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Profile for Laurence R. Bachmann > Reviews

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Laurence R. Bach...'s Profile

Customer Reviews: 573
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Helpful Votes: 3697


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Reviews Written by
Laurence R. Bachmann "LRB" RSS Feed (New York)
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DII Oceanique Everyday  Personal Care Essentials Round Cosmetic Bag/Pouch For Makeup Brushes, Liners, Toiletries, Accessories, Or Traveling, 9x3x3", Black
DII Oceanique Everyday Personal Care Essentials Round Cosmetic Bag/Pouch For Makeup Brushes, Liners, Toiletries, Accessories, Or Traveling, 9x3x3", Black
Price: $9.99

3.0 out of 5 stars Fine for toiletries; coarse material a problem, July 25, 2016
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This is perfectly fine for packing toiletries for a weekend trip. The material though is coarse and likely to snag nylon, sweaters and similar material. Be careful what you put it next to.


Sleep Master Classic Spring 10 Inch Mattress, Twin
Sleep Master Classic Spring 10 Inch Mattress, Twin
Price: $143.10

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great night's sleep, July 24, 2016
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This is a terrific product and for the price, a great value. It is medium firm providing both cushion and support. A great combination. The mattress is compressed and machine rolled into a box one third the size. It took about hours to completely "stretch out". One oddity, there is no wire frame that goes around the mattress, so when you sit on the edge it compresses completely down. You have to scoot further back and there's no problem.

Great product.


The Book of Lost Recipes: The Best Signature Dishes From Historic Restaurants Rediscovered
The Book of Lost Recipes: The Best Signature Dishes From Historic Restaurants Rediscovered
by Jaya Saxena
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $16.16
59 used & new from $12.17

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A delectable read!, July 21, 2016
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This is a delightful book. It is a charming look back at the culinary tastes of a bygone era. The meals are mostly for high and middle brow--everything from lobster stuffed with crab to a bizarre concoction called Snapper Soup with more spices than I knew existed. I thought it would be heavy on complicated Robber Baron-fare (a few) but there are lots of recipes from Inns that would have served the traveller or businessman. Does the oddly named Corn Dance Cafe ring a bell for anyone? I laughed out loud when I turned the page to Horn & Hardart's remembering all of my grandparent's stories about great meals for just a nickel.

There are wonderful pictures and illustrations with some context and history about the restaurant, hotel or region. Great gift to give or get.


Happy Belly Chocolate & Dried Fruit Trail Mix, 48 oz
Happy Belly Chocolate & Dried Fruit Trail Mix, 48 oz
Price: $19.20

4.0 out of 5 stars Tasty Treat!, July 21, 2016
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
A yummy mix of sweet and savory and salty. Happy (if bigger) Belly for sure.


BLACK+DECKER TR2400SD 2-Slice Extra Wide Slot Toaster, Stainless Steel
BLACK+DECKER TR2400SD 2-Slice Extra Wide Slot Toaster, Stainless Steel
Price: $34.99
2 used & new from $15.14

4.0 out of 5 stars Basic toaster with a nice retro design, July 15, 2016
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Not sure why one reviewer can't get bagels in the slots--they're more than ample and the crumb tray makes it easy to clean out. Well done.


Mikasa Laura White Wine, 15-Ounce, Set of 4
Mikasa Laura White Wine, 15-Ounce, Set of 4
Price: $21.00
5 used & new from $21.00

4.0 out of 5 stars Classic, handsome wine glasses, July 15, 2016
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
These are lovely glasses, for everyday or when friends come over.


The Narrow Road to the Deep North
The Narrow Road to the Deep North
by Richard Flanagan
Edition: Paperback
Price: $9.49
195 used & new from $0.42

5.0 out of 5 stars The horror of war, the banality of every day, July 11, 2016
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Richard Flannagan's Narrow Road to the Deep North is, on the surface about the brutal abuse of Australian POWs forced by Japanese captors to build a railroad through the Burmese jungle during WWII. Their enslavement is among the most gruesome and gut-wrenching descriptions of war I have ever read. It reeks of suffering and misery and also nobility: "He had to help Tiny...he was a mate. Dark y Gardiner loathed Tiny, thought him a fool and would do everything to keep him alive. Because courage, survival, love--all these things didn't live in one man. They lived in all or they died and every man died with them." But this novel is more than an anti-war set piece.

The Narrow Road to the Deep North is, on the surface about great love: "Desire now rode them relentlessly...He could not resist the undertow of her." that is frustrated and replaced by something without passion, but with purpose. "There grew between him and Ella a conspiracy of experience...unexpected and unbidden, more important and more undeniable than love, whatever love was. Despite myriad adulteries, poor parenting and worse in his family's hour of need Dorrigo Evans, an anti-hero extraordinaire is literally their salvation: "two people who lived together in a love not yet love, nor yet not; an unshared life shared....a marriage--the strange, terrible neverendingness of human beings. A family." But this novel is more than a paean to deracinated man.

There is a shrewd understanding that each of us individually and all of us collectively is carried along by forces beyond our control. Every culture, every Empire is both beautiful and horrific, it is only a matter of how. The Americans who free the Australians are enraged for the thousands of Western allies slaughtered but completely indifferent to the millions of Chinese and Koreans destroyed before them. Hiroshima, Nagasaki and fire-bombed Tokyo are as horrific as any camp on the Burma Road. And blame devolves to point of view or an even more adolescent "he started it." But this novel is more than just a weighing of scales for rights and wrongs.

Ultimately, for me, The Narrow Road to the Deep North was about forgiveness. The need to find it in others and to find it in ourselves. To be healed. To be whole. To be human.


L'Oreal Paris Skin Care, Purify and Mattify Pure Clay Mask, 1.7 Ounce
L'Oreal Paris Skin Care, Purify and Mattify Pure Clay Mask, 1.7 Ounce
Price: $9.98
3 used & new from $9.98

4.0 out of 5 stars Very nice; left my skin a bit dry, July 8, 2016
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
The product works well, and my skin felt clean and was certainly less oily. Unfortunately, it also felt I bit dry. To be fair I do have patchy skin (some parts oily some regular) so that may be unavoidable.


The Sympathizer: A Novel (Pulitzer Prize for Fiction)
The Sympathizer: A Novel (Pulitzer Prize for Fiction)
by Viet Thanh Nguyen
Edition: Paperback
Price: $10.38
85 used & new from $6.50

5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful in so many ways: disturbing, challenging and often funny., July 8, 2016
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
The Sympathizer by Viet Thanh Nguyen is simply superb. Written with an unflinching eye and great humor, it is a brilliant and chilling look into the hearts and minds of men and the cruelty we inflict upon each other. The first 50 or so pages are devoted to the introduction of the Captain; a mole in South Vietnam's special forces. He is also a bastard, and half-breed, with a Vietnamese mother he adores and a French father (who also happens to be a Roman Catholic priest) he despises. He is a microcosm of a homeland divided in half--with a dual nature and opposites that seem to only attract loathing or disdain.

This is the fall of Saigon, the Vietnam war and the dislocation to America told from an Asian perspective, and a story non-Asian Americans should read if only for that viewpoint. But there is so much more: brilliant writing and beautiful prose that is often hilarious, and always thought-provoking. "I calmed the tremor in my gut. I was in close quarters with some representative of the most dangerous creature in the history of the world, the white man in a suit." Or, "you must claim America, she said. America will not give itself to you. If you do not claim America, if America is not in your heart, America will throw you into a concentration camp, or a reservation or a plantation."

This is not an easy book to read--and no, not because there aren't quotation marks. God help some of these reviewers if they ever pick up Virginia Woolf or James Joyce. At times though the scenes of torture and rape are sickening and the author's pov about American hegemony (cultural and political) is going to disturb many. But it is challenging in the very best way. The Sympathizer does what great literature is supposed to do--force us out of our comfort zone to rethink assumptions. This wonderful, disturbing, challenging novel will do more than that--it will affirm something indomitable and essential about us all--a desire to carry on, and to live.


Benson Mills Chagall Spillproof Fabric Tablecloth, 60 by 104-Inch, Off White
Benson Mills Chagall Spillproof Fabric Tablecloth, 60 by 104-Inch, Off White
Price: $16.99
3 used & new from $15.29

4.0 out of 5 stars Very nice; light cream color not white, July 8, 2016
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
The tablecloth is very nice and really practical. If it's white, it's a dingy white, so let's call it beige.


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