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Beiträge von Brian D. Rubendall
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Rezensionen verfasst von
Brian D. Rubendall (Oakton, VA)
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Fahrenheit 451
Fahrenheit 451
von Ray Bradbury
  Taschenbuch

2 von 2 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen A bit dated, but still compelling, 1. August 2000
Rezension bezieht sich auf: Fahrenheit 451 (Taschenbuch)
I just read "Farenheit 451" for the first time recently, and found many of the observations about censorship quite relevant. However, as a science fiction story, what may have been riveting in the early 1950s seems a bit tame by today's standards. Particularly interesting is Bradbury's vision of the evolution of television, which of course was still in its infancy at the time he wrote the story. The idea of a room in which the visual image surrounds you on all sides sounds a projection screen TV owner's fantasy. Bradbury's vision of a totalitarian society is as scary as anything out of "1984," but ultimately Bradley was mistaken in believing that television could pacify the masses for totalitarianism. In fact, instant communications has made a totalitarian government, which relies on total control of information, less likely. The book is brief, checking in at a quickly read 160 pages. And this edition features a couple of scenes Bradbury wrote later on that were not featured in the original novel.


Planet of the Damned
Planet of the Damned
von Harry Harrison
  Taschenbuch

5.0 von 5 Sternen Classic Science Fiction, 30. Juli 2000
Rezension bezieht sich auf: Planet of the Damned (Taschenbuch)
This was the first science fiction book I read as a kid (too many years ago than I care to count) and it stimulated my interest in the genre. "Planet of the Damned" is classic science fiction and a coming of age story. The hero, Brion, is a young man given his first opportunity to prove his worthiness by trying to save Dis, a horrible planet that seems hell bent on self destruction. Harrison's imagination fills the page with sweeping scenery, even though the book checks in at a relatively snappy 160 or so pages. It is proof that epic science fistion does not need to go one for many volumes ala L. Ron Hubbard.


Distress
Distress
von Greg Egan
  Taschenbuch

4.0 von 5 Sternen Unconventional Science Fiction, 29. Juli 2000
Rezension bezieht sich auf: Distress (Taschenbuch)
Greg Egan's "Distress" is a most unusual work of science fiction. Most of the story takes place on Earth in the middle of the next century, but on an artificially created island called "Stateless" that is diplomatically shunned by most of the rest of the world because of how it was created. On the island, a convention is gathering to decide on the new "Theory of Everything" which is supposed to be as revolutionary as the Theory of Relativity. Lurking in the background is a new psychological malady named Distress, which is somehow linked to these events. Egan is a good storyteller and "Distress," like most of the best science fiction, is brimming with unusual ideas.


Den of Thieves
Den of Thieves
von James B. Stewart
  Taschenbuch
Preis: EUR 13,80

5.0 von 5 Sternen Greed ain't so good, 29. Juli 2000
Rezension bezieht sich auf: Den of Thieves (Taschenbuch)
James Stewart's expose on the Wall Streets scandals of the go-go 80's reads like the Oliver Stone film come to life. The stories of such high flying white collar crooks as Ivan Boesky and Michael Milken and how they met their downfall is nothing short of fascinating. These were guys whose genius made them wealthy beyond most people's wildest imaginations, but for whom enough was never enough. Stewart is a first rate journalist and having worked for the Wall Street Journal, he came to be intimately familiar with the particular villians and the heroic agents and prosecutors who caught them. Anyone with an interest in criminology or a few bucks invested in a high risk stock ought to read this.


Newjack: Guarding Sing Sing
Newjack: Guarding Sing Sing
von Ted Conover
  Gebundene Ausgabe

4.0 von 5 Sternen Life inside, 29. Juli 2000
Ted Conover (as he states in his book) is an anthropologist by trade rather than a journalist. And he deserves our admiration for subjecting himself to a year spent as a corrections officer in one of the country's most notorious prisons. In doing so, he reveals that being a corrections officer is one of the toughest and most unappreciated jobs around. The damage the job does to the psyche of the men and women who do it as well as the disruptions in their personal lives is starkly documented in his account. The author also make an excellent point in wondering why we are filling our prisons with so many non-violent (primarily drug) offenders. My only quibble is that Conover occasionally goes a bit to far afield with his liberal comments. By and large, violent offenders are undserving of our sympathy no matter what horrific environment may have helped to create them. Nevertheless, the book presents for the most part a balanced view of the life of a corrections officer. For that it is a valuable read for anyone interested in criminology.


Homicide
Homicide
von David Simon
  Taschenbuch

5.0 von 5 Sternen First Rate Journalism, 29. Juli 2000
Rezension bezieht sich auf: Homicide (Taschenbuch)
I've always felt that the main problem with the TV show version of "Homicide" is that, good as it is, it just can't match the gritty realism of the book it is based on. Journalist David Simon spent a year as a fly on the wall observing the Balitimore Police Homicide Unit, and dutifully recording everything he saw by and large without editorial comment. The result is absolutely indespensible for anyone with an interest in law enforcement. Being a homicide detectives is a tough job both emotionally and professionally with many hours of tedium that can often result in the frustration of an unsolved case. Particularly poignant is the story of a unsolved child murder case that haunts one of the detectives to the point of endagering his mental well being. The value of this book to the nation's hard working law enforcement professionals simply cannot be understated.


In a Sunburned Country
In a Sunburned Country
von Bill Bryson
  Gebundene Ausgabe

4.0 von 5 Sternen Very informative and quite funny, 25. Juli 2000
Rezension bezieht sich auf: In a Sunburned Country (Gebundene Ausgabe)
Bill Bryson has an excellent way with words, especially with his descriptive writing. For a travel writer, I suppose this is a must. He's also a humorist, and I laughed out loud on at least a half a dozen occasions while enjoying his adventures down under. Particularly amusing were his descriptions of a Cricket match, of a particularly bad hotel in Darwin and and of a drunken night in the Outback. He also gives a fine overall view of Austrailia, of which he covered much, but alas not nearly as much as he wanted. Though some might gripe that he spends too much time ruminating over the poisonous wildlife and looking for a cold beer, overall this is an exceptionally fun book to read. He includes many historical facts about Australia and even devotes some space to the unfortunate condition of the Aborigines. But not too much to spoil the fun. Bryson's travel writings remind me of an apolitical P.J. O'Rourke, and for that he's worth a read.


The Right Stuff
The Right Stuff
von Tom Wolfe
  Taschenbuch

2 von 4 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen An absolute classic, 22. Juli 2000
Rezension bezieht sich auf: The Right Stuff (Taschenbuch)
As good as "The Right Stuff" is as a movie, the book is even better. Thomas Wolfe's account of post war American test pilots and the first American astronauts is frank, amusing, moving and ultimately triumphant. Wolfe humanzies the cocky heroes that made America's space program successful. He punctures the myths that have grown up around such legendary men as Chuck Yeager, John Glenn and Alan Shepard and portrays them honestly, warts and all. The test pilot sequences and the onerous astronaut training are the best parts, but the whole book is utterly fascinating. "The Right Stuff" may very well be the best aviation story ever written.


Chechnya: Calamity in the Caucasus
Chechnya: Calamity in the Caucasus
von Carlotta Gall
  Taschenbuch
Preis: EUR 19,92

1 von 1 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen An account of the first phase of the conflict, 22. Juli 2000
As of the writing of this book, the Chechnyans had successfully repelled the Russian army and achieved a de facto independence that was not recognized by the rest of the world. Subsequent events have shown that Russia was not through with Chechnya by a long shot. This is a fascinating and grusome account of how Russia first attempted to pacify its rebellious province and how the Chechnyan hatred of the Russians goes back well over a hundred years. Stalin deported the entire population of the area to Central Asia during World War Two, cementing the Checnyans hatred of Moscow. That the West has allowed the slaughter in Chechnya to continue without more than a peep of a protest is shameful. This is a compelling book that deserves a wider audience, as well as a sequel.


Left to Die
Left to Die
von Dan Kurzman
  Taschenbuch

5.0 von 5 Sternen Kurzman's other Nautical disaster, 22. Juli 2000
Rezension bezieht sich auf: Left to Die (Taschenbuch)
Dan Kurzman followed up his excellent account of the sinking of the USS Indianapolis ("Fatal Voyage") with another tragic sinking of an American warship, this time the USS Juneau. The Juneau disaster is probably best known because among the many deaths were five brothers who had joined the navy at the start of World War Two and insisted that they be assigned to the same ship. Only one of the brothers survived the initial sinking, and he tragically succcomed to dehydration and delirium while frantically searching for his siblings on the open ocean amidst the oil and debris from the wreck. Equally compelling is the story of how the commander of The Juneau's task force made a life and death decision to leave the survivors behind in the water lest he put his other ships at risk. As a result only a mere handful of sailors ultimately survived. Their story is as haunting as anything I've read.


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