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Imperial Topaz RSS Feed (Marrakesh, Morocco)

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Desperate Measures
Desperate Measures
DVD ~ Michael Keaton
98 used & new from $0.01

1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Very Enjoyable Film, September 4, 2004
This review is from: Desperate Measures (DVD)
Were it not for the use of the "F" word, a number of times, and a few violent scenes, like showing a closeup of a needle being injected into a person, I would class this as a very enjoyable family film (for mature children over 12). It was probably classed as "Restricted" because of some scenes where the criminal threatens the child.

I watched this film on TV with my 11-year-old daughter, and we both really enjoyed it. I thought the actors' performances were fantastic. The reason my daughter enjoyed the film was because it was about a child's situation. I had to explain a few details to her, as we watched, but she was caught up in the story of the child who needed a bone-marrow transplant, and all that happened leading up to it. Andy Garcia plays a very loving father, who will do ANYTHING to help his son, thus overshawding the violence in the film. This is not a film kids under 15 should watch by themselves, but with parents, it would be quite OK.

Michael Keaton turns in a really masterful performance as a serial murderer with a super-high IQ, who manages to turn his supposed aquiescene to the bone-marrow donation into a masterful escape plan. The whole movie is a super piece of suspense. It kept both my daughter and myself on the edge of our seats. My husband arrived toward the end, and said he had previously seen the movie, and had enjoyed it as much as we did.

Birdman of Alcatraz
Birdman of Alcatraz
DVD ~ Burt Lancaster
Offered by cds_dvds_guaranteed
Price: $32.09
49 used & new from $5.09

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars He Made an Incredible Contribution to Humanity, September 3, 2004
This review is from: Birdman of Alcatraz (DVD)
I had heard, by name only, of the Bird Man of Alcatraz, but knew nothing else about him, or even who he was, before seeing this film.

Burt Lancaster gives a fantastic performance in this film, right up with Gregory Peck, in To Kill a Mockingbird. Both movies are high drama with intriguing stories.

The Bird Man of Alcatraz is a true story of a man in prison for murder (he killed a man who insulted a prostitute friend of his). With only a third-grade education, he eventually educates himself, while in prison, to become the world's foremost expert on bird diseases. He began by befriending a little baby sparrow he found, raising it, and training it, in his prison cell. Then the other prisoners began getting canaries, adn getting advice from the Bird Man. At a certain point, the birds began to die of a virus. This began the Bird Man's education, trying to find out why. He eventually did scientific research in his cell, and found cures for a number of bird diseases. This was especially helpful to the development of the poultry industry. He wrote two books while in prison, one on the diseases of birds (and cures), and the other on prison, and how prison affects the character of prisoners.

I highly recommend this movie to anyone who likes drama, true stories, emotionally-moving stories, or who is interested in either animals, science, or prison life.

Anzio [VHS]
Anzio [VHS]
Offered by Gr8 Finds Unlimited
Price: $6.48
46 used & new from $0.75

9 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A War Drama Based on Two Themes, September 3, 2004
This review is from: Anzio [VHS] (VHS Tape)
Anzio explores two themes.

First, the movie explores WHY men go to war, concluding that the main reason men and societies go to war is because they LIKE killing. Robert Mitchum's character poses this question to a general early in the film, and the events in the film lead Mitchum to draw this conclusion at the end.

Second, the movie explores the idea that a general can be too timid. The movie treats us to the timid general's battle plan, which is organized for the reason of having as little loss of human life as possible. Mitchum's character poses a question to the general using a quote from Napolean, and they discuss the idea. Events in the film lead us to accept Mitchum's conclusion at the end that generals need to balance the need for saving human lives, with that of being more agressive.

This film has plenty of action, but it is primarily a drama based upon these two themes.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Nov 8, 2014 2:08 AM PST

Driven to Distraction: Recognizing and Coping with Attention Deficit Disorder from Childhood Through Adulthood
Driven to Distraction: Recognizing and Coping with Attention Deficit Disorder from Childhood Through Adulthood
by Edward M. Hallowell
Edition: Paperback
787 used & new from $0.01

15 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A REALLY COMPLETE Book on ADD!!!, September 1, 2004
I was so glad to have found this book, written by a doctor, who himself, has ADD. Not only does he explain it really well, but he goes through all of the possible other diagnoses that can be confused, or mixed up with, ADD. He discusses all medical AND non-medical strategies to treat ADD, and winds up with the precise information to gather together before going to a doctor, to make your visit more productive. The writing style is comfortable, and easy to read, with many true-life examples of various people.

I have a daughter who I am now sure has ADD, and NOW I finally know how to go about helping her! If you, or anyone in your family, has ADD, or even SUSPECT that they do, this is DEFINITELY the book for you. I cannot imagine that there is any better, or more complete, book out there on this problem.

Writing the Private Eye Novel: A Handbook by the Private Eye Writers of America
Writing the Private Eye Novel: A Handbook by the Private Eye Writers of America
by Robert J. Randisi
Edition: Hardcover
64 used & new from $0.01

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Great General Book, Geared to the Mystery Writer, August 30, 2004
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I am really sorry to see that this book is now about to be out of print, has limited availability in the U.S.! Luckily, it can still be obtained used through Amazon and many other booksellers.

I am starting a mystery, and found this book full of good advice. What it is not full of, however, is "nuts and bolts" type of advice. It is full of "general" advice from various mystery writers.

A number of writers talk about the importance of planning a writing a whole series, if you are just starting out. Many of them mention the importance of reading a lot in the genre. The technique of outlining three or four books mystery books that YOU like (by summarizing each chapter in three or four sentences) will teach you a lot about how to put together a mystery.

The other contributors each have something unique to say. The book is broken into eight chapters, as follows, with two-to-five author contributors of articles for each chapter: Getting Started, Plot and Structure, Creativity, Character, Setting, Writing the PI Short Story, Stretching the Boundaries, and From the Editor's Desk. Personally, I found one article on Trans-Gender Writing in the book to be particularly helpful.

This is a great general book, geared to the mystery writer.

Cuba (Jake Grafton Novels)
Cuba (Jake Grafton Novels)
by Stephen Coonts
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
Price: $6.88
281 used & new from $0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars Great Characters--Great Setting, August 30, 2004
I'm an American woman teacher living overseas, and this is the first Stephen Coonts novel that I've read. I liked it. I enjoy thrillers in foreign settings, and this one did not disappoint me.

I had recently read some other novels, by another author, dealing with Cuba, and Cuban Americans livng in Miami, which is what drew me to this book. Knowing from those books about the constant speculation, in the Cuban-American community, of what will happen when Fidel dies, I read this novel with great interest! I thought he wove a fantastic tale around this idea. I liked the personalities given to the Cuban characters in the book.

I also enjoyed some of the military aspects of the book, and the discussion of WHY we (and other countries) are "armed to the teeth."

I would definitely be willing to read more books by this author.

The Cuckoo's Egg: Tracking a Spy Through the Maze of Computer Espionage
The Cuckoo's Egg: Tracking a Spy Through the Maze of Computer Espionage
by Clifford Stoll
Edition: Paperback
Price: $19.39
89 used & new from $0.01

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wow!!! I Couldn't Put it Down!!!, August 30, 2004
I recently bought this book in a small English-language bookstore in Casablanca, Morocco, where it was erroneously filed under "fiction." I began reading it, and then realized it was a TRUE story! I literally could not put it down.

Cliff Stoll, an astronomer, writes well for the layman, explaining complicated computer terminology so that we can understand everything he is doing to catch a cyberpunk from Germany (he eventually finds out), who is breaking into his company's private computers.

This chase consumes his life for more than a year. We are led through every part, problem, and frustration of the chase. Meanwhile, we see the ups and downs of Cliff's private life, which I am glad to say, has a happy ending as well.

This is one of the most fascinating true accounts I have ever read, and I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys thrillers, true stories, biographies, science, or computers.

The Salaryman's Wife
The Salaryman's Wife
by Sujata Massey
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
Price: $7.99
155 used & new from $0.01

2 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Explores Feelings of a Japanese-American in Japan, August 30, 2004
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I really enjoyed this book, but I never did warm to the main character.

I loved the fact that it was set in Japan, and I learned a lot about Japanese culture, and about how the Japanese think. This was actually the main reason I bought the book, as I enjoy novels set in foreign cultures. This author appears to be Japanese-American herself, and did an excellent job of showing the two cultures, and how a mixed person living in Japan would feel, and be treated.

The only reason I am rating the book four stars is that I didn't like Rei (although I did like her adventures).

Morocco (Insight Guide Morocco)
Morocco (Insight Guide Morocco)
by Dorothy Stannard
Edition: Paperback
27 used & new from $0.01

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, But Travelers Need a Second Book, Too, August 17, 2004
I am an American who has lived in Marrakesh, Morocco for the past 13 years. I buy every new Moroccan guide book, written in English, that I see (just out of curiosity, to see what's new, or updated).

This book immediately grabbed my attention, when I saw it for sale in Marrakesh. It has the BEST pictures of any guidebook that exists on Morocco, and it has LOTS of pictures. It also has the BEST history section I have seen in any of the Moroccan guide books. Most of the guide books' history sections absolutely put you to sleep, and make the history so complicated it is really hard to follow. After 13 years, I was SO pleased to read the history section, and have it make Moroccan history COME ALIVE (I am also a history teacher by profession), and read CLEARLY, in a non-confusing manner.

The rest of the book is packed with interesting, and useful, information about Moroccan culture, customs, society, and places.

The major weakness of this guide book, and the reason for which I am rating it only four stars, is that I don't think it gives ENOUGH information for a traveler to rely on as the ONLY book for his trip. There is not enough information about each major town in terms of how to find hotels, or restaurants of various prices. Also, there is far too little information on the Western Sahara, if you are planning to visit there (not that I know of a guide book yet that IS sufficient in this regard). If you buy this guide book, you will definitely find some information in here which is not in other guidebooks, and it is a worthwhile purchase just for the pictures, alone. I agree with the other reviewer that it should be supplemented with the Lonely Planet (my first choice), or the Rough Guide (my second choice).
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Apr 6, 2010 4:59 AM PDT

My Descent Into Death
My Descent Into Death
by Howard Storm
Edition: Paperback
30 used & new from $4.47

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Validates the MESSAGE of All Other Near Death Experiences, August 7, 2004
This review is from: My Descent Into Death (Paperback)
I heard of this book only recently, and was glad to find it still in print. I read the whole thing in one day. I am not a strong Christian, but did know in advance that this book (particularly the second half) was written from a strongly Christian perspective. However, I did not find this a turn-off, and I can recommend this book to others of ANY religion, including atheists, as was Storm, before his experience.

The important message from this book was that God DOES exist, and that we ARE here for a REASON. That reason is to learn to LOVE one another, which was the message of Jesus, and the message of every major religion. Storm points out that the same truths are in every religion, and even that the idea of God has been given to beings on every planet where there is intelligent life. But it is up to each individual to accept or reject God, here, or on any other planet.

I did not find a lot of totally new ideas in this book, having read several other books on near death experiences. But I did really enjoy reading about Storm's experience, and seeing that the message of his book conforms closely to the message of others' near-death experiences, from multiple cultures. It is an interesting read, and I HIGHLY recommend it to EVERYONE.

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