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James Ellsworth (Caldwell, TX)

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Johnny Nothing
Johnny Nothing
Price: 1.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Funny, Yes! A Surprising Page Turner! Gripping Illustration!, 27 April 2014
This review is from: Johnny Nothing (Kindle Edition)
In short, this book offers a lot to a reader who can deal with 'rude and crude' as well as a bit of 'heartwarming.' I agree with most of the early reviewers: this is an entertaining book. Along with a story that quickly pulls the reader in to cheer for Johnny, there are several sections of text offering sentences of amusing puns (and some 'groaners', too). Felicity MacKenzie is a 'mother from hell' and a force to be reckoned with. At no time in the book can she be trusted to be anything but self-centered, grasping and avaricious. For a father who is always at home (especially during working hours), Billy MacKenzie could just as well be an 'absent father.' The writing based around them offers a tart satire on parental imperfection.

While Johnny Nothing (MacKenzie) is only 10 in this book I would not recommend it as being suitable for children of that age or younger: the bawdy humor evokes adult and adolescent chuckles but the misery of Johnny's home life is not conducive to making young children feel secure. The plot of the book also requires spending time at a funeral service which is told in a wickedly satirical and far too olfactory and gross way for young children. The book works best for angry adolescents or for adult readers who might be amused to contrast their real childhood with Johnny's fictional one.

Most of the illustrations here are fresh, inventive and gripping. I found myself taking time to study them, looking for style, technique and content. The art has received lavish attention in this book and the art deserves it. Frankly, I look forward to a sequel.

Fat Man on a Bicycle (BBC Radio Collection)
Fat Man on a Bicycle (BBC Radio Collection)
by Tom Vernon
Edition: Audio Cassette

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Always A Pleasant Companion; Great 20th C. Travel Writer, 3 Dec 2011
Tom Vernon is one of my favorite BBC and TV 4 personalities. In the US we were lucky enough to see his work in the series 'Fat Man In France' presented on our Travel Chanel. I began to purchase copies of Tom's books via on-line second hand and rare books sources. They have proved to be wonderful companions that I return to time and again. I have just been rereading 'Fat Man On A Bicycle' and I am once again delighted by the author's prose and by his insights on life, British culture and French culture. I do remain dubious that Tom actually pedalled 'all the way' on any of his trips, especially the ones that were made into videos, but his prose is honest enough and I believe he is one of the greatest 20th Century travel journalists ever to put pen to paper or to bring his travels to television.

Victor Horta (Archipockets Classic)
Victor Horta (Archipockets Classic)
by Aurora Cuito
Edition: Hardcover

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Horta Source I've Seen, 10 Sep 2010
Archipockets gives good value in this slender volume on the architect many credit with bringing the principles of art nouveau design to buildings. We visited Brussels this year and took the local bus tour sponsored by its architectural preservation society and we visited the Horta museum but we were unable to find as many photographic views of the interiors of his buildings as are presented in this book. Unlike Gaudi in Barcelona, Belgian devotees of the genre paired staid exteriors with the exuberant natural forms found in the interior. Few of these interiors are open to the public and this book is perhaps the best and only way to sample the interior details of Horta's work. Ten of his major commissions are presented: Autrique House, Tassel House, Winssinger House, Solvay House, Van Eetvelde House, Deprez House, the Horta Studio (now his museum), the Max Hallet House, the Waucquez Shopping Mall (now the Comic Strip museum) and Brugman Hospital. The text is presented in English, German, French and Italian and the book is a compact 61/2 x 81/2 inches so the text must be concise. Even so, the text is satisfying, beginning with an overview of his life and career and setting out his methods of working before moving on to a description of each of the projects presented in the book. Technical difficulties are noted and so are his aesthetic aims for a project. There are full-page plates of each exterior, basic plan view drawings and smaller views of interior or exterior details and these photos are well-produced. We were permitted to enter the Van Eetvelde house but photos are forbidden. This book has a good many interior and exterior shots of the house--a money is no object project that allowed the architect to give full rein to his creativity, even down to the details of decoration, and which required that he use lavish amounts of exotic woods and stone from the Belgian Congo, his client's source of wealth. It is very interesting to contrast his house commissions with the Brugman Hospital project, one of his largest, and that is possible through this slender volume.

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