For those addicted to following the rise, fall and eventual resurrection of celebrity chefs, Liebrandt’s story will be an...

TO THE BONE

Acclaimed chef Liebrandt and Friedman (Knives at Dawn: America's Quest for Culinary Glory at the Bocuse d'Or, the World's Most Prestigious Cooking Competition, 2009) collaborate in a “literary tasting menu,” chronicling the chef’s bumpy yet supersonic rise in the culinary world and the prestigious chefs who influenced his career.

Packed with a bounty of dazzling recipes and photos and told chronologically, Liebrandt’s story begins in London. At the age of 13, the author began washing dishes in a new restaurant, prophetically called New York, New York. By the age of 24, Liebrandt had become the youngest chef to receive a three-star review from the New York Times, for his work at Atlas in Greenwich Village. The author recounts his stints with the famous chefs he apprenticed under while sharpening his skills, always pondering his next move. “It was no small thing to have worked for Marco Pierre White, Richard Neat, Raymond Blanc, and Jean-Georges Vongerichten all by the age of twenty-two,” he writes. “The Big Question in my life was as enticing as it was daunting: What next?” By 1999, Liebrandt’s desire to continue his innovative style and his outspoken personality propelled him to New York, where he finally moved to the next level. “I was only twenty-four. Relatively young to be handed the keys to the kitchen of a place like Atlas. But something told me I could handle it,” he writes. The author’s recipes reflect his idiosyncratic approach to “The Food,” which serves as “the object of an existential quest, to be pursued at the expense of just about everything else,” and they are not for the timid. Adventurous cooks can indulge their tastes and test their culinary skills with Duck Leg Torte, Beer Brined Pork Shoulder, Beet Hibiscus-Glazed Foie Gras or White Truffle Gnudi with Abalone Butter, among other decadent dishes.

For those addicted to following the rise, fall and eventual resurrection of celebrity chefs, Liebrandt’s story will be an essential ingredient on their reading menu.

Pub Date: Dec. 3, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-7704-3416-8

Page Count: 288

Publisher: Clarkson Potter

Review Posted Online: April 9, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 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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