In the end, though, it all feels a little sad, and Buell has the smarts to know it: “I wanted to make others happy more than...

A name-dropping memoir (“I had a similar experience with Salvador Dalí”) by the ex-model who became lover and muse to a 30-year stretch of American glitterati.

Buell moved to New York in 1972 and began a remarkable series of affairs with rock musicians, fashion photographers, and assorted celebrities. Although she claims that she was never simply questing after sex (and that she felt hurt because “people always wanted to have sex with me, instead of wondering what I thought or felt”), she sure describes it with great gusto here. There were, for starters, Todd Rundgren (“incredible sexual energy, we had sex all the time”), David Bowie (“I don’t think I was really his cup of tea sexually. I wasn’t black and I wasn’t weird”), Jimmy Page (“When he kissed me, he loved to spew his saliva into my mouth”), Rod Stewart (“We really liked each other sexually and had a real fondness for one another”), Elvis Costello (“unbridled and mutually satisfying passion”), and Jack Nicholson (“I was having my first very cool sex-against-the-car-with-Jack Nicholson lesson”). Although she does develop a theme along the way, the author is perfectly happy simply to pursue the famous (“I got to see Keith Moon before he died”) or go gaga over John Lennon (“Oh man, if he wasn’t special, then I’m insane”). She also has some tender recollections of Mick Jagger (“the first time in my life that I had an orgasm without clitoral stimulation”). The saving grace is that Buell has a carbonated sense of humor, describing herself as a “quasi-scene-maker pseudocelebrity” and dubbing Steve Tyler (of Aerosmith) “ ‘the poor man’s Mick Jagger’ because of the remarkable resemblance in their lips.” Less lively pages are devoted to her own singing career and life with daughter Liv Tyler.

In the end, though, it all feels a little sad, and Buell has the smarts to know it: “I wanted to make others happy more than I wanted to make myself happy.”

Pub Date: Aug. 1, 2001

ISBN: 0-312-26694-4

Page Count: 320

Publisher: St. Martin's

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2001


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



Well-told and admonitory.

Young-rags-to-mature-riches memoir by broker and motivational speaker Gardner.

Born and raised in the Milwaukee ghetto, the author pulled himself up from considerable disadvantage. He was fatherless, and his adored mother wasn’t always around; once, as a child, he spied her at a family funeral accompanied by a prison guard. When beautiful, evanescent Moms was there, Chris also had to deal with Freddie “I ain’t your goddamn daddy!” Triplett, one of the meanest stepfathers in recent literature. Chris did “the dozens” with the homies, boosted a bit and in the course of youthful adventure was raped. His heroes were Miles Davis, James Brown and Muhammad Ali. Meanwhile, at the behest of Moms, he developed a fondness for reading. He joined the Navy and became a medic (preparing badass Marines for proctology), and a proficient lab technician. Moving up in San Francisco, married and then divorced, he sold medical supplies. He was recruited as a trainee at Dean Witter just around the time he became a homeless single father. All his belongings in a shopping cart, Gardner sometimes slept with his young son at the office (apparently undiscovered by the night cleaning crew). The two also frequently bedded down in a public restroom. After Gardner’s talents were finally appreciated by the firm of Bear Stearns, his American Dream became real. He got the cool duds, hot car and fine ladies so coveted from afar back in the day. He even had a meeting with Nelson Mandela. Through it all, he remained a prideful parent. His own no-daddy blues are gone now.

Well-told and admonitory.

Pub Date: June 1, 2006

ISBN: 0-06-074486-3

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Amistad/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2006

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