Biography & Memoir Book Reviews (page 1273)

THE CURSE OF LONO by Ralph Steadman
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Nov. 1, 1983

"But he hasn't—just an occasionally amusing Haole and generally insufferable wise-ass."
Fear and Loathing on the Kona coast of Hawaii: Thompson trots out his familiar act as Yahoo-anarchist-poète maudit—but despite a few inspired fits of zaniness, and some appropriately phantasmagoric drawings by Ralph Steadman, it just doesn't work. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Sept. 1, 1983

"A curious formulation, but one that will likely appeal—as the book will—to others who feel as Ambrose does."
At its most obvious, this is the first half of a rather bland biography of Eisenhower—partly from primary sources, but adding nothing consequential to the record—by a practiced hand and staunch admirer: to Ambrose, Eisenhower was "a great and good man," "one of the great captains of military history," and "one of the most successful presidents of the twentieth century." Read full book review >

BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Sept. 1, 1983

"Some future biographer will be grateful for the authors' interview-materials—for present readers, they've been used too earnestly and unimaginatively."
A showcase, in effect, for the attractive personality and deep-held convictions of octogenarian Milton Eisenhower—with little of the zest, acumen, or substantive interest of his memoir The President Is Calling. Read full book review >
OVERDRIVE by William F. Buckley Jr.
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Aug. 12, 1983

"171: 'All this was great fun') and virtually without texture."
Again, as in Cruising Speed (1971), Buckley takes us day by day, sometimes hour by hour, through a week or so in his busy, busy life—in this case eight days from the fall of 1981. Read full book review >
OUTRAGEOUS ACTS AND EVERYDAY REBELLIONS by Gloria Steinem
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Aug. 1, 1983

"If some of the ideas here sound hackneyed, she has honest claim to them."
The world didn't lose a great journalist when Gloria Steinem focused her energies on feminist activism—but because she was a working journalist (and, from 1968, political columnist for first-person-prone New York magazine), the light bulb goes on right here. Read full book review >

BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Nov. 29, 1982

"One is appalled by Johnson—and awed."
Depth of research and depth of feeling make the difference. Read full book review >
RUNNING IN THE FAMILY by Michael Ondaatje
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Oct. 18, 1982

"But, while there's no strong dramatic shape to his rediscovery of his parents' past (Ondaatje himself remains a blur), it's the family history that almost always holds this delicate assemblage together-and extends its appeal to a readership beyond Ondaatje's poetry-oriented following."
Canadian poet Ondaatje (The Collected Works of Billy the Kid) made two return journeys to his birthplace, Ceylon, in 1978 and 1980—and the result is this slight, graceful mosaic: a collection of poetic impressions and less poetic (but far more involving) Ondaatje-family stories. Read full book review >
POPE JOHN PAUL II AND THE CATHOLIC RESTORATION by Paul Johnson
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Aug. 8, 1982

"If not, Johnson's effort is liable to sound like just another shrill blast on the Vatican trumpet."
The best conservative treatment of the Pope to date, but so fiercely partisan that no one to the left of William Buckley will be able to stomach it. Read full book review >
YEARS OF UPHEAVAL by Henry Kissinger
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: March 25, 1982

"Myth-making and self-justifying on a grand scale—but with fewer momentous happenings than in volume one."
Part two of the Kissinger memoirs begins with his appointment as Secretary of State, in September 1973, and ends with Nixon's resignation, in August 1974. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Nov. 1, 1981

"On the whole, though, this is writing that did its job—to entertain and provoke—at the time it was done."
Chiefly Reeves' syndicated (and Esquire) columns, 1979-81—with some initial I-discover-California material and interpolated comments. Read full book review >
AMONG THE BELIEVERS by V.S. Naipaul
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Oct. 19, 1981

"But whether or not one accepts Naipaul's final judgment in its entirety (the leftist Behzads will multiply, he foresees), the journey proceeds on many challenging, absorbing levels."
Naipaul traveled from Iran to Pakistan, Malaysia, Indonesia, and back in 1979-80, seeking the meaning of "Islamization"—an exceptional writer/observer/commentator intersecting with an epic anti-intellectual, anti-modernist upheaval. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: June 22, 1981

The biographer of the Brooklyn Bridge and the Panama Canal has written a marvelous book, now, about the making of an exceptional being—and nothing that has appeared before, including Edmund Morris' recent The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt, diminishes its interest or freshness or emotional force. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Katey Sagal
author of GRACE NOTES
April 10, 2017

In her memoir Grace Notes, actress and singer/songwriter Katey Sagal takes you through the highs and lows of her life, from the tragic deaths of her parents to her long years in the Los Angeles rock scene, from being diagnosed with cancer at the age of twenty-eight to getting her big break on the fledgling FOX network as the wise-cracking Peggy Bundy on the beloved sitcom Married…with Children. Sparse and poetic, Grace Notes is an emotionally riveting tale of struggle and success, both professional and personal: Sagal’s path to sobriety; the stillbirth of her first daughter, Ruby; motherhood; the experience of having her third daughter at age 52 with the help of a surrogate; and her lifelong passion for music. “While this book is sure to please the author’s many fans, its thoughtful, no-regrets honesty will no doubt also appeal to readers of Hollywood memoirs seeking substance that goes beyond gossip and name-dropping,” our critic writes. “A candid, reflective memoir.” View video >