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Beiträge von George Schaefer
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George Schaefer

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Endurance: Shackleton's Incredible Voyage
Endurance: Shackleton's Incredible Voyage
von Alfred Lansing
  Taschenbuch

3 von 3 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Startling good read, 19. September 2000
Whew!! That's the first word that comes to my mind. It surfaced in my thoughts numerous times as I was reading this tale. This book is overwhelming. I had always heard tales about Shackleton and this was a most compelling read. I found myself unable to put it down. It just grabs a hold of you and won't let go. Alfred Lansing did a superb job of storytelling here. It is one of the most amazing tales of human courage and endurance ever written. This is a fabulous story. Sir Ernest Shackleton truly displayed extraordinary mettle in spite failing to achieve the initial objective. His leadership is undeniable. He held a crew together to endure the harshest climate on the planet. That the entire crew survived the venture is testament to the power of the human spirit. The will to survive can attain soaring heights as this tale suggests. Lansing attempts to get into the nature of the different men but he allows their diaries to dictate the writing. This is great because supposition by authors of nonfiction can be fatuous. Drawing excerpts from the diaries of the men is a way to draw upon the incredible human drama and psychology that must have unfolded in this venture. The obstacles encountered by the crew are staggering. The wind, the dampness, the bitter cold and the long months of darkness in the winter seem like more than any man should be able to stand. They slept in wet sleeping bags in sub-freezing temperature; ate unappetizing foods; and still managed to keep their hopes alive. These were not accommodations up to Hyatt standards. One wonders how many people today would be tough enough to triumph over these hardships. The pain, ennui and discomfort must have been staggering. I found myself just shaking my head with awe at numerous passages in the book. These are men who went to Hell and came back alive. That is remarkable in and of itself. This book is a classic account of one of man's most remarkable journeys. Read it and discover for yourself.


Memoirs of a Woman Doctor
Memoirs of a Woman Doctor
von Nawal El Saadawi
  Taschenbuch
Preis: EUR 11,55

4.0 von 5 Sternen a strike against sexism, 20. Juli 2000
Rezension bezieht sich auf: Memoirs of a Woman Doctor (Taschenbuch)
This is a heart rending book as one reads about the sexism that pervades Middle Eastern culture. el Saadawi is a courageous woman who dared to fight against the system. This book was no doubt a great controversy in her homeland of Egypt and quite possibly still is. The autobiographical tones are apparent which makes it an ever sadder tale. Freedom as she argues should exist for all--both men and women. The way her upbringing taught her to feel ashamed and inferior is horrible. But it is equally inspiring that she had the courage and fortitude to triumph over these overwhelming odds. Occasionally humanity does rise above the ugliness. This is one such triumph. It is poigant but also a worthwhile read.


Reality is What You Can Get Away With
Reality is What You Can Get Away With
von Robert A. Wilson
  Taschenbuch

0 von 1 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen Zen masterpiece in the Western sense, 20. Juli 2000
reading Reality Is What You Can Get Away With and so is this book or at least thats the conclusion my research has yielded. In my erudite opinion I draw this verdict not unlike the lines drawn by Picasso or more probably, Duchamp. I may have to rent Chappaqua to make some sense of this nonsense or it would appear a feasible alternative. Any B.S. artist worth a grain of sand can learn a thing or two about the fine art of deception to convince one that this is art and it really is and it just might actually mean something but Im sure RAW is just yanking our chain here to use a colloquialism. And that equates with pulling the wool over our eyes. Its getting us to buy that myth and bite on the manipulation--a zen masterpiece in the Western sense. So I can not rank it with Dostoevski or Nietzsche but graded on a curve I would give it an A and so what if I lied--the ends sanctify the means in 9 out of every 13 cases and I will not remind one that RAW backwards is WAR and the assault on our senses is well designed and intentionally taken (and delivered) with a smile. This is some of the best mind candy ever written by an American and if you understand or appreciate this review, youll get a great kick out of this book.


Carnal Prayer Mat
Carnal Prayer Mat
von Li Yu
  Taschenbuch
Preis: EUR 16,20

5.0 von 5 Sternen classic Chinese erotica, 19. Juli 2000
Rezension bezieht sich auf: Carnal Prayer Mat (Taschenbuch)
This is a bona fide world classic in literature. It stands as a classic both in erotica and pure (if such a thing exists) literature. This fable follows the sexual exploits of Scholar Vesperus who learns to find wisdom on the Carnal Prayer Mat so to speak. He refuses to learn spiritual wisdom through earnest prayer and hence learns his lessons the hard way. (pun not intended) He has his many affairs and shamelessly cheats on his wife. He even becomes a bigamist with a second wife in another town. The trickery involved is hysterical. It is reminiscent of The DeCameron of Boccaccio in the sneakiness of the characters. The humor is also a fabulous trait. Honest Quan gaining revenge is the moralistic turn. The Golden Rule was never so funny. Vesperus steals Honest Quans wife so Honest Quan debauches Vesperus wife. Li Yu strikes a moralistic posture in telling this tale but one can not help but feel that he had a smashing good time writing this book. Each chapter ends with a moral to the action. It merely adds to the humor. One can not help but feel that Li Yu is yanking the readers chain. The names for sexual positions and the numerous jokes on penis size are exquisite. He is having too much fun with the story. The reader also is having too much fun to be preoccuppied with the morals of each chapter. Of course, Vesperus does ultimately come to wisdom in the end. We should be grateful that he did learn the hard way. It was a lot more entertaining for us. This book will really dispell a lot of Western prejudices that hold the Chinese to be demure and asexual. (Well, there are over a billion people in China so they must know something about sex, but I wont go there.) I suggest this book to anyone interested in erotica and to anyone smallminded enough to doubt the wonderful sensuality and sexuality of classic Chinese literature.


Looking Backward (Dover Thrift Editions)
Looking Backward (Dover Thrift Editions)

2 von 3 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen Futures of Days Past?, 23. Juni 2000
Being a fan of irony, I decided to read this novel now that it is the year 2000. Much like 1984 by George Orwell, many of the prophecies have fallen short of the mark. The Utopian strain of Bellamys vision is apparent but we have not nearly evolved that much. This book contains a lot of the naivity of the Socialist/Marxist intelligentsia of that era. Human nature, alas, is still much too flawed for that. But politics aside, this is an enjoyable, well written novel. Bellamy is obviously preaching but it does not detract from the story. Julian West is a sympathetic character in spite his aristocratic origin. It should also be stated that some of the predictions of the book like credit cards and malls have come to pass. It was stimulating and thought provoking to read this book in the year the story allegedly took place. It should remind us that we have come a long way but we still have a long way yet to go.


Shambhala:  The Sacred Path of the Warrior
Shambhala: The Sacred Path of the Warrior
von Chögyam Trungpa
  Taschenbuch

5.0 von 5 Sternen a beginners guide to Shambhala, 22. Juni 2000
Shambhala: The Sacred path of the Warrior is a book I read on whimsy. I read this book originally because of the relationship Trungpa had with Allen Ginsberg. I was curious so I picked up a copy of this book. It was enlightening because this is the real deal unlike a lot of the half baked Zen Buddhism invoked by many beatnik types. One need not drop acid to gain wisdom here. If you want the hokey, trippie hippie Buddhism, forget this book. Trungpa is writing of an ancient code of warriorship. It is an inward, spiritual journey drawn from the Tibetan warrior culture. One who reads this and learns the lessons it teaches will be assisted in overcoming self doubt and negativity. This is not a book of violence. It is really a guide towards overcoming violence. It is about learning mastery over oneself. I was inspired to be better after reading this book. It made me believe in the possibility of transcendence. That is saying something, too. It is a very motivational book.


Shambhala:  The Sacred Path of the Warrior
Shambhala: The Sacred Path of the Warrior
von Chögyam Trungpa
  Taschenbuch

5 von 5 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen a beginners guide to Shambhala, 22. Juni 2000
Shambhala: The Sacred path of the Warrior is a book I read on whimsy. I read this book originally because of the relationship Trungpa had with Allen Ginsberg. I was curious so I picked up a copy of this book. It was enlightening because this is the real deal unlike a lot of the half baked Zen Buddhism invoked by many beatnik types. One need not drop acid to gain wisdom here. If you want the hokey, trippie hippie Buddhism, forget this book. Trungpa is writing of an ancient code of warriorship. It is an inward, spiritual journey drawn from the Tibetan warrior culture. One who reads this and learns the lessons it teaches will be assisted in overcoming self doubt and negativity. This is not a book of violence. It is really a guide towards overcoming violence. It is about learning mastery over oneself. I was inspired to be better after reading this book. It made me believe in the possibility of transcendence. That is saying something, too. It is a very motivational book.


Simbi and the Satyr of the Dark Jungle
Simbi and the Satyr of the Dark Jungle
von Amos Tutuola
  Taschenbuch

4.0 von 5 Sternen an enchanting African fable, 22. Juni 2000
Amos Tutuola is a wonderful writer from Nigeria. He specializes in a kind of modernization of classic African lore. He is surely steeped in a lot of the myth and religion of the Yoruba. Simbi and the Satyr of the Dark Jungle is a wonderful tale. It begins with a wealthy Simbi growing bored of her fairy tale (ivory tower, perhaps?) existence. She wants to learn of the Poverty and Punishment. This beginning conjures thoughts of a young Siddhartha discovering suffering. But make no mistake, Tutuola is not just trying to rewrite the tale of Buddha. This is his own story. Simbi encounters terrible strife and suffering on her voyage. She learns what a terrible mistake it was to intentionally undertake to suffer. I enjoy this point. One should not bring suffering onto themselves. There is enough real suffering in the world already. It is a point that should be well taken but we shall see. I must also comment on the humor that Tutuola peppers throughout this tale. He is a writer with a comic flair. This is a fabulous fable for the twentieth as well as twenty-first centuries.


A Tempest
A Tempest
von Aime Cesaire
  Taschenbuch

5.0 von 5 Sternen a fabulous reinvention of The Tempest, 14. Juni 2000
Rezension bezieht sich auf: A Tempest (Taschenbuch)
Aime Cesaire wrote this variation of The Tempest from an Afrocentric, Carribean perspective. It is a magnificent achievement. Caliban becomes the hero as Cesaire advances a variety of different ideas. By changing the perspective, A Tempest explores a lot of issues like rascism and colonialism. Prospero becomes the Oppressor and Caliban is the Native wrongly robbed of his ancestral right to rule his own land. Ariel is reduced to something of an Uncle Tom. To his credit, Cesaire never allows any character in the play become completely unsympathetic. That is a grand feat. It is consistent with Shakespeare who also grants humanity even to Caliban. I found this adaptation to be brilliant. Cesaire follows the theme of The Tempest all the while making it his own work. I was even compelled to reread The Tempest just for comparative purposes. The reread of The Tempest served only to heighten my appreciation for A Tempest. This is work that should be read by anyone interested in the theatre.


From Chocolate to Morphine: Everything You Need to Know about Mind-Altering Drugs
From Chocolate to Morphine: Everything You Need to Know about Mind-Altering Drugs
von Houghton Mifflin Company
  Taschenbuch

5.0 von 5 Sternen at last--the truth!, 9. Juni 2000
This is a book that will probably be damned by the ONDCP, Dare, the Partnership for a Brainfree America and many other anti-drug groups. They will claim that it sends the wrong message and that it might encourage drug use. While it is possible that it will encourage drug use in some persons, it is a vastly informative book about various drugs. It attempts to tell--gasp--dare I say it--the truth. Dr.Weil operates under the assumption that kids and adults need to know the truth. He does not advocate or recommend drugs. He merely tries to follow Joe Fridays advice. Just the facts! Of course, the facts and truth have always run contrary to the War on Some Drugs so this book will come under scrutiny. That is a shame. Parents would do well to read this book to learn about the different kinds of drugs and the effects that they may yield. College students and other adults and teenagers should read it so they can make educated decisions about what they do or do not put into their bodies. I have used this book as a reference book for quite a few years. It has helped me make educated decisions. It also contains a lot of historical information about the use of different drugs in different cultures around the world. Dare to think for yourself: Read this book and learn.


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