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Klaatu (Belfast)

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The Land of Painted Caves (Earths Children 6)
The Land of Painted Caves (Earths Children 6)
by Jean M. Auel
Edition: Hardcover

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Ice Age Twilight, 9 May 2011
This volume brings us to the end of a long story. I felt this last book in the series was a slight improvement on volume 5 but still lacked real vitality.
It moved along in a stately manner like an old river winding its way slowly to the sea. All the freshness and vigour of Clan of the Cave Bear and The Valley of Horses were left far behind. It was a sad way to say farewell to Ayla - the series fizzled out rather than went out with a bang. There were so many characters in the last two books particularly that Ayla was somewhat diluted. Overall the promise of the first two books has not been maintained and the series has steadily declined. I now think that readers should end at the Valley of Horses and leave it at that. Then they will have wonderful memories of a fantastic, pristine Ice Age world and the fabulous character of Ayla: may the Spirit of the Cave Lion protect you always.


Russell Remembered
Russell Remembered
by Rupert Crawshay-Williams
Edition: Hardcover

5.0 out of 5 stars encountering a giant, 30 Jun. 2010
This review is from: Russell Remembered (Hardcover)
Bertrand Russell(1872-1970) was a giant of twentieth century thought. Rupert Crawshay-Williams, who got to know him well in the last 25 years or so of his long life, has produced a truly lovely portrait of his friend. The book is full of interest, charming anecdotes and insights into Russell's character and personality. It is fondly and affectionatley written. Anyone who appreciates Russell's work and life will really enjoy this delightful piece of Russelliana.


I, Claudius & Claudius the God
I, Claudius & Claudius the God
by Robert Graves
Edition: Paperback

5.0 out of 5 stars Claudius speaks clear, 25 Jun. 2010
Robert Graves has written, in these two novels, a stunning portrait of Claudius and of the Roman world. The quality of the writing is superb and the tone so assured, even from the first sentence, that one knows immediately that one is in the hands of a master. A truly marvellous work of joy and tragedy. A work that every intelligent, literate person should read and have lovingly placed on their shelves.


They Marched Into Sunlight: War and Peace Vietnam and America October 1967
They Marched Into Sunlight: War and Peace Vietnam and America October 1967
by David Maraniss
Edition: Paperback
Price: £17.00

5.0 out of 5 stars The light of understanding, 24 Jun. 2010
Vietnam remains a scar on the American psyche - anything that aids understanding is welcome. David Maraniss has produced a well-written and thoroughly researched book that connects the fighting in the jungles with the unrest at home, particularly on campuses, and the leading figures in Washington. It is a very fine piece of historical writing and adds considerably to our understanding of the dynamics of that time. The style is straightforwardly realistic, which is to be welcomed after so much of the LSD-reportage Kool-Aid Acid Test variety which often seems more an attempt by the writers to come to terms with Vietnam personally than an analysis of it. It seems that sufficient time has passed for Vietnam to be looked at in better perspective. They Marched into Sunlight is proof of that. What a trauma Vietnam was, and what a tragedy: we desperately need to learn lessons from it. David Maraniss has made a noble contibution to that process of reflection.


The Fringes of Power: Downing Street Diaries, 1939-55
The Fringes of Power: Downing Street Diaries, 1939-55
by Sir John Rupert Colville
Edition: Hardcover

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars At the centre of power, 22 Jun. 2010
Colville's diaries provide another invaluable insight into the workings of Churchill's wartime administration. Many of the central figures kept and have published diaries: this is among the last to be placed before the public and it is voluminous and illuminating. Thank goodness so many kept accounts of those years - it is an invaluable service to history. Even the biographical notes appended to the volume are fascinating, often ringing with Colville's waspish style.


Dune
Dune
by Frank Herbert
Edition: Paperback

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars outstanding science fiction, 22 Jun. 2010
This review is from: Dune (Paperback)
Dune stands out as one of the finest SF novels. It is a superbly-realised work that added a new dimension (if you'll excuse the pun) to the genre: it added a new awareness of ecology that has become even more relevant since 1965. It is the pace of narrative and the empathy of the characters that make the novel really stand out. A rich and mature work of science fiction. As the series progressed to three and then more novels I became increasingly less enamoured but Dune remains as superb testament to 1960's SF at its distinctive best.


The Making of the Atomic Bomb
The Making of the Atomic Bomb
by Richard Rhodes
Edition: Paperback

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Astonishing Epic, 21 Jun. 2010
Not only does Rhodes tell us the story of the Manhattan Project (and that is mind-boggling enough in its enormity and audacity) but he tells the riveting tale of the scientific progress that made the atomic bomb even a theoretical possibility. This wonderful and deeply-researched book reads like a thriller. It is only rarely that a non-fiction work of this brilliance makes an appearance. It is an incredible story, beautifully told. Well done Mr. Rhodes.


I Shall Bear Witness: The Diaries Of Victor Klemperer 1933-41: I Shall Bear Witness, 1933-41 Vol 1
I Shall Bear Witness: The Diaries Of Victor Klemperer 1933-41: I Shall Bear Witness, 1933-41 Vol 1
by Victor Klemperer
Edition: Paperback
Price: £12.99

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars extraordinary eye-witness, 15 Jun. 2010
In my experience I have found that diaries of this importance need to be read through in their entirety: one needs to 'live' through the diarist's entries. In this way truly great and important diaries can recreate the past with a vividness that is unattainable elsewhere. The character of the diarist also then shines through and in Viktor Klemperer we are in the presence of a kind, wise, intelligent, cultured and humane man. The events he describes in his two volumes from 1933 to 1945 are, I think, the most important record of their type to have survived and are in the first rank of historical importance. If anything good came out of the raid on Dresden in 1945 it is that Klemperer and his wife were able to escape. It is sublimely joyful that Klemperer survived the Nazi era and was able to bear witness so magnificently. His post-war work on the Language of the Third Reich (Lingua Tertii Imperii - LTI) is also highly recommended.


Le Grand Meaulnes
Le Grand Meaulnes
by Alain-Fournier
Edition: Paperback

5.0 out of 5 stars realm of wonder and enchantment, 14 Jun. 2010
This review is from: Le Grand Meaulnes (Paperback)
Rarely have I been so captivated by a novel. I love the feeling (all too rare) of being a few chapters into a book and realising that it is going to be sensationally good. Such was the feeling with this book and I was not to be disappointed. It is so French - there is a magical feeling of love/sensuousness/longing and when Meaulnes first reaches and enters the 'lost domain' it is one of the most enchanting moments in all literature. One shares with him afterwards the desire to recapture those magical, rapturous moments. This is a rare gem and one that will enchant you for the rest of your life: read it now!!! The author was killed in the opening weeks of WWI: how sad that we can never know what else he might have produced but, nonetheless, what a magnificent monument to leave. Vive la France, Vive le grand meaulnes, Vive l'Alain Fournier.


The Quincunx: The Inheritance of John Huffam
The Quincunx: The Inheritance of John Huffam
by Charles Palliser
Edition: Paperback
Price: £16.99

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars sensational, 4 Jun. 2010
The Quincunx is an enormous book in every sense. It is a fabulously engrossing read and gives a vivid sense of wealth and poverty in late Regency London. It is , in a sense, a pastiche of Dickens, Collins etc but a tremendously interesting book in its own right and well above the level of 'mere' pastiche. I hugely enjoyed this book when I read it in 1994 and I have never forgotten it. I think it is time to read it again. PS I found Palliser's next novel, The Unburied, to be not nearly so good.


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