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American Brutus: John Wilkes Booth and the Lincoln Conspiracies
American Brutus: John Wilkes Booth and the Lincoln Conspiracies
by Michael W. Kauffman
Edition: Hardcover
118 used & new from $0.01

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Straight Forward, Well Told Version, January 13, 2005
The murder of Lincoln has become an oft told tale and now Michael W. Kauffman brings out American Brutus to add to the pile. And it is a good job that he has. The story begin with the actual attack and goes chronologically through the rest of the night, setting the stage for the rest of the book, including a vivid description of the Seward slashings, until the death of Lincoln. The book then covers the part of the story that takes place builing up to the event and then follows with the manhunts and trials aferwards. It is a thorough and well-told tale with the author providing all the facts in a very informative and entertaining fashion. He clears up many misconceptions while leaving some issues a little cloudier, based upon surviving evidence (such as the true involvement of Mrs. Surratt). It is a very engrossing read.


102 Minutes: The Untold Story of the Fight to Survive Inside the Twin Towers
102 Minutes: The Untold Story of the Fight to Survive Inside the Twin Towers
by Jim Dwyer
Edition: Hardcover
202 used & new from $0.01

118 of 130 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Tightly Woven Account of a Terrifying Time, January 7, 2005
The journalists Jim Dwyer and Kevin Flynn have captured 102 of the most terrifying minutes any group of people have ever faced. The authors focus tightly and breathtakingly on the events in and directly around the towers from the moment of the first plane's impact until the last tower comes down. There is nothing but that story and it is told with great skill from a great many viewpoints, both from workers inside the tower and from rescuers entering the towers. They combine their account effectively with just enough information for the reader to get a little background into the personalities involved and the various elements that structurally in the towers themselves whiced added to or relieved the crisis. This book's strong focus on the fight for survival within the towers makes it an invaluable resource and a testement to what happened that day.


Legion of Super-Heroes - Archives, Volume 1
Legion of Super-Heroes - Archives, Volume 1
by DC Comics
Edition: Hardcover
29 used & new from $49.99

16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting Start for the Legion, January 6, 2005
Volume 1 of the Legion of Super-Heroes is an interesting look at their earliest appearances. The team grows in fits and starts as seen through other series (Superboy, Supergirl, and Superman) as a strange assortment of teens from the future appear in Smallville and Midvale for a wide variety of odd reasons. It is hard to keep track of the growing membership as many appear only in the background and main plot points often revolve around a new member appearing for the sake of the story, such as the rather odd Star Boy and the more interesting Ultra Boy storylines. Only near the end of the volume does the Legion itself get its own storylines and the early issues begin with a bang as the Legion suffers its first death, Lightning Lad. The promise of greatness is apparent in a few of the stories, if not quite delivered, but this volume is still essential for any Legion fan.


Hollywood Gothic: The Tangled Web of Dracula from Novel to Stage to Screen
Hollywood Gothic: The Tangled Web of Dracula from Novel to Stage to Screen
by David J. Skal
Edition: Paperback
Price: $18.00
33 used & new from $2.85

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nice Revision to an Already Great Book, January 4, 2005
David J. Skal is as readable as ever is this newly revised edition of the definitive Hollywood Gothic as he covers the history of Dracula from his creation by Bram Stoker to the various and multiple version on screen and stage. The thrust of the story is, of course, on the novel and the iconic Bela Lugosi movie, with an additional nice, but smaller, chunk on Nosferatu. The author is particularly effective in combining, in an interesting fashion, the creative, financial, and legal elements. His analysis is always clear and interesting and will definitely send the reader on a viewing frenzy. Vampire movies seem always to be streaming forth from Hollywood and Dracula is and always will be the most tempting of the bunch. This book brings this fascination to life, as it were. A very good job.


The Children's Blizzard
The Children's Blizzard
by David Laskin
Edition: Hardcover
178 used & new from $0.01

64 of 79 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Too Padded to Be Great, December 30, 2004
The Children's Blizzard is a harrowing tale, at least the sections that are directly about the terrible blizzard of 1888 that swept over the Dakota-Nebraska prairie. The author, David Laskin, picks some interesting tales of both survival and death and makes the entire terrifying night come alive. The full book, though, contains much more than these sequences and feels overly padded as the tales of immigrants arriving in America blend into discussions of how cold fronts move to the history of the weather service and further into quite gruesome accounts of what actually takes place as the body freezes (despite its graphic nature this particular section proves quite important to the story.) The book pales beside such classics as Isaac's Storm as the pieces do not always move towards creating a compelling narrative. Still when the blizzard finally hits the various tales of teachers, children, and farmers caught out in it are weaved together quite well.
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Sep 8, 2011 5:48 PM PDT


Nazism and War (Modern Library Chronicles)
Nazism and War (Modern Library Chronicles)
by Richard Bessel
Edition: Hardcover
39 used & new from $0.01

5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Concise and Frightening, December 27, 2004
Richard Bessel looks at Nazism from Hitler's rise to the aftermath of the war. It is fine companion piece to Robert S. Wistrich's book on the Holocaust in this same series, Modern Libary Chronicles. These two books together will give one a frightening picture of the impact of Nazism, first in Germany and then in the world. Bessel paints a broad picture and, in as much space as these small format titles allow, goes into the economic and sociological impact of Nazisim, particularly after attaining power in the early 1930s, in addition to the more obvious political impact. The last chapter is particularly fascinating in showing how Nazism and the German people were separated as concepts in post-war Germany as the focus in memory shifted to the last years of the wars with the Germans as victims. A tidy, concise, frightening read.


Essential Monster Of Frankenstein Volume 1 TPB (Essential (Marvel Comics))
Essential Monster Of Frankenstein Volume 1 TPB (Essential (Marvel Comics))
by Gary Friedrich
Edition: Paperback
36 used & new from $15.84

2 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Nice Collection of a Lesser Seventies Title, December 24, 2004
This edition of the Essential Monster of Frankenstein is probably directly inspired by the success of the Tomb of Dracula series. It is an unusual choice as this series of comics barely made a mark of any kind in its own day but, for that reason, this is one of the more oddly enjoyable of the Essentials. As an older reader of comic books the Essentials have a strong nostalgic value but this particular one does not as I did not read a single issue as it was originally published and I feel like I am coming at it fresh. It is quite inconsistent in tone (a marked departure from Tomb of Dracula and a strong reason for the succes of one and the invisibility of the other). The art begins very strong with Mike Ploog but gets much weaker under John Buscema (a stronger artist with super-heroes rather than monsters) and Val Mayerik (although his work in the magazine stories at the end is much stronger than his comics work). The stories themselves wander through the centuries and only pick up a momentum and a supporting cast in the final issues of the comic book. The character and intelligence of the monster himself varies widely and the inconsistenices, in general, are often quite glaring. But, despite its flaws, this is a brave choice for an Essentials volume and an interesing look back on the monster comics craze that swept Marvel. Where else, outside of a old Universal movie, could one have such fun seeing the Monster battle Dracula and the Werewolf (By Night).


Over the Edge of the World: Magellan's Terrifying Circumnavigation of the Globe
Over the Edge of the World: Magellan's Terrifying Circumnavigation of the Globe
by Laurence Bergreen
Edition: Paperback
Price: $11.33
415 used & new from $0.01

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Terrifying Globe-Trotting Adventure, December 19, 2004
Laurence Bergreen does a great job of capturing an amazing story from the beginning of the Age of Discovery, that of Magellan's circumnavigation of the world (although, of course, poor Magellan did not survive to finish the journey his Armada begun.) The author, in Over the Edge of the World, covers the entire expedition and gives Magellan a fair shake, both good and bad, in such aspects as his navigation skills, his leadership, his dealings with various tribes, and his use of religion. The main chronicler, but not the sole one, was Pigafetta, a passenger on board, and his voice rings through this book in a useful and fascinating way. An interesting book.


Ship Ablaze: The Tragedy of the Steamboat General Slocum
Ship Ablaze: The Tragedy of the Steamboat General Slocum
by Edward T. O'Donnell
Edition: Hardcover
65 used & new from $0.01

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Horrifying Tale Spun Well, December 16, 2004
Edward T. O'Donnell tells a horrific tale in Ship Ablaze. In a matter of minutes a steamboat full of a German-American church group went from enjoying a ride down the East River on a beautiful day towards picnic grounds to fighting for their lives as an inferno consumed the lives of over a thousand people, mainly children and women, through fire or drowning. The very life preservers themselves became instruments for the deaths of many as it dragged them straight to the bottom of the river. The author does a magnificent job of setting the scene for the tragedy but his best work comes in the description of the disaster itself. It is heartbreaking and breathtaking and impossible to pull away from. This book is a wonderful memorial to a time and event that should not ever be forgotten.


The Game Of Sunken Places
The Game Of Sunken Places
by M. T. Anderson
Edition: Hardcover
72 used & new from $0.01

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fun Books, A Little Silly, A Little Suspenseful, December 13, 2004
M.T. Anderson's The Game of Sunken Places is way beyond far-fectched, even for the genre of fantasy, as two boys embark on a board game that leads them to hidden cities, trolls, and ghosts, among many other fantasical things. The author keeps the story moving quickly and has some nicely timed twists and turns along the way to keep the reader's attention. This is a good thing as the holes within the plot could be jarring if one is not swept quickly past them. The sense of whimsy demonstrated at the beginning sags slightly as the book gathers steam but it is replaced with a greater touch of danger at just the right moments. Overall, this is a enjoyable children's fantasy if not a classic.


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