I'M JUST SAYIN'!

THREE DEATHS, SEVEN HUSBANDS, AND A CLONE! MY LIFE AS A DAYTIME DIVA

Four-time Emmy winner Zimmer, best known as Reva “The Slut of Springfield” Shayne on Guiding Light, chronicles her career and shares behind-the-scenes gossip from the daytime drama.

Achieving longevity on a soap opera is no mean feat, and the author can’t help but brag about surviving daytime TV as a manic-depressive, cancer-surviving, time-traveling vixen for close to three decades. Weaving between her own life and that of her character, the author lets it all loose as she revisits her career both on and off the screen. “I had it made,” she writes. “I got to have affairs and live out almost every fantasy possible through the characters I played on TV.” Zimmer shares the laughs and tears she experienced with fellow cast and crewmembers, her real-life struggle with alcohol and subsequent DUI arrest and a look at the zany scripts that led to her character being thrice-resuscitated from the beyond. That all came to a screeching halt in 2009 when the network pulled the plug on Guiding Light after a 72-year run (it began life as a radio serial in 1937). Ratings were down, core characters were pushing retirement age and a new writer and producer couldn’t manage to turn things around. But Zimmer’s here to relive it all as both herself and Reva. As one fan recently moaned to the actress-turned-author, “You’re my family. What are we supposed to do now?” Die-hard Guiding Light fans should enjoy the book. Others? Not so much.

 

Pub Date: Aug. 2, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-451-23343-1

Page Count: 320

Publisher: NAL/Berkley

Review Posted Online: July 20, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2011

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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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