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frumiousb "frumiousb" (Amsterdam, the Netherlands)

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Best Horror Stories of Arthur Conan Doyl: Best Horror Stories of Arthur Conan Doylyyy
Best Horror Stories of Arthur Conan Doyl: Best Horror Stories of Arthur Conan Doylyyy
von Martin Harry Greenberg
  Taschenbuch
Preis: EUR 13,04

4.0 von 5 Sternen Gems of their time, 31. Juli 2000
Writing in the early part of this century, Doyle (best known for creating Sherlock Holmes) created a series of horror stories with a bent towards spiritualism and mystery. The selection is a good range of work with some very strong entries. "The Case of Lady Sannox" and "The Leather Funnel" are particular stand-outs. Some of Doyle's is more dated than others, but still definitely worth a read.


Disgrace
Disgrace
von J. M. Coetzee
  Gebundene Ausgabe

5.0 von 5 Sternen A Booker book that deserves the prize, 29. Juli 2000
Rezension bezieht sich auf: Disgrace (Gebundene Ausgabe)
I don't know what I think about _Disgrace_. I've certainly never seen a book with so many layers written in such a determinedly spare way. There are a lot of tiny points that jar, but I'm lead to the conclusion that Coetzee meant them to, by showing how the layers of the world create some strange plot threads when you see them all together.
What I mean is that a character's action when viewed as a personal narrative may seem to make little sense, but becomes a necessary part of reading the book as parable. Alternatively, the parable is broken apart by the vibrant and real (all the more real *because* they are opaque) characters Coetzee creates. The dogs, Lucy, the rapes, South Africa, and the relationships of fathers and daughters manage to be both potent as symbols and potent as real objects in the space of the book.
The book is the hangover after the party. The early morning feeling of depressed and shallow emotion. The landscape of living in the world you've made, even when you don't like the world very much at all.
I don't understand it or my reactions in response to reading it. Which is the highest compliment I can probably pay.


The Trial of Radclyffe Hall
The Trial of Radclyffe Hall
von Diana Souhami
  Gebundene Ausgabe
Preis: EUR 20,44

4.0 von 5 Sternen Marguerite, John, and Radclyffe Hall, 29. Juli 2000
Radclyffe Hall was not a major literary figure-- but she was an immensely fascinating one. She's not less fascinating because there were so many things to dislike (depressing love affairs, callousness about pets, and a definite preference for fascism).
What Souhami manages to do is to paint a picture that owns the negative without playing down the brave and even important side to Hall's life. For the students of history and sexual politics, the trials surrounding the Well of Loneliness make fascinating reading and we see them through this book in a totally different light than I've seen them before.
Great biography.


The Four-Chambered Heart: V3 in Nin's Continuous Novel
The Four-Chambered Heart: V3 in Nin's Continuous Novel
von Anais Nin
  Taschenbuch
Preis: EUR 10,92

3.0 von 5 Sternen Interesting biographically, 23. Juli 2000
But basically, the book is slight and forgettable. Except in Collages, Nin never really managed to put together a book that approached her diaries as literature. I read this as a follow-up to reading the Bair biography, and that kept me interested through the book itself.


The Rift
The Rift
von Walter J. Williams
  Taschenbuch

2.0 von 5 Sternen Interesting idea, predictable conflicts, 22. Juli 2000
Rezension bezieht sich auf: The Rift (Taschenbuch)
It's hard to argue with all the rave reviews, but I'm going to. While I found the research that went into _The Rift_ to be impressive, there was nothing about the situations or the characters Williams drew that struck me as interesting or new. Civil disaster causes racial tension to explode in an already divided south. Religious weirdos become weirder when cut off from the civilized world by disaster. Businessmen see it as financial oopportunity and struggle to get to a phone and make money. Youth hold the hope of the future. Etc. The book is positioned as being similar to _The Stand_ but carries none of the freshness that made King's epic of disaster so very good.


Computers as Theatre
Computers as Theatre
von Brenda Laurel
  Taschenbuch
Preis: EUR 46,49

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4.0 von 5 Sternen Putting dramatic structure on the user interface, 22. Juli 2000
Rezension bezieht sich auf: Computers as Theatre (Taschenbuch)
The idea that is perhaps most central to this book is that if you design the action involved in a user interface, the design of all other objects in the domain will follow. To support this, Laurel reconciles the seemingly disparate and relates user interface design with producing a play in theater. For example, the way she brings in the Freytag triangle works very well.
This said, I wish I wish that we would see a book from Laurel (or from one of her other usability guru companions) that treats with more recent issues-- particularly the Internet. I think she's one of the smartest people out there in the field, and I try to read what she's written, but I'm getting tired of reading about Habitat, Guides, and the Holodek on Star Trek. That's not the fault of the book, given that it came out pre-Internet hype, but it did inflect the reading experience with some weariness.


Moon Palace (Contemporary American Fiction)
Moon Palace (Contemporary American Fiction)
von Paul Auster
  Taschenbuch
Preis: EUR 11,00

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5.0 von 5 Sternen Findings and loss, 18. Juli 2000
_Moon Palace_ flickers through three generations of a family, with M.S. Fogg as the family avatar. Fogg is orphaned and uncled, and orphaned and sistered and fathered and fathering and finally orphaned again in a strange and gorgeous circle that still somehow manages to complete itself with satisfaction (if with sadness). Auster has written a book populated by beautiful ghosts. Highly recommended.


Boer War
Boer War
von Thomas Pakenham
  Taschenbuch

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4.0 von 5 Sternen Extensive history of the British side of the Boer War, 16. Juli 2000
Rezension bezieht sich auf: Boer War (Taschenbuch)
Pakenham's exploration of the Boer War is dense and exhaustive, but ultimately readable. It traces the follies, bloodshed, and innovations that surrounded the war that began with the British annexation of the Transvaal region. Goes through the major battles and politics in close detail, but is lacking most sense of the Dutch/Boer perspective on the war. I would like to have seen more about the concentration camps from the Boer side and it would have been interesting to have more coverage of the European (particularly Dutch) response to the British actions.


Monster: A Novel
Monster: A Novel
von Jonathan Kellerman
  Gebundene Ausgabe
Preis: EUR 19,78

3.0 von 5 Sternen As an airplane book, it does the trick, 11. Juli 2000
Rezension bezieht sich auf: Monster: A Novel (Gebundene Ausgabe)
Kellerman doesn't neglect the elements that made his book such a success, but neither does he manage to weave those elements together into something more than reasonably entertaining.
In _Monster_, Dr. Delaware helps Milo Sturgis put together a series of obviously connected but seemingly random murders to catch a dangerous killer. They begin in a hospital for the criminally insane and have to navigate a long series of red herrings to finally come to a solution.
The parts in the hospital are really fascinating, and carry that Delaware flavor I like best-- the part where I feel like he has a real job whose knowledge he's able to leverage. The rest of the plot, however, is incredibly convoluted and relies on some rather overdone tricks to bring the book to a close.


Julian of Norwich: Showings (Classics of Western Spirituality)
Julian of Norwich: Showings (Classics of Western Spirituality)
von James Walsh
  Taschenbuch
Preis: EUR 18,10

5.0 von 5 Sternen God as mother, God as Love, 28. Juni 2000
All that's known about Julian of Norwich was that in 1373 a woman lay, at age 30, on her deathbed. The woman did not die, but instead received a series of visions of Christ's passion. These visions are what is recorded in this book in both short (written more closely after the incident) and long (written much later, after more contemplation) versions. She then became an anchoress living as a recluse in a cell attached to the churchyard of St. Julian in Norwich.
Julian's visions, even in translation, are luminous and joyful. She received the assurance that God will, in the end, make all well. The meaning of it all, as she says, is Love. This is one of the most vivid constructions of the medieval image of Christ as mother and is (justly) famous as such. The showings are moving and beautiful.
The Paulist Press/Colledge translation is almost comical in its padding. Featuring a preface, forward, and introduction, the actual short text does not begin until page 125.


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