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David C Polk (Ottawa Canada)

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The Pillars of the Earth
The Pillars of the Earth
by Ken Follett
Edition: Hardcover
Price: CDN$ 45.70
21 used & new from CDN$ 0.78

5.0 out of 5 stars A Great read, April 16 2006
Yes, this is a wonderful read - full of adventure, pathos, and drama. I cannot recommend this book highly enough.

The Historian
The Historian
by Elizabeth Kostova
Edition: Hardcover
Price: CDN$ 27.96
99 used & new from CDN$ 0.78

4 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Too long, April 16 2006
This review is from: The Historian (Hardcover)
This should be a riviting tale, but like Atwood, Kostova is a better writer than she is a story teller. Cut out a third and get on with the plot, please.

Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed
Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed
by Jared Diamond
Edition: Hardcover
Price: CDN$ 25.20
87 used & new from CDN$ 4.34

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An enlightening read, Feb. 20 2006
Prof. Diamond quantifies how and why societies (including, perhaps, our own)fail. He gives examples both old and recent of how we, usually through our own folly, destroy our environments. Certainly a must read for those not yet convinced that we are at a perilous crossroads. At times, the book is a little laboured, and I admit that I skimmed parts of it, but I am glad to have read it.

No Crystal Stair
No Crystal Stair
by Mairuth Sarsfield
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 14.40
28 used & new from CDN$ 2.54

2.0 out of 5 stars Not a well written book, Feb. 6 2006
This review is from: No Crystal Stair (Paperback)
No, this is not a good book. Sarsfield uses phrases not in use at the time ("bottom line", "glass ceiling" are just two examples). The dialogue is stilted, the plot is weak and the characters (characatures) are not well drawn. Sorry, I wanted to like this book, but it does not make the grade.

Seduction
Seduction
by Catherine Gildiner
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 15.64
31 used & new from CDN$ 2.07

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars I agree, Not believable, Feb. 6 2006
This review is from: Seduction (Paperback)
As`the previous reviewer wrote, this is a flawed book. But it does have snappy dialogue and a certain charm.

A Feast for Crows: A Song of Ice and Fire: Book Four
A Feast for Crows: A Song of Ice and Fire: Book Four
by George R.R. Martin
Edition: Hardcover
Price: CDN$ 23.83
49 used & new from CDN$ 7.93

4 of 11 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A Disappointment, Dec 29 2005
I had been waiting for this book for a long time, and was quite excited when it finally appeared. I must say several things about this volume. 1. It needs a good (short) summary of the previous three volumes. It has been so long since I had read the others that I had forgotten most of the details and was very confused about who was what and how each part filled into the plot. 2. Please, somebody, find Mr. Martin a good editor: this book is too long and detailed. The others are as well but the story in the other ones moves along at a respectable pace. 3. Please improve the map - I want to be able to follow by checking the map, and too many places are not listed. 4. My favourite character (Tyrion) is missing. I gather he is being saved for volume five.
This is not a particularly good book. I went through the tedium of reading it because I felt thatI had too. Volume 5 had better be worth it!

Sun Also Rises
Sun Also Rises
by Ernest Hemingway
Edition: Paperback
27 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Dated? A Literary Artifact?, Dec 11 2005
This review is from: Sun Also Rises (Paperback)
I was looking forward to reading this. (I have fond memories of Pamploma from 1963.) I had just finished A Moveable Feast and was interested in the spare style of Papa, but this book, despite all the fame it has, did little for me. I can accept his spare style, but nobody talks the way Hemingway writes, except the characters in his book. I think the interest of this book lies in its value as a literary artifact - but I doubt that anyone would publish it today (if it were written by an unknown author at any rate). The characters are not well drawn and I have little interest in them - eating and drinking all day may have had value for the lost generation , but those days are long gone (thank goodness). My father (born 1917) was a huge Hemingway fan, his son is not.

The Children of Men
The Children of Men
by P.D. James
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 15.16
17 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Goodish Read, with troubling Questions, Dec 4 2005
This review is from: The Children of Men (Paperback)
I read this novel on the recommendation of a colleague who teaches it to her grade 9 English class. It is a strange book: somewhat uneven, with an unlikely plot line, and a dissatisfying ending, but the novel is also a chilling, even Orwellian, look at the future when there are no more children being born. I can't help but think that more could be done with the idea of a society slowing dieing out. So many avenues to explore, and several are - and they are chilling and sad. The central character is not all that sympathetic and this detracts somewhat. I think this is well worth a read if even just to get you thinking. I understand a movie is being made of this.

The Traveler: The First Novel of "The Fourth Realm" Trilogy
The Traveler: The First Novel of "The Fourth Realm" Trilogy
by John Twelve Hawks
Edition: Hardcover
17 used & new from CDN$ 2.34

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars goofdsummer read, July 16 2005
"The Traveler" mixes conspiracy theory, science fiction, quantum theory and old fashioned thriller genres to produce a very readable novel. The plot is, of course, overdone and the situations are absurd, but that's what books like this are all about. I recommend it as an excellent summer read

Codex: A Novel
Codex: A Novel
by Lev Grossman
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 12.80
84 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Well written, complex and satisdying, July 8 2005
This review is from: Codex: A Novel (Paperback)
Contrary to the previous reviewer, i can see the high quality in this fine literary thriller. It is intelligent and complex. The ending is appropraite. I'll grant you that it is a little far-fetched at times, but it is cleverly put together and a very satisfying read. It will appeal to intelliget readers, I think. Besides, you will learn a lot about medieval literature.

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