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A. J. Barber "barbert" (Rome, Italy)

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The Life of St. Paul
The Life of St. Paul
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3.0 out of 5 stars Unsatisfactory because it never strays from the New Testament as its only source., 13 Sep 2014
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As a historical account of Paul's life, this doesn't meet the more rigorous standards we expect today as compared with 100 years ago. In particular, there is no serious discussion of whether Paul was really the author of all the Epistles, what might have actually occurred on the road to Damascus, and the precise circumstances of his death.


The Way of All Flesh (Illustrated Edition)
The Way of All Flesh (Illustrated Edition)
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5.0 out of 5 stars Lovely edition of a great Victorian novel, 11 Sep 2014
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Few if any works of English literature paint a more painfully honest picture of the damage caused by parental selfishness, mistreatment and misunderstanding of children. For this alone Butler's classic novel deserves a five-star rating. But the book, unlike some Victorian novels, is, in addition, full of common sense wisdom that makes it strikingly relevant today. This Kindle edition is nicely put together with some pleasant art work at the start of a number of chapters.


The Spectre of Alexander Wolf (Pushkin Collection)
The Spectre of Alexander Wolf (Pushkin Collection)
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5.0 out of 5 stars A masterpiece of 20th-century Russian exile literature, 7 Aug 2014
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Gaito Gazdanov is at last starting to earn the international recognition that his precise, elegantly mysterious prose deserves. He was not exactly unknown in his lifetime, but Soviet publishers were under orders to ignore him and western European and US critics thought Nabokov was a superior writer. In some ways that assessment is fair enough - but 'The Spectre of Alexander Wolf' is at least as good as anything Nabokov wrote. Full of piercing insights into fate, chance, love, death and other aspects of the human condition, it also works well as a mystery story with strange twists and turns.


Wise Children
Wise Children
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3.0 out of 5 stars Humane, witty, weakened by its one-sided depiction of men, 21 July 2014
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This review is from: Wise Children (Kindle Edition)
The strengths of 'Wise Children' lie in its good humour, vivid characterisation and superb evocation of the pre-World War Two era of popular song and dance. Its weakness lies in its portrayal of all the main male characters as, at bottom, vain and irresponsible, whilst most of the main female characters are shown as courageous, kind-hearted and more sinned against than sinning, to borrow one of the Shakespearean phrases that the author delights in.


Benito Cereno (Annotated Edition)
Benito Cereno (Annotated Edition)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Tense, disconcerting - quite superb, 8 July 2014
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Next to 'Bartleby the Scrivener', 'Benito Cereno' is Melville's best-written and most morally complex tale. He constructs an atmosphere of sinister tension with great skill, forcing the reader to ask questions about trust, deception, friendship and the role of power and subordination in human relationships and the social order. The racial context is crucial, of course, and the tale's most powerful and horrifying symbol is the whiteness of the bones of all dead humans, whatever their skin colour in life.


Zuleika Dobson, or an Oxford Love Story
Zuleika Dobson, or an Oxford Love Story
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3.0 out of 5 stars Intriguing, light-hearted moral fantasy, 7 Jun 2014
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Beerbohm's pre-World War One satire of Oxford University life will strike many readers today as too old-fashioned, snobbish and silly to be considered a true classic. The novel should nevertheless not be dismissed as a frivolous fantasy, for Beerbohm artfully wraps a moral message or two in his flowery, tongue-in-cheek style.


Dona Perfecta
Dona Perfecta
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4.0 out of 5 stars Powerful attack on Catholic bigotry in small-town Spain, 1 Jun 2014
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This review is from: Dona Perfecta (Kindle Edition)
This 1876 novel repays reading today for the unforgettable characters of Dona Perfecta, the bigoted matriarch, and Don Inocencio, the cunning and hypocritical churchman. Its depiction of the political, intellectual and social gulf that separates Madrid from small-town Spain is skilful and convincing. English-language readers will derive much pleasure from Galdos, an important Spanish literary figure.


The Frontier in American History
The Frontier in American History
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4.0 out of 5 stars Still most stimulating to read - at times remarkably insightful, 27 May 2014
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You don't have to agree with everything Frederick Jackson Turner writes to appreciate that he was a historian of depth and imagination. His ideas on the frontier are more subtle than he is often given credit for these days. Richly rewarding read.


Ces Français, fossoyeurs de l'euro (Tribune libre) (French Edition)
Ces Français, fossoyeurs de l'euro (Tribune libre) (French Edition)
Price: £9.99

4.0 out of 5 stars A good read, with an especially good scoop on Merkel's tearful breakdown at Cannes, 20 May 2014
A very good read - excellent insights into French policymaking on Europe. Hilarious account of Sarkozy's clash with Steinbrück, Germany's finance minister, in 2007. "C'est qui, ce gros con?" asked the hyper-dynamic French president.


Debit and Credit Translated from the German of Gustav Freytag
Debit and Credit Translated from the German of Gustav Freytag
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3.0 out of 5 stars A novel full of the prejudices of 19th-century German society, 6 May 2014
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An embarrassed silence covered this once famous novel after 1945 because of its unashamed anti-Semitic and anti-Polish prejudices. It is nevertheless a novel that faithfully reflects much about the attitudes of mid-19th century German bourgeois society.


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