A frank retelling of devastating personal experiences that may offer solace to those who have suffered abuse.

INTIMATE EXPRESSION

AN ORPHAN'S EXPERIENCE OF HEALING

In chronicling the abuse he endured in childhood and his personal journey of healing as an adult, Dodt attempts to give hope to other survivors of abuse.

Dodt’s work of nonfiction isn’t for a recreational reader looking for a comfortable tale. This book is meant to lead the abused through the healing process. After the death of his mother, Dodt and his siblings were separated and sent to live in various orphanages, setting into motion a childhood filled with abuse and rejection. As an adult, Dodt began to see that he needed help as he struggled with the horrors of his past. Through extensive therapies and self-help groups, he learned how to function. The book reads like a timeline, with chronologically organized events connected with stream-of-consciousness prose. This unusual style immerses the reader in the author’s experience of emotional upheaval and healing and elicits an effortless empathy: When the author feels uneasy or confused, so does the reader. When the author describes being beaten, sexually abused and forced to fight other orphans at the whim of his guardians or classmates, his distress is also the reader’s. The connection feels brutal at times, but as the author gains distance from his past and seeks treatment, the tone becomes more hopeful. In the end, the reader and author have gone on a complete journey. For those with or without direct experience of physical violence, the book opens up a world of dismay.

A frank retelling of devastating personal experiences that may offer solace to those who have suffered abuse.

Pub Date: N/A

ISBN: 978-1466911932

Page Count: 88

Publisher: N/A

Review Posted Online: June 27, 2012

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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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