A remarkable, emotional journey through unrelenting pain—and laughter.

HOT CRIPPLE

AN INCURABLE SMART-ASS TAKES ON THE HEALTH CARE SYSTEM AND LIVES TO TELL THE TALE

The funny, moving story of the blue-eyed, blond model/actress who became the unlikely poster girl for the plight of the poor and uninsured in America after she was struck by a car in New York City street in 2004.

Though Gorman admits that she’s not the kind of woman who typically elicits sympathy from most folks, the author’s tale of woe following her near-death experience is so tragic and compelling, it doesn’t matter one bit that she never once lets her coarse, sarcastic armor slip. She may be the furthest thing from Snow White (more like the “witch-bitch”), but her harrowing experience grappling with a twisted spine, disinterested welfare hacks and outrageous court officers rendered her so broken and vulnerable, readers will root for this unrepentantly bitchy, foul-mouthed fighter. In fact, Gorman’s obvious toughness in dealing with her suddenly penniless situation following her accident only underscores the bleakness of the whole affair. Even amid the desperation, love pulsates just as powerfully as the pain in this candid account of one out-of-work woman’s season in uninsured hell. It’s a saccharine-free yarn, yet Gorman’s relationships with her mother (an ex-nun) and her former modeling partner are both touching and profound. As is often the case, the author only discovered who her true friends were after she suffered her accident and resulting health-care nightmare. Ultimately, Gorman succeeds in not only telling her own triumphant story, but also illuminating the countless problems with the broken American health-care and justice systems. The outcome of her slam-dunk court case is nothing less than astounding, and so is her resurrection.

A remarkable, emotional journey through unrelenting pain—and laughter. 

Pub Date: March 6, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-399-53728-8

Page Count: 272

Publisher: Perigee/Penguin

Review Posted Online: Dec. 18, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2012

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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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