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david shapiro has commented on (8) products.

Dodger by Terry Pratchett

david shapiro, January 30, 2013

Wit and warmth; or creativity and kindness. Pratchett's writing exemplifies these traits more and more. Dodger is a departure from the author's widely loved series of fantasies set in Discworld, but it is no departure from the loving worldview his followers relish. He bandies names we know from history and from other fiction, ranging from The Artful Dodger, the protagonist, to Benjamin Disraeli, who is more of a bit player. I was afraid that this would mean "me too" adoptions, but Pratchett is way too skillful and funny a writer to need Dickens's help to make his story fly. I hope he had a ball writing this. We certainly have had a delightful time reading and--yes, already--rereading Dodger.
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(2 of 3 readers found this comment helpful)

Grimm Tales Made Gay by Guy Wetmore Carryl
Grimm Tales Made Gay

david shapiro, August 16, 2012

Delightful doggerel.

These are indeed satires of the classic Grimm fairy tales. I cherish my copy.

One point that warrants clarifying for the modern reader is that this collection was created, and named, long before "gay" gained the specialized meaning of "homosexual.'
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(1 of 2 readers found this comment helpful)

The Beloved Vagabond by William John Locke
The Beloved Vagabond

david shapiro, January 17, 2012

Beloved Vagabond is a delightful romance of a type rarely seen today. The perspective is that of a nineteenth-century ragamuffin from London's streets, who is adopted--purchased--by the title character. The Vagabond chooses to follow his whimsy, and one whim inspires him to educate his young charge. In large part, the education consists of taking a grand tour of Europe, a vagabonding tour that rubs noses--and forks manure--with the peasantry. Beloved Vagabond is less a bildungsroman focused on the young man's coming of age than a swift-moving homage to a bourgeoisie-scorning, philosophical gentleman whose chosen arenas are disreputable cafes and the road. Another thread of the plot hints at this soft-hearted gentleman's well-buried past, which recaptures him--or does it?--as we approach the conclusion.

In addition to the charm of character and travelogue, of high culture and low,I enjoyed succumbing to the temptation to turn every so often to my French dictionary as a word, a phrase, a saying, was interjected, and teased me.(The tidbits of Latin I left alone.)

After too much time spent rereading old science fiction, of leafing through today's cruel murder mysteries, I was delighted to dance innocently through the Europe that was, following a hero whose type I no longer see.
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(1 of 2 readers found this comment helpful)

A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness
A Discovery of Witches

david shapiro, September 1, 2011

Absorbing writing and story . . . but I had to work through dozens of pages before the plot began to engross me. I look forward to the sequel, in part because as long as this volume is, it does not conclude the story.
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(1 of 2 readers found this comment helpful)

Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch by Terry Pratchett
Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch

david shapiro, September 1, 2011

"By Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett," the listing should read. A delicious introduction to the other author, if you are only a fan of the one. The most important thing to know about the book is that the attitude is benign, positive. Finish reading it and you feel better about the world; if you've identified with the protagonist, you feel better about yourself as well.
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(6 of 11 readers found this comment helpful)

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