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davidstraylight@aol.com (Manchester, UK)

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Hold That Tiger
Hold That Tiger
Price: £35.02

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fierce and furious, 7 Jun. 2001
This review is from: Hold That Tiger (Audio CD)
For those of us unlucky enough to be regaled by our elders about the wonders of Sonic Youth live in the mid-80s whilst we were busy with cartoons, skateboards and BMXs, this is about as close as we can ever get to those halcyon days. Just about all of 'Sister' is here, and in far better shape than the muggy, hazy studio versions. From Steve Albini's bizarre introduction this record really doesn't let up in pace or volume, but still manages to illustrate the point in Sonic Youth's development when they wavered on the beautiful brink of melody and noise, order and chaos. It was about this time Bruce Russell of the Dead C saw them - and that's the genius of SY, that with every move they spun off whole new movements, ideas, and most importantly have exposed a generation of rock kids to the wonders of free jazz, noise, and improvisation - all of which is still true today, with a rejuvenated 5 piece SY fully recovered from the dark days of their early major label career.


End Zone
End Zone
by Don DeLillo
Edition: Paperback
Price: £11.54

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nuclear and personal MADness, 7 Jun. 2001
This review is from: End Zone (Paperback)
This is one of DeLillo's early books which seem to get little of the attention heaped on his more recent efforts post-White Noise. However, along with 'The Names' this is one of his best, with his characteristic love of language already fully formed.
In this case the comparison he makes is between the language of American football, and that of nuclear holocaust - an idea that reappears in the first section of 'Underworld'. As a geeky Brit I know next to nothing about American sports, so it must be a testament to DeLillo's talents as a literary stylist that I remained fascinated by the often lengthy descriptions of games.
The most fascinating aspect, however, is the examination of nuclear language. DeLillo's insights into the hinterlands of late 70s detente are profound, and pre-date respected postmodern critiques which are seen as intellectual masterpieces.
None of this should take away anything from the fact that this is a great read - full of humour and the joy of language.


HERZOG
HERZOG
by Saul Bellow
Edition: Paperback

14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A real grower!, 7 Jun. 2001
This review is from: HERZOG (Paperback)
The inner-workings of the mind of an aged American intellectual? Possibly not the most enticing prospect for an enjoyable read, but Bellow's skill in capturing *humanity* in all its variations pulls this off magnificently. Herzog is reminiscent of one of those displaced characters Nabokov created - trapped in an age that doesn't quite accept him, or vice versa. This relationship is even more interesting against the backdrop of the brief fetish of intellectualism in the Kennedy era. However, the real attraction of this book is Bellow's superlative ability to capture the essence of Herzog's increasingly fractured mind, taking the reader on a ride into his own personal world.


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