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101. Ric Flair: To Be the Man
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102. Stolen Lives : Twenty Years in
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103. Why Sinatra Matters
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104. Against All Odds: My Story
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105. Diary of a Provincial Lady (Provincial
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106. If Chins Could Kill : Confessions
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107. The Fabulous Sylvester : The Legend,
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108. In My Brother's Shadow
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109. The Piano Shop on the Left Bank:
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110. Omaha Blues : A Memory Loop
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111. Broken Music: A Memoir
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114. C'mon, Get Happy - 8 Copy Prepack
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115. The Bridge Across Forever : A
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116. The Story of a Remarkable Medicine
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117. Careless Love : The Unmaking of
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118. Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas
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119. The First Poets : Lives of the
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120. Sharon Tate and the Manson Murders

101. Ric Flair: To Be the Man
by Ric Flair, Keith Elliot Greenberg
list price: $26.00
our price: $17.16
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0743456912
Catlog: Book (2004-07-06)
Publisher: World Wrestling Entertainment
Sales Rank: 1087
Average Customer Review: 4.25 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

"Woooooo!"

With that triumphant yell, "Nature Boy" Ric Flair surpassed his predecessors and his peers to become one of the greatest professional wrestlers in history.

Throughout the years, there may have been equally charismatic performers, comparable athletes, and even better interviews, but none were blessed with the same combination of talents to manage to stay on top for over three decades.

To wrestling fans, the Nature Boy is a platinum-blond deity, a sixteen-time world champion who accurately boasted that he could have a five-star match with a broom. No matter how limited the opponent, Flair had the skill and determination to bounce all over the mat, transforming his rival into a star. When the camera light went on, "Slick Ric" could convince viewers that, if they missed an upcoming match, a momentous life experience would pass them by. Flair's opponents were challenged with this simple taunt: "To be the man, you have to beat the man."

Away from the arena, Richard Morgan Fliehr spent years struggling with his own concept of what it meant to be a man. He suffered periods of crushing self-doubt, marital strife and -- in a profession where there was room for only one Ric Flair -- broken friendships.

Ric Flair: To Be the Man, cowritten with Keith Elliot Greenberg, chronicles the anguish and exhilaration of Flair's life and career -- in painfully honest detail.

From the moment he was born, Flair was enmeshed in controversy. Like many of the other children adopted through the Tennessee Children's Home Society, he was apparently stolen from his birth parents and placed on the adoption black market. Raised just outside Minneapolis by a gynecologist and a theater writer, Ric was a distracted student, brilliant athlete, and wild party boy. Through a chance meeting with weightlifter Ken Patera, Flair was directed to the place where his athletic proficiency and personality quirks were highly valued: the pro-wrestling circuit.

After beginning his pro-wrestling career in the Minnesota area, Flair relocated to Charlotte, North Carolina, in 1974, and never left, igniting the Mid-Atlantic Wrestling promotion. He was almost forced to retire a year later when his back was broken in a plane crash. Flair recuperated, winning his first National Wrestling Alliance championship in 1981. As the most traveled champion ever, he journeyed from one regional "territory" to another, once wrestling eighteen hour-long cards during a fourteen-day stretch.

On television, Flair portrayed himself as the consummate ladies' man, a role he also felt compelled to play in his private life, holding all-night parties. Few fans realized there was also a traditional side to Flair, who battled to reconcile his nocturnal antics with his love for his family.

Before Ted Turner purchased World Championship Wrestling in 1988, Flair was given assurance that the Nature Boy would come with the package. But his clashes with WCW management would drive Flair into World Wrestling Entertainment, where he'd win the group's championship in a dramatic match at the Royal Rumble 1992. Flair later returned to WCW, where he collided in and out of the ring with Hulk Hogan, and -- as the company disintegrated over the next few years -- began losing all shreds of his self-esteem.

Arriving back at the WWE in 2001, Flair was a broken man, unsure if he still fit into the business; what he didn't know was that wrestlers who'd grown up idolizing him now inhabited the WWE locker room. With their support, he was finally able to claim his legacy and receive the credit he so richly deserved.

In addition to his own words, Flair's story is enriched by anecdotes from ring greats like Superstar Billy Graham, Ricky "The Dragon" Steamboat, Harley Race, Sgt. Slaughter, David Crockett, Arn Anderson, Bobby "The Brain" Heenan, "Mean" Gene Okerlund, Shawn Michaels, Triple H, Undertaker and Brock Lesnar.

To Be the Man traces the rise of one of wrestling's most enduring superstars to the pinnacle of the sports entertainment universe, and is a must-read for every wrestling fan. ... Read more

Reviews (36)

5-0 out of 5 stars You can never imagine how this book touched me...
I've been a wrestling fan for almost 14 years now. Still my priorities were with WWF/E. Ric Flair was not an unknown to me, but I just didn't know his greatness. Untill a couple of years ago ,I became a big fan of the "Nature Boy". I loved his charisma and work ethic. Yet, I still didn't see the stuff of greatness. I bought his DVD and was mesmorised. The guy was divine. He instantly became my favorite wrestler because of the fact that I haven't seen this kind of quality in wrestling matches. So eventually I bought this book . Now, I read a lot of wrestling books including the critically acclaimed Foley books. I still hold his first in high esteem, but this definately topped it. Foley's book was very well written and funny enough to let me ROTFL! But I never, ever expected a book to generate this much emotion from me. During the last chapters of the book, I admittedly wept my tears off my face. The book was so honest that I really felt Flair's depression. Here was a guy, strutting on TV, chanting "WOOOOO!", and being a limousine ridin son of a gun. Yet he was struggling with self doubt. I'm a tough guy. I hold a tough man reputation. Putting me into tears is a nearly impossible thing to do, yet this book did.But how will I recommend it the crowd ? If you like wrestling, you will absolutely love the stories told in this book . They will make you laugh . Flair was so honest about his divorce, blaming himself and wondering how could flair's first wife live with him. The book also includes comments from various superstars like HHH, Shawn Michaels, Ricky Steamboat, Harley Race,Chris Jericho,etc... I couldn't recommend this enough. If you've just heard of Ric Flair, nothing more, then buy this . Read it again and again . Ric has once again proved why he's the measuring stick . "To Be The Man" is a wonderfull journey full of laughter, pride, sorrow , and depression. A "real world" fairy tale with a prince charming that wore custom made suits ,diamond rings, corvette cars, limousines, jets, 16 World Championship reigns, and most importantly a family to love. Ric , you proved to me that you are the MAN! WOOOOO!

5-0 out of 5 stars Woooooooooooooooooo!
The best wrestling book put out, period. No surprise given that Ric Flair's name was attached to it, it had to be the best. My only gripe was that it was too short--I wanted more.

Lots of good inside stuff from the 70's and 80's, and the tragic sufferings of a man who was literally beaten down by one of the biggest clowns in wrestling, Eric Bischoff. Flair doesn't really pull any punches here, and it is intriguing to watch his relationships with Dusty and Hogan develop from one of idolization to a certain animosity (Dusty Rhodes), to a mutual respect to a portrayed hatred (Hulk Hogan).

Flair clearly has his favorites: Harley Race, Wahoo, Steamboat, Windham, Sting and Arn--no surprise. He also identifies some folks who should not never have even bothered wrestling, Ultimate Warrior, Brutus Beefcake, to a lesser extent, Mick Foley. Gotta love the take on Shane Douglas as well. How's your book Shane? heh heh.

What's great is Flair's respect for the guys who came before him, and the hard work that had to be put in for Flair to be the best. How many people today could live through Verne Gagne's training camps? If Flair hadn't partied so hard, we might be already looking at the next sports politician. Great story, but I just wish it was longer- Flair's stories are so good that you really wish the book would keep going. Fantastic read, you have to pick this up.

5-0 out of 5 stars Well Worth It
This is the story of Ric Flair, written towards the end of his career. Flair's book has an advantage over other wrestling books. Since he wrote it now, as opposed to ten years ago, it is pretty comprehensive, whereas when people like Rock and Foley wrote their's, they were unable to cover everything since their careers still had plenty of more time. The main advantages Flair has though are his life experiences, stories, and accomplisments. Put another way, he has a lot better material to work with than other wrestlers because he has been around a long time and practically 'done it all.'

So what is in the book? A few chapters about his early childhood, years in high school and college, and then the story of how he broke into wrestling. From there, he tells of the people he first met, and how he was in awe of many of them, as he had followed their careers. We learn that Flair was an avid wrestling magazine collector, who idolized many wrestlers. Flair talks a lot about people like Wahoo McDaniel and Dusty Rhodes.

From there he talks about his early successes. Among them are some title wins (tag titles, tv title) and his early feud with Ricky Steamboat. A lot of the book is devoted to his first few reigns as NWA champion. Less is devoted to his first stint in WWF, his return to WCW, and then his take on different time periods in WCW, mainly when Hogan first came in, when the NWO was hot, and then when Russo came in.
Do not worry though, he spends enough time talking about his backstage battles and concerns with Hogan, Bischoff, and Russo that the reader should be satisfied.

Throughout the book, he gives his take on several wrestlers like: Savage, Sid, Bret, Sting, Lugar, Triple H, Jarett, Foley, Michaels, Undertaker, Hogan, the list goes on. While I do not agree with everything Flair had to say about these guys (I especially disagree with him on Bret and Savage), he is Ric Flair and I believe he has the right to be heard. Basically, Flair tries to distinguish between a "good" wrestler and a "great" wrestler. To him, Bret and Savage are just good, whereas people like him, Steamboat, and Michaels are great.

This is far from a perfect book, but I'd still give it 5 stars. If you ever wanted to know what kind of person Flair is, and what he thinks, you will get a lot out of this book. You will not get everything you want, but probably more than enough to satisfy.

4-0 out of 5 stars The editor is listed on the cover!
I loved this book but when you're going to list the name of the book's editor on the cover, you'd better not have a sloppy book inside. This book is FULL of typos and bizarre sentence fragments and non-sequitors. The editor can't tell the difference between the Caribbean islands of St. Maarten and St. Martin, and doesn't know that the the North Korean dictator is Kim Jong Il, not Kim Jong II!

4-0 out of 5 stars The Man Has Spoken
Ric Flair is an entertainer and a gentleman. I went to book signing for this book in Charlotte NC and was amazed at the humility and respect for the average fan that he exudes. I read the book from cover to cover last night and found it insightful, interesting, and entertaining.

Very few entertainers are as honest about their personal demons as Flair is in this book. He has made a lot of mistakes throughout his life and has paid the price for his fame. This aspect alone is worth the purchase price.

This is an excellent book and well worth reading. The reason I gave it only four stars is that it is too short and cannot even come close to summarizing his amazing career. I hear rumblings of a 900 page Bret Hart book -- if this is true, then Flair may well have over 10,00 pages af further anecdotes that he needs to share with us in a sequel. ... Read more


102. Stolen Lives : Twenty Years in a Desert Jail (Oprah's Book Club (Paperback))
by Malika Oufkir
list price: $14.00
our price: $10.50
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0786886307
Catlog: Book (2002-05-01)
Publisher: Miramax Books
Sales Rank: 9572
Average Customer Review: 4.06 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

A gripping memoir that reads like a political thriller--the story of Malika Oufkir's turbulent and remarkable life. Born in 1953, Malika Oufkir was the eldest daughter of General Oufkir, the King of Morocco's closest aide. Adopted by the king at the age of five, Malika spent most of her childhood and adolescence in the seclusion of the court harem, one of the most eligible heiresses in the kingdom, surrounded by luxury and extraordinary privilege.

Then, on August 16, 1972, her father was arrested and executed after an attempt to assassinate the king. Malika, her five younger brothers and sisters. and her mother were immediately imprisoned in a desert penal colony. After fifteen years, the last ten of which they spent locked up in solitary cells, the Oufkir children managed to dig a tunnel with their bare hands and make an audacious escape. Recaptured after five days, Malika was finally able to leave Morocco and begin a new life in exile in 1996.

A heartrending account in the face of extreme deprivation and the courage with which one family faced its fate, Stolen Lives is an unforgettable story of one woman's journey to freedom. ... Read more

Reviews (197)

4-0 out of 5 stars five stars for story and three stars for style
Malika Oufkir tells us the powerful and tragic story of her life in the book Stolen Lives. She begins the story describing her life as a princess after being adopted by the king of Morocco. She lived an almost unreal life of luxury while at court. The opulence Malika describes is comparable to the time of Marie Antoinette. From the resplendent court, her life is irrevocably altered when her father fails in an assassination attempt and her entire family is placed in prison including her three year old brother.

The family's story is extraordinary. Their triumph of spirit is remarkable considering the duration and horrors which they suffered. We see the importance of unity and belief of oneself and each other. We see incredible love and sacrifice. But we also see how imprisonment can degrade the human spirit and affect the psyche.

We learn in the preface of the book, how Malika came to hire Michele Fitoussi as the co-author of her book. Throughout the book, the reader cannot help but wonder why. It is a shame that such an interesting and compelling story was so poorly written. The author fails terribly in her attempt to describe herself as a sympathetic person prior to her imprisonment. The continual jumping back and forth in time is confusing and annoying to a reader. I also wondered if perhaps the translation was poor, because of the use of certain words and general lack of eloquence from a person who entertained her family with her stories in their darkest hour.

Another book which may interest readers who liked and appreciated Stolen Lives is In the Time of Butterflies by Julia Alvarez. Readers who appreciate stories about the triumph of the human spirit will enjoy Stolen Lives.

3-0 out of 5 stars Amazing story that deserves a better telling.
"Stolen Lives" needs to be evaluated on two different levels - the moving tale of a family imprisoned under the worst conditions for 20 years and the way this amazing story has been memorialized by Malika Oufkir and Michele Fitoussi. The subject is engrossing and important, but the book itself is not well-written. This accounts for the disparity in ratings that the book has received.

It is fascinating to read about Malika'a unique and frequently heartbreaking life. The eldest daughter of a Morococcan general, she was taken from her family and adopted by the King. Western readers will find the tales of her life in the royal household surprising and enlightening. Not only was the lifestyle outrageously lavish, it was also consisted of customs and traditions that are completely different from our own. Malika was allowed to return to her own family as a young teenager. She only had a few years to get to know her father and enjoy life outside the confines of the palace. Her father before General Oufkir was implicated in a coup attempt against the King and was assassinated. The rest of the family - Malika, her mother, her oldest brother, three young sisters and three year old baby brother were summarily imprisoned. For twenty years they lived in increasingly brutal and inhumane conditions, persecuted by the King for their father's crimes and forgotten by the world. Thanks to their uncommon courage and ingenuity, the family was able to survive and eventually escape. It's not easy to read about many of the horrors and indignities that were heaped upon the Oufkirs, but it's important that the world know about their story.

Unfortunately, the book is not worthy of this amazing story. It was written by Malika with the assistance of Michele Fitoussi. The first problem is that the book does not give sufficient background about either the history of Morrocco or General Oufkir's powerful role as one of the King's chief aides. Those unfamiliar with Moroccan history will frequently find themself at a loss for context. Second, given that this is Malika's first person account, it necessarily is a very one-sided version of history. Not that I doubt her version of events - I just would have preferred a more complete and well-researched book that included not only Malika's story but also those of her siblings. Malika frequently portrays herself as the backbone of the family, the strongest member who kept them all from succumbing to madness. This very likely is true, but it would have a much greater impact coming from someone else. Finally, the writing style is very repetitive and immature. While Michele Fitoussi is very sympathetic to Malika's story and deserves much credit for persuading her to tell her story, I have no doubt that a more objective and skilled writer would have improved the quality of the book immensely. Hopefully a serious scholar will undertake a complete telling of the Oufkir's story. I, for one, will be anxious to read it.

2-0 out of 5 stars Shallow and Poorly Written
After living off and on in Morocco for 7 years in the 90's I'd never actually heard of the Oufkirs but I did hear much of the supposed royal excess. I was always taken the stories with a grain of salt. To see them recounted on the pages of this book was interesting to say the least.

It's too bad that this is so poorly written because the story definitely deserves to be told....please someone tell it with a bit more depth.

5-0 out of 5 stars **Unforgettable**
Some of you may have seen this woman on Oprah a few years back telling of her ordeal. I put off reading this book & had come to the conclusion that I didn't want to read a depressing nightmare of being locked in a remote prison for decades. Then along came a friend of a friend, who encouraged me to read it, that I "needed" to read it.
This book, to me, was life-changing. As I recognize how spoiled us Americans truly are, nothing could've prepared me for this family's struggles.
Malika & her family displayed such amazing gifts of courage & strength that I was blown away. In awe and humbled. Their "tale" was almost just that: a tale. I simply cannot fathom the conditions that these poor people survived in.
As I was continuously mesmerized by their strength during their imprisonment, I was later caught in Malika's greatest feat of all: forgiveness. This woman showed me what a powerful thing it truly is. She forgave with such grace & eloquence that I was just speechless. I speak mainly of her due to the fact that she was "adopted" by the royal family as a child & later cast out in a most horrifying way. As us readers were not given as much detail of her siblings (especially after their release), I can make no assumptions for them. Nevertheless, this family as a whole is an unwavering symbol of love, strength, & survival.
I hope that they are doing well now & thank each one of them for their story.
I hope that I never forget it, for it is a daily reminder of what I have in this life with my freedom & my family.

5-0 out of 5 stars Amazing Story of the Human Spirit!
I have not done any research to verify if the information in this book is accurate or not. However, it was an excellent read and I highly recommend it! It provided an extraordinary glimpse into the world of human rights abuses and leaves the reader with a deep appreciation for the simple joys that we take for granted.

Malika Oufkir was a teenager in the prime of her life when she was put into horrible prison conditions for twenty years with her family. Her family was being punished for the political actions of her father.

Malika is an excellent story teller and has lives on the inside of the royal family in Morocco so it is very interesting to hear details of her upbringing.

It is extraordinary to hear of the atrocious jail conditions inflicted on this family that was used to such a lavish existence. If you have any interest in human rights or the politics of Morocco then you will be fascinated by this read! ... Read more


103. Why Sinatra Matters
by Pete Hamill
list price: $24.00
our price: $24.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0316347965
Catlog: Book (1998-10-01)
Publisher: Little Brown and Company
Sales Rank: 117492
Average Customer Review: 4 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

As products of the same urban landscape, Pete Hamill and Frank Sinatra have both been credited with giving the American city a voice. In this widely acclaimed and bestselling appreciation--now available in paperback for the first time--Hamill draws on his intimate experience of the man and the music to evoke the essence of Sinatra, illuminating the singer's art and his legend from the point of view of a confidant and a fan. ... Read more

Reviews (23)

4-0 out of 5 stars A wonderful read--like an old song
Pete Hamill, beyond a doubt, is an excellent writer. He does a wonderful job here. The book is part bio, part history of immigrants in America, and part memoir. It works on all levels. Hamill treats Frank with the respect he deserves. The book is not a gossipy memoir--Kitty Kelly fans should look elsewhere. Instead, he makes the important arguement that Sinatra gave voice to first, a generation, and then an entire country. His artisty is what matters. The myth of the man is fun and gets most the attention, but that is besides the point for Hamill. And he is right. We all talk about the "Sinatra in a hat" (as Hamill dubs him) and the Rat Pack--but the music endures. It is, argues Hamill, what matters in the Wee Small Hours of the Morning. It is what will stand the test of time and give voice to a thousand broken dreams, hearts, and help us--like Frank after the Fall--get back up and start all over again. Thanks, Pete Hamill for getting it right.

5-0 out of 5 stars There will never be another...
I only saw my hero, Frank Sinatra, perform once. It was at the end of his career - and his life. It was a strange evening; he was obviously at the end - he couldn't remember the words to his songs or read the teleprompter. Few people left however - the evening soon became about us - his fans - letting him know that we still loved him. "I LOVE YOU FRANK!" a huge, middle-aged, rough-looking man yelled out during a pause. Sinatra, taken aback by the violence of the outburst, chuckled and replied, "I love you too, pal." As Pete Hamill once pointed out, "Seeing Sinatra in ruins is like seeing the Coliseum in ruins - it's still magnificent."

Why Sinatra Matters is a must-read for any Sinatra-phile. In the Overture, Hamill cites Sinatra's death as the impetus for writing this book. He saw all these young reporters from MTV and VH1 doing stories on Sinatra (obviously prepared in advance) telling the world Sinatra was important, without really understanding why. It certainly wasn't just because he did it "his way."

This is a very short book. As Hamill points out it is not a "definitive biography" - although once he was in talks with Sinatra to write just that. It is, as the title plainly states, an explanation of why Sinatra matters - artistically and culturally - and why he always will. In terms of Culture, Hamill reminds the reader of a time when America felt it was morally obligated to persecute Italians - Sinatra helped change all that. Musically, the reasons are more complex. To put it succinctly, no one ever sounded like Sinatra before.

The book is great because it also sheds light on Sinatra the man, who is often lost in the obscurity of his own public image. He was not just some gruff tough guy - a kind of idiot savant who could churn out a great recording in one take. He was a fiercely intelligent, well-read, well-cultured, self-educated man who worked hard at his craft. The most enjoyable parts of the book are the conversations Hamill recounts between himself and Sinatra. Most shocking of all - to me at least - was to imagine Sinatra using the F-word!

5-0 out of 5 stars Great book, horrible book-on-tape
Do not buy the book on tape! Get it in hardcover or paperback.

This is a fine little book, but it's the first book on tape I have had to turn off because the narrator's voice was too grating (and I've listened to tons of books on tape). Had it been read by the author himself, certainly allowances could be made. Instead, the publisher went out to find a professional reader and chose someone who speaks in an harsh, barking monotone, one part Howard Cosell, one part Rain Man, one part the guy who does the Moviephone listings. When the voice first came on, reading the copyright information and other technical details, I assumed that, well, that's just the preliminaries, surely someone else will narrate the rest of the tape. Nope. Amazing.
I have switched to the print version, which is excellent.

5-0 out of 5 stars "It's a quarter to three and there' s no one in the place...
I've read several books on Sinatra;But this one is really different.Hamill is an excellent writer and shows us why Sinatra matters;this was not done in other books.He has also shown what made Sinatra so popular,what influenced the changes in his audiences and without coming right out and saying so;why there won't nor can't ever be another one like him.He also reveals the art form that Sinatra perfected in his voice.
As great as Sinatra's music was;it was Sinatra as a man,and all that he represented, as well as the use of the microphone like a painter uses a brush;that made him so great.
Read this book;it will give you a deeper appreciation of Sinatra.

3-0 out of 5 stars Why Sinatra Matters is a fine book.
Pete Hamill is a fine reporter who knew Frank Sinatra as a friend. Sinatra was an enigmatic, charismatic and complex singer of the American soul. Perhaps no singer in 20th century America popular song could get inside a lyric and make it his own like the great "ole blue eyes."
Hamill's opening chapter in which we sit beside Sinatra and his cronies in a Brooklyn bar in 1970 is like something out of Hemingway in its description of a man, era and city.
Hamill points out that it was Sinatra in music, Laguardia in politics and Joe Dimaggio in sports who raised the immigrant Italian ethnic group to greatness in insular, xenophobic America of the 1940s.
Sinatrta could be obnoxious and cruel but he could also be
generous and kind,
This book reminds me of the Penguin Lives series as it is a good starting place for anyone who wants to learn more about Sinatra, his women, his era and most importantly his music. The music will live forever in the American soul.
Sinatra did it his way and Hamill does a fine job of writing in this interesting little book. A good read to take on vacation or a long flight. I recommend it. ... Read more


104. Against All Odds: My Story
by Chuck Norris, Ken Abraham
list price: $24.99
our price: $16.49
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0805431616
Catlog: Book (2004-09-30)
Publisher: Broadman & Holman Publishers
Sales Rank: 1168
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Book Description

Millions of people around the world know Chuck Norris as the star of more than 20 motion pictures, including "Delta Force," "Missing in Action," and "Return of the Dragon."Millions more know him as a martial arts expert, the only man in the Western Hemisphere to hold an 8th degree Black Belt Grand Master in Tae Kwon Do. And then there are others who know him from his eight seasons on CBS’s longest running series, "Walker, Texas Ranger."

What many don't know is that Chuck Norris is a sincere Christian—a man whose faith plays a role in everything he does.Against All Odds is an inspirational story of how Norris overcame abject poverty from childhood, the effects of his father’s alcoholism and desertion of the family, and his own shyness and lack of strength and ability early in his life. Norris writes candidly about how he was able to overcome such obstacles in his life—giving full credit to God. ... Read more


105. Diary of a Provincial Lady (Provincial Lady)
by E.M. Delafield, E. M. Delafield
list price: $16.95
our price: $11.53
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0897330536
Catlog: Book (1991-03-01)
Publisher: Academy Chicago Publishers
Sales Rank: 198197
Average Customer Review: 4.33 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (9)

5-0 out of 5 stars Terribly, awfully, wonderful book of life between the wars
This charming book was written in the period between the wars, and tells of the daily trials and tribulations of the Provincial Lady - dealing with the servants, nosy neighbours, the horribly snobbish local 'upper class', the husband who hides behind the paper. Always told with style and wit, we observe life for the lady in question as she tries to balance the accounts (never a success - where does it all go?), help out at the local Women's Institute, keep her wardrobe up to date and deal with such important issues as modern parenting, keeping one's brain active when living outside of London, and the delicate balance of letting the husband know not too much or too little.

The stand-out thing about this book is the character descriptions and her take on everyday life. If anyone ever tells you people were much nicer/politer in the good old days, just refer them to this book, which shows that there was just as many selfish, impolite, venal, self-centred and downright rude people in the 'good old days' as there are today. We just need to hope that we can deal with them with as much style and aplomb as the Provincial Lady would.

4-0 out of 5 stars British Wit. Same women world as we know it...
Am determined to write impressions from this book in the style of "the Provincial Lady" herself. Am doubtful however as to the outcomes of this effort as my highest labors would not reach the dry frank witticism she displays.
Provincial Lady does her best to satisfy the wishes of silent husband (... "Robert, this morning, complains of insufficient breakfast. Cannot feel that porridge, scrambled eggs, toast, marmalade, scones, brown bread and coffee give adequate grounds for this, but admit that porridge is slightly burnt...."), intimidating cook, beloved children (... "Robin - whom I refer to in a detached way as "the boy" so that she shan't think I am foolish about him..., "Vicky,.... Enquires abruptly whether, if she died, I should cry?"), Mademoiselle (the nanny), Gardner and all kinds of friends and neighbors including the tiring Lady Birkenshop, "our vicar's wife" and the hated Mrs. B. ("query: Is not a common hate one of the strongest links in human nature?... answer, most regrettably, in the affirmative.")
This is the same women world. Husband is as usual quiet and does not give any consolation and the Lady struggles to please everyone and not forget herself and her own wishes (and health) on the way. How very sad to discover it was the same (woman) world even 70 years ago ... Book is so very candid and manages to capture the ever lasting nuances of human behavior ("Mem: Candid and intelligent self examination as to motive, etc., often leads to very distressing revelations...."), little lies, social pretenses and the day to day struggles. Funny and entertaining yet can be tiring at times - since the day to day life is indeed tiring . Very very British and thus charming.

4-0 out of 5 stars Witty stay at home mum's life, dated and timeless too
I reread this every year or two, and love it each time. Admittedly,a product of its time and place, capturing life among the genteely-poor gentry in an English village between the wars(WW's I & II). The diary format makes the provincial lady's narration of and commentary on the events around her doubly funny, as she struggles to run her household and not be driven crazy by nice but dull husband, snobbish wife of husband's boss,disputes among servants,quandaries about children, etc.--and to find time to keep a sense of herself as a professional writer. Not deep, but funny and often touching.

3-0 out of 5 stars Charming but Dated
This was a simply written and quite charming novel. Whilst it did give an insight into the lives of a moderately wealthy English family in 1931, it lacked plot and real structure and for this reason I am unlikely to read more by this author at this stage - especially when there are simply too many other great books out there to read. A gentle, easy read but a little disappointing.

5-0 out of 5 stars Absolute Must! Witty, charming and intelligent
Delafield's Diary of a Provencial Lady is a classic that shares company with the likes of Eudora Welty, Kate Chopin and even Twain. Unlike Welty, Delafield is chatty. But don't let the airy prose fool you. She captures all the wit and humor of a woman's provencial life in England. Where Chopin's Awakening is tragic and dream-like, Delafield's world briskly bumbles along. Her use of present tense almost makes you breathless. Delafield immediately sets a quick pace and you want to read on and on to to keep up with all the "goings on" in the book. The piece is masterfully written and is a must for those looking to expand their literary boundaries. ... Read more


106. If Chins Could Kill : Confessions of a B Movie Actor
by Bruce Campbell
list price: $13.95
our price: $10.46
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0312291450
Catlog: Book (2002-08-24)
Publisher: L.A. Weekly Books
Average Customer Review: 4.76 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Okay, so at least you're interested enough to pick up this book and look inside. I think you and I are going to get along just fine.

Life is full of choices. Right now, yours is whether or not to buy the autobiography of a mid-grade, kind of hammy actor.

Am I supposed to know this guy? you think to yourself.

No, and that's exactly the point. Bookstores are chock full of household name actors and their high stakes shenanigans. I don't want to be a spoilsport, but we've all been down that road before.

Case in point: look to your left - see that Judy Garland book? You don't need that, you know plenty about her already - great voice, crappy life. Now look to your right at the Charlton Heston book. You don't need to cough up hard-earned dough for that either. You know his story too - great voice, crappy toupee.

The truth is that though you might not have a clue who I am, there are countless working stiffs like me out there, grinding away every day at the wheel of fortune.

If Chins Could Kill: Confessions of a B Movie Actor is my first book, and I invite you to ride with me through the choppy waters of blue collar Hollywood.

Okay, so buy the damned book already and read like the wind!

Best,
Bruce Campbell

P.S. If the book sucks, at least there are gobs of pictures, and they're not crammed in the middle like all those other actor books.
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Reviews (148)

4-0 out of 5 stars An entertaining, insightful read
I'm not much of a book reader, so I normally don't get excited over autobiographies. But I must say that I read the book from cover to cover in one sitting and enjoyed it immensely. It's well-written, humorous, and offers insightful information on Hollywood through Campbell's trials and tribulations of making ends meet in the business. He discusses not only the Evil Dead movies, but also touches on the range of his work from Crimewave to the Hercules/Xenia TV shows. Campbell mentions little of his personal life, which is actually refreshing..allowing fans to get a sense of who he is through his writing and his film/TV work. He comes across as a "down to earth" kind of guy, sort of as someone who'd be chronicling his experiences in a diary. Avid Bruce Campbell fans will enjoy this book, as well as mainstream book readers who are looking for something fun and entertaining to read...oh, and two high points of the book: tons of photos and drawings; and short chapters (I don't know how many times I lost interest in a book because the chapters were 20-30 pages long). Highly recommended...

5-0 out of 5 stars Stop, You're Killing Me!
It's not often one finds a literate actor-personality so willing to share not only opinions but be open about the process that leads one into filmmaking. But, it's so surprise that Bruce Campbell should fit into that category. In his website updates and in person, he comes across as a down-to-earth, intelligent guy who seems more comfortable as a poker buddy than a high-falootin' actor. His book, If Chins Could Kill: Confessions of a B-Movie Actor, reinforces that image.

Campbell starts at the beginning, with his parents, and goes through formative (and hilarious) experiences in his schooldays, including meeting Sam Raimi and other filmmaking contemporaries. The stories about making Super-8 films during and after high school are great, as was the process by which the team ended up making The Evil Dead (not a bad guide for people looking to break into the 'Biz, either). Campbell talks about his experiences in other films and TV shows like Brisco County, all the way up until his recent involvement in Xena and Jack of All Trades.

Campbell's tour-de-force is as funny as it is informative, and his tongue-in-cheek style resonates and makes for a very easy read. Even those not familiar with Campbell and his work, or movies in general, will find enough to keep them interested; fans will definitely want to give this book a once - or twice - over.

5-0 out of 5 stars Brilliant and Hysterical
Bruce Campbell has done a magnificent job of writing his autobiography with a twinkle in his eye. He covers his life in Suburban Detroit with his family and his future co-workers in the Evil Dead. What comes across is a man that both loves his craft as well as understands his position in the "B" list position of Hollywood. Campbell Spends a great deal of time writing about his experiences from both the Evil Dead and Evil Dead 2. The movie is fun to watch, but it certainly not fun to make. Campbell gives an inside look at the whole process and how unglamorous it actually is. Campbell also writes how tough the acting life is on families. He writes about his divorce and why she left him. He also writes about how there are long periods of time between the work and dealing with this. He does not name names as some books do on the dirt, but he does mention some of his personal peeves of some actors and if you know the movies he writes about, you can figure out the actor. Mostly this book is alot of fun, full of pictures, and it is truly a nice way of passing time. Highly Recommended

4-0 out of 5 stars Your Antidote to Hollywood Memoirs
Bruce Campbell has etched an incredible career for himself, but by popular Hollywood standards, he's still on the lower rung - a "B" actor as he proudly calls himself. This status has stuck him in low-budget films and somewhat trashy television shows. However, Campbell has a large and (obsessively) devoted fanbase. The beginning of most chapters start with a strange e-mail he received from one of his fans, ranging from marriage proposals to an invitation to a girl's senior prom.

Campbell keeps this light-hearted feeling throughout the book, which makes it incredibly accessible for those not looking to get into the nitty gritty of a huge Hollywood star. He is not a star, nor does he have much in the realm of personal details to share. It's his technically detailed and hilarious explanations on how "Evil Dead" and "Evil Dead II" were made that give this book an added flair for budding filmmakers. His experiences on the set prove to be inspiring and touching - a lesson for all those who harbor self-doubt in the face of daunting tasks.

Though I'm not a fan of "Hercules" or "Xena" by any means, I really enjoyed his briefly on-air television show, "The Adventures of Brisco County Jr.," and that is where my Campbell fascination began. Then I saw his "Evil Dead" films, and, being a horror fan as well as a huge admirer of Sam Raimi's directorial aesthetic, my love for Campbell was solidified. His campy, overacted performances in those films directly match his writing style, which makes for an entertaining read.

I recommend this book for all those interested in film, or anyone that wants to celebrate a proud B-grade actor who is hasn't been given the chances of many other A-list stars. Just to hear how happy he is with his near-inadequacy is enough to drive an artist to never give up hope in the face of intimidating Hollywood pillars.

5-0 out of 5 stars I laughed, I cried...
Well, I laughed mostly. Still, thinking back to my college days when I did a lot of work in film, I did feel like crying on occasion. I think it was sympathy pains. Bruce Campbell, despite his mighty chin (which is so big and sharp you could probably use it to open a can of beans), had a rough start. Reading about how he and friend Sam Raimi managed somehow to complete "Evil Dead" was empowering to me (I mean, if that actually worked for them, maybe I have hope after all).

This book is not a literary masterpiece, nor is it a study in grammarian excellence. This book is a raw and honest portrayal of Hollywood's "B" side. It is magnificent because Bruce Campbell still thinks like a B actor, even though he's a fairly mainstream cult attraction at this point (with a cameo in Spiderman!). The perspective offered in this fun (and easy) read is refreshing and interesting. It really does give a glimpse into the life of an actor in "blue collar hollywood". ... Read more


107. The Fabulous Sylvester : The Legend, the Music, the 70s in San Francisco
by Joshua Gamson
list price: $26.00
our price: $17.16
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0805072500
Catlog: Book (2005-03-01)
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co.
Sales Rank: 591461
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Book Description

A journey back through the music, madness, and unparalleled freedom of an era of change-the '70s-as told through the life of ultra-fabulous superstar Sylvester

Imagine a pied piper singing in a dazzling falsetto, wearing glittering sequins, and leading the young people of the nation to San Francisco and on to liberation where nothing was straight-laced or old-fashioned. And everyone, finally, was welcome-to come as themselves. This is not a fairy tale. This was real, mighty real, and disco sensation Sylvester was the piper. Joshua Gamson-a Yale-trained pop culture expert-uses him, a boy who would be fabulous, to lead us through the story of the '70s when a new era of change liberated us from conformity and boredom. Gamson captures the exuberant life, feeling, energy, and fun of a generation's wonderful, magical waking up-from the parties to the dancing and music.

The story begins with a little black boy who started with nothing buta really big voice. We follow him from the Gospel chorus to the glory days in the Castro where a generation shook off its shame asSylvester sang and began his rise as part of a now-notorious theatrical troup called the Cockettes. Celebrity, sociology, and music history mingle and merge around this endlessly entertaining story of a singer who embodied the freedom, spirit, and flamboyance of a golden moment in American culture.
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108. In My Brother's Shadow
by Uwe Timm
list price: $18.00
our price: $12.24
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0374103747
Catlog: Book (2005-04-20)
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Sales Rank: 26226
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Book Description

A renowned German novelist's memoir of his brother, who joined the SS and was killed at the Russian front.

Uwe Timm was only two years old when in 1942 his older brother, Karl Heinz, announced to his family he had volunteered for service with an elite squadron of the German army, the SS Totenkopf Division, also known as Death's Heads.Little more than a year later Karl Heinz was injured in battle at the Russian front, his legs amputated, and a few weeks after that he died in a military hospital. To their father, Karl Heinz's death only served to immortalize him as the courageous one, the obedient one, the one who upheld the family honor. His childhood was marked by the mythology of his brother's lost life; his absence-the hole he left in the family-just as palpable as if he were still alive.His mother's sadness and his father's rage over the loss of Karl Heinz ultimately defined Uwe's relationship with his parents.But while they eulogized the boy, Uwe wondered: who really had his brother been?

The life and death of his older brother has haunted Uwe Timm for more than sixty years.His parents' silence was one of the most painful aspects of his family history. Not even after the war ended, and details of unspeakable horrors emerged, did his parents ever acknowledge Germany's guilt and Karl Heinz's role in it. They simply said: We didn't know. After the deaths of his parents and older sister Timm set out in search of answers. Using military reports, letters, family photos and cryptic entries from a diary his brother kept during the war, he began to piece together the picture, discovering his brother's story is not just that of one man, but the tragedy of an entire generation. In the Shadow of My Brother is a meditation on German history and guilt, one that is both nuanced and measured.
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109. The Piano Shop on the Left Bank: Discovering a Forgotten Passion in a Paris Atelier
by THAD CARHART
list price: $13.95
our price: $10.46
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0375758623
Catlog: Book (2002-03-12)
Publisher: Random House Trade Paperbacks
Sales Rank: 4361
Average Customer Review: 4.33 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Walking his two young children to school every morning, Thad Carhart passes an unassuming little storefront in his Paris neighborhood. Intrigued by its simple sign—Desforges Pianos—he enters, only to have his way barred by the shop’s imperious owner. Unable to stifle his curiosity, he finally lands the proper introduction, and a world previously hidden is brought into view. Luc, the atelier’s master, proves an indispensable guide to the history and art of the piano. Intertwined with the story of a musical friendship are reflections on how pianos work, their glorious history, and stories of the people who care for them, from amateur pianists to the craftsmen who make the mechanism sing. The Piano Shop on the Left Bank is at once a beguiling portrait of a Paris not found on any map and a tender account of the awakening of a lost childhood passion. ... Read more

Reviews (46)

5-0 out of 5 stars For lovers of music, piano, travel and life
This is a wonderful book for anyone who loves music, and in particular, piano, as well as traveling, even if not particularly in France. The author gives a genuine and sincere account of his feelings about his life in Paris, as well as the realities of living in a foreign country, of foreign ways of doing business, forming relationships, and of course, his love of music and the piano.

These loves of music and the piano are so evident, so full of life. Some people might be bored or distracted by Carhart's details regarding pianos, however, as a music lover, but one who do not even play piano, I loved reading about the details involved with the instrument.

As a lover of travel, and a person who has spent considerable amounts of time in a number of foreign countries (although France is not one of them), partially so that I could learn others' ways of living, I also thoroughly enjoyed reading about real-life details of living in another country.

I also enjoyed that unlike "A Year in Provence," "Under the Tuscan Sky," "A Cottage in Portugal" and many other books such as these, Carhart does not spend the entire book writing of the difficulties of getting anything done in these countries (even though it's true!). It was nice to read about other aspects of living abroad.

I highly recommend this book to anyone who loves music, piano and other culture's and their idiosyncracies.

4-0 out of 5 stars A lazy read for piano lovers
Thad Carhart's The Piano Shop on the Left Bank is a disarmingly simple book on the surface that will appeal to piano dreamers -- anyone who has either owned or enjoyed playing a piano. The book is slow in the unwinding of its story, and you can easily put it down and pick it back up at your leisure.

The story focuses on the growing relationship between the author, an American in Paris, and Luc, the very French owner of a piano shop tucked away in Paris' Latin Quarter. As the author spends time in the piano shop, his love, interest, and knowledge for this instrument reawaken after years of lying dormant. He realizes his dream to own a piano and begins taking lessons again.

The friendly piano shop owner, Luc, has a passion for pianos from all eras. He brings every piano to life as though each large, cumbersome instrument that passes through his shop were a special person. He wants to match up pianos with the right owner. The most shameful treatment is to leave a piano sitting in a corner, unused and unloved.

The book also weaves in the beautiful history of the piano, from the piano's origins in Italy to its heyday at the turn of the 20th century. The piano, one of the most popular and revered musical instruments, was at the center of Americans' social life before the invention of radio and TV. There is a sadness as you realize that the golden age of the piano has passed. All piano makers of the early 20th century are in decline, with only Steinway surviving as an independent company.

The author leaves us with hope as he describes a new piano maker on the scene -- Fizoli. Fizoli had a dream to build the best piano, challenging the way all pianos were built and starting over from scratch in his development of them. Today, his dream has become a reality as he builds pianos world-renowned for their special soundboards and rich, melodic tone. Ironically, the best piano company is in Italy, home of the piano. And with piano shops like Luc's reviving and fixing up old pianos, the piano will continue to be the world's best-loved instrument. The dreams will live on.

4-0 out of 5 stars A Wonderful Find
My piano teacher recommended that I get this book. I had seen it on Amazon's website, but I didn't feel that I wanted to order it. I am so glad that I did. As others have said-it is an easy read. However, Thad Carhart captures the joy that I , and I'm sure others, have felt regarding pianos,music,composers,music history, and taking piano lessons.

If you love playing the piano as much as I do you will enjoy this book. I even put a quote from the book on the back of the recital program for my students. -"I was again struck with how deeply satisfying it was to play any kind of music at all on my piano. Emotionally, physically, intellectually, spiritually; its satisfactions were limitless, its impact on my life profound."
I can't say it any better than that. Lovely book!!

4-0 out of 5 stars A warm Paris read
Thad Carhart has written a breezy and easily readable book about pianos, Paris and people. It's the kind of book you might consider taking in on a rainy day (if you're "down") or better yet, on a warm day sitting in the sun.

I'm a pianist who found the nicest parts of "The Piano Shop" had to do with the people the author encountered.... my favorite was Jos, the overly-boozed piano tuner, though I did appreciate Carhart's insights into piano construction, reconstruction and the musical elements that are essential in completing the package of what goes into making a fine piano. He introduced me to a term I had never encountered..."fall board" (the piano key lid).

My one objection is the author's continued "over fascination" with pianos. It really sounds more like a fetish and if he had been able to tone down that part of the book he would have had a more compelling story. Still, it's a book to be recommended, as I heartily do.

5-0 out of 5 stars For the love of the piano
Thank you, Thad, for so beautifully capturing the vast range of emotions that pianos stir in their aficionados. What a gem! This book will become a classic, just like the classic pianos that mysteriously show up and pass through Luc's atelier. I greatly enjoyed Thad's command of language, his keen and affectionate observations of his French collegues (only in France would Thad be viewed as an American, in any other culture a person with such an in-depth understanding of the culture and fluency of language would have been adopted as a local), and the manner in which he conveys the feelings pianos evoke in him. I also enjoyed the growing familiarity between Thad and Luc and the evolution of humour in their discourses. And despite the tragedy of the situation, had to laugh when Thad - with utmost sensitivity - points out how the unfortunate alcoholic Jos would wake up in train stations across France.
My preferred piano is the Sauter - I love the warmth and richness of its song - and most generously my mother gave me the piano that once brought much joy to dad. Just like Thad observes so well, one is often greatly attached to a particular instrument because a loved one who has since passed on used to play it. And hearing music come alive again, music that was once played by someone who no longer is alive, can cause strong emotions to surface. Shortly after my father passed on I attended an Evgeny Kissin (sp?) concert, and when EK started playing one of my father's favorite Chopin pieces, I could no longer control myself ... (I guess in a quiet concert hall you just try and quietly blow into a handkerchief). I also remember piano lessons I took as a child in France, and reading Thad's desciptions brought back memories. The teacher I had back then was not as gifted as some other ones in other countries at drawing out my enthusiasm for this wonderful instrument. Thad's logic when looking for an appropriate teacher for his children made a lot of sense.
The Piano Shop on the Left Bank is a most evocative book and a must-have for anyone who is affected by the sounds of a piano as well as the beauty of language. ... Read more


110. Omaha Blues : A Memory Loop
by Joseph Lelyveld
list price: $22.00
our price: $14.96
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0374225907
Catlog: Book (2005-04-01)
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Sales Rank: 23802
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

The profoundly moving family history of one of America's greatest newspapermen.

As his father lies dying, Joseph Lelyveld finds himself in the basement of the Cleveland synagogue where Arthur Lelyveld was the celebrated rabbi. Nicknamed "the memory boy" by his parents, the fifty-nine-year-old son begins to revisit the portion of his father's life recorded in letters, newspaper clippings, and mementos stored in a dusty camp trunk. In an excursion into an unsettled and shakily recalled period of his boyhood, Lelyveld uses these artifacts, and the journalistic reporting techniques of his career as an author and editor, to investigate memories that have haunted him in adult life..

With equal measures of candor and tenderness, Lelyveld unravels the tangled story of his father and his mother, a Shakespeare scholar whose passion for independence led her to recoil from her roles as a clergyman's wife and, for a time, as a mother. This reacquired history of his sometimes troubled family becomes the framework for the author's story; in particular, his discovery in early adolescence of the way personal emotions cue political choices, when he is forced to choose sides between his father and his own closest adult friend, a colleague of his father's who is suddenly dismissed for concealing Communist ties.

Lelyveld's offort to recapture his family history takes him on an unforeseen journey past disparate landmarks of the last century, including the Scottsboro trials, the Zionist movement, the Hollywood blacklist, McCarthyism, and Mississippi's "freedom summer" of 1964. His excursion becomes both a meditation on the selectivity and unreliability of memory and a testimony to the possibilities, even late in life, for understanding and healing. As Lelyveld seeks out the truth of his life story, he evokes a remarkable moment in our national story with unforgettable poignancy.
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Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars american jewish diaspora
my confession first, since this book is a quasi-memoir (the author calls it a memory loop, though it reads like a mobious strip of guilt, pain, poignancy, and truth-seeking), i was attracted to this book because joe lelyveld's father was my rabbi growing up in cleveland. i really didn't enjoy going to fairmont temple as a youngster, not on sundays and certainly not twice a week for hebrew school when around 4:30 p.m, once a week, we filed into the chapel, and the rabbi would lead us through the standard prayers.i rarely, rarely, rarely go to temple these days ( six months on a kibbutz in the negev when i was 19 did wonders for my belief in cultural judaism at the expense of religiousity). but this book is a confrontation between memory and loss in the attempt to untangle destiny from fate. the battleground is the uneasy relationship between father and son, arthur and joe, with his mother providing the drama that sets things spinning off-kilter. the pages are thick with loss and regret; there is none of the philip roth's comic shtick that jumps at the reader in his autobiographical writings (or thinly veiled fictional renderings.) i applaud mr. lelyveld for having the courage to confront his past, especially as he must look far back in time, decades, to pry loose shards of recollection.know thyself, socrates counseled. this book satisfies the author's need to know, though it would be foolish to expect a complete and full answer.

so just how close were father and son?not very. towards the end of the book, the son lets fly this awareness: "we seldom quarreled and we were never close."nor did they engage in much shop talk; rabbi lelyvled was one of the most prominent rabbis inamerica, and his sonrose to become the man in charge at the ny times. but they steered clear discussing their jobs or careers. which to me, is, frighteningly pathological. perhaps the need to avoid conflict at all costs was what drove this arrangement, but as a reader, i wanted to know about the schisms that had to exist, especially in matter of political coverage that the times devoted to the arab-israeli saga.

naturally, with an emotionally distant father, joe needed another father figure to project his hopes and desires as he entered his adolescence, and the figure who emerged is a complicated rabbi/communist/friend of his father who occupies the moral center--and about 50 pages--of this slim book. it's here that joe's reportorial skills are in full display as he pieces together the mysterious life of ben goldstein/ben lowell.

as for my own recollection of rabbi lelyvled: I remember the newspaper photo of him in his blood-soaked shirt following a vicious beating by white thugs in the south in the early 60s. I was seven or so when this occured. and i rememberhis rather stiff and aloof demeanor during religious services. anyway, i was too young to make sense of any of his sermons. but every time he stood in front of the congregation, I would keep picturing the rabbi, with the bandage over his eye and the blood soaked shirt. he achieved a somewhat heroic stature as a result of this constant visualization

this book, alas, by his son, brings the rabbi down to earth. not maliciously, but in a careful, circumspect way, we see a man defined by his son who, in his seventh decade is still trying to define himself as a welter of repressed memories surfaced. one walks away from this sad, sad book hoping to have read these words from rabbi to son, " I love you, son."joe does tell his father that he loves him, but by then, the rabbi is lying in a vegetative state as a result of a brain tumor. the father can't hear the son. or respond to him. now, that's a painful memory loop.memories, after all, are for the living.

5-0 out of 5 stars Exceptional, warm offering
Joseph Lelyveld's "Omaha Blues", a recollection of his growing up years, is a book that touches all emotions. Having only known the author through books like Seth Mnookin's "Hard News" and his (Lelyveld's) appearances on programs such as Charlie Rose, I felt a certain draw to read "Omaha Blues". I was not disappointed.

Had the term "dysfunctional" been around in the 1940s and 1950s, Lelyveld's family could be described as such. Uprooted every few months it seems, Lelyveld spent much of his childhood with different family members (other than his parents) and with total strangers (the Jensen family in Nebraska). One wonders how this nomadic life can affect the maturity of any child, but he seems, somehow, to have taken much of this in stride. It certainly gave him a foundation for his own independence, to which he alludes.

A large section of the middle of the book is devoted to his boyhood "friend", Ben Goldstein, (aka Ben Lowell, aka George B. Stern) who seems to have served as the author's mentor or avuncular presence. While Lelyveld and Goldstein appeared to have known each other for only a brief few years, the older man certainly played an enormous role in the life of the budding foreign correspondent. That so much of this relationship is left to the imagination of the reader, Lelyveld nonetheless fills in the pieces of how Goldstein was connected to his own family...that story, in itself, is worth the read of "Omaha Blues".

I appreciate the author's candor regarding his own recollections of these formative years. While he was nicknamed "the memory boy", Lelyveld is not above letting us know that his own memory is sometimes very faulty. This admission adds to the charm of the book and allows him to be as human as possible.

"Omaha Blues" is told straight from the author's heart. I highly recommend it to any reader who wishes to explore the depths of his or her own family relationships. Joseph Lelyveld has given us his remembrances in a most affective way. ... Read more


111. Broken Music: A Memoir
by Sting
list price: $26.00
our price: $17.16
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0385336780
Catlog: Book (2003-10)
Publisher: The Dial Press
Sales Rank: 2704
Average Customer Review: 4.17 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Having been a songwriter most of my life, condensing my ideas and emotions into short rhyming couplets and setting them to music, I had never really considered writing a book. But upon arriving at the reflective age of fifty, I found myself drawn, for the first time, to write long passages that were as stimulating and intriguing to me as any songwriting I had ever done.

And so Broken Music began to take shape. It is a book about the early part of my life, from childhood through adolescence, right up to the eve of my success with the Police. It is a story very few people know.

I had no interest in writing a traditional autobiographical recitation of everything that’s ever happened to me. Instead I found myself drawn to exploring specific moments, certain people and relationships, and particular events which still resonate powerfully for me as I try to understand the child I was, and the man I became.
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Reviews (52)

4-0 out of 5 stars Very articulate writing, Mr. Sumner!
I was very impressed with Sting's writing ability and this captivating book. At times, I could not put this book down and was very tired the next morning at work! This book is a MUST for any Sting fan and also for those who grew up in Wallsend and Newcastle. My mother was born and raised not too far from where Sting grew up and she wants the book when I'm done.

The only reason why I gave the book 4 stars instead of 5 was because of the first 15 pages. I was getting turned off in the beginning because it didn't seem like it started where it should, which was on page 16. As I read further, it was starting to make a little more sense why he wrote the beginning the way he did, but it may turn off some readers at first. I urge people to read further if they start feeling the way I did in the beginning...it is well worth it!

4-0 out of 5 stars Broken Memory?
I love the music of Sting and was looking forward to hearing about the man who created it and how the music was created. Unfortunately, the readers get some interesting information, but they do not get the whole story.

The book begins with Sting and his wife, Trudie, in Brazil taking part of a religious ceremony where some kind of psychedelic plant has been taken. In taking this plant, Sting is taking back into his memories, which leads the reader into Sting's past. As a literary tool, this is interesting.

We learn about Sting's troubled childhood as well as his journeyman years as a musician. This was very enlightening and really gave me an idea of who the musician is. However, as a fan since the 80s, I would like to have read more about his time with The Police. This part doesn't come until the last pages of the book and is not particularly enlightening. This part reads as the climax of his career, although I know his career doesn't end there.

Although the book talks of Sting's first marriage and the first meeting with Trudie, the book does not go into the end of the first or the beginning of the second. As this fits with the time of The Police, maybe we will get this in another book down the line.

Still, I would recommend this book for people who want to understand the man behind the musician and the musician behind the man.

3-0 out of 5 stars Nice Effort, Greedy Editor
I read this book on Christmas Day and finally feel like I can give it a fair review (6 months later.) My problem is that I have enjoyed Sting's music and lyrics from the days of the police, and now I'm amazed at his drive to become a better human being even in light of his wealth and fame. Not everyone would do that...and we have plenty of examples of those who don't. I admire Sting as an artist and a person.

However, I did not admire this book. For those who know Sting's lyrics it's obvious he's a deep thinker and knows the artistry of words. However, writing song lyrics is different than writing a book, and memoir seems to be a difficult genre. Not everything happens when narratively convenient, nor progresses in tension or hangs together perfectly. Such is Sting's book.

There are moments I was captivated...no matter that it was Sting's life, just that it was someone's life was fascinating. And, quite frankly, there were sections I was bored to sleep. I'm still not sure if some events are in the book or daydreamed by me.

Honestly, I think Sting's effort was monumental and I'm irritated at his editor. There are problems, easy to fix that would have made this book a work of art instead of a simple memoir of a famous personality. With a little coaching, Sting may have had a classic book to add to his great works but, as it is, I feel those in the know let him down. He did better than most of us would striving to write down the moments of our lives, but not as well as his editor should have helped him to do.

So, I recommend it, but don't expect "Fragile" or "Synchronicity" or anything as artistic as his mesmerizing bass lines. Read it as pop lit by a great artist pushed out by an editor trying to make a Christmas deadline. Than pray for another volume and for Sting to get serious about a writing class or two.

Curse that greedy editor.

2-0 out of 5 stars A great musician who needs an editor
I was a rabid Police fan starting back in 1980 and have admired Sting ever since. I knew when I bought this book that it would discuss his life before the Police, and that was fine. I was interested to learn more about Last Exit and Frances and his childhood, so I have no complaints with the content.

But his writing style stands in the way of the story. It is pompous and egotistical with pretentious metaphors and a really annoying habit of switching between past and present tense. I could just picture him sitting there with a thesaurus trying to find the most intellectual-sounding way to say each thing he wanted to say.

The foreshadowing "teasers" started getting to me, too: "Little did I know then that this person [or moment or event] would change my life forever." Over and over and over. Ugh.

He really needed somebody to reign him in on this one.

3-0 out of 5 stars Good, dry read....
I have to admit it-I wasn't sure that I'd enjoy reading a memoir by an international music idol, and I certainly wasn't expecting much out of Sting in creating this work. His diction is very particular and precise. I used this book as my before bedtime wind-down, but found myself struggling to keep into it, as the language and general approach was extremely dry. I could only read a few sections of each chapter/unit and then had to put it down.

Not terribly exciting, but it held my interest because I'm such a fan of Sting's music. ... Read more


112. The Elvis Treasures
by ROBERT GORDON
list price: $50.00
our price: $42.50
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0375506268
Catlog: Book (2002-07)
Publisher: Villard
Sales Rank: 56652
Average Customer Review: 4.67 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

A collection of removable reproductions of rare Elvis® memorabilia, direct from Graceland®! With the help of archivists from Elvis Presley Enterprises, this unique compilation shares the King’s life story through reproductions of handwritten letters, press releases, movie scripts, and never-before-seen photographs. Also features evocative text from renowned author Robert Gordon, and Elvis Speaks, an exclusive 60-minute audio CD of candid conversations with Elvis himself. Includes such treasures as:

- A copy of Elvis’s first RCA recording contract
- Replicas of concert tickets
- A reproduction of Elvis’s personal wallet and its contents
- Facsimiles of telegrams Vernon Presley received at the time of Elvis’s death
- And much more!

The avid collector’s dream come true! ... Read more

Reviews (6)

4-0 out of 5 stars The King's treasures
Mr Gordon does a decent job of telling Elvis' life story, although it's a story that is well known by now. The real treasures here are the rare documents and memorabilia from the Graceland archives. There are a lot of things that will be of interest to the Elvis fan. Oh, and there is also an audio CD featuring interviews with Elvis. The interviews are worth listening to once, but I don't think many people would want to listen to them multiple times.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Elvis Treasures
Someone had purchased this book for me. I was so impressed with its contents/documents/photos and information that I ordered the same book for a person I know who is an Elvis impersonator. He was over-joyed to receive it and claimed he had never come across such a great book! It is a book to treasure.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great Choice for Elvis fans
When I purchased this book, I really couldn't put it down. It has some amazing stories and literature in it. It also contains letters that he wrote, letters that were sent to him, tickets, etc. This is a perfect gift for the Elvis fans!

4-0 out of 5 stars Admitted Elvis Junkie
This book I received as a gift. A most welcome one at that. The text is highlights of his life. For us knowledgeable about Elvis there is nothing new here. The neat thing here is all of the removable memorabilia. So let me talk about that. Some interesting notes he wrote on the back of a press release for his upcoming 1970 season in Vegas; black tights, fix bracelets, record player for dressing room, scarves blue, etc. guitar reef (anybody know what that is?) for dressing room and new flowers for piano, gator aid for stage, a list of songs for his show; The Fair Is Moving On, The Grass Won't Pay No Mind, Without Love, This Is The Story, Only The Strong Survive. He goes back and forth from printing to cursive writing. He did not have very neat handwriting. And how about seeing the script for the karate documentary Elvis wanted to make in the late 70's - that's here too. It looks to be written in/by different hands.

Then there is the 10-track interview CD. The interviews range in date from 1955 to 1972. Included here is probably the longest Elvis interview I ever heard. The date for the interview is Sept. 1962 with Lloyd Shearer for Parade Magazine. He talks about sports; football is his favorite sport, karate, and boxing. Books he's read, mostly educational, some philosophy and a little poetry. His friends, his father, the death of his mother, his cars, possible future marriage, his loneliness, his own mortality, how he feels about himself, his temper. His image and how it has changed and his desire to improve all aspects of his career. It's not all serious. He and Shearer joke and people can be heard laughing in the backround. Another noteworthy interview is the 1956 Paul Wilder Tv Guide interview. Wilder reads to Elvis selections from Herb Rowe's drag-'em-through-the-mud-review of Elvis' music, his performances, his fans and his religion. You can also hear Gladys and Vernon interviewed in 1956. Glady's favorite songs are: Baby, Let's Play House and Don't Be Cruel. Vernon likes too many to name but he comes up with Hound Dog.

5-0 out of 5 stars Incredible Memorabilia!
THE ELVIS TREASURES is great fun! Every page hold something new in the way of removable, facsimile reproductions of all kinds of great memorabilia. (Graceland provided the memorabilia for this book, and there really are some exceptional pieces.) The author has also done a good job of hitting the key points of Elvis's life and bringing the story of Elvis alive. This, combined with a vibrant and exiciting design, makes for a great gift for anyone who is an Elvis fan. ... Read more


113. Epileptic
by DAVID B.
list price: $25.00
our price: $16.50
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0375423184
Catlog: Book (2005-01-04)
Publisher: Pantheon
Sales Rank: 12901
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

The most acclaimed European graphic novel of the last ten years is finally published in English. The most acclaimed European graphic novel of the 1990s, Epileptic is author David B.'s story of his brother's battle with epilepsy—but it turns into a penetrating and sometimes lacerating self-examination on the author's part, as he delves into his own complex emotions and his family's troubled history, as well as his own youthful fantasy life. Particularly pointed is his description of the family's journey from one attempted cure to another (including acupuncture, spiritualism, and macrobiotic diet), the book is drawn in David B.'s spare but detailed, straightforward but elegant style. We would have called this A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius if it hadn't been taken already.

One of the most extraordinarily well-received graphic novels in France and the winner of the French national cartooning award "Alph'Art," Epileptic will intrigue American readers with its sharp yet (mostly) sympathetic treatment of the '70s alternative-health milieu and its often harrowing depiction of a family under siege by this singular and devastating malady. Co-published with France's L'Association. ... Read more

Reviews (5)

5-0 out of 5 stars well done, David B.
Very powerful and honest. David B. seems like he is really telling everything in his autobiography even though it revolves around his brother. His powerful narrative is helped along with the art, which although simple, conveys his ideas very well. One of the best graphic novels I've read, second only to Jimmy Corrigan.

4-0 out of 5 stars Powerful.
David B., Epileptic (Pantheon, 2005)

Let's stop for a moment and reflect on the fact that the first two books in this review edition were both published in 2005, and I'm reviewing them in 2005. I don't think that's ever happened before.

That aside, here's Epileptic, a graphic novel from the somewhat prolific pen of L'Association co-founder David B. Originally released in six parts in France, stretching between 1996 and 2003, it's now been released in an English translation by Pantheon, so those of us on this side of the pond, not to mention the Brits and other English-speaking folk over there who don't know a lick of French (do any still exist?), can see what all the fuss is about.

What the fuss is about is, for the most part, the drawings themselves. That's what all the rave reviews harp on. David B. is an exceptionally talented artist, one who can integrate, interpret, and regurgitate just about any artistic school, or specific artist's style, to which he sets his mind, as well as having his own style, which is pretty uniformly dark and brooding. (Think of an illegitimate cross between Frank Miller and Rich Little. On second thought, don't, because I don't want to be responsible for you being struck simultaneously blind and insane.) There's also the storyline, but, I mean, it's a memoir, whether my library has it in the fiction section or not; there's a knack to writing about your family so that someone wants to read it, but when it comes right down to it, when writing a memoir, you don't have to go that far for material.

What most impressed me about Epileptic is that it's the first graphic novel I've read since Watchmen that really has a strong sense of time. It's not so much that it's linear; David B. jumps back and forth in time on a fairly regular basis. It's that you know what he's doing without needing any special tricks to proclaim it (though he does tell you every time he starts relating a dream). Even in David B.'s phantasmagoric world, the symbols are so deeply ingrained, and so well-rendered, that the reader can tell where reality ends and flashback (or forward) begins with no problem. There's none of the sense of impressionism that seems to have taken American graphic artists by storm. And thank heaven for that. Epileptic, as a result, is an incredibly readable piece of graphic art, and one that comes highly recommended from this camp. *** ½

5-0 out of 5 stars Brilliant
To people who reject newer narrative forms, I have always said that genius surfaces in every medium.The graphic novel MAUS is a good proof.Now, I have found another one in this fine work by David B.Epileptic is the life story, actually, of the author/artist, and his family as they go through the profoundly moving events surrounding David's older brother's epilepsy.I must say that the casual cruelty to which this child was subjected by the community was shocking.While it is true that that is the basic core around which the story develops, it is also about David's coming to grips with his own personal fears and demons, along with his development as an artist.It was interesting to see how much quackery his family was subjected to -- the desperate parents who love their son so much that they try anything at all that seems to offer hope.At any rate, I recommend this book to anyone with an interest in the subject, and also anyone who is interested in outstanding graphic work.

5-0 out of 5 stars WOW!
This book is amazingly great!I want the next volume NOW!Order this if you want a really wonderful comic that is a great first exposure to the French expressionist comics movement.This is definitly a must own book.I really admire this guy, David B.Hopefully, my work will be able to match this man's, someday.Everything about this book is wonderful:paper, ink, art, story, etc., etc.An inspiration, scrible it down in your memo pad!

5-0 out of 5 stars WOW!
This book is amazingly great!I want the next volume NOW!Order this if you want a really wonderful comic that is a great first exposure to the French expressionist comics movement.This is definitly a must own book.I really admire this guy, David B.Hopefully, my work will be able to match this man's, someday.Everything about this book is wonderful:paper, ink, art, story, etc., etc.An inspiration, scrible it down in your memo pad! ... Read more


114. C'mon, Get Happy - 8 Copy Prepack : Fear and Loathing on the Partridge Family Bus
by David Cassidy
list price: $13.95
our price: $13.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0446395315
Catlog: Book (1994-07-01)
Publisher: Warner Books
Sales Rank: 137354
Average Customer Review: 4.36 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (72)

4-0 out of 5 stars Blunt, Frank and Honest
Cassidy does not hold back in telling his story. Blunt, frank, and sometimes searingly honest, David tells all. Especially interesting was how he and his agent were tricked out of millions of dollars due to a misleading contract. I like the fact that Cassidy and his co-author wrote the book in his own voice. When you read it, it's like David is telling you his story, rather than having a sanitized version written in perfect prose by a ghost writer. It's a definite must-read for all Cassidy fans. My only criticism is that David wrote about his Partridge Family years in great detail, but glossed over his post-Partridge years. Hopefully he'll consider doing a fuller autobiography.

5-0 out of 5 stars C'mon, Reprint It....
Last night I should have been reading our book club's latest selection, but instead I watched a documentary on The Partridge Family. I tuned in expecting to remember, laugh and wonder at my adolescent fascination with David Cassidy, but ended up amazed at my 36-YEAR-OLD fascination with David Cassidy. I can't believe that I find this guy just as charismatic, likable, and compelling as I did when I was 12. I would love to read his book, but can't find it. Amazon, do you have any influence with the publisher? You might have quite a few copies pre-sold...

5-0 out of 5 stars Great Book , Brutally Honest
I LOVED this book! I was a VERY young David Cassidy fan when he was in his heyday. This guy seemed like he was on top of the world when it was actually crashing in around him. The language and events described can be a little unnerving...but hey...he told it like it was...no holds barred. I personally was not offended at all. It was actually a little erotic! Honesty is so rare in today's glossy Hollywood autobigraphies. I commend David for being so candid about his experiences, both good and bad.

5-0 out of 5 stars A total RIOT!
Gotta read this one!! I still giggle when I think about "Sam, the Hairy One"!! :-)):-))ROTFL

5-0 out of 5 stars WISH IT WERE UP TILL NOW/GREAT BOOK
AN AWESONE, HONEST LIFE STORY OF MY ALL TIME FAVORITE ACTOR AND SINGER. I HOPE DAVID CASSIDY WRITES PART TWO. I READ THE BOOK IN 2 DAYS, COULDN'T PUT IT DOWN. NOW, IF HE WOULD ONLY COME TOUR IN FLORIDA!! ... Read more


115. The Bridge Across Forever : A Lovestory
by RICHARD BACH
list price: $7.99
our price: $7.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0440108268
Catlog: Book (1986-02-01)
Publisher: Dell
Sales Rank: 16299
Average Customer Review: 4.43 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com

Bestselling author Richard Bach explores the meaning of fate and soul mates in this modern-day fairytale based on his real-life relationship with actor Leslie Parrish. "This is a story about a knight who was dying, and the princess who saved his life," Bach writes in his opening greeting. "It's a story about beauty and beasts and spells and fortresses, about death-powers that seem and life-powers that are." Yes, it is all that, and more. On the earthly plane this is about the riveting love affair between two fully human people who are willing to explore time travel and other dimensions together even as they grapple with the earthly struggles of intimacy, commitment, smothering, and whose turn it is to cook. Their love affair and happy ending inspired many enthusiastic fans. Years later, some of these fans were devastated to discover that this match made in heaven didn't manage to stick (the couple are no longer together). But in an Amazon interview, Bach explains that lovers don't have to stay married forever to be lifetime soul mates. Read this as a lesson about love's enchantments and possibilities, but don't count on this book to keep you and your mate on the bridge across forever. --Gail Hudson ... Read more

Reviews (112)

3-0 out of 5 stars Love: New Age style
If you loved Jonathan Livingston Seagull and are looking for more of the same, you may be a bit disappointed by "The Bridge Across Forever."

The story chronicles the steps (and missteps) Bach made in his personal and financial relationships. And this makes for a wonderful and sometimes tragic, love story.

Unfortunately, the story is wrapped up in a new-age wrapping of time travel and out of body experiences. Bach's mistake is that he describes these experiences, and, in fact, the entire book as a "true story." So, even though very well written and interesting, it will probably not appeal to those skeptics who deplore real-life spiritual encounters in their pleasure reading.

Overall, a decent read, but be prepared for spiritual overtones. And, if you believe in soulmates, this book may be right up your alley.

I give this 1 star for the spiritual overtones and 3 or 4 stars for the story.

5-0 out of 5 stars Rich, warm, and compelling
Richard Bach may be one of those authors which one either loves dearly, or loathes unconditionally; he can occasionally come across as overly-hokey and melodramatic, but his stories are well-crafted and deeply personal.

_The Bridge Across Forever_ may be the best book he's written yet, and is an excellent way to expose oneself to his style of writing; it was the first book of his which I read, and it caused me to run right out and snatch up all the others I could find. I haven't yet found one that surpasses this one, but almost all of them contain wonderful gems and insights.

_Bridge_ is a rich, warm story about slightly metaphysical connections in life, through time, space, and personal growth. As he writes of his future wife, Leslie, the absolute love he feels for her is crystal-clear, and may at times bring tears to the reader's eyes. His love of flying is beautifully-portrayed as well, and he does a wonderful job of introducing the reader to the absolute joy and freedom of being airborne. In fact, Bach's descriptions of nearly everything are alive and vibrant, putting the reader Right There in that moment with him.

It's easy to recognize Truth when we see it - this book is full of truths that we perhaps always knew, but didn't quite *know* that we knew - it's that kind of book. I really recommend this to anyone who doesn't absolutely detest probing books with a real soul.

3-0 out of 5 stars Bargain-Basement Romanticism: A Love Story
This is the sort of novel Richard Rorty might write if he weren't so bright; for Bach adumbrates, in popular form, some of the same romantic polytheism, trendy Prometheanism, egoism, etc., that has been developing in Rorty (and in our culture) for decades. The novel is bad for divers reasons: its ideas are adolescent, the plot is visibly idealized; indeed Bach's folly in the first half of the book is a "straw man" to be knocked down all too easily in the second half. Bach's self-absorption, his selfishness: who can take them seriously? Probably too many. Withal, Bach, in the end, is a self-rightous purveyor of cultish nonsense. Astral projection, immortality. Indeed. Bach's only saving grace is that for a while he listens to the sane voice of Leslie; and we may take a modicum of comfort in this temporary--he's always GROWING, you know!--rapprochement. Very convenient, too, that children are never mentioned in all this soul-mate blather!

1-0 out of 5 stars Sacchirine, Self-absorbed and Trite
Like several other reviewers in this forum, I found this to be one of the most annoying, inspid, flakey books I've ever read. I too picked it up as it came much too highly recommended by a good friend. I loved Jonathon Livingston Seagull when I was just a kid but alas, it seems as though Richard Bach still hasn't grown up while the rest of us have. The character of Leslie Parrish nailed it with the long letter she wrote him and he would have done well to heed her words of warning. He has to be one of the most self-absorbed, confused, cloying lotharios in literature. I too found myself skimming through entire sections combing for the meat of the story, which is simply about the relationship he was constantly threatening to undermine with the much more enlightened Ms. Parrish. Underneath it all I kept thinking that while on the surface Mr. Bach was talking about silly astral projection and such, he must have been going to sleep at night thinking what a real ladies man he was. There was this sense of him feeling very sanctimonious and superior about himself and his views. Awful stuff. The story doesn't actually begin until Chapter 30 with Leslie's poignant letter to him, skip all the pseudo-spirituality and overly-long airplane tangents at the beginning of the book if you can. All along the way, Mr. Bach consistantly breaks one of the cardinal rules of writing over and over again: "show, don't tell". In any case, Richard Bach never got out of playing house and make-believe with the much more realistic, giving and pragmatic Leslie, what a loss. I've never in my life not finished a book but with three more chapters to go I finally had to pitch the book in the trash lest it somehow jump off on me like an unwanted strain of intellectual bacteria. I want to believe that soulmates are out there but Bach's book didn't do it for me. Is it any wonder his marriage to the woman ended in divorce? This is not the kind of destiny I welcome. I hope this man will someday mature and write another book that will convince us. Eventually I found my solace in the love story of Hemingway's The Sun Also Rises, which was like spending time with a dear, old friend.

2-0 out of 5 stars Not Really My Kind of Book
I'm not going to make this a long review because the fact of the matter is that this isn't my kind of book. I'm also not going to say it was good or it was bad or it was anything other than what I just said, for the most part, which is that this is not my kind of book. Overall, it made me laugh a few times. And you have to be somewhat heartened that the guy was able to find his soul mate, or what he thought to be his soul mate at the time.

In real life, I found out that Bach and his soul mate got divorced. I felt that it was inevitable, because the author doesn't espouse one of my beliefs in life, which is that you need to be happy with yourself before you can be happy with someone else. Admittedly, it begs the question of that even being possible. I'm not going to offer an answer either way, but this author didn't even try.

A good friend of mine lent me this book, which is the reason I read it. Not for nothing, I think it's good to read outside your usual "pattern" of reading because it opens your eyes to other authors and styles out there. For that reason, I'm glad to have read it. But beyond that, this was a bit of a failed excursion into a new realm of writing and authors that I had hoped would pay off.

The book was easy enough to read, though towards the end it got very dry and difficult to get through. I don't think I would read a book by this author again, even though a lot of people swear by him. In the end, I guess it's best to say, to each his own. This one really didn't do much for me because it never really shed any light on anything new. And I'm not a fan of his personal life, so it didn't appeal to me in that regard. As for the actual story, well if it sounds too good to be true... ... Read more


116. The Story of a Remarkable Medicine
by Jack Dreyfus
list price: $12.95
our price: $11.01
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1590560620
Catlog: Book (2003-09-01)
Publisher: Lantern Books
Sales Rank: 178210
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Book Description

Most people live one life; Jack Dreyfus has had two. The first was filled with remarkable accomplishments as he founded the highly successful Dreyfus Fund. The author’s second life began in 1963 when, in the midst of a severe depression, he did an unheard-of thing: he asked his physician for a medicine not traditionally used to treat his symptoms and returned to good health almost overnight. When he saw six others have similar results, he realized he had an obligation to investigate further.

Jack Dreyfus retired from two highly successful businesses and established the Dreyfus Medical Foundation. Through the Foundation, the author has worked tirelessly, with no financial interest, to show how this medicine—phenytoin—has been reported useful in thousands of medical journals for more than 80 symptoms and disorders, ranging from thought, mood and behavior disorders to cardiovascular, neuromuscular and pain ailments. The Foundation now has programs in dozens of countries around the world, providing assistance to millions of people suffering from psychological and physical difficulties. However, in spite of the overwhelming evidence, this medicine, patented in the United States, is still overlooked in this country because of a tragic flaw in our system of bringing medicines to the public.

At once inspiring and provocative, richly informative and full of warmth and wit, The Story of a Remarkable Medicine is an extraordinary account of how one remarkable man has dedicated nearly half his life to bringing a prescription for hope to millions. ... Read more


117. Careless Love : The Unmaking of Elvis Presley
by Peter Guralnick
list price: $17.95
our price: $12.21
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0316332976
Catlog: Book (2000-02-10)
Publisher: Back Bay Books
Sales Rank: 11045
Average Customer Review: 4 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

"Here at last is the full, true, and mesmerizing story of Elvis Presley's last two decades, in the long-awaited second volume of Peter Guralnick's masterful two-part biography.Last Train to Memphis, the first part of Guralnick's two-volume life of Elvis Presley, was acclaimed by the New York Times as "a triumph of biographical art." This concluding volume recounts the second half of Elvis' life in rich and previously unimagined detail, and confirms Guralnick's status as one of the great biographers of our time. Beginning with Presley's army service in Germany in 1958 and ending with his death in Memphis in 1977, Careless Love chronicles the unraveling of the dream that once shone so brightly, homing in on the complex playing-out of Elvis' relationship with his Machiavellian manager, Colonel Tom Parker. It's a breathtaking, revelatory drama that for the first time places the events of a too-often mistold tale in a fresh, believable, and understandable context.Elvis' changes during these years form a tragic mystery that Careless Love unlocks for the first time. This is the quint essential American story, encompassing elements of race, class, wealth, sex, music, religion, and personal transformation. Written with grace, sensitivity, and passion, Careless Love is a unique contribution to our understanding of American popular culture and the nature of success, giving us true insight at last into one of the most misunderstood public figures of our times. " ... Read more

Reviews (68)

4-0 out of 5 stars Poignant and Sad, Never a Work of Caricature
We all think we know the post-Army Elvis. He's the gradually fattening lounge act on steroids (and other assorted chemicals) who cranked out awful movies with mechanical regularity. His talent rebounded in the late 60s with his NBC comeback special and some of his live performances to remind us what he meant when his first performances made a young Bob Dylan feel like he was breaking out of jail. Reading Guralnick's successor to "Last Train From Memphis," one is reminded of the old line that airplane pilots experience 98 percent sheer boredom and 2 percent sheer terror. This resembles Elvis's life, enclosed in a dual prison of Graceland's walls and the companionship of the "Memphis Mafia"--his cronies and pals whose lives consisted of serving the King's often bizarre whims, and awaiting his generous handouts. The predicament echoes China's last emperors in their Forbidden City, ruling a landscape they can no longer see and in which they no longer mattered.

This book oozes sadness, and I sensed that Guralnick, whose prose crackles with energy even describing Elvis at his most pathetic, felt personally disappointed with the great waste of talent Elvis's life became. In the preface and on the book's last page, Guralnick makes reference to the mythic Elvis we encountered in "Last Train." In between, a chronicle of pathos unfolds. Guralnick could have used the decline and fall to interrogate the American mythology Elvis once fulfilled, to show how ultimately false it proved. Instead, we get a touchingly human portrait of a man living in the chaos that celebrity creates. I wouldn't wish celebrity on my worst enemy. One is struck by Elvis's loneliness, by the sense of loss occasioned by his mother's death, and from which he clearly never recovered.

The mythic Elvis is still here, particularly in the burst of achievement from the '68 Comeback Special, through the American Recordings with Chips Moman, and the early stands in Vegas. But even when recounting the saddest days of his apotheosis in the mid-70s, Guralnick's tale suddenly shows Elvis explode out of his stupor with charisma and passion, leading his band through the occasional great session or show. Elvis's bizarre obsession with law enforcement and completely surreal desire to meet Richard Nixon and volunteer to serve the country as a Narcotics Agent has something of greatness about it. All that vitality had to go somewhere, and if it's not fed with healthy outlets, it manifests itself strangely.

When I visited Graceland as a tourist a few years ago, the walls still seethed with the boredom the place must have witnessed. Guralnick captures the pathos without descending to the pathetic, while still maintaining a perspetive on his subject that dilutes none of the passion.

5-0 out of 5 stars A poingant, depressing, and insightful look at Elvis...
First and foremost, this is a depressing book. There is a warning in the author's note that the book is about a tragedy, and this is an understatement. Elvis Presely's "fall" was a hard and bitter one. This book outlines events starting in 1960 up to Presely's death in 1977. Things start out looking pretty good for Elvis as he leaves the army and begins his career almost anew, but as the 1970s emerge, things start to cloud over, and the book follows the downward spiraling vortex that Presley and his somewhat bizarre and almost constantly fluctuating entourage followed up to the end. Along the way, Guralnick allows readers to draw their own conclusions about Presley. Mostly the book outlines details of certain events - sometimes so detailed one wonders if Guralnick was there himself - interspersed with commentary from people who lived through these same events. It is not an uplifting read. One gets the impression that Presley's fame isolated him from pretty much the human race, made him untouchable (reprisals were feared by anyone is his immediate "gang", and it didn't help matters that most of them were on his payroll) and ultimately put him beyond the help of his own family and the people who he thought were his friends. Presely's fame turns horrendously destructive in the 1970s, and some of the stories and anecdotes may make the sensitive reader wince. Some of the stories are just downright strange: Presley's religious enlightenment from seeing an image in the clouds of the face of Stalin turn into the face of Jesus; Presley's determination to secure himself a position of Narcotics officer from President Nixon; the pranks Preseley and his retinue play on each other, on audiences, and on themselves; the fact that, as record sales declined, Presely's revenue actually increased. Other anecdotes have a more disturbing undertow: Presley's manipulation and abject objectification of the women in his life, and the fact that many of them kept coming back even after being brusquely brushed off; Presley's fascination with guns, and his sometime not so comforting habit of pointing them at people when angry; Presely's wild, erratic, and irresponsible spending; Presley's inability to take advice from his wife, girlfriends, business manager, and even his own father on dire personal matters (e.g., his finances, his marriage, his health). It is a tragedy to read about someone who both cared about people but also put himself above others in a way that put him beyond their help or aid.

The figure of "the Colonel" lurks behind the entire story. He has Presley's business needs in mind, and, due to his business acumen, makes Presley (and himself) multi-millionaires beyond imagination. It's amazing to read how the Colonel is able to make more and more money from Movie studios, even as movies starring Presley are on a sharp decline in revenue and popularity. The whole story is mind boggling. In the end, the Colonel thought he was taking care of Elvis in the best way he knew how, but insatiable greed and insular attention to the bottom line and almost nothing else probably hurt Presley more than it helped him in the long run. Guralnick does not say this anywhere in the book. Again, the reader must draw moral conclusions based on the evidence. Guralnick does not moralize apart from calling the story a tragedy, and this makes this biography doubly interesting, as different readers will likely draw different conclusions based on their own interpretations of the delineated events. Who is to blame in the end? Is it fair to blame one or a few people? Is it fair to blame Presley? These questions are not answered (as they shouldn't be) but much food for thought is presented. As usual in life, the answer is far more complicated than mere finger pointing can accommodate. Guralnick handles this subject with eloquence and a distance that pull the reader in and allow for reflection upon what happened. This is not the usual shoddy rock biography that typically clutters the "Music" section of bookstores. This is a story to sink one's cognitive teeth into and reflect upon. Warning: this book will make you think; it will make you moralize; it will make you angry and frustrated at what happened, and it will make you ask "Why?" Regardless if you are an Elvis Presley fan or not (I'm really not; I was very young when Presley passed on) this is a book worth reading. It is a thick book, but a quick read (keep your dictionary handy nonetheless). Once you're in fifty pages or so, you'll probably find yourself stuck on it.

5-0 out of 5 stars Well Written and Researched Tale of the King
There is one way to describe this book - wow, what a story.

The writing is just flat out good. Once you start reading be prepared to finish, except for those pesky breaks to sleep and work.

A very well written account of Elvis's life and actions in and out of the recording studio with lots of details, lots of hanky panky, road trips, recording sessions, flights, drugs, buying Cadillacs, the whole mess. Basically Elvis spent every cent he made. The colonel took each dollar and sent 50 cents to the IRS to keep Elvis out of trouble but Elvis and his "mafia" lived like kings where money was no object. If he was in the mood he would just pick up the phone and buy cars, trucks, land, food, whatever was his fancy. When he died Priscilla actually started to manage the finances and Graceland and then after he was dead, the money really increased.

With his love of music and his drive to create, he had hit after hit, a lull and then more hits, movies, hits, lulls, Las Vegas, and on and on. There were no limits until he came in collision with obesity and drugs. It all became very depressing and then it ended. Elvis came close to pulling back and recovering a few times but was unable or unwilling or not intelligent enough to see what was happening to himself. In that sense he was alone and in charge.

An enthralling and well written blockbuster that stays in your hands until the last page.

Jack in Toronto

5-0 out of 5 stars Stirring...
I picked up the book Careless Love. At the time the title puzzled me. Who was guilty of Careless Love? Elvis? Umm. Go figure. But upon completion of the book, I now realize no other title would have suited. Elvis was guilty of careless love as was the people whom he surrounded himself with daily and most importantly the fans.
Now, I find no joy in his music and it is painful for me to look at smiling happy picture's of him when he was at the height of his career. Why? Because I know how it all ends. The man, who would burst on the scene and shred American culture, all the while rebuilding it, fascinates me. He was a pioneer, a rebel. Everyone knows the story. Poor boy makes good. But the trajectory his life took is painful to follow. How could a man whose vision changed the music world not have had enough foresight to see his own destructive and erratic behavior?
Paul Guralnick writes the only account of Elvis that I trust implicitly. Why? Because his regard for Elvis as an artist is woven between even the most heart wrenching accounts of his life. Mr. Guralnick does not try to persuade you to like or dislike Elvis. He merely gives Elvis life and places him in front of you saying, "Here he is...you make the decision on how you feel about him."
The book is a disturbing but respectful look at a man who was gifted beyond reason. Mr. Guralnick clearly demonstrates that the fame Elvis endured was even beyond him.

5-0 out of 5 stars You want to know who Elvis really was? Read this book!
A wonderful achievement. Thoroughly researched, beautifully written. You'll learn everything about the King you always wanted to know - plus some facts of which you had rather remained ignorant. Careless Love is on par with the first volume of Guralnik's Elvis-biography, "Last Train to Memphis" (see also my review of that outstanding work). ... Read more


118. Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas and Other American Stories (Modern Library)
by HUNTER S. THOMPSON
list price: $16.95
our price: $11.53
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0679602984
Catlog: Book (1998-05-05)
Publisher: Modern Library
Sales Rank: 15198
Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

First published in Rolling Stone magazine in 1971, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas is Hunter S. Thompson's savagely comic account of what happened to this country in the 1960s. It is told through the writer's account of an assignment he undertook with his attorney to visit Las Vegas and "check it out." The book stands as the final word on the highs and lows of that decade, one of the defining works of our time, and a stylistic and journalistic tour de force. As Christopher Lehmann-Haupt wrote in The New York Times, it has "a kind of mad, corrosive prose poetry that picks up where Norman Mailer's An American Dream left off and explores what Tom Wolfe left out."
This Modern Library edition features Ralph Steadman's original drawings and three companion pieces selected by Dr. Thompson: "Jacket Copy for Fear and Loath-
ing in Las Vegas," "Strange Rumblings in Aztlan," and "The Kentucky Derby Is Deca-
dent and Depraved."

... Read more

Reviews (35)

5-0 out of 5 stars This book made me get into reading; I picked it up because
of the simple fact that it involved drug abuse and that was something that excited me very much at that time (that was sophomore year in high school, I'm a senior now) but I discovered the pure ferocity and scholarly humor this book contained, the good doctor created something that he himself has never been able to recreate, now don't get me wrong, I love his other books, I'm just saying that this one is his best book. It tells the tale of Raoul Duke, Hunter's alter ego and his lawyer Dr. Gonzo, who is based on Oscar Acosta and their adventures during a trip to Las Vegas to cover the Mint 400 race, it takes place around 1971, the year is very important because, well, do I actually have to say anything? Anyway, because of Hunter, I myself have chosen to undertake journalism as a career, it changed my life, why not try it, can't hurt, can it?

5-0 out of 5 stars The Best True Story, Drugs are only part of the story!
This book (I can tell you from experience) is a very real account of what goes on in the life of a SMART full blown drug addict. I say smart because Hunter S. Thompson is an intelligent guy who knows enough to analyze what happens to himself when takes such drugs as mescaline and acid. He is able to put it down on paper and give you the stunning reality in such a way that you can feel Dr. Gonzo wave that knife in your face in a drug crazed frenzy. Some will say that the story is embellished, and they are just saying that because they have never lived life the same way as Thompson has. Nobody can describe in such grave detail the world of drug abuse without having done it. There is also a plot that lies in the story that others never saw. A plot that has nothing to do with drugs. This plot is about the greed that lies within the people of america today. If your not going to be too horrified by the drug abuse to see this grim reality that the book portrays, then you will see what I am talking about. The book is also about psychology and analyzes the mind and the way that people think, but says it in such a way as to be amusing for the reader.

5-0 out of 5 stars Gonzo to the max
Though I wasn't around for its inital debut, I am still aware of the impact Fear and Loathing has had on anyone who cared to listen.
This is a truly timeless classic that depicts the life and death of an All-American generation. No other piece of literature or journalism can even come close to reliving this unprecidented epic.
As a journalist, dope fiend and HST fanatic, I can say with conviction that this work will forever remain a priceless journey into the generation of the flower children.
I mean what else can I say? The world of professional journalism will never be the same... Only a true genious can manage to be both informative and exciting.

4-0 out of 5 stars Wild...
Very wild and crazy book. Very funny and yet very sick, it is sad how a someone can inflict so much horror to oneself, that is what makes it worth reading. I am just glad it was not me strung out that badly with a buddy who is far more messed up. The book has a rather quick flow, everything moves quickly as if you are also strung out on some of the many drugs the good doctor was on...

3-0 out of 5 stars A Very Interesting Book
A Very Interesting Book
Have you ever heard someone declare that they were living the American dream? This is perceived to be a laid back life where everything goes your way. During the reading of Fear and Loathing, Thompson proclaims to be living it, or maybe it was the drugs that made him escape from reality on the short journey to sin-city. Thompson's documented escapade to Las Vegas may leave D.A.R.E. founders rethinking their motto. The story consists of Hunter Thompson with his Samoan attorney in a fresh and clean convertible dubbed the "Great Red Shark," on their way to Las Vegas to cover a story. In their trunk, they stow "two bags of grass, seventy-five pellets of mescaline, five sheets of high-powered blotter acid, a salt shaker half-full of cocaine and a whole galaxy of multicolored uppers, downers, screamers, laughers.... A quart of tequila, a quart of rum, a case of Budweiser, a pint of raw ether and two dozen amyl's," which they manage to consume during their short tour. That shows how crazy these two individuals must be. And get this; it is all a true story. The book was made from notes he had taken and recorded in a small recorder during his extraordinary adventure in sin-city.
The book was probably the most intriguing book that I have ever read. Throughout the whole
Literature he describes every moment in perfect detail. There never seemed to be a dull moment. Most scenes are centered round paranoia and sudation and at times hallucinations from all of the drugs they consumed while on their journey. I also enjoyed the book because through every escapade it felt like I was right there with him. I found myself looking forward to reading it; usually I don't enjoy reading.
The book never really gave a basic purpose of what Hunter Thompson was trying to say. Towards the end of the book it just kind of leaves a lot of information out of what was going on. Maybe that's how he was feeling at the time towards the end though. He might of not known exactly what was going on because of all the hallucinogens, uppers, and downers. But, I think that it was supposed to be about a time in a person's life where it is good to escape from reality and act a fool. That was the only shortcoming of the book to me. I found it very interesting and entertaining. I also found myself laughing out loud at the hilarious array of the literature and the situations they were involved in. I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys reading bazaar and funny literature. ... Read more


119. The First Poets : Lives of the Ancient Greek Poets
by MICHAEL SCHMIDT
list price: $30.00
our price: $19.80
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0375411208
Catlog: Book (2005-03-22)
Publisher: Knopf
Sales Rank: 227500
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120. Sharon Tate and the Manson Murders
by Greg King
list price: $24.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1569801576
Catlog: Book (2000-05-01)
Publisher: Barricade Books, Inc.
Sales Rank: 95801
Average Customer Review: 3.96 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

In this biography of Sharon Tate, Greg King recreates the story of Tate's career, her marriage to Polanski, and her relationships with Hollywood's most famous names. King also brings to vivid life the complete account of the tate murders, describes the lengthy search for the killers. and includes previousl unpublished police and detective reports, trail transcripts and letters from Charles Manson to "squeaky Fromme." More importantly, this is the first book to focus on the victims of the Manson murders. As such, it brings a fresh perspective to the murder story that created a media frenzy foreshadowing what occurs with alarming regularity today. ... Read more

Reviews (47)

3-0 out of 5 stars I wanted more information
I was eight years old in 1969 when Sharon Tate was murdered, and the Manson family was first heard of. This horrific crime left an impact on me even at that age. I had first read Helter Skelter, and found it fascinating. I was always intrigued by Sharon Tate though. I was interested in this book, and anxiously awaited it. I found a lot of the information about Tate's life as being repetitive, and I agree with another reviewer that the photos inside could have been better. There is one particularly gruesome photo of Tate in death. This photo, while graphic, is a reminder at the brutality of her murder. I don't think anyone reading about the murder can understand the impact as this one picture makes. Horrible. Overall, the majority of the information is repetitive from other sources I've read, but it is still a good read. I would have liked the book to have gone more into depth with Sharon's earlier years. The author does do a great job of recreating the final hours of Tate's life, in chilling detail. What a horrendous death for Tate and the other victims. For the most part, if you are interested in the Manson Family murders, and in Sharon Tate, you'll find this interesting, to say the least.

4-0 out of 5 stars Sharon Tate was more than just a victim!
Watching the few films Sharon Tate made I could see that the possiblity of so much more was apparent. Especially her role in the Matt Helm flick "The Wrecking Crew" opposite Dean Martin. Although after her murder none of it seemed to matter and Sharon as a person and actress was outshined by the gory murders that took her and her child's and friends' lives.

Now finally Greg King has given us Sharon Tate and The Manson Murders. And Sharon as a person comes through. Most people really knew very little of her outside of the Manson/crimes. So I give King credit for taking her too short life and writing a fine book on this the most beautiful woman ever. I too must agree though that the typo's throughout are disturbing and I too would have liked to have seen more photos of Sharon herself. The inclusion of the death photo though at once seems a bit sensationlistic, it lends the reader a view of just what actually happened to Miss Tate et al.

A book on Sharon' life has long been overdue and I hope if this one is updated or another is published it will spend more time quoting from the long list of Hollywood elite friends of the actress'.

All in all this is a book to purchase and read for anyone who has ever been interested in Sharon Tate as a person more than just a victim of Manson's Family!

4-0 out of 5 stars an Angel killed by followers of Satan
Greg King brings the horrors of August 9, 1969 into your living room. First of all he gives the best biography of Sharon Tate that has ever been written. It was only over 100 pages, but I haven't seen a more detailed account of her life. She not only had outward beauty, but inward beauty.

Even though I've read Helter Skelter and other books 10 years ago, this book tells more about the victims than the animals who killed them. It's over 300 pages, but the first 116 pages deals with Sharon Tate. No book has ever done that.

As a former prison guard, I'm repulsed how the murderers have abused the system and profited from their crimes. Many poor people who haven't commited any crimes haven't been able to get college degrees in this society. All of the killers have received degrees in prison.

Greg King has shown us new material concerning the Manson killings. The victims were killed for no reason, the murderers returned to the scene of the crime, and afterwards the Press slandered the victims because they didn't have any story to tell. In his book he described that Manson and some of the murderers returned to the scene of the crime only a few hours later. This is true. Sharon Tate and Jay Sebring had type O blood. Neither of them made it out of the living room. The LAPD found on the porch type O blood in large pools. The other 3 victims had type B blood. Manson and the killers were going to hang Sharon Tate and Jay Sebring on the porch and mutilate them even more. They carried the bodies to the porch and got into a big argumnent. To see Sharon Tate's body in the book was bad enough, but it could have been worse. After the arguement they placed the bodies back where they had fallen because daylight was fast approaching. The LAPD Tate Homicide Report (on the web in 33 pages), states in detail the blood drops, the areas of the blood, the place and direciton of the bodies and that Sharon Tate's and Jay Sebrings' bodies were moved after they were killed. In the LAPD report Tate's neighbors stated they heard an arguement from the Tate house at 4:00 AM. This was several hours after the last victim, Sharon Tate had died. This supports King's statements that the murderers returned to the Tate house and moved the bodies.

My only faults with this book are the cover and the photographs. The cover shows a picture of Sharon Tate and a diffused picture of Manson on her chest. He shouldn't have been on the cover. He's had 35 years of press coverage. Enough is enough! The other faults are the numerous photos of Manson and his killers. There have been thousands of photos of Sharon Tate taken. King chose only a couple of pictures of her and the rest were of Manson and his worthless family. I also think that the terrible death photo of her should have been left out. Even though it shows what Charles "Tex" Watson and Susan Atkins did to her in those horrible last moments of her life, Sharon Tate should be remembered for her life and not because she was a victim of the most horrible crime that has ever occurred in U.S. history.

Greg King has shown us new insight into Sharon Tate's history and the horrible murders. He's done a lot of research of her life. I only wish the book would have had more information about her. From what King has found about her, she was truly an angel.

4-0 out of 5 stars Finally, A Book About Sharon!!!!
Although it would be great to have a biography about Sharon that was just about her, not Manson, this is the best we're going to get right now. What a beautiful woman and such a tragic loss. It was great reading about the lovely Mrs. Tate-Polanksi and learning that she is much more than a murder victim. My only complaint is that there are several graphic murder scene photos and more pictures of the Manson family than of Sharon. Other than that, a great book for people who are interested about Sharon as a human being.

5-0 out of 5 stars EXCELLENT EXCELLENT EXCELLENT
I can't say enough about Greg King's book. A true historian and fierce researcher, Greg sure did his homework. He interviewed many people including not only Sharon's family, friends and colleagues, but also Alice La Bianca (Leno's first wife), Janet Parent (Steve's sister), and others.

It was a joy to finally read a book focusing on the victims and not the so-called "family."

I loved King's way of dedicating the first half of the book to Sharon's life, stopping a few days short of her death, doing the next part about the origins of Manson's "family," and then bringing the two together to the horrible early morning hours of August 9, 1969.

The part that kept me spellbound was the chapter entitled, "The Last Day." It reminded me of Thomas Sancton's and Scott Mac Leod's book, "Death of a Princess: The Investigation" (about Diana, Princess of Wales). Sancton and Mac Leod gave an almost minute by minute account of Diana's final hours in Paris on August 30, 1997 and King did basically the same with the goings on at Cielo Drive on August 8, 1969.

King gives the spotlight to the people who have been swept under the rug for the past 34 years: the victims. He focuses primarily on Sharon but he does include little known or previously unknown facts about the "other victims." I say, "It's about time!"

This is the definitive book about the victims. Vincent Bugliosi's "Helter Skelter" is THE account of the trial. The two books compliment each other very nicely. ... Read more


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