Funny, frothy and fabulous.



Mall-rat moves to the city, becomes a Rock Chick, then rediscovers her inner nerd.

In high school, the author sported “a perm that was extreme even by mideighties New Jersey standards, rendering my hair as dense and impenetrable as a boxwood hedge.” She dreamed of a glamorous life, but as she entered adulthood, it seemed the world had anything but glamour in store for her. After dropping out of the University of Delaware, Dunn moved in with her parents and went to work as a fact-checker for an ad agency. This was the kind of job to which a gal wore a plaid suit with giant shoulder pads, a string tie and a hairspray helmet. Bored stiff, Dunn leapt at a chance to interview for an editorial-assistant post at Rolling Stone. Charming the higher-ups with her decided lack of Ivy League polish, she got the gig and soon had her own byline. With the new job came a fantasy urban life: countless men, countless clubs, not to mention Ray Charles serenading her in an elevator and Christian Aguilera sending her a bouquet of flowers. Eventually, though, Dunn realized that this ultra-cool existence was not for her. She began hanging out with her mom and spending most nights in her apartment watching documentaries. Despite the unwieldy subtitle and the distracting how-to-interview-a-celebrity interludes, this debut memoir isn’t really about working at Rolling Stone. It’s about becoming acquainted with, and accepting, your true self. Dunn is a master of character development, capturing the essence of a person in just a few, well-chosen details, and she deftly deploys dialogue. Indeed, her prose transforms the predictable plotline of the last 100 pages—as her sisters and friends churn out babies, Dunn dates many losers, and her biological clock ticks ever louder—into something magical.

Funny, frothy and fabulous.

Pub Date: June 1, 2006

ISBN: 0-06-084364-0

Page Count: 288

Publisher: HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2006

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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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