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Brent Garland has commented on (3) products.

Roadside Picnic by Arkady and Boris Strugatsky
Roadside Picnic

Brent Garland, June 16, 2014

Written in 1971, this new translation of the Strugatsky brothers's short novel manages to both give a contemporary voice to the book while still keeping the feel of many of their works produced under the threat of Soviet censorship. This powerful tale of humankind in the wake of an alien visitation was censored for years in the USSR, even though it managed to inspire legendary Soviet director Andrei Tarkovsky to make the movie STALKER in 1979.

Despite being 40+ years old, its insight and message is completely contemporary, due to the fact that its power comes not from the imagined future, but from what that imagining reveals about human relationships, institutions and desires. The Strugatskys' insights into the greed, bravery, despair and loves of their characters drives the story straight into the heart of the reader. I am not a regular reader of science fiction, but ROADSIDE PICNIC hits the spot.

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Field Notes on Science & Nature by Michael Canfield
Field Notes on Science & Nature

Brent Garland, January 1, 2013

Fantastic glimpse into both how scientists work and how they view the natural world. This is the book to make you want to be a scientist!
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What Else But Home: Seven Boys and an American Journey Between the Projects and the Penthouse
What Else But Home: Seven Boys and an American Journey Between the Projects and the Penthouse

Brent Garland, August 8, 2012

Rosen's story of how five boys from New York's housing projects on the Lower East Side became part of his family is a terrific mixture of the remarkable and the mundane. Tales of everyday home life reveal the remarkable process of a family growing not by design, not by birth, not by adoption, but by chance and choice and the realization that love had taken root in a most unexpected place.

It all begins as Rosen's seven year old son invites a handful of new friends from the playground home to his family's penthouse. The boys, all of whom are older and from nearby subsidized housing, become frequent visitors and bond not only with Rosen's two sons, but with Rosen and his wife until they form a new and unexpected family.

This is not a smooth and easy process. Rosen's honest, insightful telling reveals not only the joys, but also the pains, doubts, and struggles of this new arrangement. Along the way, Rosen examines his own biases, the frictions of race and class, and the reactions of those around the new family without moralizing or sermonizing and with a healthy sense of humor. The end result is an excellent book, one that pulls you along, excited to see what happens next and to find out how they are going to make it all work.
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