Sure to stir controversy in England and titillate Anglophiles everywhere with its tawdry, even pathetic, pandering to...

MOVING ON

Princess Di’s onetime lover spills all.

Remember James Hewitt? He’s the handsome military man and polo player who romanced Diana while giving her riding lessons. Here, he explains that when he met the princess, the royal marriage had already begun to fall apart. Charles had taken up with Camilla again, Diana was battling bulimia, and Hewitt became confidant, hero and beloved to the princess during a five-year affair. After it ended, Hewitt was frustrated that he had kept a low profile and still got a bum rap, while the royals told their stories to the media. So he responded positively, if warily, when journalist Anna Pasternak asked him to give interviews for a biography. As Hewitt tells it, he was hoodwinked. Pasternak’s publishers made her tart up a tame account and publish something steamier. The result was Princess in Love, a book, declares Hewitt, “which I have never read but which has been a cross I have had to bear.” His participation in Pasternak’s project didn’t endear him to British society, and when he took up after Di’s death with a woman who eventually stole some of the princess’s letters to him, the resulting tabloid feeding frenzy and paparazzi-fest only made Hewitt further persona non grata. Here, he attempts to rehabilitate his image. After chapters detailing his romance with Diana, he “explains” the sordid mess with the stolen letters. Then he recounts his efforts to move on, becoming a minor star on the reality TV circuit in such hits as The Games, The Penthouse (“I had to spend twenty-four hours locked up with Jodie Marsh—not the most penitential experience!”) and Back to Reality. Oh, there was also the much-publicized arrest for cocaine possession, but that was just a mix-up, Hewitt assures us.

Sure to stir controversy in England and titillate Anglophiles everywhere with its tawdry, even pathetic, pandering to royalty voyeurs.

Pub Date: June 1, 2005

ISBN: 1-85782-547-0

Page Count: 365

Publisher: John Blake/Trafalgar

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2005

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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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