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Kelly Monaghan "The Intrepid Traveler" (Branford, CT USA)

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Mr Foote's Other Leg: Comedy, tragedy and murder in Georgian London
Mr Foote's Other Leg: Comedy, tragedy and murder in Georgian London
by Ian Kelly
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £18.99

12 of 19 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating Topic Poorly Served, 15 Oct. 2012
Samuel Foote was quite a guy but, despite obviously prodigious research, Ian Kelly fails to bring him fully to life.

A major stumbling block is Kelly's awkward and convoluted prose style and his odd way of laying out his story and introducing new characters. Oh, for an editor of fire!

Too bad, because he has some interesting points to make -- Foote as the first stand-up, the birth of celebrity culture, Georgian London as a harbinger of the modern media age, and so forth. I especially enjoyed his observation that a penchant for cross-dressing and transvestism is not necessarily a sign of homosexuality but merely of "Britishness."

I found the backmatter annoyingly fragmented and don't look to the footnotes for an amplification of an interesting point. They are strictly book and page references, which require further digging through several bibliographies. Then, too, some sources mentioned in the text are absent from the backmatter.

In spite of it all, I kept reading because Foote and his era are so fascinating. Devotees of Georgian literature and social history will find much of interest here, but theatre buffs, like myself, looking for a sprightly recounting of an offbeat life may find it heavy going.
Comment Comments (5) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Sep 27, 2013 12:59 AM BST

What did the baby boomers ever do for us?: Why the Children of the Sixites Lived the Dream and Failed the Future
What did the baby boomers ever do for us?: Why the Children of the Sixites Lived the Dream and Failed the Future
by Francis Beckett
Edition: Paperback

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Chronicle of a legacy betrayed, 1 July 2011
Francis Beckett does a masterful job of summarizing and analyzing 60-odd years of British cultural, social, and political history.

Beckett cheerfully admits that he has cherrypicked bits and pieces of that history to make his case. Still it will be hard for anyone, regardless of their political leanings, to dismiss his central thesis: That we baby boomers are bequeathing to our posterity a world far meaner and less hopeful than the one we were handed by our immediate forebears. More open to debate is where the blame lies. Beckett assembles the suspects and assigns guilt with Poirot-like aplomb.

It's a downbeat assessment that's delivered with a great deal of charm and understated wit. Beckett's account of a floor fight over abortion rights at a National Union of Journalists annual convention, to cite just one small example, is laugh out loud funny. Whether you wind up agreeing with Beckett or not, I can't imagine you won't enjoy the ride.

As an American reader, I found the parallels with what is happening in my own country both eerie and appalling. For any of my fellow countrymen who want to know how Britain got to where she is today, this book will prove a reliable baedeker.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jan 16, 2013 1:52 PM GMT

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