A thorough, intimate retelling of a tragic tale.

CRASH INTO ME

A SURVIVOR'S SEARCH FOR JUSTICE

Memoir of a rape victim's quest for justice 22 years after her attack.

On Sept. 8, 2005, Seccuro received a letter that forever altered her future. It was from William Beebe, a former fraternity member at the University of Virginia who had brutally raped the author and was never charged with the crime. His unexpected apology spurred Seccuro to find answers, and in the months that followed, she and Beebe exchanged several heated e-mails in which she attempted to make sense of the hazy night of her attack. As she soon discovered, Beebe's recollections of the rape contradicted her own. When she decided to press charges, the trial that followed revealed secrets buried far deeper than she had imagined. “I was a straight-A student, played the lead in many school plays, and was a member of the student council, swim team, math club, yearbook staff, and cheerleading squad,” writes the author. Yet following that night in 1984, all of her credentials became irrelevant. She was transformed into a rape victim, and as she reached out to her university for help, she found few willing to listen. Seccuro’s account of the 2006 trial serves as a final chance for redemption. While Beebe readily admitted his involvement in the rape, his own guilt was soon overshadowed by the revelation that he was the third of three men who raped Seccuro that night—a fact that shocked even the victim. The trial also took a toll on her marriage. The memoir continually shifts between conjuring the ghosts of the past and combating the ghosts of the present. The author’s unrelenting search for the truth opens old wounds, forcing her to relive the most traumatic night of her life in order to seek long-overdue justice.

A thorough, intimate retelling of a tragic tale.

Pub Date: Jan. 4, 2011

ISBN: 978-1-59691-585-5

Page Count: 256

Publisher: Bloomsbury

Review Posted Online: Sept. 2, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2010

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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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