A satisfying success story from a reliably outspoken raconteur.


The bestselling author is back with a chronicle of his exasperating love life in New York City following addiction and recovery.

In his latest autobiographical story, Burroughs (This Is How, 2012, etc.) traces his frustrating track record with men and eternal search for true love in the big city. He opens with a break in his long-held sobriety in the mid-1990s, during which he landed a date with Mitch, a “deeply odd,” gay writer—in fact, the author of one of Burroughs’ “favorite books.” They fell for each other quickly and entered into an up-and-down relationship. At the beginning of the book, the author intersperses these episodes with snippets of history from his early life in advertising in Boston and driving cross-country to San Francisco. A love affair with a man named George followed, but George’s death, which introduces the book’s commanding center section, threw Burroughs into a drunken spiral of bed-wetting and compulsive QVC gem-buying marathons, which inspired his 2000 novel Sellevision. Romantic feelings for Christopher, his agent at the time, derailed when Christopher divulged his HIV-positive status. The deflated author then went on a dating spree with men who weren’t “medically off limits.” Throughout, Burroughs is hypercritical of his love interests—e.g., the fine lines around Mitch’s eyes gave him a “ravaged by time” look. Some readers may find that the author’s early impressions of dating someone with AIDS are insensitive. However, he writes colorfully of his time with “normal and stable” Dennis, with whom he had a powerful yet different kind of relationship “because I was sober and actually experiencing it”; the relationship waxed and waned through passion, conflict, disillusionment, and an eventual separation. An admittance of his undeniable love for Christopher, who had since battled cancer but was game for the challenge of loving the writer unconditionally, opens the third part of this serpentine dating memoir, which ends with bright beams of contentment and happiness.

A satisfying success story from a reliably outspoken raconteur.

Pub Date: March 29, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-312-34203-6

Page Count: 304

Publisher: St. Martin's

Review Posted Online: Nov. 23, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2015

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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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