Some readers may find hope from Roppé’s successful battle with cancer, but her self-indulgent tone may leave others...

ROCKING THE PINK

FINDING MYSELF ON THE OTHER SIDE OF CANCER

A cancer diagnosis almost derails a woman’s journey to rock stardom.

After more than 10 years as a corporate lawyer, Roppé finally listened to her heart, quit her job and began making music in earnest. Her dreams were put on hold, however, when her doctor gave her a devastating diagnosis of breast cancer. With the support of her steadfast husband and two young daughters, Roppé resolved to do whatever it took to beat the cancer and take the stage once more. The author provides several interesting stories, including a particularly detailed account of her work as an extra on Oliver Stone’s The Doors (1991), but many of her early anecdotes have little to do with either her burgeoning new career as a rock singer or her struggle as a cancer patient. For example, readers unclear on how to pronounce her last name will find several paragraphs discussing it. Even when directly discussing her cancer diagnosis, Roppé fails to adequately address how it temporarily derailed her musical aspirations. She is also quick to point out the positives in her situation, which can be inspiring, but she never explores the darker aspects of her battle. The later chapters begin with e-mails from her online buddy Jane, a fellow breast-cancer victim. Unfortunately for the author, Jane’s e-mails about her life are more open and engaging than the majority of the author’s narrative.

Some readers may find hope from Roppé’s successful battle with cancer, but her self-indulgent tone may leave others unsatisfied.

Pub Date: March 6, 2012

ISBN: 978-1-58005-417-1

Page Count: 300

Publisher: Seal Press

Review Posted Online: Jan. 9, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2012

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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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