A bold attempt to understand a tormented genius, to examine a grisly crime and to explain the latter’s effects both on...

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THE BEAUTIFUL CIGAR GIRL

MARY ROGERS, EDGAR ALLAN POE, AND THE INVENTION OF MURDER

An informative, swift-moving account of how Edgar Allan Poe transformed a sensational 1841 New York City murder into “The Mystery of Marie Roget” (published in three installments in the winter of 1842–3).

Stashower knows murder, and he knows the craft of biography. He has written mystery novels (Elephants in the Distance, 1989) and an Edgar-winning life of Arthur Conan Doyle (Teller of Tales, 1999) and brings to this current, complex task both considerable intelligence and wide-ranging research (he scoured Poe scholarship, 19th-century newspapers and Poe’s letters and fiction). For a while, chapters alternate between the murder investigation and the life of Poe. But eventually, the two converge. Mary Rogers, by universal assent, was a beautiful young woman who worked in a cigar shop. Men—not all of them smokers—flocked to the store. But Mary’s life was not untroubled. In 1838, she wrote a suicide note, disappeared, then returned to work. She had at least two serious suitors (both would soon be murder suspects). On a summer Sunday, she left home, supposedly to visit her aunt and attend church. A few days later, her body was found floating in the surf. The initial examination revealed signs of rape and strangulation. Local newspapers—both Horace Greeley and James Gordon Bennett were involved—fanned the flames of the investigation, printing ever more lurid speculations. Some men were arrested, but all were eventually released. And the case gradually fell from the front pages. Enter struggling writer E.A. Poe, who had already written his first detective story, “The Murders in the Rue Morgue,” and believed his fictional detective, C. Auguste Dupin, could solve the Rogers case. Poe had published two installments of “Roget” when alarming new evidence suggested that Mary had died during an abortion. Poe had to modify his final installment.

A bold attempt to understand a tormented genius, to examine a grisly crime and to explain the latter’s effects both on Gotham’s system of law enforcement and on abortion legislation.

Pub Date: Oct. 5, 2006

ISBN: 0-525-94981-X

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Dutton

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2006

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Proves without a doubt that even masters of the universe sometimes lose their heads, and then their shirts.

BAMBOOZLED AT THE REVOLUTION

HOW BIG MEDIA LOST BILLIONS IN THE BATTLE FOR THE INTERNET

Knowing inside account of the major media conglomerates’ efforts to embrace and profit from the ’90s dot.com boom.

As the New York Post’s first computer/Internet columnist, Motavalli had a ringside seat while Disney, Time Warner, News Corp., and others tripped over themselves to get on board the emerging Internet phenomenon. With little certainty about what the successful and manageable applications of the World Wide Web would be, media corporations and their leaders nonetheless rushed to spend hundreds of millions of dollars so as not to get left behind. They helped create the dot.com bubble of inflated salaries and unlimited expectations that burst so mercilessly in 2000–01. Motavalli, who admits being swept up like everyone else in the initial euphoria, narrates with an intimate feel for the year-by-year developments: the promises and glorious optimism of a dawning technological age, the maneuvering moguls and CEOs, the media executives who doubled their income by switching to the dot.com start-ups, and the chilling reality bath that awaited all. AOL’s Steve Case, Time Warner’s Bob Pittman and Gerald Levin, John F. Kennedy Jr. of George, Time magazine’s Walter Isaacson, and iVillage’s Candace Carpenter are among the many prime movers whose trajectories are analyzed here. Some big winners emerge (AOL, Amazon, eBay, Yahoo), but more common is the fate of one Internet-related stock that fell from $150 to just $3 per share. Motavalli sees this not solely as a tale of greed and ambition run wild, but a telling parable of the herd mentality; when it appears the wheel has been reinvented, everyone wants to go along for the ride, even though the ultimate destination is unknown. Well-researched and dense with names, dates, meetings, and numbers, the author’s recollections may provide more information than most will be willing to download, but he convincingly captures the boardroom machinations of this extraordinary era.

Proves without a doubt that even masters of the universe sometimes lose their heads, and then their shirts.

Pub Date: Aug. 5, 2002

ISBN: 0-670-89980-1

Page Count: 336

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2002

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Soccer fans will appreciate these tales of life on the pitch.

A SOCCER LIFE IN SHORTS

Lincir’s debut, a slim collection of reminiscences in the form of personal essays and poems, relates his love affair with the world’s most popular sport.

Over 30 years, Lincir has played “thousands” of games of soccer. He’s watched and written about it religiously. For a short period, he even refereed. “Loving the game,” he writes, “is what it’s all about.” As in most romances, there were victories, losses and lessons in humility. Traumatized by his first booking (yellow card) as an 8-year-old footballer, which was the result of a mistake made by his coaching father, he was brought to tears at the dinner table when his younger sister, also a soccer player, asked if she might see the yellow card, unable to comprehend why Lincir wasn’t actually given one. At the age of 12, he scored the game-winning goal in a tough 2-1 match; problem was, he scored in his own goal, making the car ride home with his dad and teammate Sean especially unpleasant. In his freshman year of college play, Lincir tells of scoring the perfect Pele-like “bicycle kick goal,” only to have it taken away by the ref as “dangerous play.” When Lincir writes of his minor league soccer days, he describes it as a rough road of “long drives and low per diems,” a lifestyle so cramped that getting his own room for a night felt like hitting it “big time.” Despite all of these humbling experiences, Lincir concludes that “not trying is the only disgrace.” Slight but endearingly told, the tales are jargon-rich, with references to getting “nut-megged” and the “flip-throw.” The author’s honest heart is strong and his gentle sense of humor engaging, and an assortment of black-and-white photos help bring the stories to life. Lincir writes with the energy of a young striker at the start of a big match, although his poetry adds little to the assembled snippets. Additional inspirational essays might have been a better choice.

Soccer fans will appreciate these tales of life on the pitch.

Pub Date: June 15, 2011

ISBN: 978-0615466439

Page Count: 84

Publisher: Leftback Publishing LLC

Review Posted Online: Feb. 19, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2013

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