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THE CYCLIST WHO WENT OUT IN THE COLD

ADVENTURES RIDING THE IRON CURTAIN

An enjoyable account of an amazing human accomplishment.

A gung-ho English cyclist tackles the Iron Curtain Trail, aka the Euro Velo 13.

In this daring “ride too far,” as his wife put it, Moore (Gironimo!: Riding the Very Terrible 1914 Tour of Italy, 2015, etc.) chronicles a grueling 10,000-km bike ride over 90 days and through 20 countries, most of which were formerly in the Eastern Bloc. The real kicker here is not the distance—from Kirkenes, Finland, to Tsarevo, Bulgaria, on the Black Sea coast—but the type of vehicle he rode: an archaic East German–made MIFA 900, which was to Iron Curtain biking until 1990 as Trabants were to driving. A three-month car trip Moore took with his wife in 1990, just weeks after the Berlin Wall came down, serves as a nostalgic frame for this ambitious trek and informs the author’s affection for the small-framed “Communist shopping bicycle” he insisted on using in the name of authenticity—though he had to modify it somewhat for the journey. Starting in Finland in March, he faced deep snowfall and incredulous observers along the way, and there are some hilarious photos accompanying the tweets he made at the time and sketches of the route. The main worries were how to get enough to eat, which was a real problem in Romania (he lost many pounds), and fending off the stray dogs that often followed him menacingly. What he witnessed—through Estonia, Latvia, Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, Serbia, Greece, and so on—was the state of the demise of socialism. Some places were more triumphant than others, and the most troubling country was Russia, where he glimpsed the shocking polarization between rich and poor. Moore offers a smattering of history—World War II and the Soviet era—in this engaging, elucidating narrative, though some American readers may tire of the spasmodic writing and relentless Briticisms.

An enjoyable account of an amazing human accomplishment.

Pub Date: Jan. 10, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-68177-299-8

Page Count: 368

Publisher: Pegasus

Review Posted Online: Oct. 19, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2016

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KILLERS OF THE FLOWER MOON

THE OSAGE MURDERS AND THE BIRTH OF THE FBI

Dogged original research and superb narrative skills come together in this gripping account of pitiless evil.

Awards & Accolades

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  • Kirkus Reviews'
    Best Books Of 2017


  • New York Times Bestseller


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  • National Book Award Finalist

Greed, depravity, and serial murder in 1920s Oklahoma.

During that time, enrolled members of the Osage Indian nation were among the wealthiest people per capita in the world. The rich oil fields beneath their reservation brought millions of dollars into the tribe annually, distributed to tribal members holding "headrights" that could not be bought or sold but only inherited. This vast wealth attracted the attention of unscrupulous whites who found ways to divert it to themselves by marrying Osage women or by having Osage declared legally incompetent so the whites could fleece them through the administration of their estates. For some, however, these deceptive tactics were not enough, and a plague of violent death—by shooting, poison, orchestrated automobile accident, and bombing—began to decimate the Osage in what they came to call the "Reign of Terror." Corrupt and incompetent law enforcement and judicial systems ensured that the perpetrators were never found or punished until the young J. Edgar Hoover saw cracking these cases as a means of burnishing the reputation of the newly professionalized FBI. Bestselling New Yorker staff writer Grann (The Devil and Sherlock Holmes: Tales of Murder, Madness, and Obsession, 2010, etc.) follows Special Agent Tom White and his assistants as they track the killers of one extended Osage family through a closed local culture of greed, bigotry, and lies in pursuit of protection for the survivors and justice for the dead. But he doesn't stop there; relying almost entirely on primary and unpublished sources, the author goes on to expose a web of conspiracy and corruption that extended far wider than even the FBI ever suspected. This page-turner surges forward with the pacing of a true-crime thriller, elevated by Grann's crisp and evocative prose and enhanced by dozens of period photographs.

Dogged original research and superb narrative skills come together in this gripping account of pitiless evil.

Pub Date: April 18, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-385-53424-6

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Doubleday

Review Posted Online: Feb. 1, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2017

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NIGHT

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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