Not everyone can get to St. Andrews, but with Horovitz’s memoir, they can get somewhat of an insider’s view.

AN AMERICAN CADDIE IN ST. ANDREWS

GROWING UP, GIRLS, AND LOOPING ON THE OLD COURSE

The experiences of an American caddie at golf’s most sacred locale.

In the middle of his high school graduation ceremony, Horovitz received a phone call from Harvard telling him that he was accepted from the waiting list but would have to wait a year before he could enroll. The author chose to spend a year at the University of St. Andrews, which is located in the town that stands at the epicenter of golf’s history. A devoted golfer, Horovitz decided to caddy at the Royal and Ancient Golf Club and especially, at the most famous loop of all, the Old Course. It is this experience—his attempts to fit in, to please a dour and exacting old guard, and the ongoing allure that St. Andrews held even as he wound his way through Harvard and beyond—that is at the heart of this intermittently affecting book. Horovitz is at his most effective conveying the atmosphere in the caddie shack and the difficulties, insecurities and triumphs that he confronted. But his attempts to interweave the rest of his life can be self-indulgent. His returns to Harvard after each summer make for lackluster reading, as do most of the sections on his dating life. But an exception to this off-course banality comes with Horovitz’s relationship with his octogenarian great uncle, who has long lived in St. Andrews and who, over the years, became one of his best friends. These scenes provide the story’s most powerful and poignant moments. Had the author alternated between his experiences carrying the bag and his visits with Uncle Ken and cut out the extraneous fluff, this would be an even better book.

Not everyone can get to St. Andrews, but with Horovitz’s memoir, they can get somewhat of an insider’s view.

Pub Date: March 14, 2013

ISBN: 978-1592407293

Page Count: 336

Publisher: Gotham Books

Review Posted Online: Jan. 17, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2013

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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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