Jones’ recollections are a passionate reminder of the fabulous, decadent, and manic coupling of life and art.

I'LL NEVER WRITE MY MEMOIRS

Iconoclastic model, singer, and actress Jones reflects on a highflying life of celebrity exuberance.

Born in Spanish Town, Jamaica, Jones (b. 1948) entered a world that was drastically different than the image of glitterati elegance with which she would later become synonymous. Raised in a strict Pentecostal home, Jones remarks, “there was an Islamic level of intolerance, an Amish severity.” It was the constriction of her upbringing that created a sense of rebellion in the author that would define her personality and professional life. For Jones, rebelling was less an act of asserting independence than an exertion of “one of the few pleasures I could find for myself.” It wasn’t until Jones joined her parents in America that she began to define her rebellious nature and reinvent herself as Grace (previously, she went by her middle name, Beverly). Striking out on her own, Jones settled in Philadelphia, where she struggled as an aspiring actress, before moving to New York to pursue modeling full-time. In New York and Paris, the author began to cultivate her signature image of androgynous austerity. She also began frequenting New York’s pre-disco club scene that she helped forge and later solidify as a Studio 54 regular. Having struggled to break out as a traditional singer, Jones’ turn to pop was less about vocal talent than about her “personality bringing presence to the record.” Her club hit, “La Vie En Rose,” helped establish her as a disco icon before she transformed her style into the more stylized avant-pop artist that she is known for. In her candid reflections, Jones writes about her lovers, including her unforgettable first orgasm, her constant quest for new experiences and willingness to try new things, and the free-flowing social circles of fashionistas, artists, and musicians from a time which, even for the author, is often a hazy, half-remembered sensation.

Jones’ recollections are a passionate reminder of the fabulous, decadent, and manic coupling of life and art.

Pub Date: Sept. 29, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-4767-6507-5

Page Count: 400

Publisher: Gallery Books/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: July 25, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2015

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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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