A gifted comedian turns the anxieties, obsessions, insecurities, and impossible-to-meet expectations that make up human...

YOU'LL GROW OUT OF IT

From childhood to motherhood, comedian Klein’s fresh takes on the perplexities of womanhood in America.

Head writer and executive producer of the Emmy Award–winning Inside Amy Schumer, the author demonstrates storytelling verve and instincts for the absurd as she targets outlandish ideas about and expectations of women. With her polished skills, honed on the gritty comedy club circuit, The Moth radio series, and as a TV writer, Klein crafts spirited gems that run through readers’ heads like a sharp sitcom. In “How I Became a Comedian,” the author tracks her career in vignettes of ambition, insecurity, and fear of performing. She has been told that doing stand-up is a brave act, but she disagrees. Any courage she has found grew out of a “desperate, aching need,” and it took her years of therapy before she could get onstage. In the meantime, she was successful writing comedy for other people. Joan Rivers’ “force and lust and decisiveness” were inspirations for Klein to finally make the leap. Throughout the book, there is no shortage of ludicrous behavior to riff on. Having never quite outgrown her tomboy spirit, she’s confounded by the objectified images of women that persistently invade the female psyche, hers included. In “Bar Method and the Secrets of Beautiful Women,” Klein chronicles her suffering through tortuous exercise in hopes of a tighter backside. In the hilarious “Lingerie Dilemma,” the author, a cotton underwear sort of gal, prepares for a date with a new paramour by braving a French lingerie store where she tries on scanty undies under the watchful eyes of the “impossibly thin and beautiful” Frenchwomen who all look like Charlotte Gainsbourg. Ultimately, she writes, “lingerie is never really worth the agita.” In the end, though, all the aggravation that comes her way pays off in this lively, irreverent collection, leaving the impression of a strong woman with a sharp eye for the ludicrous.

A gifted comedian turns the anxieties, obsessions, insecurities, and impossible-to-meet expectations that make up human nature into laughter.

Pub Date: July 12, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-4555-3118-9

Page Count: 256

Publisher: Grand Central Publishing

Review Posted Online: May 10, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2016

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

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

Did you like this book?

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

Did you like this book?

more