"An astonishing saga...highly entertaining."
"A joy to read."
The New York Times
"A delicious find...[Korda] knows how to tell a wonderful story....His prodigious memory of events, his love of the eccentric and his pure glee about being alive are so engaging that it's impossible not to like this book."
The Washington Post Book World
"Richly entertaining...not just another insider's view of a supposedly glamorous industry, but a narrative in the style of some full-blooded novelist."
"A thoroughly entertaining read...You don't have to be in the publishing businessor even a New Yorkerto appreciate this witty memoir."
The Wall Street Journal
Though Michael Korda's family was practically movie royalty (his father was a prominent cinematic art director and his uncle Alexander directed That Hamilton Woman and The Private Life of Henry VIII, among many others), he opted for a career in publishing, one he details in engaging fashion in Another Life: A Memoir of Other People. Korda's accounts of his interactions with the greats, near greats, and would-be greats -- superagent Irving "Swifty" Lazar, Joan Crawford, Tennessee Williams, and many others -- make for a terrifically entertaining read.
Michael Korda has created the near-impossible...a saga about book publishing that is compulsively readable....Korda combines irreverent memoir and an industry history into one rollicking tale. Brill's Content
...[E]ngaging....His account of the...changes that swept book publishing....are enriched by shrewd assessments of big players....[He] delivers a lot of information about the book business very lightly, with diverting asides about the celebrities he has encountered....[M]ore a book about personalities than about principles... The New York Times
Michael Korda's Another Life is not just a horse of a different color, it's a different kind of animal altogether a book so diverting, so lively, and so well intentioned that it calls for a new classification: a Book of Fabulous Beasts...while [Korda] doesn't exactly spill the secrets of the confessional, he comes close enough to make this an elevated work of gossip; in other words, the kind of book we all like to read.... What makes this book not only amusing and instructive but appealing is that his close and canny observations are conveyed with a writer's glee, never with sour resentment or envy.
New York Observer
...Korda never comes across as mean-spirited; he seems to genuinely like almost everyone whose oddities he nails. He's equally nonjudgemental about the notoriously nasty management style favored by his friend Snyder, who went through distinguished editors like Kleenex, and about book publishing's evolution from a gentleman's trade into a hard-nosed business, chronicled here with exceeding shrewdness.
Korda's fascinating "memoir of other people" follows his own upward-moving tour of the publishing world. Rising from lowly young Pocket Books editor to the top job at Simon & Schuster, he encounters vivid writers, editors, agents, hacks, flacks, mentors, and rivals such as Max Schuster, Swifty Lazar, Robert Gottlieb, and Harold Robbins. (LJ 5/1/99) Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.
Korda's tone of voice is affectionate and urbane, his manner that of the accomplished raconteur who never spoils the story with a heavy-handed moral, relying for his effect on the telling anecdote and the apt phrase.
The New York Times Book Review
Korda's anecdotes will keep you turning the pages.
This is more entertaining than lunch with a power editor at the Four Seasons Grillfull of delicious gossip plus a lesson or two in book publishing. Korda, of course, is a power editor (editor-in-chief of Simon & Schuster) as well as a best-selling author (Man to Man, 1996; Charmed Lives: A Memoir, 1979; etc.). He's also a world-class raconteur with apparently total recall. In this memoir, which skims quickly over his career at Oxford and his experiences in the RAF and in the Hungarian Revolution, he alternates snapshots of authors, editors, and publishers he has known with exploration of the growth and changes in book publishing since he began at Pocket Books (a division of Simon & Schuster) in 1958. As he moved up in the hierarchy to edit and buy books for S&S, he took on Will and Ariel Durant, Irving Wallace, Harold Robbins, and Robert Moses. He became friends with legendary agent Irving Lazar, who called every day with a new book or proposalinvaluable to a young editorand with Dick Snyder, just starting out on the publishing side of S&S and who was later to take it to a multi-billion dollar business. Korda also began working with authors like Jacqueline Susann, Carlos Castaneda ("I have never doubted for a moment the truth of his stories about Don Juan"), Larry McMurtry (drawn to Korda because they shared an interest in rodeos), Joan Crawford, Graham Greene (an old family friend), Tennessee Williams (who literally drank himself under the table), Jesse Jackson (who never did produce a book), and Claus von Bülow (ditto). Korda both roasts and toasts most of these notables, embroidering tales of their not always endearing eccentricities and at the same timeapplauding their talents. Neither modest or boastful about his own considerable abilities, Korda offers relatively few glimpses into his private life: long hours at work broke up his first marriage; his second wife is fond of horses and pigs. Deft, amusing, informativejust what the editor might hope for from one of his own authors. (Author tour)