Profile for Angus M. Kennedy > Reviews

Browse

Angus M. Kennedy's Profile

Customer Reviews: 9
Top Reviewer Ranking: 19,897,069
Helpful Votes: 9




Community Features
Review Discussion Boards
Top Reviewers

Guidelines: Learn more about the ins and outs of Your Profile.

Reviews Written by
Angus M. Kennedy RSS Feed (Australia)
(REAL NAME)   

Show:  
Page: 1
pixel
The Man Without Qualities, Vol. 2: Into the Millennium
The Man Without Qualities, Vol. 2: Into the Millennium
by Robert Musil
Edition: Paperback
Price: $18.97
89 used & new from $8.01

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointingly Incomplete, April 25, 2009
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
While "Into The Millenium" was largely complete, and the "Posthumous Papers" obviously not, even the completed section lacked the structure of Vol. 1 - the external characters and environment gave way almost completely to Ulric's evolving thoughts on emotion and love, intermingled, at times, with those of Agathe on similar subjects. While it gave an interesting insight into Musil's thought and creative processes, it was not overly satisfying, and a little disappointing. However, Vol. 1 was so satisfying that Vol. 2 can be forgiven.


The Man Without Qualities Vol. 1: A Sort of Introduction and Pseudo Reality Prevails
The Man Without Qualities Vol. 1: A Sort of Introduction and Pseudo Reality Prevails
by Robert Musil
Edition: Paperback
Price: $14.86
82 used & new from $5.48

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A stupendous creation of insights and introspection, February 15, 2009
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
The book is remniscent of Proust's "A la Recherche du Temps Perdu". It is focused on a single character, set in an "old world" time, and very much a study of his thoughts and considerations in a time of potentially great change, in this case, in Austria.The time is ostensibly the great programme to celebrate the 70th jubilee of Emperor Franz Joseph, but this merely provides the backdrop for Ulrich's musings on the aristocracy, the interaction of Germany and Austria at the time, the general Austrian malaise of "who are we really?", and his own cynicism and discouragement with man's individual and social development, along with a few of his own dalliances.

Ulrich's own character and that of the four or five other supporting cast of any significance are developed slowly, steadily and in great measure, all set against Ulrich's own character flaws - scepticism, laziness, amorality, and an almost total lack of belief in humanity. That we see all this, in effect, through Ulrich's own eyes makes for a wonderful piece of creative writing.

A joy!


Tristes Tropiques
Tristes Tropiques
by Claude Levi-Strauss
Edition: Paperback
83 used & new from $2.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A somewhat jaundiced view of Man's progress, February 15, 2009
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Tristes Tropiques (Paperback)
This book is really a number of books in one - a diatribe against the New World vis a vis the Old World, time spent with the natives in South America, and a bemoaning of the lack of progress by Mankind in its development.
His comparison of the New and Old Worlds is probably quite apt - the Old World, with its social and physical structures evolved during a slower moving time and "was made to last". The New World came when progress was increasing much more quickly, new materials became available, and social and physical structures were relatively short term. His description is probably reasonably accurate, but I would have thought a little more thought as to the reasons and causes would have helped (along with a little more gratitude to the New World for giving him a home, all the while he was grizzling about them!)

His accounts of his time with the various South American native groups I found disjointed, purely narrative, little rationale for the few conclusions that he did try to draw, and, in his descriptions of the various components of the Bororo society in Chapter 23, almost fanciful.

Finally, as though he had put together the first two parts of the book for some other purpose, he launches into a different dialogue about the progress of mankind. He compares Islam society with the society of France, in that both have become fossilised at a time some centuries before, continuing to believe that what they evolved at those much earlier times should still stand them in good stead for the future. Although, in some ways the most interesting of the three parts, this last was to a large extent contradictory to the views espoused in the first part - in the latter he bemoaned the progress of mankind, and in the former he bemoaned the lack of progress of mankind.

All in all, interesting read, but a little disappointing.


Memoirs of an Arabian Princess from Zanzibar (Topics in World History)
Memoirs of an Arabian Princess from Zanzibar (Topics in World History)
by Emily Ruete
Edition: Paperback
64 used & new from $0.41

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great inside look at history, April 8, 2008
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
While a little biassed and one-sided, this book gives a great insight into the pampered life of a princess of Zanzibar, tempered by her marriage outside the "circle" and the poor treatment she received as a result. Most interesting.


Galileo
Galileo
by Eric Bentley
Edition: Paperback
Price: $9.07
239 used & new from $0.01

0 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The frailty of man, April 8, 2008
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Galileo (Paperback)
This book shows the scientific insights of Galileo and his stand againt the religious authorities, along with his collapse in the face of personal threat.


The Collected Stories of Isaac Bashevis Singer
The Collected Stories of Isaac Bashevis Singer
by Isaac Bashevis Singer
Edition: Paperback
Price: $12.34
200 used & new from $0.01

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful tale telling history, April 8, 2008
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
A collection of Jewish tales, essentially from Poland and full of the fatalistic themes permeating the diaspora, along with a spicy dash of the demonistic.


Forty Stories (Penguin Classics)
Forty Stories (Penguin Classics)
by Donald Barthelme
Edition: Paperback
Price: $9.68
65 used & new from $4.90

0 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars angus kennedy, December 29, 2007
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
While very challenging and insightful, I found many of the stories to be superficially "cute" and a little self-indulgent. Not as satisfying as I thought it would be.


The Colony of Unrequited Dreams: A Novel
The Colony of Unrequited Dreams: A Novel
by Wayne Johnston
Edition: Paperback
Price: $15.30
181 used & new from $0.01

4.0 out of 5 stars People in History, June 30, 2007
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
The book combines a fascinating account of the political development of Newfoundland, seen through three sets of eyes, those of Smallwood, Fielding and Prowse, with the single-minded dedication of Smallwood to "make something of himself". That he does so to the exclusion of all personal social matters seems not to belittle him as a person, as his goal includes the betterment of the people of Newfoundland. The descriptions of the life and poverty in Newfoundland in the early years, along with the exploitation of the island by almost everyone, is extremely interesting, but it is s little tragic that his single-mindedness of purpose precludes him from, possibly, realizing great joy and fulfillment in his personal relationships. A most interesting and readable book.


The Intuitionist: A Novel
The Intuitionist: A Novel
by Colson Whitehead
Edition: Paperback
Price: $11.40
192 used & new from $0.01

3.0 out of 5 stars A Current New World, June 23, 2007
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
A new world within our own where the art and science of "verticality" are respected and revered by society, and where their power in society attract organised crime, with an overlay of racism. An interesting construction, although a little artificial.


Page: 1