Granger, who knows the dramatic when he sees it, fills his story with vivid moments from his career.

INCLUDE ME OUT

MY LIFE FROM GOLDWYN TO BROADWAY

Actor Granger recalls life onstage and in film in an engaging, colorful memoir.

Granger had good looks, good luck and good timing, ending up center stage for the golden ages of film, Broadway and live TV. To get into films, he struggled naught. A casting director for Samuel Goldwyn spotted Granger at 18 acting in a play in Los Angeles. Goldwyn signed Granger to a long-term contract in 1943. A series of leading roles followed in mostly second-rate films. Granger fared better on loan-outs to other studios, especially to Warner Bros., where Hitchcock directed him in the classic suspenser Strangers on a Train. The catch was that Goldwyn added loan-out time to other Draconian contract terms. Reaching into Goldwyn’s grab-bag of hilarious malapropisms, Granger begged the producer to “Include me out.” Granger wanted to act and study acting in New York. Only after a costly settlement with Goldwyn was Granger freed. He then studied with Sandy Meisner, honed his craft in stock and TV and hit Broadway, at last, in the musical First Impressions, a flop. Continuing to work in film, he made Senso in Italy with Luchino Visconti. Granger’s extended production log for this film highlights the book. The actor offers less detail about the person, seldom providing glimpses of what he’s like between takes. He does recall affairs with women (Shelley Winters, Ava Gardner) and men (playwright Arthur Laurents) and writes of his bisexuality with equanimity: “I have loved men. I have loved women. I will talk with affection and without guilt or remorse about both in this book.”

Granger, who knows the dramatic when he sees it, fills his story with vivid moments from his career.

Pub Date: Feb. 6, 2007

ISBN: 0-312-35773-7

Page Count: 256

Publisher: St. Martin's

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2006

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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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