Written with the same cool passion she brings to her lyrics, Gordon delivers a generous look at life inside the punk...

GIRL IN A BAND

A MEMOIR

The blonde enigma from the band that spoke softly and carried a big noise tells her story, from art-chick beginnings to success to marital and musical catastrophe.

Sonic Youth fans were stunned when married co-founders Thurston Moore and Kim Gordon announced in 2011 that couple and band were no more; for 30 years, both seemed impervious to the usual marital strains. Gordon, who lost Moore to another woman, took it even harder, and the bitterness is there on the first page of this autobiography, her therapeutic self-assessment as an artist struggling to define herself in a male-dominated environment. Gordon scrutinizes herself as the daughter of a distant father and a mother who had sacrificed her ambitions and also as the masochistic sister of a cruel (and schizophrenic) older brother. It’s a history she carried with her when she headed from California to the No Wave underground of New York in 1980, where she met Moore, the lanky, punk-obsessed guitarist and soul mate who was already worshipping at the altar of CBGBs. Eventually, Gordon found herself submitting to his dominating personality. “The codependent woman, the narcissistic man: stale words lifted from therapy that I nonetheless think about a lot these days.” Of course, she also thrived—as a musician, visual artist, mother and icon. Gordon goes into intriguing detail on specific songs and doesn’t hold back on Moore or other figures, even ones with worse disasters than her own: “Courtney [Love] told me she thought Kurt Cobain was hot, which made me cringe inside and hope the two of them would never meet. We all said to ourselves, ‘Uh-oh train wreck coming.’ ”

Written with the same cool passion she brings to her lyrics, Gordon delivers a generous look at life inside the punk whirlwind.

Pub Date: Feb. 24, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-06-229589-7

Page Count: 288

Publisher: Dey Street/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Nov. 20, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2014

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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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