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Knowing Hepburn and Other Curious Experiences
Knowing Hepburn and Other Curious Experiences
by James Prideaux
Edition: Hardcover

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Funny and Poignant, 11 Aug. 2008
This is a wonderful book, recommended to anyone who admires the work of Katharine Hepburn. Written by the playwright, James Prideaux, it describes their working relationship and long friendship. Prideaux came to love Hepburn, but never shies away from describing the characteristics that made her such an astringent personality. He also documents with wit and nostalgia a Hollywood era that is long gone.

"Well, I got fired," announced Kate.
I couldn't believe it! Fire Katharine Hepburn? But she insisted it was true...

And there was more! Once Aubrey had fired her, he had gone on to commit that most inabsolvable of sins: he had written her a letter in which her name was spelled Katherine! Nothing infuriated her more.
(I recalled, back in 1968, riding in a taxi from Manhattan to the Newark airport and passing a billboard in the Jersey swamps advertising The Lion In Winter on which her name was spelled Katherine. When I got to Los Angeles I told Kate about it. Immediately she shouted, "Phyllis! Call the lawyer!" When I passed the billboard going the other way five weeks later, the spelling had been corrected.)
"Fired!" I kept saying, "Fired!"

Only in America
Only in America
by Matt Frei
Edition: Hardcover

12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Elegant and entertaining, 6 July 2008
This review is from: Only in America (Hardcover)
This is a thoroughly excellent book. It's beautifully written, and for anyone of a wonkish disposition the Inside the Beltway insights are fascinating. The serious stuff is leavened with charming domestic anecdotes about the small Frei, and the result is a highly evocative portrayal of the US. It's pretty up to date too, covering the Clinton/Obama slugfest. One very minor grouse is that there are a few glaring typos which really should have been picked up, but niggling aside, do read it.

BROTHERS & SISTERS - Complete series 1 (6 Disc DVD Box set)
BROTHERS & SISTERS - Complete series 1 (6 Disc DVD Box set)

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars American Angst - now with added Politics, 3 Nov. 2007
This is a nice package, at least if you order it from rather than at the inflated price shown here. In the slipcase there's a fold out box with the six discs and a 2 page insert with episode breakdowns. The special features on disc 6 include an unaired full length episode intended as the second of the series, which was thought at the time to slow the pace of the narrative. While it's not big on plot, it's well worth seeing. There are also some short 'making of' type features, including one on the Olin/Wettig family.

Brothers and Sisters is schmalzy but stays smart, and thirtysomething alumni are prominent behind the scenes, most notably Ken Olin, but also David Marshall Grant who played artist Russell Weller in thirtysomething's 'gay kiss shocker' episode, and who now co-writes and produces Brothers and Sisters.

With any luck, securing another season might signal some bolder choices for the future of the show, but this is well worth having in the meantime.

Digging to America
Digging to America
by Anne Tyler
Edition: Hardcover

14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You Won't Regret It, 11 Jun. 2006
This review is from: Digging to America (Hardcover)
The first time I read an Anne Tyler novel (The Accidental Tourist), I'd heard so much about her that I found myself waiting to be impressed. That was a mistake, because if you're looking for something showy, something that proclaims itself to be 'literature', you won't find it. I finished the novel thinking 'is that IT?'; wondering what all the fuss was about. Then over the next couple of weeks pieces of it came back to me periodically, and I realised I felt a huge nostalgia for the characters and situations, and gradually it dawned on me that the structure of this apparently free-floating novel was absolutely flawless. I wasn't too proud to admit the error of my ways, and have gained immeasurable pleasure from Anne Tyler's novels since.

Digging to America is no exception: the observations and perspectives offered are endlessly fascinating, and the ways that 9/11 has wrought change in the US are subtly evoked. The ways that people from different cultures, and from the same families, tiptoe around each other in the daily process of sharing space and time, are beautifully observed. This is a generous and compassionate novel, and you could hardly spend the time it takes to read it doing anything more worthwhile.

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