A provocative sojourn through the wilderness of sexual addiction.



A sex addict’s bracing chronicle of erotic dependency.

Essayist Garza’s memoir begins in bed, where she is having sex with a man she neither knows well nor particularly cares for. This scene sets the tone for a narrative that never deviates from its intent to educate and engross readers with the random sexual escapades and private pains of a woman at the mercy of her addiction. What the author thrived upon was “an elaborate mix of shame and sexual excitement I had come to depend on since I was twelve.” She shares that her first source of shame manifested in her mediocre family life in Los Angeles, where she was raised Catholic with a mortgage broker father and a moody mother. Garza retreated into TV and video games and didn’t begin sexually fantasizing until she was barely a teenager, when her parents announced they were expecting another child. The author’s raging hormones feasted on Cinemax soft-core porn, then dial-up cybersex, and, later, high-speed internet porn, which became an obsession and a balm for her burgeoning social anxiety. She describes her high school years and her 20s through the many men with whom she had sex. Moving to Hawaii, she was ever eager to promote herself as an “adventurous, insatiable vixen always down to fuck,” with shame being the common aftereffect. At 30, Garza’s pursuit of sexual gratification became “darker and more intense” until she finally realized how much her robust and seemingly robotic sex life was damaging not only interpersonal relationships, but also the relationship she enjoyed with herself: “I prioritized the satisfaction of sexual release over everything else screaming inside of me Please stop.” A combination of therapy and prescription drugs proved only a short-term remedy; life forced Garza to cope once she found herself in love and on the threshold of marriage. Though exquisitely visceral and written with genuine emotion, the author’s fascinating odyssey ends too abruptly, lacking some of the curative details readers will be expecting.

A provocative sojourn through the wilderness of sexual addiction.

Pub Date: Jan. 9, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-5011-6337-1

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Oct. 30, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2017

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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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