Warm, funny, with a touch of suspense, this adventure will delight anyone who’s sought an illusive prize.

WARBIRD RECOVERY

THE HUNT FOR A RARE WORLD WAR II PLANE IN SIBERIA, RUSSIA

An aviation enthusiast travels to Russia in search of World War II fighter planes and discovers, not unsurprisingly, that nothing in Russia comes easy.

Intrigued by German aircraft since childhood, the author dreams of acquiring a rare WWII German fighter plane. Twenty-one years later, he receives a call about some warbirds in a far corner of Siberia. He goes to work immediately wrangling business partners and investors for what will undoubtedly be an expensive trip. His boss/friend becomes his partner, and the two begin the difficult task of planning the excursion. They field strange and frustrating requests from middlemen, including a gentleman called the Admiral who expects $10,000 to guarantee their safety in an area he purports to control. As they come to learn, greasing palms is the only way to get things done in Russia. So begins Page’s treacherous and often hysterical journey, where everything, including information on where to get a cup of coffee, costs. The pilots who fly them are sometimes drunk, van drivers and their owners request extra payments mid-ride, extortionists hound them on the street–everyone wants something from the Americanskis, as they are haplessly shuttled from one aircraft graveyard to another, where planes beyond repair are offered at extraordinary prices. They even acquire a KGB tail. It’s not until a second trip, this time to St. Petersburg, that the men find a decent treasure, a Messerschmitt Bf109 German fighter. Requests for cash continue to pour in, and Page risks dipping into his own pockets to get the plane to his Denver warehouse. While the story doesn’t paint a pretty picture of Russia and its citizens, the author’s recollections are jaunty, and his eye for humor and the absurd keep the toilsome story upbeat. Historians, aircraft enthusiasts and adventurers will appreciate this impassioned hunt for his beloved craft.

Warm, funny, with a touch of suspense, this adventure will delight anyone who’s sought an illusive prize.

Pub Date: April 18, 2007

ISBN: 978-1-58348-487-6

Page Count: -

Publisher: N/A

Review Posted Online: May 23, 2010

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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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