Next book

MANHATTAN'S BABE

The author is very much in the picture in this ambitious, self- and style-conscious portrait of 20th-century celebrities.

Part romance, part literary biography, part soapbox, this self-described “faction” depicts the “son of a Jewish cheese importer, besotted with the daughter of one of his country’s most famous writers”—in other words the youthful love affair between J.D. Salinger and Oona O’Neill.

“Maybe one day, someone will write a sentimental book about us!” writes Oona to Jerry in this metafiction from French writer Beigbeder (Windows on the World, 2005, etc.). And here it is, presented in modernist form complete with watercolor illustrations, appearances by the author, and claims to have invented the first YouTube novel (readers are urged to check out 17-year-old O’Neill’s 1942 screen test on that site). Opening with the assertion that the characters, places, events, and dates are all real, the book proceeds to embroider them with invented dialogue and correspondence, psychological, social, and literary speculation, and much more concerning the couple and their milieu. Their involvement begins in 1940 at the Stork Club, where shy embryonic writer Salinger sees Oona, a 15-year-old it girl hanging out with Gloria Vanderbilt. The sentimental centerpiece of their relationship is a rhapsodic summer night spent together on the Jersey shore: “They kissed, she floated, and he carried her.” But the mutuality fades. He loves her more; she is burdened by family issues and is also too young to have sex or marry. After Pearl Harbor, Salinger joins up, and O’Neill moves to California, where she will meet and marry Charlie Chaplin, age 54. Beigbeder’s romantic, analytical, sometimes excessively cute narration of events is mixed with walk-on roles for other famous figures—Capote, Hemingway, Orson Welles. The writing is cinematic and consumable but achieves power during descriptions of Salinger’s harrowing, life-changing World War II experiences.

The author is very much in the picture in this ambitious, self- and style-conscious portrait of 20th-century celebrities.

Pub Date: Dec. 27, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-61428-554-0

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Assouline

Review Posted Online: Feb. 8, 2017

Awards & Accolades

Likes

  • Readers Vote
  • 24


Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT


  • Kirkus Reviews'
    Best Books Of 2017


  • New York Times Bestseller


  • IndieBound Bestseller


  • National Book Award Finalist

Next book

KILLERS OF THE FLOWER MOON

THE OSAGE MURDERS AND THE BIRTH OF THE FBI

Dogged original research and superb narrative skills come together in this gripping account of pitiless evil.

Awards & Accolades

Likes

  • Readers Vote
  • 24


Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT


  • Kirkus Reviews'
    Best Books Of 2017


  • New York Times Bestseller


  • IndieBound Bestseller


  • National Book Award Finalist

Greed, depravity, and serial murder in 1920s Oklahoma.

During that time, enrolled members of the Osage Indian nation were among the wealthiest people per capita in the world. The rich oil fields beneath their reservation brought millions of dollars into the tribe annually, distributed to tribal members holding "headrights" that could not be bought or sold but only inherited. This vast wealth attracted the attention of unscrupulous whites who found ways to divert it to themselves by marrying Osage women or by having Osage declared legally incompetent so the whites could fleece them through the administration of their estates. For some, however, these deceptive tactics were not enough, and a plague of violent death—by shooting, poison, orchestrated automobile accident, and bombing—began to decimate the Osage in what they came to call the "Reign of Terror." Corrupt and incompetent law enforcement and judicial systems ensured that the perpetrators were never found or punished until the young J. Edgar Hoover saw cracking these cases as a means of burnishing the reputation of the newly professionalized FBI. Bestselling New Yorker staff writer Grann (The Devil and Sherlock Holmes: Tales of Murder, Madness, and Obsession, 2010, etc.) follows Special Agent Tom White and his assistants as they track the killers of one extended Osage family through a closed local culture of greed, bigotry, and lies in pursuit of protection for the survivors and justice for the dead. But he doesn't stop there; relying almost entirely on primary and unpublished sources, the author goes on to expose a web of conspiracy and corruption that extended far wider than even the FBI ever suspected. This page-turner surges forward with the pacing of a true-crime thriller, elevated by Grann's crisp and evocative prose and enhanced by dozens of period photographs.

Dogged original research and superb narrative skills come together in this gripping account of pitiless evil.

Pub Date: April 18, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-385-53424-6

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Doubleday

Review Posted Online: Feb. 1, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2017

Next book

NIGHT

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

Close Quickview