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Reviews Written by
E. Minkovitch RSS Feed (Montreal, Quebec)
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The Fifth Gospel: A Novel
The Fifth Gospel: A Novel
by Ian Caldwell
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $15.96
167 used & new from $1.64

2.0 out of 5 stars it's like a miller grinding grain into flour - at some ..., September 2, 2015
What the he**??. This is one confusing story, however well written and researched it may be. If you permit the analogy, it's like a miller grinding grain into flour - at some point it's ground, it's done, and you can't make it any finer. The wise miller stops the wheel at this point. Alas, this writer keeps grinding the wheel even though the information is already milled as fine as it could be, and told and rehashed from all possible angles. He does not know how to stop. This makes it a very tedious read, especially toward the end, when I just gave up trying to understand what's going on. If it were 150 pages shorter, it would have been a more satisfying read. Very disappointing.


The Mysterious Flame of Queen Loana By Umberto Eco
The Mysterious Flame of Queen Loana By Umberto Eco
by -Author-
Edition: Hardcover
51 used & new from $1.60

5.0 out of 5 stars I would like to add that as is usual in Eco's novels, August 26, 2015
I agree with the previous reviewer, he may have captured the essence of the book. I would like to add that as is usual in Eco's novels, the author's encyclopedic knowledge of history, literature and art is on full display, and it may seem a little daunting to some readers, but in this novel is it more accessible that in some of his other novels. The book (at least the hardcover edition) is beautifully illustrated, which really helps to focus on the story. The ending is completely unexpected and mystifying, and you really have to think what is happening - I won't say any more to avoid a spoiler. One last thing - it's a book about books, and will appeal to bibliophiles.


The Beatles: Across the World
The Beatles: Across the World
2 used & new from $38.69

4.0 out of 5 stars All things Beatles are extremely cool, even 4 and a half decades after they ..., August 24, 2015
All things Beatles are extremely cool, even 4 and a half decades after they split up. Especially cool are the Fab Four days of the early to mid 60's, which is the focus of this book, although their entire career is covered. I've never seen some of the photos, so it's possible that this is the first time many of them have seen the light of day. Plus, the book comes with a few very iconic 8x10 posters. Any Beatles fan should grab this little gem, it's not a definitive book by any means, but then so few are, so you need to add it to your Beatles collection.


Ghost Stories
Ghost Stories
Offered by RYU'SHOP
Price: $10.50
145 used & new from $4.27

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Don't expect anything like Clocks on it, July 7, 2015
This review is from: Ghost Stories (Audio CD)
Somewhat weak compared to some previous albums, certainly not as colourful or creative. Melancholy, whiny pop for the most part. Don't expect anything like Clocks on it. Oh well, sooner or later all bands lose it and these guys are not any different. I listened to it in the car a few times and tend to tune it out after the third song, not a lot of dynamism.


WordPress 3 Plugin Development Essentials
WordPress 3 Plugin Development Essentials
by Brian Bondari
Edition: Paperback
Price: $35.99
34 used & new from $11.95

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good for some, bad for others., May 20, 2015
2.5 would be better, but 3 is fair, I suppose.

Despite my low rating, this is probably the best book on the subject, even considering the old version of WordPress. Why? First, because most other books teach you theory and very little practice. An ounce of practice is worth a pound of theory, in my opinion, and this book ties theory with practice very well. Second, because the authors chose interesting and practical examples, not just trivial and useless ones, like in some of the textbooks I've looked at.

Now for the bad part - some examples simply do not work. Chapter 4 for instance, is such a hopeless mess, that you wonder what drugs the authors were on while creating it. I made it work because I have a solid JavaScript and PHP understanding, so I could see where the errors were and rewrote some of the code. Which brings me to my point: if you have little PHP and JavaScript/jQuery/AJAX experience, and just copy and paste the code, you will be hopelessly confused and frustrated. If you have some solid hands-on experience, you will get the extra benefit of rewriting some of the really bad code the authors wrote. You can't avoid it, but you will get a more solid grasp of the subject.

If you can get it for a couple of bucks, then I'd say it's well worth the purchase.

Good luck.


A Momentary Lapse Of Reason (2011 Remastered Version)
A Momentary Lapse Of Reason (2011 Remastered Version)
Price: $9.49

0 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not the best from Pink Floyd After hearing this album for the ..., November 15, 2014
Not the best from Pink Floyd

After hearing this album for the first time since it came out, I am very disappointed with it, because I recall being really into it back then. What changed? Paradoxically my ears got a little sharper, although I am much older now LOL.

I am hearing a David Gilmour solo project more than a Pink Floyd project. Sort of what Roger Waters did with The Final Cut. This seems to be an 80's arena-rock band trying to sound like Pink Floyd, rather than the great art-rock group of the 70's. The production seems messy and noisy, and some of the songs are really unlistenable at worst and uninspired at best. The instrumentals are all right, and the title track, One Slip, is excellent, and paradoxically, the least like a typical PF song.

Sorry to diss Pink Floyd, because I really like them, but I guess I really wanted to like this album when it came out. Now things are a bit different, time gave me a new perspective on it.


The Endless River (CD+Blu-ray Casebook Edition)
The Endless River (CD+Blu-ray Casebook Edition)
Price: $28.55
60 used & new from $19.88

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pink Floyd does not let their fans down, November 13, 2014
Well, it's not a classic, let's face it, so why did I give it 5 stars?

First, because it's beautiful instrumental music by a band who has already said and done it all; music expressive and eloquent in ways that words cannot be.

Second, because of the instrumental format. These guys have the integrity, the skill, and the intelligence to disregard commercial radio and let the music go wherever it wants. They do not need more money or more fame. They have it all, so to hell with radio-friendly format! They did what they've always done best - play extended pieces full of melancholy, abstraction, atmosphere, other-worldliness and monstrous mechanical sounds.

Third, all the elements of Pink Floyd's classic sound is still very much there, echoing from as far back as Meddle, all the way through to The Wall. This is really PF at their best. Some people will undoubtedly be put off by what some clueless critics have described as 'lack of direction'. Just listen to it deeply (as all good music should be listened to), and the music will take a direction of its own, certainly not the one that the critics expect it to take. Looking back at the clumsy Final Cut, the arena-rock-like A Momentary Lapse of Reason, and even the overly ponderous Division Bell, it's a kind of return to form for Pink Floyd.

I dreaded to hear the final track, the only vocal track on the album, expecting something out of Division Bell, which I did not like. But to my great surprise, it's yet another beautiful piece of music, quintessential Pink Floyd, introspective and serene, with lovely key changes, masterfully arranged. Add to the whole thing great production and sound so clean it's transparent, and you have a great album, classic or not.

As for the Deluxe edition - I am not sure it's worth the extra 10-12 bucks. You get some interesting videos which show the band jamming at home like any basement weekend band. If you only know them as rock giants on huge stages with tons of lighting and sound equipment, you're in for a treat. It's especially interesting to hear Dave's guitar playing being a little sloppy at times. Some of the extra tracks are not so good, but the DVD album gives you extra fidelity. The book is a nice keepsake, with studio photographs never before released, and a cool 3-D piece of art on a postcard. As well, included is a color photograph of Dave and Nick sitting together just like your dad and uncle at a barbecue. And who would think that these guys quarreled like cats and dogs a few years ago?
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Nov 15, 2014 1:47 PM PST


The Spy Who Came in from the Cold: A George Smiley Novel (George Smiley Novels)
The Spy Who Came in from the Cold: A George Smiley Novel (George Smiley Novels)
by John le Carré
Edition: Paperback
Price: $12.00
65 used & new from $4.18

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The good, the bad and the ugly - which is which?, July 26, 2014
A realistic spy novel, in the age of cheap comic-book spy thrillers (including the silly Ian Fleming capers). It has real-world characters and situations, which are not always predictable and one-sided. The "good guy" is not necessarily good, and vice-versa. The plot is truly mind-boggling, and you don't really know what's happening until the end. It's for those readers who are comfortable with being mystified; comfortable with a changing line between hero and villain. The novel throws into question what is right and what is wrong and makes you wonder is the human price is worth paying in the ruthless chess game that is espionage. The world of espionage is portrayed as sad and dark, rather than glamorous and exciting.


Black Ice
Black Ice
Offered by Kings Emporium
Price: $5.63
115 used & new from $0.42

5.0 out of 5 stars Solid rock from classic Aussie band, July 25, 2014
This review is from: Black Ice (Audio CD)
I wasn't expecting anything nearly as good as this album is. A friend said it was just so-so, but I beg to disagree. It's classic BJ-era AC/DC all the way, with good, solid performances, big choruses, tunes you'll want to sing along with with and best of all, powerful and inventive riffs from Schoolboy. That's all I ask from AC/DC, really. They are very good at what they do - pump out great rock-n-roll which makes you want to pump your fist and stomp your feet. Vocally, BJ is in top form and the overall sound is really clear. This album succeeds on all counts!


The Many Moods of Telsco Del Rey
The Many Moods of Telsco Del Rey
Price: $15.99
11 used & new from $9.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars As good as surf music gets, March 26, 2014
My title says it all... Teisco picks up where the Ventures left off. He captures the spirit of surf-rock and instrumental rock of the early to mid-sixties. There's an almost underground edge to this music. It sounded great then and it sounds great now, and Teisco gets it just right.

As for the guitars, well, the music is only as good as the player. A lousy player will sound lousy with a $2000 Gibson, and of course vice-versa, a good player will sound good on a cheap Silvertone or a Jay Turser. Don't let big egos fool your ears: you can purchase an expensive guitar but you cannot purchase talent.


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