Among several other books about Bergman, including her own autobiography, this one seems a series of outtakes.

INGRID

INGRID BERGMAN, A PERSONAL BIOGRAPHY

A haphazard assemblage of interviews with Bergman and her friends, family and directors.

Liv Ullmann piques curiosity when she recalls shouting matches between Ingrid Bergman and director Ingmar Bergman during filming of the former’s final film, Autumn Sonata. “[P]eople say she was very tough in Hollywood,” Ullmann adds. Little evidence of Ingrid Bergman’s allegedly flinty temperament exists elsewhere in this latest from Chandler (The Girl Who Walked Home Alone, 2006, etc.), part of a series of star biographies based, she reminds readers repeatedly, on her own interviews. Bergman reflects with equanimity on three marriages, film and stage careers in Stockholm, Hollywood and Europe and a tumultuous break from the United States when she left her first husband and daughter, Pia Lindstrom, to pursue an affair, then marriage to Italian film director Roberto Rossellini. A daughter of the second marriage, Isabella Rossellini, speaks adoringly of her mother. Not heard from here is Lindstrom, who once testified she did not love her mother, a fact Chandler doesn’t mention. As for Bergman’s career, Chandler writes straight plot summaries of Bergman’s films and plays, but provides scant critical insight into her acting. Of Bergman’s work in Intermezzo (the film that launched her career), in Anastasia (the film that garnered her an Oscar and that may have softened and reclaimed American audiences indignant over her personal life) and in Hitchcock’s Notorious (a career highpoint), Chandler observes virtually nothing. Profiles of Bergman’s first husband, Peter Lindstrom, apparently as rigid as the forbidding husband in Ibsen’s A Doll’s House, and Robert Capa, the self-destructive photographer with whom Bergman had an affair, lend some interest.

Among several other books about Bergman, including her own autobiography, this one seems a series of outtakes.

Pub Date: March 1, 2007

ISBN: 0-7432-9421-1

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2007

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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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