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Profil für Jer Fairall (j_fairall@yahoo.com) > Rezensionen

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Beiträge von Jer Fairall (j...
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Rezensionen verfasst von
Jer Fairall (j_fairall@yahoo.com) (Windsor, Ontario)

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Ei  4: Simon & Marshall' (Eerie Indiana)
Ei 4: Simon & Marshall' (Eerie Indiana)
von John Peel
  Taschenbuch

4.0 von 5 Sternen Entertaining Entry into the Series, 17. Juli 1999
This second "Eerie" novel by John Peel (the famous UK DJ??? OK, probably not) is a vast improvement on "Burea of Lost" (Eerie #2). The story is witty, fast paced, entertaining and, for once, not modelled after an episode from the TV show.
One complaint: For a series that I've noted before as being incredibly faithful to its source material, I was disappointed to see that Peel got one detail wrong here. Dash is identified at one point as "Dash Check" whe in the series his name was "Dash X" (he got his name from the markings on his hand which read X and -). I know, I know...no big deal but this seemed like a pretty sloppy error to me.


Eerie Indiana #2: Bureau of Lost
Eerie Indiana #2: Bureau of Lost
von John Peel
  Taschenbuch

2.0 von 5 Sternen Disappointing, 5. Juli 1999
After a great start ("Return To Foreverware") the second installment in this series is a bit of a letdown. Like in the previous book, "Bureau of Lost" revisits an episode of the series - Marshall and Simon meet up with Al and Lodgepool who run the Bureau of Lost (where all "missing" items - from briefcases to pencaps - are stored) - and expands it by introducing a Bureau of Missing, a seperate project where famous people (among them are Butch Cassidy, The Sundance Kid, DB Cooper and the Flying Dutchman) who have mysteriously vanished are cyrogenically frozen and stored in vaults. When these notorious felons escape, Marshall and Simon are reluctantly called upon to help locate them and get them back where they belong.
"Bureau of Lost" reads more like a caper from the old 60's "Batman" series, with the four villains plotting a giant criminal scheme together, than it does like something from "Eerie, Indiana." Also, the purpose for the Bureau of Missing never really made any sense. The Bureau of Lost, as it was explained in the TV show, existed to keep the economy stable (if people never lost anything, Lodgepool theorized, they'd never buy anything to replace those missing items, thus causing to economy to crash) but there is no apparent reason to keep human beings frozen and stored. Overall, this entry just seemed to be streching it.


A Prayer for Owen Meany
A Prayer for Owen Meany
von John Irving
  Taschenbuch

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5.0 von 5 Sternen My All Time Favorite Novel, 30. Juni 1999
Rezension bezieht sich auf: A Prayer for Owen Meany (Taschenbuch)
Sometime in early 1993, when I was 14 years old, a friend of my parents had gave me a hardback copy of "A Prayer For Owen Meany" telling me, simply, "I think you'll like this." I shrugged, thanked her and it sat on the coffee table for a few months. That June, when we took a long road trip to Ottawa one weekend, I brought the book along with me simply to have something to distract me while spending about 10 hours in a van that weekend. It didn't take long until I was fully engrossed in the book. I spent much of the 5 hours en route to Ottawa reading, another couple hours that night in the hotel room and there were very few moments during our entire stay in Canada's capital that weekend that I didn't spend in the grips of "Owen Meany." I didn't understand a lot of the religious and political content at the time but I didn't have to. This story had engrossed me so much that it didn't concern me very much that I didn't understand the significance of everything.
I'm recounting these minor events so meticulously because I think that this weekend changed my life in a rather significant way: This is when I learned just how powerful and effective art can be. To many of us, books are just something we busy ourselves with while on a long flight or are forced to read for classes; movies are just something we go to so we can see explosions, animatronic dinosaurs terrorizing a cast of extras, Sharon Stone in soft core sex scenes or Jim Carrey talking - literally - out of his a**; and music is just something we dance to mindlessly or hear in the backgrounds of beer commercials and movie trailers. Literature, film and music fulfill all of these occupations but they can be - and are - so much more as well. Mindless distraction is quite welcome at times but art can also move us, influence us or cause us to reflect on our own lives and it's this that keeps me reading as many books as I can cram into my schedule, going to the movies at least once a week and buying just as many albums than my budget can seriously afford. And the turning point in my experience with art is, of course, "Owen Meany."
Almost exactly 6 years after reading "Owen," I decided to go against my usual policy of not rereading books (a time saving measure) and revisit what I'd been declaring my favorite novel of all time ever since the first reading. Two things influenced my decision. One, I saw Mark Steven Johnson's hideously misguided film adaptation (with the title changed to "Simon Birch" after Irving took as many measures as possible to disassociate the book from the movie) and needed to get the awful feeling of seeing the novel trashed on celluloid out of my head and two, I'd felt that I had changed enough in the past 6 years (well, hopefully) that the experience of "Owen Meany" could be different this time around.
In some ways, it was. I didn't feel the impact of the novel quite as powerfully this time around, but how could I? I can never again be surprised by the plots many twists and revelations as I was the first time through. Not everything is quite the way I remember it. Several minor events in the book that seemed poignant at the time had long since faded from my memory. Owen is still a compelling character but I would hardly describe him as likeable, which is somewhat contrary to how I reacted toward him the first time. I'm not as haunted by some of the books more disturbing images as I was when I was 14. Hester (the Molester) is no longer the quintessential female sex symbol that she was to me at the time, though I consider it an advancement that I'm more attracted to much less destructive people these days. Reading "Owen Meany" this time around was not unlike attending a reunion with a group of friends (albeit a tragic, dysfunctional group of friends) I hadn't seen in years.
But people only read most books once and although there is much to be gained by reading this one multiple times, the real joy of "A Prayer For Owen Meany" comes from experiencing it for the first time, not knowing what to expect (you'll notice that I've avoided plot details this whole time) and this is an experience that would wish on as many people as possible.


Team Rodent: How Disney Devours the World (Library of Contemporary Thought)
Team Rodent: How Disney Devours the World (Library of Contemporary Thought)
von Carl Hiaasen
  Taschenbuch
Preis: EUR 11,99

4.0 von 5 Sternen An entertaining expose of Insane Clown Michael and Co., 27. Juni 1999
I bought this book expecing to read a scathingly funny attack on Disney and I was not disappointed. As amusing as it often is, though, Hiaasen has also clearly spent a fair bit of time researching his subject so that as he's attacking Team Rodent, he does so knowledgably and thouroughly as possible. Could've been longer but even as it is, it's a short but fulfilling dose of vitriol.


About a Boy
About a Boy
von Nick Hornby
  Taschenbuch
Preis: EUR 14,49

4.0 von 5 Sternen Great follow up to "High Fidelity", 17. Juni 1999
Rezension bezieht sich auf: About a Boy (Taschenbuch)
Being a music obsessed geek, "High Fidelity" is, naturally, one of my favorite books of all time and while "About a Boy" couldn't have possibly been as powerful, I enjoyed it nearly as much. A funny and charming story to begin with but I thought that the incorporation of the Nirvana stuff was a stroke of genius. I'm sure that critics will eventually begin griping about how *all* of Hornby's books are about immature, pop music and/or sports obsessed men in their 30's but Hornby is to the immature, pop music and/or sports obsessed men in their 30's genre (if you can call it that) what John Grisham is to earnest legal thrillers or Danielle Steele is to trashy soap operas.


A Widow for One Year: A Novel (Ballantine Reader's Circle)
A Widow for One Year: A Novel (Ballantine Reader's Circle)
von John Irving
  Taschenbuch
Preis: EUR 13,99

4.0 von 5 Sternen IRVING'S BEST SINCE...OWEN MEANY!!!, 17. Juni 1999
A big reason why I distrust most critics: When "A Widow For One Year" was released last year, I read a slew of reviews that emphatically praised it as "IRVINGS BEST SINCE THE WORLD ACCORDING TO GARP." This may be a good way to relate this book to inattentive readers who are only familiar with Irving through "Garp" but it also glosses over 20 years of Irving's work, particularly 1989's "A Prayer For Owen Meany" which many of us, myself certainly included, consider to be (one of) the greatest novel(s) ever written. "Widow" isn't quite on the level of "Owen," but it's measures up to, say, "The Hotel New Hapshire" very well.
It's a love story, but not really the love story you would expect it to be from the beginning. Or maybe it is. Irving's books, as his fans know, are such complex, twisty things that you never know, when you begin, where you're going to end up 500 pages later, or even 20 pages later. Like many of his previous books, this one has an epic scope (4 decades, 3 countries) but remains focused on personal details. It's these that make "Widow" so memorable. Among the more affecting of these are Marion Cole's poignant fixation with her dead sons, Eddie O'Hare's abiding love for Marion, Ted Cole's horrifying childrens stories, the prostitues daughter and ending, which is sweet and touching. No Irving novel is perfect - he's far too strange and ambitious to write a clean and tidy story - and this one does drift occasionally, but this book is definitly well worth reading.


Ei  1: Return Foreverwar (Eerie, Indiana)
Ei 1: Return Foreverwar (Eerie, Indiana)

4.0 von 5 Sternen Faithful To The Series, 15. Juni 1999
"Eerie, Indiana" was my favorite TV show in the world during that sadly brief period, when I was 13 years old, that I had a reason to live every Sunday night at 7:30. When I recently discovered that it had been turned into a young adult book series, I rushed to the store to pick up the first installment.
What impressed me is how the writer, Mike Ford, kept the novel in the tradition of the TV show. The characters, right down to every last obscure one, are all intact and the book sticks to the shows whole ominous yet comic tone, with witty pop culture references scattered throughout. One thing that placed "Eerie" high above all other shows aimed at the same audience (or higher, for that matter) was that it never talked down to it's audience just becuase they were kids. The book doesn't either. It assumes that young readers are capable of thought and imagination.
Another thing that I love about the show, and that this book picks up on as well, is that, as weird as the situations got, there were usually traces of humanity in the characters actions. Here, the Stewarts use Foreverware as a clinging onto the past and erasing the tragedy that's plagues their lives for years. The citizens of Eerie are weird, but rarely are they weird simply for weirdnesses sake.
If I have one minor complaint about this book its that I kind of wish that Ford had come up with a different premise for it instead of simply revisiting the story of the first "Eerie" episode. He does it very well this time but I'm hoping that the later books in the series will go off in their own directions. I intend to find out for myself very soon.


Cheese Chronicles: The True Story of a Rock N Roll Band You'Ve Never Heard of
Cheese Chronicles: The True Story of a Rock N Roll Band You'Ve Never Heard of
von Tommy Womack
  Taschenbuch

4.0 von 5 Sternen Great fun even if you're not a Cheese fan, 2. März 1999
I read this book having never heard a note of Government Cheese's music so I can assure you that it being unfamiliar with the band will not affect your enjoyment of the novel. Womack is a witty and intelligent writer so most of "The Cheese Chronicles" is fast paced and entertaining. Best of all, it's also a convincingly accurate account of what it's like to be an unknown band tryign to get records made and distributed while constantly on the road. A must read for any music fan or anyone who was ever in, or wants to be in, a band.


Fever Pitch
Fever Pitch
von Nick Hornby
  Taschenbuch
Preis: EUR 14,99

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2.0 von 5 Sternen if you're not into soccer, don't bother, 16. Februar 1999
Rezension bezieht sich auf: Fever Pitch (Taschenbuch)
"Fever Pitch" is basically the same story as "High Fidelity" only in this case the main character is obsessed with football (that's soccer to us North Americans) instead of music. Although my own experience with soccer is limited to the one summer I spent in a soccer league when I was six years old, I felt obligated to read this book because "High Fidelity" is one of my all time favorites and could have very easilly been *my* life story. Not surprisingly, I didn't like this book nearly as much and while it's probably obvious why, I do think there are other things which separate it from his other one. The characters and relationships in "High Fidelity" were compelling and given more detail while "Fever Pitch" is more focused on the sport. I never felt that someone would have had to have been familiar musical references in "High Fidelity" in order to enjoy it but I do feel that not knowing much about Arsenal or football in general would be a problem for anyone who tries to read "Fever Pitch." So, while I wouldn't warn everyone against reading this book, I still think it has very limited appeal.


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