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Dr. J. Gold (London, UK)
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The Guns of August
The Guns of August
by Barbara Tuchman
Edition: Paperback
Price: £10.68

5.0 out of 5 stars ACCURATE HISTORICISM, 11 Oct. 2014
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This review is from: The Guns of August (Paperback)
Truly, a classical rendering of historic events as they occurred combining an encyclopaedic and insightful wisdom of the main origin and scenario of the main events written in style which is as proficient as it is scrupluous.


The essays or counsels civil and moral and Wisdom of the ancients
The essays or counsels civil and moral and Wisdom of the ancients
by Francis, 1561-1626,Bacon, Francis, 1561-1626. De sapientia veterum. English. 1845,Montagu, Basil, 1770-1851,Holme (bookplate) Bacon
Edition: Paperback

5.0 out of 5 stars A revelation from the Past, 11 Oct. 2014
A unique and extraordinary version of the depths of insight held at that time. Enormously impressive.


Moscow Bound (The Puppet Meisters Trilogy)
Moscow Bound (The Puppet Meisters Trilogy)
by Adrian Churchward
Edition: Paperback
Price: £9.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars RUSSIAN ROULETTE, 3 Jun. 2014
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This is a deeply, well-plotted espionage novel which more than matches any other I have read in a long time. The story is convoluted and one has to concentrate to follow the problems which beset the hero, Scott Mitchell, a British Human Rights Lawyer living in Moscow.
The author, Adrian Churchward, clearly has an encyclopaedic knowledge of Moscow and things Russian. We get furtive insights into the internal conflicts between the various Russian Intelligence Services and glimpses of the distorted world in which they play out their venomous activities; these are mixed in with the power and ruthless anarchy of the oligarchs. The pace of the story builds up as does the suspense.
Scott Mitchell’s adventures are labyrinthine and compelling: just the combination to make this a very exciting thriller which, once you start it, you cannot put down.


The Adulteress
The Adulteress
by Noelle Harrison
Edition: Paperback

5.0 out of 5 stars A ROMANTIC TOUR DE FORCE, 13 Mar. 2012
This review is from: The Adulteress (Paperback)
This is a glorious book written in an intriguing style as much to relate the intertwined narratives as to engross the reader to compulsively turn the pages to discover what ultimately happens. There are two love stories which initially appear to be mutually parallel but which are, instead mysteriously related; this romanticism turns insidiously into an enigma whereupon the unsolved secrets only gradually begin to unfold. Uncertainty prevails for much of the book and it requires close reading.
The poetic descriptions in the text and the emotions surrounding the protagonists are beautifully depicted by Noëlle Harrison as we gradually discover the true existential nature of the characters and begin to become involved with them. Certainly, all is not what it seems. This is done with an exquisite but sure hand allowing the drama to unfold itself in snippets of information during which time the empathy for the characters builds up until it bursts and the tension is released.
A veritable tour de force!


Carnal Cousins: Watford USA
Carnal Cousins: Watford USA
by Lynn Phillips
Edition: Paperback

5.0 out of 5 stars FAMILY PLEASURES - ANGLO-AMERICAN STYLE, 19 Aug. 2011
This is an enchanting narrative which details the adventures of a rather sexy policewoman, Greta on holiday from Watford in search of her American family in San Diego. She discovers her American relatives - and much, much else. She even manages to solve an old family murder into the bargain!
Her adventures are amusing and written in a delightfully casual style with great originality by Lynn Phillips who has the ability to make Greta's rediscovery of her family into a mystery on several different levels. Our heroine is a charming, naieve young woman who manages to have an enthralling time in San Diego - and, thanks to the author's disarmingly intimate style of first person narration, we are able to share in the mysteries, excitement and emotions which she encounters.
We get a narrative picture of America and Americans, their vicissitudes, portraits of the local people and the differences in their language and culture, to ours. An amusing story, lightly written but always intriguing!


What Philosophy Does
What Philosophy Does
by Richard C. Lindley
Edition: Paperback

4.0 out of 5 stars INTRODUCTION WITH MOTIVATION & INSPIRATION, 13 Oct. 2010
This review is from: What Philosophy Does (Paperback)
This might be an old book (my copy dates back to 1978) but it does not fail to inspire upon re-reading. Although it is an introduction to philosophy, it covers a wide scope of subjects and it discusses and reveals philosophy in an accessible manner which touches upon relevancy wherever possible. It provides virtually all that one needs to generate a feeling and enthusiasm about the philosophical outlook: it instructs in a way which stimulates further interest and the desire to look further.
After more than 30 years, it dwarfs most comparable modern introductory books. That says something.


Diary of a Misplaced Philosopher
Diary of a Misplaced Philosopher
by Joseph North
Edition: Hardcover

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars WORTHY OF THE TITLE, 1 Oct. 2010
Although I read this book over ten years ago, I thought it worthy of reading again. This is because there are many insights and nuances and an occasional brilliant use of language. The author - whomever he really is - has a dry sense of humour and an extraordinary sense of language; there is a deliberate admixture of description, prose, metaphor and even faux-banality which serves to heighten the humour.
The characterisations of the cast are finely tuned and credible. Their interactions are readily accessible in that they are entirely understandable and well observed.
The humour, throughout the book, is dry, subtle and, because of its rare ingenuity, thoroughly enticing.


I Remember
I Remember
by Noelle Harrison
Edition: Paperback

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars MEMORY AND DISCOVERY, 6 Sept. 2010
This review is from: I Remember (Paperback)
I have just completed reading Noëlle's book: I Remember: it's a literary coalescence of several types of fiction: a story of adolescent evolution and passage into adulthood, a romantic odyssey concealing within it a dark edge revealing the sudden and random unanticipated events in life which occur and produce life-altering changes. The story spans both Sligo in Ireland and the Camargue in the Languedoc. There is, in such a vividly wide span, much intriguing variation which seems to encompass elements of the soft romanticism of Mills & Boon, the erotic psychosexual hints of Pauline Réage and even some of the brutish sexual misogyny of Henry Miller. This combination is quite brilliant especially since Noëlle Harrison is able to move the narrative both forwards and back with seamless ease and so obtain the maximum dramatic effect. The figurative and descriptive prose is very poetic indeed although I found the resolving psychology at the end strained plausibility - especially where it embedded in sentimental and Irish myth. This is a truly superb book which is compelling and which I enjoyed immensely.


Liberty in the Age of Terror: A Defence of Civil Society and Enlightenment Values
Liberty in the Age of Terror: A Defence of Civil Society and Enlightenment Values
by A. C. Grayling
Edition: Paperback

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars TO THINK - OR TO ACCEPT, 1 Dec. 2009
The arguments for the establishment and sustenance of Liberties and Freedoms are well rehearsed here. There is nothing which might upset the servants or the animals. What there is, however, is a cogent rephrasing and reminding of what we have achieved in the West in terms of social cohesion by respecting the first principles of Democracy - or variations of these. There is also the menacing idea of just how we are destroying these principles in the name of security. Grayling is at his most appealing when he speaks, understandably, of our continued non-thinking inertia, the surrendering of liberties and freedoms due to our complacency: a perception of which is not lost on any of the ruling political classes. I think that he over-emphazises this but, then again, perhaps he is right. If we are losing our rights and liberties in what is classed as an age of terror, then it is surely a moment for deep reflection. And that is what Grayling appears to be inciting us to do.

The second half of the book is concerned with the varying perceptions of liberality which are endorsed - or otherwise - by other philosophers. This is a cogent and necessary reminder of what other political philosophers have to say. Grayling has summarised their views and it is up to the reader to determine whether he has been accurate and fair in this project. His comments and conclusions regarding his resumé are, by nature, arbitrary and peremptory. All the same, I believe that, he has got things broadly right.

This is a superb book: it is a polemic which informs you, provokes you to think and then makes you question the current political orthodoxy which we are - until now, impassively accepting - or worse, unaware.


How to Be an Existentialist
How to Be an Existentialist
by Gary Cox
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £15.00

21 of 26 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars AUTHENTICITY AND BAD FAITH, 6 Nov. 2009
This could have been a truly uplifting, intriguing and informative book. It isn't simply because the author cannot make up his mind what sort of a book it should be: an explication of the fundamental tenets and implications of existentialism, a DIY manual of self-improvement or a comic look at the lighter side of existentialism - one of those 'Beginner's Guides' kinds without the graphics.
In this context, the long and rather crass title and subtitle does not help. Indeed, in view of the superior academic quality of some of the text, it is clearly misleading.
The book reviews existentialism, its theories, its origins, its authors - and it does this, for the most part in the first half of the book, in an exemplary manner with scholarship and reasonably good concision.
However, after halfway through the book, there is a dramatic change in style and the author starts to ramble with no good reason and then plunges into what becomes almost an impenetrable text. He does not fully explain the technical terms he uses but, instead, repeats and re-repeats these somewhat clichéd phrases, perhaps in the hope that if he repeats them enough, their meanings will be revealed. They aren't.
This is a hopelessly verbose book written in a circumlocutory style with good intentions and sufficient knowledge but it urgently requires a valiant and committed editor.
Perhaps, the author should identify what sort of readership he is addressing. Or would that limit his choice and thus open him up to critical opinions of bad faith?
The book is definitely worth reading.
Comment Comments (5) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Apr 15, 2015 9:37 PM BST


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