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Helpful Votes: 10

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dynk RSS Feed (Ottawa, Ontario, CANADA)

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Alone With Everybody
Alone With Everybody
Offered by MediaWarehouseUSA
Price: $11.51
185 used & new from $0.01

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars High Ambitions, July 2, 2000
This review is from: Alone With Everybody (Audio CD)
The Verve's Urban Hymns was arguably one of the best albums of the 90's. It was complex, intelligent, deep, and able to rock hard all at once. Now, with Alone With Everybody, Richard Ashcroft offers us a highly ambitious, well produced, yet overly complicated debut solo album. The overall sound of Alone With Everybody is very busy, drenched with lots of strings and excellent mutli-instrumental arrangements. The album has a slight, oddly danceable shuffling feel to it, reminiscent of John Lennon's work from the late 70's until his death. The major theme of the album is none other than love, love, and more love. It's definitely a mature, sensitive, heartfelt record. However, as nice as it all sounds, it lacks the crunching guitars that blended so well with Aschcroft's voice while with the Verve. Song after song, you expect - and hope for - one of Nick McCabe's massive riffs to turns things around. Alone With Everybody is an excellent album, but it seems a little over-ambitious and somewhat dissappointing as Ashcroft's follow up to Urban Hymns.

The World According to Garp
The World According to Garp
by John Irving
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
Price: $7.19
243 used & new from $0.01

9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding, May 31, 2000
The World According to Garp is a vivid, emotional, and very imaginative read. It tells the tale of a man named T.S. Garp. He is the son of a world-famous feminist author, an author himself, a husband to a loving and earnest wife, and the father to two children.
Despite his unorthodox conception, Garp is just about as normal a person as can be. He has his flaws, of course, just as any person would, but he seems far too real and alive for your imagination to lead you to think otherwise. However, as normal a character Garp might be, his life is anything but. It is marred with adulterous affairs, cheating wives, a world-famous mother, struggles to be a successful writer, the anxieties of parenting, the loss of a child, a transsexual ex-football player friend, fanatic cult members who cut off their tongues in anti-male protest, dear and down-to-earth prostitutes, soul-searching trips to Vienna, and much, much more.
All the above account for 600-plus pages of enraptured storytelling, the likes of which I have never read. The reader (or in this case, I) becomes entrenched into the lives of John Irving's obtusely realistic characters, for this is where he has no doubt placed his greatest emphasis.
The strong cast of 15 or so main and background characters easily cover the gamut of recognizable human characteristics. Irving not only plays the role of storyteller, but he also plays the role of social observer and commentator. His characters are so realistic, so utterly recognizable that the reader needs little effort to connect to each and every one of them.
There are a whole slew of themes criss-crossing their way across the novel. A few of the more prominent would be the breakthrough of sexual roles, the breakthrough of sexual frustration, the longing to be understood and loved, the need for family togetherness, and so on and so forth. There are simply too many to mention.
With The World According to Garp, John Irving has achieved a true classic. Not only has he proven that he is of the most artistic and skilful of writers, but he has also proven that one can find more realism in a fictitious novel than one can potentially find in the world outside the door.

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