In a book of this scope, the narrative is inevitably top-heavy in spots, and the plot wears thin toward the end, but this is storytelling at its most seductive, a brash historical adventure.
For dedicated movie buffs, a handful of choice remarks on the personal habits of stars provides respite from tedious details...Ultimately, the book is a charmed and mostly charming tribute to off-screen lives during a period many may regard as Hollywood's finest.
This book's strength is mixing research and anecdote in a lively, accessible way, with a reporter's eye for detail.
...he's found a compelling and uncomfortable way to illuminate a fantasy that feels uniquely American. Invoking Jay Gatsby and the Talented Mr. Ripley, he shows us the way one individual, by simply dropping names all over the place, going sockless and never carrying a wallet, can get alarmingly far in a country that was founded on self-invention.
While it is not the literary masterpiece it might have been had Leigh Fermor been able to work his magic, it captures the joy of the open road, the fresh view he gives of Europe as it began to show the stresses that led to world war, and the glimpses of a long-lost life and innocence.
The author often takes an offhand, anecdotal approach; sometimes the effect is too breezy, but at other times it captures the daily indignities to which the junior capitalists are subjected...The better part of the book is sociological in nature:
Catling taught with Sebald in the last decade of his life, and her flowing translation pays crucial attention to the prosody and contours of Sebald’s sentences.
This is the turgid, enumerative, cheerleading voice of political talking points and White House press aides...this access does not lead to a smidgeon of insight... It is a 400-plus-page advertorial for Mrs Clinton's presidential campaign, masquerading as an unauthorised biography...
A 12-page montage of random moments from her life...seems slapdash; so do some of her remarks on the six objects, which ramble in ways that are not necessarily illuminating. But even these slightly disappointing passages contain examples of Lively's gift for sharply turned phrases...
...the book reminds us how rewarding it can be to see a parent outside the context of our own needs. It's that illumination that allows Corrigan to turn what starts as a complaint about her mother into a big thank you.
On a highly touchy subject, the authors tread carefully, backing their assertions with copious notes. Though coolly and cogently argued, this book is bound to be the spark for many potentially heated discussions.
While segments about the writing of groundbreaking works like Naked Lunch and heroin-fueled binges in Tangiers and Paris are satisfyingly voyeuristic, the biography is ultimately neither sensational enough to court controversy nor keen enough to be useful to future scholars.
Some sections detailing military deployment negotiations will prove as dry as Afghan dust to anyone not wearing green, but overall the book is a rewarding read and a rare insight into the ongoing capture of the Obama administration by Washington's security establishment.
These depictions of Roger Ailes as something other than a frothing, ratings-mad showman-provocateur may be cases of damning with faint praise. But it’s about as a fair and balanced an account as one could hope to read about someone who has so weightily tipped the scales of American political life to the right.
Stossel’s personal stories are absorbing...His discovery that his young daughter has a phobia of vomiting, despite not knowing of her father’s identical fear, is both eye-opening and heartbreaking...My Age of Anxiety is a compelling mix of research, personal journalism and insights.
He deserves some credit and thanks for the extraordinary lengths to which he has gone to keep his little plane in the air and keep his family alive. It works. Little Failure is not one.
I wondered why no women were included...Although there are more than enough alcoholic women writers to choose from (Jean Rhys, Dorothy Parker, Jean Stafford, Marguerite Duras, Shirley Jackson, Anne Sexton, Gwendolyn MacEwen) it’s possible they simply wouldn’t have the same commercial value as a book about “The Boys.”
Conspicuously lacking chapter breaks, prefaced by a photo of a naked toddler in sunglasses...formatted willy-nilly...by turns intoxicating, indulgent, hilarious...and straight-up dull, Morrissey’s memoir earns its pithy title. For better, for worse, for nothing at all, Autobiography is a catalogue of everything “Morrissey,”...
The author dishes plenty...but the repeated demonstrations of flawed character do nothing to diminish Williams’ outsized stature as a player. Bradlee is as enthusiastic as Vin Scully...
Though her life did not hold the challenges familiar to the 99 percent, it took strength to stay sensible amid temptations...This book — not profound but quite delicious — shows how those qualities grew in both hospitable and inhospitable soil.