Redolent of saltwater and printers’ ink—perfectly suited for comfortable days at the beach.

IN THE HAMPTONS

MY FIFTY YEARS WITH FARMERS, FISHERMEN, ARTISTS, BILLIONAIRES, AND CELEBRITIES

An intrepid guide to native life in the fabled Long Island utopia offers a memoir of a half century spent tracking its inhabitants as proprietor of the Hamptons’s newspaper of record.

Well-known to the beautiful people and old timers of resort villages from Shinnicock to Montauk, the weekly Dan’s Papers (probably the nation’s first free newspaper) reports the doings of literary lions, blue bloods and red bloods. Though he now has a staff to do most of the work, for years Rattiner set the type, snapped the photos, wrote the stories and, he gleefully admits, when news was slow invented something entertaining. Here, he tells a few tales of porgies, fluke and blackfish, then moves on to the bigger fish swimming around former potato farms now flooded with rich and infamous painters, writers, performers and patricians. From the depths of his files Rattiner draws names like Cavett, Plimpton, Steinbeck, Pollock, Warhol, de Kooning, Billy Joel and Richard Nixon. Read about the building of his father’s corner pharmacy, movies made just down the street, impossible young love, seasonal liaisons and East Hampton’s annual Artists and Writers Baseball Game, guest-umpired in 1988 by Gov. Bill Clinton. Geographic highlights include private clubs, local bistros, Sag Harbor’s garbage dump, a historic lighthouse and a pond with imaginary monsters. Bucolic concerns and innocent gossip are guilelessly interspersed with business and beach news. Publisher-editor Rattiner may not be the East Coast’s answer to William Allen White, but he’s quite good-natured. If his idylls of the idle rich and a few storekeepers seem a tad pedestrian and of only slender human interest, he is nevertheless an avuncular chronicler offering a pleasant enough walk in the sun.

Redolent of saltwater and printers’ ink—perfectly suited for comfortable days at the beach.

Pub Date: May 1, 2008

ISBN: 978-0-307-38295-5

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Harmony

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2008

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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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