A tribute to the spirit of adventure, akin to Robin Lee Graham’s Dove.

LIONHEART

A JOURNEY OF THE HUMAN SPIRIT

The rousing account of a 17-year-old Australian’s solo, nonstop sail around the world in his yacht, the Lionheart, published to coincide with the airing of a National Geographic special about the journey.

After 11 months at sea and nearly 27,000 nautical miles, Jesse Martin became the youngest person to circumnavigate the globe. When he set sail in late 1998, the voyage “was the culmination of years of dreaming.” Reared in the Daintree rainforest, Martin had a colorful childhood. At age 11, he was backpacking through Southeast Asia with his mother and his brother Beau; by 14, Jesse had already completed a three-month sailing trip from Melbourne to Cape York with Beau and their father. One year later, Jesse and Beau kayaked in Papua New Guinea and wrote an article about their experiences for Australian Geographic. When Martin decided to sail around the world, he notes, “I started from scratch, with no boat, no equipment, little training, and even less experience.” To support the endeavor, he approached Australian Geographic and a host of other potential sponsors. Something about the teen inspired confidence, and many companies signed on. In order to attain the record of an unassisted solo journey, Martin could not take supplies on board during his journey, although he was allowed to hand off garbage and at the halfway point to take on mail, which had to be inspected by an official to verify that it contained nothing that could assist him. The rapid narrative is peppered with Martin’s journal entries, which reveal the remarkable teen’s complexity. One part extremely competent sailor, he repairs a damaged furler and fixes the wind generator after a bird crashes into the blades. And one part forgetful teen, he neglects to pack a comb and for the next 11 months must use a fork to groom his hair.

A tribute to the spirit of adventure, akin to Robin Lee Graham’s Dove.

Pub Date: May 1, 2001

ISBN: 1-86508-347-X

Page Count: 270

Publisher: Allen & Unwin

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2002

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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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