Self-empowerment fantasy by a counselor for those devastated by business losses or losing a job. Tye has several books and videos on career recovery, self-transformation, and ultimate success. Paul Peterson, a counselor for kids on the skids, runs a recovery school that has 200 enrollees. But through poor business management, Paul is about to lose the school and his mortgaged home. It's Foreclosure Day. Paul goes to the bank for a meeting, blows his stack on account of his fears, stomps outdoors to find a $75 parking ticket on his Chevy (he's in a wheelchair zone), races off to a nearby canyon cliff and jumps off. It's a wonderful life, though, because his guardian angel, Rafe, saves him and begins running time backward so that Paul sees himself backing away from the canyon, going backwards into the bank and going through the whole morning all over again, in reverse motion, while Rafe points out a few flaws in Paul's way of handling his anxieties. Then he's allowed to go through the morning once more. Many of his obstacles turn out to be self-created by fear and misunderstanding of others. This time, people who might have helped him but were dismissed out of hand by Paul come through for him and the school is saved. By facing brutal facts, Paul discovers how he has undersold both himself and life. Along the way, Rafe proffers a number of aphorisms meant to inspire folks who may be in the money dumps: ``Caring is the root of courage''; ``Fear is a prison from which action wins freedom''; ``With faith fear becomes an ally.'' And so on. Sinking people will grasp any straw, and this small, lightly fictionalized handbook of survival may well lend courage to faint hearts.

Pub Date: May 1, 1997

ISBN: 0-385-31836-7

Page Count: 128

Publisher: Delacorte

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 1997

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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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This a book of earlier, philosophical essays concerned with the essential "absurdity" of life and the concept that- to overcome the strong tendency to suicide in every thoughtful man-one must accept life on its own terms with its values of revolt, liberty and passion. A dreary thesis- derived from and distorting the beliefs of the founders of existentialism, Jaspers, Heldegger and Kierkegaard, etc., the point of view seems peculiarly outmoded. It is based on the experience of war and the resistance, liberally laced with Andre Gide's excessive intellectualism. The younger existentialists such as Sartre and Camus, with their gift for the terse novel or intense drama, seem to have omitted from their philosophy all the deep religiosity which permeates the work of the great existentialist thinkers. This contributes to a basic lack of vitality in themselves, in these essays, and ten years after the war Camus seems unaware that the life force has healed old wounds... Largely for avant garde aesthetes and his special coterie.

Pub Date: Sept. 26, 1955

ISBN: 0679733736

Page Count: 228

Publisher: Knopf

Review Posted Online: Sept. 19, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1955

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