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Allan H. Clark RSS Feed (Carlsbad, CA United States)
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Sidney Chambers and the Perils of the Night (The Grantchester Mysteries Book 2)
Sidney Chambers and the Perils of the Night (The Grantchester Mysteries Book 2)
Price: $8.79

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Slipping from one genre to another., February 5, 2015
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Canon Chambers continues his life of detection while moving closer to making a choice between Amanda and Hildegarde. The mysteries and the detection are more slender than ever and seem to be fading more and more into the background as they are upstaged by romance. Unless you consider looking things up in the registry office an example of great sleuthing, you are likely to be disappointed. Unless he gets his hormones in check, Sidney will never make it into the front ranks of the great clerical detectives. How long can he remain both clueless and celibate? At 38 time is slipping by. Some of the seriousness has gone out of these stories and they seem manufactured already in the second series.


Sidney Chambers and The Shadow of Death (The Grantchester Mysteries Book 1)
Sidney Chambers and The Shadow of Death (The Grantchester Mysteries Book 1)
Price: $8.13

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A new and interesting take on the detective story., February 3, 2015
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The tired formula of the amateur detective who outwits the police is constantly in need of reinvention in new forms and finds it nicely here in the character of a young priest who befriends and aids a local policeman. Sidney Chambers has two advantages in detection—easy entree into the homes and lives of people in trouble and the tendency of those people to tell him things they would not tell authorities. He also brings a strong moral sense into the bargain and these stories revolve around moral problems. The mysteries are not particularly good puzzles nor are the solutions ingenious, but the storytelling is satisfying enough that it doesn't matter. Some people list them in the genre of "cozies" but I disagree—they have a moral seriousness that goes beyond that. In many ways the backstory—Sidney's take on moral issues of the day and his problem in choosing between God and women—seems to dominate so much that the backstory becomes the frontstory. And one mannerism grows tiresome with frequent repetition, namely Sidney's lighting flash insights into the solution, which are not always satisfactorily explained, but this is a minor complaint in an enjoyable series with an entirely original flavor.


An Artist of the Floating World
An Artist of the Floating World
by Kazuo Ishiguro
Edition: Paperback
Price: $10.01
166 used & new from $0.98

5.0 out of 5 stars A small and exquisite masterpiece, January 16, 2015
Ishiguro achieves what a good artist aims for—to find the universal in the particular. His story of an aging Japanese artist who finds the postwar world in Japan uncomfortable and challenging is interesting in itself, but also relevant to the lives of all elderly. As an artist Ono dared to explore new territory while as a person he adhered to the traditional and supported the imperial regime and the war. He wants to be honorable and dignified in admitting his mistake, but it is difficult and complicated by his relationship with his daughters.


The History of English Rationalism in the Nineteenth Century
The History of English Rationalism in the Nineteenth Century
by Alfred William Benn
Edition: Paperback
Price: $28.99
4 used & new from $18.11

1.0 out of 5 stars INCOMPLETE, NOT THE ENTIRE BOOK, ONLY THE FIRST VOLUME, January 4, 2015
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ONLY THE FIRST VOLUME, NOT THE ENTIRE BOOK, but you would never know that from the onsite description, the cover, or the spine title.


Bryant & May and the Bleeding Heart: A Peculiar Crimes Unit Mystery (Bryant & May series Book 11)
Bryant & May and the Bleeding Heart: A Peculiar Crimes Unit Mystery (Bryant & May series Book 11)
Offered by Random House LLC
Price: $10.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Pure unalloyed delight! Another classic in a beloved series., December 20, 2014
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Christopher Fowler has done it yet again. Series tend to fall off after a while, but the latest in these PCU mysteries is every bit as readable and enjoyable as the preceding novels, maybe more so. Arthur Bryant and John May are still a delight, the Peculiar Crimes Unit is as peculiar as ever and still under threat, the mystery is solved neatly, and the fun is as great as ever. One can hardly ask for more, but with novels this terrific readers will demand more. The one problem is that fans of Bryant and May can read the stories faster than Fowler can write them. Having read them all now, there is nowhere to go for more of this habit-forming confection.


Lawless & The Devil of Euston Square: Introducing Campbell Lawless
Lawless & The Devil of Euston Square: Introducing Campbell Lawless

4.0 out of 5 stars It's sad to see such rich material badly used, December 18, 2014
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William Sutton has quite cleverly meshed his plot and characters into actual historical events of the time, but much of the history seems to be for show and does not contribute substantially to the plot. There are appealing characters and intriguing situations. The early part of the novel promises big narrative payoffs, but they never come. The writing is clunky and opaque.The plot moves frantically, leaves many subplots unresolved, and fails to reach a satisfactory climax. The recapitulations at the end—meant to tie up loose ends— do not give real satisfaction. It's sad to see such rich material badly used.


1Q84 (Vintage International)
1Q84 (Vintage International)
by Haruki Murakami
Edition: Paperback
Price: $10.48
122 used & new from $6.00

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Magical realism at its very best!, December 1, 2014
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A fantastic novel in the magical realism genre. The two moons, the little people, and their air chrysalises never weigh too heavily because they are nicely balanced in the scales with detailed descriptions of people's shopping, food preparation, and what they are wearing. Magic and the realism balance evenly. Another distinctive feature is that the main characters are all lonely people, but purposeful. No anguished, tormented, confused souls inhabit this alternate universe—simply people with purposes that conflict. What a relief to enter a fictional world so well constructed, but so unusual.


Murder on the Orient Express (Hercule Poirot series Book 10)
Murder on the Orient Express (Hercule Poirot series Book 10)
Offered by HarperCollins Publishers
Price: $3.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars but chapter after chapter of interviews with witnesses and potential suspects does grow tiresome. The clever solution is highly, November 14, 2014
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Rereading "Murder on the Orient Express" after many years was enjoyable, but it also revealed how much Christie's originality degenerated into mere formula. By setting the mystery on a train stuck in a snowstorm, Hercule Poirot is given a free ride without the nuisance of police interference, but chapter after chapter of interviews with witnesses and potential suspects does grow tiresome. The clever solution is highly improbable and makes one appreciate today's more realistic novels—even as you realize it was Christie's fantastic success that propelled the genre forward into new and more interesting territory. Newcomers to Christie's mysteries, if there can be any at this point, will enjoy this, but mystery devotees rereading it may find it a bit thin.


Seville Classics 2-Tier Corner Shelf Counter and Cabinet Organizer, Platinum
Seville Classics 2-Tier Corner Shelf Counter and Cabinet Organizer, Platinum
Price: $19.60
16 used & new from $16.66

5.0 out of 5 stars Great, but NOT worth the listed price of $5,534.54, October 19, 2014
These are great. I already have several and would like more, but $5,534.54 seems just a bit too steep to me personally.


The Inland Sea
The Inland Sea
Price: $9.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Delightful travel writing, June 7, 2014
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This review is from: The Inland Sea (Kindle Edition)
This is a book a I read many years ago and had fond memories of. It is often as dangerous to reread books you've loved as it is to revisit former lovers, but in this case I was very glad I did. The romance of a Japan that is far from the crowded cities is marvelously conveyed in this book. It is slow paced and thoughtful throughout, wistful and delicate.


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