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Robert Wynkoop (Washington State)
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Sometimes a Great Notion
Sometimes a Great Notion
by Ken Kesey
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 13.00
38 used & new from CDN$ 6.43

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Could this be the Great American Novel?, July 17 2004
Could this be the Great American Novel? I first read it when taking a literature class my senior year at the University of Oregon. Since it was one of three required books for that class and nearly 600 pages long, it just got a quick once over. Now, thirty years later, I read it again this time savoring each page as I was drawn into a truly amazing story.
Either you are going to love this novel or hate it. Lets face it; it is not an easy book to read. The story shifts forward and backward in time, leaving the reader wondering where in the world he is. Also the story is told from numerous perspectives, with the first person shifting from one character to another. For instance in the chapter which describes the pickup ride to the state park, (chapters are neither named nor numbered) the story jumps from third person narrative, to first person with Lee telling the story and then from Lee, to Hank, to Henry and to Joe Ben, shifting from character to character so fast (as many and three times in one paragraph) it leaves the reader wondering just who is doing the talking.
Kesey has an amazing way with words, he captures the rural logging culture of Oregon. As you read it, you can literally feel the dampness and moss begin to grow between your toes from the incessant Oregon rain. Describing the rain as the returning an old maiden aunt who has come to live with you over the winter, or as the migrating geese that fly overhead the Oregon rain is the backdrop on which the story is told. Kesey also hit the nail right on the head describing the sociology of a small town. Hollywood, more often than not, describes small town American in condescending tones of being holier than thou. How often have we seen in the movies, the ladies moral society running the fallen women out of town? Kesey rightly observes rather than being judgmental small town America is more tolerant of peoples failings and faults. Why? Because everyone knows each other too well. Small town people have a there-I-go-but-by-the-grace-of-God attitude because they know full well that the sin they condemn in others, could be very well condemned in them. One more comment. As you read it, be sure to read the chapter on the perfect day that concludes with the foxhunt carefully. It is descriptive writing at its best. I will not give the story away, but it is magnificent.
Any complaints? Yeah a couple. His portrayal of the church a Pentecostal and Metaphysical Science was absurd. No such thing exists. Metaphysical churches tend to be on the cultic side, ie., Christian Science. Pentecostal churches, on the other hand tend to emphasis holiness and as a result you would not see the pastor drinking with the guys in the local bar. It is the one aspect of the logging culture of Oregon he got wrong. One more thing. Why did Kesey place the novel in a fictional town, on a fictional river while going to extraordinary lengths to document Oregon geography? I cannot figure that one out.
All in all, this is the Great American Novel. So on a cool fall day, curl up on the couch with a copy of Sometimes a Great Notion, and spend the next few weeks being transported to the rainy Oregon coast and read a truly great novel.

Selling Your Home Sweet Home
Selling Your Home Sweet Home
by Sloan Bashinsky
Edition: Hardcover

4.0 out of 5 stars Somewhat dated, but remains a valuable resource, July 17 2004
If you ever going to think about selling your home- read this book first. Written by an attorney, it shows the pitfalls to watch out when selling your home that that could cost you thousands of dollars. As I read this book I realized that in our two home purchases, we were like lambs being led to the slaughter. We were amateurs caught in a game where we did not know the rules, let alone the pitfalls.
Although the author discourages homeowners from selling their home themselves without the service of a real estate agent, he is very critical of the way that real estate agents conduct their business. The agent works for the seller who pays the commission, but they often portray themselves as looking after the buyers best interest. When it comes down to the final analysis, most agents are only looking out for their own interest and commission.
Two draw backs to this book. First, is the age- written in the mid-1980s it does not address current real estate conditions. Second, it is written by a lawyer and I found myself reading many paragraphs two or three times to understand the point he was making. But do not let these drawbacks get in your way. It will help you be a more intelligent seller, and best of all, a better negotiator. It is short and can be read in two or three sittings. Be sure to take notes, it is that helpful.

Gospel According to John I-XII
Gospel According to John I-XII
by Raymond E. Brown
Edition: Hardcover
11 used & new from CDN$ 28.04

5.0 out of 5 stars It is a truly remarkable book, July 14 2004
If you had to by one scholarly Commentary on the gospel of John, this is it. It is a truly remarkable book. What makes this commentary so good is that it appeals both to the scholarly and pastoral user. Let me explain. Many scholarly commentaries deal almost exclusively with issues of textual and form criticism. While helpful to the scholar, it just does not preach. While pastoral commentaries deal with preaching themes, they often lack scholarly insight into the text. Raymond Brown gives us the best of both. This is one commentary that stands the test of time.

Gospel According to John XIII-XXI
Gospel According to John XIII-XXI
by Raymond E. Brown
Edition: Hardcover
16 used & new from CDN$ 35.78

5.0 out of 5 stars Kudos for Brown., July 14 2004
Kudos for Brown. This is an outstanding addition to your theological library. Brown addresses the scholarly issues and at the same time, has superb insight to the text that preaches. No, it is not the easiest to read and use, but the best seldom are.

The New International Dictionary of New Testament Theology: v. 1
The New International Dictionary of New Testament Theology: v. 1
by Colin Brown
Edition: Paperback

5.0 out of 5 stars Simply the best!, July 11 2004
This four volume set is an indispensable resource every pastor and serious Bible student. I purchased my set in 1989 and it sits on a prominent place in my theological library, just behind my desk. Thoroughly scholarly, yet evangelical, The New International Dictionary of New Testament Theology offers in-depth insight into key New Treatment words. Best of all, one need not have a working knowledge of either Greek or Hebrew to use this resource; yet, at the same time it offers those who have a working knowledge of the original tongues tremendous insight as well.
There is enough in these volumes to irritate just about everyone who holds strict denominational beliefs. Neither Arminian, or Calvinistic, nor evangelical or charismatic, this dictionary gives the reader the best of evangelical scholarship. It has been fifteen years since I purchased by set, and I cannot imagine preparing sermons and Bible Studies without it.

Rise And Fall Of The Third Reich: A History of Nazi Germany
Rise And Fall Of The Third Reich: A History of Nazi Germany
by William L. Shirer
Edition: Paperback
23 used & new from CDN$ 10.77

7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A riviting read . . ., July 10 2004
On the very eve of the birth of the Third Reich a feverish tension gripped Berlin . . . Wow! what a great first sentence! Having read this book almost thirty years ago, it still remains the best and most complete history of the Third Reich I have read. Shires purpose is not merely to describe the events that led up to the founding of the Reich and its eventual destruction; but to discover and document the intrigues, treachery, motives and aberrations that precipitated its rise and fall.
I will let others review the history and critique Shire on his research, I would like to comment on the beauty of his prose as he describes what must be the most hellish and destructive state that has existed. Historians have the tendency to be dull, they get so caught up in explaining facts and documenting the movement of armies across strange and foreign landscapes, that the reader tends to get lost in a maze of statistics, foreign names, and seemingly insignificant details. Shire avoids this common pitfall. For instance, after quoting from a German generals diary which described Hitlers intentions in occupied Poland, Shire describes the Nazi intentions in vivid prose. . . Nazi terror. . . forerunner to dark and terrible deeds. . . Nazi barbarism reached an incredible depth. Although Shire, in the introduction of this book made the assertion of strict objectivity, he did not let his objectivity hide the awfulness of Nazi atrocities.
Although well written, it is not an easy book to read. Its sheer length of over 1100 pages may be daunting to the faint of heart; yet, if you are not familiar with the Third Reich and want to have an understanding of the people whom were instrumental in its raise and fall, no other book will give you better oversight and understanding of it than The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich.

Bounty Trilogy
Bounty Trilogy
by Charles Nordhoff
Edition: Paperback
26 used & new from CDN$ 8.19

5.0 out of 5 stars This is an amazing epic and well worth the read., July 9 2004
This review is from: Bounty Trilogy (Paperback)
This is an amazing epic of 18th mutiny of the H.M.S. Bounty. Although the tale has been fictionalized as an historical novel, it portrays the conflicting cultures of that time as the forces of racism, imperialism, autonomy and autocracy clash on the high seas. The trilogy is comprised of three novels: The first is Mutiny on the Bounty which chronicles the abuse of Captain Bligh, the mutiny led by Fletcher Christian narrated by midshipmen Roger Byam. Men Against the Sea, narrated by ships surgeon Thomas Ledward, picks up the tale at the mutiny and chronicles the amazing feat of Captain Bligh in returning 19 souls to England after being set adrift in a twenty-three foot longboat with only seven or eight inches of freeboard. The trilogy concludes with the tragic, yet redeeming tale of Pitcairn's Island where the mutineers made their home.
On the surface, Captain Bligh is the villain and Fletcher Christian is the hero. This has been ingrained into our culture to such an extent that any hard-driving taskmaster will not doubt inherit the name Captain Bligh by those under his charge. Yet, Nordoff and Hall resist the temptation to draw these lines so clearly. Yes, Captain Bligh was his own worst enemy. He was so sold out to an autocratic model of leadership that he was incapable of recognizing the autonomy of his men- the needs of his men were subordinate to the success of his mission. Now, men will often subordinate their needs to the need of the mission, or even give their lives for it, if the mission is a noble one; but supplying breadfruit to feed slaves did not fit that bill. Yet, once set adrift, Bligh now becomes the hero navigating his overloaded longboat 3600 miles to safety- a deed that must rank as one of the most remarkable feats of seamanship and leadership in history.
This is also a story of imperialism and racism- the two are inexorably intertwined. British imperialism, carrying the white mans burden to the South Seas, lead to the inevitable conflict between the two races. The sailors, obviously enjoyed the company of the Tahitian woman, even fell in love with them; yet, the idea that the white race was superior was a festering boil just under the surface that exploded when the mutineers made their home on Pitcairn Island. It is interesting to note who was the more civilized race when the conflict arose on Pitcairns Island, the European men acted like savages, whereas we see a measured dignity among the Tahitian men.
What I find interesting about the other reviews written on this book, is the omission to mention what specially brought peace to the Island- it was the rediscovery of the Bible and man's submission to the will of God. Without transcendent values, each man was out for himself and the result was anarchy and death; but when the survivors submitted their will to God's will, peace and harmony was restored. This is an amazing epic and well worth the read.

America's Real War
America's Real War
by Rabbi Daniel Lapin
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 18.39
28 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

4.0 out of 5 stars An outstanding and well-reasoned book, July 4 2004
This review is from: America's Real War (Paperback)
I purchased this book on a whim and I have to admit I did not even read what it was about. Thinking it was a treatise on the war against terror, imagine my surprise when I learned that Rabbi Lapin was addressing the cultural war that America is engaged in. Consequently, it sat in my computer on MP3 format unlistened to for several months.
It is an outstanding and well-reasoned book. Rabbi Lapin makes his points without belittling his opponents. His basic thesis is simple: The liberal left is out to de-Christianize the United States by removing any semblance of religion from the public life. Lapin argues that it is the belief in God and a strong moral sense of right and wrong that made this country great. Imagine my surprise when he argued that America was founded as a Christian nation. No, one does not have to believe in Christ to be a citizen, but that the traditional moral beliefs as stated in both the Old and New Testaments provide the moral foundation of right and wrong.
In this war, conservative Jews, evangelical Christians and conservative Catholics have much more in common that binds them together than differences that separate them. Rather than fearing conservative evangelicals, conservative Jews ought to see them as allies and friends. I have long argued with my Jewish friends that their real enemies are not conservative Christians, but liberal secularist. If there is going to be persecution of American Jews, it will not come from the religious right but liberal left. For instance, it is the conservative Christians who support Israel, whereas secular leftists have more sympathetic toward Moslem extremist in the name of cultural diversity.
His analysis of why Jews are so liberal was both insightful and fascinating. I have always wondered why American Jews have this propensity for liberalism, especially in light of the lefts sympathetic leanings toward Islamic extremists. I will take one issue with Rabbi Lapin. When one speaks of a cultural war, the object of war is to kill and defeat your enemy. When we come to the realm of ideas, I prefer to persuade people to my beliefs than to make war on them.

The Sixth Sense (Bilingual)
The Sixth Sense (Bilingual)
DVD ~ Bruce Willis
Price: CDN$ 5.97
66 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars first rate psychological thriller, July 4 2004
This review is from: The Sixth Sense (Bilingual) (DVD)
I was listening to the Movie Show on Radio one Saturday as I was working on my truck, when I heard Mad Max Weiss mention that The Sixth Sense had one of the most surprising endings of any movie. That did it, I had to rent it.
Staring Bruce Willis as child psychologist Malcolm Crowe and Haley Osment and the disturb child Cole Sear, The Sixth Sense is both a psychological thriller and a horror movie at the same time. Terrifying visions of dead people haunts the child, Cole. He has learned to repress what he sees for fear of being called insane. So at first, we see it as a psychological thriller. Later, we learn that the visions are real, so perhaps we are watching a horror flick, but as the move progresses it never degenerates into a silly horror movie, but keeps its psychological edge.
Although Bruce Willis is one of my favorite actors, I am afraid that I have underestimated his acting ability. This is an outstanding movie that grabs your attention and does not let go until the final credits roll. And the ending, oh yes, it was a surprise- I did not see it coming. If you have not seen this movie, rent it now. You will want to watch it several times. It is that good. Not a movie for the faint of heart or your wee ones- it will give them nightmares for a week; but if you are looking for a first rate psychological thriller you may want to add this to your DVD collection.

Cold Mountain (Collector's Edition) (Sous-titres français) [Import]
Cold Mountain (Collector's Edition) (Sous-titres français) [Import]
DVD ~ Jude Law
Offered by gamerudy
Price: CDN$ 12.95
32 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

4.0 out of 5 stars A sweeping epic of love and war, July 3 2004
It was an unbearably hot day in the Pacific Northwest (89 degrees), too hot to be outside, but a perfect day for watching a movie, and what better movie to watch than Cold Mountain with its sweeping snow scenes. And, by the way, it is a pretty good flick at that.
Set near the end of the Civil War, the movie captures the human drama and the enormous lost that the south experienced as a result of that war. They were simply devastated- a whole generation of men killed, woman who had to live the rest of their lives as widows or unmarried, the economic depravation and the horrendous lost of lives as demonstrated by the bodies of the war dead stacked up like cord wood. It was sobering to watch. Yet, through this tale of war, separation and death, comes a message of hope. It demonstrates the triumph of the human spirit in the face of overwhelming obstacles.
The casting was superb. Jude Law- what can one say, but that he is an exceptional actor. No, he is not a superhero with six-pack abs and a steroid induced body, but an ordinary guy, caught up in extraordinary circumstances, who by sheer determination and luck manages to survive where others die. What can I say about the ending? Having not read the book, I do not know the original story line, but I was just a little disappointed. I just saw it coming. All in all, it was a great way to cool off on a hot summer evening.

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