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chorne has commented on (23) products.


chorne, June 26, 2012

Third in "The Dark is Rising" series, this book sees the meeting up of the three children from "Over Sea and Under Stone" with Will Stanton from "The Dark is Rising".

The grail that the children found in a cave in Trewissick, South Cornwall, has been stolen by an agent of the Dark, and Merriman enlists the help of the Drew children once again. Only this time the children are surprised and shocked when Merriman arrives with another boy - Will Stanton. That is surely going to be a problem, they think.

Susan Cooper writes this so well. The line between super human Old One and 11 year old boy is so perfectly walked. Each character develops nicely in this book, but especially Jane.

I loved this book as a child. The interactions between families and friends, and the stumbling move from antipathy to friendship between the Drew children and Will Stanton all stand out, along with flashes of humour and an exciting and mysterious tale, cunningly written.

As an adult reader this remains an important and enjoyable book in probably my all time favourite series. Definitely strongly recommended
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Endgame: Bobby Fischer's Remarkable Rise and Fall: From America's Brightest Prodigy to the Edge of Madness by Frank Brady
Endgame: Bobby Fischer's Remarkable Rise and Fall: From America's Brightest Prodigy to the Edge of Madness

chorne, January 20, 2012

Endgame is a fascinating look at one of the most enigmatic figures in recent American history, world chess champion Bobby Fischer. I remember the excitement that many in America felt when Bobby Fischer defeated Boris Spassky and became the world chess champion in 1972 in Iceland. The match was even televised on "ABC's Wide World of Sports" like a sporting event! Overnight, millions of Americans wanted to learn how to play chess, it became kind of a cool thing to do, no longer relegated to the chess geeks.

Fast-forward a few years, and Fischer is a no-show at his defense of the world championships. And then he just disappeared from public....until, he made some really hateful remarks about America after the events of September 11, 2001. Although he had technically been a "wanted fugitive" since 1992 for breaking economic sanctions against Yugoslavia (he played in a rematch with Spassky and won), the U.S. government didn't really have the heart to track him down as a criminal for just moving a few chess pieces across a board (although Fischer never did return to the U.S. after the match in Yugoslavia). After Fischer's anti-American rantings however, the gloves were off and somebody at the State Department decided to get revenge. So, he was jailed in Japan for close to a year and was threatened with extradition back to the U.S. Fortunately for Fischer, Iceland decided to give him sanctuary for the remainder of his life.

So much for the basic facts of his life, but what of his bizarre meltdown after 1972? Fischer apparently suffered from major paranoia, with plenty of obsessive-compulsive behaviors thrown in. Incredibly, the author of the book defends Fischer's state of mind, saying "he was not schizophrenic" or "mentally ill". The author is simply wrong - Fischer had major mental illnesses, and just because he may not have been clinically schizophrenic, does not mean that he did not suffer from delusional paranoia. Sadly, Fischer was reduced to near-homelessness, supported only by his mother's social security check each month, and this from a man who could have made millions of dollars with a few simple endorsements or appearances at chess tournaments.

Although Fischer lived a sad life most of the time, the story of his early triumphs is engaging, and his life story is utterly fascinating. Highly recommended reading on a true American genius that nobody really knew.
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The Crying of Lot 49 (Perennial Fiction Library) by Thomas Pynchon
The Crying of Lot 49 (Perennial Fiction Library)

chorne, January 10, 2012

If you've always heard the term postmodern and wondered what it meant this book is for you. But, this book is definately not for everyone, the plot is unique to say the least, and the characters are not what you will find in most novels, but then again, neither is the intellectual stimulation. In only a little over 100 pages, Thomas Pynchon has written an accessibly managable intro. to postmodern literature. Although this book is rather dense, and is filled with obscure facts and information from seemingly every conceivable specialty of knowledge, it is a great introduction to one of the most misunderstood genres of modern literature. Just be sure to keep a dictionary and encyclopedia handy. The plot revolves around the exciting and often bizarre experiences and travels of Oedipa Maas, after she is named executor of an ex-lovers will. In her adventures she uncovers a surrealistic world where everything that she has ever learned seems to fall into question. It is a world where nazi doctors, secret societies, papal misdeeds, anarchist dreams, and deranged outcasts all come out of the shadows to invade the "typical" suburban landscape of an average American housewife. This book is about uncovering the realities, or lack thereof, that most people would want to stay hidden, or at the least forgotton. It is about questioning the assumptions that we all hold dear, even if it means coming to terms with a world that is without meaning, without order, and most of all without a coherent design. This is a book with many questions to be answered, so if you would like an envigorating intellectual challenge this book will not dissappoint
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My Uncle Martin's Words for America: Martin Luther King JR.'s Niece Tells How He Made a Difference by Angela Farris Watkins
My Uncle Martin's Words for America: Martin Luther King JR.'s Niece Tells How He Made a Difference

chorne, January 9, 2012

Do you know off hand who challenged racial prejudice in the United States with a famous speech saying, "I have a dream!"? If you answered Martin Luther King Jr., go to the head of the class. King was a minister and a civil rights leader who marched, protested, made speeches, and wrote books to help change the laws in America so that all people had equal rights. However, he was also a family man. In this debut picture book, one of his nieces, Angela Farris Watkins, daughter of King's sister Christine Farris, introduces children to her uncle. The author, her brother, and her five cousins who were children of King's brother gave King the family nickname of "Uncle M. L.," but out in public they usually just called him "Uncle Martin."
Angela was only about four when her uncle was killed, but she remembers that while he had to be gone a lot, he enjoyed spending time with his family when he was home and sent telegrams when he was away. She also recalls his frequent visits to her family's house, including one in which he fell asleep on their couch with his shoes on--something she was never allowed to do! And she has fond recollections of his keen sense of humor and contagious laughter. But her most special memories are the times in church when she would come out of Sunday school and her uncle would be standing in line to greet people, but she would run to him and he would step aside to pick her up and give her a big hug and kiss.
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The Hunger Games (The Hunger Games #1) by Suzanne Collins
The Hunger Games (The Hunger Games #1)

chorne, January 5, 2012

I was not sure what to expect after seeing the teen/Sci-Fi label attached to this Novel. Being a middle aged male and seeing the main character was a teenage young adult female, I was wondering if I had made a mistake in ordering this.

I was quite pleasently surprised, with the magnetically riveting tale of a future that was dark, bleak and saddening. What has become of a once great continent. A story of a girl becoming a woman in the most brutal circumstance. When she's forced to chose between family,friendship,love and survival. A future where young people are forced to play a game of battle, and survival between what would be called states or districts to the death.

Only one can claim victory! Maybe not as simple as it seems. We all have choices in our lives, this young woman has to make choices in a world gone mad, where government has decided that these games must take place to keep an already beaten down people in there place. Well written, entertaining and a real page turner is how I would describe this work. I would have to say yes it has a teen flare as it's told from the young ladies perspective in her own narration. I enjoyed it all the same.

I would recommend this novel to anyone above the age of 10 or so, it does have some violent passages. Overall a nice surprise, glad I ordered it at the end of reading.
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