A fun tale of just how far one person will go for love.



A professional fundraiser takes a chance on herself in Jämsén’s debut memoir.

Following in the footsteps of her parents, Massachusetts resident Jämsén saw a psychic, Angelica, for clarity on her current relationship and romantic future. The woman predicted that Jämsén would move to Eastern Europe, rediscover her love of music, and meet a “tall man with glasses” to marry, all funded by a generous new sum of money. Exactly as predicted, the events unfold: Jämsén receives a large financial gift from her parents, decides to teach English as a second language in Hungary, leaves her boyfriend, and heads off for an epic “Odyssey” in 2001. The author’s descriptions of arriving in Eastern Europe indulge the reader like good travel writing should, as they’re full of minutiae and textures that put them right onto the cobblestone streets of cities such as Amsterdam and Budapest, where “the gentle ripples of the not-so-blue Danube soon waltzed into view, and we zoomed over the Freedom Bridge, leaving the upscale Gellért Hotel on the Buda side in our wake.” She effectively captures the common American-abroad story of a naïve newcomer challenged by inconveniences: “I marveled at how everything—from the minibus driver’s blatant disregard for highway safety…to curtainless showers and exfoliating towels—was much different from what I’d been used to in the States.” However, the memoir moves beyond such familiar tropes of travel writing, as she generates intrigue by keeping readers invested in how she’ll eventually meet the aforementioned “tall man in glasses.” Although the constant characterization of her choices as an “Odyssey” feels a tad dramatic, the book does get across the thrill of life abroad in an inspiring manner. The book follows some aspects of the familiar Eat, Pray, Love template, but Jämsén still makes her search to fulfill her psychic destiny feel effervescent.

A fun tale of just how far one person will go for love.

Pub Date: May 28, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-94-860499-4

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Tulipan Press

Review Posted Online: June 24, 2021

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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 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...


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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