A personal scrapbook that shines a light on the devotion of Soupy Sales’ following, but ultimately leaves readers wanting to...

SOUPY SALES

A PERSONAL REMEMBRANCE AND TRIBUTE

In this debut tribute, a fan-turned-friend revisits journal entries to share fond memories she has of entertainer Soupy Sales.

Shortly before attending UCLA, Davis catches an episode of The Soupy Sales Show, and after just minutes of watching the host perform on screen, a fan is born. As a way to show her support, she immediately joins the official Soupy Sales fan club in Los Angeles. In doing so, she quickly makes many lasting friendships and connections, which eventually lead to the most meaningful one to her: a friendship with Soupy himself. Davis kept a detailed account of these years of her life and recalls specific entries from her journal in order to share her memories of the events surrounding her friendship with the beloved comedian. Though many of the extraneous personal details extracted from her journal limit the book’s universal appeal, the fulfillment she receives from befriending Soupy Sales would be best appreciated and understood by fellow fans. Her account illustrates the extreme and unwavering loyalty that Soupy Sales fans have, and it’s clear that they live by the fan club’s motto: “United, we will obtain the satisfaction of knowing we are furthering the career of Soupy Sales.” While Davis leaves no question about the TV personality’s keen ability to attract numerous devoted fans, Soupy Sales is oddly absent from his own tribute. Instead, Davis is eager to focus on her friendship with him, remaining too entranced by the TV star to eliminate any distance that exists between them. Though Davis writes about a private lunch she once had with Soupy in order “to see the person, the friend, not the celebrity,” her constant praise of the man’s work does not allow readers to see him through any other lens than that of an extreme fan.

A personal scrapbook that shines a light on the devotion of Soupy Sales’ following, but ultimately leaves readers wanting to know more about the person behind the celebrity.

Pub Date: Jan. 19, 2012

ISBN: 978-1466220539

Page Count: 92

Publisher: CreateSpace

Review Posted Online: Sept. 27, 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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A conversational, pleasurable look into McConaughey’s life and thought.

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GREENLIGHTS

All right, all right, all right: The affable, laconic actor delivers a combination of memoir and self-help book.

“This is an approach book,” writes McConaughey, adding that it contains “philosophies that can be objectively understood, and if you choose, subjectively adopted, by either changing your reality, or changing how you see it. This is a playbook, based on adventures in my life.” Some of those philosophies come in the form of apothegms: “When you can design your own weather, blow in the breeze”; “Simplify, focus, conserve to liberate.” Others come in the form of sometimes rambling stories that never take the shortest route from point A to point B, as when he recounts a dream-spurred, challenging visit to the Malian musician Ali Farka Touré, who offered a significant lesson in how disagreement can be expressed politely and without rancor. Fans of McConaughey will enjoy his memories—which line up squarely with other accounts in Melissa Maerz’s recent oral history, Alright, Alright, Alright—of his debut in Richard Linklater’s Dazed and Confused, to which he contributed not just that signature phrase, but also a kind of too-cool-for-school hipness that dissolves a bit upon realizing that he’s an older guy on the prowl for teenage girls. McConaughey’s prep to settle into the role of Wooderson involved inhabiting the mind of a dude who digs cars, rock ’n’ roll, and “chicks,” and he ran with it, reminding readers that the film originally had only three scripted scenes for his character. The lesson: “Do one thing well, then another. Once, then once more.” It’s clear that the author is a thoughtful man, even an intellectual of sorts, though without the earnestness of Ethan Hawke or James Franco. Though some of the sentiments are greeting card–ish, this book is entertaining and full of good lessons.

A conversational, pleasurable look into McConaughey’s life and thought.

Pub Date: Oct. 20, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-593-13913-4

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Crown

Review Posted Online: Oct. 27, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2020

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