An entertaining account by an ’80s radio icon.

WORLD IN MY EYES

A radio DJ recounts his years as a participant in the new-wave scene in this debut memoir.

Blade—a longtime DJ at the Los Angeles radio station KROQ and a television personality credited with helping to popularize new-wave music in America—seems like one of those people who should already have written a book or two. Not so. Blade has only recently put down in print his stories of coming up during the zenith of rock radio, a time when the tastes and personalities of DJs truly shaped the musical landscape. The author recounts growing up in England in the 1960s and discovering rock ’n’ roll via Radio Luxembourg: “The British government frowned upon this intrusion into its airwaves but could do nothing as suddenly every kid in the UK was listening to 208 and buying the songs they heard on the station.” As a young man, he worked as a club DJ in Europe before relocating to Los Angeles to find himself at the epicenter of the music business, interviewing and mingling with some of the greatest stars of the ’80s. From watching “Rio” debut (and bomb) at the Roxy while standing next to Duran Duran’s Simon Le Bon to having his heart broken by Terri Nunn of Berlin, Blade takes readers back to 1982 in all its sexy, druggy, synthy glory. The author’s prose is simple, but he’s a natural raconteur who never quite shakes off his own awe at the situations in which he found himself: “We were working long hours, under crazy conditions with drugs and guns in plain sight and doing it all for free.” Like all books of this genre, the work drops a parade of names and delivers a good deal of romanticizing, but Blade’s aversion to drugs and alcohol makes him a more reliable reporter than most from that milieu. Fans of his era of music will find much to appreciate in this autobiography, which manages to capture not only the life of the author, but also the experience of a generation (perhaps the last) for which rock was the greatest force in the world.

An entertaining account by an ’80s radio icon.

Pub Date: Nov. 2, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-9990210-7-1

Page Count: 530

Publisher: Indigo River Publishing

Review Posted Online: March 23, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2018

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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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