The Stones’ dog-eared story is better told in a dozen other accounts.

50 LICKS

MYTHS AND STORIES FROM HALF A CENTURY OF THE ROLLING STONES

A numbingly familiar look back at the Stones’ 50-year career.

Pete Fornatale (Back to the Garden: The Story of Woodstock and How It Changed a Generation, 2010, etc.), who died in April 2012, was a longtime host at New York’s WNEW, an FM radio power with access to some of the biggest names of the classic-rock era. Old on-air interviews with most of the Stones conducted by the author and his colleague Dave Herman serve as the foundation for this fawning oral history, much of which will be old news to fans of the band. The biggest problem with any rehash of the group’s career at this point is that nearly everyone with a tale to tell has already told it at full length. Band members Keith Richards, Bill Wyman and Ronnie Wood have all published their own books, some of which are excerpted here. Mick Jagger hasn’t taken pen in hand yet, but he is already a past master of the interview that says nothing. A lengthy sit-down with Pete Fornatale, conducted in 1989 on the launch of the Stones’ clothing line, is a main attraction here, and it could not be more vacuous. Is there anything new to be gleaned about the band’s early history from Andrew Loog Oldham or Marianne Faithfull after their fine memoirs? Can journalist Robert Greenfield offer any fresh insights about the band’s 1972 tour not found in his definitive report STP? At the other end of the interview spectrum, the writer offers wince-inducing recollections from the hoi polloi: co-author Bernard Corbett on his junior high years as a Stones fan, radio engineer Jeremy Rainer on his duty as an extra in the concert movie Shine a Light. Dully told and messily designed, the book is a dutifully assembled piece of anniversary product that does little to illuminate the Stones' saga.

The Stones’ dog-eared story is better told in a dozen other accounts.

Pub Date: Feb. 26, 2013

ISBN: 978-1-60819-921-1

Page Count: 288

Publisher: Bloomsbury

Review Posted Online: Oct. 23, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2012

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Doyle offers another lucid, inspiring chronicle of female empowerment and the rewards of self-awareness and renewal.

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UNTAMED

More life reflections from the bestselling author on themes of societal captivity and the catharsis of personal freedom.

In her third book, Doyle (Love Warrior, 2016, etc.) begins with a life-changing event. “Four years ago,” she writes, “married to the father of my three children, I fell in love with a woman.” That woman, Abby Wambach, would become her wife. Emblematically arranged into three sections—“Caged,” “Keys,” “Freedom”—the narrative offers, among other elements, vignettes about the soulful author’s girlhood, when she was bulimic and felt like a zoo animal, a “caged girl made for wide-open skies.” She followed the path that seemed right and appropriate based on her Catholic upbringing and adolescent conditioning. After a downward spiral into “drinking, drugging, and purging,” Doyle found sobriety and the authentic self she’d been suppressing. Still, there was trouble: Straining an already troubled marriage was her husband’s infidelity, which eventually led to life-altering choices and the discovery of a love she’d never experienced before. Throughout the book, Doyle remains open and candid, whether she’s admitting to rigging a high school homecoming court election or denouncing the doting perfectionism of “cream cheese parenting,” which is about “giving your children the best of everything.” The author’s fears and concerns are often mirrored by real-world issues: gender roles and bias, white privilege, racism, and religion-fueled homophobia and hypocrisy. Some stories merely skim the surface of larger issues, but Doyle revisits them in later sections and digs deeper, using friends and familial references to personify their impact on her life, both past and present. Shorter pieces, some only a page in length, manage to effectively translate an emotional gut punch, as when Doyle’s therapist called her blooming extramarital lesbian love a “dangerous distraction.” Ultimately, the narrative is an in-depth look at a courageous woman eager to share the wealth of her experiences by embracing vulnerability and reclaiming her inner strength and resiliency.

Doyle offers another lucid, inspiring chronicle of female empowerment and the rewards of self-awareness and renewal.

Pub Date: March 10, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-9848-0125-8

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Dial Books

Review Posted Online: Dec. 22, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2020

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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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