Margot Mifflin
September 05, 1997 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Gravity: Tilted Perspectives On Rocketships, Rollercoasters, Earthquakes

Current Status
In Season

We gave it a B+

In these essays, Joseph Lanza (Elevator Music) draws clever analogies between Superman and Liberace (who liked to fly on stage), interprets the evolution of kitchen design as a battle against falling objects, and points out that while Norman Schwarzkopf was masterminding air attacks on Baghdad and Kuwait, his distant relative Anton Schwarzkopf, a ”thrill ride” designer, was orchestrating a roller-coaster revival. By contrast, Lanza’s high-concept vision of a gravity-defying ”angel food” cake future falls flat. Gravity: Tilted Perspectives on Rocketships, Rollercoasters, Earthquakes, and Angel Food is buoyed by provocative ideas, even though Lanza, a sucker for glib pronouncements, occasionally proves to be full of hot air. B+

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