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Customer Reviews: 4
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Helpful Votes: 5

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R. Springer "R.Springer" RSS Feed (McLean, Virginia, USA)

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A Town Like Alice
A Town Like Alice
DVD ~ Helen Morse

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Let us have a DVD, PLEASE, MR. AMAZON, OF "A Town Like Alice", February 5, 2014
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This review is from: A Town Like Alice (DVD)
This five hour miniseries is simply one of the best of all time, a wonderful love story, with plenty of adventure and action which also brings in some interesting aspects of World War II in Malaya. Beautifully acted and filmed, it will hold your interest and make you fall in love with Jean Paget, the female lead, for her courage, beauty, modesty, loyalty and kindness.
It really needs to be issued in DVD form for a new generation of lovers of fine entertainment.

Island of Pigs
Island of Pigs
Price: $9.99

5.0 out of 5 stars "Island of Pigs", an Imaginative Thriller, Recommended, December 1, 2013
This review is from: Island of Pigs (Kindle Edition)
John Gaudet's latest novel, "Island of Pigs", is a true thriller, just what you need for that long flight to Europe, guaranteed to make you forget the long lines at the security gate and the cramped really does grab you almost immediately, and keep you wondering what surprise is in store for you as you turn each page. Not only is this novel exciting, but also what I really liked about it is that I learned some of the basics of the new (to me) world of organ transplants, and the opportunity these life-saving procedure present not only for good, but also sometimes for evil, as desperate organ seekers fight for the hope of survival.

The scene is Southeast Asia, and more specifically a tropical island off the coast of Malaya. This is an area that the author knows thoroughly, having lived there and worked in the tropical rain forests. I can vouch for his descriptions of these tropical landscapes, have been on infantry jungle patrols in Malaya as a liaison officer with a British Gurkha troops, and later with an ANZAC battalion, during the "Emergency" in the 1960's. Also, If you are like me, and and miss in the literature of today the exotic overtones of Somerset Maugham's stories of Southeast Asia and in the adventure yarns of Joseph Conrad, you will feels right at home and really enjoy this book.

I must thank John for including an excellent map of the scene of the action at the beginning of the book, most welcomed, you are not continually in the dark trying to figure out where people are. I wish also that he had included a list of characters as, there are quite a few, but unfortunately few authors do that these days.

"Island of Pigs" also is reminiscent of HG Well's epic, "The Island of Dr, Moreau", in that both stories take place on mysterious islands, involve scientists experimenting with animals and humans, are gripping and sometimes shocking tales, and include elements of horror and savagery. Of course, it also is very different in that "Island of Pigs" is up-to-date in every respect, particularly medical technology. This is an unsettling book, not one you can read and forget; in lingers on in your mind, and you wonder if such events really could happen. Highly recommended

Robert Springer

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0 of 22 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Works well, no problems., October 21, 2012
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This digital adapter worked exactly as advertised, as have all Apple products I have ever known of in the past 30 years. just plug In as directed, and it shows the image on the screen. simple.
Comment Comments (5) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Feb 15, 2013 2:26 PM PST

The Iron Snake
The Iron Snake
by John Gaudet
Edition: Paperback
26 used & new from $2.76

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book, September 5, 2007
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This review is from: The Iron Snake (Paperback)
Normally, I'm not a reader of historical novels, but I am a fan of Africa, and railroad stories, and travel, and I love the Victorian period of history. This novel is about all three, which is why I picked it out, and I'm not sorry I made the choice. The story is about the building of a railway into the heart of Kenya in the late 19th century. I particularly like the opening section where the heroine, Alice, growing up in England tries to figure out what Africa is all about, "...She recalled from her atlas that starting from Kent one passed through England to Europe and the rest of the World, and since the World started with `A' for Africa, she reasoned that Angola must be at the very top of that Continent and perhaps not far from where she sat this sunny morning."

As the story progresses Alice turns into a strong-willed woman, tough enough to challenge the male-dominated society she finds in Colonial Africa. In fact, all of his characters are similar to the people whom I imagined would venture out to Africa around the turn of the century, colorful, eccentric people, the ones who didn't fit the mold in Europe.

Towards the end of the book I discovered that it is more than a historical novel, it's a description of how to build a rail line into unknown territory, and it's a travelogue, and a thriller, and a love story with a Jane Austen ending! There's something here for everybody. The best parts however are Gaudet's descriptions of the relationships of the white settlers with the Africans, especially the wily, illusive, Zulu woman working for the Germans, Jakoby, and the endearing village seer, Syonduku.

The Africans believed the railroad fulfilled an ancient prophesy and called it the Iron Snake, hence the title of the book, but the British media called it the Lunatic Express and after reading it I can see why.
Historically, The Iron Snake is important because as the novel unfolds we see a shadow of events that lead up to the outbreak of WWI fourteen years later, and the battles that will be fought between British and German colonial troops in East Africa. In summary, a fast, thoroughly enjoyable read, and great entertainment, no wonder Alexander McCall Smith enjoyed it.

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