For die-hard Zep fans and guitar geeks only.



The wizardly, tight-lipped guitarist-producer-songwriter of Led Zeppelin opens up…a little.

Guitar World editor in chief Tolinski notes that Page has long been “the paradigm for rock-star inscrutability,” a Sphinx-like figure with little affection for the music press. Thus a collection of extended interviews with Page would appear a vital bibliographic entry. However, this unnecessarily repetitive and idolatrous volume only fitfully sheds light on its subject’s craft. After a slavering introduction, the author, plainly dredging material from occasional interviews for his magazine, dutifully runs down Page’s prodigious career as a top 1960s studio musician in London and his climb to fame in the Yardbirds. The book hits what passes for its stride with the genesis of Led Zeppelin, whose debut 1969 album Page financed and produced himself. Then Tolinski focuses on the quartet’s meteoric climb to the top of the ’70s rock heap and its sudden caesura with the alcohol-related death of drummer John Bonham in 1980. In his chats with the author, most of them clearly pegged to latter-day album and DVD releases, Page emerges as a smart, dry and unsurprisingly blunt and arrogant character. The best material here illuminates the innovative studio techniques that animated Zeppelin’s metal assaults and folk-inflected sorties; Page is less generous with details about his improvisational approach. The book peters out with details about Page’s later, lesser work with the Firm, David Coverdale, Zep vocalist Robert Plant and the reunited Zeppelin itself. Tolinski bulks up the book with mostly superfluous interviews with old mates (guitar peer Jeff Beck), collaborators (Zeppelin bassist John Paul Jones, the Firm’s Paul Rodgers, the Yardbirds’ Chris Dreja) and uber-fans (Jack White), and thuds to an end with useless offerings from fashion designer John Varvatos and an astrologer.

For die-hard Zep fans and guitar geeks only.

Pub Date: Oct. 23, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-307-98571-2

Page Count: 272

Publisher: Crown

Review Posted Online: June 21, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2012

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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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