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Ercie Berwick RSS Feed (Elmhurst, IL USA)

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Icy Sparks (Oprah's Book Club)
Icy Sparks (Oprah's Book Club)
by Gwyn Hyman Rubio
Edition: Paperback
Price: $12.44
831 used & new from $0.01

11 of 15 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars WEAK PLOT; INSIPID DIALOGUE; POORLY WRITTEN, June 21, 2001
It is very difficult for me to understand how such a book got published. Perhaps it isn't how you write, it's whom you know. Although the title of my review is really quite clear, I would like to add that the author is very inconsistent when it comes to Icy Sparks' narrations and conversations. At times Gwyn Rubio has Icy coming across as a college-educated individual; at other times she has her coming across as a barefoot gal "from them thar' hills." There just is no consistency here, and I consider this poor writing.
I have done quite a bit of reading and research on Tourette's Syndrome, and never have I come across any information that would lead me to glean that a Tourette's Syndrome sufferer's eyes can pop out like a frog's. I imagine they can grow pretty wide, but Rubio would have the reader believe that Icy's eyes literally periodically popped out of their sockets like a frog's eyes. If that is not what she meant, that still is how it came across. And if that is one of the possible symptoms of Tourette's Syndrome, it is news to me.
The ending was very weak and seemed sort of pulled together as a last resort because the author didn't know how else to end this tedious tale.


A Painted House
A Painted House
by John Grisham
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $23.39
1243 used & new from $0.01

3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars WAKE ME WHEN IT'S OVER., May 20, 2001
This review is from: A Painted House (Hardcover)
"A Painted House" is definitely not a page turner and not John Grisham at his finest. I think he made a mistake when he deviated from what he does best, and that is writing stories about law and order. "A Painted House" is the kind of book that is easy to put down and not pick up again for days. I found it rather slow and at times downright boring. People slave in the cotton fields day after day and fall into bed completely exhausted every night, only to get up again the next morning to repeat the whole process over again. This is not to say that there weren't some interesting pages in the book about migrant workers and mountain people who came to pick cotton so that they could make ends meet and put food on their table. However, in the final analysis, I thought this tedious tale would never end.


House of Sand and Fog (Oprah's Book Club)  (Vintage Contemporaries)
House of Sand and Fog (Oprah's Book Club) (Vintage Contemporaries)
by Andre Dubus III
Edition: Paperback
931 used & new from $0.01

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A TENSE AND HEART-PALPITATING BOOK !, March 23, 2001
Andre Dubus is a very gifted writer with an extraordinary imagination. I was spellbound throughout the entire book. I did not like all the sex "scenes" between Kathy Nicolo and her co-adulterer, Les Burdon, and didn't feel they were necessary to the plot. Both of these characters were a psychological mess, and all of my sympathy went to the Behrani family. The ending was tragic for all concerned. House of Sand and Fog is one of those books that is very hard to put down once one starts reading it. A very compelling novel.


Drowning Ruth: A Novel (Oprah's Book Club)
Drowning Ruth: A Novel (Oprah's Book Club)
by Christina Schwarz
Edition: Hardcover
584 used & new from $0.01

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars EXCELLENT PLOT, ALTHOUGH CONFUSING, January 18, 2001
This first novel by Christina Schwarz grabbed my interest before the end of the first page. By the end of the first chapter, I had slid to the edge of my seat and stayed there until the end. The reason I didn't give this book five stars is because it was often confusing to follow. The author kept going back and forth between the past and the present, and sometimes I had to retrace my steps to make sure I had a handle on what was happening to which characters and when. Usually, when I get a book that does that, I take it back to the library, but in this instance, the plot thickened with every page, and I could not put it down. The book built up to an almost unbearable climax, but it didn't end the way I expected it to, which was a bit of a letdown.
Nevertheless, I am now looking forward to a second novel by Christina Schwarz. She certainly knows how to weave a tale of great suspense.


The Bridges of Madison County (Full Screen Edition)
The Bridges of Madison County (Full Screen Edition)
DVD ~ Clint Eastwood
70 used & new from $0.01

6 of 16 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars LUST AND BETRAYAL, January 7, 2001
I gave it two stars because of the outstanding performances of Streep and Eastwood, otherwise I would have given it only one star. So! It seems many reviewers went through boxes and boxes of Kleenex tissue while watching this movie. I found the story line quite sobering and depressing. Francesca has been married for twenty years or more to a faithful husband who loves her, and while he is away on a camping trip with the kids, lo and behold, she plays tiddly-winks behind her husband's back with a roaming, divorced photographer because she is bored with her existence. Well, isn't that a shame! What happened to her vows, "Until death do us part?" The plot was so inane, it was embarrassing.
And what a legacy she left for her kids! She recorded her affair. Please! I would rather not have seen the film. It left me feeling not too good about the human race.


Ellen Foster
Ellen Foster
by Kaye Gibbons
Edition: Paperback
710 used & new from $0.01

2 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars GOOD PLOT; POORLY WRITTEN, January 6, 2001
This review is from: Ellen Foster (Paperback)
I don't like to have to wade through a book, but I surely had to wade through Ellen Foster. Does lack of punctuation throughout (especially quotation marks) establish one as an author? Very confusing story. Incidentally, not by any stretch of the imagination can this be referred to as a "novel." It is barely 145 pages in length; I believe that constitutes a "novella." I read so many upbeat reviews about "Ellen Foster," I hurried to my local library to check it out. I have very gifted grandchildren, any one of who could have written this "booklet" so that it flowed for the reader. If this is the author's established style of writing, I do hope she isn't planning to afflict us with a second story. This was a good plot gone to waste.


The Book of Ruth
The Book of Ruth
by Jane Hamilton
Edition: Paperback
Price: $12.11
1116 used & new from $0.01

7 of 30 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars STRONG PLOT, NONSENSE & SACRILEGE BY THE AUTHOR, December 30, 2000
This review is from: The Book of Ruth (Paperback)
Since I had read "A Map of the World" by Jane Hamilton and liked it, I thought I would enjoy a second book by her. Was I ever in for a disappointment; but not because the book was so horribly depressing. Some books cheer me up, some books depress me; some books challenge me. A good book is a good book, no matter what. However, this was a very different, very off-the-wall style of writing. Jane Hamilton, throughout a good portion of the book, put words in Ruth's thoughts that didn't even make nonsense; for example: "The grass was so lush and green I half hoped someone would put me out to pasture." "I bet my face looked like a raisin somebody stepped on." "It was so cold, his tears were the consistency of slush." "I called up Artie and told him I was sick as a dead pig." "My head felt like a bowl full of hot applesauce." "She waited on us hand and toe." And I've only scratched the surface. The book is chock full of this kind of idiocy. In addition, I was very offended by this story. I have a suspicion that Jane Hamilton may be an agnostic or an atheist. Nobody with the slightest iota of respect for the Word of God would write as sacrilegiously as has Jane Hamilton in The Book of Ruth. I do not care to repeat here the abominations she has put on paper concerning God, his son Jesus, and Scripture in general. She has also, through Ruth's thoughts, wiped the floor with the pastor of the church Ruth sometimes attended. I believe that Jane Hamilton, through Ruth's thoughts, has shown quite clearly what she thinks not only of organized religion, but of a person's personal relationship with the savior of the world. As a Christian, I truly resent this book. You might ask why I continued to read it. I was driven to see it to the end because, it was building up to such a violent crescendo that I had to find out what the end was like. As I mentioned in the title of my review, the book had a strong plot. Robert Morgan could have taken that plot and created a work of genius with it. Jane Hamilton created a strong plot but also created this Ruth person whose weird, nonsensical and sacrilegious thoughts emanated from her almost constantly. I saw her as a stupid woman with a deep-seated desire to destroy herself. Not once did I feel any empathy for her. She was not only self-destructive, but when she was not thinking drivel, she was entertaining sacrilegious thoughts about the church, the pastor, and Holy Scripture. So far as I'm concerned, in the end Ruth got every bit of what she deserved, but I, the reader, felt polluted! I did not want to give this novel even half a star, but I gave it one star because I guess that's the lowest grade one can assign to a book according to the "How do you rate this book?" box. Read this book at your own risk!


Gone With the Wind [VHS]
Gone With the Wind [VHS]
VHS
Offered by BeatleManU2
Price: $4.81
108 used & new from $0.01

2 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars THE GREATEST MOVIE OF ALL TIME!, December 27, 2000
There was only one "Gone With The Wind," and there will never be another. Clark Gable stole the show. Everyone was perfectly cast, with the exception of Vivien Leigh. If I were casting "Gone With The Wind," I would not have cast Vivien Leigh. There was something lacking in Leigh's performance. There were two actresses at least, that I am aware of, who were seriously being considered for the role. One of them was Paulette Goddard and the other was Bette Davis. Paulette Goddard, an outstanding actress, would have made a far more beautiful and believable Scarlett than Vivien Leigh, and, while Bette Davis was stunning rather than beautiful, she would have ripped the screen apart with her acting. I would have cast Bette Davis.


The Heiress [VHS]
The Heiress [VHS]
VHS
Offered by hardcuvrluvr
Price: $4.49
44 used & new from $1.98

3 of 24 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars AN EXCELLENT FILM (WITH RESERVATIONS), December 27, 2000
This review is from: The Heiress [VHS] (VHS Tape)
I certainly enjoyed "The Heiress," but I felt that the makeup artists fell down on the job when they made up Olivia DeHavilland. She is a very beautiful woman, and, as Catherine, who was supposed to be homelier than a hedge fence, Olivia was still beautiful. So, although Olivia is a great actress, she still didn't convince me (thanks to those who made her up for the role) that Catherine was plain and undesirable. I felt that Montgomery Clift was terribly miscast. He is, in my opinion, a very wooden actor. Why he was picked for the role I cannot imagine. I thought the remake "Washington Square" was a superior film in every way.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jan 18, 2010 2:24 AM PST


Leave Her to Heaven [VHS]
Leave Her to Heaven [VHS]
VHS
Offered by Captain Ziggy
Price: $14.95
41 used & new from $1.88

1 of 13 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars THIS WAS CORNEL WILDE'S MOVIE!, December 27, 2000
I would have liked to have given this film four stars. I thought Gene Tierney was, as always, a wooden performer. (Olivia DeHavilland would have been dynamite in this role!) Jeanne Crain and the actress who played the mother were passable. The young actor who portrayed Cornel Wilde's crippled brother gave a stellar performance. Cornel Wilde, however, a very gifted and very underrated actor, walked away with the movie!


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