A bitingly candid memoir with a happy ending.

A stand-up comedian with a successful career grapples with the problem of finding balance in her private life.

At 35, Colonna was in the driver’s seat, at least professionally. But in her personal life, a long-term, live-in relationship had just ended, and she was alone. Uninterested in meeting new men at bars and with little free time to spare, Colonna “recycled” an ex-lover who she soon realized was as unsatisfyingly immature as ever. Loneliness was not the problem; Colonna “really enjoy[ed] living on [her] own.” Part of the difficulty of being a 30-something single had to do with the fact that anytime she wanted to do anything socially, most of her potential female companions were occupied with husbands and children. Worse still, whenever she did go out or travel with a woman, she often found others quietly, and sometimes not so quietly, speculating that she was gay. So Colonna made the most of being single and tried new things, like meeting up with men she flirted with on Twitter, getting set up on blind dates by well-meaning friends and accepting the advances of obsessed male fans after her shows. Eventually, and with her ambivalent blessing, a married friend assumed the comedian’s identity and went online to look for the dates her friend had no time to arrange. But love would come to her on its own terms and in its own way when a football player temperamentally so like Colonna that he seemed “created in a lab for [her]” found the comedian through a mutual friend. That the author can look at herself and her dating mishaps with honesty and self-deprecating humor is perhaps the greatest strength of this occasionally frivolous but mostly enjoyable book. That she was also able to find, and genuinely appreciate, the love for which she had been searching is an added bonus.

A bitingly candid memoir with a happy ending.

Pub Date: March 31, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-4767-7192-2

Page Count: 288

Publisher: Gallery Books/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Dec. 5, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2014


If the authors are serious, this is a silly, distasteful book. If they are not, it’s a brilliant satire.

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 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 1998


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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