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Hugo Perks (UK)

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The Hare with Amber Eyes: A Hidden Inheritance
The Hare with Amber Eyes: A Hidden Inheritance
by Edmund de Waal
Edition: Hardcover

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Prize-winner!, 13 Jan. 2011
This book is getting so much critical attention at the moment that it seems almost unnecessary to commend it. Edmund de Waal turns out to be a craftsman with words as well as with clay: this is a breathtakingly beautifully written book. And lest anyone imagines that the book is merely concerned with family history (but what an extraordinary family history it is) it should be stressed that is written with a broad brush and illuminates a great many strands of modern European history. It is a book to be read compulsively at one sitting and then returned to.

A Short History Of Myth (Myths)
A Short History Of Myth (Myths)
by Karen Armstrong
Edition: Hardcover

13 of 16 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars One star or less, 7 Mar. 2010
This book reads as if it were written in a hurry to meet a publisher's deadline and, as the references show, draws on a very limited number of sources. The further one gets into the book the less clear seems the author's concept of what myths involve and there is very little to support the dubious proposition that a myth is stripped of its power 'without the transforming ritual that goes with it.'

The book is full of generalisations and unsupported assertions. Can we really be so certain about the role and nature of myth in the Palaeolithic era? What evidence is there for the fact that the declining power of the myth and the move towards a religion that was 'more streamlined, efficient and modern' was responsible for the fact that Luther himself 'was prey to agonizing depressions and paroxysms of rage'? Little or no evidence is offered for the statement that until the modern age 'it had been myth that had given structure and meaning to life.'

Perhaps a serious book on the history of myth should have an index?

by Joe Treasure
Edition: Paperback
Price: £10.99

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Totally besotted, 7 Mar. 2010
This review is from: Besotted (Paperback)
This is an astonishly engrossing and well-crafted book. A dozen or more characters are so well drawn that they positively leap off the page; and the narrative bursts with energy but is ravelled and unravelled so skillfully that it reaches a credible and entirely satisfying conclusion. This ought to feature at the top of the best Fiction of 2010 lists.

Ideas: A history from fire to Freud
Ideas: A history from fire to Freud
by Peter Watson
Edition: Hardcover

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An eye-opener of a book, 16 Aug. 2009
The mind boggles at the amount of reading Peter Watson must have done before he embarked on writing this book. However, despite the huge range of ideas and controversies, the book is eminently readable with almost every page offering intriguing information and insights. Why did early man give up the easy life as a hunter gatherer (five hours work a day required) to become a farmer with endless hours of back-breaking work? Yes: now I come to think about it, Mr Watson, that is a fascinating question...... Don't be daunted by the size and weight of the book. It's an absorbing read.

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