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Reviews Written by
csdawson@btinternet.com "ChrisD" (lancashire, uk)

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The Banquet Years: The Origins of the Avant Garde in France, 1885 to World War 1
The Banquet Years: The Origins of the Avant Garde in France, 1885 to World War 1
by Roger Shattuck
Edition: Paperback
Price: £11.23

4 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars entertaining subjects, dull read, 18 Jan. 2002
Given the paucity of information available regarding alfred jarry, this book is an essential read. It is a shame, however, that the book tells the story of jarry etc. in such a mundane fashion. With a cast list that, in addition to the genuine eccentrics of the title, includes Picasso and Stein, and with its tales of war, theft, alcoholism, madness, huge parties and much more, this should have been a wonderful book. But it is not. It is dry and the sections of interpretation (which presumabley were the result of academic research) are frequently tedious. It is still an engaging book, but this is down to the subject matter, and in spite of the treatment they receive.


Steppin' on a Rainbow
Steppin' on a Rainbow
by Kinky Friedman
Edition: Paperback

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars the low pont of the kinkster's books, 22 Oct. 2001
This review is from: Steppin' on a Rainbow (Paperback)
yes, the mile high club was something of a disappointment, but steppin' on a rainbow sadly continues the downward slide of the kinkster. this time the problem is largely due to the appearance of stephanie du pont and her annoying put downs. yes, the kinkster loves her, but no one else does. the plot, as has been increasingly the case, is non-existant, this time not taking place on hawaii. that shouldn't matter - hell, the rest of them were pretty much plot free - but this book, as the with the last couple, has been kinky by numbers. maybe it is the fact that whilst the kinky 'charcacter' was always world weary, now the books are weary in themselves. the old device of having one of the irregulars 'killed off' has perhaps been used one time to many, but hopefully the next one will be killer bee. to anyone wishing to take up the kinkster, i would advise buying the first couple of compilations and, if possible, to see him on tour.


Look Into The Eyeball
Look Into The Eyeball
Price: £44.51

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars look ma, no irony, 3 May 2001
This review is from: Look Into The Eyeball (Audio CD)
context: in 1986, when i was 13, my brother held two albums in his hand as my intended christmas present. one was George Michael's Faith, the other was Speaking In Tongues by Talking Heads. On such moments do lives change. Because, from my early love of Talking Heads, all my musical tastes have sprung. And now, while I am more likely to be listening to modern german electronica, brazilian psychadelia, american post rock etc etc i still buy every david byrne album. i figure owe him a lot.
having said this, i have not found his recent albums to be amongst his best. the albums of the nineties, whilst admirably following whatever interested byrne at the time, were something of a mess of styles. tracks, never mind albums, would range from drum and base to soul, to rock, to samba. such eclectism was impressive but did not make for a coherent album. look into the eyeball, his first for four years, is, i think, his best since the glory days of talking heads. the difference, which will disappoint some, is that byrne has never sounded so relaxed, happy and free from irony as he does on this record. there are some great summery pop songs, notably like humans do, and a phily soul number, neighborhood. perhaps the easiest way to explain the overall feel of the album is that in recent concerts byrne has been covering - without irony - the whitney houston 'classic' i want to dance with somebody. then again, maybe that was not the best sales pitch i could have come up with....


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