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A Confederacy of Dunces (Evergreen Book)
A Confederacy of Dunces (Evergreen Book)
von John Kennedy Toole
  Taschenbuch
Preis: EUR 15,99

5.0 von 5 Sternen Read this book! You'll laugh, you'll weep!, 9. Dezember 1997
"A Confederacy of Dunces" was given to me as a gift. I was wary after reading the critical quotes on the cover proclaiming it "the funniest book you'll ever read!" Yeah, right, I thought. Feeling properly skeptical, I sat down to read. And read, and read. And then I started to laugh! By the last chapter, I was both laughing and weeping, and overcome with wonder at the brilliance, the oh-so-carefully plotted genius, of Toole's tale and his colorful characters. Never has critical opinion so UNDERSTATED the marvelous, entertaining quality of a work of fiction! Yes, New Orleans (and the rest of the world) have changed greatly in the thirty-odd years since this book was written, but that will not hold the reader back from stepping into that vanished, eccentric, delicious New Orleans that Toole conjures up so effortlessly. Igantius Reilly, his obstinately wacky anti-hero, well deserves a place among the truly unforgettable characters of Amercian Literature. The true trajedy of this novel is only that Toole, overcome by rejection and despair, killed himself before he could further enrich us with other creations as deeply satisfying and joyous as "A Confederacy of Dunces"!.


The Dancer from the Dance: A Novel (Plume Contemporary Fiction)
The Dancer from the Dance: A Novel (Plume Contemporary Fiction)
von Andrew Holleran
  Taschenbuch

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5.0 von 5 Sternen One of the best gay novels yet published!, 26. November 1997
Often cited as "the" gay novel of the post-Stonewall generation, "Dancer From the Dance" is a lyrical account of the frenetic life of gay men caught up in the hard-partying "circuit" of Manhattan and Fire Island in the mid-1970's. Hollaran's enigmatic protagonist, Anthony Malone, is a man of nearly unearthly masculine beauty who has left his unloved profession as a lawyer to pursue a life of lust and pleasure in his personal, endless search for love. Poetic, and often moving, the novel paints a colorful picture of a pack of driven hedonists, endlessly in quest of "the perfect man", moving through discos, bars, bathhouses, and parties of almost baroque proportions. The book is levened with comic moments, largely supplied by Sutherland, Malone's outrageous, advice spewing friend, mentor and den mother, who moves effortlessly between the heady worlds of the heterosexual jet set and the gay demimonde. Malone's wistful longing to recapture his one successful male-to-male relationship with the married, violent Frankie is hauntingly described. Overall, a very satisfying novel, vivid and vital despite the passivity of Malone. And the equivocal ending stays with one. Holleran's subsequent books have not been nearly as satisfying, but so profound an impact did "Dancer From the Dance" make on the gay community that, for years after its publication in 1977, anonymous graffiti appeared throughout New York's Greenwich Village, plaintively proclaiming: "Malone Lives!"

Read it and see!


George Cukor: A Double Life
George Cukor: A Double Life
von Patrick McGilligan
  Taschenbuch

4.0 von 5 Sternen Spotlight on another slice of Hollywood History, 25. November 1997
Rezension bezieht sich auf: George Cukor: A Double Life (Taschenbuch)
Very solid biography of the director, George Cukor, covering his long life and career. McGilligan does well covering the dual nature of Cukor's personality, how his homosexuality both colored and hindered his film projects. Very well researched, the book vividly portrays the Hollywood gay society of the 30's - 50's and does well analyzing the strengths and weaknesses of both Cukor and his films. McGilligan is not balanced in his judgments on the films, however. He denigrates many of Cukor's more popular works ("The Women") and lavishes praise on the director's own favorites (the overrated "Adam's Rib"). His assessment of the much-debated firing of Cukor from "Gone With The Wind" also seems simplistic. Overall, a worthwhile read and a fine overview of a major Hollywood career and an important figure in film history.


City of Night (Rechy, John)
City of Night (Rechy, John)
von John Rechy
  Taschenbuch

4.0 von 5 Sternen A Haunting Journey Through a Vanished World, 24. November 1997
Rezension bezieht sich auf: City of Night (Rechy, John) (Taschenbuch)
John Rechy's "City Of Night" is a wistful, moving, ultimately very sad account of a young man's erratic journey through the now-vanished Homosexual subculture of America's cities in the late 1950's, early 1960's. The narrator, a masculine hustler, known in the parlance of the time as "trade", moves from city to city, searching for business, and also, futilely, a sense of self-worth and love. He actively avoids the lives and world of the self-admitted and well-adjusted gay men he encounters, and instead pursues the outcasts, the maladjusted and self-loathing men with homosexual desires who make up his clientele. The novel is repetitious and over-long. Parts of it (the chapter on "Miss Destiny", a Los Angeles Drag Queen, for instance) are powerful and moving, and stand well on their own in the reader's memory. The narrator's crippling inability to come to grips with his own sexuality is ultimately off-putting to the reader, but Rechy does a good, almost documentary, job of recording a long gone landscape and lifestyle - - the urban United States before the Gay Liberation Movement and the present day visibility and partial integration of homosexuals into American life. All in all a worthwhile, often profoundly touching novel about alienation and the pursuit of love among the hopeless and the outcasts of society.


5001 Nights at the Movies (Holt Paperback)
5001 Nights at the Movies (Holt Paperback)
von Pauline Kael
  Taschenbuch
Preis: EUR 38,99

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3.0 von 5 Sternen Take It With a Grain of Salt!, 12. November 1997
Pauline Kael, while often entertaining and erudite, is one film critic who needs to be read very, very carefully. Her prejudices and oversights are legion. Whole genres and careers are disposed of with little thought or discussion. American film (including most popular Hollywood products) is dismissed out of hand. She thoughtlessly skewers particular film actors whose work and careers have long since been re-evaluated and revitalized by other, more discerning critics (Norma Shearer is a good example). Kael harps on endlessly about the value of obscure European films that are often grainy, grim, technically inept, and a trial to watch. Her whole, 1960's philosophy of "American film sucks, European film is flawless" is outdated and tiresome. She can be witty, but her jokes are often at the expense of true, thoughtful insight and analysis of the films she is critiqueing. If a reader followed her advice whole, he or she would miss out on many of the great moments and performances in film history. Kael has her moments, and, if nothing else, her reviews, pro and con, may lead the reader to seek out and view the films themselves, as well as reading the work of other, more balanced critics of film.


The Firm
The Firm
von John Grisham
  Taschenbuch
Preis: EUR 6,99

1.0 von 5 Sternen THIS is Literature?, 12. November 1997
Rezension bezieht sich auf: The Firm (Taschenbuch)
For a long time, I have avoided John Grisham. Anyone who churns out books (and sells them to Hollywood) at the rate he does can't be any good, I thought. As time went on, and he continued to sell title after title, I thought perhaps I was wrong. Maybe I was just being a literary snob. Maybe I should pick up this book and give it a try. BOY, WAS I WRONG! Flat, uninvolving, no exploration of emotion, character development, nothing. I gave up a few pages in. How can people read this stuff? It's so colorless, so dull, no descriptions, no analysis, no character self-examination! Yes, yes, Mr. Grisham has good plots (as does another worthless author, Stephen King) but it takes more than that to make a good book! After all, the old Patty Duke show had a great idea, too, but I'd hardly rate it in the history of television top ten! Obviously, our schools have failed the American public when they turn out thousands of people who read this drek and think it is entertaining, worthwhile literature. I hope Mr. Grisham enjoys his trips to the bank. In a hundred years (or less) he and his books will be mercifully forgotten!


Awakening
Awakening
von Kate Chopin
  Taschenbuch
Preis: EUR 4,99

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4.0 von 5 Sternen Far From the Worst Book I'VE Ever Read!!!, 12. November 1997
Rezension bezieht sich auf: Awakening (Taschenbuch)
Kate Chopin's long-forgotten novel about a respectable married woman coming to grips with her own desires and her own sense of self is well worth a reading, although Chopin's short stories are perhaps more entertaining from a modern viewpoint. Almost an American "Madame Bovary", " The Awakening" sets the plight of Chopin's hapless heroine against the colorful details of late 19th Century New Orleans, skillfully interweaving Chopin's recurring theme of the tensions between the traditional Creole way of life and the more aggressive American culture. The author's themes of boredom, lack of fulfillment, and our often slow realization of our own personalities and limitations are touching and effective in their presentation. All in all, a moving and undervalued work by a significant American Woman author. (Those who seek to draw moral judgments on plot ideas such as adultery, lying, etc. probably shouldn't be reading fiction anyway. As it is concerned with human emotion and human frailty, the more morally judgmental among us might be better off sticking to non-fiction.)


Rebecca
Rebecca
von Daphne Du Maurier
  Taschenbuch
Preis: EUR 6,99

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5.0 von 5 Sternen Don't (Repeat: DO NOT!) read the last page first!!!, 31. Oktober 1997
Rezension bezieht sich auf: Rebecca (Taschenbuch)
Haunting and beautifully crafted, Rebecca is a book you will return to again and again. Perhaps the last true example of the "Gothic" tradition, this book was the basis for the beloved Hitchcock film. Memorable as the film is, the novel is deeper, richer, and more rewarding with each reading. Not to miss by anyone who loves a good story, gripping characters, mystery, and the masterful usage of the English language.


We Have Always Lived in the Castle
We Have Always Lived in the Castle
von Shirley Jackson
  Taschenbuch

4.0 von 5 Sternen A haunting late work by the author of "The Lottery", 14. August 1997
"We Have Always Lived in the Castle" is a typical finely crafted effort by the late Shirley Jackson. As always, Jackson carefully builds her atmosphere and the world of characters and, through indirection, suggestion, and the careful compilation of detail, she sucks us in. Her story here concerns a never solved murder and an outcast family living amoung secrets and mysteries on an isolated estate. One day, an unknown cousin arrives, asking questions, and the past comes back to disturb the present. Subtly told, and a good yarn to while away some time on, this novel doesn't carry the punch of the author's "The Haunting of Hill House", but it is a worthwhile, diverting read


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