An exhaustive and exhausting autobiography of Weiner's life to date.

HUNGRY HEART

ADVENTURES IN LIFE, LOVE, AND WRITING

A bestselling author reveals everything about her life.

Novelist Weiner (Who Do You Love, 2015, etc.) gives readers an in-depth look into her life in these nonfiction essays, the subjects of which have provided much of the fodder for her popular books. Going as far back as when her grandparents met, the author provides an overly detailed timeline of her life. For those who want to know how and when Weiner began writing; what grade school and high school were like for an overweight introvert; why her mother came out as a lesbian and the effect that had on the author; her college life, including the classes she took; her ambitions during and after college; the boyfriends she had and the lovesickness she felt when they left her; how she felt about being a mother and how returning to work when her first daughter was very young affected her; the author’s thoughts on food and weight gain and loss; how her books became so successful; and a host of other minutiae, look no further. The essays are honest, sometimes funny, and sometimes emotional, and they help to show what life can be like for a woman and/or a Jewish woman, but there's so much packed into the book that it becomes overwhelming. Weiner's ability to recall physical details about her 8-year-old classmates or the books she read starting at age 4 may seem impressive, but it's those same details that eventually bog readers down. For Weiner’s many fans, the book will answer the question of “where does she find her writing material?” Readers of her novels and those who like knowing the intimate, personal lives of popular celebrities will find plenty to absorb in this fat volume.

An exhaustive and exhausting autobiography of Weiner's life to date.

Pub Date: Oct. 11, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-4767-2340-2

Page Count: 432

Publisher: Atria

Review Posted Online: Aug. 3, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2016

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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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