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    Snow Falling on Cedars : A Novel (Vintage Contemporaries)
    by DAVID GUTERSON
    Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
    Paperback (26 September, 1995)
    list price: $14.95 -- our price: $11.21
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    Editorial Review

    This is the kind of book where you can smell and hear and see the fictional world the writer has created, so palpably does the atmosphere come through. Set on an island in the straits north of Puget Sound, in Washington, where everyone is either a fisherman or a berry farmer, the story is nominally about a murder trial. But since it's set in the 1950s, lingering memories of World War II, internment camps and racism helps fuel suspicion of a Japanese-American fisherman, a lifelong resident of the islands. It's a great story, but the primary pleasure of the book is Guterson's renderings of the people and the place. ... Read more

    Reviews (650)

    4-0 out of 5 stars Everything You Could Want
    If you have a short attention span, this book is definitely not for you. Snow Falling On Cedars by David Guterson is the detailed account of the trial for the murder of a local fisherman. The accused man, Kabuo Miyamoto, is a quiet, respectful Japanese American. Though the trial is taking place in 1954, you are often taken back to World War Two, and realize how those events affect the story. The characters are easy to identify with, and you find yourself wanting to read more to find out what happens to them. The twists and turns of the plot are captivating, also... for a minute. Then you lose interest in the annoyingly extensive descriptions. Sometimes you find yourself wondering if the end is even worth it. Well, take my word for it- it is. Snow Falling on Cedars has everything you could want to read- comedy, drama, romance, history, gore, etc. It does tend to get slightly graphic at times, but it's humorous. If you aren't a patient person, just put this one down. However, if you like to take your time with a good mystery, this novel is right up your alley.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Multi-layered , absorbing tale.
    This novel unfolds from a tight bud to rose in full bloom. It begins with a two-dimensional snapshot of a courtroom scene, and expands with great depth as each person's personal story is unwrapped, like a gift in many layers of tissue paper. I read the "Acknowledgements" only after reading the book. I was very impressed by the amount of research done by the author to create this time and place so vividly and with so much detail.

    The cover art of the copy I read truly depicts the colors that ran through my head as I read: icy grays and whites tinged with oily black, cold and dark black-blue seas, the grey of sea gulls, the bluish-gray shadows of the courtroom, muted foggy whites, even the initial somber-colored `auras' of the main characters. You almost need to read this book while wrapped in a quilt by a warm, cheerful fire.

    The Island of San Piedro, where most of this story is set, brought me into contact with a lifestyle and place I know nothing about: the seclusion and closeness of a small, island, fishing/farming community and the harshness of life lived in proximity to cold, northwest seaside. The story centers around a murder trial. An islander of Japanese descent is accused of killing another member of the small, remote San Piedro fishing community: a neighbor with whom there was a history of tension between both of their families. The time period is the 1940s and 50s. The small island of San Piedro has not only been affected by WWII but its community had been badly scarred by the incarceration of the U.S. Japanese during the war years. The wounds had never really fully healed.

    There is a lesson here in how we judge each other, how little we really know about the inner workings of our closest neighbors, and how quick we are to presume based on outward appearance, especially if someone's cultural heritage is imprinted on their features, and it is different from ours. We learn one thing: war teaches us to hate and the lesson stays with us long after the heads of State have decided to stop the fighting. We also learn, though, that love, real love, can bring out the best we have to give.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Beautiful
    This beautifully written book escapes categorization.It is at once a historical novel, a love story, and a murder mystery.Snow Falling on Cedars takes place on an island in Puget Sound.When a white fisherman dies, suspicion is cast upon a Japanese-American fisherman, whose wife, Hatsue, had a childhood romance with Ishmael, the story's narrator and the editor of the local paper.As the trial unfolds, it takes the island back to the trauma it experienced in the 1940s when much of its population was taken away to the Japanese internment camps.

    I loved this book because it pulled together so many different elements in such a beautiful way.The characters are true to life and I found myself completely invested in their history and their future.As a lover of history, I really enjoyed the portrayal of the effect the Japanese internment camps had on this small island community, even decades after all its residents had returned.I was taken in by Ishmael's story and engrossed in the trial and its outcome.A beautiful story.

    Highly recommended. ... Read more

    Isbn: 067976402X
    Subjects:  1. Fiction    2. Fiction - General    3. Japanese Americans    4. Journalists    5. Literary    6. Trials (Murder)    7. Washington (State)    8. Fiction / Literary    9. Reading Group Guide   


    $11.21

    Mutations
    Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
    Audio CD (03 November, 1998)
    list price: $13.98 -- our price: $9.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
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    Editorial Review

    It's unfortunate how much attention has been paid to how this album was recorded--quickly, without the same level of studio fuss that marked Beck's breakthrough album, Odelay. That's a shame because our favorite chameleon has pulled the neatest trick of all: he's dropped the lyrical schtick that sometimes marred his sonic wizardy, leaving listeners to wonder if he even believed in the music he was playing. That's not an issue here. At times, he sounds like Ray Davies updated for the '90s, stripping himself bare with lovely, simple songs that linger long after they've supposedly ended. Beck may have made his initial mark with "Loser," a clever but insincere admission of inferiority; he's more likely to be remembered for the similar but more heartfelt confession of "Nobody's Fault But My Own." --Keith Moerer ... Read more

    Reviews (220)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Beck's "fake" album (How Stupid to Call It That!)
    When Mutations came out after Odelay!, critics and fans said it wasn't a "real" Beck album, mostly due to its acoustic nature.What rubbish. This is a fantastic album, showing Beck to be more talented than a lot of people thought with his singing, songwriting, and guitar playing really shining here.And the songs, overall, are awesome.Tropicalia, Bottle of Blues, Nobody's Fault But My Own, Lazy Flies, Cold Brains, and an AWESOME hidden track (Diamond Bollocks) that is a cross between what Beck did on Odelay! and what he would do on Midnite Vultures.Just awesome.

    3-0 out of 5 stars Odelay part 2 it's not..Beck's "Nashville Skyline"
    Beck is one of the latest to have the label "the new Dylan" slapped on him. This album may be the one that makes it a little easier to see where they're coming from. Forget the genre- stitching amalgram that was "Mellow Gold" and "Odelay"..there are no "turntables and a microphone" here. This is clearly too ornate and full of glockenspiel, trumpet, cello, "fuzz" bass/guitar, harpsichord and the like to call "folk", though it's easy to hear an acoustic melody at the heart of all these tunes. If there's an overall sound here, it's country. The other left turn comes lyrically where Beck isn't using nearly as much surrealist imagery..he's getting introspective here and while there's still clever wordplay it's not as apt to be willfully bizarre.

    HIGHLIGHTS:
    With its droning sitar and tamboura, "Nobody's Fault but my Own" could be George Harrison on downers. "Tropicalia", is a cross between bossa nova and African music (I seem to hear a djembe in there..) with "old style" Beck imagery. ("Misery waits in vague hotels","under an air-conditioned sun") It's the 'sore thumb' here musically. "Canceled Check" evokes the old West with barroom rinky-tink piano, pedal steel and harmonica in its kiss-off to a traitorous friend. It all dissolves in a wash of crashing cymbal, keyboard blips, and assorted noise. "Bottle of Blues" may be the most straightforward music Beck's ever done, a pure country lament (well,ALMOST...some extra keyboard blips keep it in "alt-country" territory). "O Maria" seems to be the document of a love affair watching the spark slowly seep out ("'Cos everybody knows death creeps in slow/Till you feel safe in his arms")

    LOW SPOTS:
    There's a hidden track after "Static" that isn't so much "bad" as just a sore thumb on the album. It's full of blaring transitions, distorted guitar, and sonic oddities like an abrupt stop to play tweeting birds and clanging cacophony. It would be much more at home on "Odelay" than here. Again, not "bad"..but an album is supposed to hang together and putting this on here makes it not do that as well. "Dead Melodies" and "Cold Brains", while very pretty, just didn't "grab" me. "CB" is poorly positioned..you really want an attention getter as your opener.."Bottle of Blues" would probably have been better in that respect.

    BOTTOM LINE:
    Try the trilogy...listen to the samples for "Nobody's Fault but my Own","Canceled Check" and "Bottle of Blues". If this is NOT your thing, neither is the album. If you like 'em, pick this up.

    3 1/2 stars

    5-0 out of 5 stars A Beckian Hybrid
    It's nearly impossible to attach a label to any of Beck's work, unless that label is "Beckesque," and even that is difficult to pin down exactly.Similarly, "Mutations" features the artist trying his hand at everything from old-West saloon music to vaguely-folk alternative rock.What is missing, however, is the unmistakable awareness of pop sensibilities that had marked Beck's previous work, and hence why the album - arguably the artist's best - is not the ideal point of entry for the unfamiliar listener.Better to start with efforts such as "Odelay" or the recent "Guero."

    While the songs range considerably in genre-essence, they share a common reliance upon vivid, often surreal imagery that include heavens being sucked down the drain and night birds singing dead melodies.There is a persistent feeling of cynicism chewing through one track after the next, hiding behind all variety of bizarre images and metaphors before jumping suddenly out to level the listener with a line like, "everybody knows death creeps in slow `til you feel safe in his arms."That said, the album is not a depressing one.It never wanders too far from Beck's sense of humor and self-irony, and one must at least acknowledge that it is interesting.

    But to the listener looking for something different - not too different, but just enough - "Mutations" is refreshing evidence that significant albums are still being made.From the pleasant, old-west/riverboat sounds of "Cancelled Check" and "Bottle of Blues," to the creepy "Nobody's Fault but my Own," and "O Maria," to the foreboding "Runners Dial Zero," the album is a complete, polished effort - ranging from chaotic circus music to gentle folk strumming.And the artist avoids betraying fans of his old albums by tossing them the archetypal-Beck, pop-sounding "Tropicalia" and "Diamond Bollocks."Always experimental, always transcendent, Beck has achieved with "Mutations" a career-defining album that shrugs off the necessity of commercial success by appealing to the somewhat inclusive and somewhat refined tastes of somewhat cultivated listeners. ... Read more

    Asin: B00000DHYK
    Subjects:  1. Alternative Pop/Rock    2. Indie Rock    3. Lo-Fi    4. Pop    5. Rock    6. Singer/Songwriter   


    $9.99

    Jane Eyre (Signet Classics (Paperback))
    by Charlotte Bronte
    Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
    Mass Market Paperback (01 June, 1997)
    list price: $4.95 -- our price: $4.95
    (price subject to change: see help)
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    Reviews (585)

    3-0 out of 5 stars Jane Eyre
    I enjoyed reading this gothic novel. The story takes place in England, during the 19th century. Jane Eyre is orphaned at a young age. Raised in Lowood school, her only friend is HelenShe is annoyed by the headmaster Brocklehurst. She is employed as a governess at an estate, where she falls in love with her employer, Rochester. This is a fine example of a coming of age novel.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Savannah Dietrich's Review for Jane Eyre
    Mrs. Taylor's Senior Honors Literature class was assigned to read Jane Eyre. I truly enjoyed reading this book. The details were so good that I could imagine myself there in the action. Jane Eyre is a dynamic character. She is very strong willed. I would recommend this book to just about anyone.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Jane Eyre: Elaine Oye's Summary
    Mrs. Taylor's honors senior literature class was carefully chosen to read Jane Eyre. I truly enjoyed reading this novel because it allowed me to realize that it is not necessary to have the love of your family members or a man to depend upon. If you are confident in yourself and your abilities, then you will succeed in carrying out a happy and successful life much like Jane Eyre. She did not need beauty in order to be content with herself. This novel not only taught me many life's lessons, but also encouraged me to focus more on true happiness, not the typical worldly view of happiness. ... Read more

    Isbn: 0451526554
    Sales Rank: 1070
    Subjects:  1. Classics    2. Fiction    3. Literature - Classics / Criticism    4. Literature: Classics   


    $4.95

    Are You Experienced?
    by William Sutcliffe
    Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
    Paperback (01 July, 1999)
    list price: $9.95 -- our price: $9.95
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    Reviews (44)

    5-0 out of 5 stars More than funny
    Are you experienced?


    Ifyou read the book, you will be the traveller. The First Person Narrator helps you to identify with the narrator. You also do not have problems with the language , if you were a young people. The language is simple and informal with a lot of dialogues. Despite this book is very funny and you canlaugh about itis sad, too.You can identify with the narrator and there are situations in the book which are very sad for example when he is on his own. Williams Sutcliffe's intention wants to be found through that the book is very funny. Through that the book is very funny you can't see the central conflict directly. You must search for that. In this book there is more than laugh and travel. William Sutcliffe somehow wrote the book with such honest and more.

    2-0 out of 5 stars Really unfunny!!!
    Review:

    You like to read unfunny books?Then take it!!

    The novel " Are you experienced " starts very well, but then it becomes more and more lengthy, so that I have lost the interest in reading on.
    Although the novel is written from a first person narrator, I could not identify with or even understand the protagonist's behaviour. Sutcliff's style doesn't convince me, I have not found any parts in the book where tension arises either.
    In spite of this the story (two young people travel to India for three months during their gap year, because he wants to get her into bed and she wants to find herself there) is good, it's just not put well into practise.
    Nevertheless I'm proud having read it, because as Dave, the protagonist, says having done it is more fun than the doing it!

    Since I had to read this novel for school, I have found out many interesting details and so I can say that there is definitely more in the text than I thought before. But I would still not recommend it to a friend!

    4-0 out of 5 stars Funny story
    In the novel poverty is seen as a kind of annoyance that you have to ignore, otherwise your mind gets ill, because you cannot change the misery. Automatically, poverty evokers a bab conscience in the travellers and since they are not interested in India and its problems, but only in themselves, they stop thinking about India's poverty. The book's language is partly rather vulgar, but it is put in a kind of funny and original way that captivates the reader and makes him continue reading. The reader learns much information about informal language and juvenile language.

    All in all, I personally liked to read the novel. It was great fun. A lot of times, i had to laugh because of the surprising language. ... Read more

    Isbn: 0140283587
    Sales Rank: 314804
    Subjects:  1. Fiction    2. Fiction - General    3. General    4. Humorous    5. Popular English Fiction   


    $9.95

    The Best of Blur
    Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
    Audio CD (21 November, 2000)
    list price: $18.98 -- our price: $14.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
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    Editorial Review

    Scanning the track listing of this album, it's hard not to conclude that Blur aren't a little embarrassed by their early work. Opening with the chart one-two of "Beetlebum" and "Song 2" (from their eponymous 1997 watershed album) rather than the baggy groove of their debut single, "She's So High," it's apparent that they desire to accentuate their more recent efforts. Running order aside, it's hard to fault the 18 songs which chart the life and times of one of Britain's smartest, most inventive bands. From the tuxedoed ballad "The Universal" through the cartoon Brit-pop of numbers such as "Parklife" and "Country House" to the freshly recorded indie-influenced "Music Is My Radar," their searching intelligence and deft hooks are never less than admirable. --Mike Pattenden ... Read more

    Reviews (77)

    3-0 out of 5 stars Good Brit Pop that can overstay its welcome
    I'm not a huge die hard blur fan, but I like some of the hits that made airplay in the US (though Song 2 isn't the best IMO). But, man, a couple of the tunes that don't have a whole lot more to say than a three minute pop song should hang around for twice that long (beetlebum, for tomorrow, tender - just goes on and on and on). Harmless tunes in and of themselves but stretched out as if it's pure gold that they just didn't have the heart to end. Boys, it's not THAT great. A lot of these Brit Boy Bands take themselves way too seriously (cough... oasis). Parklife is my favorite and weighs in at a reasonable 3:07.

    Maybe take a cue from Supergrass and keep'em short or make them interesting for the entire ride if you've just got to go past 4:00.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Let's face it, Blur are basically the best band ever.
    Put simply, this album is the Best Of Blur. That much is obvious. If you don't own 13 and Modern Life, then get this. If you do, get it anyway since it's a wonderfully apt order for the songs, regardless of their actual chronology. If you don't want this album, then you can probably be put to bed with a shovel.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Why No Chemical World or Sunday, Sunday?
    Who says this is really the best of Blur? I think every Blur fan there is would select a different playlist for this album; I'm no different. Whoever produced this album seemed to have jumped from She's so High and There's no other Way straight to cuts from Parklife carelessly omitting anything done in 1993. A travesty! Chemical World surely has to be somewhere in the top 18 best songs blur have done?

    Other than this rather large snafu, we have an excellent album; I'm glad to see On Your Own made it in but Coffee & TV? Come on. ... Read more

    Asin: B00005176F
    Subjects:  1. Alternative Pop/Rock    2. Britpop    3. England    4. Indie Pop    5. Pop    6. Pop/Rock    7. Rock   


    $14.99

    Cartoon History of the Universe 1 (Cartoon History of the Universe)
    by LARRY GONICK
    Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
    Paperback (10 September, 1997)
    list price: $21.95 -- our price: $14.93
    (price subject to change: see help)
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    Editorial Review

    One of the beautiful things about comics is that it is possibly the best medium for combining education and entertainment. No one knows this better than Larry Gonick, whose Cartoon History series spans many subjects.Whether you are a fan of history, comics, or Gonick's books, The Cartoon History of the Universe I is a great place to start. Part I contains volumes 1 to 7, from the Big Bang to Alexander the Great. ... Read more

    Reviews (43)

    5-0 out of 5 stars A great History Book
    I use this book and the others of the series with my real hard heads in my classroom, who don't think history isn't interesting or useful. So far I am batting in the 700's.
    I am so grateful that Mr Gonick produced such a wonderful book and hope that he keeps up the grand work!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Fun and accessible but also packs a of lot of real history.
    I had originally bought this book for use in my waiting room. However, some of the sexual humor and the irreverant approach to religious figures meant that it was a "stay at home" book. (Don't tell the IRS)

    Now that the book is in its proper place, I should add that I enjoyed it immensely and went on to buy Volumes 2 and 3. (not on my office account though)The book starts with evolution of the earth and its creatures. The pictures were well done and the humor makes the factual material easier to remember.

    The bulk of the book deals with the history of the human race. The author does not confine himself to European civilization. Two of my children read all three volumes, and I did not have to hassle them to do it. How often does this happen with other history texts? I am hoping to use their interest in some of the historical topics to encourage them to read other books. Each section of the Cartoon History contains a reference section for those who desire further reading.

    Ideally this book should be a companion to serious textbooks on history. However, there are a lot of people who are unwilling and unable to absorb material from textbooks or lectures. People who are visual learners may be able to remember the pictures and the humor when they have trouble remembering college lecutres or long passages of text. I have recommended this and some other of the author's books to individuals who were having trouble with basic college classes.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Laugh-out-loud history with social commentary
    You have to love this cartoon history with a decidedly feminist perspective and a thorough treatment of the Bible--about as warped as Monty Python but still accurate.This is where I got the genesis of my screenplay "Pericles," from the pages on Aspasia and Pericles: "What could an ambitious woman do in those days?She could associate with powerful men...Aspasia met Pericles...BWOWM" (schwing) ... Read more

    Isbn: 0385265204
    Subjects:  1. Caricatures and cartoons    2. Cartoons and caricatures    3. Comics & Cartoons    4. Graphic Satire And Humor    5. History - General History    6. History: World    7. Reference    8. World history    9. Humor / Cartoons   


    $14.93

    Much Ado About Nothing
    by William Shakespeare
    Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
    Paperback (01 May, 1995)
    list price: $4.99
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    Editorial Review

    Much Ado About Nothing is probably the most satisfying, and certainly the liveliest and most charming, of Kenneth Branagh's Shakespeare films. The witty badinage between Branagh and his then-wife Emma Thompson, as Benedick and Beatrice, is as bright and sunny as the golden sunlight that shines on the Tuscan villa where the picture was shot. This production--and don't ask about the plot, just remember the title--is an ebullient celebration of art and artifice, culminating in a joyous dance, and performed at a brisk pace by an all-star cast, including Denzel Washington, Robert Sean Leonard, Keanu Reeves, and Michael Keaton. --Jim Emerson ... Read more

    Reviews (97)

    5-0 out of 5 stars delightful
    I've always thought that Shakespeare's plays were meant to be seen and not read. Branagh's version of Much Ado, one of my favorites, validates that opinion. It's fun to watch the bard's comedies anyway, but Branagh's modern yet true-to-the-original interpretation is a breath of fresh air. His choice of cast is wonderful, the actors, all well known, blend together effortlessly. Some play their roles straight, some insert their own twist, but each of them turns in a great performance. The comedic sections are laugh-out-loud funny. The serious speeches are natural and moving. I watch this production often and thoroughly enjoy it every time. It's truly a delight, as Shakespeare ought to be.

    5-0 out of 5 stars much ado about nothing sharon
    Much Ado About Nothing is a book that deals with deception, love, and friendship.In this book the men just arrive back from fighting Don Pedro's brother Don John.Claudio and Hero are going to be married in a week.Don John does not like Claudio and he plans to break Claudio and Hero up.Don John tells Claudio Hero has been unfaithful to him and to see for himself.At midnight Don John, Claudio, and Don Pedro go to Hero's window and they see Hero cheating.The people at the window is Margaret and Borachio.Claudio believes it's Hero and at their wedding Claudio embaress's Hero.Hero faints the friar, Beatrice and Benedick do to.They pretend Hero's dead until they can prove Hero is innocent.Everyone tries to make Beatrice and Benedick hook up.I enjoyed this book it was an exciting, and adventurous book.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Mikeybear Robinsons Review
    My Critique of "A Midsummer Nights Dream"

    I recently read "A Midsummer Nights Dream" by William Shakespeare, I enjoyed reading this play, I thought it was hilarious how Shakespeare would toy around with the characters and make fun of the actors who were alive at the time this play was written.When reading this play was assigned, I thought man what is he thinking?I did not want to read this play because I thought it would be very feminine and I am not normally a touchy feely kinda guy.I would much rather read something that is funny or has a lot of martial arts in it.My opinion of Shakespeare was that he was an old fart, that he was too mushy and liked to say "Thy" entirely too often.But after reading the play, I feel more upbeat about reading more Shakespeare stuff.
    I think that his main purpose for writing this play was to show people how love will cause you to do crazy, crazy things.Two of the main characters Lysander and Demetrius fall in love with the same girl, Hermia.They both know the other is in love with Hermia, and they compete for her affection.Lysander, sings for her, he gives her gawds (fancy presents) and anything else that he thinks she will like.Hermia has a friend named Helena who is in love with Demetrius, and Hermia wants her friend to marry Demetrius.However, Hermia's father wants Hermia to marry Demetrius, so Lysander and Hermia run away into the woods so they can escape to Lysander's Aunts house outside of Athens.Lysander's Aunt is very wealthy and considers Lysander to be like a son to her.But when they are in the woods, they fall asleep and the King of the Fairies servant, Puck, finds them.The King of the Fairies, Oberon, tells Puck to cast a spell onDemetrius so he will be in love with Helena.Puck messes up and casts the spell on Lysander making him fall in love with Helena.Helena thinks that Lysander is playing a cruel jokeand does not believe that Lysander is in Love with her.Puck then casts a spell on Demetrius making him fall in love with Helena.When Hermia wakes up in the woods she tries going to Lysander, but he is already in "love" with Helena.So, Hermia and Helena get angry with each other. Hermia thinks Helena stole her man and Helena thinks that Hermia and Lysander are playing a cruel joke on her.In the end, Hermia falls in love with Lysander and Demetrius falls in love with Helena and everyone gets married.
    This is kinda Disneyish.
    I personally learned from reading this play that love will make you make sacrifice for the person you love.When you love a person you will be willing to do many things for them.A good example of this is how Hermia and Lysander were willing to run away to be together and how Hermia was willing to fight Helena for Lysander when he was under Pucks misguided spell.
    I would highly recommend this play, it is the finest play by Shakespeare that I have ever read.I think this play has totally flipped my opinion of Shakespeare upside down.I no longer think that he is a pansy, tight wearing, geeky kinda guy.In fact, after reading this play I would give him the benefit of the doubt that if they had football back in his day that he may have even been able to catch it.I was really amazed that Shakespeare had a sense of humor.I thought all of these plays were boring love stories full of poetry and other romantic scmitty schmatt.Given the opportunity, I would like to attend a performance of this play.

    ... Read more

    Isbn: 0671722808
    Subjects:  1. 1564-1616    2. Classics    3. Conspiracies    4. Courtship    5. Drama    6. Much ado about nothing    7. Plays    8. Plays / Drama    9. Rejection (Psychology)    10. Shakespeare    11. Shakespeare, William,    12. Fiction / Classics    13. Shakespeare, William   


    The Best of 1980-1990
    Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
    Audio CD (10 November, 1998)
    list price: $13.98 -- our price: $9.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
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    Editorial Review

    One need hear only the first notes of this collection--the Edge's ringing guitar notes ushering in "Pride (In the Name of Love)"-to be taken back to 1984: Ronald Reagan and Maggie Thatcher rule the Western world, the L.A. Olympics is the top sports story, and Ms. Pac-Man reigns at arcades. In rock & roll, there's U2 growing in stature with each new title. Even doubters of the Irish lads have to concede that together they formed the one '80s band with the skill and sense of scale to take over the airwaves and concert stages in a decade of diminished expectations. This 15-song '80s best-of assortment (stick around for the hidden track) spans the decade, reaching back to 1980's "I Will Follow," when Bono and company were peach-fuzzy and earnest as choirboys, and tracking their path through their most glaring misstep, 1988's overblown Rattle and Hum. --Steven Stolder ... Read more

    Reviews (203)

    1-0 out of 5 stars This site is lying!
    There cannot be the best of U2 because they haven't even made a good song ever...why have a best of when they even doen't have a good ones? They should have made the worst of instead!

    4-0 out of 5 stars A Good Sampler
    This is a good sampler of U2's earlier work.It is not complete enough to satisfy a hard core fan, but it probably doesn't need to do so.Those fans probably already own several of the earlier albums.

    This really should have probably been a two disk compilation.At least two of the great songs were shortened on this version:'New Year's Day' and 'Where the Streets Have No Name'.There are also some songs that were not included at all.In fact, there were no cuts from 'October' which was an excellent album.

    This isn't a bad start to a U2 collection.However, if you like them, you will undoubtedly want more.

    3-0 out of 5 stars Where is Gloria? An exercise in ax grinding
    Man, this album bugs me. Not that the songs aren't great (they are) and not because there are some understandable omissions (great bands are never able to fit all the deserving songs on a single disc). This album gets under my skin because they completely ignore the October record.

    When U2 were building their US fan base in the early 80's, MTV played the heck out of Gloria; it was a great song. The whole October album is pretty darned good and to pretend it never existed is baffling. When you remember that this collection was originally released as a double CD with a second disc of B-sides, it just adds insult to injury.
    ... Read more

    Asin: B00000DFSK
    Subjects:  1. Album Rock    2. Alternative Pop/Rock    3. College Rock    4. Pop    5. Pop/Rock    6. Post-Punk    7. Rock   


    $9.99

    Art: The World's Greatest Paintings Explored and Explained
    by RobertCumming
    Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
    Hardcover (15 March, 1995)
    list price: $27.50 -- our price: $17.32
    (price subject to change: see help)
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    Reviews (10)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent book for starters
    I got interested in painting while I was living in Italy for a few months. Wish I had this book with me. Some noteable features:

    1. Excellent color plates
    2. Tastefully selected paintings, each showing a different nuance.
    3. Not overly technical so it doesnt lose a layperson like me.
    4. Has my favorite painting - The School of Athens, but thats a personal plus.

    Unfortunately the nice large plates mean this book (though quite small in terms of number of pages) is not a size that would fit into a travel hand bag to take with you on a trip to see the paintings.

    A good companion volume is the 50 greates painters which has paintings by many of the same painters but they complement each other.
    eg: Birth of Venus (this book) and Coming of Spring both by Botticelli or Mona Lisa (this book) and Madonna of the Rocks.

    Overall these books are both keepers.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Good book
    My Mother is really into art and I bought this for her b-day.When I got it I looked through it and it was very informational and had some really cool facts and pictures about art.

    5-0 out of 5 stars If you only invest in 1 book to learn about art, this is it.
    This book is a great introduction or review for adults or teens.Using famous works of art, in color sure beats the first art appreciation book I read in college which had drawings and black and white grainy photos.Even with a degree in art history, I found this book a great refresher. ... Read more

    Isbn: 1564588483
    Sales Rank: 21298
    Subjects:  1. Appreciation    2. Art    3. Art & Art Instruction    4. Art Appreciation    5. General    6. History - General    7. Painting    8. Reference    9. Techniques - Painting    10. Art / Reference   


    $17.32

    Bridget Jones's Diary
    by Helen Fielding
    Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
    Paperback (24 May, 1999)
    list price: $14.00 -- our price: $10.50
    (price subject to change: see help)
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    Editorial Review

    In the course of the year recorded in Bridget Jones's Diary, Bridgetconfides her hopes, her dreams, and her monstrously fluctuating poundage, not tomention her consumption of 5277 cigarettes and "Fat units 3457 (approx.) (hideousin every way)." In 365 days, she gains 74 pounds. On the other hand, she loses 72!There is also the unspoken New Year's resolution--the quest for the right man. Alas, hereBridget goes severely off course when she has an affair with her charming cad of a boss.But who would be without their e-mail flirtation focused on a short black skirt? The bosseven contends that it is so short as to be nonexistent.

    At the beginning of Helen Fielding's exceptionally funny second novel, the thirtyishpublishing puffette is suffering from postholiday stress syndrome but determined to findInner Peace and poise. Bridget will, for instance, "get up straight awaywhen wake up in mornings." Now if only she can survive the party her mother hastricked her into--a suburban fest full of "Smug Marrieds" professing concernfor her and her fellow "Singletons"--she'll have made a good start. As far asshe's concerned, "We wouldn't rush up to them and roar, 'How's yourmarriage going? Still having sex?'"

    This is only the first of many disgraces Bridget will suffer in her year of performanceanxiety (at work and at play, though less often in bed) and living through other people's"emotional fuckwittage." Her twin-set-wearing suburban mother, forinstance, suddenly becomes a chat-show hostess and unrepentant adulteress, while ourheroine herself spends half the time overdosing on Chardonnay and feeling like "atragic freak." Bridget Jones's Diary began as a column in the LondonIndependent and struck a chord with readers of all sexes and sizes. In strokessimultaneously broad and subtle, Helen Fielding reveals the lighter side of despair,self-doubt, and obsession, and also satirizes everything from self-help books (they don't soundhalf as sensible to Bridget when she's sober) to feng shui, Cosmopolitan-style.She is the NancyMitford of the 1990s, and it's impossible not to root for her endearing heroine. Onthe other hand, one can only hope that Bridget will continue to screw up and tell us allabout it for years and books to come. --Kerry Fried ... Read more

    Reviews (1042)

    4-0 out of 5 stars Interesting and alot of fun
    If you like romantic love stories with comedy then you should read this book. Bridget Jones is a very funny young women who thinks she has all the answers.I recomend this book to young women who are determined to change there self image ,change bad habbits , and find a functional relationship . As you learn about bridget jones and her hilarious ways you will find your self having alot in common with her.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Someone turned my life into a Book!
    This book reminds me so much of my life that I couldn't believe it!I instantly fell in love with the book and Bridget Jones.

    Very well done Helen Fielding!

    There is a God and he does shine down upon us quirky types too!Lah!

    Can't wait to buy the next movie "Edge of Reason"

    4-0 out of 5 stars So annoying, shallow, whiny, -- and yet we root for her!
    Much has been written about both this book and the movie it spawned, but briefly, the book is a glimpse into a year in the life of Bridget Jones, as revealed by her diary.She starts the year, as so many of us do, by listing her New Year's resolutions, and then uses her diary to track her progress.Her weight and alcohol, cigarette, and calorie consumption begin each entry, along with number of obsessive thoughts, times she dialed 1471 (Brit equivalent of *69 to see who last rang you), etc.

    I started off thinking how shallow, ridiculous, insecure, irritating, and immature Bridget and her friends were.They seemed to earn my disdain on every page: wailing about being thirty-something and single, how men are beasts, and yet also how dull the Smug Marrieds are.And yet, as I went through Bridget's year with her, I started to almost kind of like her.And I even saw myself in her sometimes (though was loath to admit it).And I definitely started to root for her.

    The diary style lets you hear a character in a natural voice, with abbreviations, slang, and cussing.It's also a good primer for British slang, though you have to get most of it from context, which was kind of fun.

    In the end, it's just a silly, fun book about a character who, if you look past the high exaggeration of her flaws, is not that different from any of us.

    I liked Olivia Joules and the Overactive Imagination, also by Fielding, a little better, mainly because the main character had a bit more depth and a bit less whining to her. ... Read more

    Isbn: 014028009X
    Subjects:  1. Fiction    2. Fiction - General    3. General    4. Humorous    5. Reading Group Guide   


    $10.50

    Castle : Stephen Biesty's Cross-Sections
    by Richard Platt, Stephen Biesty
    Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
    Hardcover (01 September, 1994)
    list price: $16.95
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    Reviews (12)

    5-0 out of 5 stars The Great Book
    This book is one of the best castle books I have. It is very detailed and informitive yet is great for children because of the colorful illustations. The layout is very good-starts in the front of the castle, moves throught the inner parts of the castle and eventually ends in the back. Though some picture are a little bit graphic, thats how medieval times were. I think if your looking for a castle book that is not to broad or in-depth than look no further than here.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Very detailed cross-sections of a Medieval Castle
    I was reading Michael Crichton's "Timeline," which involves an attack on a medieval castle, and was looking for something to help me better appreciate the details.One of the most useful books I found was "Castle: Stephen Biesty's Cross-Sections," because in addition to showing how castles were built and how they lived and worked, there is something of a narrative to this book.At the beginning we see an enemy army approaches and people from the town flee to the heavily fortified gatehouse to enter the shelter of the "Castle."At various points in the book we see the enemy attack and the castle being defended.

    Of course, "Castle" does more than simply provide cross-sections of the title feature.All sorts of details about medieval life are jammed into this book by writer Richard Platt (who claims to have been a serf earlier in life) and illustrator Stephen Biesty.The feudal system is explained, as are arrow loops, how to test beer, tax demands, and finger pillories. Readers are encouraged to "find the enemy spy" as they read the book, and will discover dozens of minor unexplained details (e.g., a baby being born), that will have you looking carefully at every square inch of these drawings.The key to education, whether we are talking children or adults, is getting them to pay attention and "Castles" certainly gets its readers to do that.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Educational and Fun!
    Just seeing a castle from the outside, hardly does it justice. I mean, the things going on in this castle...you just can never imagine.

    The Introduction shows the basics of the outside of the castle walls and roofing. Then the next section focuses on defense and siege. Who knew that sometimes castle commanders found uses for their trebuchets and provided the watching ladies with a preciesion bombardment of roses.

    The Garrison section shows how the Feudal system worked and where they kept the treasure chests.

    The Treadmill in the Building the Castle Section is not exactly one you might think of now. Children will enjoy this section, it has so many peope at work all over the castle.

    The Trades and Skills section shows people making pottery. There are candle makers, carpenters, plumbers, tailors and even a Hermit cell where the hermit could study and be religious, even if they didn't agree with the church.

    Living like a Lord and Food and Feasting, now those pages are quite good. Rules like: "Do not pick your teeth at the table with a knife," sounds like a good one to me.

    Entertainment, livestock and produce, weapons and punishment are also covered.

    Very informative and entertaining. You might also enjoy: DK Pockets Castles book, ISBN 0789420473 for even more information. With these two books, you about have castles covered!

    ~The Rebecca Review ... Read more

    Isbn: 1564584674
    Sales Rank: 35872
    Subjects:  1. Castles    2. Children's 9-12    3. Children: Grades 3-4    4. Civilization, Medieval    5. General    6. Juvenile literature    7. Science & Technology - How Things Work   


    The Romance of Tristan and Iseult (Vintage Classics)
    by JOSEPH BEDIER, HILAIRE BELLOC
    Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
    Paperback (31 May, 1994)
    list price: $10.00 -- our price: $8.00
    (price subject to change: see help)
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    Reviews (14)

    3-0 out of 5 stars A Keeper
    I had to read this for a history class and thought I woult dread it, but it is a very nice love story - way better than Romeo and Juliet, and did reflect the changing view of romantic love in literature of the time.I will be keeping it in my library instead of selling it back to the bookstore - and that says a lot!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Aaww
    Although this story line has been used endlessly in many classic romance stories, it was a very good read. So romantic. To see two people who have not even had the slight interest in each other suddenly fall in love by mistake.
    The things they do for each other...just to see each other...just to be in each other's arms again is incredible. And all the suffering they've encountered through this romance is sometimes unbearable to even read.
    I loved the parts when they were together. They had a strong romance that could not have been destroyed and it is an awesome read. Though, the end is...quite disappointing.
    Please read it. You will enjoy it as much as I have.

    5-0 out of 5 stars The best book I've ever been obliged to read !
    As a high school student I had to read this book.Looking at it and seeing the theme, I initially snickered ... until I started reading page one. The story just blew me away.The reader will really start feeling for these lovers, and enjoy the love and drama that unfold.

    I look forward to reading it again. ... Read more

    Isbn: 0679750169
    Sales Rank: 150838
    Subjects:  1. Adaptations    2. Arthurian romances    3. Classics    4. Iseult (Legendary character)    5. Literature - Classics / Criticism    6. Literature: Classics    7. Romances    8. Tristan (Legendary character)    9. Fiction / Literary   


    $8.00

    Velvet Goldmine: Music From The Original Motion Picture
    Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
    Audio CD (03 November, 1998)
    list price: $13.98 -- our price: $13.98
    (price subject to change: see help)
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    Editorial Review

    Director Todd Haynes's celebration of the sex, drugs, and rock & roll of the British glam era of the early '70s, Velvet Goldmine, would be nothing without the music that inspired it. A few unusual absentees (no Bowie, Iggy Pop, or New York Dolls?), but folks such as Brian Eno, Roxy Music, Lou Reed, and T-Rex are represented. Several covers from the glam era are performed without much deviation by two supergroups: the Venus in Furs, featuring members of England's elite--Bernard Butler, and Thom Yorke of Radiohead; and Wylde Ratz, featuring Mark Arm of Mudhoney, Ron Asheton of the original Stooges, and Thurston Moore and Steve Shelley of Sonic Youth. Strongest are the originals submitted to the film: Shudder to Think tame their own experimental excesses to put forth two glam-worthy originals with "Hot One" and "Ballad of Maxwell Demon." Pulp deliver "We Are the Boys," which runs amuck with the dramatic stagepower of the finest glam. --Rob O'Connor ... Read more

    Features

    • Soundtrack
    Reviews (92)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Wow
    Only wordI can say is amazing...nothing better! mind blowing and over all a orgasum for my mind!

    1-0 out of 5 stars Thom Yorke couldn't semi-redeem this piece of crapola
    The cover pic reminds me of that fab line from a Frank Zappa tune: "Snotty boys with lipstick on would really buy an eye." The Venus In Furs is a unit that features Thom Yorke's singing. So as a Radiohead fan, I took a listen out of sheer curiosity and was duly appalled. Although then again, I never liked the original versions to begin with. I do love a few tracks: SATELLITE OF LOVE by Lou Reed, VIRGINIA PLAIN by Roxy Music, and MAKE ME SMILE by Steve Harley. Best of all is Carter Burwell's synthesizer track called VELVET SPACETIME.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Great CD
    Love this soundtrack, love the film. Just one question: how come Ewan McGregor's version of "Gimme Danger" isn't on here? That was a great cut! ... Read more

    Asin: B00000DLV3
    Subjects:  1. Film Music    2. Glam Rock    3. Neo-Glam    4. Pop    5. Pop/Rock    6. Soundtracks    7. Soundtracks & Film Scores   


    $13.98

    The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings
    by J. R. R. Tolkien
    Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
    Paperback (01 September, 1999)
    list price: $45.00 -- our price: $28.35
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    Editorial Review

    Hobbits and wizards and Sauron--oh, my! Mild-mannered Oxfordscholar John Ronald Reuel Tolkien had little inkling when he publishedThe Hobbit; Or, There and Back Again in 1937 that, once hobbitswere unleashed upon the world, there would be no turning back. Hobbitsare, of course, small, furry creatures who love nothing better than aleisurely life quite free from adventure. But in that first novel andthe Lord of the Rings trilogy, the hobbits Bilbo and Frodo and theirelvish friends get swept up into a mighty conflict with the dragonSmaug, the dark lord Sauron (who owes much to proud Satan in Paradise Lost), themonstrous Gollum, the Cracks of Doom, and the awful power of themagical Ring. The four books' characters--good and evil--arerecognizably human, and the realism is deepened by the magnificentdetail of the vast parallel world Tolkien devised, inspired partly byhis influential Anglo-Saxon scholarship and his Christian beliefs. (Hedisapproved of the relative sparseness of detail in the comparableallegorical fantasy his friend C.S. Lewis dreamed up in The Chronicles ofNarnia, though he knew Lewis had spun a page-turning yarn.) Ithas been estimated that one-tenth of all paperbacks sold can tracetheir ancestry to J.R.R. Tolkien. But even if we had never gottenRobert Jordan's The Pathof Daggers and the whole fantasy genre Tolkien inadvertentlycreated by bringing the hobbits so richly to life, Tolkien's epic aboutthe Ring would have left our world enhanced by enchantment. --TimAppelo ... Read more

    Features

    • Box set
    Reviews (1185)

    1-0 out of 5 stars Overrated!
    I read through these 4 volumes 33 years ago when I came to England because many of my fellow students raved about them.

    The Hobbit is mildly amusing story suitable for children.

    The LOTR is rather dreary boring tale which requires a lot of perseverence to complete. I have not re-read it since unlike other novels that I have re-read multiple times purely because a good work of literature improves on re-reading.

    If you want to read a true epic with complicated human characters try reading a retelling of the Mahabharata.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Check this out !!
    The Lord of the Rings series is about 2 hobbits named Frodo and Sam who take the challenge of taking an evil ring to destroy it inn Mount Doom, the MOuntian of Fire.

    While Frodo and Sam are being led to Mount Doom by Golem, the Fellowship tries to keep the Eye of Sauran off of them. The Fellowship tries to keep the Eye of Sauran off of them by fending off Orc armies.

    I like the Lord of the Rings series because of all of the action and adventure...!

    Submitted by: Onikage<---not real name

    5-0 out of 5 stars Hobbits, Dwarves, and Elves.
    J.R.R Tolkien is an awesome fantasy writer. The whole series is really long , but it's worth it.The way Tolkien discribes his scenery is awesome. When you read the book it's like you're you are right smack dab in the middle.
    The imagery was awesome throughout the whole book. You could see everything. An example of this is the battle of Minas Tirith, and th battle at the black gates. Tolkien uses major to describe the weapons, the smells, the scenery and everything else. You could see the battles.
    A perfect example of dialogue is how the elves talk, which is way different from the way the dwarves talk. The elves are more refined then most other kinds of people. They are more polite. For the time and the kind of characters the dialogue was correct. J.R.R Tolkien is the best fantasy writer ever.
    ... Read more

    Isbn: 0618002251
    Subjects:  1. Classics    2. Fantasy - Epic    3. Fantasy - General    4. Fiction    5. Literature - Classics / Criticism   


    $28.35

    The Mystery Science Theater 3000 Amazing Colossal Episode Guide
    by Trace Beaulieu, Mystery Science Theater 3000 Writers and Performers, Mystery Science Theater 3000 Writers and Performers, Michael J. Nelson, Mary Jo Pehl, Trace Beaulieu
    Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
    Paperback (01 April, 1996)
    list price: $20.00 -- our price: $13.60
    (price subject to change: see help)
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    Editorial Review

    At last, the honest-Injun, 100%-MST3K-sanctioned guide to the 120 episodes of this extremely cool, Peabody Award-winning show. Contains multitudinous synopses, tidbits, photos, wisecracks,and descriptions of some of the most disgusting things ever seen on screen by the MST3K&nbsp; writers.You know youwant it, so get it while it's hot! ... Read more

    Reviews (59)

    5-0 out of 5 stars A Must Have For Even Casual Fans...
    I would give this breezy show guide the highest mark possible - permanent bathroom material. The "behind the scenes" info about the show is priceless, the episode guides are hilarious (and will provide necessary information for completionists). My one complaint? Seasons 1-6 are thoroughly examined, but there is only a brief overview of Season 7, and obviously (due to the publishing date), nothing about seasons 8-10, aka "The Scifi Years." I realize that the cast and crew have gone onto other things, but I don't think a "Volume 2" would be too much to ask.

    5-0 out of 5 stars As funny as the show
    This is an excellent book both as a guide to the MST3k show, and just to read. Even the setup of the book is entertaining.

    There is a prologue, an introduction which has a postscript, a foreword about Kurt Vonnegut, an introduction to the preface, then the preface. You might think that's it, but you're wrong! After all of that there is still an introduction to the Special Platinum Edition of /The MST3K Amazing Colassal Episode Guide/ and notes on the translation. Finally there is an about the typeface, which simply says "This book uses a particular typeface." That is the most complicated set of various introductions I have ever seen in a book, and made me love the book right away.

    This book also has nice little extras in addition to the episode synopses. There's a foreward about each season, TV's Frank's Pix, tributes, MST3k Monster! and so much more. This only has guides of episodes up to season six, of course. There are complete guides in the style of this book to seasons seven through ten on Satellite News, the official MST3k info club website.

    The ACEG is definitely something every MSTie needs to own! I hope they come out with the platinum edition someday, with it's hand-woven leather jacket and individually autographed plates of the characters! ha ha

    3-0 out of 5 stars Could I Have Some More?
    It may be a bit unfair to criticize this book for failing to include episodes from the period after it was originally published, but on the other hand fans of the show today would like to have a complete guide, and there is no obvious reason why a revised edition couldn't be produced.This book covers the first six seasons of the show fairly well, although it would have been nice to have more behind the scenes information.Sometimes they tell you why a movie was picked, but usually they don't provide any reason at all.It also contains a brief section on Season 7, and another on the MST3K The Movie.

    They also could have provided more fun information, such as lists of movies they wished they had done; which movies they did do that they thought were the worst; which movies they rejected; etc...You will find occasional mentions of these things in the write-ups for a particular movie, but they could have provided sections for the information, and make it organized and more complete.All in all, this is a good book, but it leaves the reader wanting more. ... Read more

    Isbn: 0553377833
    Subjects:  1. Mystery science theater 3000    2. Performing Arts/Dance    3. Pop Arts / Pop Culture    4. Science Fiction - General    5. Television - Guides & Reviews    6. Television Plays And Programs    7. Fiction / Science Fiction / General   


    $13.60

    Blackadder: The Whole Damn Dynasty 1485-1917
    by Richard Curtis, Ben Elton, Rowan Atkinson
    Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
    Paperback (05 September, 2000)
    list price: $16.00
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    Reviews (13)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Not your typical dynasty...
    The Blackadder series, begun in the 1980s, was a comedic masterpiece set forth by Rowan Atkinson and his comrades.From start to finish, the first series was a masterstroke of wit, irony and comedic styling that fits both the contemporary and medieval situations perfectly.The combination of slapstick and intellectual humour blended well, and the literary types will not miss the occasional credit of William Shakespeare as a collaborating writer on some episodes -- this might well be the kind of comedy Shakespeare would have produced today.

    The first series was set in the pre-Tudor royal family, projecting that Richard III won at Bosworth Field, and Richard IV succeeded him, until after many adventures, the entire royal family was done in, and Henry Tudor reworte history thereafter.The first series starred Brian Blessed and Elspet Gray as the King and Queen, and Robert East as their eldest son, the Prince of Wales.Rowan Atkinson played the second son, who with companions Percy and Baldrick (Tim McInnerny and Tony Robinson) create most of the comic scenes. BlackAdder variously becomes the Archbishop of Canterbury, the betrothed of the Spanish Infanta, a witch on trial, and finally, however briefly, King of England.

    The second series sees Percy and Baldrick following a descendent of Blackadder in Elizabethan times; as befits the period, the characters are more vibrant and saucy, particularly Blackadder, who still seeks his fortune as one of the Queen's suitors.Here he variously becomes the royal executioner, a sea-faring discoverer, a bankrupt noble, and finally a traitor to the crown, albeit not without a sense of humour.Miranda Richardson puts in a spectacular performance as Queen Elizabeth, with Stephen Fry and Patsy Byrne in attendance.Stephen Fry will recur throughout the series.

    In the third series, Blackadder is still close to the crown, as the butler of the Prince Regent, a despised position to a despised person.Baldrick is still around, and the Prince is played by Hugh Laurie, who will recur in the final series.Done almost as a period comedy, the very titles and situations pay hommage to the day of the Scarlet Pimpernel, Dr. Johnson's dictionary, and the conflict with France.Through an interesting set of circumstances, butler and prince trade places, and the Blackadder finally becomes his intended goal, albeit in the name of someone else.

    In the fourth and final series, Blackadder has fallen from a great height, and is an officer in the trenches of World War I.Baldrick is still there, and Percy and the Prince have transformed into fellow field officers, with Stephen Fry playing a bellicose general here as he did Wellington in the third series.The main device of this series is the effort by Blackadder to escape the trenches, by variously becoming an artist, a theatre producer, a chef, but to no avail finally, producing a sombre end to the dynasty.

    The book is a fabulous companion piece to the series, as the BBC is known to do with television series of success.The six episodes of each of the four seasons is laid out in script-narrative form, with a generous collection of side offerings, such as the Blackadder family tree, the menu of Mrs. Miggins' pie shoppe, and other pieces of interest related to but not found in the actual series.The cast is included at the beginning of each series section.The book concludes with a partial collection of some of Blackadder's best insults.

    This book was printed in aid of Comic Relief, who give a brief outline of their history of funding good causes in the last few pages.

    This is a must-have for any Blackadder fan.Regretably, it does not contain the addition special features (such as the Victorian Christmas of Blackadder), but for any devotee of the series, this is a requirement.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A must-have for any fan of the Black Adder!
    1983 saw the airing of a hilariously funny new British television show, Blackadder. This show had four separate seasons that chronicled the lives of four members of the Blackadder family: Edmund Blackadder in 1484, son of Richard, Duke of York; Edmund Blackadder, favorite of Queen Elizabeth I; Edmund Blackadder, butler to Prince George, son of King George III; and, finally, Edmund Blackadder, Army captain during World War I. This book is a companion to that wonderful series, filling in the holes left in English history, giving all sort of useful information drawn from the Blackadder family archives, and the full scripts of each of the shows!

    This is a great book, and a must-have for any fan of the Black Adder. The scripts are great to have, and the other information demonstrates the same great humor as the show. Having been created in 1998, the book does not contain any information on the Y2K special, Blackadder Back & Forth, which makes sense. What doesn't make sense is that it completely ignores the 1988 Christmas Special! But, that said, this is a nice book, one that I highly recommend to every Blackadder fan!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Damn Funny, Too
    I stumbled upon the Black Adder comedy series one night in the 1980s while channel surfing. Something was weird, I thought--there's this sniveling coward, and this even more sniveling sycophant, and then the dogsbody who has dung all over him. Looks interesting. And as I watched, I found it extremely funny, as well. It required a knowledge of history (or Shakespeare, as you see fit), yet wasn't afraid to do the occasional fart joke. Puerile, yet intelligent. That described me at the time as well.

    The successive series (Blackadder II, Blackadder the Third, and Blackadder Goes Forth) shifted over into the more intelligent realm (with the third series being the most so), although the running jokes about Baldrick (the dogsbody) being little better than the dung he came from remained. Blackadder II, set in the court of the virgin queen, starred Miranda Richardson, who was perfect in her cruelty towards the hapless Blackadder. The third series had Hugh Laurie as the Prince Regent, a befuddled German idiot who is being taken advantage of by Blackadder, the butler (think of a dark Wooster/Jeeves match, where the Jeeves character retains his aplomb but becomes extra greedy). I never got to see the fourth series on television, so my experience with it is through this book alone.

    And what a great book it is. Published to benefit Comic Relief, the organization trying to aid the poor and destitute in England and Africa, it contains the scripts to each episode of the four series with faux historical documents and a running summary of the line of Blackadder. For an American, the scripts are almost a necessity to catch some of the more obscure language used in the series--especially the curses. The endpapers have color pictures of the main characters in each series, and there are some black and white stills with humorous captions included within the pages.

    To say that Black Adder is my favorite TV show is true. I liked the 1970s American sitcom, SOAP, as well, but from its hilarious beginnings, it tapered off into pure silliness (as most American shows tend to do). The nice thing about the Blackadder series is the way that the British limit themselves to sets of shows, rather than endlessly milking the cash cow. Yes, I would like to see a fifth Black Adder (I've seen the Christmas Carol, which was wonderful), but only if it can be of the same quality as these. If not, let's not ruin a good thing, shall we? ... Read more

    Isbn: 0140296085
    Sales Rank: 61184
    Subjects:  1. Cinema/Film: Book    2. Humorous    3. Performing Arts    4. Pop Arts / Pop Culture    5. Television - General    6. Television - Screenwriting    7. Television Program Writing   


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