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Dawn View Drop Down
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  Quote Dawn Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Book Reviews.
    Posted: 19-Aug-2004 at 13:47
Thought I would start a thread for book reviews. Read a good one or a bad one,Fiction or Non Just jot down a few words telling us about it. Rate it from 1 to 5 stars. Make sure to mention Title ,Author and publishing date.

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  Quote Dawn Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19-Aug-2004 at 13:48

The Devils Crown: A History of Henry II and His Sons By :Richard Barber

Originally published by BBC 1978

This was an easy read although not overly long at 182 pages. It contained pictures, genealogy charts and some good maps. The general layout of the book was nice with its background material first and then discussions of each of the reigns in turn, written in language anyone could understand. The small index of supporting characters was also a good addition. The Further reading recommendation was a little short but adequate. The author makes some good points through out and doesnt seen to show undue favoritism. Over all his history seems to be accuratebut one could wish for a little more detail . Over all a good primer for someone looking for a starting place or a good quick refresher book for the more experienced

I would rate it *** And worth the read.

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  Quote Jr_Capablanca Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19-Aug-2004 at 16:03

Hello!

Augusty 1914 , by Alexandr Solzhenitsyn.

This thin piece of 500 pages is very entertaining  (and brilliantly written), if you like history. It`s about the battle of Tannenberg 1914, in witch the russians lost their entire 2nd army. I would rate it 5/5.

/Capa

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  Quote vagabond Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19-Aug-2004 at 22:03
Originally posted by Jr_Capablanca

Augusty 1914 , by Alexandr Solzhenitsyn.

Was very good - on the same subect I would also reccommend Barbara Tuchman's The Guns of August".

I have enjoyed almost everything of her's that I have read.

In the time of your life, live - so that in that wonderous time you shall not add to the misery and sorrow of the world, but shall smile to the infinite delight and mystery of it. (Saroyan)
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  Quote Dawn Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27-Aug-2004 at 13:50

The War of the Roses & The Princes in the Tower By Alison Weir Published 1995 & 1994

The books portray in great detail the pertinent events of the time period although the bias of the author clearly comes through in her analysis of the princes. She tends to disregard and not even mention numerous events and possibilities when it comes to them. For a more balanced look at the subject check Paul Kendallfs work. Over all the Authors style is a little bit choppy and is often over laden with detail and sometimes a difficult read. The war of the roses was the better of the two less riddled with biases. They are not necessarily for those that only have a casual interest it the subject but worth a look if you have a great interest.

I would rate them *** and ** stars respectively.

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  Quote Dawn Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26-Nov-2004 at 16:14

Having just finished a book thought I would revive this thread

Cutter"s Island by Vincent Panella

A work of fiction about the pirate capture of Julius Caesar. I cant say it was one of my favorites. I most redeeming quality was that it was short, only 190 pages. The authors style was choppy to say the least. If you were not familiar with the basics of Caesars life I dont think there would be congruency to the story. He jumped back and forth between present and past kind of like movie flash backs but giving no indication that is what he was doing. He portrays Caesar as a young, unsure of himself rich kid with almost a schizophrenic mind set, always slipping back into a fantasy involving Servilla. On the by and large I question his portals of the characters and dont think his style was very effective. Not one I would recommend. Rating 1/2*

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  Quote Belisarius Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24-Dec-2004 at 22:26

Sir Gawain and the Green Knight translated by Brian Stone

Brian Stone did a wonderful job translating this Middle English epic. The way he captures the spirit of the alliterative revival of the time Sir Gawain was written is very good. It is short, since it is in fact just a long poem. The Green Knight is mysterious and seems to symbolize just about everything. However, while the execution itself is great, the story itself leaves much to be desired. This Arthurian legend is not on par with the great epics like Beowulf, or the Iliad. This is not the fault of Brian Stone, as he did not write the story. The end leaves more loose ends than there are fish in the sea, and adds up as much as a subraction equation. Rating 3/5.

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  Quote J.M.Finegold Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01-Jan-2005 at 15:51
The Battle for Leningrad, 1941-1944, David M. Glantz, Kansas Press (2003)

Glantz, as an expert on the Eastern Front, provides a seven hundred page analysis of the epic siege which lasted a testing nine hundred days.  If you're a fan of the Second World War, and especially the Russo-German War The Battle for Leningrad, 1941-1944 is a must read.

Glantz uses Soviet archives and evidence detailing the battle, giving it an edge over other narratives, since he adds in the Soviet perspective, as well as the German perspective.  He also does very well in balancing out both sides to forge a more credible picture of the siege and battles that revolved around Leningrad.

David M. Glantz also provides an excellent picture of how the civilian population was treated, and how much hell they endured for Stalin to fight against the fascist invaders.

In short, it's a very good read, although if you're not a fan of long Second World War narratives, I don't suggest it.

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  Quote Vamun Tianshu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01-Jan-2005 at 18:30

 

A History of Japan:By Kenneth G. Henshall

First published in 1999

Though roughly fitting about lets say,15,000 years of history into 216 pages,including notes,poems and glossaries of japanese terms mentioned in the book,its actually quite satisfying if you're into japanese history.It condenses the history,but in a way in which you can fully understand what happend in the period itself,without giving the reader too much to read.The japanese myths introduced in the volume are a plus,and so are the notes,which offer far more insight.Kenneth puts in so much depth,and yet in so little number of pages.I read it often.

I would give it ****



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  Quote Temujin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02-Jan-2005 at 15:36

Originally posted by DuxPimpJuice


David M. Glantz also provides an excellent picture of how the civilian population was treated, and how much hell they endured for Stalin to fight against the fascist invaders.

well, one million starved in the city due to the siege. I even heard the use of The Leningrad Genocide lately...

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  Quote Dawn Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02-Jan-2005 at 16:12
Glad to see this tread being used so thought I would stiky it for a while in hopes it would continue.
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  Quote Tobodai Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09-Jan-2005 at 19:28
Originally posted by Vamun Tianshu

 

A History of Japan:By Kenneth G. Henshall

First published in 1999

Though roughly fitting about lets say,15,000 years of history into 216 pages,including notes,poems and glossaries of japanese terms mentioned in the book,its actually quite satisfying if you're into japanese history.It condenses the history,but in a way in which you can fully understand what happend in the period itself,without giving the reader too much to read.The japanese myths introduced in the volume are a plus,and so are the notes,which offer far more insight.Kenneth puts in so much depth,and yet in so little number of pages.I read it often.

I would give it ****

 

good stuff, I was looking for a concise japanese history book as I had recently realized all my Japanese history books are purely military in nature.

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  Quote Gubook Janggoon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24-Jan-2005 at 19:31
Waiting for Godot, By Samuel Beckett

Themes:  Pointlessness and Absurdity

I hated my self for reading this...but the crap sticks to you and now I'm quite fond of the play.  My favorite saying now is, "Nothing to be done..."

Read it.
Hate it.
Enjoy it.
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  Quote Tobodai Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02-Mar-2005 at 22:32

Originally posted by Gubukjanggoon

Waiting for Godot, By Samuel Beckett

Themes:  Pointlessness and Absurdity

I hated my self for reading this...but the crap sticks to you and now I'm quite fond of the play.  My favorite saying now is, "Nothing to be done..."

Read it.
Hate it.
Enjoy it.

 

oh no youve been pretentified!!!!!!!!!!!!

That play is so bad, yet everyone but me that reads it thinks its the greatest thing....ohhhh i hate that play SO much!  Not only is it boring, but people that like it think its full of meaning and if you dont agree with them you must be stupid or not getting it, well I understand full well that the point is there is no point, and that would be fine on its own if the play wasnt so dman boring............

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I have learned to hold popular opinion of no value."
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  Quote Qnzkid711 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04-Mar-2005 at 17:49
I, Claudius: *****(5/5)
Robert Graves
1934

I, Claudius is one of this centuries best books. The book revolves around the first royal family of the Roman Empire, the Julio-Caludian dynasty. All the events are seen through the eyes of Tiberius Claudius. Claudius was born prematurely. he drools,shakes, has uneven leg(one bigger than the other) and walked in a perpetual limp. he is dismissed by his family as an idiot and as useless.  This book is filled with murder, suicide, betrayals, incest. Anyone who is seen as a threat is killed. Claudius, due to his families view of him, is one of the only people to survive all this. He survives Livia, who kills just about all to get her son to be Augustus heir, Tiberius, son of Livia, who is a perverted paranoid  and Caligula, the mad emperor to become Emperor himself in 41A.D.


Claudius The God: And his wife Messalina ****(4/5)
Robert graves
1935


 I gave this book a 4/5 when compared to its predecessor but on its own its still an amazing book. Not quite as intriguing as I, Claudius, Claudius the God tells the story of Claudius administration. beginning around the time of Caligula's death and going until th very end when he is poisoned by his own wife and niece, Agrippinilla. The book tells the accounts of Claudius reforms to the Senate and his conquest of Britannia. It follows the intrigues of his third wife Messalina, whom I would underrate if I called a slut. It is a great book. While it is not as interesting as I, Claudius it is still an amazing book that will get your emotions running.






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  Quote Dawn Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06-Mar-2005 at 11:44
Thanks for the reveiw . Feel free to add more comments here http://yiannis95.brinkster.net/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=125 3&PN=1 to our ongonig discussion about I claudius.
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  Quote Tobodai Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16-Mar-2005 at 18:11

ahh just finished 2 books of interest, Castles fo Steel: Britain Germany and the Great war at Sea, by the same guy that wrote the great Peter the Great biography...whats his name..I dont know because the book is not with me at the moment.  Very good, written like its not a textbook as a narrative, naval combat afficianados like me will very much enjoy both the attention to technical background and tactical appraisal.

The other book I finished was REALLY good for those of you who like Guns Germs and Steel type books.  Civilizations by Fellipe (something) Arnesto takes a look at many human civs by dividing them up not based on time line or culture, but by environment.  Thus Ethiopia and Tibet are in the same chapter etc.  Tracking the common threads of human experience and culture based on teh environment which you live.  Covers woodlands, jungle, islands, steppe, highlands, desert, river valleys etc...very good.  Lots of stuff abgout the Indian Ocean, which after reading this book I became convinced in the worlds most important geographic feature.

Right now Im halfway through Meiji and his world, its a very long book and Ill post what I think about it when I am done. 

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I have learned to hold popular opinion of no value."
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  Quote rider Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19-Apr-2005 at 10:44

The Deluge by Henryk Sienkiewicz

The magnificent book about the Polsih reacotions in the Ukrainian part of the Commonwealth by the time of Swedszka Rokosza-Swedish Invasion. It is quite nice and may be known as a sequel to a book what's name I can't translate... (It is basically With the Fire and the Sword but I bet it is not for englsih names are confusing...)

Deluge aswell looks more closely to the Siege of Chestowa(???) during the Deluge and the continueing battles to drive the Swedish out. One of the main characters is Duke of Lithuania who rose against the King.

Rating 5/5.

PS: Sorry about the names. I read it so long ago and remember only a few of the names.

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  Quote poirot Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25-May-2005 at 14:23
I read Waiting For Godot in high school years ago but could not make any sense of it because I rushed through it during the last week.  If anyone can tell me what Beckett meant... That and The Stranger.
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  Quote mord Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13-Jun-2005 at 10:16

The problem with reading "Waiting for Godot" is that it's a play...while I enjoyed reading it.  I had a better time seeing the play.  Oddly enough, Beckett's jokes come thourgh better when they are performed

Qua, qua, qua!

I'll be back!

Mord.

errr...left turn at vinland?
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