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Catch-22 (Vintage Classics)
Catch-22 (Vintage Classics)
by Joseph Heller
Edition: Paperback
Price: 6.29

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Both funny and sad, 1 Jun 2007
This is one of the funniest books I have ever read (I literally laughed out loud at a few points), but it is also one of the saddest. Humour has a strange way of being able to make very serious points, and Heller's ability to show the absurdity that is war through the eyes of the everyman Yossarian is brilliant. The BBC comedy "Blackadder Goes Forth" certainly owes a lot to it.

If you aren't rolling on the floor with tears in your eyes over the brief T.S. Elliot phone conversation, I'm afraid you have no sense of humour.


The Name Of The Rose (Vintage Classics)
The Name Of The Rose (Vintage Classics)
by Umberto Eco
Edition: Paperback
Price: 6.29

11 of 28 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Filled with dense imagery, but very very dull, 1 Jun 2007
I had heard people waxing lyrical about this book, and so I thought I'd give it a go and see what all the fuss was about. I know I'm supposed to be awed by it, I know I'm supposed to be humbled by Eco's vast knowledge and intelligence, I know I'm supposed to be gripped by the interwoven themes and symbolism, but I found myself literally counting the pages until the end.

There are some interesting moments filled with amazing prose, but between irritating monks who need a good slap, Adso's frequent acid trips, and long turgid theological discussions, they tend to get rather lost. This is one of those books that would have been better if it had been half as long. If I had lived in this monastery, a series of grisly murders would have been a welcomed change of pace. Unless you're deeply passionate about obscure points of theology no one has cared about for several hundred years, you'll find the revealed motive and justification for the crimes to be very disappointing.

If you want to read a detective story, go buy a Sherlock Holmes book.
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jan 26, 2013 12:52 PM GMT


Bad Thoughts: A Guide to Clear Thinking
Bad Thoughts: A Guide to Clear Thinking
by Jamie Whyte
Edition: Paperback
Price: 6.29

28 of 31 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A mostly entertaining read, but not without its own bad thoughts, 1 Jun 2007
This is a nice little introduction to logical thought, which is in itself none too taxing. After reading it, you'll be spotting logical mistakes in no time. However, as noted by a previous reviewer, Whyte does go on about religion quite a bit, which to my mind is the weakest aspect of the book.

The main problem is that he never really goes very indepth (which would have been interesting), preferring instead to take pot-shots, and then move quickly on. His assertion that there can't be an all-powerful God if evil exists is particularly poor, presented as it is without any sort of discussion about what "all-powerful" means (many if not most Theists do not believe God to be "all-powerful" in the way Whyte suggests), or what "evil" means. Instead, he blithely states that people who believe this have been "convinced by one of the many bogus theological attempts to show this belief consistent with the existence of evil", and then pretty much leaves it there. This, and Whtye's other attacks on religion are generally straw man arguments, and so are bad form for a book on logical fallacies. Admittedly, the book is short, and so it would be hard to give a detailed examination of the religious themes, but this is the very reason the book would have been stronger without them; if when writing a book on logical fallacies you can't mention something without it sounding like a logical fallacy, you should probably not mention it at all.

Still, Whyte is frequently humorous, and he does write in a lively, engaging style. If you don't mind putting up with Whyte's personal religious opinions being presented as gospel (pun intended), I'd recommended this book as a good starting point, with the proviso that those interested will progress to something a bit more substantial.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Mar 23, 2010 6:01 PM GMT


How to Raise an American: 1776 Fun and Easy Tools, Tips, and Activities to Help Your Child Love This Country
How to Raise an American: 1776 Fun and Easy Tools, Tips, and Activities to Help Your Child Love This Country
by Myrna Blyth
Edition: Hardcover

0 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Genuinely disturbing, 1 Jun 2007
As if blind patriotism didn't have enough blood on its hands, now Americans can learn how to fill their children's heads with the most dangerous nationalistic bile. What fun!
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jun 23, 2010 9:48 PM BST


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