Flawed but still head-and-shoulders above most film bios, a life of the Italian actor that focuses largely on his art but that soft-peddles the nitty-gritty of everyday life. Dewey wrote the novel Reasonable Doubts (1991). Mastroianni, born in 1924 in a small town 50 miles south of Rome, herein speaks with considerable self-understanding and depth whenever Dewey quotes him from interviews over the decades—quotes that make up about a third of the text. The actor has played leading men in nearly 140 European movies, involving himself in such a variety of roles that Europeans broadly see him as the greatest living actor—and from this rehearsal of Mastroianni's talents, the Europeans may be right. He has consistently, until 1990, refused to play in Hollywood films, in part because the Hollywood scripts sent to him always called for him to be a Latin lover. His one American film, last year's Used People, which allowed him to play with Shirley MacLaine, Jessica Tandy, and Kathy Bates, failed at the box office and his personal reviews in it weren't much better. Dewey follows the hero's passage from early triumphs on the Italian stage through his smaller roles in his first 15 films, then into his hits, Big Deal on Madonna Street, La Dolce Vita, and Divorce, Italian Style, and his friendship with Federico Fellini, whom he ``played'' in Fellini's semiautobiographical 8-´. The actor in no way sees himself as a great lover and admits to experiencing trouble ``down there'' (a passing impotence). Even so, his 40-year marriage to Flora Carabella has survived affairs with Faye Dunaway, Catherine Deneuve (with whom he has a daughter), and others in his search for the ideal woman—who usually turns out to be the worst. Intermittent stops for Dewey's head-stuff on Mastroianni's art or character sometimes inspire but can also bog down. Overall, though, a generally well-told life. (Photos)

Pub Date: July 1, 1993

ISBN: 1-55972-158-8

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Birch Lane Press

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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