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Helpful Votes: 122

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Reviews Written by
Eric R Fisher "fishface42" (Toronto, Canada)

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The Girl on the Train
The Girl on the Train
Offered by Random House Canada, Incorp.
Price: CDN$ 13.99

2.0 out of 5 stars STOPPED READING IT AT THE 42% KINDLE MARK, May 2 2015
Achat vérifié(Quest-ce que cest?)
Yes I know this book has great sales, perhaps the reason I started it. But I found the narrator and the other characters so utterly uncongenial/uninteresting that I finally admitted to myself (I hate quitting a book unfinished.) that I didn't gave a da-n what they said or did. Plus the foundational gimmick of Rachel's drinking to blackout leaves me cold as in, "Get thee to a detox and write a book after a year's sobriety." As something of an Anglophile, I found the incidental depiction of British life vaguely interesting, though hardly Masterpiece Theater, and not enough to keep me going.

I, Pierre Seel, Deported Homosexual: A Memoir of Nazi Terror
I, Pierre Seel, Deported Homosexual: A Memoir of Nazi Terror
Price: CDN$ 9.99

5.0 out of 5 stars HOMOSEXUAL IMPRISONED BY THE 1000-YEAR REICH, March 28 2015
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"I love it." [5 stars] is hardly appropriate, but I do find this book horrifying and important. The "Product Description" of the listing is eloquent and accurate, so I will only add that this work is a fitting follow-through to Paul Russell's novelistic autobiography, "The Unreal Life of Sergey Nabokov" which ends with Sergey's arrest by the Gestapo. No doubt it presents the fate of all imprisoned homosexuals during the 1000-Year Reich. Gripping, ghastly reading compounded by the victims' enforced silence and shame after the war.

The Unreal Life of Sergey Nabokov: A Novel
The Unreal Life of Sergey Nabokov: A Novel
Price: CDN$ 9.99

4.0 out of 5 stars OUTSTANDING [WITH MY SUBJECTIVE RESERVATIONS]; YOU DECIDE, March 28 2015
Achat vérifié(Quest-ce que cest?)
"Nabokov" [Vladimir] may ring a bell as the author of the years-ago controversial "Lolita." His younger [by 11 months] gay brother Sergey will not. In this meticulously researched and written biographical novel, the Vladimir Nabokov scholar Paul Russell has used all available historical and cultural resources to flesh out a convincing portrait of Sergey. Russell's acknowledged impetus to this work was a 2000 A.D. article in Salon.com magazine entitled "The Gay Nabokov" by Lev Grossman. Russell has woven the known facts of Sergey's life with his earlier research into the better known facts of Vladimir's biography and the cultural/historical context of the era. This sounds so far like a pedantic exercise, but it is quite the opposite. The novel consists of fully fleshed out characters speaking more than convincing dialogue within the tumultuous era of pre-revolution Russia, through the 20's and 30's in many European locales, especially Paris, as the formerly wealthy and aristocratic Nabokovs are dispersed following the Bolshevic Revolution. Sergey lived in the shadow of his celebrated brother. Born just 11 months later and gay [with 1 gay uncle on each side of his family] he was a perpetual source of dismay, especially to his father and brother, whose unqualified love and approval he never fully gained--to his great pain. Any homosexual who grew up in a homophobic environment will fully relate to Sergey's multiple hurts, pains and frustrations. Since this novel is written as an autobiography, his imprisonment and death in a Nazi workcamp is necessarily absent. The book ends with the Gestapo banging on his door. He died in 1945 of starvation, overwork and dysentery just 4 months shy of the camp's liberation. My one star of reservation is purely personal. I do find Sergey's associates in Paris unpleasant. Through his love of the arts, Sergey consorts with avant-garde aesthetes--Stein, Cocteau, the Ballet Russe celebrities and hangers on--immersed at times in their debaucheries and oh-so-clever verbal riffs. I found myself flipping over paragraphs from time to time, especially when the opium-addled Cocteau rattled on. Sergey's penultimate genuine love affair with a very wealthy Austrian is terminated by the Nazis. The book will be regarded as a work of genius by many readers.

London Triptych
London Triptych
Price: CDN$ 9.99

4.0 out of 5 stars "INTO" MALE PROSTITUTES?, Jan. 12 2015
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Ce commentaire est de: London Triptych (Kindle Edition)
I marked the other three reviews as helpful because, though different in their judgments, they are all correct. How and why? Because liking this book hinges on being "into" male prostitues as the author explicity is. In his Afterword he confesses, "I had always been intrigued by the secret histories of male prostitution." Being not so intrigued, I began to find the panoplied details of commercialized sex tedious and distasteful. Barely mentioned were the obvious and inevitable subjects of payment for services and venereal diseases. When and how much were the hustlers paid, and what diseases did they pick up and disseminate? How many got syphylis and how was it treated? These are hardly incidental issues, but the author prefers to celebrate a lifestyle he finds sleazy-glamorous. He is hardly unique in this. Straight versions abound: "Breakfast at Tiffany's" and "Pretty in Pink", for example. Bottom line: I don't share this fascination. If you do, you will find a well-crafted book. The triptych structure of alternating stories from different time periods features convincing characters and historical background. The author has done impressive research and produced credible portraits. But I find most of the protagonists repulsive and the book as a whole oppressive.

No Title Available

5.0 out of 5 stars HUGE CONVENIENCE, Nov. 1 2014
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I have 3 of these and use them in Whole Foods insulated bags to keep frozen foods frozen while I do other errands or go to the gym. This way I don't have to rush home from the supermarket. Usually one to a bag suffices, but if it is very hot outside I will use 2. They freeze solid in my ultra cold freezer and stay frozen a long time, along with my frozen purchase.

PUPPIA International PUAC30PIMD Harness So-Feet, Pink, Medium
PUPPIA International PUAC30PIMD Harness So-Feet, Pink, Medium
Price: CDN$ 18.51
9 used & new from CDN$ 17.99

2.0 out of 5 stars FOR DOG SHAPED LIKE A SAUSAGE., Oct. 15 2014
Achat vérifié(Quest-ce que cest?)
As soon as it arrived I tried it on my ten pound Chinese Crested; unsurprisingly the neck opening was far too big. I had ordered it after the same harness in Small proved too small. What happened? The build of the dog. Like Italian greyhounds and other breeds, she has a very large chest, tapering to a small waist. These harnesses are made for a dog shaped like a sausage. The listing should state this fact. If they had, they and I would have been spared two returns.

A Life in the CIty
A Life in the CIty
Price: CDN$ 2.49

2.0 out of 5 stars ROUGH DRAFT NEEDS WORK., Oct. 14 2014
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Ce commentaire est de: A Life in the CIty (Kindle Edition)
This rough draft has the makings of an engaging read. It is self-published without benefit of an editor or proofreader. Even as is, the opening section on the author's working security at Toronto's Eaton Centre with his astute observations forms a valuable historical record and I urge him to publish this section on its own after heavy editing. Usage errors appear on every page of "A Life in the City" to the point of getting really distracting. Any teacher of English could point them out. The title refers both to the Eaton Centre slogan, but also indicates Argasinski's living and maturing in Toronto.

MILLIARD 100% Pure Food Grade Citric Acid, 1lb.
MILLIARD 100% Pure Food Grade Citric Acid, 1lb.

5.0 out of 5 stars USEFUL IN THE KITCHEN, Oct. 9 2014
Achat vérifié(Quest-ce que cest?)
This is a cheaper way to buy human grade citric acid than through a drug store. I had bought some ultra cheap from an untested source, and suspect it is industrial grade. The wiki write-up shows its many applications. I use it in the kitchen as a preservative of thawed berries which I buy in a two kilo bag for economy's sake. A little less than half a teaspoon at once brightens the berries' color and deters oxidation for several days. Also in making jam, citric acid enhances both flavor and jelling.

A Spy Among Friends: Kim Philby and the Great Betrayal
A Spy Among Friends: Kim Philby and the Great Betrayal
Offered by Random House Canada, Incorp.
Price: CDN$ 14.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Philby as "a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma.", Oct. 9 2014
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Churchill's memorable phrase regarding Russia applies equally to Kim Philby. This biography is a well-written astonishing account of an utterly unique individual--Kim Philby--who successfully outspied the spymasters of the U.K. His betrayals to USSR Intelligence foiled manifold covert operations by M16, the British counterpart to today's CIA. He is personally responsible for the deaths of the hundreds of foreign operatives he betrayed to the Soviets. Between Philby and two other upper class Cambridge-educated spies, the whole Cold War post-WW2 era program of allied espionage and covert operations was made worse than futile, being outright harmful to British and American interests. The book's title introduces the author's demonstration that Philby, on top of his remarkable personal qualities, was protected by the blind perception by his upper-class British fellows that he was a solid member of their pack, a British "good ole boy" beyond suspicion. Philby's motivation is obscure to this day; he remains the ultimate enigma. Philby's story is a remarkable demonstration of the depth of human depravity as well as, crucially, the naivite facilitated by peer bonding.

15 Pack Compatible Canon Canon 250 , Canon 251 , CLI-251 , CLI-251XL , PGI-250 , PGI-250XL 3 Small Black, 3 Cyan, 3 Magenta, 3 Yellow, 3 Big Black for use with Canon PIXMA MG5420, PIXMA MG5422, PIXMA MG5520, PIXMA MG5522, PIXMA MG6320, PIXMA MG6420, PIXMA MG7120, PIXMA MX722, PIXMA MX922, PIXMA iP7220, PIXMA iP8720, PIXMA iX6820. Ink Cartridges for inkjet printers. CLI-251BK , CLI-251C , CLI-251M , CLI-251XLBK , CLI-251XLC , CLI-251XLM , CLI-251XLY , CLI-251Y , PGI-250BK , PGI-250XLBK © Zulu In
15 Pack Compatible Canon Canon 250 , Canon 251 , CLI-251 , CLI-251XL , PGI-250 , PGI-250XL 3 Small Black, 3 Cyan, 3 Magenta, 3 Yellow, 3 Big Black for use with Canon PIXMA MG5420, PIXMA MG5422, PIXMA MG5520, PIXMA MG5522, PIXMA MG6320, PIXMA MG6420, PIXMA MG7120, PIXMA MX722, PIXMA MX922, PIXMA iP7220, PIXMA iP8720, PIXMA iX6820. Ink Cartridges for inkjet printers. CLI-251BK , CLI-251C , CLI-251M , CLI-251XLBK , CLI-251XLC , CLI-251XLM , CLI-251XLY , CLI-251Y , PGI-250BK , PGI-250XLBK © Zulu In
Offered by Zulu Inks (GST REGISTERED. A CANADA COMPANY)
Price: CDN$ 29.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars HANDLE WITH CARE., Oct. 9 2014
Achat vérifié(Quest-ce que cest?)
These inks are very satisfactory, even for photos taken off the internet. And they are remarkably cheap. There is one issue: when being loaded they can spill ink on your hands and elsewhere. I never had this happen with the expensive inks. I suggest wearing vinyl examination gloves while handling.

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