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Based in the London bureau of Rolling Stone, American journalist Greenfield (A Day in the Life: One Family, the Beautiful...

A rock journalist mines the same vein for the third time, parlaying his brief access to the Rolling Stones into a short book that reads more like an annotated magazine article.

Based in the London bureau of Rolling Stone, American journalist Greenfield (A Day in the Life: One Family, the Beautiful People, and the End of the Sixties, 2009, etc.) enjoyed exclusive access to the Stones’ farewell tour of Britain, before tax issues (and drug laws) sent the band on self-imposed exile. Such access would be impossible to imagine today, and perhaps the main value of this book, written 40 years after the fact but expanding on a feature that he filed for the magazine at the time, is the difference between the rock life then and now. The Stones could actually move about without causing riots when they were recognized, and a journalist could just hang around without anyone questioning his presence. The author had never seen the Stones perform before 1970 and has never seen them again in concert since 1972, so his window of experience is narrow, though his insights into the relationship between Mick Jagger and Keith Richards remain valid (if familiar). That 1971 tour found Jagger courting his future wife, Bianca, (a marriage that the author asserts “put the final nail in the coffin of the personal relationship between Mick and Keith”) and Richards out of control (and rarely on time) with heroin. The account provides a short companion piece to the book Greenfield wrote with greater detail, but less exclusivity, on the Stones’ subsequent tour of the United States (S.T.P., 1974).

Pub Date: May 13, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-306-82312-1

Page Count: 216

Publisher: Da Capo

Review Posted Online: March 30, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2014

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The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the...

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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Well-told and admonitory.

Young-rags-to-mature-riches memoir by broker and motivational speaker Gardner.

Born and raised in the Milwaukee ghetto, the author pulled himself up from considerable disadvantage. He was fatherless, and his adored mother wasn’t always around; once, as a child, he spied her at a family funeral accompanied by a prison guard. When beautiful, evanescent Moms was there, Chris also had to deal with Freddie “I ain’t your goddamn daddy!” Triplett, one of the meanest stepfathers in recent literature. Chris did “the dozens” with the homies, boosted a bit and in the course of youthful adventure was raped. His heroes were Miles Davis, James Brown and Muhammad Ali. Meanwhile, at the behest of Moms, he developed a fondness for reading. He joined the Navy and became a medic (preparing badass Marines for proctology), and a proficient lab technician. Moving up in San Francisco, married and then divorced, he sold medical supplies. He was recruited as a trainee at Dean Witter just around the time he became a homeless single father. All his belongings in a shopping cart, Gardner sometimes slept with his young son at the office (apparently undiscovered by the night cleaning crew). The two also frequently bedded down in a public restroom. After Gardner’s talents were finally appreciated by the firm of Bear Stearns, his American Dream became real. He got the cool duds, hot car and fine ladies so coveted from afar back in the day. He even had a meeting with Nelson Mandela. Through it all, he remained a prideful parent. His own no-daddy blues are gone now.

Well-told and admonitory.

Pub Date: June 1, 2006

ISBN: 0-06-074486-3

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Amistad/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2006

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