The Little Gate-Crasher by Gabrielle Kaplan-Mayer – Book Review

The Little Gate-Crasher by Gabrielle Kaplan-Mayer – Book Review

The Little Gate Crasher by Gabrielle Kaplan-mayer

The Little Gate-Crasher
The Life and Photos of Mace Bugen

Author – Gabrielle Kaplan-Mayer
Publisher – Sager Group
Pages – 110
Released – 1st October 2016
ISBN-13 – 978-0996490146
Format – ebook, paperback
Reviewer – Stacey
Rating – 3.5 Stars
I received a free copy of this book
Post contains affiliate links.


Mace Bugen might have been an achondroplastic dwarf, 43 inches tall with an average size head and torso set on small, twisted legs—but that didn’t mean he was an idiot or a pushover. In truth, he was smarter than most; over the years, he learned to effectively turn what society in those days called a handicap into a powerful tool he could use to his advantage.

“When I was a kid,” he once said, “I’d ask myself, Why is that guy on the football team? Why can’t I be on the team? Why didn’t God give me the height so I could be the hero?” “Then at some point I figured it out: I gotta do something special to let ’em know I’m me.”

In The Little Gate Crasher: The Life And Photos Of Mace Bugen, I remember my amazing great-Uncle Mace Bugen through his journey as a first-generation Jewish-American kid in working class Philipsburg, NJ to becoming the first celebrity selfie-artist—way ahead of his time.

Featuring vintage photos of Mace with his exploits, The Little Gate Crasher captures three decades of American pop culture, seen through the unique lens of Mace and his gate-crashing exploits.

Underneath his antics, we meet a complex man who continually defies others expectations and meets life on his own terms. Mace becomes a successful businessman and devoted son to his aging parents. But in his gate-crashing antics, we best get to see Mace’s unique combination of guile, cunning and sense of entitlement, which he used to engineer photos of himself with some of the biggest celebrities of his day. If people were going to stare at him all of his life, he would give them something to see.

The Little Gate Crasher features over 50 vintage photos of Mace with celebrities, athletes and politicians, including Babe Ruth, Hank Aaron, Muhammed Ali, Richard Nixon, Jane Russel, Joe DiMaggio and more.

New one review witch 2017

The Little Gate-Crasher is a short, just 110 pages long, book about the life of achondroplastic dwarf Mace Bugen. Throughout the book, written by his Great-Niece Gabrielle Kaplan-Mayer, you get to read all about his unique life, the celebrities he mingled with and also view the numerous photos within too.

If you know or have heard about Mace Bugen, or are into the whole celebrity culture, then this book will be a real joy to read. Unfortunately for me, I had never heard of Mace Bugen before reading this book and I also have very little interest in the lives of celebrities. At this point, you may be wondering why I chose to read the book? Well, I do like to step outside my comfort zone now and again and I was also drawn in by the synopsis.

I liked how much Mace Bugen was determined to be somebody and do something with his life after doors were closing on him because of his size, he just never gave up and was a true inspiration to others. It was also a great pleasure to see all the wonderful photos too, this part I really enjoyed.

The Little Gate-Crasher is a historical look at life through the eyes of Mace Bugen and how he managed to gate-crash so many celebrity events to get his ‘selfies’ with the stars. It is a fun, quick read which has been beautifully written by someone who clearly loved him dearly. If you like learning about celebrity lives then you will love this book.

Reviewed by Stacey

TLG - mace-bugen.feature_580x320

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About the Author

Gabrielle Kaplan-Mayer

Gabrielle Kaplan-Mayer is an experienced educator, author and speaker. At Jewish Learning Venture, she works as Director of Whole Community Inclusion and leads disability awareness programs for the Philadelphia Jewish community. Her most recent book The Little Gate Crasher, a memoir of her Great-Uncle, who overcame society’s prejudices about dwarfism to lead a remarkable life, was one of the national book selections for 2017 Jewish Disability Awareness & Inclusion Month.

Gabby writes for and edits The New York Jewish Week’s The New Normal: Blogging Disability and is also a featured Philly parenting blogger for WHYY’s newsworks. Gabby holds a B.F.A. in theatre and creative writing from Emerson College and an M.A. in Jewish Studies from the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College.

The Little Gate Crasher

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22 Responses

  1. DJ says:

    It is good to try new things, sometimes it pays off, sometimes not ?

  2. I get drawn by the book covers and sometimes by the synopsis 🙂 and then regret
    but this one seems to be a fair read.

  3. Entertainingly Nerdy says:

    I’ve never heard of him either. I don’t usually read about celebrities lives but I’ll have to look into this one.

  4. I never heard of him, but it does look like an interesting read. It is lovely how is family is keeping his spirit alive.

  5. Tasha says:

    This sounds interesting though I have never heard of him.

  6. Love, Sawyer says:

    I’m not sure this is the book for me, but I’ll admit I do kind of want to see the pictures.

  7. Great review!

  8. This sounds like a beautifully written book. Not something for me, but definitely for someone that enjoys reading about celebrities. Great review!

  9. An interesting story. I love how you summarised the review in words.

  10. It certainly is. I really did enjoy the pictures.

  11. Not just me then. I hope you enjoy it.

  12. I agree, it is a lovely thing to do.

  13. I know what you mean. The pictures are great.

  14. It’s not a book for everyone. Thank you.

  15. Jordanne says:

    I like this – it sounds like it has a great message, I think i’ll need to pick it up. Great review.

  16. It does. I hope you get to read it sometime.

  17. Christine says:

    I am also drawn in by good covers/synopsis only to be let down. Sucks that this one didn’t live up to your expectations.