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Kurt A. Johnson (Marseilles, IL USA)

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Oedipus the King (Enriched Classics (Pocket))
Oedipus the King (Enriched Classics (Pocket))
by Sophocles
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
Price: £3.93

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars More than a translation, 21 Nov. 2005
Oedipus the King is one of the classic works of Western literature. It was originally written as a play in around 429 BC by Sophocles (~496-406 BC), a Greek philosopher and playwright. It took the Greek world by storm, and has been handed down to future generations who have also been greatly influenced by it. Most notably in modern times, Sigmund Freud (1856-1939) took this work as pointing toward a deep-rooted psychosis, the Oedipus Complex.
Oedipus the King (also known as Oedipus Rex or Oedipus Tyrannus) is the story of Oedipus, the king of Thebes, which is suffering under a horrific plague. Finding out that the god Apollo has laid the plague on the city until it should punish the murderer of its previous king, Oedipus pronounces a curse on the murderer and sets out to discover who the murderer was. Sadly for Oedipus, there is fate upon fate wrapped up in this mystery, and doom upon doom.
This book, is not merely a translation of Oedipus the King, instead it is an "acting version," created by the Stratford Shakespearian Festival Company of Canada for High School level students. The book begins with an introduction to Sophocles and Greek theatre, and after the play are copious notes, critical excerpts and questions for discussion. The play itself was written so that a young reader, with no background understanding of Greek theatre or culture will understand it.
Overall, I found this to be a great book. I enjoyed the information about the play a lot, and believe that it will be very helpful to any reader. But, foremost, I enjoyed the play itself. The story is powerful, and quite enthralling. I have never seen this play acted out, but do think that this translation would make it excellent. I loved this book, and highly recommend it!


The Mines of Bloodstone: Standard Module H2 (Advanced Dungeons and Dragons)
The Mines of Bloodstone: Standard Module H2 (Advanced Dungeons and Dragons)
by Michael Dobson
Edition: Paperback

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Adventuring on an epic scale!, 21 Nov. 2005
H2: The Mines of Bloodstone is an AD&D (1st edition) adventure module for five to seven characters of level sixteen to eighteen. That's right, this is a wide-ranging adventure for high-level characters. Following up on the module H1: Bloodstone Pass, the characters now find that the town of Bloodstone is under attack once again. The source of Bloodstone's danger is the abandoned mines just outside of town. What lies within those mines? And, is it beyond what the characters can handle?
Now, this module is different than most, in that parts of the story require the use of the BATTLESYSTEM rules that allow unit based warfare. However, I must say a clever Dungeon Master will be able to handle the warfare side himself, and guide the characters along using the standard AD&D rules.
As for the rest of the module, well I must say that this is a really great module with lots of action and grand adventure - adventuring on an epic scale! There's lots of danger here, and lots of really high-level monsters. In general, if you have wanted an AD&D adventure that reminds you of the epics of J.R.R. Tolkien and other fantasy authors, then this is the module for you!


Golden Dream: A Fuzzy Odyssey
Golden Dream: A Fuzzy Odyssey
by Ardath Mayhar
Edition: Mass Market Paperback

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars For Fuzzy fans only, 18 Nov. 2005
H. Beam Piper (1904-64) enjoyed a brief career as a science-fiction author, which ended with his suicide in 1964. In 1963 he published Little Fuzzy, which revolved around the discovery of a race of small humanoids on a human-colonized world and the battle to get them recognized as a sapient race. In 1964 he published The Other Human Race as a sequel. Though there were reports of a nearly completed third book, it was not found after his death, so in 1981 Ace Books printed a sequel written by William Tuning, Fuzzy Bones. In Fuzzy Bones, we find out that the Fuzzies are actually marooned members of a star-traveling race, whose ship had crashed on the planet generations previous.
In this book, Ardath Mayhar takes the Piper/Tuning story, and presents it from the Fuzzy's perspective. The narrative moves from Fuzzy to Fuzzy (Gashta in their own language), showing the reader their trails, as they try to survive on a hostile and dangerous world, always looking to the stars for rescue.
Overall, I found this to be a very enjoyable work, even though Tuning's story was overturned when Piper's third Fuzzy novel was found and published in 1984. The narrative, though somewhat choppy, was interesting, making me really feel for the Fuzzies. But, what if you haven't read the earlier Fuzzy books? Well, I do believe that you will find the story fragmented and ultimately unsatisfactory.
So, I guess I would say that I highly recommend this book to any fan of H. Beam Piper and his Fuzzies, but do not really recommend it to anyone else.


Hits
Hits
Offered by Fulfillment Express
Price: £9.05

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great album!, 18 Nov. 2005
This review is from: Hits (Audio CD)
Phil Collins has been a presence in world-wide rock scene since the 1970s. He has a great tonal quality to his voice, and his music has moves from the impudent to the sensitive and soulful. This album came out in 1998, and is a nice selection of Phil's songs. It has the brash In The Air Tonight, the pop-hit Sussudio, and the reflective Both Sides Of The Story.
Overall, I found this to be a great album, which I have listened to many, many times. My favorite tracks are Against All Odds, Separate Lives, and In The Air Tonight. I love this album, and highly recommend it to all fans of great music!


How Not to Write: An Office Primer for the Grammatically Perplexed
How Not to Write: An Office Primer for the Grammatically Perplexed
by Terence Denman
Edition: Hardcover

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Educational and entertaining, 17 Nov. 2005
Terence Denman is an instructor with the Plain English Campaign, a U.K. based, but world-wide organization dedicated to improving writing skills and promoting the use of crystal-clear language in business and government communications. In this wonderful little book, Mr. Denman lays out ten grammar tips on better writing and ten writing myths that will foil your attempts at clear and concise writing. Using a great deal of wit, he educates the reader on many common errors that people make while writing, and steers you quite handily towards better English.
This is a great book, one that should be read over and over again, and studied like a school book. Indeed, this would make a wonderful foundation for a class on clear writing given to all office workers! The author does an excellent job of writing in a fun and easy to read manner, which makes reading the book both educational and entertaining. I greatly enjoy this book, and hope that studying it will improve my writing skills. My hat's off to Mr. Denman for writing such an excellent book!


The Bromeliad Trilogy: Truckers/Diggers/Wings
The Bromeliad Trilogy: Truckers/Diggers/Wings
by Terry Pratchett
Edition: Hardcover

5.0 out of 5 stars Little people get into big trouble, and out again, 17 Nov. 2005
Unknown to the humans, they share the Earth with another intelligent race, the nomes. The reason they don't know about the nomes is that they are four inches tall, and live at a pace ten times that of humans. This is the story of Masklin, and other heroic nomes who lead their people out of the dangerous world of humans, in search of their home. In the course of this story the overcome great obstacles, all with wit and humor.
This book is actually a collection of three book: Truckers, Diggers and Wings. The stories showcase Terry Pratchett's wit and humor, his ability to examine the human experience from a very different viewpoint. The action is gripping, and the humor outrageous. I highly recommend this book.


The Gift of Valor: A War Story
The Gift of Valor: A War Story
by Michael M. Phillips
Edition: Hardcover

5.0 out of 5 stars A future classic book on this war, 16 Nov. 2005
During a firefight in Iraq, along the Syrian border, Marine Corporal Jason Dunham sacrificed his own life, to save the lives of his comrades. This is the story of Corporal Dunham: his life, his service and his heroism.
I must admit, that I finished this book some time ago, but it has taken me a long time to actually write this review. Yes, this is a war story, but the author, who has done four tours in Iraq as an embedded journalist, has done an excellent job. This isn't a simple story, instead it is the story of life, good and bad, and war, with its times of fun and comradeship, and times of horror and desperation.
Indeed, that is why this book took me so long to review. This book doesn't just tell you the story of Corporal Dunham, instead it brings you along, into his life and death. And when it's all done, you will also probably feel somewhat wrung out, as if you had been right there for it all.
Overall, I found this to be a great read, no doubt the greatest work to come out of this war so far. If you are at all interested in Iraq and the soldiers there, then I highly recommend this book to you. In the future, this will undoubtedly be seen as a classic book on this war.


Dramascripts - The Speckled Band: The Play (Dramascripts Classic Texts)
Dramascripts - The Speckled Band: The Play (Dramascripts Classic Texts)
by John O'connor
Edition: Paperback

5.0 out of 5 stars A great addition to the Holmes canon!, 16 Nov. 2005
When a frightened and desperate young woman enters Sherlock Holmes' sitting room, he refuses to dismiss her fears. Two years ago, Miss Helen Stoner's sister Julia had died under mysterious circumstances, after having heard a mysterious whistling in the night. And now, just when she is soon to be married, Helen is hearing the same whistling! Miss Stoner's step-father is a brute and a scoundrel, but is he up to something even more sinister? The game is indeed afoot!
First published in Strand Magazine in February, 1892, this is a fun and exciting Holmesian mystery. As the story unfolds, it quickly becomes clear who the villain of the story is, but what is he doing and how? Also, there are a few mistakes made with the story (there is no such thing as a Indian swamp adder, and cheetahs are not native to India), but A.C. Doyle was not writing serious non-fiction but a ripping good detective yarn.
Overall, I found this to be a great Sherlock Holmes story, one that is a great addition to the canon. I loved this book, and highly recommend it!


Disney/Pixar: The Incredibles Amazing 3-D Adventure! with 3-D Glasses
Disney/Pixar: The Incredibles Amazing 3-D Adventure! with 3-D Glasses
by Elle D. Risco
Edition: Hardcover

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Colorful with a nice extra, 15 Nov. 2005
This cute little book is a retelling of Pixar's smash hit movie, The Incredibles. Brightly colored and richly drawn, it does an excellent job of retelling the story for younger readers. But, this book has an extra: It has a pop-up "viewer" and when you look through it, you will see that each page has a 3-D picture!
I bought this book for a nephew, and he loves it. I think that the people who made this book did an excellent job of putting it together. So, if you have a young fan of The Incredibles, then you simply must get him this book! My nephew and I highly recommend it.


Do as I Say (Not as I Do): Profiles in Liberal Hypocrisy
Do as I Say (Not as I Do): Profiles in Liberal Hypocrisy
by Peter Schweizer
Edition: Hardcover

15 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An absolutely fantastic book!, 15 Nov. 2005
This is an absolutely fantastic book! The author took an in-depth look at eleven American liberals who have set themselves up as decriers of hypocrisy, and lo and behold they are purveyors of hypocrisy themselves!
Did you know that Michael Moore owns stock in Halliburton? How about that Nancy Pelosi runs a strictly non-union vineyard? Well, if you read this book, you'll see this and a lot more.
Overall, I found this book to be ironic to the point of being absolutely hilarious! And, I must say that it appears to be right down the line correct. Al Franken has threatened a lawsuit against the author, not for what he says (Al Franken has apparently never denied the author's charges of racism and homophobia), but for how he got the information.
This is a wonderful book, one that is sure to please every conservative you know. I give this book my highest recommendations. Two thumbs up! WAY UP!!


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