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Frieda and Min
Frieda and Min
by Pamela Jooste
Edition: Paperback
39 used & new from $0.01

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Personal drama and social history all rolled into one, May 30, 2002
This review is from: Frieda and Min (Paperback)
This book is the story of Frieda (a Jewish girl) and Min (a white girl), two friends coming of age in South Africa under Apartheid. The novel's social interest lies mainly in its depiction of Apartheid from two non-native perspectives: Frieda and her family are not overtly racist, but they acquiesce to the system ("It's just the way things are"); Min, on the other hand, devotes her life to fighting for racial justice. The personal growth that Frieda undergoes as a result of meeting Min is superbly developed by Pamela Jooste. The novel is well-written throughout, but switches between Frieda's and Min's perspectives and frequent movements forward and backward through time can be a little confusing. Overall, however, this book is worth the time to read.


THURBER ALBUM: The Wit, Wisdom, and Surprising Life of James Thurber
THURBER ALBUM: The Wit, Wisdom, and Surprising Life of James Thurber
by James thurber
Edition: Hardcover
64 used & new from $4.97

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A view from a non-fan, December 29, 2001
Since the only other review of this book is by a professed Thurber fan, I thought I, who had been relatively unaware of Thurber's work before reading this book, could write a helpful review. It is basically a series of portraits of people that were either important in Thurber's family history, important in Columbus, Ohio from the 1910's to the 1930's, or his journalist friends from Columbus. Thurber had a subtle sense of humor, and he uses it to full effect in describing the sometimes outrageous activities of his subjects. The anecdotal history of Columbus that is slowly revealed proved to be quite interesting (I'm a native of central Ohio).
Each chapter did end on what at first seemed to be an overly sappy note; however, this is understandable since the book was first published in the early 1950's, when such things were probably expected by Thurber's audience. Overall, this was a very fun read.


The Honey-Ant Men's Love Song and Other Aboriginal Song Poems (UQP Poetry)
The Honey-Ant Men's Love Song and Other Aboriginal Song Poems (UQP Poetry)
by Robert M. W. Dixon
Edition: Paperback
10 used & new from $0.01

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent edition of an obscure literary tradition, May 1, 2001
Native literatures from around the world have enjoyed a surge of popularity in the past few decades, and this volume is a good example of why that is so. The Aboriginal song poems have been ably translated, but the editors decided to have the poems in their original languages facing the English versions. This adds much to the feel of a foreign, exotic literature. Explanatory notes are placed with the original versions, causing some difficulty in switching from page to page reading the translation and then the explanation (the meanings of passages are not always clear from the translation). The selections cover four distinct literary traditions within Aboriginal Australia, from varying geographical locales. This allows the reader to appreciate the wide variation in Aboriginal culture.


Independent Travellers Australia 2000: The Budget Travel Guide (Independent Traveler's Guide)
Independent Travellers Australia 2000: The Budget Travel Guide (Independent Traveler's Guide)
by Gareth Powell
Edition: Paperback
10 used & new from $0.01

4.0 out of 5 stars Useful, but perhaps a bit biased, May 1, 2001
I recently spent 3 1/2 months in Australia as a student, and I took this guide along for the few weeks I had to travel around. Everywhere I went, this guide pointed out pleasant places that ordinary travel guides might not bother with. The lists of accomodation and restaurants in every city or town were especially useful. Interspersed throughout are historical and cultural notes that allow the visitor to enjoy each place just a little bit more, and Gareth Powell's dry wit makes the guide very readable. My one disappointment was the comparative lack of attention to Brisbane (where I spent most of my time). For instance, Adelaide, Melbourne, Sydney and Perth all have detailed, color street maps at the back of the book, but Brisbane does not. Overall, however, this guide was well worth its price.


Jirel Of Joiry
Jirel Of Joiry
by C. L. Moore
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
37 used & new from $0.27

2 of 13 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A good story needs characters . . ., April 18, 2001
I picked this book up at a Salvation Army store for about 50 cents, and I'm glad that's all I paid. I have no problem with strong female warrior types, but Jirel does not do them justice. As the editorial review notes, Jirel is a little stupid, and it is often her uncontrolled emotions rather than her courage or her bravery that get her out of sticky situations. As a heroin, I just couldn't bring myself to root for her to win. My biggest complaint, however, is the lack of other characters in most of the stories, especially the Black God stories. Moore undoubtedly spent a great deal of time writing 30 pages of description of strange alien worlds, but after the first 10 pages they get a little boring. A good story needs more than one character to keep up the reader's interest. In this respect, the final story in this collection, Hellsgarde, was a pretty good story, and much easier to read because there were several interesting characters.


The Raven and Other Favorite Poems (Dover Thrift Editions)
The Raven and Other Favorite Poems (Dover Thrift Editions)
by Edgar Allan Poe
Edition: Paperback
Price: $2.25
259 used & new from $0.01

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A typical Dover, March 23, 2001
If one is unfamiliar with Dover Thrift editions, be warned that they are not meant for the seriously interested. Rather, they are meant to provide cheap introductions for beginners or slim volumes for those who wish to appear intellectual. They are also just another volume to collect for (in this case) Poe completists. That having been said, I love Dover thrift editions precisely because they are so cheap and provide easy access to the most famous works by reknowned authors. This particular volume delivers, including both Poe's most famous works of poetry (The Raven, Annabel Lee, The Bells, etc.) and some less-well-known works.


Deception: The Ufo Conspiracy
Deception: The Ufo Conspiracy
by David Bischoff
Edition: Paperback
30 used & new from $0.01

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Poor quality all around, January 2, 2001
If you are looking for quality literature, steer well wide of this book. The writing was poor, the plot was hackneyed and cliche (for the most part), and the editing was absolutely atrocious. It seemed like there were at least two typos, mispellings or other assorted miscues on every page. The writing style reminded me of fan fiction (if you're not familiar with fanfic, this comparison is not at all favorable). The author also got a few facts wrong (such as, Cleveland is nowhere near Wright-Patterson Air Force Base). As for the plot, it is the typical UFO skeptic-turned-believer-trying-to-rescue-family-member-and-uncover-vast-government-conspiracy plot. It became vaguely interesting towards the end, but I won't reveal the (almost) plot twist for those intrepid readers who might want to read this book. This novel is technically the second in a trilogy, but according to the author it can be enjoyed on its own. After wincing my way through this volume, I have no desire to read the other two. However, I give this book two stars instead of one simply because it is the perfect thing for mindless airport reading.


Graves Registry/Poems
Graves Registry/Poems
by Keith Wilson
Edition: Paperback
Price: $12.12
23 used & new from $0.01

4.0 out of 5 stars Get ready for a depressing read, October 10, 2000
This review is from: Graves Registry/Poems (Paperback)
This book of poetry by Keith Wilson was inspired by his experiences in the Navy during the Korean War. Accordingly, almost every poem has as its theme war, death, the sea or love lost or gone awry. It makes for a coherent whole, but it can get depressing. It takes awhile to actually get into the poems, and the rhythm is hard to pick up at first. If you are able to stomach it through the first 30 pages or so, however, you can finish the book with a better idea of how to read and interpret Wilson's work.


The Waste Land, Prufrock and Other Poems (Dover Thrift Editions)
The Waste Land, Prufrock and Other Poems (Dover Thrift Editions)
by Frank Kermode
Edition: Paperback
Price: $2.25
223 used & new from $0.01

4 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Don't let its size fool you, August 19, 2000
Despite a mere 49 pages, this book is weighty indeed in substance. The footnotes to "The Waste Land" alone take up 4 and 1/2 pages, and a lot of them are quotations in Latin. There are also a few poems written in French, with no translations for those readers who might not happen to be familiar with that language. Also, surely the editor(s) could have come up with a few more poems by such an important poet. I suppose the meager selection was chosen in anticipation of readers' wearied minds after trudging through such heavy work. All the same, it is T.S. Eliot, and there are good reasons why "The Waste Land" and "Prufrock" are considered classics.


Abraham Lincoln: Great Speeches (Dover Thrift Editions)
Abraham Lincoln: Great Speeches (Dover Thrift Editions)
by Abraham Lincoln
Edition: Paperback
Price: $3.15
393 used & new from $0.01

9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A good key to understanding Lincoln, August 17, 2000
Today Abraham Lincoln's political views are often misrepresented in many ways. Some claim he was a great forward-thinking emancipator (he originally planned to let the southern states have until 1900 to abolish slavery on an individual-state basis), while others claim he was never really interested in ending slavery at all (in fact, as early as 1838 Lincoln made it clear that he thought the only practical way of ending slavery was to contain it where it already existed, so that it would then eventually die out). These are only examples. These speeches, however, are Lincoln's definitive statement, from his own mouth, of what he did and did not stand for. They are a bit tedious to read (and would obviously work better as speeches), but anyone who is interested in Abraham Lincoln and the Civil War should read this book.


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