A quirky tale of lessons learned from the world of acting.



A young, accomplished performer’s life in theater, TV, and film.

In this comic memoir, Gilpin (b. 1986), best known for her role as a female wrestler in the Netflix series GLOW, charts her journey as an actor and offers advice for other young women pursuing a similar path. The author chronicles her childhood as the daughter of show-business parents; awkward adolescence and struggles to reconcile self-doubt and artistic ambition; hard-won ascent in her chosen industry and routine endurance of humiliating tests of her professional resolve; and, finally, disappointment after the commercial failure of the film she hoped would launch her to superstardom. Gilpin is genuinely funny as a commentator on her own misadventures, though her style is sometimes overly clever and strained in its cultivation of zaniness. A challenge for Gilpin in telling her story is to present herself as an amusingly hapless underdog despite being blessed with good looks, a loving and prosperous family, and professional success. That challenge is best met in her descriptions of the ludicrous, and often grotesquely exploitative, environment of the entertainment industry, which she skewers with an insider’s wisdom. On the other hand, the author’s generalizations about cultural misogyny and gender inequities are somewhat trite and predictable. In noting an existential binary that has troubled her own self-identity for much of her adult life, Gilpin suggests, for instance, that “we womenfolk today are faced with a decision: Salem or Barbie”—i.e., a stark choice between stridently asserting one’s independence or submissively appealing to others as a sexual object. The writing comes alive, however, when the author digs into the specific indignities she endured during her journey through the gauntlet of endless auditions and the merciless whims of those who orchestrated them.

A quirky tale of lessons learned from the world of acting.

Pub Date: Sept. 6, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-250-79578-6

Page Count: 256

Publisher: Flatiron Books

Review Posted Online: July 26, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2022

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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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