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Eilonwy has commented on (7) products.

White Rock by Hugh Thomson
White Rock

Eilonwy, July 12, 2009

A well-crafted hybrid of memoir, travel book and history. It begins with Thomson's quixotic decision as a 21-year-old, untrained, to go to Peru and re-find an Inca ruin that had been discovered, then lost again. In the decades since, he's become a more seasoned explorer and a documentary filmmaker, and his love for the mountainous areas of Peru is a constant.

Interwoven with his descriptions of the beautiful, punishing terrain and the abandoned complexes of the Inca are anecdotes of the bizarre characters that have explored the area, the relationship between the peoples of mountains and jungle, the demands of outsiders' tourism and spirituality on the Inca's image, and the often forgotten history of the Inca's last stand.
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(2 of 2 readers found this comment helpful)

Burning Your Boats: The Collected Short Stories by Angela Carter
Burning Your Boats: The Collected Short Stories

Eilonwy, December 28, 2008

If I had only one word to describe Angela Carter, I think I might go with "audacious". One lonely adjective, however, never satisfied Carter or me.

Carter's imagination is dark, elemental and disturbing, and it wends its way through a rich intellectual landscape. Her prose does tend towards the purple, and while that's part of her charm, it can also be excessive. It can even tire the reader so that she may miss or fail to appreciate inspired images like a tumbledown house "with a look of oracular blindness", a child with "a whim of iron", or Autumn giving the forest "a sickroom hush". At their best, however, her work exposes and owns human ugliness and opens the door briefly to primal beauties.

Warning: Carter's stories are sometimes gory, and several include scenes of sexual violence
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(2 of 4 readers found this comment helpful)

The Shadow Lines by Amitav Ghosh
The Shadow Lines

Eilonwy, November 29, 2008

I read this as a college freshman, still brimming with my teenage tendency to shun darkness and unpleasantness in stories. The beauty of the writing here drew me in and on regardless, until I didn't want to (and couldn't) turn away.
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(1 of 3 readers found this comment helpful)

The Hearts of Horses by Molly Gloss
The Hearts of Horses

Eilonwy, May 13, 2008

_The Hearts of Horses_ is an enjoyable read, more page-turning than its quiet, even-tempered tone would initially give you cause to guess. It may prompt you to chuckle in company, and, when pressed, explain lamely, "Just horses being horses." It gives you a sense of these animals, these people, and even this country, even though they are invented from hoof to hillock.
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(9 of 15 readers found this comment helpful)

Girl, Interrupted by Susanna Kaysen
Girl, Interrupted

Eilonwy, January 6, 2008

This memoir is lucidly written and holds far more profound interest than a mere peek into a mental institution. Kaysen's story is told in short and focused chapters, almost stand-alone essays, easy to devour. The book raises questions not only about the biases and assumptions present in our society's mental health industry, but about the entire concept of 'sane' and 'insane'.
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(4 of 10 readers found this comment helpful)

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