An indispensable part of KISStory.

FACE THE MUSIC

A LIFE EXPOSED

KISS' flamboyant "Starchild" unplugs his high-wattage amps and introduces fans to an even more intriguing character: Stanley Harvey Eisen.

Few who experienced the power of a KISS concert during the 1970s could have imagined that one of the preening men commanding the exploding stage in makeup and high heels was actually an anxiety-riddled loner from Queens hiding a rare facial deformity called microtia. Growing up, the condition left Stanley half deaf with a "stump of an ear" that prompted sensitive neighborhood kids to jeer him as "the monster." The axe-slinger behind some of KISS' most anthemic songs displays a laudable frankness in discussing those troubled times, made all the more trying thanks to a set of emotionally unavailable parents and a mentally disturbed sibling. The bleakness of the music-obsessed teen's existence eventually drove him to seek out his own psychotherapist. Still, the author possessed an almost uncanny certainty that music would be his life. That unconquerable drive, coupled with a deep and abiding desire to belong to something, brought him into the orbits of three decidedly disparate characters: Gene Simmons, Peter Criss and Ace Frehley. Stanley describes the halcyon days of KISS' formation as the realization of his dreams—but there were problems from the inception. Despite a dynamic conceived as a sort of fun-house reflection of the Beatles, the KISS brotherhood, as Stanley regards it now, was always built on suspect fortifications. Those weaknesses would come to light at the end of the 1970s, after the band had already conquered the world and intra-band friction took hold. Stanley recounts the worst of it—the 1996 reunion tour that, while successful, fell woefully short of the bombastic comeback the Starchild had envisioned. None of Stanley's band mates escape his withering criticism, but Criss is clearly his favorite target. At peace with the state of KISS today, Stanley reveals that the most precious things in his life now are his sense of enlightened awareness and cooking elaborate meals with the wife and kids.

An indispensable part of KISStory.

Pub Date: April 8, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-06-211404-4

Page Count: 464

Publisher: HarperOne

Review Posted Online: March 30, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 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 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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