SHADOWS OF THE GRASS

To any reader who met Baroness Karen Blixen (Isak Dinesen) first through her memorable Out of Africa these new pieces carrying us back to her African plantation will be heart warming news. Twenty five years absence has depended the memories, sharpened certain features, and made possible these human reflections of the life and the people that gave it meaning. Her Somali servant, Farah, emerges life size, a towering presence — "my servant by the grace of God"- who made her every action and decision momentous. After a quarter of a century she can sub-title her pen sketch "Portrait of a Gentleman". There's humor as well as philosophical content in her choice of incidents to round out this sketch. And there is, too, a growing understanding of his religion as a Muslim. There are others of her staff and her neighborhood but this stands out. Then too she writes of adventures — of hunting and the lion she shot, feeding on a dead giraffe; of her role, confessedly one imposed by a superstition-ridden people, as a healer, with a scrap of letter written by her king as a magic piece; of Abdullah, Farah's small brother, and the different place he held in her household, in her life. Throughout one senses deeply the role she played as mistress and friend — and the philosophy that grew within her in the ten years she struggled to keep the plantation intact. The writing needs no encomiums; every reader knows there is delight in store.

Pub Date: Jan. 3, 1960

ISBN: 0140180435

Page Count: 106

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: May 16, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 1960

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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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