The bardic Welsh author and global navigator, who among his many mighty deeds has soloed across the Atlantic nine times (he's now in his mid-60s), finally abandons a task begun in Outward Leg (1986) and carried on in The Improbable Voyage (1987) and Somewheres East of Suez (1988)—and tackles an even greater challenge. In 1982, Jones lost his left leg to virulent gout. Finding himself among the disabled, he decided to do something so daring that all the world's disabled could take heart from it: He'd circle the globe in a trimaran. Three volumes of cresting over disasters have brought him thus far to Thailand and to the idea that his first idea was unsound. Few disabled folk can afford a boat like his; he needs to do something never done before by any sailor—an audacious, high-risk spiritual journey. In a small, cheap boat, he will cross the waterways of the Kra peninsula, which divides the Andaman Sea from the Gulf of Thailand. With money from a magazine article, he buys an old wooden 38-foot-long Thai boat. He already has a young German mate, Thomas (who later dies of a heart attack), and rounds up a crew of disabled, three-limbed young Thais. Getting through to this crew is like grappling linguistically with Martians, though a great rapport at last awakens. They set sail from Phuket on heavy seas in the monsoon season, since only then will the dry riverbeds of the Kra have water. If they capsize, most of the three-limbed on board will drown, including Jones, who has never learned to swim anyway. Before they arrive at Bangkok amid cheering throngs along the river's edge (part of the journey was captured on TV), the crew makes 38 portages over rocky rapids, are hauled along by an elephant, arrested as Cambodian refugees, attacked by bandits, and so on, all the while with Jones's thigh rubbed to raw meat and his foot horribly infected. A mad crawl—but marvelous. (Nine maps.)

Pub Date: Oct. 23, 1991

ISBN: 0-688-08022-7

Page Count: 296

Publisher: Morrow/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 1991

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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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Noted jazz and pop record producer Thiele offers a chatty autobiography. Aided by record-business colleague Golden, Thiele traces his career from his start as a ``pubescent, novice jazz record producer'' in the 1940s through the '50s, when he headed Coral, Dot, and Roulette Records, and the '60s, when he worked for ABC and ran the famous Impulse! jazz label. At Coral, Thiele championed the work of ``hillbilly'' singer Buddy Holly, although the only sessions he produced with Holly were marred by saccharine strings. The producer specialized in more mainstream popsters like the irrepressibly perky Teresa Brewer (who later became his fourth wife) and the bubble-machine muzak-meister Lawrence Welk. At Dot, Thiele was instrumental in recording Jack Kerouac's famous beat- generation ramblings to jazz accompaniment (recordings that Dot's president found ``pornographic''), while also overseeing a steady stream of pop hits. He then moved to the Mafia-controlled Roulette label, where he observed the ``silk-suited, pinky-ringed'' entourage who frequented the label's offices. Incredibly, however, Thiele remembers the famously hard-nosed Morris Levy, who ran the label and was eventually convicted of extortion, as ``one of the kindest, most warm-hearted, and classiest music men I have ever known.'' At ABC/Impulse!, Thiele oversaw the classic recordings of John Coltrane, although he is the first to admit that Coltrane essentially produced his own sessions. Like many producers of the day, Thiele participated in the ownership of publishing rights to some of the songs he recorded; he makes no apology for this practice, which he calls ``entirely appropriate and without any ethical conflicts.'' A pleasant, if not exactly riveting, memoir that will be of most interest to those with a thirst for cocktail-hour stories of the record biz. (25 halftones, not seen)

Pub Date: May 1, 1995

ISBN: 0-19-508629-4

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Oxford Univ.

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 1995

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