Standard entertainment news, with a sad story and some interesting Barr background, from a sibling with an ax to grind. Roseanne's wounded younger sister Geraldine tells her side of the story, from their childhood in Salt Lake City through their 1990 break-up, with Schwarz (co-author of The Peter Lawford Story, not reviewed, etc.) as literary enabler. ``We'' is a very important pronoun in this book. Roseanne and Geraldine dreamed of becoming the Jewish sisters who took Hollywood. In the early 1980s, empowered by sisterhood and ``Sisterhood,'' Geraldine mapped out a ten-year plan to launch Roseanne to stardom as America's Domestic Goddess. Roseanne was the performer in their sister act; Geraldine ``delighted in being backstage...making the spotlight possible for my big sister while never challenging her right to be the sole occupier of its glow.'' They wanted their own sitcom, starring Roseanne as a blue-collar working woman, and including a sister Jackie, a lesbian modeled after Geraldine. The plan was to use humor to advance their feminist agenda and to start a production company that would bankroll other women. But only one of the two overweight sisters was destined to see the Promised Land. In 1990, wildly successful and just beginning her relationship with Tom Arnold, Roseanne fired Geraldine. Soon after, she accused her parents of incest and child molestation. Geraldine, who sued unsuccessfully for some share in Roseanne's take, defends her parents. There were problems at home, she says; their father was sometimes inappropriately angry. But he was, if anything, the source of Roseanne's talent, an ``influence on her delivery and stage presence.'' With the whole story out of her system, Geraldine forgives ``Rosey'': ``May you one day also come to know such peace despite currently being in the midst of a hell of your own creation.'' A Geraldo show waiting to happen, with the laughs courtesy of Roseanne.

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 1994

ISBN: 1-55972-230-4

Page Count: 341

Publisher: Birch Lane Press

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 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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