PanThe New York Times Book Review\"Dery goes into far too much detail tracking the endless, clearly compulsive changes of residence the Gorey family undertook throughout [Gorey\'s] childhood ... Dery can be good on Gorey’s art... And he recognizes that the Anchor covers could be startling in their implications ... Mark Dery, alas, knows practically nothing about ballet and ballet history. Everything he tells us is clearly received wisdom at best. He is equally weak in other areas. He refers frequently to Gorey’s love for silent film (which he identifies as one of a “pantheon of canonically gay tastes”), but his knowledge of silent film is as thin as his knowledge of ballet ... Other mistakes of Dery’s are less factual and more the result of misunderstandings and a hyperbolic and dramatizing vision of cultural life... But then Dery is a self-proclaimed \'cultural critic,\' and cultural critics tend to deal in zeitgeists, not art ... Dery isn’t an experienced biographer, so it’s understandable that he stumbles. But he is an experienced writer, and although parts of his Gorey book are persuasively written... the new book is so swamped in clichés that I kept being reminded of the famous pieces Frank Sullivan wrote for The New Yorker about a fictional Mr. Arbuthnot, \'the cliché expert.\'\
PositiveThe New York Times Book ReviewOne of the things that led Sachs to write a second biography of Toscanini, more than twice as long as his first (published in 1978), was the new availability of huge archives of documents and letters — in 2002 he edited The Letters of Arturo Toscanini. The letters cover an immense range of musical, political and personal matters, but the most astonishing ones are passionate love letters ... Sachs frequently steps over the line and in his ardor for his subject and addiction to detail tells us more than most of us need to know. But these are failures of excessive zeal rather than failures of judgment. Sachs’s account of Toscanini’s career is persuasive and compelling in the important ways.