persecution of the Jews, which began with the restrictions, the singularization of the yellow star, the enclosure within the ghetto, and went on to the mass deportations to the ovens of Auschwitz and Buchenwald. There are unforgettable and horrifying scenes here in this spare and sombre memoir of this experience of the hanging of a child, of his first farewell with his father who leaves him an inheritance of a knife and a spoon, and of his last goodbye at Buchenwald his father's corpse is already cold let alone the long months of survival under unconscionable conditions. 

The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the sphere of suffering shared, and in this case extended to the death march itself, there is no spiritual or emotional legacy here to offset any reader reluctance.

Pub Date: Jan. 16, 2006

ISBN: 0374500010

Page Count: 120

Publisher: Hill & Wang

Review Posted Online: Oct. 7, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2006

Close Quickview