A moving if scattershot account of every dancer’s worst nightmare and the sacrifices required to overcome it.

A BODY OF WORK

DANCING TO THE EDGE AND BACK

A brilliant dancer chronicles his success at two of the world’s major ballet companies and the injury that almost cost him his career.

From an early age, Hallberg knew he wanted to be a dancer. While in elementary school, he saw his first Fred Astaire movie, and from that moment, “dance has stayed with me every day of my life.” He taped nickels to the soles of penny loafers and tap-danced in them, even in grocery stores, until his supportive parents bought him proper tap shoes. At 11, he attended his first ballet class and learned that ballet was his true passion. He also discovered that he was gay. Classmates picked on him, including the time four bullies formed a circle around him and doused him with perfume. But life improved: New York’s American Ballet Theatre accepted him into their Studio Company, a training ground for young dancers. He became one of ABT’s principal dancers and stayed until, after five years, he “began craving something new and uncharted” and joined the Bolshoi. Hallberg writes candidly about his career and the injury that almost ended it: a damaged ligament in his foot, an injury so severe he needed two surgeries, two years of rehabilitation, and several months in Melbourne to work with an Australian Ballet physiotherapist who had saved many dancers’ careers. Unfortunately, the author’s descriptions of the many ballets he has performed are repetitive. The book would have been stronger if he had focused only on those that marked dramatic career points rather than compose what feels like a laundry list of every ballet he’s ever danced and every ballerina he has ever partnered. Yet this is still an inspiring story of Hallberg’s rise to the pinnacle of his profession and his battle to reclaim his career.

A moving if scattershot account of every dancer’s worst nightmare and the sacrifices required to overcome it.

Pub Date: Nov. 7, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-4767-7115-1

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Touchstone/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Sept. 3, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2017

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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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