A people person offers a friendly, occasionally amusing peek behind the curtain of the radio business.

WHERE DO I BEGIN?

STORIES FROM A LIFE LIVED OUT LOUD

A memoir of a successful career built on a lifelong love affair with radio.

Duran, whose program is “the most-listened to Top 40 morning show,” presents himself less as a DJ and more as a people connector. He is in the business of making friends, both with unseen listeners and with the stars who appear on his broadcasts and reveal hidden dimensions of their characters. As much as he admires Howard Stern—“a hero to radio people,” he writes, and then continues, “he’s our North Star”—Duran’s own personality and approach are much different. The author is not abrasive and doesn’t try to put people on edge or make them uncomfortable. His radio program is more like a safe haven, where celebrities can let down their hair and be themselves, where those of whatever political affiliation or sexual orientation can feel like they belong. As a child of Dallas exurbia, Duran felt like “a weird kid trying to fit in.” He was not athletic or outgoing, and he realized he was somehow different than the rest of the kids even before he recognized that he was gay—or even knew what that meant. Radio offered a refuge and a connection, a place where he felt like he had a friend and could make friends. He started broadcasting from his own makeshift studio in his bedroom and then pursued it as a vocation. At first, he worked for small Texas stations before moving on to Houston (where cocaine almost derailed him) and other stops before landing in New York, where he has reigned as the morning host at Z100. He has made it seem easy, but here the author shows how and where it hasn’t been: the firings and job switches, the personal tolls in terms of romantic relationships, the dedication it takes to get to the top and stay there. Of radio, he writes, “it’s not about transmitters. It’s not about ad rates. It’s about connecting with people.”

A people person offers a friendly, occasionally amusing peek behind the curtain of the radio business.

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-982106-33-1

Page Count: 288

Publisher: Atria

Review Posted Online: July 17, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2019

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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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