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Jerry Guild (Toronto,Canada)

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The Late Child
The Late Child
by Larry McMurtry
Edition: Hardcover
30 used & new from CDN$ 4.29

5.0 out of 5 stars "We choose our lovers by their flaws"..., Feb. 23 2004
This review is from: The Late Child (Hardcover)
The best way to read this sequel is immediately after reading its prequel;"The Desert Rose".The surprising thing is that McMurtry wrote "The Desert Rose" in 1983 and "The Late Child " didn't come out till 1995. That's a long wait!
Again, this story continued along the same path.Even more so, the thought processes of the characters reminded me of the characters in many of Erskine Caldwell's novels;the most well known being "Tobacco Road" and "God's Little Acre".
McMurtry's immagination never seems to slow down and you are presented with one wild thing after another,with each turn of a page. The chapters are very short,many only a couple of pages;but he puts more in one of those short chapters than most writers put in 30 or 40 page chapters.
This book has a plethora of great lines;for example:
"Your standards are the standards of a doormat."
"Dick don't have enough imagination to get lonely."
"Rog don't have a speed-neutral ain't a speed."
"That's how I feel,I just don't know how to live."
"Stuck in the driver's seat and the car was moving,
but she had no map and no idea of where she was supposed
to go."
"The fact is,it's a living death,and I've lived as long as
I can."
"It ain't hard to die when you've already stopped living."
This has been a great read,and I hope Larry is working on a trilogy;Lord knows he has created enough characters who would be fun to follow.However,please don't make us wait another 12 years.

The Desert Rose: A Novel
The Desert Rose: A Novel
by Larry McMurtry
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 18.80
33 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars Looking for love in all the wrong places..., Feb. 20 2004
Not a typical McMurtry novel;but then again none of his are.I've had this book for a long time as well as it's sequel "The Late Child"and for a change of pace decided to give it a try.
It is a great read.Somewhat like "Tems of Endearment";but more along the lines of "Cadillac Jack";which was my first McMurtry novel and probably my favorite.As a matter of fact I would'nt have been surprised if he has shown up somewhere;maybe at one of Myrtle's garage sales.
McMurtry has put together a great bunch of characters who all belong with one another.Kind of like the cast you find in a novel by Erskine Caldwell,Kinky Friedman,Hunter Thompson or even Steinbeck.These characters come from a different slice of life . These are the personal lives of the people who live very public lives in the Las Vegas entertainment world.In spite of it all, these are real people.Mc Murtry shows it is a tough world and eats up the workers and gamblers and spits them out when they reach the end of their prime or run out of cash.Rather than being Rednecks I guess you'd have to call them Pinknecks.They are somewhat akin to those loveable characters we know as Carnies.
Anyway, the book is a great,fast moving read with a surprise on every turn of a page.A lot of characters and I'm glad I made notes as they appeared so I could keep track of them.
Liked it so much I'm reading "The Late Child " next to see what happened to all these characters.It's surprising that so much time went by between this book and the sequel--12 years.

An End to Evil: How to Win the War on Terror
An End to Evil: How to Win the War on Terror
by David Frum
Edition: Hardcover
67 used & new from CDN$ 0.44

5.0 out of 5 stars America must fight and win the War on Terror, Feb. 18 2004
If you believe that America should ignore 9/11,and leave it to someone else like the United Nations ,to ensure her Freedoms are protected,don't bother reading this book.The Democrats have chosen to put their efforts into defeating the government ahead of fighting the enemy.The War on Terror is not a battle between Liberals and Conservatives;but a war against an enemy that wants
to destroy a way of life based on freedom of the people.
The authors have done an excellent job of showing how this war developed and what America must do to protect herself. Pessimism and defeatism will not win this war.9/11 proved that appeasement,blindly trusting tyrants and ignoring reality only encourages these evil intentions.America did not seek this war but she will win it ;for the simple reason that there is no other option.What it costs to win the war is not an issue any more than it was in the Civil War,WW1,WW2 or the Cold War.
As the war proceeds, it is important that America looks at the actions rather than listening to the rhetoric of countries to determine which are her friends and which are not.America's friends may well change.As John Manyard Keyes said "When the facts change I change my opinions".
The authors conclude with this...
"A world at peace,a world governed by law,a world in which all peoples are free to find their own destinies.That dream has not yet come true,it will not come true soon,but if it ever does come true,it will be brought into being by American armed might and defended by American might too.America's vocation is not an imperial vocation.Our vocation is to support justice with power.It is a vocation that has earned us terrible enemies.It is a vocation that has made us,at our best moments,the hope of the world."
This was proven in WW1 ,WW2 and the Cold Was and will be again in The War on Terror.
The leaders of the terrorists should remind themselve of the words of the Japanese commander after the surprise attack on Pearl Harbor.."I fear all we have managed to do was to awaken a sleeping giant".

Trailsman 248 Sixgun Justice
Trailsman 248 Sixgun Justice
by Jon Sharpe
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
17 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars Time this mess got cleared up!, Feb. 17 2004
Another good episode of The Trailsman.A little gold mining town tries to grow in spite of a bunch of outlaws trying to take control.Thanks to others, and with the help of The Trailsman, the good succeed.This is a well written story with just enough doubt to keep it exciting without being bogged down and convoluted like a who-done-it.Must also comment on the excellent descriptions in the book as well as the great artwork on the cover.A great recreational read.

Who killed Canadian history?
Who killed Canadian history?
by J. L Granatstein
Edition: Paperback
13 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

4 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Granatstein is right on;but it is not only our history!, Feb. 16 2004
In reality it is not the history of our land that is boring;but the people who have led our institutions and the agendas of those who have been installed in them.
It's natural to compare ourselves to the Americans and their history,but that is pointless because as soon as they were able they drove out the European control by Revolution and set about to create One Nation with their own principles.
That was not the case here.We continued to be colonies and preferred to be led by the mother country mentality of England and France through Peace,Order and Good Government.Therefore, since these two countries were never in agreement,why would one expect that creating a country based on the principles of both of them end up with a Nation which would be united throughout.
Hence,having gotten off on this approach ,we have always confronted our devevopment issues with a strong determination that above all else compromise would rule.
There was a glimmer of light after the two World Wars that we might get on with creating One Nation that was for all of us,but those deep seated divisions only became enlarged.
Take something as basic as our flag;rather than unison ,every province now has their own,where most did'nt even have one and Quebec has given it little notice,other than a great lack of disinterest,to put it mildly.
So, rather than working towards unity we compromised with the misguided concept of Bilnguialism and Biculturalism.All that has done is to emphasize the past differences and drive us further apart.If that wasn't bad enough,we dreamed up the idea that since the Americans believed in the melting pot to create One Nation;we cound'nt do that,we went the Multicultural route and encouraged retention of the very ideas that these new arrivals were leaving behind.
Now we wonder "Who Killed Canadian History?"
There,s little doubt that the leftist ideologies that permeate our government and government agencies has carried us down this road. The idea that "we know what's good for you" and don't bother yourself,we'll take care of you is firmly entrenched.What ever happened to the idea that it is my responsibility, particularly since I'm paying for it.I am entitled to have a say.
The book very well outlines the problem.He shows that Political Correctness ,an oxymoron,by the way;is rampant,but doesn't dwell on how it became so established.
As a matter of fact he even suggests that the solutions should come from the same educational establishments that created the the problem. I don't think so !The only way out is to take that establishment totally apart,get rid of the vast majority holding these destructive agendas and rebuild the whole system from the bottom up. Education should be universal using a merit,performance based,voucher system where the people who pay for the education have some say on how their resources are to be spent.This will not be offered by the establishment;but must be wrestled away from them to get education out of its quaigmire.

K-19 THE WIDOWMAKER: The Secret Story of The Soviet Nuclear Submarine
K-19 THE WIDOWMAKER: The Secret Story of The Soviet Nuclear Submarine
by Peter Capt Ret Huchthausen
Edition: Paperback
47 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "These are good weapons we're building,comrades!", Feb. 13 2004
A great expose on the Soviet Navy.Although we all remember the Cold War and the phychological war between the USSR and the West,particularly the US.The massive buildups on both sides seemed to be without end.With the continual blustering of Russia,and continual expansion of communision we all wondered where it would all end.Little did we suspect that the powerful Soviet system would collapse from within with hardly a wimper.Many still don't understand how such a powerful system could fall apart so easily.Well,reading this book will show how the whole system was rotten to the core and totally inept in every aspect except brutality and deceit particularly towards their own people.It's amazing after all the slavery,sacrifice,brutality,forced labor camps,oppression and all the other evils carried out by the government, that so little was accomplished.
This book shows that while we feared these Soviet subs,the real threat was that they were so poorly designed,constructed,maintained and operated that the biggest threat was that they would have a malfunction and cause a major disaster.
To quote a little that sums up the Cold War from pg.210...
"The Cold War ,after all,was not just a military chess game,an effort to maintain the balance of nuclear power,with that wonderful concept Mutual Assured Destruction. It was also a war in a much more literal sense,a war of attrition.Our strategy in constantly upping the ante in the arms race was to push the entire Soviet system to the breaking point.And of course,that strategy succeeded.The Cold War is over,and we were the winners."
The book is well researched,well written and very informative.

Great Depression: America in the 1930s
Great Depression: America in the 1930s
by T. H. Watkins
Edition: Library Binding

5.0 out of 5 stars Brother,can you spare a dime?..., Feb. 12 2004
This is the first book I've read that is totally about the Great Depression.However,I have read all of Steinbeck's,Erskine Caldwell's and numerous by and about Woody Guthrie as well as many about Capone and other Gangsters.While these were all about the same period,they tended to zero in on specific ways of life,even though one aspect of the depression did not escape the effect of another.The black sharecroppers in the Deep South of Caldwell,the bootlegging,clubs and turf wars of Chicago of Capone and Ness,the Dust Bowl migrations of the Oakies of Steinbeck and Woody Guthrie give detailed insight of people living through these times but but each went on almost oblivous to each other.What Watkins has done is to deal with every
thing during the Depression and somewhat ties it all together. This is was no mean feat.
He leaned towards Government,Big Business ,Politics , Unions and other Organizations and shows how they were the source of the problems and in the final analysis had to be the solution. It was not the honest,hard working ,good,trusting majority of the people who suffered so much,that brought on this mess and they were sure helpless to correct it.As a matter of fact most of the systems prevented them by law and control from doing so.
Watkins gives most of the credit of getting things turned around to FDR and there is no doubt that he had to fight everyone to do it;in many cases his own party.This has often been the case in America from the times of Washington to Bush of today.Often the President stands alone and as Truman said "The buck stops here!" The great presidents had what it took to deal with the challenges of their times.The less great did not.
America was flat on its back and pulled itself up by its bootstraps without the help of any other country.In only a few years became strong enough to lead the charge to defeat the enemies in WWII.
The Commander of the Japanese Fleet that led the Surprise Attack on Pearl Harbor said it all.."I fear all we have managed to do is to wake a sleeping giant." How right he was!
The book is well researched,well written,well organized with many excellent photographs.On top of that, it is easy reading--for a History book.

Rory And Ita
Rory And Ita
21 used & new from CDN$ 0.18

5.0 out of 5 stars If you lose your job,it's the boat to England..., Feb. 7 2004
This review is from: Rory And Ita (Paperback)
I've read all of Roddy Doyle's books,and no doubt about it,this one is totally different.
This is not a book about Roddy,as a matter of fact it is not really a book by Roddy at all.
This is a book by Rory and Ita Doyle and about their lives and the lives of their parents,grandparents,families and friends.Not only it is written through their eyes and by them,Roddy is hardly even mentioned .His only involvement would seem to have been the catalyst between his parents and the publishers to make the book happen.
Having said that,I found it a very well written and interesting read.It beautifully desceibes the lives,hopes,trials,tribulations,joys,sadness,struggles,family relations,friends,working,religious and all the other things involved in living in Ireland;during most of the 20th.Century.
In many ways it was not all that different where I grew up in Nova Scotia,where many were of Irish and Scottish descent.
In both places,as well as the rest of Europe and America,things were tough,jobs were hard to find,money was tight,but people survived,and in many ways were just as happy as today.
My parents were born about 20 years earlier than Rory and Ita, and went through much the same things that they did working,creating a home and raising a family.I suppose that the biggest difference was that WW1 and WW2 affected things much differently here and The War of Independence certainly had profound effects there.But, inspite of those events ,life went on.
Therefore;as a book that describes the way life went on throughout the 20th Century for a middle class family in Ireland,it is excellent.Wouldn't every family love to have one?It seems to me it would be a much more treasured heirloom than Great Grandmothers drop-leaf table.

Let Freedom Ring: The Words That Shaped Our America
Let Freedom Ring: The Words That Shaped Our America
by Inc. Sterling Publishing Co.
Edition: Hardcover
17 used & new from CDN$ 3.97

5.0 out of 5 stars Why America is the Leader of the Free World, Feb. 5 2004
This book summarizes the landmark events and statements that enshrine the ideas and desires of freedom being the foundation of the Founding Fathers and the Citizens when creating America.
It shows that Freedom has always been the guiding light,particularly during times of internal strife or attack by foreign countries.It shows that there is no price that America would be unwilling to pay in defence of Freedom.
Although there is not an author to this book,Sterling has done a great job of putting this book together.Where else can you find these major addresses all in one book?
The speeches in this century by Wilson,The Roosevelts, Eisenhower,Kennedy,King,Johnson and Bush show that the concept of Freedom has been only strengthened by adversity and remains as strong as in the past.What other country compares?
The book is beautifully illustrated and even includes the words and music of several songs.
A reading of President Bush,s Address to Congress on September,20,2001;will show the determination that America will apply to the War on Terror.

Browser's Ecstasy
Browser's Ecstasy
by Geoffrey O'Brien
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 24.95
14 used & new from CDN$ 9.09

3.0 out of 5 stars To each his own..., Feb. 3 2004
This review is from: Browser's Ecstasy (Paperback)
Let,s face it ,books about books are boring and more than a little snooby.This is one.
I enjoy books about books,readers,writers,collectors and book people in general;but this left me cold.The author takes a bookish approach to some excellent basic ideas and ends up writing to a very small audience,who may very well be enthralled by it.
To me, the best part of the book was the cover.
Did her lover give her "The Browser's Estacy" to read while he immersed himself in "The Poetics of Meaning" or "The Master of the Day of Judgement"? Or did he ask her what she thought of this book. "Great!put me to sleep in no time at all".
No doubt, some will really like this book,but my preference is more towards "Passion for Books" by Rabinowitz & Kaplan or"The Anatomy of Bibliomania" by Holbrook Jackson.For me, these are exceptions to my opening remark.

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