Delightful vignettes about caring for animals large and small in the West make this book an enjoyable and satisfying read.

Animals Don't Blush

An entertaining memoir recalls the beginning of a veterinarian’s career in the early 1960s in Montana.

In June 1960, immediately after graduation, newly minted veterinarian Gross (Travels with Charlize, 2015) left his native Arizona with his wife of two months, Rosalie, and headed north to the sprawling hinterlands of Sidney, Montana. Eager to gain practical experience, the young associate county veterinarian jumped enthusiastically into 10- and 12-hour days, plus alternate weekends, dividing his time between the Sidney Animal Hospital and “house” calls to horse and cattle ranches within a 40- or 50-mile radius. Charm, wit, and an obvious affection for his patients permeate the pages of this volume, originally released in 2011. A healthy dose of humor, self-deprecating and otherwise, adds welcome levity to some graphic, detailed descriptions of the medical procedures Gross performed. Today, many of us associate veterinarians with doctors who tend to our furry or feathered companions, but the bulk of Gross’ stint in Montana was spent treating large animals: horses, cattle, and pigs. This required physical strength as well as medical competence. Veterinary medicine has progressed in the 50-plus years since Gross ventured out of Phoenix, but in 1960, vets performed much of the care for large animals without anesthesia. Imagine the job of drawing blood from a not-too-willing, wide-awake bull or castrating 16 recently captured wild horses. Gross recounts his particular fondness for the small animals he treated, especially dogs—Skipper the border collie, who got caught by a lawn mower, and Frick and Frack, two bluetick hounds with faces full of porcupine quills. Bringing everything into sharper focus are the vivid depictions of the countryside and the ranchers of Richland County, Montana, and the Badlands of North Dakota. The author peppers his account with a bit too much technical jargon, but he is an articulate observer, and he knows how to tell a compelling story.

Delightful vignettes about caring for animals large and small in the West make this book an enjoyable and satisfying read. 

Pub Date: Sept. 29, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-940598-81-9

Page Count: 268

Publisher: Book Publishers Network

Review Posted Online: Nov. 6, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2015

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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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