Outspoken, honest commentary of what it's like to be Princess Leia on and off the screen.

THE PRINCESS DIARIST

How playing Princess Leia changed the author’s life.

When Fisher (Shockaholic, 2012, etc.) accepted the role at age 19, she had no idea the Star Wars franchise would become such a phenomenon. In her mind, like so many others, the original movie was "a cool little off-the-radar movie directed by a bearded guy from Modesto….It wasn't supposed to do what it did—nothing was supposed to do that. Nothing ever had.” In this frank, self-deprecating memoir, the author rehashes her thoughts about her brief and exciting affair with married co-star Harrison Ford, which lasted the duration of the filming of Star Wars, about three months. However, readers in search of the nitty-gritty details of their weekends together won't find them here; Fisher is discreet, leaving much of the physicality of their shared experiences to the imagination. What she does provide are excerpts from her diaries written at the time, which show the naiveté of a 19-year-old in love with her older counterpart, as well as some poorly written love poems. After that overly long section, the author divulges what it’s like to attend conventions where she's paid to sign photographs of her younger self, often snapshots of Princess Leia in her metal bikini sitting beside Jabba the Hutt. Fisher successfully imitates the gushing conversations of various fans, giving insight into the complicated push-pull reality of being a celebrity: you need them to buy your signature so you can pay your bills while at the same time selling a tiny bit of your self-worth, which eventually drains you. Those looking for details about the filming of the Star Wars movies or Fisher's affair should look elsewhere, but those who want to understand the dynamics and personality of a young woman thrust into unexpected stardom and how that shaped the woman she has become will find plenty to ponder here.

Outspoken, honest commentary of what it's like to be Princess Leia on and off the screen.

Pub Date: Nov. 22, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-399-17359-2

Page Count: 272

Publisher: Blue Rider Press

Review Posted Online: Dec. 6, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2016

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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 48 LAWS OF POWER

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...

NIGHT

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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