A breezy read through a breezy life.



The anecdotal sequel to the cult actor’s bestselling memoir.

Campbell (Make Love the Bruce Campbell Way, 2005, etc.) describes this book as “part two of a three-act story,” and it often feels like a place holder, following the surprise success of If Chins Could Kill (2001) and anticipating whatever is to come. A perennially working actor in B-movies and cable series, the author explains the extended interval between his first book and this one: “like a slow-growing oak, it could take fifteen years for me to amass enough anecdotes for another autobiography.” During this time, Campbell avoided typecasting by playing both Santa Claus and a 68-year-old Elvis Presley suffering from penis cancer. He had adventures shooting movies in Bulgaria, New Zealand, and the Navajo country of New Mexico. He and his wife moved to Oregon, where he joined the Elks Lodge, whose members thought he was making fun of them when he took the pledge. “I’m an actual actor, so I’m prone to be a bit more ‘theatrical,’ ” he reassured them. Then he explains to readers, “aside from being old-fashioned and a little kitschy, the organization donates a lot of money to charity and the drinks are really cheap!” Among other discoveries, Campbell learned that Oregon culture is possibly even crazier than that in LA and that driving there is definitely more dangerous. And the secret to Hollywood? “It’s really just a big, tangled web of schmoes who keep running into each other over and over.” Fortunately, one of Campbell’s schmoes is Sam Raimi, a lifelong friend since they were kids playing with Super-8 film and later one of the highest-paid directors in the business. Through Raimi, Campbell landed bit roles in the first three Spider-Man movies. The author’s work on the Burn Notice TV series and his cult movies, including Evil Dead, have brought him a variety of fruitful opportunities, including an invitation to entertain the troops in Iraq.

A breezy read through a breezy life.

Pub Date: Aug. 15, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-250-12560-6

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Dunne/St. Martin's

Review Posted Online: May 25, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2017

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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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