Reconstructed memoir of ``my Queerlife'' of the 1970's that's a companion volume to British filmmaker Jarman's At Your Own Risk (1992), which told of his first five decades as well as of his thoughts since testing HIV-positive five years ago. This new book seems to be a faintly updated reprint of diarylike entries published in Britain ten years ago. The leap-about entries recount the gay old pre-AIDS days, during which Jarman nonetheless detested the bourgeois qualities of early gay lib. Occasionally, he climbs off the financial rocks and tries to put together a better script for, and to begin the filming of, his long-delayed Caravaggio, and we get much about Caravaggio as a gay artist (as deduced from his paintings) as well as about Jarman's films-to-be, Sebastiane and Jubilee. Meanwhile, the author's script for The Tempest is funded and goes forward. Entries tend to be ordered more by theme than chronology (they can jump from 1953 to 1984) and feature comments on many famous gays, such as William Burroughs and Pier Paolo Pasolini, whom Jarman clearly sees as heroes (although he often takes issue with Pasolini's lifestyle and sometimes with his films). Retold are Jarman's days at Pinewood Studios when Ken Russell hires him to design The Devils, for which Jarman builds the biggest set since Cleopatra- -until the Hollywood mafia trims it to interiors only. Later, Jarman designs Russell's The Savage Messiah and is driven half-mad faking statues by sculptor Gaudier Brzeska. Many excellent pages, many grandly impolite (if less hostile than At Your Own Risk). (Eighty-eight b&w photographs, including shots of male nudes at low ebb)

Pub Date: July 12, 1993

ISBN: 0-87951-493-0

Page Count: 254

Publisher: Overlook

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 1993

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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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