The wink-wink title tells readers everything they need to know.

THE HARDEST (WORKING) MAN IN SHOWBIZ

HORNY WOMEN, HOLLYWOOD NIGHTS AND THE RISE OF THE HEDGEHOG!

He’s more than just a porn star, people.

“I’ve had sex with more than four thousand women in my life, but I've been in love with only five of them,” says Ron Hyatt, who changed his last name to Jeremy in order to mollify his parents. You won’t know much more than that about any of them after reading this basically affable but generally repetitive autobiography of the world’s best-known porn performer; you also won’t be surprised to find out that Jeremy has had very few long-term relationships. He’s quite fascinated with his career and hopes you will be, too—you’d better be, given his obsessive-compulsive attitude toward getting work, any work, and his tendency to talk about it ad nauseum. Born in 1953, he had a good-Jewish-boy upbringing in Queens, worked various odd jobs as a young adult in the Catskills and started on a master’s degree in special education. Things changed drastically after his girlfriend talked him into sending a naked photo of himself to Playgirl. The evidence of his sizable manhood resulted in a flood of men and women calling his parents’ home, and a rising adult-film star was born. Jeremy’s narrative is occasionally informative, especially for those curious about the porn business and the world of C-list actors. He effects an amiable lack of ego, constantly mocking his bad taste in jokes, portly physique and general dork-itude, but when the ego surfaces, it’s a monster, with him endlessly relating his celebrity encounters and friendships (John Frankenheimer to Slash), paying special attention to the compliments they shower on him. This makes for an amusingly schizophrenic book: half self-positive celebration of the purportedly fun and harmless porn business, half defensive retort that the author is above all that—being a classically trained pianist and all.

The wink-wink title tells readers everything they need to know.

Pub Date: Feb. 1, 2007

ISBN: 0-06-084082-X

Page Count: 352

Publisher: HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2007

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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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