Du Maurier's final book (she died last April) is both a personal memoir and a love letter to Cornwall, which served as inspiration for—and setting of—much of her popular fiction (Rebecca, Jamaica Inn, etc.). In 1926, teen-aged Daphne and her mother and sisters took their first extended visit to the region, buying as odd Alpine-style house overlooking Fowey harbor. Daphne befriended the locals, watched ships come and go in the harbor, and drank tea with sailors. On a walk up the river, she found the hulk of an abandoned schooner, the Jane Slade: her musings about its history became the core of her first novel, The Loving Spirit. An army major who loved the book headed to Cornwall to meet its author: within months of their first date—a spray-drenched outing on his launch—they were engaged. Years passed, du Maurier's atmospheric novels became popular favorites, she continued to explore. One of her favorite walk destinations was an ancient, now empty house, set deep in the woods and surrounded by scarlet rhododendrons, which would serve as the model for Manderley, the great house in Rebecca Here, Du Maurier writes of all this with passion: it was in Cornwall, she says, that "I found myself both as a writer and a person." And she intersperses reminiscences with brief excerpts from her novels—some of which stand on their own, some of which don't. Although the text is probably of interest mostly to hard-core fans, more than a hundred truly gorgeous photographs broaden the appeal: prospective travelers will find itinerary inspiration, and anyone who loves the outdoors may relish a quick browse through the misty moors, seascapes, and woods of this wild and peaceful region.

Pub Date: Feb. 1, 1989

ISBN: 0718134788

Page Count: 192

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: March 28, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 1989

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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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