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A Traitor to Memory
A Traitor to Memory
by Elizabeth George
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
60 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

3.0 out of 5 stars Very Disappointing Entry for Great Series, Oct. 27 2003
As a huge fan of the Lynley/Havers books, who has read every one in order, I am saddened to write a bad review. George should impose a 500 page limit on herself for her future books. She simply got lost in her own story and had to wrap it up much too patly. The ending in particular was bizarre -- was it supposed to be campy? It seemed like a deleted scene from Mommie Dearest.

In the Presence of the Enemy
In the Presence of the Enemy
by Elizabeth George
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
Price: CDN$ 10.79
59 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars George Bounces Back, Aug. 31 2003
After a disappointing turn with Playing for the Ashes, George goes back to the creativity and readability that she showed in Missing Joseph. Equally pleasing is the emphasis on Barbara Havers (for those of us who are fans of the character). The supporting characters are well-drawn and in Eve Bowen, George has designed one of the most coolly evil characters I have ever encountered. Additionally, the careful reader is rewarded with a mystery that, while not simplistic, can be figured out before the perpetrator is revealed. Like most of the Lynley/Havers novels, this one delivers.

The Promise of Rest
The Promise of Rest
by Reynolds Price
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 17.63
42 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

4.0 out of 5 stars A more fundamental challenge to the pseudo-literati, Oct. 15 2002
This review is from: The Promise of Rest (Paperback)
The cliche of every creative writing class is "show, don't tell." The problem with that philosophy is that true literature can be defined as breaking free of cliches. Unless you abandon omniscient narrator or (most) first-person narrations as literary devices, you will be engaging in some sort of "telling."
Now, as for believability, literature is a tool for the communication of ideas, just as color and light are to a painter. Would you tell Picasso that it is simply not believable for a woman to have two eyes on one side of her head? I would encourage anyone who has questions about the role of believability in literature to read Maupin's The Night Listener. He clarifies that literary truth transcends the believability of the narrative.
In summary:
1) In literature, it is perfectly acceptable to "tell" versus "show" if "telling" is the best way to communicate your ideas.
2) In literature, believability is irrelavant if the amalgamation of words effectively communicates the writer's ideas.

Flow
Flow
by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi
Edition: Paperback
90 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

4.0 out of 5 stars Bears Re-discovery, July 4 2001
This review is from: Flow (Paperback)
With the recent scientific investigations into the psycho-physiological roots of religious experience, this ten-year-old book bears re-discovery. While not overtly spiritual in nature, this book could perhaps become the basis for a new spirituality -- one where personal happiness is the highest goal, and optimal experience is the means by which it is achieved. Anyone who is interested in spirituality (even non-supernaturalist spirituality) and psychology will find this author's work worth investigating.

Darwin's Radio
Darwin's Radio
by Greg Bear
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
Price: CDN$ 9.89
78 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

4.0 out of 5 stars Intriguing and Engaging Scientific Mystery, May 20 2001
This was one of the best sci-fi mystery novels I have read. It is very difficult to balance a good story with intriguing science, but Bear manages to do that and to take it one stop farther: the intriguing science IS the good story. If you enjoy sci-fi at all, especially if it has a twist of mystery, you will almost certainly enjoy this novel.

Haunted
Haunted
by Tamara Thorne
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
22 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

4.0 out of 5 stars Worth Reading, May 20 2001
This review is from: Haunted (Mass Market Paperback)
Thorne has written a very readable story that melds serial killings, haunted houses, and voodoo into a seamless whole. The denouement was especially entertaining. The creation of absorbing action scenes that clearly describe the subtleties of physical movements is one of the most difficult technical tasks that a writer can master. In the climactic scene, Thorne achieves this with excellence.

Stealing Jesus: How Fundamentalism Betrays Christianity
Stealing Jesus: How Fundamentalism Betrays Christianity
by Bruce Bawer
Edition: Hardcover
24 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

3.0 out of 5 stars Strong Theme Sidetracked, May 20 2001
Bawer's thesis is that Jesus' still-radical teachings of love, acceptance, and forgiveness, have been subverted by Fundamentalism and replaced with a legalism that Jesus would have eschewed. Clearly, this is a thesis with which few non-Fundamentalist Christians would disagree.
However, Bawer sometimes descends into a classist side-showing of Fundamentalist (especially Pentecostal) religious practices. This jeopardizes the appeal of his message, as some might perceive him as motivated by snobbery rather than by any higher calling.

Why Christianity Must Change Or Die: A Bishop Speaks to Believers in Exile
Why Christianity Must Change Or Die: A Bishop Speaks to Believers in Exile
by John Shelby Spong
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 13.36
103 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Why Christianity Must Change or Lose the Intelligentsia, May 20 2001
Bishop Spong should have named this book "Why Christianity Must Change or Lose the Intelligentsia." Another reviewer is correct in stating that Christianity is growing (and that the mainline Christian churches are shrinking). Christianity is not in danger of dying, but it is in danger of losing the intellectual classes. Fundamentalist Christianity and academic intellectualism are antithetical: one provides dogmatic, unquestionable answers; the other continually asks questions and is open to debate.
There are two possible outcomes to this impasse: 1) The intelligentsia can become completely irreligious and unchurched. 2) A new flavor of Christianity can be developed that is reconcilable with modern science and mores.
Spong's short-sightedness is in declaring that this new flavor of Christianity should become THE Christianity for everyone.

Playing for the Ashes
Playing for the Ashes
by Elizabeth George
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
64 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

3.0 out of 5 stars Not as Good as the Prior Two, May 12 2001
George has made the error of focusing our attentions upon a non-recurring character, who is neither sympathetic nor interesting. One half of the story is consumed with a subplot that is only obliquely related to the mystery. If George wants to develop central non-recurring characters, she would do better to take as an example her character Elena in "For the Sake of Elena". I hope that her subsequent books do not repeat this error.

Missing Joseph
Missing Joseph
by Elizabeth George
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
52 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars George's Strongest Mystery So Far, May 12 2001
The negative reviews of this book perplex me. I have read all of the Lynley-Havers novels in chronological order up through "Playing for the Ashes". This was slightly better than "For the Sake of Elena", which was the best up to that point. George continues her strong development of the ongoing characters, especially Havers. There was more explicit sex in this book than the previous ones, but that is to be expected as time marches on and tastes change. I believe that the mystery here was the strongest since "Well-Schooled in Murder". If you have enjoyed other Lynley-Havers novels, I would recommend that you try this one.

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