An astonishing story of accomplishment that would have been invigorated by more lively, animated prose.

THE 1997 MASTERS

MY STORY

An in-depth, inside look at the legendary golfer’s historic 1997 Masters win.

Besides reliving his eventful week at Augusta National as a much-hyped 21-year-old, the usually secretive Woods (How I Play Golf, 2001), with co-author Rubenstein, reveals a great deal about himself, his family, his coaches, and his thinking as he prepared to hit key shots during his four, pressure-filled championship rounds. Thanks to prestigious amateur wins prior to 1997, Woods had already played in the tournament twice. He recounts playing practice rounds with past Masters winners like Nick Faldo, Fred Couples, and Raymond Floyd, during which he consistently asked questions about how to play the course. They provided valuable advice, especially regarding how to negotiate the course’s treacherous greens using the old balata golf ball. Woods also realized that he would need to be able to swing at less than full speed, hit the ball down, and take spin off it when needed. He then goes into great detail describing his three practice days before the tournament started, working on specific shots, understanding where to place tee shots, dealing with the media, and playing in the delightful par-3 tournament. When Thursday’s play arrived, Woods was shocked: “I would never have realized that I would shoot 40 on the front nine of the first round.” His back swing had gotten too long. Just before starting the back nine, Fluff Cowan, his caddie, helped calm him down. Woods shot 30 on the back nine, two under for the day. His final winning score of 270 and his margin of victory—12 strokes—were new tournament records. The author’s meticulous recounting of those next three days—the shots hit, the challenges met, the emotions felt—provides a rare perspective of golf played at the highest level.

An astonishing story of accomplishment that would have been invigorated by more lively, animated prose.

Pub Date: March 21, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-4555-4358-8

Page Count: 256

Publisher: Grand Central Publishing

Review Posted Online: Jan. 24, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2017

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Skloot's meticulous, riveting account strikes a humanistic balance between sociological history, venerable portraiture and...

THE IMMORTAL LIFE OF HENRIETTA LACKS

A dense, absorbing investigation into the medical community's exploitation of a dying woman and her family's struggle to salvage truth and dignity decades later.

In a well-paced, vibrant narrative, Popular Science contributor and Culture Dish blogger Skloot (Creative Writing/Univ. of Memphis) demonstrates that for every human cell put under a microscope, a complex life story is inexorably attached, to which doctors, researchers and laboratories have often been woefully insensitive and unaccountable. In 1951, Henrietta Lacks, an African-American mother of five, was diagnosed with what proved to be a fatal form of cervical cancer. At Johns Hopkins, the doctors harvested cells from her cervix without her permission and distributed them to labs around the globe, where they were multiplied and used for a diverse array of treatments. Known as HeLa cells, they became one of the world's most ubiquitous sources for medical research of everything from hormones, steroids and vitamins to gene mapping, in vitro fertilization, even the polio vaccine—all without the knowledge, must less consent, of the Lacks family. Skloot spent a decade interviewing every relative of Lacks she could find, excavating difficult memories and long-simmering outrage that had lay dormant since their loved one's sorrowful demise. Equal parts intimate biography and brutal clinical reportage, Skloot's graceful narrative adeptly navigates the wrenching Lack family recollections and the sobering, overarching realities of poverty and pre–civil-rights racism. The author's style is matched by a methodical scientific rigor and manifest expertise in the field.

Skloot's meticulous, riveting account strikes a humanistic balance between sociological history, venerable portraiture and Petri dish politics.

Pub Date: Feb. 9, 2010

ISBN: 978-1-4000-5217-2

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Crown

Review Posted Online: Dec. 22, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2010

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A wonderful page-turner written with humility, immediacy, and great style. Nothing came cheap and easy to McCandless, nor...

INTO THE WILD

The excruciating story of a young man on a quest for knowledge and experience, a search that eventually cooked his goose, told with the flair of a seasoned investigative reporter by Outside magazine contributing editor Krakauer (Eiger Dreams, 1990). 

Chris McCandless loved the road, the unadorned life, the Tolstoyan call to asceticism. After graduating college, he took off on another of his long destinationless journeys, this time cutting all contact with his family and changing his name to Alex Supertramp. He was a gent of strong opinions, and he shared them with those he met: "You must lose your inclination for monotonous security and adopt a helter-skelter style of life''; "be nomadic.'' Ultimately, in 1992, his terms got him into mortal trouble when he ran up against something—the Alaskan wild—that didn't give a hoot about Supertramp's worldview; his decomposed corpse was found 16 weeks after he entered the bush. Many people felt McCandless was just a hubris-laden jerk with a death wish (he had discarded his map before going into the wild and brought no food but a bag of rice). Krakauer thought not. Admitting an interest that bordered on obsession, he dug deep into McCandless's life. He found a willful, reckless, moody boyhood; an ugly little secret that sundered the relationship between father and son; a moral absolutism that agitated the young man's soul and drove him to extremes; but he was no more a nutcase than other pilgrims. Writing in supple, electric prose, Krakauer tries to make sense of McCandless (while scrupulously avoiding off-the-rack psychoanalysis): his risky behavior and the rites associated with it, his asceticism, his love of wide open spaces, the flights of his soul.

A wonderful page-turner written with humility, immediacy, and great style. Nothing came cheap and easy to McCandless, nor will it to readers of Krakauer's narrative. (4 maps) (First printing of 35,000; author tour)

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 1996

ISBN: 0-679-42850-X

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Villard

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 1995

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