Unsavory account of the suffering of Sharon Tate’s family in the aftermath of her murder and her mother Doris' and sister Patti's subsequent rise to national prominence as advocates of victims' rights.

It would be impossible not to feel sympathy for the Tate family following the horrifying events of 1969. After witnessing the murders of three of her friends, Tate, who was eight months pregnant at the time of her death, was hanged and fatally stabbed. Unfortunately, this book by Statman and Brie Tate, Sharon’s niece, is luridly exploitative and shrilly self-righteous. It may be unfair to ascribe less-than-saintly motives to any member of the Tate family, who arguably have the right to tell (and sell) their story in any way they choose, but it’s difficult to imagine what noble purpose is served by lingering over Sharon's dying words or the exact dimensions of her stab wounds. The authors would likely argue that emphasizing the killers' savagery is crucial to securing the public's opposition to their release. Throughout the book, Statman and Tate shift perspectives and time so much that readers will become disoriented. Furthermore, the prose is overly cliché-ridden—e.g., Sharon's eyes “twinkle with the faith of her dreams”; her parents were both “as set in their ways as a grape stain to white pants and equally as stubborn”; “their love was as preserved and age-worn as a pressed rose hidden in a Bible”; cancer is “a thief in the night.” Indeed, many sentences read like bad translations: “My inflamed opinion may have a biased tone, but the hippie trend is not my favorite culture.” The authors' most laudable goal is to pay tribute to Sharon's mother, Doris. Though some readers will disagree with her politics, she was also an admirably determined person who channeled her grief and rage into decades of service to others. Horrifies more often than it enlightens. Not recommended.  


Pub Date: March 1, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-06-200804-6

Page Count: 384

Publisher: It Books/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Jan. 30, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2012

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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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