Not too many readers would agree with Joe David Bellamy (who provides the introduction here) that Tom Wolfe's New Journalism offers "the definitive, comprehensive, tuned-in portrait of our age." In fact, a reprint collection like this—with Wolfe's hyped-up style and waspish tone changing so little from subculture to subculture, from decade to decade—tends to suggest that the New Journalism offers more insight into the new journalists than it does into their supposed subject-matters. Still, there can be little argument with Bellamy's assertion that the major Wolfe contribution to cultural self-awareness has been "his emphasis on the hidden and sometimes peculiar manifestations of status-seeking in American life." And, for those eager to sample or re-sample Wolfe's satires, there's a fair sampling here: six pieces from The Kandy-Kolored Tangerine-Flake Streamlined Baby (1965), with stock-car racing, Greenwich Village, and Baby Jane Holzer; a trio from The Pump House Gang (1968), including the well-known portrait of the social-climbing Sculls; Radical Chic, of course; "the Me Decade" (est, etc.); and briefer selections from recent books. Best on fads, weaker when matters of substance intrude: a representative Wolfe parade—and a feast for nostalgic trend-watchers.

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 1982

ISBN: 0425103455

Page Count: 420

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: Oct. 13, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 1982



This is not the Nutcracker sweet, as passed on by Tchaikovsky and Marius Petipa. No, this is the original Hoffmann tale of 1816, in which the froth of Christmas revelry occasionally parts to let the dark underside of childhood fantasies and fears peek through. The boundaries between dream and reality fade, just as Godfather Drosselmeier, the Nutcracker's creator, is seen as alternately sinister and jolly. And Italian artist Roberto Innocenti gives an errily realistic air to Marie's dreams, in richly detailed illustrations touched by a mysterious light. A beautiful version of this classic tale, which will captivate adults and children alike. (Nutcracker; $35.00; Oct. 28, 1996; 136 pp.; 0-15-100227-4)

Pub Date: Oct. 28, 1996

ISBN: 0-15-100227-4

Page Count: 136

Publisher: Harcourt

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 1996




An extravaganza in Bemelmans' inimitable vein, but written almost dead pan, with sly, amusing, sometimes biting undertones, breaking through. For Bemelmans was "the man who came to cocktails". And his hostess was Lady Mendl (Elsie de Wolfe), arbiter of American decorating taste over a generation. Lady Mendl was an incredible person,- self-made in proper American tradition on the one hand, for she had been haunted by the poverty of her childhood, and the years of struggle up from its ugliness,- until she became synonymous with the exotic, exquisite, worshipper at beauty's whrine. Bemelmans draws a portrait in extremes, through apt descriptions, through hilarious anecdote, through surprisingly sympathetic and understanding bits of appreciation. The scene shifts from Hollywood to the home she loved the best in Versailles. One meets in passing a vast roster of famous figures of the international and artistic set. And always one feels Bemelmans, slightly offstage, observing, recording, commenting, illustrated.

Pub Date: Feb. 23, 1955

ISBN: 0670717797

Page Count: -

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: Oct. 25, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 1955

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