An insightful treat for Andrews' fans.



A warm, entertaining memoir covering the actor’s Hollywood years, from Mary Poppins to That's Life!

In this follow-up to Home: A Memoir of My Early Years (2008), the author devotes equal time to home and work in the period from 1963 to 1986. Her home life was anything but serene. During this period, her marriage to production and costume designer Tony Walton broke up—mostly, writes Andrews, because they were never in the same place at the same time. Their daughter, Emma, co-author of this book, split her time between her parents, and Andrews remarried, this time to director Blake Edwards. His children didn't assimilate easily into the new blended family, and he had a number of problems of his own, including hypochondria, an addiction to prescription pills, a hot temper, and a tendency to be drawn toward “lonely, fragile and usually very pretty young women.” The couple went on to adopt two children from Vietnam while Andrews attempted to deal with an alcoholic mother and stepfather. Meanwhile, she was making movies both successful—notably The Sound of Music—and less so, such as her husband's remake of The Man Who Loved Women. While Andrews is too discreet and canny to settle any scores or burn any bridges with her Hollywood colleagues, and she remains guardedly respectful toward most of her co-workers, she knows how to spin a yarn. Even her experience with the notoriously difficult Alfred Hitchcock comes off as remarkably pleasant, as she describes him explaining which camera lenses would make her look best. Andrews does let loose in her memories of a horrific day during the filming of Hawaii, during which director George Roy Hill seemed to be “getting a slight kick” out of repeated takes of her skirt being set on fire. Entries from the author’s journals add a sense of immediacy, and she ends her account on an up note: “I am profoundly blessed.” That may be true, but it’s also hard not to admire the grit that took her through some taxing personal and professional struggles.

An insightful treat for Andrews' fans.

Pub Date: Oct. 15, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-316-34925-3

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Hachette

Review Posted Online: Oct. 16, 2019

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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 19, 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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