With estimable dignity, a mother recounts the horrendous tragedy her family suffered when, due to the scandalous indifference of certain pharmaceutical companies, the medicines her sons used became deadly poisons. This modern horror narrative is all the more shocking because every word is true. With simple eloquence and understandable anger, but never indulging in morbid self-pity, DePrince tells of her five sons (three adopted), all of whom suffered from hemophilia. For years, the DePrince children's painful internal hemorrhaging was controlled with clotting factor, a medication distilled from the pooled blood of thousands of donors. In the early 1980s, HIV from some donors contaminated clotting factor, converting into a lethal toxin the very medicine that had freed families from the scourge of hemophilia. As a result, an estimated 8,000 hemophiliacs and many spouses of hemophiliacs, not to mention many recipients of blood transfusions, became infected with HIV. Two of the DePrince children, Cubby and Mike, died from AIDS. DePrince describes such moving and profound scenes as 11-year-old Cubby stoically preparing for death, comforting his grieving family and friends, and keeping a journal of his thoughts as life painfully slips away. Ably interweaving her personal tale with the medical story of how clotting factor was developed, DePrince informs us as well of the most horrific aspect of the catastrophe: A process developed in Germany to inactivate hepatitis in clotting factor also proved effective in destroying HIV, but it was passed up by various American pharmaceutical companies in favor of a cheaper method that left HIV intact. The author details the legal actions she and others have taken to obtain justice for the thousands of needless deaths. While inspiring the reader through the DePrince family's saga of fortitude, Cry Bloody Murder presents as well an effective, concise introduction to the science, business, and legal issues defining the hemophilia/HIV catastrophe.

Pub Date: July 1, 1997

ISBN: 0-679-45676-7

Page Count: 256

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 1997

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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 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...


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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