Gray has been there, done that, and taken excellent notes.

TALKING TO GOATS

THE MOMENTS YOU REMEMBER AND THE STORIES YOU NEVER HEARD

A Hall of Fame broadcaster takes us behind the scenes of his biggest interviews and stories.

Gray, recognizable to even casual sports fans, has had a front row seat to some of the most indelible games, fights, and moments in sports history. Here, he pulls readers aside to explain how it all came together, from his days as a wide-eyed college kid in Denver assigned to interview Muhammad Ali to his friendships with the likes of LeBron James, Mike Tyson, Jack Nicholson, and countless others. In a sense, there are versions of the author. One is a hard-nosed journalist who famously put the screws to Pete Rose before a World Series game about Rose’s gambling on baseball (an interview that earned Gray death threats). The other Gray knows that the best way to cultivate sources in his line of work is to form real relationships. “Over the years,” he writes, “I found that relationships and loyalty matter as much as ability—in my business and in almost any endeavor worth doing.” Though the prose isn’t scintillating, Gray knows how to tell a story, and he’s wise enough to know that anyone who buys the book will be drawn to the cast of characters. The narrative abounds with fascinating tales: Gray watched boxing promoter Don King hand Tyson a $30 million check only to see the fighter rack up an $800,000 tab at Versace—a night before he stepped into the ring and bit off a chunk of Evander Holyfield’s ear. While wandering the Upper West Side in Manhattan, a limo pulled up, and Richard Nixon rolled down the window, invited Gray inside, and peppered him with sports talk for 45 minutes. Throughout, the author demonstrates his combination of knowledge, longevity, talent, and likability, with just a little pit bull thrown in for good measure. Tom Brady provides the foreword.

Gray has been there, done that, and taken excellent notes.

Pub Date: Nov. 10, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-06-299206-2

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Morrow/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Aug. 24, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2020

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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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