Rhonda Johnson
December 17, 1999 AT 05:00 AM EST

The Swing Book

Current Status
In Season
Degen Pener
Music, Nonfiction, Pop Culture

We gave it an B+

At last we know where to wear that snood we picked up at the flea market. Now how about getting togged to the bricks, scoping out the nearest dance floor, and kicking up a righteous lindy hop?

EW contributor Pener zooms through all things swing in this homage to the ’40s music and dance style reborn in bands like Big Bad Voodoo Daddy and movies like Swingers. This book will thrill squares with little experience beyond the Gap’s ”Khakis Swing” commercial, and help neophytes get a grip on those embarrassing ”spaghetti arms.”

Of course, truly hep daddy-o’s and their twirls won’t need tips on retro style (dolls go for cat’s-eyes glasses and Bakelite jewelry; players show off in zoot suits), where to find the coolest clubs (even if you’re stuck in Buffalo), and how to act once you’re there (”I don’t want to marry you. I just want to dance with you”). B+

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