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danb has commented on (4) products.

My Thoughts Be Bloody: The Bitter Rivalry That Led to the Assassination of Abraham Lincoln by Nora Titone
My Thoughts Be Bloody: The Bitter Rivalry That Led to the Assassination of Abraham Lincoln

danb, April 29, 2013

This is an absorbing history of the Booths, the most famous theatrical family of their day, and how dynamics between the great Shakespearean actor Edwin Booth and his younger brother John Wilkes Booth helped shape the mindset of Lincoln's killer. Two things in particular struck me while reading. First, it's a tragic quirk of history that from this family - whose story is Shakespearean in its own right - the only member most people know about is its arguably least competent son: John Wilkes Booth. Second, I was reading this as media coverage of the Boston Marathon bombings was at its most intense, and it's startling the way personal failure, feelings of ostracization, and family dynamics have driven (at least in part) desperate, violent acts, seemingly throughout history.
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(2 of 2 readers found this comment helpful)



Gentlemen of the Road: A Tale of Adventure by Michael Chabon
Gentlemen of the Road: A Tale of Adventure

danb, March 20, 2013

One of those rare books that was thrilling on so many levels. The adventure story is ingenious. The sentences are full of wonder. The dialogue is hilarious, sad, and rife with feints and twists. I'm sorry to be finished reading it for the first time.
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Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke
Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell

danb, January 31, 2013

I sometimes reread books, but never the very day I finish them. But this terrific, surprising, absorbing novel made me do it. I just wasn't ready to be done with these characters, who have a Dickensian fullness (and fabulous, often hilarious dialogue). Great, great, great.
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(2 of 4 readers found this comment helpful)



Cloisters by Kristin Bock
Cloisters

danb, December 22, 2008

This is just a lovely, lovely book. I interviewed Kristin Bock for the blog I write for (Google "ArtSake" and "Kristin Bock" if you want to check it out). She's got a painter's (and taxidermist's?) eye for detail and a rich and idiosyncratic sensibility.
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