Somewhere in this Vook is a great rock movie waiting to be made. But for lovers of rock lore, this will do until it comes...

RECKLESS ROAD

GUNS N’ ROSES AND THE MAKING OF APPETITE FOR DESTRUCTION

Oral history of the making of an iconic rock album.

Canter is described in the meta-material of this e-book as “best friend” of guitarist Slash for 30 years. Who better to tell the story of Guns N’ Roses than an eyewitness (and obsessive collector of memorabilia) who knew the guitar hero since fifth grade? But to say Canter wrote this Behind the Music–style account of the origins of the best-known and beloved version of the Los Angeles band is, perhaps, a bit of an exaggeration. The videos Porath shot featuring snippets of interviews with three of the original band members (absent Axl Rose, of course, and Izzy Stradlin), several girlfriends, managers, hangers-on and employees of Geffen records, as well as with Canter himself, are actually the basis for much of the text. In fact, sometimes the text takes the form of a transcription of the videos. This makes the e-book occasionally redundant, particularly when several interviewees tell the same story on tape and in the text. But redundancy can’t make the story of these unusual rockers and their brilliant first record anything less than riveting. Simultaneously glam, grungy, metal and punk, GNR made their own rules and stuck to them ferociously. They lived hand-to-mouth on the streets of L.A., sacrificing normalcy, security and safety for an art that they created collectively. And for a moment in the mid-1980s, they were rock ’n’ roll because of songs from the album like the ubiquitous anthems “Welcome to the Jungle” and “Sweet Child of Mine.”

Somewhere in this Vook is a great rock movie waiting to be made. But for lovers of rock lore, this will do until it comes out.

Pub Date: June 25, 2010

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: Vook

Review Posted Online: April 3, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 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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