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AC/DC: Stiff Upper Lip Live
AC/DC: Stiff Upper Lip Live
DVD ~ Angus Young
28 used & new from $6.73

8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Makes me want to see them again, February 12, 2002
This review is from: AC/DC: Stiff Upper Lip Live (DVD)
Having been an AC/DC fan for years and seeing them live quite a few times, I decided to check in and see what the boys from Down Under are up to these days. I must admit I was expecting to get a concert video of some "over-the-hill" band that should have wrapped it up back in the early 90's. Well, I was quite shocked as the opening notes of "Stiff Upper Lip" ripped out of my stereo. The energy, sound, and "feel" made me realize that this DVD may warrant more than just a casual listening.
From the well-rounded song selection to the superb sound quality alone this DVD is worth the price of admission. However the biggest thing that I got from this concert video, which I haven't gotten from any others, is that after watching it I found myself actually wanting to go see them live again. Instead of just tossing the DVD aside like so many others, I was kicking myself for not catching these guys when they came around on this tour.
Sure they're getting older. The voice may be more gravelly than normal, Angus misses a note or two (since when hasn't he?), and you may detect a gray hair here or there. But if you want some good old (...)-kickin', beer-drinkin', fist-pumpin' rock, the boys sure have a DVD for you.

"What Do You Care What Other People Think?": Further Adventures of a Curious Character
"What Do You Care What Other People Think?": Further Adventures of a Curious Character
by Richard P. Feynman
Edition: Paperback
Price: $13.74
135 used & new from $0.98

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Scientific background is not a prerequisite, January 18, 2002
A lot of books written by scientific people claim to be "down-to-earth" and for the "layman" but end up creeping into the obscure. Not so here. Feynman starts with his feet planted firmly on the ground and never strays.
The first few stories range from the serious to the light-hearted. From the pain of losing his wife to being invited to speak at a funeral for a man whom he can't remember. These accounts give you a good look at the ability of Feynman to convey a story and make it interesting. The majority of the book however is given to the time he spent on the committee that investigated the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster. Using no nonsense, straight-forward writing he takes you through the process of how he and the others, despite a lot of bureaucratic red tape, managed to find out what went wrong on that fateful day. What could very well be a dry and uninspiring subject becomes quite informative and engaging through his telling.
This is my first book by Feynman, but having absorbed the whole thing in one sitting it surely won't be my last.

The Ultimate History of Video Games: From Pong to Pokemon--The Story Behind the Craze That Touched Our Lives and Changed the World
The Ultimate History of Video Games: From Pong to Pokemon--The Story Behind the Craze That Touched Our Lives and Changed the World
by Steven L. Kent
Edition: Paperback
Price: $15.37
127 used & new from $7.17

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars From Pinball to XBox, January 18, 2002
"Ultimate" is an apt word for the title of this book. Kent covers everything from the beginnings of pinball to the modern day consumer wars between XBox, Playstaion 2, and Nintendo's Game Cube.
Whether your an avid gamer, someone interested in the business, or just want to take a stroll down the video game memory lane this book will more than please. Having dropped my fair share of quarters in the arcades and owning numerous video game systems this book had my curiosity peaked. Sure it's mammoth, but once you start it, stopping will be hard. Using non-technical writing with a lot of paraphrases from different industry leaders thrown in, the reading just glides along. The chronology of the piece at times gets ahead of itself but quickly falls back into place without losing its pace. Also, keeping up with the industry personnel can get a bit confusing as CEO's, programmers, and salespeople move from company to company. Kent however does a fine job in explaining who everyone is and what they've done.
Besides a better understanding of the business, the biggest thing I got out of this book was a good old case of video game nostalgia. Hearing some of the names of the older, and sometimes forgotten systems (Commodore 64, Jaguar, Colecovision) and their arcade counterparts (Missle Command, Lunar Lander, Sea Wolf) brought back endearing memories of dumping quarters in the "latest" games down at the arcade and sitting up all night trying to figure out the newest game on the Atari 2600. Sure the games today are faster and definately better looking than the ones of yesterday but I'd be lying if, after reading this book, I didn't catch myself on ebay seeing if any of these older games were available.

Echoes: The Best of Pink Floyd
Echoes: The Best of Pink Floyd
Offered by Fulfillment Express US
Price: $23.01
90 used & new from $1.93

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Audiophiles unite. The best SOUNDING Floyd yet, November 17, 2001
Let's face it, even if you're just a casual Floyd listener you're not only in it for the songs, you're in it for a spacial, mind-blowing, other-worldly listening experience. The re-mastering of this collection of songs provides just that. Not only do you get a taste of some timeless classics but some of their pre-Dark Side of the Moon stuff that many people may not be acquainted with. Either way, whether you have every Floyd album out there or if this is your first, the sound produced on this cd is worth the price of admission.
I started out listening to it just to see how they segued the songs into one another but then I thought, "Man does this sound GOOD!" So I went and got out my MFSL cd copy of Dark Side Of The Moon (for those who don't know, that's the gold CD that is supposedly superior in sound quality to anything else). I did a little A-B testing and believe it or not, this new "greatest hits" package sounds better. The sound is much more dynamic and the channel separation is much sharper. The vocals and instuments are crisp and clear and seem to just come alive and to the forefront. Not that Floyd ever had any problems with dynamics or spacial reference before, it's just that I've never heard them mixed and master as well as on this cd. Of course the early Floyd sounds better with a little touch up on the control panel but even stuff you thought couldn't sound better does.
There are always going to be debates on song selection with "greatest hits" albums. "Why is this on there?", "Where is that song?", "Why did they edit that?"... It's inevitable with any band and more-so with Floyd considering their very extensive and diverse history. I think however, that the selection here will give the average Floyd listener more than enough to mull over. As for the Floyd connoisseur; even if you have all of their other cds, get this one merely for the sound. You will not be disappointed.

The Wolf's Hour
The Wolf's Hour
by Robert R. McCammon
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
33 used & new from $0.01

12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Don't let the premise throw you, October 27, 2001
A spy/werewolf in WWII helping the Allies defeat the Nazi war-machine? OK. I figured it was going to be a campy, childish horror story that I wouldn't be able to get through. Nevertheless, enjoying McCammon's writing style from his other novels, I decided to give it a try. I'm glad I did because McCammon delivers and comes up with a well-thought-out plot with (dare I say) believable characters, non-stop action, and cliff-hanging suspense.
The Allied forces get word from one of their spies in Nazi-occupied France that he has top secret information which could be detrimental to their up-coming D-Day invasion. However, since he is being closley monitored by the Nazis he needs a personal courier to retrieve it. Michael Gallatin, a first-class British spy who unbeknownst to anyone is a werewolf, is coaxed into the assignment. What follows is an action-filled race against time as Gallatin is aided by other agents and underground networks to get this mysterious and vital info before the D-Day invasion only weeks away. And that's only one half of the book. The other half intertwines an interesting and insightful look at how he became a werewolf and his life before he was a spy.
This book comes across more like a superbly-written, edge-of-your-seat, spy story whose protagonist just happens to be a werewolf than it does a horror book. I realize that I've used a lot of those catch phrases such as "edge-of-your-seat" and "cliff-hanging suspense" that seem to get thrown around a lot these days on book blurbs. But when I find myself constantly being drawn back to a book to "just see what happens next" there's no other way I can describe it.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Nov 4, 2013 3:20 PM PST

Lathe of Heaven
Lathe of Heaven
by Ursula K. Le Guin
Edition: Paperback
55 used & new from $0.01

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dream awake, August 19, 2001
This review is from: Lathe of Heaven (Paperback)
When people say that dreams do come true they mean for you personally and not that your dreams impose onto everyone else's life. That however is exactly what happens when George Orr dreams.
Written in 1971 about the then not-to-distant future of 2002, Le Guin portrays the world as being full of war, over-population, and being on the brink of environmental disaster (so much for science fiction). Orr is assigned to a drug treatment program after getting caught using other people's prescription allotments to obtain drugs to stop him from dreaming. There he is assigned to a Dr. Haber to help him with his "mental" problem. After realizing the potential such a peculiar skill could unleash, Dr. Haber decides that instead of curing Orr of his problem he would nurture and attempt to control this phenomenon. Upon doing so Haber tries to right all the wrongs of the world (ie. war, famine, disease) by using suggestive influence on Orr when he dreams. This newly found power eventually turns Haber, who at first only had the best intentions for society in mind, into a megalomaniac. As a result of trying to heal all of mankind's wounds he turns the entire world into a homogeneous, "big-brother" type society.
Thought-provoking and at times deep, Le Guin shows the possible ramifications when mortal man plays God. The only down-side, if you can call it that, to the book is (as typical) the ending. With unlimited potential for many different endings the one that was chosen seemed a little weak. Don't let this however hinder you from a reading this classic Sci-Fi novel.

Never Mind Nirvana: A Novel
Never Mind Nirvana: A Novel
by Mark Lindquist
Edition: Hardcover
60 used & new from $0.01

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Coming of age in the age of grunge, June 17, 2001
God I hate to use the phrase "coming of age" when describing these type stories but I guess that's what they are.
As Pete Tyler turns 36 ("almost forty") he finds himself a semi-successful prosecutor yearning to find that "thing" that'll make him a complete adult. That "thing" seems to take the form of a meaningful relationship.
While preparing to prosecute a case against an old fellow rocker for date-rape he finds himself reminiscing about days gone by and where his life is heading. As he takes a look at his life and what he's accomplished he sees that not much has changed since his days as a musician in Seattle's early grunge music scene. He still frequents strip joints, hangs out in seedy music clubs, and dates strippers. The one way he feels he can change his life for the better is to become involved in a serious relationship. This however requires a commitment from him that he doesn't seem ready to make.
Lindquist evokes the blase feeling that many Generation X-er's have these days about life in general. "What's this life for?", "Where am I heading?". Nothing that generations before us haven't felt, but with his connecting it to the alternative rock scene of the 80's and 90's it becomes more personal to many of us. Overall, an enjoyable read that'll have you thinking of where you were when you first heard that song.

The Church of Dead Girls: A Novel
The Church of Dead Girls: A Novel
by Stephen Dobyns
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
104 used & new from $0.01

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Somewhat misleading title to a great book, June 17, 2001
By the mere title alone it would seem that this book is just another unimaginative, psycho/slasher thriller. Dobyns however takes an ordinary "search for the missing girls" type story and turns it into a revealing and somewhat dark look at human nature.
When young girls begin disappearing from a small, upstate New York town the residents become overwhelmed with the urgency to catch the culprit before he/she strikes again. Narrated by a local biology teacher, the story weaves a finger-pointing tale of how in the hysteria of a crisis, people throw all rational and lucid thoughts aside. Mere suspicion eventually overrides facts and everyone at one point or another becomes suspect. It shows how people need to have a scapegoat in which to focus their own uncertainties. Houari Chihani first becomes this scapegoat when he acquires a postion as a history teacher at the local college. Some of his students form a small club and begin learning Marxism and other ways of thinking about society. Because this rationale is so different from the town's way of thinking they quickly become suspects to the disappearances. However, as time goes on everyone's past actions and acquaintances come into play no matter how trivial they may seem.
I didn't find this book to be a thriller in the sense of being overly scary or gory but more along the lines of a very good suspense novel. Dobyns intricately weaves the storyline between characters and events so well that at times you wonder how he can make the connections in a reasonable way but he does.
If you've ever lived in Small Town, USA you will notice how the gossip that is generated soon takes on a life of its own. To quote Dobyns, "And once that sort of talk begins, truth or falsehood means nothing. Talk has its own momentum."

by Douglas E. Winter
Edition: Hardcover
117 used & new from $0.01

4.0 out of 5 stars gun running, gun dealing, gun shots, April 30, 2001
This review is from: Run (Hardcover)
A gun deal is set to go down with a gang in New York and veteran Washington DC gunrunner Burdon Lane reluctantly gets the assignment of heading it. Along for the ride as mediators are members of DC's notoriously violent and feared street gang The U Street Crew. The meet should go off without a hitch, but when problems such as a five alarm fire and let's just say some unexpected shooting goes on, the deal deteriorates into a free-for-all. As Lane attempts to make his way back to DC to set things straight, everything and everyone he knows isn't exactly what it seems. Never knowing who to trust or what to believe he must just purely rely on his instincts and street smarts to keep him alive.
Winter weaves a story that makes you skeptical of everyone he introduces you to. You never know which side a person is really on or if they have some hidden agenda. Although the story gets a little far fetched at times, such as when Lane enters a diner after being shot and no one really notices, it doesn't deter from the overall validity of the piece. Gunrunning is a ruthless and risky business and it shows no better than in this novel. The distinct thing about this novel is the exclusion of quotation marks. This could make for a confusing read especially when there is so much quick and indirect dialogue. I however found this to be enlightening to the characters. It tends to make you pay more attention to what is being said and by whom. It also leaves you wondering at times whether or not a character actually said it or just thought it. Overall, Run is a very well thought out book that keeps the reader on its toes with its explosive amount of action and the uncertainty of who the characters really are.

The Visionary
The Visionary
by Donald S. Passman
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
124 used & new from $0.01

4.0 out of 5 stars Run-of-the-mill psycho-thriller, April 4, 2001
Wanting some light and captivating reading, I stumbled across "The Visionary". With all of the thriller-type detective books out there it's hard to find a unique twist from the norm. This book promised serial killers, psychics, and "pulse-pounding adventure". It met the criteria I was looking for so I decided to give it a go. It pretty much delivered.
If you're looking for deep insight or edge-of-your-seat theatrics then you may want to look elsewhere. If, on the other hand, you want an easy, straight-forward read with adequate character development and a decent plot then this should suffice.
The writing is the thing that kept me flipping through the pages at a decent clip. Passman uses a minimalist, straight-to-the-point style which doesn't require much in the way of imagination. Also, the story has its share of twists and turns to keep you hooked. The only thing that really disappointed me was (as usual) the ending. It made sense, but it just seemed to be thrown together to end the book.
All-in-all not a bad read but certainly won't be winning any writing awards any time soon. This book would be ideal for vacation or wiling away a day or two in the summer.

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