Exciting game action blended with mostly interesting behind-the-scenes maneuvers and manipulations of a pro-sports franchise.

THE BLUEPRINT

LEBRON JAMES, CLEVELAND'S DELIVERANCE, AND THE MAKING OF THE MODERN NBA

A sports journalist debuts with a very personal account of the return of LeBron James to Cleveland in 2014 and of the Cavaliers’ NBA championship in 2016.

Lloyd—the lead NBA writer for the Athletic and former writer for James’ hometown Akron Beacon Journal during the team’s efforts to lure the King back to Cleveland after his dramatic 2010 departure to the Miami Heat—tells several interlocking stories: James’ decision to leave the team, the four intervening years when the Cavs’ front office began plotting to get him back, the arrival of key players (especially Kyrie Irving, Kevin Love, and J.R. Smith), accounts of failed coaches (David Blatt’s tale is especially painful), the changes in the NBA itself, and, of course, that championship that erased decades of frustration for Cleveland sports fans. (Lloyd reminds us several times of the key misplays and failures of the Indians and Browns.) The author deals thoroughly with the front-office attitudes and decisions about losing frequently so that the franchise would earn a good draft position. He also tells us a bit about himself, discussing a sports journalist’s difficulties in balancing family and professional responsibilities, and he describes some of his coups and failures; he even tells us near the end that James gave him a nonverbal shoutout at the city’s massive street party for the Cavs after their championship. At times, Lloyd does veer near homer-hood when he celebrates coach Tyronn Lue, who “was masterful with his lineups throughout the postseason,” and during his long account of Game 7 of the 2016 Finals. Most interesting to general readers will be the pages dealing with the intricacies of NBA management, the relationships among the players (Love’s complicated story is key), and the staggering egos of professional athletes.

Exciting game action blended with mostly interesting behind-the-scenes maneuvers and manipulations of a pro-sports franchise.

Pub Date: Oct. 24, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-5247-4190-7

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Dutton

Review Posted Online: Aug. 21, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2017

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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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