Fans of the Fifty Shades series will undoubtedly find much to savor in this ribald, risqué, and captivating remembrance.

FETISH GIRL

A MEMOIR OF SEX, DOMINATION, AND MOTHERHOOD

Holistic sexuality educator and coach LaVey shares a life rich with experimentation and eroticism.

Early on in this debut memoir, the author writes dramatically of boarding a bus in New Hampshire—the beginning of years of nomadic wanderings in such locales as Wisconsin (where she pursued a Wiccan-Shamanistic apprenticeship), Pennsylvania, and Central America. She also writes of the happiness and complexity of raising a child as a single parent. However, the memoir centers on LaVey’s sexual awakening, which started when she began a career as an exotic dancer. She entertainingly depicts these early days, graphically describing the pain of a first waxing, wobbling on 6-inch heels “like a giraffe on stilts,” and mastering the art of making money at a strip club. “Stripping walked me down the aisle to kink,” she writes, and her chronicle smoothly transforms into an account of her participation in BDSM subculture. Along the way, she vividly describes sexual experiences, a botched romance, and successfully overcoming drug addiction. She also weaves in the incremental evolution of her dominatrix persona, “Evil Kitty,” as well as varied ruminations about the nature of religion and the intricate dance of sexual dominance and submission. LaVey’s prose has an unfettered honesty as she proudly displays the joys, scars, triumphs, disappointments, and hard-won lessons of her lifestyle. The tone of the narrative is educational and never judgmental or arrogant, allowing readers to understand the author on several different levels—as the daughter of a demanding mother, as a devoted parent, as a dedicated sex worker, and as a formidable, respected person.

Fans of the Fifty Shades series will undoubtedly find much to savor in this ribald, risqué, and captivating remembrance.

Pub Date: Nov. 13, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-63152-435-6

Page Count: 296

Publisher: She Writes Press

Review Posted Online: Aug. 21, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 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 48 LAWS OF POWER

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...

NIGHT

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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