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Amazonian (Macclesfield)

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Dracula, Prince of Many Faces: His Life and His Times
Dracula, Prince of Many Faces: His Life and His Times
by Radu Florescu
Edition: Paperback
Price: £10.79

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It's nice to put a face to the legend, 17 July 2014
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I have been searching for a book on Vlad the Impaler for some time, and most seem to be based in fiction or are very short, this book however is a very detailed account of the real Dracula.
This is a relatively short book, but is enough at around 240 pages, you get a detailed account of Vlads parentage, in that of Dracul. The authors explain very well how he got into power, not once not twice but three times during his lifetime. The authors also go into explaining the political and geopolitical circumstances at the time of the Impaler, and the struggle against the Turks.
The authors also attempt to look into the mind of Vlad and see his intentions in his actions and give a great account of the many atrocities that the man inflicted, to the forest of the impaled that scared away even the sultan, to boiling a gypsy alive in a cauldron and forcing his tribe to eat him.
The authors touch on the fictional side of Dracula, the stories and legends that encircle him, such as the mysterious disappearance of his body in his grave and the curse of Dracula at Castle Dracula. And also tells us about Bram Stokers novel and the inspiration he got from the Impaler to create his notorious blood sucker in the night.
If someone were to ask me to recommend them a book that just wanted the details about Vlad the Impaler and wanted to just know about him, then I would recommend them this book. I am not a historian in any sense and have not read much into Vlad beforehand, but I found this book very interesting and a very good account of history. I would have also read Bram Stokers Dracula beforehand so the last couple of chapters are not wasted on you.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Apr 22, 2017 10:47 PM BST

A Universe From Nothing
A Universe From Nothing
by Lawrence M. Krauss
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.09

5.0 out of 5 stars Well written science book that starts to answer the future big questions, 17 July 2014
This is a very well written science book that goes on to explain why there is something rather than nothing. Krauss goes into dark energy, dark matter, the Big Bang theory, inflation and other aspects of quantum theory in relatively laymen's terms that are easy to follow. He also lays out the evidence for each of these aspects and conveys them well enough that you could explain it to someone yourself.
But the major part of this book and a minor theme that runs throughout the book is, how did the universe come from nothing? Krauss' theory is very elegant and interesting, and with the new results that are being discovered at the moment that are to do with inflation, a big part of Krauss' theory, his answer as to how the universe came from nothing may be taken very seriously in years to come.
This book can somewhat fit into the series of books that follow an atheistic theme, along with Richard Dawkins The God Delusion, Daniel Dennett Breaking the Spell, Sam Harris A Letter to a Christian Nation and Christopher Hitchens God is not Great. This is the physics version of the atheist book, where the others focus on biology, philosophy, neuroscience and morality.
To conclude, this book is a short but good read into physics and questions that are being asked in the field at this present time, prior knowledge of physics isn't totally necessary to enjoy the book but is recommended if you want a complete understanding of what Krauss is saying.

The Black Hole War: My Battle with Stephen Hawking to Make the World Safe for Quantum Mechanics
The Black Hole War: My Battle with Stephen Hawking to Make the World Safe for Quantum Mechanics
by Leonard Susskind
Edition: Paperback
Price: £12.99

5.0 out of 5 stars An enjoyable book on physics, 21 April 2013
Susskind is one of the most brilliant and intelligent theoretical physicists of our age and battles one of the most well known physicists, Stephen Hawking. In his book he describes Hawkings theory of black holes and how his theory that information falls into black holes and evaporates away through Hawking radiation, could shake the very foundations of physics.
If no one was to challenge this, a fundamental law of conservation of energy would be violated.
Susskind in this book walks you through step by step through the illogical conclusions to Hawkings theory. He uses little mathematics for none physicists except for a few necessary equations which are easy to grasp like calculating the entropy of a black hole.
He also proposes the three theories that would prove Hawkings theory wrong, these are:
Black hole complimentarity
Alice's aeroplane
Holographic principle
These may seem complicated but Susskind does a brilliant job in explaining these difficult concepts in the most simple terms along with string theory, quantum mechanics and general theory of relativity.
I recommend reading this book for an insight into one of the great physics debates of the last 30 years and for an in depth and simple explanation of some of the basic and necessary concepts in physics.

The Trial of Henry Kissinger
The Trial of Henry Kissinger
by Christopher Hitchens
Edition: Hardcover

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An eye opening polemic, 21 April 2013
An excellent polemic by one of Britains most brilliant polemicists. Before reading this book I had little knowledge of Kissinger, so I had researched him before I started reading this. I had learnt the basics of him then started to read this book. Hitchens clearly and strongly lays out the arguments and facts about Kissinger crimes. His sabotaging of the 1968 election between Richard Nixon and Hubert Humphrey, his war crimes in Indochina, his assassination on the Chilean general Rene Scheinder and his supply of American weapons to the Indonesians to use on the people of East Timor.
After finishing the book there is such a substantial amount of evidence in Hitchens book from transcripts to letters that Kissinger is without a doubt one of the worlds most famous unindicted war criminals of the 20th century and needs, as Hitchens so elegantly describes in his book, to be put to trial and answer for the crimes he has committed against humanity.
Hitchens writing style is a joy to read and is written in a way that even a novice as I am in the subject to understand. Along with his other polemics against Mother Teresa and Bill Clinton (which I would recommend), I would glady read this book again and recommended to anyone interested in American foreign policy and anyone who is not aware of the skeletons in Kissingers closet that he likes to keep so quite as he rots away into history.

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