ANGELS AT THE RITZ AND OTHER STORIES

Here as in Trevor's other story collections, one spark of reality can shrivel the cocoons of quiet lives. "Angels of a kind we were" croons a husband-swapping exurban housewife, as she reconstructs that evening-at-the-Ritz when they were laughing, poor and young. Yet the fallen angel is not the speaker, but her best friend who within the "shell of middle age" just doesn't care that much when her husband discreetly goes astray: "You couldn't forever laugh among the waiters at the Ritz just because it was fun to be there." In another tale, a plain mouse seduced by the office rat reminds a back-street business woman of her 23 years of being used by the man she loves. Time after time, cruelty comes as naturally as the grass which is slowly obliterating the tennis courts restored for an elderly widow's last party: in the renunciation of parents by their young; in village bigotry kept alive by national hatreds; in the savagery of war. But there are those who can learn to last out despair, like the unloving couple joined in a shotgun marriage: "there was [now] nothing that could be destroyed, no magic or anything else." Even Trevor's least imaginative pieces are neatly joined; he offers biting insights as well as the sad echo of the nightingale which once sang in Berkeley Square.

Pub Date: June 3, 1976

ISBN: 0370106032

Page Count: -

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: Oct. 6, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 1976

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NUTCRACKER

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 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 1996

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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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