SELECTED WRITINGS OF TRUMAN CAPOTE

Surprisingly enough, these Truman Capote writings cover 20 years; one would not have thought he'd been at bat that long. Not too surprisingly, they don't all hold up; but, generally, it must be said he scores more often than he strikes out. Certainly his talents are manifold: the quicksilver dialogue, the damning details, the mot juste, the psychologically perceptive blue mood or set. His influences abound, yet he remains an original, from the early Southern Gothic tales with auras of Williams, Faulkner, McGullers and, in that famous shocker Miriam, of Alfred Hitchcock, onwards through Breakfast at Tiffany's and its jazzed-up Christopher Isherwood type heroine, Holly Golightly, plus the New Yorkerish reportage of Porgy and Bess' Russian tour, of Marlon Brando, of travelogues via Ischia, New Orleans, Spain. All and more are here collected; most good, most entertaining. But is he a major writer? No, not by these samplings anyway. Is he even the sure stylist such a tough minded person as Norman Mailer takes him to be? No, not if we compare him to a newcomer like Updike, an oldster like Miss Porter. But he is an exquisitely exotic bloom on our all too exoteric literary landscape, full of variety, full of change. Given a few more imaginistic flights in as many years, he might yet emerge the American Coeteau. Not an unrewarding prospect at all.

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 1963

ISBN: 0394604954

Page Count: 460

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: Oct. 10, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 1962

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Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis...

THE ELEMENTS OF STYLE

50TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION

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

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WHAT A WONDERFUL WORLD

A LIFETIME OF RECORDINGS

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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