A must-read for anyone who has wondered why the Stone Roses ever mattered.

THE STONE ROSES

WAR AND PEACE

As definitive an account of the surprising rise and spectacular fall of seminal 1980s Brit rockers the Stone Roses as a fan could hope for.

Music journalist Spence (Just Can't Get Enough: The Making of Depeche Mode, 2011, etc.) interviewed almost every important person in the history of the band, including all of its members, managers, producers and most of its roadie coterie save one (road manager Steve Adge, who’s writing his own Roses history). This sounds easier than it was, given several members’ penchant for mystery and silence since the band’s bitter breakup in 1996. Fortuitously for Spence, by the time he had connected with the members of its best-known incarnation—singer Ian Brown, guitarist John Squire, drummer Alan “Reni” Wren and bassist Gary "Mani" Mounfield—15 years’ worth of ice, particularly between founders, chief song scribes and boyhood friends Brown and Squire, was beginning to thaw. Even at their heyday, the Roses could be prickly and unpredictable regarding outside expectations. Following the release of their brilliant, eponymous 1989 debut LP, which The Observer has since called the best rock album ever, the band’s creativity seemed to dry up as they battled their record company and self-aggrandizing manager Gareth Evans over two of the worst contracts in rock ’n’ roll history. When they finally produced "The Second Coming" for Geffen three years later, internal fissures, which Evans seemed to create when he gave Brown and Squire sole credit (and the attendant financial rewards) for the band’s collective compositions, began to crack wide open. A long-promised tour of the United States, repeatedly canceled, came together only after a key member had quit and just months before the band self-imploded. This book is being released in time for a reunion tour of the U.S. in the summer of 2013.

A must-read for anyone who has wondered why the Stone Roses ever mattered. 

Pub Date: April 2, 2013

ISBN: 978-1250030825

Page Count: 352

Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin

Review Posted Online: Dec. 25, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2013

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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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