The painful story of a Wichita, Kansas, woman who learns through psychotherapy that the homicidal maniac stalking her resides in her subconscious self, a product of repressed, long- buried memories of sexual child abuse. With her full cooperation, journalist Stone recounts Ruth Finley's life from the day in 1977 when she received the first nasty phone call to June 1988, when she attended her last therapy session. Finley's husband, Ed, had gone into the hospital at about the time a Kansas serial killer resurfaced. According to her analyst, Dr. Andrew Pickens, those events jarred Finley's subconscious into creating ``the Poet,'' a vicious man who harassed her for the next several years by letter and phone, who threw eggs at her house and left all manner of things on her porch—rocks, feces, a red bandanna, a Molotov cocktail. He cut her phone lines and accosted her on the street and at the mall. Then, in November 1978, Finley reported that she was abducted by two men who took her paycheck and other items. She got away, but on another occasion, the Poet attacked her in a mall parking lot, stabbing her repeatedly. She managed to escape and drove home with the knife still stuck in her side and one of the assailant's gloves hanging from a window. All very real to Ruth Finley, but police chief Richard LaMunyon doubted her stories; his department had kept her and ``the Poet'' under surveillance for years, without result. (LaMunyon still contends that Finley was fully cognizant of her actions and therefore criminally liable.) Finley began intensive therapy with Dr. Pickens, who suspected that she suffered from a ``dissociative disorder,'' divorcing her conscious self from painful experience. Through therapy, Finley allowed ``negative memories of her childhood to slip out.'' Referring to herself as that ``little girl,'' she brings forth recollections of brutal sexual assaults by an unnamed neighbor when she was three years old. Stone's evenhanded, serious treatment of this material keeps it from being unbearable or cheaply sensational. (8 pages b&w photos—not seen)

Pub Date: April 1, 1994

ISBN: 0-671-78085-9

Page Count: 256

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 1994

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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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