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Thomas Jefferson: Author of America (Eminent Lives)
Thomas Jefferson: Author of America (Eminent Lives)
by Christopher Hitchens
Edition: Paperback
Price: $11.25
70 used & new from $4.95

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars well done, March 5, 2012
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If you are looking for a read about the life of a remarkable man, but not looking to be remarkably bogged down or bored, Hitchens is the way to go for Thomas Jefferson. A biography with Hitchens usual talent for opinion and flair that while probably not of much value to the deep scholars among us, is a great way to spend a weekend for the rest of us.

The Darlings: A Novel
The Darlings: A Novel
by Cristina Alger
Edition: Hardcover
208 used & new from $0.01

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly recommended, March 5, 2012
This review is from: The Darlings: A Novel (Hardcover)
Just finished reading The Darlings. Highly recommended. This was an entertaining and satisfying glimpse behind the some of the forces driving the headlines, scandals, and turmoil that have shaped New York City over the last few years- and no doubt have come to define an historic era for the city. The easy path for an author approaching the financial crisis from Alger's angle would have been a superficial splash of tabloid pieces glued together across enough pages to justify a novel. But Alger gives us an emotionally compelling and detailed mosaic of characters and events that while largely fictional (I expect) help to add insight and depth to a remarkable period in the city. It is not just an entertaining read, but I think it helps the reader discover some shared emotion and experience of the crisis that have not been effectively captured in other coverage of the era to date, literary or otherwise. While the book focuses on the uber-elite in a time of scandal, the story is driven not simply by scandal and wealth, but by the solid foundations that can make a novel lasting- family, the strenghth and at the same time fragility of social bonds, loyalty and betrayal, values and compromise, dilligence and frivolity, the premiums placed on beauty or intelligence, etc. In doing so, The Darlings provides us foremost with a human story that uses as its catalyst the downfalls of the past half decade. This story is driven by a core of well developed and understood actors, with a periphery of others to help shape the scene and reflect the breadth and complexity of the atmosphere- as well as the degree to which concentric circles of life can impact each other and those around them. Fingers crossed for a follow up book, and certainly for a movie version.

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