A quick and easy senior seminar taught by a quick and easy senior instructor, false attempts at grouchiness notwithstanding....



Rounding 40 years since he first stood up to recount comical things, Dr. Cosby is the Cal Ripkin of standup. Just as regularly, no matter what, he suits up and delivers another slim volume of agreeable musings on matters of general interest (Love and Marriage, 1989; Childhood, 1991, etc.).

An integral part of Cosby’s writing is his powerful persona, and a reader can hear the droll delivery on each page, if not actual rim shots on the punch lines. When Cos was six, he informs us, “my father said to me: ‘Son, I’m going to tell you something and I want you to never forget it.’ And then he knocked me out.” There are many pleasantries about growing up in the projects in North Philly, where Cosby was the brightest kid in his school. When he found that out, he joined the Navy. Then he attended Teachers College at Temple University (things move quickly in Cosby’s world). Matters uxorious, a Cosby stock in trade, are not neglected, as in the discussion of nights long after the wedding in which he seeks the toilet without turning on the light. And no one can present a better exegesis of a little kid’s tantrum. The tales, true or false, are generally diverting, though not all equally so. There is a particularly nice story about playing the Big Time for the first time at Mr. Kelly’s in Chicago all those years ago; but frankly, Bill, we could have done without the detailed essay about your ingrown hair. Though the text contains no Fat Albert, each chapter is graced with a drawing by the great George Booth.

A quick and easy senior seminar taught by a quick and easy senior instructor, false attempts at grouchiness notwithstanding. It’s amiable entertainment—it could not be otherwise—and fully anodyne.

Pub Date: Nov. 7, 2001

ISBN: 0-7868-6810-4

Page Count: 192

Publisher: Hyperion

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2001

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



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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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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