Next book



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 19, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2011

Next 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

Next book



Well-told and admonitory.

Young-rags-to-mature-riches memoir by broker and motivational speaker Gardner.

Born and raised in the Milwaukee ghetto, the author pulled himself up from considerable disadvantage. He was fatherless, and his adored mother wasn’t always around; once, as a child, he spied her at a family funeral accompanied by a prison guard. When beautiful, evanescent Moms was there, Chris also had to deal with Freddie “I ain’t your goddamn daddy!” Triplett, one of the meanest stepfathers in recent literature. Chris did “the dozens” with the homies, boosted a bit and in the course of youthful adventure was raped. His heroes were Miles Davis, James Brown and Muhammad Ali. Meanwhile, at the behest of Moms, he developed a fondness for reading. He joined the Navy and became a medic (preparing badass Marines for proctology), and a proficient lab technician. Moving up in San Francisco, married and then divorced, he sold medical supplies. He was recruited as a trainee at Dean Witter just around the time he became a homeless single father. All his belongings in a shopping cart, Gardner sometimes slept with his young son at the office (apparently undiscovered by the night cleaning crew). The two also frequently bedded down in a public restroom. After Gardner’s talents were finally appreciated by the firm of Bear Stearns, his American Dream became real. He got the cool duds, hot car and fine ladies so coveted from afar back in the day. He even had a meeting with Nelson Mandela. Through it all, he remained a prideful parent. His own no-daddy blues are gone now.

Well-told and admonitory.

Pub Date: June 1, 2006

ISBN: 0-06-074486-3

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Amistad/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2006

Close Quickview