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Customer Reviews: 233
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Reviews Written by
R. C. Kopf "curtis kopf" RSS Feed (Seattle, WA United States)
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In Cold Blood
In Cold Blood
by Truman Capote
Edition: Paperback
Price: $9.15
548 used & new from $0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars classic of the genre, February 24, 2008
This review is from: In Cold Blood (Paperback)
yep, this book is deserving of all the accolades heaped on it since it was published. meticulously researched, masterfully structured and written so that it enters your brain like a narcotic directly into a vein. i started reading this late one night and read for hours. whether you care for true crime genre or have any interest in the crime depicted, you are hooked from the first sentence and can't disengage until you ingest the last perfectly written sentence...wow!


Divisadero
Divisadero
by Michael Ondaatje
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $25.00
203 used & new from $0.01

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars powerful but not perfect novel, February 14, 2008
This review is from: Divisadero (Hardcover)
i agree with many of the pros and cons in other customer reviews and struggled with whether to give 3 or 4 stars.

on the plus side: ondaatje is a writer's writer, his language is simple, spare and poetic. the words dreamy and atmospheric come to mind. he also creates powerful images and stories. i was particularly enamored here of coop's time in vegas as well as anna's life in france. the book is rife with wisdom and makes you think.

on the disappointing side: i found much to admire but not as much that moved me. the voice is disengaged and the characters emotions are like plastic fruit. i also found myself wandering during the last 20% of the novel.

so very good, intriguing but flawed


The Beast God Forgot to Invent
The Beast God Forgot to Invent
by Jim Harrison
Edition: Hardcover
61 used & new from $4.48

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars descendent of miller/bukowski, February 7, 2008
this is the first harrison book i've read and did not know what to expect. i enjoyed it a lot. whereas some reviewers have compared him to hemingway, i seem him more as a stylistic descendent of henry miller and bukowski.
harrison certainly mines the same "male" terrain as hemingway, but whereas hemmingway is about "men of action" in war and other pursuits, harrison's central characters in 2 of the 3 novellas here are more observers than doers. They also have more of a cerebral/academic lens on the world than hemmingway's men.
where robert stone -- another writer in the male thinker/adventurer vein -- tends to follow a very structured approach to plot (more like conrad or hemmingway) -- these novellas are more like diary entries. they are *not* plot-driven and occasionally i found myself losing interest.
but what i found most appealing here was less the plot and more the great insights sprinkled throughout -- sentences that you underline and read three times. worth reading.


Bay of Souls: A Novel
Bay of Souls: A Novel
by Robert Stone
Edition: Paperback
Price: $16.95
92 used & new from $0.01

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars great, if flawed, stone novel, January 29, 2008
This review is from: Bay of Souls: A Novel (Paperback)
i don't agree with many of the readers who panned this stone novel. i agree that stone set a high bar for himself in previous books, and that this one falls short, but still think a subpar stone novel is a notch short of a classic.

there are familar themes and motifs -- an academic, war, revolution, drugs, sex, deep-sea diving, religion -- as stone weaves his tale of an angst-ridden professor who follows an affair to third world revolution. my criticism is that the novel feels like two books crudely bolted together: part 1 takes part in a midwestern university; part 2 takes part primarily on a carribean island undergoing revolution. despite this flaw and the confusing climax on the island, this still has ton to offer and ponder. the writing is earing and memorable as always. the insights and surehanded descriptions of academic life, DC politics and war are powerful. and the spiritual quest at the book's heart will leave you pondering for a while.

so, yes, flawed. but give me a flawed stone novel anyday!


Dog Soldiers
Dog Soldiers
by Robert Stone
Edition: Paperback
14 used & new from $2.98

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars my favorite book by a great american author, January 9, 2008
This review is from: Dog Soldiers (Paperback)
I am a fan of robert stone, and this is my favorite book by him.

First, having served as a correspondent in Vietnam and as someone who was immersed in 60s counterculture, he brings an authenticity to the story. The characters and setting ring true.

Secondly, for me this is his most successful integration of the philosophical/ideas novel with adrenaline-powered storytelling. It is a page-turner with a brain, with echoes of hemmingway and joseph conrad.

his central protagonist, hicks, is my favorite of all stone's anti-heroes. his novels never contain a "perfect" hero but rather protagonists doing the best they can in the world they inhabit and with the imperfect tools they are born with. Hicks is a fascinating though flawed character.

a deserved winner of the pullitzer prize.


Infotopia: How Many Minds Produce Knowledge
Infotopia: How Many Minds Produce Knowledge
by Cass R. Sunstein
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $36.95
91 used & new from $0.01

0 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars very useful little book, November 15, 2007
thought provoking useful book with wide application. i am very interested in social media & how to use vehicles such as blogs & wikis.

also, very insightful and counterintuitive info about group processes, decision-making ect

written in a simple clear way


Three Cups of Tea: One Man's Mission to Promote Peace - One School at a Time
Three Cups of Tea: One Man's Mission to Promote Peace - One School at a Time
by Greg Mortenson
Edition: Paperback
Price: $12.58
2626 used & new from $0.01

33 of 40 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars one of the most inspiring books i've ever read, November 13, 2007
simply put, one of the most inspiring books i've ever read. even the biggest cynic will have trouble not being moved and won over by greg mortenson's passion for creating schools in places the world has ignored [pakistan and afghanistan in particular] or, worse, ravished with war.

mortenson's commitment and unerring north star steers him to do the right thing in struggle after struggle. it is simply amazing. in this reader's view, he is worthy of a nobel peace price.


Bend It Like Beckham (Widescreen Edition)
Bend It Like Beckham (Widescreen Edition)
DVD ~ Parminder Nagra
Offered by 1UP Video Games, Books & DVDs
Price: $11.83
139 used & new from $0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars wonderful movie for adults & kids, November 7, 2007
a wonderful gem of a movie. i watched this with my 8 yr old daughter and 11 yr old son, both of whom play soccer, and we all loved it.

the movie skillfully weaves beautiful soccer footage, cultural depth and realistic relationships into a sometimes funny, sometimes sad movie. The movie is visually rich and has a great soundtrack.

all the actors are lovely, the main character does a particularly good job playing a determined, gifted young women torn by culture, gender norms and love. well done!


Inarticulate Speech of the Heart
Inarticulate Speech of the Heart
Price: $6.99
56 used & new from $0.01

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars underappreciated gem by a rock n roll legend, October 18, 2007
60's icon van morrison has a devoted "cult" following but is deserving of much more. most people know him by "Gloria" -- an early hit by his band Them -- and perhaps by "Moondance," a makeout classic.

the truth is that this prickly, deeply spiritual irish performer has been releasing great albums for 5 decades, a record that can be matched by very few of his peers.

this album, which per above is not well known, is a very accessible, beautiful distillation of van's spiritual side. "rave on" and "higher than the world" are so transporting that they transcend music.


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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars wonderful for family, October 16, 2007
wonderful true story. i am surprised i have never heard about this tragedy with an inspirational aftermath.
matthew McConaughey is very good. this is not MM the world's sexiest man, but a seasoned actor playing a quirky but inspiring character. strong performances all round.
my ten year old loved it.


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