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    Harry Potter Hardcover Boxed Set (Books 1-4)
    by J. K. Rowling, Mary GrandPré
    Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
    Hardcover (01 November, 2001)
    list price: $85.80
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    Editorial Review

    Young wizard-in-training Harry Potter has had his hands full during hisfirst four years at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. As if excellingon and off the Quidditch field isn't enough, Harry has heard evil voices in thewalls, saved lives, and fended off convicts. Only time will tell how Harry willmanage the certain dangers in store for him over the next few years. The firstfour titles of J.K. Rowling's magical, witty, exciting adventures are nowavailable in a gift set, perfect for the legions of children whose big brothersand sisters (and parents) have made off with their copies. These grippingfantasy novels are on the road to becoming classics--don't wait to collect theselovely hardcover editions, illustrated by the talented Mary GrandPré.Each boxed set includes Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, HarryPotter and the Chamber of Secrets, Harry Potter and the Prisoner ofAzkaban, and Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. (Ages 8 and older)--Emilie Coulter ... Read more


    • Box set
    Reviews (421)

    5-0 out of 5 stars simply the best...
    cant help but to give two thumbs up...it's nice to read a story about a mother's love, great friendship, story with atwist and humor and most especially with a plot and setting that definitely would take your imaginations to the highest level in one package...so hold on to your seats and be ready for the stories that this extraordinaire would leave you spellbound!!!

    5-0 out of 5 stars What can I say?
    It's Harry Potter, what can I say?It's the series that got kids reading again.Everyone knows the plot.A boy wizard named Harry grew up with his cruel muggle (non-magic) aunt and uncle after his parents were killed in a car crash. At the age of 11 he's informed that he's a wizard, and that an evil wizard named Lord Voldemort murdered his parents and very nearly killed him.His aunt and uncle dissaproved of the world of magic and tried to keep everything a secret from Harry.He's taken away to live at a castle called Hogwarts, a school for young witches and wizards where he befriends the studious, proper Hermione Granger, and Ron Weasly, a poor boy who lives in the shadow of his brothers Charlie, Percy, Bill, and Fred and George.In book 1, Harry arrives at Hogwarts and finds that someone there is secretly trying to destroy him and is hiding a VERY big secret from the rest of the school.

    In book 2, an unknown assailant is attacking students and everyone thinks Harry's doing it.We learn that no less than THREE characters are not what they seem.We are also introduced to Ron's younger sister Ginny, who has a crush on Harry.

    In book 3, a murderous madman is on the loose and seems to be coming after Harry. But who, exactly is he?And the very LAST character you'd ever suspect of being evil reveals his true self.

    In book 4, Harry is enrolled in the Triwizard Tournament, where three different magical schools select students to compete in daring, dangerous tests of school.Harry also attends the Quidditch world cup with the Weasleys and has a frightening run in with Voldemort and his servant in a graveyard.One character is tragically killed (I actually cried) at Voldemort's hand.

    Book 4 is probably my favorite, along with 1, but there's really no such thing as a bad Harry Potter book.The movies are fantastic as well, and the sixth book is due out in a few months.

    5-0 out of 5 stars works of art
    These books are the best I've ever read.I'm 25 years old and I find myself anxiously awaiting the next book in the series.After each book you really feel as though you've spent a school year with these characters.They are a must read for any fantasy fan.Surely these books will go down in history as classic works of great fiction.The author truly understands how to develop characters, you will find yourself genuinely caring about what happens to them.Congratulations to the author for creating a series that has been, and I'm sure will continue to be enjoyed by millions around the world. ... Read more

    Isbn: 0439249546
    Subjects:  1. Action & Adventure    2. Children's 9-12 - Fiction - Fantasy    3. Children: Grades 2-3    4. Humorous Stories    5. Juvenile Fiction    6. School & Education    7. Science Fiction, Fantasy, & Magic   

    Little House (9 Books, Boxed Set)
    by Laura Ingalls Wilder, Garth Williams
    Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
    Paperback (30 May, 1994)
    list price: $62.91 -- our price: $39.63
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    • Box set
    Reviews (82)

    5-0 out of 5 stars A Series to Grow With
    I guess I was around 4 years old when I met Laura and her family for the first time.My mother read Little House in the Big Woods and Little House on the Prairie to me.I was instantly in love with the Ingalls's adventures.Not long after, Mom bought me the box set.
    By the time I was ready to grow out of the first 2 books, I could read reasonably well.This is how I grew up with these books.This is what I learned to read on.

    Big Woods and Prairie are the first 2 books in this series.Laura is about age 4 thru 7.Laura shows you her home in the wild Big Woods; and where she and her sister Mary play.She tells you about how they get their food; Pa hunts for meat and Ma can cook just about anything over an open fire.
    Now more and more people are settling in the Big Woods.The wild animals won't stay where so many people are, and neither will the Ingalls!They pack up their belongings in a covered wagon and head into the unknown West.
    They travel from Wisconsin all the way to Kansas Territory in that wagon, camping out under the stars the whole way.The trip alone is quite an adventure! Pa finally finds the land he's been looking for, and he builds his family a home.
    They spend a year of happiness in Kansas until the American Government tells Pa that he has settled there illegally.Kansas was still Indian Territory, and the Ingalls had to leave.

    On the Banks of Plum Creek and By the Shores of Silver Lake are the next 2 in the series.
    When the Ingalls left Kansas, they backtracked, and then went to Minnesota.The eventually settled near the town of Walnut Grove, which is where the T.V. series takes place in.It's in this town where Mary looses her vision due to an illness, and Laura really begins to grow.
    Walnut Grove becomes crowded, and Pa wants to go West again.He leaves his family at home and takes a job with the railroad to the then unsettled Dakota Territory.After securing some work and finding his land, he sends for his family.He and Ma have 4 daughters now, Mary, Laura, Carrie, and Grace.They settle in Dakota right next to Silver Lake, and Pa is content to move no more.

    The Long Winter and Little Town on the Prairie are years of complete change for Laura.
    The family suffers miserably but heroically through a devastating winter, which reminds us that a loving, trusting family can help us through the darkest hours. In this book we get a little peek into the life of another settler snowbound in the area.His name is Almanzo Wilder.
    Spring comes and the hard winter is over.Laura has come out of it grown up.She is more mature and more thoughtful, although she still manages to get herself into some innocent trouble.
    Laura takes a job in town sewing shirts, where she catches the eye of Mr. Almanzo Wilder.

    These Happy Golden Years and The first Four Years are the last 2 books in the series.
    Laura gets a terrifying job teaching kids bigger and older than her.Almanzo is busy getting a little house built so he and Laura can marry. They court for a few years before finally having a simple wedding.The first years of marriage are not what they expected, and there were more tragedies than anything.Laura and Almanzo get through it all with a great understanding of love and friendship.

    Highly recommended, you will read these books for a good part of your life.


    5-0 out of 5 stars Ahhh, now THIS is writing at its best:-)
    Previous reviewers have stated it more eloquently than I, but these books are a national treasure.Modern-day writers would do well to go back and reread the Little House series; perhaps they could learn a thing or two about writing with class and timeless style.Thank heaven for you, Laura Ingalls Wilder!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Must read for every person young and old
    When I was young I was an avid watcher of the tv show.On my breaks from school I would get up early in the mornings while most kids my age were still sleeping and would watch the show.I wanted to be Laura Ingalls.

    When I was in the 4th grade, my teacher began reading us the "Little House" books after recess.That was my favorite.I started buying the books when I would go to the flea market so that I could read along in class.When the school year was over we had not finished all the books but had made it through half the series.I still continued to buy the books, but I always made sure I finished them in order, and would not buy another book until I had finished the previous one.

    Now 15 years later, I still dream of being Laura Ingalls Wilder, and falling in love with my own Almonzo Wilder.On a quiet night I still find myself grabbing the books and starting over.These books take us back to a time the we can never really imagine living in.But with the beautiful picture that Mrs. Wilder painted with her words we all find ourselves becoming Laura Elizabeth Ingalls. ... Read more

    Isbn: 0064400409
    Sales Rank: 952
    Subjects:  1. Children's 9-12 - Fiction - Historical    2. Children: Grades 4-6    3. Classics    4. Fiction    5. Frontier and pioneer life    6. Historical - General    7. Juvenile Fiction    8. Short Stories    9. Juvenile Fiction / Classics   


    The Steinbeck Centennial Collection:The Grapes of Wrath, Of Mice and Men, East of Eden, The Pearl, Cannery Row, Travels With Charley, In Search of America (Boxed Set)
    by John Steinbeck
    Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
    Paperback (01 January, 2002)
    list price: $78.00 -- our price: $49.14
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    Reviews (9)

    5-0 out of 5 stars A wonderful collection
    I just finished <> in my reading class,we even had discussed the similarities between Lennie and Forest Gump,and the differences between Steibeck's concise style and Hemingway's typical terseness.Afterward,I ordered <>,checked <>from my high school liabary.And now,you got a chance to read all of his masterpieces in the same time.I respectfully recommanded you to looked at Steinbeck's novels based upon Salina Valley,CA,his hometown,a heavenly countryside throughout the spiritial world of the master writter.I think Steinbeck's distinguishment is that he reflected two worlds in a character,both historically and mentally.Of course,he had written an epic with roustic American speciality.

    3-0 out of 5 stars The Pearl
    There was a poor family in La Paz, in a small village. Kino and Juana had a son name Coyotito.
    One day, Coyotito was pinched by a scorpion, but his parents did not have enough money to pay for the medication. They unexpectily found a big pearl from the sea, so they decided to sell it and use the money to save Coyotito. Unfortunately, no one was willing to pay a decent price for the pearl. Since the price offer in the village was not enough to pay for the medication, the couple then decide to go to the capital and hoped to find a better buyer who was willing to offer a better price. Although the parent knew better that there would be many obstacles and problem throughout the journey, their love for their son gave them bravery motivation tomove on.
    The story is very interesting, but the topic is not my favorite. The story is described in detail and it gives me many images as I read on. Therefore,I would give this ***.

    3-0 out of 5 stars The Pearl
    There was a poor family in La Paz, in a small village. Kino and Juana had a son name Coyotito.
    One day, Coyotito was pinched by a scorpion, but his parents did not have enough money to pay for the medication. They unexpectily found a big pearl from the sea, so they decided to sell it and use the money to save Coyotito. Unfortunately, no one was willing to pay a decent price for the pearl. Since the price offer in the village was not enough to pay for the medication, the couple then decide to go to the capital and hoped to find a better buyer who was willing to offer a better price. Although the parent knew better that there would be many obstacles and problem throughout the journey, their love for their son gave them bravery motivation tomove on.
    The story is very interesting, but the topic is not my favorite. The story is described in detail and it gives me many images as I read on. Therefore,I would give this ***. ... Read more

    Isbn: 0147716756
    Sales Rank: 25201
    Subjects:  1. Classics    2. Fiction    3. Literary    4. Literature - Classics / Criticism   


    A Dream of Red Mansions (4-Volume Boxed Set)
    by Cao Xueqin, Gao E., Yang Xianyi
    Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
    Paperback (01 January, 2001)
    list price: $44.95 -- our price: $38.21
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    • Box set
    Reviews (9)

    3-0 out of 5 stars nice if you actually read chinese
    i have not read a different translation of this book by a different translator. this is not a typical review but a comment about the method of translation, pinyin. and i, with difficulty, have not finished reading. here's why:

    if you are an english speaking person, or english educated you will have difficulty in pronouncing chinese names of places and people romanized by the pinyin method.

    the pinyin method is only immediately/"instinctively" useable for the chinese speaking/reading person tongued with foreknowledge.

    to a non-chinese speaking/reading person pinyin is pinyin-hell. because you *never* know how to say it in 4 or 5 different ways.

    even if you have heard how one pinyin name is correctly pronounced you are still guessing when you come across names spelt similarly.

    then, for the uninitiated, there is hope to be found in a set of "pinyin rules" (over 30 - oh joy!) where by one can amuse oneself with, repetitively, before embarking on reading pinyin books.

    these rules are quite "un-natural" or to put in kindly - foreign - to the english-speaking tongue.

    here are a few taken from the web:
    qConsonant "ch" as in cheek
    uVowels "oo" as in too
    ue Diphthong as "i" in ship
    ui Diphthong pronounced as wee
    v Consonant used only to pronounce foreign words The Chinese have great difficulty pronouncing the V.
    w Consonant as in want
    x Consonants "sh" as in she
    y Consonant as in yet
    z Consonant as in zero
    zh Consonant "j" as in jump

    most pinyin-translations do not provide such a list of rules or coach readers in this matter, or explain how it is suppose to work.

    again from the web:
    Putonghua (mandrin) , the national dialect has four tones. The Cantonese dialect has the most, with nine. In the four tones of putonghua , the word "ma"

    The first tone (flat) "ma" in means "mother."
    The second tone (rising) "ma" can mean "numb" or "hemp."
    The third tone "ma" the voice dips and then rises, means "horse."
    The fourth tone "ma" starts high and falls abruptly, means "to scold."

    did that clarify the rules or compounded the difficulty?

    frustrations runs high and runs often. everytime a pinyin name comes up i cringe which is like every other sentence.

    for the casual reader, how close or by what degree it agree with the original language is hardly the key to successful reading or its enjoyment. if you seriously want to learn all the subtle tones i suggest you take up mandrin reading and writing - and then find the original version and enjoy that!

    5-0 out of 5 stars The Chinese "Anna Karenina"
    This book is like Anna Karenina in the following ways: Both are masterpieces of epic proportions. Both are considered contenders for being the greatest works of fiction in their respective languages. Both deal with large, upper class families and the lifestyle and intrigue involved. Both are works of realism and paint a complete picture of a society.

    A Dream of Red Mansions focuses on the love between Baoyu, an unusual child in his early teens who is temperamental and spends most of his time with the girls in the family mansion and Daiyu, a delicate, sensitive and yet witty and extremely clever girl. The two grow up as children and live in the same mansion but the family does not hurry to marry them off as they have other plans for Baoyu.

    This is the main thread that runs through the novel's amazing 120 chapters. The other sublots are very numerous - there are hundreds - but none of them are sustained for the whole book. The main part of the book is the set of characters. Again there are hundreds but a few main ones which become the most interesting in this drama. There's the conniving Xifeng, Baoyu's strict father, Baoyu's assertive "other love" Baochai and the like.

    Unlike Anna Karenina, this book is full of humour, jokes and poems (which was where I think the translation failed the most as Chinese poetry rendered into English seems to lose the plot!). It contains moments of great sadness but also wit and quirkiness.

    There's been controversy with the amazon reviews of this particular translation. I don't speak Chinese so can't judge it but reading the text, it seemed fine. I guess if I saw another or the original it would change my mind but this one isn't too bad.

    The novel deals with so many topics that you really get an overview of what life in 18th century upper class urban China was about. It is VERY long but it's amazing how in relating heaps and heaps of seemingly trivial incidents you grow to love many of the characters. It's like most novels are like meeting someone and hence only seeing what they want to show while this novel is like living with them. And trivialities aside, it's very moving.

    A must for all interested in Chinese society or who don't mind persevering through 1200 pages to read a one of the world's unusual and amazing dynasty chronicles and love stories.

    1-0 out of 5 stars A Wonderful Novel Ruined by a Poor Translation
    The Yangs' translation of "A Dream of Red Mansions" is extremely accurate. That's about the best thing to be said about it.
    Unlike David Hawkes and John Minford's masterful translation, which can stand on its own as a work of literature, this edition reads like...well, like a translation. The prose is flat, the puns of the original are translated literally, rather than being approximated as in the Hawkes-Minford version, and on the whole, the flavour of the original Chinese text is missing.
    A person trying to read the original Chinese text of "A Dream of Red Mansions" might find this translation useful to keep at hand for a side-by-side comparison; it reads like a translator's crib. The Yangs of this edition take fewer liberties with jokes, puns, and poems than do Hawkes and Minford. (I should stress that when Hawkes and Minford deviate from the original text, it is only in minor and inconsequential ways, and is always in service of the text.) The Yangs failed to realise, apparently, that being faithful to the precise words of a book isn't necessarily the same as being faithful to the spirit, and their translation is no fun at all to read. ... Read more

    Isbn: 7119006436
    Sales Rank: 121260
    Subjects:  1. Fiction / Historical    2. Literature: Classics    3. China    4. Chinese literature    5. Ching dynasty, 1644-1912    6. Epic literature, Chinese    7. Fiction    8. Historical    9. Hung lou meng    10. Translations into English   


    Roald Dahl/Charlie Boxed Set (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator)
    by Roald Dahl
    Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
    Hardcover (01 September, 2001)
    list price: $31.90 -- our price: $21.69
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    Editorial Review

    Deliciously madcap mayhem and out-of-this-world fantasy--this is whatyou'll find within the casing of this boxed set of two of Roald Dahl's mostbrilliant creations: Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and Charlie andthe Great Glass Elevator.

    For decades, delighted readers of all ages have explored Willy Wonka's fabulouschocolate factory, met the Oompa Loompas, and sampled the chocolate river alongwith Augustus Gloop. And later, they have zoomed off into the stratosphere inthe most remarkable elevator ever created. Now, a new generation of readersbarely needs to pause between the first and the second of Roald Dahl's masterfulvolumes. Hardcover editions of each title, illustrated of course by theincomparable Quentin Blake, are tucked in a handy cardboard sleeve, ready forthe next set of hungry eyes. Sadly, the convenience of the set iscounterbalanced by the poor quality of the paper used for the books. Classicslike these deserve thick, creamy, opaque pages; not the flimsy, rough,semitransparent sheets used here. (Ages 7 and older) --Emilie Coulter ... Read more

    Reviews (4)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Sweeeeeee-eeet!
    When I received my box set --my eyes nearly burst from the sockets.These books are absolutely PERFECT!

    A must have for Roald Dahl fans -for sure.You have not experienced the Chocolate Factory until you have READ the book.For those that seem to thrive off the movie (and I love the movie, don't get me wrong) but the book -ahh, now you are going to get into the sinister mind of Dahl through these pages of delights.The character and their punishments are just a little more .....well, you be the judge and read the book!

    Let's just say, Dahl is quite brutal but poetically just.

    Charlie and the Glass Elevator is a bonus in this set!!

    I highly encourage book lovers and Dahl fans alike to get this set --you will only find yourself as a child again enjoying the mystery and magic of Charlie's sweet adventure.These scrumptious delights will entertain even adults.

    If you haven't read "Matilda" (which I classify Dahl's best work) you have truly deprived yourself."The Witches" another of Dahl's handwork. These are only the icing on the cake of his works!

    (the books are TOP quality and well worth the price -and then some)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Still love this set
    There are few books I actually WANT to pick up and read again just for the heck of it, and in this package you actually get 2!Many people have never even heard of the Great Glass Elevator, so this is a great way to expose them to it.I must have read each of these books a dozen times over the years and I never tire of them.As I grow older I am also seeing more and reading more into them then I ever noticed before, making each read more interesting than the next.Of course, if you plan on reading Chocolate Factory, be sure to have plenty of choclates around, you can't hardly help yourself.

    4-0 out of 5 stars The books live up, the packaging needs help
    I bought these for my daughter, they were the first real book I'd ever read and I wanted her to have a nice hardcover set. Well, the set is nice, the stories are classic (... that horrible film) but the "box" this box set comes in is wimpy and hardly collectable Mine came smashed, looks like ... Don't order this perticular set if you want astetics. ... Read more

    Isbn: 0375815597
    Subjects:  1. Children's 9-12 - Fiction - Science Fiction    2. Children: Grades 4-6    3. Classics    4. Humorous Stories    5. Juvenile Fiction    6. Science Fiction, Fantasy, & Magic   


    Angels in America: A Gay Fantasia on National Themes (Parts 1 & 2)
    by Tony Kushner
    Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
    Paperback (01 March, 1995)
    list price: $23.95 -- our price: $16.29
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    Editorial Review

    Tony Kushner's Angels in America is that rare entity: a work for the stage that is profoundly moving yet very funny, highly theatrical yet steeped in traditional literary values, and most of all deeply American in its attitudes and political concerns. In two full-length plays--Millennium Approaches and Perestroika--Kushner tells the story of a handful of people trying to make sense of the world. Prior is a man living with AIDS whose lover Louis has left him and become involved with Joe, an ex-Mormon and political conservative whose wife, Harper, is slowly having a nervous breakdown. These stories are contrasted with that of Roy Cohn (a fictional re-creation of the infamous American conservative ideologue who died of AIDS in 1986) and his attempts to remain in the closet while trying to find some sort of personal salvation in his beliefs.

    But such a summary does not do justice to Kushner's grand plan, which mixes magical realism with political speeches, high comedy with painful tragedy, and stitches it all together with a daring sense of irony and a moral vision that demands respect and attention. On one level, the play is an indictment of the government led by Ronald Reagan, from the blatant disregard for the AIDS crisis to the flagrant political corruption. But beneath the acute sense of political and moral outrage lies a meditation on what it means to live and die--of AIDS, or anything else--in a society that cares less and less about human life and basic decency. The play's breadth and internal drive is matched by its beautiful writing and unbridled compassion. Winner of two Tony Awards and the 1991 Pulitzer Prize for drama, Angels in America is one of the most outstanding plays of the American theater. --Michael Bronski ... Read more


    • Box set
    Reviews (38)

    4-0 out of 5 stars Deeply Flawed But Nonetheless Brilliant
    A playscript is a blueprint for a performance--a document that is intended to be interpreted by those trained in theatre arts.For this reason most non-theatre people find reading a play akin to a tour of purgatory: it is often extremely difficult for the layman to imagine how these strings of words on a page will actually play on a stage before a live audience.This is particularly true of Tony Kushner's ANGELS IN AMERICA, a play which even many theatre arts people (myself included) find very, very flat on the page; consequently, I do not really recommend it for those without a background in theatre arts.

    Set in 1980s New York and subtitled "A Gay Fantasia on National Themes," the play concerns a group of largely homosexual men who find themselves caught up in series of disasters that range from love to religion and from politics to philosophy--and most specifically caught between the rising tide of AIDS and a generally unsympathetic society.In the midst of this, AIDS patient Pior Walter begins to have a series of visions, which may be fever dreams, medicine-induced hallucinations... or, most unnerving of all, real.His long dead ancestors rise to speak to him, the floor cracks open to reveal a burning book--and at the conclusion of the play's first half a beautiful woman with majestic wings crashes through his roof.She is the Angel of America.He is, she tells him, a prophet, and she has come to bring him a message for mankind.

    Intertwined with Prior's other-earthly experiences are oddly parallel lives.Joe and Harper Pitt are a deeply dysfunctional couple doubting their faith in the Mormon Church, Joe a closeted homosexual, Harper a valium-addicted and mildly psychotic woman given to visions as strange as those of Prior Walter's.And as further counterpoint historical figure Roy Cohn (1927-1986), among the most sinister figures of 20th Century America, finds himself taunted by the ghost of Ethel Rosenberg as he drifts toward his own AIDS-induced death.The characters swirl in and out of each other's lives and dreams, playing to stereotypes and yet defying them, arguing politics and philosophy and love and death--and it is fascinating stuff.And the play, which ran six hours and had to be performed across two consecutive evenings, astounded theatregoers: nothing similar had been seen on Broadway since the days of Eugene O'Neill's MOURNING BECOMES ELECTRA.

    But for all of this remarkable vortex of dreams and realities, issues and ideas, there is a tremendous problem with ANGELS IN AMERICA, and even the most casual reader should be able to spot it.When an angel crashes through the roof you naturally expect startling revelations to follow--but having spent the first half of his play building to this amazing climax, Kushner seems to have painted himself into a dramatic corner.The ideas, issues, and characters continue to swirl as brilliantly as before, but the angelic revelations and their gradual unraveling seem to be born more of desperation than of true originality.

    Is ANGELS IN AMERICA a play that will resonate through time?It is possible, but I think it unlikely.To return to MOURNING BECOMES ELECTRA, that play is very much of its era in terms of style--but it deals with themes and ideas that are of all times and places, and in consequence it remains as powerful today as it was when it startled Broadway some seventy years ago.But ANGELS IN AMERICA is not only stylistically of its place and time, it is also a play that deals specifically with issues peculiar to its place and time, and as our thinking about these issues change the play's authority begins to fade.While it remains required reading (and ideally required viewing) for any one who is seriously interested in theatre, it seems unlikely that it will forever maintain that status.

    GFT, Amazon Reviewer

    5-0 out of 5 stars Couldn't put it down
    As an actor I have a very discerning eye when it comes to plays, and i was amazed with this piece of literature. I decided to read the first few pages before bed, and before i knew it i had finished and it was almost dawn.
    No matter what personal views you have on the subject of politics, AIDS, or religion there is a clear message aimed at all of us as Americans, regardless of beliefs. I found Kushner's ideas compelling, making me think and even more so, feel. there's nothing like reading a great book and becoming enveloped by it and this is one of the best plays of our time; hands down.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Respect the delicate ecology of your dellusions
    Tony Kuhsner's opus magnum, "Angels in America" consists of two, equally brilliant parts: Millennium Approaches and Perestroika. Both parts share the same characteristics: beautiful, beautiful dialogue,mesmerizing characters, intriguing story, and erudition. I prefer Perestroika because it appears to be more eloquent and thought provoking. The first part impressed me: I was, ad literam, floored, when I read it. Kusnher is an artist of great power, postmodern approach to the subjects of AIDS, the phenomenon of right wing idioty, and self-discovery, works to perfection. It is only so rarely that we find characters so well rounded in service of not only social satire but also a higher point, an exploration of human feelings and nature of ideals. Perestroika brings more fascinating material, but even without it, dialogue like Kushner's resonates on its own. If Louis and Belize were talking about tomatos, it would sound like a profound philosophical discussion between Hegel and Russell, enabled in Kushner's amazing world.
    The character that stands above all others is Harper (played by Mary Louise Parker in the HBO special), the depressed wife of a (get this:) conservative, republican, closeted gay mormon who worships Roy Cohn.
    If Euripides of Sophocles were alive today, this is what they would write. "Angels in America" cannot be boxed in and called a drama. It's a play, lets stick to that. In it, you'll find everything from tragedy to satire. It deserves to stand up there with the best plays of our time. ... Read more

    Isbn: 1559360984
    Subjects:  1. American    2. Plays    3. Plays / Drama   


    Tropic of Cancer and Tropic of Capricorn: Boxed Set
    by Henry Miller
    Paperback (November, 2001)
    list price: $20.00
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    • Box set

    Isbn: 0802138438
    Sales Rank: 551096
    Subjects:  1. Classics    2. Fiction    3. Fiction - General    4. General    5. Literary    6. Literature: Classics    7. Fiction/Literature   

    Oz Box Set (Books of Wonder)
    by L. Frank Baum
    Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
    Paperback (31 October, 2000)
    list price: $23.93 -- our price: $16.27
    (price subject to change: see help)
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    Reviews (3)

    5-0 out of 5 stars The Wizard Of Dreams
    The Wizard of Oz. Is probably the most beloved story in the world. However, allot of people seem to forget there's of the wonderful series. This is notably because of the musical. However, you really can't blame that.
    Even so this is a beautiful series. All about Dorothy and her friends. The wizard story and a lot more then most people remember.
    Truly one of the greatest stories out there.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Better Than Harry Potter In My Opinion
    It's been a while since I last read a book in the Oz series but I just couldn't get enough of them as a child. I can't think of a more underrated series of books than those set in the wonderful land of Oz. There is so much more to Oz than the movie that we have all seen. Don't make a huge mistake and think that since you've seen the movie that you know what the books are about because I guarantee that you have no idea. These fantastic books are filled with adventure, danger and excitement and each unique book seems better than the last. This set is a great way to introduce yourself or your child to Oz. I promise you that once you start reading the Oz books, your bookshelf will soon be lined many, many more of Frank L. Baum's masterpieces. Harry Potter may be all the rage with kids these days but as someone who has read both the Harry Potter books and just about every Oz book there is I honestly believe that there is no doubt which series is better. Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed the Harry Potter books a great deal but they fail to compare to these absolutely delightful works of art.

    5-0 out of 5 stars The Oz Book Set - a great buy!
    Each time I read the story of the little girl named Dorothy and her dog Toto being swept off to the land of oz, I fall in love.These books are great for younger readers because they are easy to understand and are even better for the adult who is young at heart.Through the words of L.Frank Baum I get transported into the wonderful land of oz, which is full of excitement, friendship and good times.Not only is this boxed set at a great price it is also a beautiful collection.The covers and drawings are all original and all truly reflect the amazing story it accompanies.If you haven't yet read an Oz book, you are missing out.

    These books are timeless classics. ... Read more

    Isbn: 0064409473
    Sales Rank: 22938
    Subjects:  1. Children's 4-8    2. Children: Grades 3-4    3. Classics    4. Juvenile Fiction    5. Juvenile Fiction / Classics   


    Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy (10 Volume, Printed Boxed Set)
    by Edward Craig, Luciano Floridi, Routledge
    Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
    Library Binding (May, 1998)
    list price: $3,775.00 -- our price: $3,775.00
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    Editorial Review

    In this 10-volume set, we have a truly global encyclopedia of metaphysical thought--not just philosophy, but theology as well. Although it has noticeable British and American sensibilities, the Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy is a multicultural affair with over 2,000 individual articles, including entries for Cheng Hao and Baal Shem Tov along with Ren&eacute; Descartes and Immanuel Kant, and it discusses Mahayana Buddhism as ably as it discusses deconstruction theory. Admirable efforts have been made by the individual contributors (all 1,300-plus of them) to maintain such clarity of presentation as to provide a sophisticated yet accessible intellectual primer that requires only a willingness to learn. This is the philosophic equivalent of the Oxford English Dictionary, doubling as an indispensable reference and a marvelously indulgent splurge. ... Read more


    • Box set
    Reviews (7)

    5-0 out of 5 stars At first I was miffed at the price, but ...
    I was excited about this collection, but I thought it was 37 dollars and 75 cents, so I was a bit disconcerted to find a $3,775 dollar charge to my Visa.However, once I started reading the collection, I realized it was worth every penny of the cost -- for all you get, this is an absolute steal, really!Now I'm sending the collection to friends and family as gifts.Take out a loan, beg, borrow or steal: Do whatever you need to do to get the money to order this series -- you won't be disappointed.

    3-0 out of 5 stars Essential, but ...
    It is the best encyclopedia of philosophy available in English,
    and as comprehensive as one could reasonably want on the
    Anglo-American analytic tradition. However, it is still inferior
    to the magisterial Historisches Woerterbuch der Philosophie, ed.
    Joachim Ritter (12 vols., of which 11 have thus far been
    published) - the one true indispensable philosophical reference

    5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent Resource
    This collection, especially the CD-ROM version is a very useful resource.It is easy to use and very consice, full of information.This encyclopedic collection contains all themes in philosophy and some in religion, which makes it useful when someone is trying to make connections to other fields.Individual philosophers and a general overview of their life works and projects, different idealogies and terms are all explained in full extent in this simple to use encyclopedia.

    It is so exciting to be able to use this resource.It is a recent acquisition at the college's library, and since I have discovered it I haven't been able to put it down.I give it 5 stars, and although I haven't read it entirely (for obvious reasons), I think it will be a resource I will be using for the rest of my life.

    Check it out and see for yourself!?! ... Read more

    Isbn: 0415073103
    Subjects:  1. Encyclopedias    2. Philosophy    3. Reference    4. Reference works   


    Beverly Cleary, Henry Huggins Series (Boxed Set) (Henry in the Clubhouse, Henry Huggins, Henry and Beezus, and Henry and Ribsy)
    by Beverly Cleary
    Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
    Paperback (01 August, 1990)
    list price: $18.00
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    • Box set
    Reviews (5)

    5-0 out of 5 stars In Search of Salman
    I enjoyed reading this book because Henry goes fishing.I enjoy reading Beverly Cleary's books because she writes about childhood and animals.Also,I like the chapters because they were thirty or forty pages long.I highly recommend reading this book.

    5-0 out of 5 stars In Search of Salman
    I enjoyed reading this book because Henry goes fishing.I enjoy reading Beverly Cleary's books because she writes about childhood and animals.Also,I like the chapters because they were thirty or forty pages long.I highly recommend reading this book.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Henry and the Gigantic Fish
    I enjoyed reading this book because it made me read a lot faster than I thought I could.I learned that you can worry about things all the time. The illustrations were neat and colorful they helped me understand what I was reading. I also liked the ending of the story because Henry was happy. I highly recommend this book. ... Read more

    Isbn: 0380712067
    Sales Rank: 798201
    Subjects:  1. Children's 9-12    2. Children: Grades 3-4    3. General    4. Humorous Stories    5. Juvenile Fiction   

    The History of Museums: Eight Volume Boxed Set
    by Susan M. Pearce
    Library Binding (11 March, 1997)
    list price: $1,185.00 -- our price: $1,185.00
    (price subject to change: see help)
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    Isbn: 0415148723
    Subjects:  1. Museums, Tours, Points of Interest    2. Sociology    3. Travel - General    4. Museum, historic sites, gallery & art guides    5. Museums & Museology    6. Social history    7. World history   


    The Encyclopedia of World History
    by Peter N. Stearns
    Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
    Hardcover (24 September, 2001)
    list price: $59.95 -- our price: $40.77
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    Editorial Review

    The "Langer Encyclopedia," as the professional academics call TheEncyclopedia of World History originally edited by the late William L.Langer, is basically a history of everything--and an outstanding referencevolume. Want to know why the English called their 10th-century king Ethelred"the Unready"? See page 181. Or what the Ottoman Empire's constitution of 1876said? See page 531. Or when women in Honduras got the vote? See page 955. Thissixth edition, completely updated and revised by a team of scholars led byGeorge Mason University's Peter N. Stearns, packs all it can into a year-by-yearand region-by-region chronicle of human life on planet Earth. The book is big,the type is small, and the maps and genealogical tables are excellent. Stearnshas added more material on women, leisure activities, and demographics to thisedition, and the sections on Africa, the Middle East, South Asia, and LatinAmerica are much different from the previous version. As if this weren't enough,the book comes with a CD-ROM featuring the complete text and fantastic searchcapabilities. The Encyclopedia of World History is highly recommended forserious history buffs. --John Miller ... Read more

    Reviews (9)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Best Single Volume Reference Available
    William Langer's original daunting task - to offer a single volume encyclopedia that would be the standard reference volume for historians - was admirably fulfilled in past editions.This sixth edition, with Peter Stearn and his team of scholars of unquestioned authority, continues the tradition.For the layman, this book offers a remarkable brevity and depth.Often within just two or three pages entire significant periods or trends are covered thoroughly.There are rare factual errors, as is the case with any encyclopedic work, but this new edition still delivers the most exhaustive reference with the least errors.For those who love dates and places, people and trends, this is an invaluable reference.For those who hate such detailed information but must keep it around for work or school, this is still the best single volume encyclopedia available.The CD-ROM is painless to install.The integration into MS Word is only mildly quirky - for most terms the desired reference information pops up within seconds and is reasonably relevant.David R. Bannon, Ph.D.; author "Race Against Evil."

    1-0 out of 5 stars Typical ivory tower academic bias
    Don't look to this book for a balanced even-handed look at history.It has the unfortunately all-too-typical biases now running rampant on cloistered university campuses.There is a not-so-subtle slant throughout the book against all things "Western," essentially placing the blame for all of the world's ills on people of European ancestry....

    Find another volume that is able to deal with history more objectively.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A Classic Updated
    The 1972 Langer was THE standard reference for history students, as I ws for six years of graduate school.It bailed me out numerous times.It parallels the value of the CRC for chemistry students or the OED for scholars of the English language.This splendid revision and updating belongs in the collection of anyone wanting a handy, convenient reference to all phases of history.It has splendid essays that lay out the basics in many fields, like art, math, science, and culture.It should not be the last word on a topic, which you can get from poking through amazon.com, or visitng your local library.The CD-ROM is a dream, and the maps printed out fine, even though they are just an outline of say, the partition of Africa.As for Lindbergh, the error was perpetuated from the 1972 book, but that should not detract from the overwhelmingly excellent job.Any general reference work that cites my obscure dissertation hero, even thought it is spelled in the English and not the Polish style, is truly remarkable! ... Read more

    Isbn: 0395652375
    Subjects:  1. Encyclopedias    2. History    3. History - General History    4. Outlines, syllabi, etc    5. Reference    6. World - General    7. History / World   


    Africana: The Encyclopedia of the African and African American Experience
    by Kwame Anthony Appiah, Anthony Appiah, Henry Louis, Jr. Gates
    Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
    Hardcover (01 November, 1999)
    list price: $100.00
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    Editorial Review

    Legendary scholar-activist W.E.B. Du Bois labored to complete an "Encyclopedia Africana" before his death in 1963. Just over 35 years later, two Harvard educators, Henry Louis Gates Jr. and Ghanaian-born Kwame Anthony Appiah, have brought Du Bois' intellectual dream to life in Africana, the most complete and comprehensive record of the Pan-African diaspora compiled into one volume. With over two million words and 3,500 entries from more than 220 contributors, Appiah and Gates sought, as they put it, to "give a sense of the wide diversity of peoples, cultures, and traditions that we know about Africa in historical times, a feel for the environment in which that history was lived, and a broad outline of the contributions of people of African descent, especially in the Americas, but, more generally, around the world." To fulfill this aim, they consider biographical, political, artistic, economic, historical, and geographical data; a brief sampling of topics includes "Food in African-American Culture," "Creolized Musical Instruments of the Caribbean," and "Anthropology in Africa." The section on Africa fills about two thirds of the book, loaded with invaluable information--from the ethnic and colonial factors that contributed to violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Liberia, Eritrea, and Sierra Leone to the educational, linguistic, and social advances in Tanzania, Gabon, and South Africa. The legacies of the ancient civilizations of Egypt, Nubia, Ethiopia, and Zimbabwe are also presented in great detail. The encyclopedia also contains documented evidence of African-derived peoples in Asia, including the exploits of Malik Ambar, who arrived in India from Ethiopia as a result of the East Indian slave trade.

    Turning to the Western Hemisphere, Africana skillfully and succinctly synopsizes the lives and achievements of a multitude of African Americans, from 18th-century inventor-astronomer Benjamin Banneker to late-20th-century heroes like Colin Powell, Tiger Woods, and astronaut Mae Jemison. You'll learn about the little-considered black presence in Canada; Africana also uncovers hidden pockets of black culture in surprising places like Chile, Paraguay, and Argentina (where the Negro population, we discover, was reduced by a process of miscegenation known as blanqueamiento, or whitening). The upper-crust veneer of the Argentine tango is peeled away, revealing the dance's roots in the rhythmic innovations of 19th-century Afro-Argentines. With all of the aforementioned headings and topics, however, it's the special essays that best detail the treasure chest of scholarship of Africana. Robin Kelley examines the volatile clash between "Malcolm X and the Black Bourgeoisie"; Thomas Skidmore deconstructs "Race and Class in Brazil" and the myth of "racial democracy"; Mahmood Mamdani, in "Ethnicity in Rwanda," brilliantly decodes the complex and maddening colonial manipulations that erupted in genocide and made the Hutu and Tutsi ethnic groups "more political than cultural identities ... one is power and the other is subject."

    A splendidly packaged reference work that will adorn libraries and homes for years to come, Africana defines the black experience in the same sweeping way that the Encyclopedia Britannica defined Euro-American civilization. More importantly for young readers, the magnificent collection shows that Africans and the continent's descendants are a truly global people who have made tremendous contributions to human civilization. --Eugene Holley Jr. ... Read more


    • Box set
    Reviews (20)

    4-0 out of 5 stars Comprehensive And Fascinating - 2095 Pages
    This is a comprehensive & valuable book. However, it does lack a proper index. It is set up in encyclopedia format in simple alphabetical listings. It needs to have a cross-reference index for the thousands of listings contained within because many of the listings are full articles that need to be cross referenced. Some of the articles have a reference at the end of the article that says "see also." However, this is not the same as having a comprehensive index available. This book has hundreds of maps, tables, charts, and photographs.

    3-0 out of 5 stars Africana: The Experience of the African and African Am
    re: Africana: Appiah & Gates

    today i finally broke down and purchased this seemingly valuable book; only to become frustrated - sorely disappointed and then angry ...

    it really befuddles my mind, how someone could put so much effort, hard work and many hundreds of hours into compiling this "encyclopedia" per sé, yet omit including a comprehensive index.

    such a piece of work - all it's worth, is virtually wasted, if one is use this encyclopedic masterpiece of immense proportions; yet being unable to search an index and/or find easy access to necessary facts and dat- let alone being able to cross-reference.

    what this book is going to mean to myself - someone who continually researches these many issues is negligeable ... this book is bound to gather dust on my laden bookshelves ... grrr ...

    what a pity ... sigh ...

    my autobiography "The Long Nights© - the continuous struggle for survival (a work in progress) will most certainly have well defined indexis - footnotes - including a glossary - together with terminology - pertaining to southern africa - it's people, culture, cutoms, tradition and languages ...

    my intention is to enlighten the reader - give them a real insight to the complexities of my country and not have them second-guess what it is, that i am saying/referring to, by assuming - (incorrectly of course) that they are eu fait with africa ...

    i still think that the publishers/editors of "basic civitas books" need to supply an insert to this valuable work - in order to do it true justice - make it's true worth come to the fore ...

    (living in the diaspora)

    4-0 out of 5 stars Obafemi Awolowo
    Africana is one of the best things that happened to Africans all over the World.I did not regret buying this Encyclopedia.
    As a Nigerian I belive Chief Obafemi Awolowo was on of the Greatest Nigerian and one of the Greatest African that ever lived based on his acheivement in the struggle for independence in Nigeria and Africa as a whole.
    His acheivement in the Positive Development of Nigeria Politically, Economically & Socially -Education & Health- is incomparably to any other Nigerian Leader that ever lived and his lagacy still lives on in Nigeria.
    This Great Leader and Son of Africa was omitted in this Good book . This does not do JUSTICE to AWOLOWO in particuler and AFRICA in general.
    Thank you.

    Babatunde Sekoni ... Read more

    Isbn: 0465000711
    Subjects:  1. Africa    2. Africa - General    3. African Americans    4. African diaspora    5. Blacks    6. Civilization    7. Encyclopedias    8. Encyclopedias (Multi-Subject)    9. Ethnic Studies - African American Studies - General    10. Ethnic Studies - African American Studies - Histor    11. History - General History    12. History Of Blacks    13. Reference    14. Social Science   

    Encyclopedia of the American Civil War: A Political, Social, and Military History (5 Volumes)
    by David Heidler, Jeanne Heidler
    Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
    Library Binding (13 December, 2000)
    list price: $425.00 -- our price: $425.00
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    Reviews (4)

    5-0 out of 5 stars So much information so little time
    This Encyclopedia contains an infinite amount of information on the Civil War. For anything from checking a date to getting an appropriate introduction to a new topic this book has it all. This massive work is well written and edited with easily accessible articles on every major and many minor topics on the Civil War. I can't recommend this enough for any student of the Civil War. A great desk reference.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A Fantastic Book
    This is a massive book. It will soon be "THE REFERENCE" to most all Civil War debates.

    If I were to pick just one book to go to, for a search of Civil War information, this one would have to be it.
    From Battle, Politics, Leaders, speechs, debates, economics, literature, etc., IT IS ALL IN HERE.

    This is one book that everyone would be proud to own. ( As well, as the kind that almost caves your chest in, laying in bed reading--It IS A BIG BOOK.)

    There is such a wealth of information, and every thing is solidily backed up with excellent references.It's a fantastic book.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Indespensible Civil War resource
    This humongous encyclopedia is easily the best reference I have ever seen on the Civil War. The thing is 2600 pages long, has 1600 entries, and weighs about 7 pounds, and is quite well written and edited. It covers military, political, and social events, and biographies equally. The articles are generally well written but short and introductory rather than exhaustive. Has lots of photos, illustrations and maps (the maps are OK but not spectacular), and a wonderful bibliogaphy section. I can't recommend this book enough. I learn something new every time I open it. ... Read more

    Isbn: 1576070662
    Sales Rank: 950586
    Subjects:  1. 1861-1865, Civil War    2. Civil War, 1861-1865    3. Encyclopedias    4. History    5. History - Military / War    6. History: World    7. Military - United States    8. Military History - U.S. Civil War    9. Reference    10. United States    11. United States - Civil War    12. History / Americas (North, Central, South, West Indies)   


    The Harper Encyclopedia of Military History: From 3500 B.C. to the Present
    by R. Ernest Dupuy, Trevor N. Dupuy, Harpercollins
    Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
    Hardcover (01 April, 1993)
    list price: $80.00
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    Reviews (13)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Pages worn from use
    This book makes superb companion reading to other history, or stands alone as a fun browser.

    A couple of criticisms:

    I have found a couple of instances in which the authors accepted their source material's claims uncritically and without reference. Numbers used by Herodotus, for example, are passed on in the book in a couple of places whereas these numbers are highly disputed among military historians and certainly are wrong. To Dupuy and Dupuy's great credit, they often give fantastic context and this is a very minor problem.

    The bibliography cites works in English, German and Spanish. I presume them to read original works in French as well. Consequently, their treatment of East Asian military history is much weaker than their treatment of European military history. Nonetheless, I have not found another encyclopedia on East Asian military history that rivals this work.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A Treasure
    I have owned this book, Harper Encyclopedia of Military History, for a number of years and have yet to come across a text of military history exceeding the former in sheer volume of information. Harper is essentially 1500 plus pages of a timeline covering events from 3100 BC to the beginning of the 1990s. Interspersing this timeline are articles analyzing military developments and personalities within each era of coverage. What makes Harper so comprehensive is its detailed inclusion of events beyond Europe. Regions of the world that would customarily recieve scant to no attention in more Eurocentric works dealing with this topic are focused upon with a dramatic vigor that sheds light on leaders and wars unfamiliar to the West.(Given the prevalent ignorance of history, Western leaders and wars may be just as unfamiliar to a disconcertingly large segment of the Western world).This book is a great reference for anyone desiring a concise, year by year account of military operations in any time period. Harper is a tremendous, tireless resource for scholars and military history aficionados in general.

    4-0 out of 5 stars An excellent and very complete research book
    You sometimes find yourself reading a book on History or even Historical Fiction. They mention a battle or a General. Where do you find more about it?

    This is an excellent and very complete research book. ... Read more

    Isbn: 0062700561
    Sales Rank: 342861
    Subjects:  1. Dictionaries    2. Encyclopedias    3. History    4. History: World    5. Military - General    6. Military History (General)    7. Military art and science    8. Military history    9. Reference   

    The Film Encyclopedia: The Most Comprehensive Encyclopedia of World Cinema in a Single Volume (Film Encyclopedia)
    by Ephraim Katz, Fred Klein, Ronald Dean Nolen
    Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
    Paperback (20 March, 2001)
    list price: $30.00 -- our price: $19.80
    (price subject to change: see help)
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    Editorial Review

    This is the basic reference guide to the international cinema. Put it next to your TV and VCR and you'll be able to answer the questions that inevitably arise when you watch a movie: "What other films has she been in?"; "Haven't I heard that director's name before?"; and "What in tarnation is a gaffer?" The Film Encyclopedia contains biographies and filmographies of actors, directors, producers, and cinematographers, as well as screenwriters, editors, musical directors, production designers, and critics. You can look up films by nationality and find a history of a given country's contribution to the art. Technical data is also indexed, so you can read not only about film stock and the apparatus of the camera, but also about the duties of the gaffer, the key grip, and the best boy. The book's introduction states that Ephraim Katz, who died in 1992, set out to write "the most comprehensive one-volume encyclopedia of world cinema ever published in the English language." The Film Encyclopedia contains more information than any other single-volume film reference and is also the best written movie guide of its kind. Because most of the entries were written by Katz himself, reading this book is like talking to a witty and learned film historian who has devoted his life to understanding--and loving--the cinema. ... Read more

    Reviews (27)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Best Hollywood people guides ever -
    Some of the people who have rated this low do not understand the book's mission.This is a book of biographies of most all important Hollywood movers and shakers.It is sorted by the last name of the person, not by film.So put this next the LM's movie guide (sorted by film) and you have the ultimate cross reference set.

    Bios are well written and relevent.Details of minor roles are included that are missed in many other books.Inludes actors, directors, writers and a number of other significant people.

    One of the best features of this book is its historical nature, that it does not throw flash in the pan actors like Leo and JLo in until they show some legs.Once a star is truly established, they are added.I like this a lot in that it keeps the clutter out.


    2-0 out of 5 stars Disappointing
    I don't know how this can be called a Film Encyclopedia when one cannot look up a film by its title.

    2-0 out of 5 stars Goes only up to the 80's
    Good book if you like classic movies. If part of your interests are focused from the 80's up to the present, forget about it. The writer died years ago, and nobody updated the book. ... Read more

    Isbn: 0062737554
    Subjects:  1. Encyclopedias    2. Film & Video - Guides & Reviews    3. Film & Video - Reference    4. Motion pictures    5. Pop Arts / Pop Culture    6. Reference   


    The Rolling Stone Encyclopedia of Rock & Roll (Revised and Updated for the 21st Century)
    by Holly George-Warren, Patricia Romanowski, Jon Pareles
    Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
    Paperback (30 October, 2001)
    list price: $27.00 -- our price: $17.82
    (price subject to change: see help)
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    Reviews (14)

    4-0 out of 5 stars Huge, huge book with every band you can think of listed!
    I learned a lot about music history by browsing through this monster book. It helps to read the bios which include the top songs/albums of bands from the 60s which were before my time but still get a lot of coverage in the baby boomer press. Also, it's really fun to reminisce about one-hit wonders from the 80s that were played on MTV constantly. Good for anyone who is really into rock music. Few country artists are included, but some jazz/soul/R+B greats do make it in.

    4-0 out of 5 stars A Flawed But Reliable Resource
    There are two reasons why I had to get this book. Firstly, my 1995 copy crumbled into an oblivion of dry glue, a spine torn in half and a cover too flabby to endure. I did turn to the book often for information, but from the looks of it, you'd think I shot it out of a canon once a week as well. The book is just as cheaply constructed as other reviewers contend, while the Q Rock Stars Encyclopedia is much friendlier to the reader both aesthetically and physically. Secondly, Rolling Stone's web site used to contain all the information found in this book. Recently, though, the disappointing decision was made to scrap those lengthier and more informative biographies for the infuriatingly cursory headnotes they recently replaced them with.

    Some of the omissions noted by other reviewers here are remarkable not necessarily because of the bands omitted, but because of the "artists" Rolling Stone replaced them with. I mean, come on, the guys in Great White aren't exactly pioneers, and why anyone thinks the exclusion of Wierd Al Yankovic is at all noteworthy mystifies me. But to leave them out for Britney Spears? Ricky Martin? What a blow! Couldn't we just scrap Milli Vanilli, for the love of God? It isn't as though Tiffany, who is included in this book, will be remembered any more than Britney 30 years from now; nonetheless I don't consider either pop star worthy of inclusion at the expense of decently talented blues bands such as Great White who at least know what a "chord" is. The real crime with regard to the debate over who's in and who's out is the exclusion of various Native American songwriters such as Jim Boyd or Bill Miller. The former in particular continues to make unbelievable folk rock (some of which was featured on the "Smoke Signals" Soundtrack). The work Boyd has done with Sherman Alexie (songs like the incomparable "Million Miles Away") especially warrants recognition here.

    Those objections aside, this really is a nearly inexhaustible resource for fans of any of the 1,900+ bands the book takes a look at. I think that the distant tone with which the entries are written will infuriate more passionate fans who think their heroes aren't getting the accolades they deserve. But as an Encyclopedia's duty is to provide the essential information, this book at least succeeds more often than it fails. My own relationship with its past and current editions is going on about 8 years now. Along with the "Rough Guide to Rock" or the "Encyclopedia of Record Producers," it continues to be one of the few resources I run to for answers to questions or quick tutorials on bands whose work I am yet to be familiar with. I think it should also be noted that people ought not to be mislead by the "Rock 'N Roll" title, as the book includes many bluegrass, country, and folk artists who may not immediately be associated with Rock 'N Roll per say, but who influenced the genre to such an extent that their exclusion from this book would have been egregious. I mean people like Dave Van Ronk, Bill Monroe or Townes Van Zandt.

    2-0 out of 5 stars Don't be fooled by the words "ROCK & ROLL Encyclopedia"
    If any of the following interest you:

    -April Wine
    -Yngwie Malmsteen
    -Ugly Kid Joe
    -Great White

    DON'T plan on liking this book!

    I was absolutely furious when I bought this book and they took out bands/artists such as the above.And you know what?They left in bands like Destiny's Child, Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera, Backstreet Boys, N*Sync, and tons of other pointless people who had NO impact on ROCK & ROLL!Sorry, but in my opinion, an encyclopedia should be a place of fact and reference when you would like to find more information on a subject fitting inside a SET topic, not a collection of bedtime stories.

    I bought this to read about STRICTLY Rock and Roll (hence the TITLE), but sadly got a collection of pop, country, punk, and fake punk.

    A BIG Disappointment as far as material.Almost an insult to Rock and Roll itself with its cuts/leave-ins. ... Read more

    Isbn: 0743201205
    Sales Rank: 21800
    Subjects:  1. Encyclopedias    2. Genres & Styles - Rock    3. Music    4. Reference    5. Rock music    6. Music / General   


    Gravity's Rainbow
    by Thomas Pynchon
    Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
    Paperback (01 January, 2000)
    list price: $20.00 -- our price: $13.60
    (price subject to change: see help)
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    Editorial Review

    Tyrone Slothrop, a GI in London in 1944, has a big problem.Whenever he gets an erection, a Blitz bomb hits. Slothrop gets excited, and then(as Thomas Pynchon puts it in his sinister, insinuatingly sibilant opening sentence), "a screaming comes across the sky," heralding an angel ofdeath, a V-2 rocket. The novel's title, Gravity's Rainbow, refers tothe rocket's vapor arc, a cruel dark parody of what God sent Noah tosymbolize his promise never to destroy humanity again. History has been a bigtrick: the plan is to switch from floods to obliterating fire from the sky.

    Slothrop's father was an unwitting part of the cosmic doublecross. To provide for the boy's future Harvard education, he took cash from themad German scientist Laszlo Jamf, who performed Pavlovian experiments onthe infant Tyrone. Laszlo invented Imipolex G, a new plastic useful inrocket insulation, and conditioned Tyrone's privates to respond to itspresence. Now the grown-up Tyrone helplessly senses the Imipolex G in incomingV-2s, and his military superiors are investigating him. Soon he is on the run from legions of bizarre enemies through the phantasmagoric horrors of Germany.

    That's just the Imipolex G tip of the shrieking vehicle that isPynchon's book. It's pretty much impossible to follow a standard plot; one musthave faith that each manic episode is connected with the great plot to blowup the world with the ultimate rocket. There is not one story, but a proliferation of characters (Pirate Prentice, Teddy Bloat, Tantivy Mucker-Maffick, Saure Bummer, and more) and events that tantalize the reader with suggestions of vast patternsonly just past our comprehension. You will enjoy Pynchon's cartoon infernofar more if you consult Steven Weisenburger's brief companion to the novel,which sorts out Pynchon's blizzard of references to science, history, high culture, and the lowest of jokes. Rest easy: there really is a simplereason why Kekul&eacute; von Stradonitz's dream about a serpent biting itstail (which solved the structure of the benzene molecule) belongs in the same novelas the comic-book-hero Plastic Man.

    Pynchon doesn't want you to rest easy with solved mysteries, though. Gravity's Rainbow uses beautiful prose to induce an alteredstate of consciousness, a buzz. It's a trip, and it will last. --TimAppelo ... Read more

    Reviews (232)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Oh Man!
    I don't know whether to laugh or cry or both! This book did to my literary brain what Coltrane did to my idea about music, or even, maybe, what that album, "Confield" by Autechre did too. Good luck to any one curious/brave enough to climb this mountain of syllables. Here's a hint, two, in fact: Get the companion-you'll need it, and two, don't think about it too hard-if you find yourself getting lost, just keep going. Let go and you'll get it! Why force the world when it'll knock on your door freely?

    5-0 out of 5 stars American Splendor
    This book's a masterpiece. Sell it forever at Amazon, teach it in the colleges, make Americans recite passages aloud at ballgames. The best of `60s loopiness yoked to Great American Novel-sized ambition. Take THAT Europa-we've got a bull of our own.

    Enjoyment topped out for me though at about the halfway point. After that it's the same soup--really really good soup, but pretty much the same chunks floating in every spoonful. I kept comparing Pynchon to Joyce in the intricacy and sense of omniscient mastery over every conceivable register of life--that feeling there's nothing the writer doesn't know or can't do--and to Kerouac in the speedy rhythm, listy riffs, and joyful Americanismo.

    Forced to choose though, I'd put Ulysses or Visions of Cody on that perpetual Amazon sale over GR. The book seems to want it both ways, it wants a gleaming Modernist structure that intimidates with its grandeur and a spontaneous bop rhythm that's open to the jazzy thrill of the random. For me, the one tends to undercut the other: the druggy spontaneous bits come to feel like part of a larger "message" (one you're never fully hip to), while the Great Themes over time can look like just excuses for inspired blowing. The prose is often pretty and very funny and always masterful. But maybe that's just it--Pynchon's unwillingness to give up mastery in a story where only the anarchists are heroes. A great book, but not a reengineering of The Novel like those other two are: more like a brilliant extension of the existing unit's rooms.

    Still, Gravity's Rainbow is a tour de force, and only draws these criticisms because it blasts for the stars.

    5-0 out of 5 stars It's not just a Rocket!
    This book is an encyclopedia of hysterical hallucinations, or to be more precise, it's a futuristic insight, told ingeniously, without simplicity, strict and direct even if it does not sound so, in one review, I can not tell the reader about the ins and outs of this precious subterranean "fable"!!!
    We will all respond with YESES or NOES for such a kind works, starting with the name of the Rocket itself "00000" 5 Zeros, can be resembling Jesus or Judas and always note that the Rocket is haunted by a capital "R", showing divinity, when you think of God as Destroyer and all the human beings ascending towards destruction as Tom P. sees it.
    Gravity's Rainbow and the characters involved (no matter how much they were) are preaching some new kind of religion, the war is pictured as a ritual prayer a sect of warriors, who are trying to reach the doomsday as soon as possible with less spiritual damage!!!
    This is not only a psychologically penetrating novel, it's altering the whole human psychological behavior with all the kinds of hallucinogenic materials mentioned "i.e Amanita Muscaria, Weed, Amphetamines, LSD25 and synthetics" ..So imagine what these mental spices will add for such a kind of creativity.
    A conflict between good and evil, light and darkness or alpha and beta, moving between the coordination of space-time existence, incarnated even as a Rocket sometimes, Good Rockets are those by which we are reaching Andromeda maybe or other galaxies, Bad Rockets are those ones which we toss at each other from Zone to Zone to "produce" that transcendentalmortality. Taking this on account, one can not ignore Freud vs. Jung over Gravity's Rainbow pages', not merely concerning the Phallic-Rocket symbolism, but also Eros and how can be related to Sodium bombs!, I haveseen too Cupid holding a machine gun.
    Try to read this book...Once per month.....PARANOID!!!!!
    ... Read more

    Isbn: 0140283382
    Subjects:  1. Americans    2. Classics    3. Europe    4. Fiction    5. Literary    6. Literature - Classics / Criticism    7. Literature: Classics    8. Pynchon, Thomas - Prose & Criticism    9. Rockets (Ordnance)    10. World War, 1939-1945   


    The Price of the Ticket: Collected Nonfiction, 1948-1985
    by James A. Baldwin
    Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
    Hardcover (January, 1985)
    list price: $100.00
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    Reviews (4)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Baldwin's Legacy
    This is a collection of nonfiction from James Baldwin's illustrious career: essays, book excerpts and movie/book reviews. I have read it many times and never get tired of it. What more can I say?

    5-0 out of 5 stars Incredibly heartfelt essays
    Baldwin was a great writer, not only because he told a compelling story, but because he wanted his work to change the world he lived in and, on some levels, it did.No other example of this intention is more apprant than Baldwin's non-fiction work.His essays are timely (even now), filled with biting intelect, and brimming with his trademark ability to wind around an issue.

    This book is all the more relevant because it saves you time: it collects his 3 book-length essays ("Fire Next Time", "No name In The Street" and "The Devil Finds Work"), as well as a ton of other pieces.It's almost totally comprehensive in this respect.Revealing and a more than trustworthy look at the man from his own mouth, and over the years.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Best American essayist
    With the possible exception of Tom Paine and Gore Vidal, Baldwin is the finest essayist. Most of his non-fiction is here, including his groundbreaking essay "Fifth Avenue, Uptown," the best single essay I have ever read. Of special interest, as one who enjoys movie criticism, is the entire book "The Devil Finds Work," in which Baldwin happily takes apart a number of American classic films. I was never wild about Baldwin's fiction, but no one could top him as an essayist. If you are buying one American non-fiction book, this should be the one. ... Read more

    Isbn: 0312643071
    Sales Rank: 2640395
    Subjects:  1. Essays    2. Literary Collections    3. Literature - Classics / Criticism   

    The Collected Poems of Langston Hughes
    Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
    Hardcover (15 November, 1994)
    list price: $39.95 -- our price: $25.17
    (price subject to change: see help)
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    Reviews (12)

    5-0 out of 5 stars An Artist for all People!!!
    For those who like and admire the poetic works of Langston Hughes, this is the book to purchase.This book collects all the "known" and "published" poems written by Hughes within his lifetime and at the different stages in his life.You have the so-called "race" poems that celebrate the dignity and beauty of black Americans, you have the poems of social protest such as those written during the 1930's that deal with inequality and injustice common to all regardless of race, the poems meant for children, and you even have the trite subject matter about love lost and found and springtime, nearly all written in the style of jazz and the blues that Hughes loved so much.Congrates must go to Arnold Rampersad and David Rossel for the effort in gathering these poems in their most current rendition as Hughes last wrote them.An effort was made by the editors to put the poems in the order they were written and published.A number of the poems were meant to be accompanied by jazz and blues music or read aloud in a specific way to drive home the point of the piece.

    At first glance, all the poems collected in this book appear simple and straight foreward. But, Hughes was skilled at putting a lot of meaning into just a few lines of his work. An example are the poems "Cross" and "Mulatto" which tell how the mixed bloodlines of every decendent ofthe pure blooded African slave and European came to exist today inmodern black America and how prejudice denied them the right to claim all their heritages (political correct stereotypes, labels,are doing the same today!!!). My favorite of the poems here is "Dream Variation." Carl Van Vetchen truncated some of the poem in his introduction to the the WEARY BLUES, the first book by Hughes. Langston's love for black Americans is evident throughout all his catalogue of work from essays, short stories novels, and plays as well as poetry.But this affection and the black pride he possessed did not exclude the bond of brotherhood he felt for all people regardless of race and color. This isn't to say that behind the famous smile there wasn't an angry black man.Hughes was angry at all the injustices against black Americans, but he did not let his anger consume and blind him.He bridled his anger and used it constructively, the testament of a true artist of the any people.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Stunning and Satisfying
    Langston Hughes' body of work is a revolutionary accomplishment: boisterous lyricism, melodous imagery,and profound commentary blended to create one of the most amazing poetic experiences possible.
    Here is a collection spanning his entire career, and representing it well. We see the poems about class, the political poems, the operatic verses of "Montage of a Dream Deferred," and are left, after a cursory reading with a sense of amazement at the artist's extraordinary craft.
    But in the sheer volume these excellent selections provide the reader with material in almost any moment; there is almost always something new.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Poetic Snapshots - Langston Hughes
    Langston Hughes poetic snapshots of his time creatively painted the social, mental, spiritual, and physical mood.I felt his joy, his pain, as well as his strength.It's a true classic. ... Read more

    Isbn: 0679426310
    Sales Rank: 310120
    Subjects:  1. African Americans    2. American - General    3. Blacks    4. Hughes, Langston, 1902-1967    5. Poetry    6. Poetry / Single Author / American   


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