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S. Benson (liverpool, UK)
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King of the Badgers
King of the Badgers
by Philip Hensher
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars "Loose Baggy Monster", 2 Jan. 2013
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This review is from: King of the Badgers (Paperback)
I so much wanted to like this book! And, to an extent, I did: the integration(apart from homophobes like the odious Neighbourhood Watch man) of openly gay characters in the whole,rich community was great to see and well-managed; and there were set pieces of poetic beauty: eg mysterious opening scene on the dark waters, and the Wolf cliffside section.However, I felt there were far too many characters, so that we got rarely developed vignettes(though David, Mauro and, to a degree, Kenyon were quite fully developed characters).Nor did I find the abduction story was as convincingly integrated in the overall compass of the novel. It reminded of Edmund White, but not as emotionally powerful, in its "loose bagginess"; but in White I like that lack of censoring of material and letting it all just be piled in, whereas it didnt quite work as well, in that respect, for me, here.But who am I to say-a massively heroic effort, just by its very execution!


Romantic Concertos Vol.4
Romantic Concertos Vol.4

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Most exciting performance ever of Rach 3, 15 Feb. 2012
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Grab this! It is extrememly rare and is the most exciting performance of the concerto and the most moving you will ever hear; listen to the startlingly effective sections where Ponti uses extreme rubato in the second passionate theme of finale and at the very end SOARS over a very fine orchestra; it breaks your heart in its fervent passion;if you have been put off by Ponti's sometimes scrappy Vox orchestras, this one is high class.This may have been this greatly underestimated and sometimes perjorativized pianist's last commercial recording before his stroke; it dates from about 1997.


The Secret Dublin Diary of Gerard Manley Hopkins
The Secret Dublin Diary of Gerard Manley Hopkins
by Robert G. Waldron
Edition: Paperback

4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The poignant fictionalisation of Hopkin's Later years, 23 Jun. 2011
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Waldron has written a masterpiece. This slim, beautifully produced book is a masterly, poignant re-visualisation of Hopkin's later years in Dublin. The great poet, a guilt and shame wracked gay man, a lover of God, Chris, nature and men's bodies, is given a sort of redemption through being able finally able to say "I love you" to another man. Written in fairly spare, but effective and at times beautiful prose, Waldron knowingly and lovingly uses Hopkin's own poetic techniques, eg compound epithets, to enhance and intensify his moving story. This is also a deeply political book, because it shows homophobia running through the whole of society of the time, particuarly some forms of established religion(which have contorted God and Christs' vision of the body and soul being one, not seperated and polarised). It should appeal to EVERYBODY, of whatever sexual orientation,in its vision of how we should treat our fellow men with humanity and equality. As a gay male reader, it is especially rich in its allusiveness to an undiscovered(till recently and thanks to books like this, though rarely so poetic as this)country of homoerotic, beautiful writing. I KNEW GMH was gay when i read "Epithalmion"-there is not even need for a subtext/parallel reading here , and in some of the other very OVERTLY homoerotic poems: this book filled in the gaps. Any critic who would say its not all proven/true and would marginalize Hopkins homoerotic vision, would best remember that "fiction" can show more truth than so-called (homophobic) biography, because, ironically and beautifully, Waldron's novella rveals the inner truth about the great poets spirituality, homosexuality and love of Nature better than any incomplete "true" biography, ridden with heterosexist assumptions; and it does it succinctly and poetically. I hope Waldron goes on to write a full biography of Hopkins, which would complement this fictionalisation, a fictionalisation which hits a deeper truth as fiction so often does. I now feel I KNOW GMH in all his roundedness, as the whole person society and his religious beliefs never let him become.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jul 27, 2013 1:58 PM BST


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