A fascinating meditation on delusion and desire, this is an American tale.

DREAMLAND

A PERSONAL JOURNEY THROUGH THE SECRET WORLD OF ROSWELL AND AREA 51

Thomas Pynchon meets Hunter S. Thompson (stylistically) in a novelistic account of the US government's secret air base known as "Area 51."

Area 51 is a chunk of desert in the southwest the size of Belgium. Beside it lies a nuclear testing site. Both are products of the Cold War, when it was believed air power and nuclear power would combine to keep America safe. Area 51 is a secret place, it exists on no maps. It came into being so aircraft, like the U-2, that could spy on the Soviet Union and China might be tested and perfected. It's so secret that it is in effect a black hole that draws to it the paranoid, conspiracy buffs, the just plain loony. There are the "youfers" who search for, and find, UFOs flying above Area 51; there are the "black-plane watchers" who search for ultra- top-secret aircraft. This is the world Patton (Made in the USA, 1992; Open Road, 1986) takes us into. He travels beyond the physical location of Area 51 to the psychic location of those who must believe that in the sky exists a world we are not meant to know. He travels to Roswell, N.M., the birthplace of UFO conspiracy theories, to conventions of alien abductees, to a bar in the desert called the Little A 'Le' Inn, where sky watchers share their stories. Why do they believe what they believe, "see" what they "see"? Patton ponders the Jungian notion that flying saucers are "symbolical rumors." Or perhaps in a Cold War world that, as he writes, would "routinize Doomsday... bureaucratize Armageddon" (and this world is not long gone), it takes mystery and the unexplained to give us a sense of common humanity. Patton allows us to question who is loony and who is not.

A fascinating meditation on delusion and desire, this is an American tale.

Pub Date: Aug. 1, 1998

ISBN: 0-679-45651-1

Page Count: -

Publisher: Villard

Review Posted Online: June 24, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 1998

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

An eye-opening glimpse into the attempted self-unmaking of one of Hollywood’s most recognizable talents.

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT

  • New York Times Bestseller

  • IndieBound Bestseller

  • Rolling Stone & Kirkus' Best Music Books of 2020

OPEN BOOK

The debut memoir from the pop and fashion star.

Early on, Simpson describes the book she didn’t write: “a motivational manual telling you how to live your best life.” Though having committed to the lucrative deal years before, she “walked away,” fearing any sort of self-help advice she might give would be hypocritical. Outwardly, Simpson was at the peak of her success, with her fashion line generating “one billion dollars in annual sales.” However, anxiety was getting the better of her, and she admits she’d become a “feelings addict,” just needing “enough noise to distract me from the pain I’d been avoiding since childhood. The demons of traumatic abuse that refused to let me sleep at night—Tylenol PM at age twelve, red wine and Ambien as a grown, scared woman. Those same demons who perched on my shoulder, and when they saw a man as dark as them, leaned in to my ear to whisper, ‘Just give him your light. See if it saves him…’ ” On Halloween 2017, Simpson hit rock bottom, and, with the intervention of her devoted friends and husband, began to address her addictions and underlying fears. In this readable but overlong narrative, the author traces her childhood as a Baptist preacher’s daughter moving 18 times before she “hit fifth grade,” and follows her remarkable rise to fame as a singer. She reveals the psychological trauma resulting from years of sexual abuse by a family friend, experiences that drew her repeatedly into bad relationships with men, most publicly with ex-husband Nick Lachey. Admitting that she was attracted to the validating power of an audience, Simpson analyzes how her failings and triumphs have enabled her to take control of her life, even as she was hounded by the press and various music and movie executives about her weight. Simpson’s memoir contains plenty of personal and professional moments for fans to savor. One of Kirkus and Rolling Stone’s Best Music Books of 2020.

An eye-opening glimpse into the attempted self-unmaking of one of Hollywood’s most recognizable talents.

Pub Date: Feb. 4, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-06-289996-5

Page Count: 416

Publisher: Dey Street/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Feb. 16, 2020

Did you like this book?

Honest messages from one of America's best known women.

WHAT I KNOW FOR SURE

A compilation of advice from the Queen of All Media.

After writing a column for 14 years titled “What I Know For Sure” for O, The Oprah Winfrey Magazine, Winfrey brings together the highlights into one gift-ready collection. Grouped into themes like Joy, Resilience, Connection, Gratitude, Possibility, Awe, Clarity and Power, each short essay is the distilled thought of a woman who has taken the time to contemplate her life’s journey thus far. Whether she is discussing traveling across the country with her good friend, Gayle, the life she shares with her dogs or building a fire in the fireplace, Winfrey takes each moment and finds the good in it, takes pride in having lived it and embraces the message she’s received from that particular time. Through her actions and her words, she shows readers how she's turned potentially negative moments into life-enhancing experiences, how she's found bliss in simple pleasures like a perfectly ripe peach, and how she's overcome social anxiety to become part of a bigger community. She discusses the yo-yo dieting, exercise and calorie counting she endured for almost two decades as she tried to modify her physical body into something it was not meant to be, and how one day she decided she needed to be grateful for each and every body part: "This is the body you've been given—love what you've got." Since all of the sections are brief and many of the essays are only a couple paragraphs long—and many members of the target audience will have already read them in the magazine—they are best digested in short segments in order to absorb Winfrey's positive and joyful but repetitive message. The book also features a new introduction by the author.

Honest messages from one of America's best known women.

Pub Date: Sept. 2, 2014

ISBN: 978-1250054050

Page Count: 240

Publisher: Flatiron View Books

Review Posted Online: Aug. 22, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2014

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more