A feel-good, bittersweet memoir with few surprises.



Veterinarian Vogelsang pays tribute to the dogs that have played important roles in her life and professional practice.

The author punctuates the narrative with deaths, beginning with the untimely passing of her husband's best friend, Kevin. She writes movingly of how she tried but failed to comfort him and how their dog, Kekoa, succeeded. As a child, her family's dog, Taffy, offered her the companionship otherwise lacking in her life. Vogelsang explains that she was an introverted child with few friends who endured bullying. With high grades, her plan was to become a doctor; however, marriage to Brian, her college sweetheart, reinforced her decision to pursue a less stressful career as a veterinarian. Taffy's death occurred in the first years of their marriage. She made the fortunate choice of taking a job with CareClinic, a highly structured corporation with clinics across the country. This situation, she explains, suited her perfectly. One of her patients was Emmett, a 2-year-old dog with an allergy to fleas, whose owner wanted him euthanized rather than pay ongoing veterinarian expenses. She cajoled her husband into allowing her to adopt Emmett into their family, which now included a daughter and son. When her son was 2 and his sister 6, Emmett developed an untreatable cancer. His death left a painful gap in all their lives, and the parents had to explain it. Although they were not a religious family, they told the children about Emmett’s ascent to heaven. The title of the memoir is based on her son's confusion of heaven with the name of their family friend Kevin, who at that time was alive and well. “The pain of loss,” writes the author, “is the price we have to pay for all the wonder we accumulate building up to it.”

A feel-good, bittersweet memoir with few surprises.

Pub Date: July 14, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-4555-5493-5

Page Count: 336

Publisher: Grand Central Publishing

Review Posted Online: April 1, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2015

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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 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...


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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