Readers are likely to enjoy the authors’ company almost as much as they seem to enjoy each other’s.

THE GREATEST LOVE STORY EVER TOLD

AN ORAL HISTORY

In an oral history that reads like playful conversation, two popular TV stars discuss how they came together and stayed together.

If the Captain & Tennille talked a little naughtier in public, their “Love Will Keep Us Together” could serve as a theme song for this extended ode to marital harmony. The book is nonchronological, proceeding in chapters focusing on topics including religion, sex (and previous relationships), art, awards ceremonies, and fame in general. When they met in 2000 while rehearsing for a play, Mullally was already successful with Will & Grace, while Offerman (Good Clean Fun: Misadventures in Sawdust at Offerman Woodshop, 2016, etc.) was as much a carpenter as an actor. It wasn’t love at first sight, at least on her end, but, he says, “we recognized a kindred spirit in our performance styles, if you will. And senses of humor.” She had been married and had rushed into other relationships that didn’t work out, while he had come from a large, loving Midwestern family and had those values instilled in him. “You’re not the kind of guy who had a million women and was a dog,” she tells him. “I always hated those kind of guys.” The authors’ banter occasionally edges toward pillow talk, and they come across like perennial honeymooners. The age difference (she’s nearly 12 years older) was never an issue, and it doesn’t appear that he was bothered by her success, though his breakthrough role in Parks and Recreation has leveled the playing field. If there is a secret to their love, it is perhaps best distilled in Mullally’s solo chapter of beauty tips, where she advises, “just try to be the best version of what you are naturally.” They amuse themselves, Offerman explains, by “doing jigsaw puzzles while simultaneously listening to audiobooks.”

Readers are likely to enjoy the authors’ company almost as much as they seem to enjoy each other’s.

Pub Date: Oct. 2, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-101-98667-7

Page Count: 288

Publisher: Dutton

Review Posted Online: July 31, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2018

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If the authors are serious, this is a silly, distasteful book. If they are not, it’s a brilliant satire.

THE 48 LAWS OF POWER

The authors have created a sort of anti-Book of Virtues in this encyclopedic compendium of the ways and means of power.

Everyone wants power and everyone is in a constant duplicitous game to gain more power at the expense of others, according to Greene, a screenwriter and former editor at Esquire (Elffers, a book packager, designed the volume, with its attractive marginalia). We live today as courtiers once did in royal courts: we must appear civil while attempting to crush all those around us. This power game can be played well or poorly, and in these 48 laws culled from the history and wisdom of the world’s greatest power players are the rules that must be followed to win. These laws boil down to being as ruthless, selfish, manipulative, and deceitful as possible. Each law, however, gets its own chapter: “Conceal Your Intentions,” “Always Say Less Than Necessary,” “Pose as a Friend, Work as a Spy,” and so on. Each chapter is conveniently broken down into sections on what happened to those who transgressed or observed the particular law, the key elements in this law, and ways to defensively reverse this law when it’s used against you. Quotations in the margins amplify the lesson being taught. While compelling in the way an auto accident might be, the book is simply nonsense. Rules often contradict each other. We are told, for instance, to “be conspicuous at all cost,” then told to “behave like others.” More seriously, Greene never really defines “power,” and he merely asserts, rather than offers evidence for, the Hobbesian world of all against all in which he insists we live. The world may be like this at times, but often it isn’t. To ask why this is so would be a far more useful project.

If the authors are serious, this is a silly, distasteful book. If they are not, it’s a brilliant satire.

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 1998

ISBN: 0-670-88146-5

Page Count: 430

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 1998

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The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the...

NIGHT

Elie Wiesel spent his early years in a small Transylvanian town as one of four children. 

He was the only one of the family to survive what Francois Maurois, in his introduction, calls the "human holocaust" of the persecution of the Jews, which began with the restrictions, the singularization of the yellow star, the enclosure within the ghetto, and went on to the mass deportations to the ovens of Auschwitz and Buchenwald. There are unforgettable and horrifying scenes here in this spare and sombre memoir of this experience of the hanging of a child, of his first farewell with his father who leaves him an inheritance of a knife and a spoon, and of his last goodbye at Buchenwald his father's corpse is already cold let alone the long months of survival under unconscionable conditions. 

The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the sphere of suffering shared, and in this case extended to the death march itself, there is no spiritual or emotional legacy here to offset any reader reluctance.

Pub Date: Jan. 16, 2006

ISBN: 0374500010

Page Count: 120

Publisher: Hill & Wang

Review Posted Online: Oct. 7, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2006

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