Fine, tasty fare for dedicated baseball fans.



A former senior editor for Sports Illustrated returns with a highly detailed account of a bizarre 1979 game between the Philadelphia Phillies and Chicago Cubs: The final score, in 10 innings, was 23-22.

In this comprehensive narrative, nothing gets by Cook (Electric October: Seven World Series Games, Six Lives, Five Minutes of Fame that Lasted Forever, 2017, etc.). After a bit of background and history—the two teams, baseball in general, Wrigley Field—the author takes us through 20 swift chapters, each devoted to a half-inning of this weird game at Wrigley on May 17, 1979. In each chapter, he focuses on a player or two—or a manager—and provides a brief biography and a discussion of how he ended up at Wrigley that day. Many of the names will be familiar even to casual baseball fans: Bill Buckner, Pete Rose, Mike Schmidt, Tim McCarver, Dave Kingman; others, not so much, except to fans of the teams or to devoted fans of the game—e.g., Jerry Martin, Bill Caudill, Ray Burris. Cook weaves their stories in and out of the narrative, thereby enriching his well-researched tale as he proceeds. Following the last out in the 10th, the author concludes with explorations of what happened to the teams and to some of the principals afterward. We learn more about Buckner’s famous error in the 1986 World Series, Pete Rose’s fall from grace (gambling), and catcher Bob Boone’s remarkable family (his sons played in the major league as well). But the most disturbing story involves Cubs’ reliever Donnie Moore: He was a talented pitcher but was a serial abuser of his wife; his abuse grew grotesquely grim when, in a rage in 1989, he shot her several times (she survived) before killing himself.

Fine, tasty fare for dedicated baseball fans.

Pub Date: May 7, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-250-18203-6

Page Count: 272

Publisher: Henry Holt

Review Posted Online: Feb. 20, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2019

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 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...


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?