An unexpectedly moving memoir.



The noted NFL insider recounts how he built a family with a 9/11 widow.

Schefter (editor: The Class of Football: Words of Hard-Earned Wisdom from Legends of the Gridiron, 2009, etc.) met his future wife, Sharri Maio, just as he was starting to heal from a period of illness that had left him questioning his life path. Driven and successful, the once-divorced, 39-year-old author had been desperately seeking—and not finding—“the perfect relationship.” His life changed forever when he decided to take a chance on a 9/11 widow and her young son. Their connection was immediate and profound—and complex. The first and most challenging complication was Sharri’s dead husband, Joe, a man beloved and admired by all who knew him. On their first date, Schefter learned that Joe was still an abiding presence in Sharri’s life and that he and Joe shared the same birthday. The second complication was Sharri’s son: “She needed somebody who had chemistry with her and Devon.” For the first time, Schefter was forced to consider the realities of a relationship and learn to accommodate a partner who “felt permanently tethered to [death].” Tentatively, the author made his way through this “new territory.” On the first 9/11 anniversary they experienced together and for every 9/11 afterward, he sent her flowers. Schefter also became close to Joe’s parents, who were still very much a part of Sharri’s life. Despite a series of personal problems, including a difficult pregnancy, that beset the pair after they married, they grew beyond their differences and bonded through illness and other family tragedies, including the suicide of Joe’s brother. Schefter’s book is affecting not only for the story it tells of how the author learned to honor his wife’s husband as “the fifth member of [his] family,” but also for how it shows a man growing into a mature understanding of the true meaning of love and sacrifice.

An unexpectedly moving memoir.

Pub Date: Sept. 4, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-250-16189-5

Page Count: 208

Publisher: St. Martin's

Review Posted Online: June 17, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 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 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 19, 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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