Sabarra’s multitiered chronicle is salacious and provocative yet also intimate on a whole different level.

PORN AGAIN: A MEMOIR

The life and times of a randy Hollywood public relations guru.

Entrepreneur and television personality Sabarra’s spicy debut memoir begins with an awkward sexual episode (the first of many to come) and ends with a genuinely heartfelt epiphany. He writes of being a sensitive Jewish child growing up in South Florida, where the heat was oppressive. School and summer camp were uncomfortable, he says, for a precocious young boy who explored gay sex at an early age. The accompanying guilt and shame made him swear off sex until he was in his early 30s, despite his high sex drive. Compounding these issues was his burgeoning obsessive-compulsive disorder and a platonic affinity for women—particularly for his junior high school teacher Sylvia Bastaja, whose life would later end suddenly. As a young man, Sabarra took solace in food, ballooned to 175 pounds and underwent several fat-reduction surgeries. His fascination with film in college manifested itself in an internship at the soap opera Guiding Light. The baby-faced author honed his schmoozing technique on set with Hollywood stars and soon rocketed up the executive chain at a major Hollywood studio. The memoir’s sex scenes flow as freely as the lavish name-dropping after he comes out to his parents and begins to date again. However, the book’s G-rated anecdotes about his bar mitzvah, his trials in Little League baseball and his “Jewish T-Rex” college roommate are also delightfully funny, painting the author as a man who struggled with youthful insecurities but emerged as a gleefully self-confident adult. Sabarra also offers insider details about his tumultuous friendship with the actress and talk show host Ricki Lake and his flings with actor Alan Cumming, figure skater Johnny Weir and a deeply troubled porn star with mild Tourette’s syndrome, which leads to the book’s most undeniably moving scenes. The narrative’s pacing can be sluggish, and the book’s title is potentially misleading. However, that shouldn’t deter readers from picking up this heartfelt, honest autobiography.

Sabarra’s multitiered chronicle is salacious and provocative yet also intimate on a whole different level.

Pub Date: Nov. 4, 2014

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: JBS Books

Review Posted Online: Nov. 3, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2014

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

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

Did you like this book?

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

Did you like this book?

more