Finally, the Captain's Log that a zillion Trekkers have been waiting for. This isn't an omnibus Star Trek history. Shatner (a.k.a. Captain Kirk of the USS Enterprise) and Kreski (editorial director of MTV) stick to Stardate mid-1960's and the original TV series, skipping both the Star Trek movies (presumably the subject of a future Shatner memoir) and the multiple series spinoffs. No matter; what remains is a fascinating account of network TV in its post-Beaver, pre-Bunker teenage years. Shatner works against his reputation for hogging the limelight (which he confronts head-on in the final chapter) by remaining off-camera for the first quarter of the text while recounting Gene Roddenberry's early Hollywood career and the making of the pilot, the ``absolutely, incontrovertibly brilliant'' The Cage. Tidbits tumble forth: at first Roddenberry envisioned a Captain Robert April at the helm of the USS Yorktown, with a half-Martian ``satanic'' Mr. Spock at his side. As the high concept took flesh, a fight arose among studio executives over Spock: How important should he be? What should his ears look like?— questions that attained even greater importance when, to everyone's bewilderment, the mind-melding Vulcan bested Kirk as the focus of the Trekker cult. Soon the rest of the cast signed on, along with ace producer Gene Coon, whom Shatner praises to the detriment of icon Roddenberry: ``Roddenberry created Star Trek, and Coon made it fly.'' Shatner's favorite program (``The Devil in the Dark''), Leonard Nimoy's clashes with management, why laser-guns became ``phasers'': there's enough here to satiate the most avid Trekker, delivered with pop and pizazz. After just three years, a tired cast called it quits, or so they thought. Today, Star Trek prospers, and so will this memoir- -most probably at warp speed. (``Over 130 never-before-seen photographs''—not seen)

Pub Date: Oct. 27, 1993

ISBN: 0-06-017734-9

Page Count: 336

Publisher: HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 1993

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


The authors have created a sort of anti-Book of Virtues in this encyclopedic compendium of the ways and means of power.

Everyone wants power and everyone is in a constant duplicitous game to gain more power at the expense of others, according to Greene, a screenwriter and former editor at Esquire (Elffers, a book packager, designed the volume, with its attractive marginalia). We live today as courtiers once did in royal courts: we must appear civil while attempting to crush all those around us. This power game can be played well or poorly, and in these 48 laws culled from the history and wisdom of the world’s greatest power players are the rules that must be followed to win. These laws boil down to being as ruthless, selfish, manipulative, and deceitful as possible. Each law, however, gets its own chapter: “Conceal Your Intentions,” “Always Say Less Than Necessary,” “Pose as a Friend, Work as a Spy,” and so on. Each chapter is conveniently broken down into sections on what happened to those who transgressed or observed the particular law, the key elements in this law, and ways to defensively reverse this law when it’s used against you. Quotations in the margins amplify the lesson being taught. While compelling in the way an auto accident might be, the book is simply nonsense. Rules often contradict each other. We are told, for instance, to “be conspicuous at all cost,” then told to “behave like others.” More seriously, Greene never really defines “power,” and he merely asserts, rather than offers evidence for, the Hobbesian world of all against all in which he insists we live. The world may be like this at times, but often it isn’t. To ask why this is so would be a far more useful project.

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

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 1998

ISBN: 0-670-88146-5

Page Count: 430

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 1998

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The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the...


Elie Wiesel spent his early years in a small Transylvanian town as one of four children. 

He was the only one of the family to survive what Francois Maurois, in his introduction, calls the "human holocaust" of the persecution of the Jews, which began with the restrictions, the singularization of the yellow star, the enclosure within the ghetto, and went on to the mass deportations to the ovens of Auschwitz and Buchenwald. There are unforgettable and horrifying scenes here in this spare and sombre memoir of this experience of the hanging of a child, of his first farewell with his father who leaves him an inheritance of a knife and a spoon, and of his last goodbye at Buchenwald his father's corpse is already cold let alone the long months of survival under unconscionable conditions. 

The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the sphere of suffering shared, and in this case extended to the death march itself, there is no spiritual or emotional legacy here to offset any reader reluctance.

Pub Date: Jan. 16, 2006

ISBN: 0374500010

Page Count: 120

Publisher: Hill & Wang

Review Posted Online: Oct. 7, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2006

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