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ericgant has commented on (13) products.

Patrick O'Brian: A Life Revealed by Dean King
Patrick O'Brian: A Life Revealed

ericgant, June 30, 2007

An extensive biography of the Author of the Aubrey Maturin series of books that The New York Times Book Review called the greatest historical novels ever written. Patrick O?Brian was a very private man and few details of his background were available while he was living. Dean King is a good choice of biographers of O?Brian having written several companion works to the long series of O?Brian. In an in depth review of the authors early life and experiences he provides much insight into the source of the characters of Jack Aubrey and Stephen Maturin. If you have read the Aubrey Maturin works with pleasure, you will find this to be an excellent addition to your library.
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The Children of Men by P D James
The Children of Men

ericgant, June 29, 2007

A fascinating exploration of a simple idea, humans stop having children. With no future in store for the race, society begins to unravel. Seen through the viewpoint of an Oxford historian this is a powerful story of the end of hope. However, one small chance becomes apparent and the protagonist must use first his government connections and then his actions to protect the one chance that humanity has to continue. This novel is quite different and much superior to the overblown movie made from the basic idea. A very good read.
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(5 of 8 readers found this comment helpful)

Good-Bye to All That: An Autobiography (Anchor Books) by Robert Graves
Good-Bye to All That: An Autobiography (Anchor Books)

ericgant, June 28, 2007

Perhaps the single best first person account of warfare in the 20th century. Robert Graves story of his first thirty-three years of life is a powerful story of a man who lived through the last days of the old British Empire. His account of service on the western front during the worst of the trench stalemate is horrifying. I do not believe that in any other war have men been called upon to cross the same deadly ground month after month. The sure knowledge of death or wounding produced what Graves calls neurasthenia and we would call psychosis. It was not however enough to save a man from going over the top. The author dispels many myths about combat and shows what an ugly endeavor was the day to day business of trench warfare.
He calmly relates being badly wounded and left for dead. His family was actually informed that he had died of wounds. Following the war he reports on how little has been learned by the British Government and how general was the feeling that the Treaty of Versailles would lead to another conflict with Germany and that the war had all been for naught. With the social stratification of the British society setting back into place and the solders sacrifices being forgotten in 1929 Graves left England intending never to return. This book was meant to be both a good bye to England and a farewell to his youth.
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(6 of 8 readers found this comment helpful)

Light's on At Signpost by George Macdonald Fraser
Light's on At Signpost

ericgant, June 27, 2007

The author of the wonderful Flashman series of novels gives his take on his life and modern times. A delightfully autobiography and commentary by one of my favorite authors. Best known for Flashman, George MacDonald Fraser has written everything from history to screenplays. He shares all this with us in this very politically incorrect book. Touching on everything from working with Steve McQueen and Arnold Schwarzenegger to what is wrong with Britain and the world in general today. A very funny look at one writer and the human species in general.
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The Draco Tavern by Larry Niven
The Draco Tavern

ericgant, June 26, 2007

The Draco Tavern is Larry Nivens exploration of aliens outside of his known space series. A multiracial alien culture has set up a base for contact with earth. Rick Schumann owns a multispecies tavern serving this facility.
Set within this venue Niven spins twenty six stories involving contact with some truly alien cultures. Niven uses this vehicle to explore his ideas on everything from the search for immortality to the existence of dangerous questions.
This is a truly delightful mental playground done by one of our best science fiction writers. I would recommend it without hesitation.
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