The book tells the story of a young man’s life in a way that will make readers almost forget his cerebral palsy—but they’ll...

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A BEHIND-THE-SCENES TOUR OF LIFE WITH CEREBRAL PALSY

An engaging memoir from a man who has lived 26 years with cerebral palsy.

  Maloney was born dead after a complicated delivery. He started breathing 26 minutes later, just as doctors were about to give up their resuscitation efforts. After 18 months, he was diagnosed with cerebral palsy and given 16 years to live. His memoir describes his first 26 years of life through a series of historical vignettes, anecdotes, tributes to friends and family and diatribes against a series of apparently incompetent health-care professionals in and around his home of Peterborough, England. He writes frankly about his condition and how it has affected virtually every aspect of his life: his early school years, his friendships and encounters with bullies and other ignorant people, his sex life. He emerges as a likable, funny, angry, happy, mature, successful young man who just happens to have mild cerebral palsy. And a seizure disorder resulting from a bout of whooping cough. And renal vasculitis resulting from sheer bad luck. Maloney never descends into self-pity, preferring instead to highlight the “benefits” of his brand of cerebral palsy (his shaky fingers enhance the pleasure of his lady friends, and police sympathy for his “disability” has saved him from at least one speeding ticket). He saves his anger for those who stereotype people with cerebral palsy as drooling, spastic wheelchair-riders who lack intrinsic value. He relates his almost accidental lawsuit against the National Health Service that eventually brought him a 1 million pound settlement that enables him to live on his own. Maloney remains resilient, strong and hopeful. “I found my life policy when I died at birth,” he writes, “and every day I try to live my life in accordance with words that I wrote and had tattooed on me so I don’t forget them: Forever my spirit breathes from within/Never will it leave or give in.” Readers will know he’s going to keep on striving.  

The book tells the story of a young man’s life in a way that will make readers almost forget his cerebral palsy—but they’ll want to remember.

Pub Date: Oct. 24, 2011

ISBN: 978-1467007887

Page Count: 236

Publisher: AuthorHouse

Review Posted Online: Dec. 13, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2012

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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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