A poignant love story with a powerful message.



Geoffrey Beene Foundation Alzheimer’s Initiative CEO Comer offers an unvarnished account of her experience as her husband's caretaker after he was diagnosed with Alzheimer's.

The author has testified before Congress, and she is a founding member of USAgainstAlzheimer's, a co-founder of Women Against Alzheimer's Network and a recipient of the 2005 Shriver Profiles in Dignity Award and the 2007 Proxmire Award. Comer, who spent more than 30 years in broadcast journalism, shares the painful reality of witnessing her husband’s decline over the past 20 years. Harvey Gralnick was chief of hematology and oncology at the National Institutes of Health, internationally recognized for his work on leukemia. When Comer and Gralnick married in 1978, both of their careers were on an upward trajectory. Twenty years later, at the age of 58, he was diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s. His decline was rapid, as he became increasingly forgetful and at times abusive. For several years before, it had become apparent to Comer and her husband’s colleagues that something was wrong, although he denied a problem and refused medical help. Comer chronicles her own confusion and frustration with his behavior. Finally, Gralnick was forced to resign his position, and it became impossible for Comer to maintain her own career while caring for him at home. The author explains why she gives a detailed chronicle of the painful reality of her situation as a caretaker: “I never wanted to embellish or soften the edges around the truth. It does not do justice to the cruelty of the disease.” Comer has become an advocate for the need for early diagnosis and treatment for Alzheimer's, which is “pushing past cancer and HIV/AIDS as “the most critical public health problem of our times.”

A poignant love story with a powerful message.

Pub Date: Sept. 2, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-06-213082-2

Page Count: 256

Publisher: HarperOne

Review Posted Online: July 1, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2014

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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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