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Randall Ivey "Randall" (USA)

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The Great Gatsby
The Great Gatsby
von F. Scott Fitzgerald
  Taschenbuch

3 von 3 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Elegy for the jazz age, 17. Juli 2000
Rezension bezieht sich auf: The Great Gatsby (Taschenbuch)
Although published seventy-five years ago, Fitzgerald's masterpiece remains as fresh as the day it appeared. It could have been written yesterday. It is as perfect a novel as one is likely to find in American literature; not a word is wrong or out of place. The choice of a second person narrator gives the reader wider and greater appreciation of the characters and events. At the center of it all, of course, is Jay Gatsby, bootlegger, liar, party-giver, doomed romantic. His love for Daisy Buchanan, his "incorruptible dream", is the only genuine emotion felt by any of the characters (excepting narrator Nick Carroway, whose loyalty to Gatsby is touching), all of whose superficiality is buried beneath the glitter and gaiety of the Jazz Age, the endless parties, the extramarital affairs, the endless-flowing booze, the accumulation of wealth and things.
This edition of the book features critical commentary and notes from Prof. Matthew Bruccoli, the world's foremost Fitzgerald scholar.


Jefferson Davis Gets His Citizenship Back
Jefferson Davis Gets His Citizenship Back
von Robert Warren
  Gebundene Ausgabe
Preis: EUR 17,46

4.0 von 5 Sternen Good outline of the life of a great and troubled man, 27. Juni 2000
This is a concise - 114 pages - but no less impressive and comprehensive look at Davis's life than some of the longer biographies out there. Warren, like Allen Tate before him, sees Davis as a great man but deeply flawed. He could quite possibly have won the War Between the States had he not been so rigidly dedicated to the principle of state's rights. He was too much the gentleman to do what was necessary. Lincoln, on the other hand, was a pragmatist, and had no qualms about suspending the constitution to achieve his means; he thought he was saving the Constitution by defying it!
A sad tale of greatness thwarted by principle. Warren composed this essay in honor of his fellow Kentuckian, whose U.S. citizenship had been restored that year - 1979 - by an act of Congress. Warren writes with verve, wit, humor, and insight.


American Sphinx: The Character of Thomas Jefferson
American Sphinx: The Character of Thomas Jefferson
von Joseph J. Ellis
  Taschenbuch
Preis: EUR 12,66

3 von 4 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Outstanding history lesson, 20. Juni 2000
The beauty of this book is that Ellis allows no bias of his own to show through. He merely lays out the facts of Jefferson's life and philosophy and lets the reader draw conclusions. But he does give us much food for thought, and it is fascinating to see how, over the years, different political factions have attempted to claim the Jeffersonian mantle. Among the book's other treasures is the portrait of the friendship-turned- enmity between Jefferson and John Adams, who, along with wife Abigal, emerge as wholly witty, fascinating characters. The two men, former conspirators turned rivals, died on the same day, July 4, 1826.
Forget the recent spate of spiteful, one-sided books that attempt to paint Jefferson as a hypocritical reprobate only and read this fine narrative of a great and complex man.
This is history as it should be written - lively, provocative, and compelling.


The Notebooks of Don Rigoberto
The Notebooks of Don Rigoberto
von Mario Vargas Llosa
  Gebundene Ausgabe

4.0 von 5 Sternen In praise of Vargas Illosa, 15. Juni 2000
What DON RIGOBERTO lacks in the eroticism of its precursor, IN PRAISE OF THE STEPMOTHER, it makes up for in humor and drama. It is a very entertaining if somewhat repetitive book.
Rigoberto, naturally enough, dominates the novel. The wife and son seem a little one or two dimensional and not very developed beyond the first book. But here Rigoberto blazes forth not only as a man of acute erotic passions but as a social critic as well, and his well-measured diatribes against feminists, organized sports, pornography, and men's clubs, of which his eponymous notebooks are composed, are a joy to read.


Mayflies: New Poems and Translations
Mayflies: New Poems and Translations
von Richard Wilbur
  Gebundene Ausgabe

5.0 von 5 Sternen Master craftsman, 14. Juni 2000
It is a pleasure to read the work of Richard Wilbur and to know that, nearly eighty, he is still capable of writing graceful, elegant poems that both move and enlighten. Aside from a number of short formal poems, this collection offers recent, delightful translations of Dante and Moliere.
One feels better knowing that poets like Wilbur are still toiling in the formal vineyards, producing such lovely and accessible works as these.


Jefferson Davis: His Rise and Fall: His Rise and Fall, a Biographical Narrative (Southern Classics Series)
Jefferson Davis: His Rise and Fall: His Rise and Fall, a Biographical Narrative (Southern Classics Series)
von Allen Tate
  Taschenbuch
Preis: EUR 11,71

5.0 von 5 Sternen Eminently readable biography, 13. Juni 2000
This book is no act of idolatry, despite the author's reputation as a Southern conservative and Agrarian. Tate believes Davis was a great man, but he points out his flaws as well, his diffidence in acting sooner that might have won the South the War, his pride, his sometime aloofness, his tendency to remain loyal to generals (Braxton Bragg foremost among them) whose incompetence was all too apparent to others, and his refusal to appoint the right men for the right job.
This is an absorbing read that puts one in mind of Shelby Foote's celebrated War trilogy, although Tate's was written first. It has the same novelistic quality and drive and the same quickly drawn but utterly convincing characterizations. The book alternates between presentations of certain monumental battles and portraits of life on the "homefront." The latter is actually more fascinating than the former. We learn in vivid detail of the strength and loyalty and perseverance of the Southern people.


Sophie's Choice (Vintage International)
Sophie's Choice (Vintage International)
von William Styron
  Taschenbuch
Preis: EUR 11,88

5.0 von 5 Sternen Perfect summer reading, 12. Juni 2000
Like A. Burgess's EARTHLY POWERS, SOPHIE'S CHOICE is a shamelessly neglected masterwork. Also like Burgess's novel, SOPHIE'S CHOICE hearkens back to the days of the great 19th century novels of Dickens and Thackery and Trollope. It is spaciously designed and truly absorbing, despite its length.
Stingo, a young Virginian and aspiring novelist, comes to New York to ply his trade and meets the mysterious, beautiful, and alluring Sophie and her equally mysterious lover. Soon he is drawn further into their tumultuous relationship and discovers the horrific secret Sophie has been haboring all these years.
Some critics criticized the novel for its digressions - especially the passages on Stingo's sexual frustrations - but this is all part of character development and Styron's determination to make the reader live in this world he has created.
This is a pefect book to read in the summer. Enter it and enjoy.


A Tidewater Morning: Three Tales from Youth (Vintage International)
A Tidewater Morning: Three Tales from Youth (Vintage International)
von William Styron
  Taschenbuch
Preis: EUR 10,68

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4.0 von 5 Sternen Not essential Styron but a good intro to his work, 12. Juni 2000
Styron revisits old themes in this collection subtitled "Three Tales from Youth" and set, two thirds of the way, in Tidewater Virginia in the earlier part of the twentieth century. In it we see three episodes from the life of Styron's autobiographical protagonist Paul Whitehurst at ages twenty, ten, and thirteen.
In "Love Day" Paul, a young Marine lieutenant, experiences intense homesickness in the Pacific Ocean during the waning months of WWII. This is well-written but perhaps the least impressive of the three tales. Next is best. "Shadrach" is a wonderfully affecting, funny, and touching story of a 99-year old former slave who walks all the way from Clay County, Alabama, to Virginia to die and be buried in his homeplace. The title story shows Paul's struggle to accept his mother's approaching death from cancer and pays especial attention to the complex relationship between his parents.
Despite Styron's wonderfully indulgent and rococo style, these stories make for fairly quick reads, as we are carried along on a stream of telling detail and crystalline reminiscence. Not that the work lacks complication. As with his larger-canvased works, Styron deals with issues of race, Southern identity, heterosexual love, courage, cowardice, religion, and art. Here and there the stories are marred by facile liberal pieties and stilted dialogue, but for the most part it is a pleasure to watch this old master cast perhaps one last look at the familiar but still-fertile landscape of his heart and imagination.


Good Man Is Hard to Find and Other Stories (Harvest/HBJ Book)
Good Man Is Hard to Find and Other Stories (Harvest/HBJ Book)
von Flannery O'Connor
  Taschenbuch
Preis: EUR 9,45

1 von 1 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen "It just goes to show what some people will do", 8. Juni 2000
If I were banished to a deserted isle and could take only one book of short stories with me, O'Connor's A GOOD MAN IS HARD TO FIND would be it.This is as perfect as a work of American fiction gets, with the author hitting almost no false notes.
Some may be put off with O'Connor's themes - man's inability to save himself from damnation with intellect or pride (the proselytizing got worse in her last collection, EVERYTHING THAT RISES MUST CONVERGE) - but she crafts her stories with such humor and insight, the Catholicism is easy medicine to take. The best story in the collection? What a choice! My initial pick would have been "The Artificial Nigger," a Dantesque tale in which an old man learns the true meaning of grace and humility from his young grandson. Now I lean somewhat toward the book's longest story, "The Displaced Person." I've rarely come across a work in which theme and technique were integrated with such inevitability and power. In it a woman eschews anything that's not practical, including spirituality, and makes the great mistake of placing her faith in technology and her fellow man. And of course there's the title story, one of the funniest and scariest things you'll likely ever encounter.
Mix all this up with O'Connor's matchless ear for dialogue, and you have an American - no, a world - classic.
Once when one of O'Connor's mother's friends read one of Flannery's stories and was asked her opinion, the good woman replied tersely, "It just goes to show what some people will do." Indeed. And thank goodness she did it.


The Sub: A Study in Witchcraft
The Sub: A Study in Witchcraft
von Thomas M. Disch
  Gebundene Ausgabe

4.0 von 5 Sternen A delicious, devilish satire, 7. Juni 2000
Some previous reviewers seem to be missing the point when they call Disch a misogynist. Yes, he pokes fun at certain feminist and New Age shibboleths, but please note that he also targets religious fundamentalism as well, and the slimiest character in the book is not Diana but the incestuous reverend.
In any event, the novel is satire, which explains its sharp edge and unflinching eye. This is not Disch's best work, but it's mighty entertaining, funny, and, yes, frightening (the scene where Diana transforms her potential lover into a stag is particularly adept and scary).
Disch remains a consistently interesting writer worthy of much wider attention.


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