A set of engaging stories by a man who’s lived life to the hilt.


The remembrances of a hunter, soldier, and fisherman.

In this memoir in essays, Roush (World War Two Reminiscences, 2013, etc.) sweeps readers through his 93 years, telling tales of adventure, wonder, endurance, and personal connection. He hooks steelheads on the Klamath River in Northern California, survives pernicious lymphoma, encounters some of the world’s most dangerous animals while hunting, and, as a young man, leads a U.S. Army infantry platoon during World War II. Stories of hunting trips abound, but he says that “most of it has been without firing a shot, just looking to see what is to be seen of nature.” Born in Portland, Oregon, in 1923, Roush’s earliest memories center on his maternal grandmother, Mary Anna Reuter Schuster. On the day of her funeral in 1930, he says, he had a vision of her alive and well in the living room, rocking in her usual chair. Indeed, several stories highlight how such unusual events often occurred in Roush’s life: “Saving a man’s life is a unique experience for most people,” he writes, “yet I have rescued three men from drowning in Tahoe alone.” The last of these rescues was particularly mysterious: Roush says that an inner voice sent him out fishing that morning, promising him the biggest catch of his life. Later, while hunting in South Africa, a local soothsayer foretold the possible death of the author’s wife, Virginia; she did become seriously ill but thankfully survived another 20 years. Some of the most touching, heartfelt passages here show Roush’s obvious love for his spouse of 65 years. Readers may wish that they heard more about the author’s children, but there’s so much material here, in more than 100 essays spanning six continents, that perhaps it’s asking too much to ask for more. At one point, for instance, Roush describes being a witness to his cousin’s post-traumatic stress disorder; the author says that a friend persuaded him to write the chapter—and that friend was right to do so, as it’s one of this collection’s most timely chapters.

A set of engaging stories by a man who’s lived life to the hilt. 

Pub Date: Feb. 20, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-5245-4049-4

Page Count: 470

Publisher: Xlibris

Review Posted Online: June 22, 2017

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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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