For hard-core Spelling (either Aaron or Tori) fans only.


Hollywood memoir 101.

Depending on whom you ask, Aaron Spelling (1923-2006) is either a genius who helped chart a course for modern TV or a schlockmeister who completely destroyed the tube. The creator of Charlie's AngelsBeverly Hills 90210 and The Mod Squad was as visible as any TV producer around, so much so that the female members of his family became visible in their own rights, in part due to their own work (daughter Tori) and in part due to their proximity to the man himself (wife Candy). This kind of visibility inevitably leads to a book deal or two. Tori has pumped out a slew of titles, and Candy has written one of her own, Stories from Candyland (2009), a tepid memoir from a C-list celebrity whose claim to fame was her marriage. Unfortunately, her sophomore effort is similarly passable, a stale Hollywood memoir that is entirely paint-by-number: Here's my childhood, here's how I became famous, here are my famous friends, here are the obstacles I've had to overcome, and here's how I came out the other side a better person. This isn't to say that these books aren't sincere and heartfelt; they're just far too predictable, and that's the case here. Spelling fails to provide any great revelations, just pedestrian anecdotes about her famous friends (Dean Martin, Michael Jackson, Liz Taylor, Joan Crawford, etc.), a semi-candid dissection of her often rocky relationship with Tori and a recounting of her life after Aaron, in which she became a morning-news show fixture, a philanthropist and a producer. Though she’s clearly a kind, unpretentious woman, she's a peripheral figure, the person next to the person.

For hard-core Spelling (either Aaron or Tori) fans only.

Pub Date: May 6, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-118-40950-3

Page Count: 288

Publisher: Wiley

Review Posted Online: April 1, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2014

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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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