Though plainly told and often syrupy, this inspirational memoir of mutual courage and compassion is sure to have wide appeal.

AN EAGLE NAMED FREEDOM

MY TRUE STORY OF A REMARKABLE FRIENDSHIP

After a musician took an injured eagle under his wing, the bird returned the favor.

In 1996, professional guitarist and animal-lover Guidry began volunteering at the Sarvey Wildlife Care Center, a nonprofit organization devoted to animal rescue and rehab. For years, the author found immense satisfaction in the few hours each week spent cleaning, feeding and caring for injured “wild ones,” as he calls them—the animals ranged from a Patagonian cougar to flying squirrels, hawks, raccoons and black bears. In 1998, his engagement with Sarvey took a more serious turn when a young eagle was brought in. “The eagle looked up at me,” he writes, “and my old life was over, a new second life begun.” Covered with lice, the eagle had two broken wings and was so emaciated that she couldn't stand. Guidry and others tube-fed her for more than a month and were within days of having to euthanize her when Freedom, as the bird eventually came to be named, finally stood up. Because the extent of her wing injuries had rendered Freedom unable to fly and, consequently, be released into the wild, Guidry began the slow process of glove training her to help her adapt to a new life in captivity. When the author was diagnosed with stage 3 non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, the bond between the two grew. Physically and psychologically ravaged by eight months of crippling chemotherapy, Guidry sought and found spiritual refuge in Freedom, with the bird figuratively comforting him in his dreams and literally embracing him with her wings on the day he learned he was in remission.

Though plainly told and often syrupy, this inspirational memoir of mutual courage and compassion is sure to have wide appeal.

Pub Date: May 4, 2010

ISBN: 978-0-06-182674-0

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Morrow/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Sept. 16, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 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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