Four brief book reviews

Star Money, by Kathleen Winsor. Appleton-Cenlury-Crofts, $3.00.

A few years ago, a beautiful girl called Kathleen Winsor wrote a historical novel which sold a great many copies. Miss Winsor has now written a novel about a beautiful girl called Shireen who writes a historical novel which sells a great many copies. Best-selling authoress Shireen is not, we are assured, “intended to be” best-selling authoress Kathleen — to which the reviewer can only say, “Amen.” For Shireen is without doubt the dullest, silliest, and generally most objectionable young beauty in contemporary fiction. Star Money achieves a really high standard of pointlessness.
The World of Gilbert and Sullivan, by W. A. Darlington. Crowell, $3.50.

From the day, now more than seventy years ago, when the first Gilbert and Sullivan composition was played in London, there has hardly been a time when a D’Oyly Carte Company has not been playing one or other of the operas. Mr. Darlington, a London drama critic, believes that contemporary audiences miss a good deal of the humor and would be better off generally with an explanation of the librettos. The trouble with explanations of this kind is that they are pleasurable only to the aficionado who doesn’t need them; to those who could profit by them they are apt to be rather dreary. The best thing about Darlington’s book is the chapters on Gilbert and Sullivan themselves, a fascinating team.

The Pitman Gallery, edited by R. R. Wilenski. Pitman, $1.93.

A volume on Chagall with notes by the artist is the latest addition to this attractive series of inexpensive art books, which now includes Klee, Blake, Manet, Cézanne, Van Gogh, Degas, Botticelli, Sienese Paintings, and several others. Each book contains ten or more illustrations— all in color —and an accompanying commentary. The reproductions are remarkably good for the low price.

Selective Record Guide, by Moses Smith. Macmillan, $4.50.

A top-notch handbook for the record collector — beginning and otherwise — by a distinguished critic who is also a connoisseur of recorded music. The Guide is divided into three parts: (1) a basic selection, not costing more than a hundred dollars, for the new collector; (2) a list of wider scope which, together with the first, amounts to a modest permanent collection; (3) a selection for those of more advanced taste. The listings include the new long-playing records and are accompanied by commentary on composers and music, a compact treatise in itself.