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Aanel Victoria (USA)
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Third Star [DVD]
Third Star [DVD]
Dvd ~ Benedict Cumberbatch
Offered by ludovico_institute
Price: 6.82

4.0 out of 5 stars A uniqiue, moving, and intriguing film, 29 Dec 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Third Star [DVD] (DVD)
This film looks like a "road movie" on the surface, but it gradually dawns on the viewer that it is anything but. Great dialogue, fascinating premise, and wonderful performances, all shot on location in lovely Wales. I loved this film so much that I sought out the screenplay online -- it's a great read as well!

Recommended as a unique gem.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jun 1, 2013 2:09 PM BST


Vanished Years
Vanished Years
by Rupert Everett
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 8.00

3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful and Award-Winning Memoir, 13 Oct 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Vanished Years (Hardcover)
For all of those who loved Rupert's first memoir, Red Carpets And Other Banana Skins, this one is equally as good! So jump on it without hesitation.

In fact, if you haven't read the first memoir, please get it and read it first. You'll be better set up to enjoy this one.

This new installment, and hopefully there will be more -- Rupert is a fantastic writer and a superb memoirist -- is not just a retread or a mere "follow-up" or "latest news" after the first. It seems to go deeper, and is even more incisive, whilst of course also bearing the usual wit, charm, and delightful self-deflation we so love about Rupert.

The book is incredibly wide-ranging; it covers, for instance, everything from the twilight years of his parents, charity work in Cambodia, 'Blithe Spirit' on Broadway with Angela Lansbury, Madonna again, Derek Jacobi, poignant mention of HIV/AIDS, The Apprentice UK, Natasha Richardson and Vanessa Redgrave, crisscrossings of the globe from Russia to Berlin to France and various locales in the U.S. and UK, and of course tonnes and tonnes more. I'll leave many surprises for you to discover yourself.

The main point I'm trying to make is, this volume is definitely as good as the first one, and at the end it left me yearning again for more.

Bottom line, grab this if you've read 'Banana Peels'; if you haven't, grab that one first and then this one!

UPDATE: In February 2013, 'Vanished Years' won the prestigious annual Sheridan Morley Prize for Theatre Biography.


Joseph Anton
Joseph Anton
by Salman Rushdie
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 10.00

6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An exhaustive 633-page epic, 25 Sep 2012
This review is from: Joseph Anton (Hardcover)
The promotions for this book seemed to indicate that it was solely about Rushdie's period of being in hiding from the death sentence issued by the Ayatollah Khomeini.

The first 140 pages of this detailed memoir, however, cover Rushdie's entire life leading up to The Satanic Verses. So it's not about just the Joseph Anton period.

Rushdie's writing is languorous, dreamlike, digressive, reflective, recursive. It's written in third person and moves fairly slowly, with internal ruminations, flashbacks, and changes of time and place.

If you were looking for a fast-paced drama about being a wanted man, this may not be exactly what you were expecting. In that respect, I suspect this book may possibly appeal mainly (but not exclusively) to Salman Rushdie fans, who are familiar with his quite literary and creative voice, and who are interested not only in the Joseph Anton period but also in the rest of his life preceding it, in very detailed form.

If that interests you, then go for it.

If, on the other hand, a very heavy, 633-page languorous epic about 55 years of a man's life may not interest you as much, you may perhaps want to consider waiting till it's less expensive, or more available in paperback, or get it on Kindle where it doesn't weigh as much.

All that said, the book is very enjoyable and well written and intriguing. Eloquent, magisterial, and quite enlightening. A masterpiece in its own right. A most impressive work.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Sep 25, 2012 7:05 PM BST


Wagner's Dream [DVD] [2012]
Wagner's Dream [DVD] [2012]
Dvd ~ The Metropolitan Opera
Offered by Fulfillment Express
Price: 14.58

8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars THIS IS ALREADY INCLUDED IN THE DVD & BLU-RAY SETS!, 21 Sep 2012
This review is from: Wagner's Dream [DVD] [2012] (DVD)
This wonderful 2-hour documentary on the 2011/2012 Met Ring is already included in Wagner: Der Ring des Nibelungen [DVD] [2012] and Wagner: Der Ring des Nibelungen [Blu-ray] [2012]. If you purchase either of those sets, you do not need to buy this separately.


Kasher in the Rye: The True Tale of a White Boy from Oakland Who Became a Drug Addict, Criminal, Mental Patient, and Then Turned 16
Kasher in the Rye: The True Tale of a White Boy from Oakland Who Became a Drug Addict, Criminal, Mental Patient, and Then Turned 16
by Moshe Kasher
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 14.98

5.0 out of 5 stars Wow, a funny, clever, deep, authentic, well-written true story, 17 Sep 2012
Not sure how I came upon this book -- maybe Amazon flagged it for me and it sounded like it might be worth the risk of buying since there's no bookstore in this area and I had nothing left to read.

I'm here to tell you the book is everything it's advertised to be, and more. It's a wonderfully well-written page-turner, and I finished it in two or three days. It's at once funny, clever, profound, self-effacing, and informative. Moshe Kasher has been through all this nonsense so you don't have to ... but you can read about it and experience it vicariously. It ends on a lovely sentimental note (brief), so in the end it's a feel-good ride even though it gets pretty down and dirty, but fortunately in a light-hearted tongue-in-cheek way. Kasher lets humor transform the insanity he lived into jewel-like adventures of the kind you don't want your own kids or relatives to experience. It's all good, and it's all hilarious.

Take a chance on it -- pick it up. You'll be glad you did.

By the way, since for some reason Amazon UK has no detailed book description or editorial reviews for this title, click over to the Amazon.com page for the book (at the bottom of this page where it says "Go to Amazon.com to see all 28 reviews") to get the full scoop. That way you can get a great idea of what you're getting! I'd summarize it here but I'm afraid I might leave out some vital part.


Mysterious Mozart
Mysterious Mozart
by Philippe Sollers
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 24.84

5.0 out of 5 stars Quite worthwhile once you get used to Sollers' style, 1 Sep 2012
This review is from: Mysterious Mozart (Hardcover)
Written with uninhibited enthusiasm which sometimes lapses into cheerfully purple prose and digressive forays into personal associations, this book is a charming and informative and indeed penetrating look at the mystery of Mozart -- his mind, his heart, his intentions, his feelings, his fate, his message. At times telegraphic, elusive, allusive, poetic, and borderline cryptic, in the end the styles and mix of genres make this book unique, and uniquely insightful.

Because Sollers makes no pretenses that this is either an exhaustive biography or an unbiased impersonal musical analysis, he is free to break the normal rules and this gives him the freedom to go beyond where a biographer can, to proffer deep insights, inferences, opinions, preferences and superlatives. To evoke Mozart in more vivid reality than mere scholars can.

I found the book very enjoyable, and wanted it never to end. I came away feeling I have an intimate, thorough understanding of Mozart as a person. This is invaluable.

Lastly, I'll mention that the book makes judicious, plentiful and wonderful use of perfectly chosen excerpts from Mozart's letters, and also some of the letters he received. This is glorious! By letting Mozart speak for himself, and by using penetrating insight into his words, and by incisive analysis of his music and operas, Sollers has given us the gift of seeing into Mozart's soul.


Michael Wood's Story of England [DVD]
Michael Wood's Story of England [DVD]
Dvd ~ Michael Wood
Price: 12.60

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb, 30 July 2012
This is a fascinating and superb series that very colorfully and entertainingly studies the entire history of England, from pre-Roman times to the 1950s, via the village(s) of Kibworth in the county of Leicestershire. Through various means -- archeological, documents, topographical studies, and local and oral history -- we find out the true story of real and ordinary people. History comes vividly alive in a way that the endless successive repetition of wars, monarchs, and squabbling aristocrats can never do.

We are never patronized or asked to indulge in glorious fantasies here. History is told via the words of the people themselves -- through, for instance the amazingly in-depth documents and scholarship that have been preserved throughout the centuries in this uniquely placed village. As it turns out, there's a lot more here than even remotely meets the eye. We get a much fuller and more comprehensive and understandable history of this England than I ever would have though possible.

The series is gloriously and beautifully filmed and scored, and Michael Wood is an unfailingly charming, engaging, charismatic, enthusiastic, and knowledgeable presenter.

I promise you will learn much more than you ever thought you didn't know about English history. If, for instance, you are a fan of the films of Michael Wood's other programs (e.g., The Story of India), or Simon Schama, or Ken Burns, you are sure to love this series.

(The only thing disappointing about this series is the subtitles -- or rather lack thereof. I don't at all recommend it for the deaf or hearing impaired because the subtitles are so ridiculously incorrect and botched up as to be worse than useless.)


Running with Fire: The True Story of Chariots of Fire Hero Harold Abrahams
Running with Fire: The True Story of Chariots of Fire Hero Harold Abrahams
by Mark Ryan
Edition: Paperback

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent biography of an interesting man and national icon, 20 July 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Mark Ryan's biography of Harold Abrahams is really the only biography book available on the man, so we're quite fortunate it is so good.

Extensively researched and written with circumspection yet wonderful insight and a warm and personal style, the very readable and enjoyable book gives a fair and well-rounded view of Harold -- idiosyncrasies and all. Fortunately, Harold was a well-meaning and honorable and generous person, with high ideals and concerned about his fellow man, so his mild warts are well matched by his innate goodness and frankness and charm.

Harold was a quite interesting person after all, and the book has an excellent developmental arc, and plentiful details on his athletics, persona, personal life and romances, and post-racing and extra-curricular careers. The book is laced with informative direct quotes from Harold and others, and also includes numerous photos. The book also fortunately dispels several myths that have arisen about Harold over the past 30 years.

This is an excellent book for anybody who loves Chariots of Fire, any runners (especially sprinters and long-jumpers), and anyone interested in Harold (or his wife Sybil Evers, or even his brothers or children) or the Olympics. It's a great read -- warm and personal and intriguing while always sticking to the verifiable facts.

Recommended.


The Day the World Discovered the Sun: An Extraordinary Story of Scientific Adventure and the Race to Track the Transit of Venus
The Day the World Discovered the Sun: An Extraordinary Story of Scientific Adventure and the Race to Track the Transit of Venus
by Mark Anderson
Edition: Hardcover

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Rich and rewarding, 23 May 2012
This book on the hair-raising scientific expeditions of the 1760s is a rich and rewarding adventure from start to finish. It's exciting history that was galvanized by some of the most important scientific and political imperatives of the 18th and early 19th centuries: finding life-savingly accurate means of longitudinal maritime navigation; exploring the mysterious South Pacific and beyond; and determining the precise distance from the earth to the Sun, the most critical astronomical unit of measure. All of these and more prompted the cause célèbre of the age: far-flung measurements of the extremely rare transit of Venus, which occurred in 1769.

This book doesn't feel like "science" though, although those factors are well explained. On the contrary, we have mad kings, exotic natives, scary epidemics, erudite Jesuits, stubborn viceroys, squabbling astronomers, wide-eyed naturalists, leonine monarchs, curious common-folk, dedicated scientists, international political intrigue, wild overland journeys, and the gamut of seagoing excitement, for starters.

The various locales journeyed to give us a breathtaking "you are there" window into 18th-century Vienna, St. Petersburg, Mexico, Baja California, Siberia, Paris, arctic-circle Norway, South Pacific islands, London, Barbados, Cape Town, Tierra del Fuego, Copenhagen, Jakarta, Cadiz, Rio de Janeiro, and places in between. The point of the Venus transit was to get readings from many locations, as mutually distant as possible, in order to triangulate a reliable distance to the Sun. And getting to these locations is half the adventure, but certainly not all of it. Greater challenges meet each adventurer upon arrival at their destination.

The intriguing characters we follow include, among others: the renowned Captain Cook; the "French Benjamin Franklin"; two latterly famous fellows named Mason and Dixon (from whence "Dixie" for the American South derives); the aforementioned diligent erudite Hungarian Jesuit; and all of their partners, assistants, and travelling companions.

In the cleverly organized narrative that weaves several strands together at once, there are moments of cliff-hanging suspense in each of these journeys halfway across the world. And there are also many aha! moments for the reader: remarkable historical revelations, recognition of familiar historical names, and moments where something clicks -- either historical, or technical, or even a distant fact learned decades ago -- and makes brilliant sense. It's this living quality to the narrative that makes it memorable and inviting.

The book is a rich, full, thick tapestry of colorful and very real and tangible true-life adventure. I thought it was only going to be about adventurous discovery, but it's so much more -- it's the very human story of characters you immediately care about, come to know deeply, and think about long afterwards.


Codename Kyril [DVD]
Codename Kyril [DVD]
Dvd ~ Edward Woodward
Price: 6.99

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great spy yarn, finally on full-length DVD!, 30 April 2012
This review is from: Codename Kyril [DVD] (DVD)
Ian Charleson is a sympathetic but savvy Russian spy, sent to London at his own peril in order to smoke out a traitor within the KGB ranks. Edward Woodward (famous as "The Equalizer") is the British cat who most wants to catch this mouse. But Kyril is in peril from his own countrymen, too -- from people like Povin (Denholm Elliot), an unassuming but nervous KGB operative who doesn't know exactly what Kyril may be up to.

The cast is absolutely all-star, with faces of the greats you've seen do other fine stuff in British film and television. These include Richard E. Grant, Joss Ackland, Peter Vaughn, John McEnery, James Laurenson, and Hugh Fraser.

Recommended for anyone interested in intriguing spy stories, and well-made films. The plot will keep you guessing and figuring things out right up till the very end. It's a perfect balance between action and puzzles; a can't-miss entertainment.


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