A memorable meditation likely to resonate deeply with sports fans everywhere.

THE HANDOFF

A POWERFUL MEMOIR OF TWO GUYS, SPORTS, AND FRIENDSHIP

Sports talk radio show host Tournour recalls his employer, their friendship and what they learned about life together.

For many people, "JT the Brick" is to sports what Edward R. Murrow was to World War II; legions of fans tune in to his radio shows for discussions of all the latest news. After walking away from a safe job in the financial industry, Tournour built a radio career from scratch with help from a Miami program director named Andrew Ashwood, and the two men became friends as well as business partners. Their relationship went through the peaks and valleys that most longtime friends endure, including miscommunications and oversights that led to hurt feelings, as they weathered changes in the business they both attended to with devotion, overcoming the competition over and over again. When Ashwood was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, he turned to Tournour for support, and the bond between them took on a new level of strength. “The Handoff” of the title refers to the lessons—about living, work, mortality—that Tournour gleaned from being at Ashwood’s side throughout his chemotherapy treatments. The book at first seems like another overly self-aggrandizing, look-at-how-I-conquered sports memoir, but as it shifts into an exploration of the men's friendship, and then into a frank portrait of grief and loss, the bravado and machismo of the early chapters is put through the wringer. The lessons, previewed in chapter titles like “Don’t Back Down,” transcend pep-talk cliché and carry genuine weight. Ashwood's and Tournour's stories combine here in a way that lifts the book above others in its genre.

A memorable meditation likely to resonate deeply with sports fans everywhere.

Pub Date: Aug. 13, 2013

ISBN: 978-1-4555-2790-8

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Center Street/Hachette

Review Posted Online: June 10, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2013

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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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