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Jim Ralley

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Robinson Crusoe (Oxford World's Classics)
Robinson Crusoe (Oxford World's Classics)
by Daniel Defoe
Edition: Paperback

6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Enlightenment Bible, 17 Nov 2005
Daniel Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe is often hailed as the first novel written in English; it has garnered appraisal in each century it has been around; and is one of the most widely translated works of fiction behind the Bible. For a novel to be truly regarded as a ‘classic’, which Robinson Crusoe is, it must be at once timeless and yet a product of its times. Classic is defined as being: “approved as a model, standard, leading, Of literary note, historically famous. With a thorough understanding of the text and a grounding in the social, economical, philosophical and ethical issues of the Enlightenment, Robinson Crusoe can easily be seen to fit such a definition.
Defoe’s style is often disorienting and seemingly random, as often, the narrative jumps several years in as many sentences. He allows the retrospective voice of Crusoe to be both spatially and temporally free; lending his narrative voice weight, with its mastery of the material. The implied author, Crusoe, is writing this account of his adventures from after the event; it is for this reason that the novel’s tone seems divided. For the most part Crusoe is meticulously descriptive; taking pages to describe how a boat is made, or how he fails to make ink. Conversely there are theological and philosophical tracts that seem out of place in such a richly detailed account. Robinson Crusoe is presented as a factual account of Crusoe’s life; as the title page boldly pronounces.
Robinson Crusoe is more than anything a product of the time it was written in. It contains within it, just under the surface, many of the ideas that were present during the Enlightenment; and it serves as a neat allegory for the colonial spirit of 18th Century England. Ultimately it champions the idea that through a man’s own actions he can truly come to know himself and the world he lives in; and that he must not be bound by the tutelage of past generations.
Read it.


Apple iPod 40GB - 3rd Generation [M9245B/A]
Apple iPod 40GB - 3rd Generation [M9245B/A]

5.0 out of 5 stars Almost Perfect, 17 Nov 2005
The Apple iPod has no doubt changed the face of the western world - especially the face of university campuses. One cannot walk or ride the bus to class without seeing at least 5 of the trademark white cables hanging down from some misc student's ears/hat/helmet.
10,000 songs - lightning fast upload speeds - the wonder that is iTunes - the scroll wheel - the crisp, loud, quality music that eminates from those earbuds.
There are but two flaws - the inability to be able to transfer songs to other computers/iPods - and the battery life. Both are irritating but the pros far outweigh the cons. My iPod has introduced me to a wider range of music than I could ever have envisoined a year ago - and I thank Apple from the depths of my being.


Apple iPod Remote and Earbuds for 3rd/4th Generation iPod and iPod mini [M9128G/A]
Apple iPod Remote and Earbuds for 3rd/4th Generation iPod and iPod mini [M9128G/A]

2 of 36 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Epic soundscapes at your fingertips., 17 Nov 2005
Instructions: take one Apple iPod
upload Radiohead's album 'Kid A'
lie on your bed in the dark
place your iPod Earbud Earphones into the corresponding ears
prepare yourself for the most intense sonic experience of your life
press PLAY
Fantastic stuff!


Calvin And Hobbes: The Calvin & Hobbes Series: Book One
Calvin And Hobbes: The Calvin & Hobbes Series: Book One
by Bill Watterson
Edition: Paperback
Price: £9.73

2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Perfect Child, 17 Nov 2005
Bill Watterson's 'Calvin & Hobbes' are one of the most delightful cartoon creations...ever. Calvin is the very model of childhood innocence, imagination, and inquisitiveness. I have a 4 year old cousin whom I am going to mold in Calvin's image - he is so delightful a character. Where would Calivn be without Hobbes? His ever present animal companion. The pair wax lyrical on matters philosophical, political, and psychological. Calvin & Hobbes can be consumed en masse or in bitesize chunks - either are equally rewarding. I suggest a few strips each night before bed, to send you to sleep with a chuckle.


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