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Reviews Written by
David C Polk (Ottawa Canada)

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Penguin Classics Barchester Towers
Penguin Classics Barchester Towers
by Anthony Trollope
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 10.11
89 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Too slow, too 19th century!, April 7 2005
A classic, no doubt, but still a chore to get through. If Mr. Trollope were to write this book today, it would be half as long. I loved the insights into a long ago set of values, and there were many instances when his wry humour moved me to laughter, but this is a tedious read. I confes I "power read" parts of it. I'm glad I have read Trollope, but I doubt that I will read more of him.

The Woman in White
The Woman in White
by Wilkie Collins
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
Price: CDN$ 7.12
69 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars The best 19th century novel I have yet read, March 26 2005
This is an excellent novel. There is too much description, of course, but apart from that I can find no fault with it. The characters are well drawn, the plot in intricate and it unfolds as it should. Altogether a most satisfying read. I do have one question, however: The beginning is narrated by Sir Walter... and I do not see how he can be a Sir . Can anyone enlighten me? (dpolk@ashbury.on.ca)

Jane Eyre
Jane Eyre
by Charlotte Bronte
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 9.00
57 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

4.0 out of 5 stars A 19th century masterpiece, Feb. 27 2005
This review is from: Jane Eyre (Paperback)
Jane Eyre is one of the classics of 19th century English literature. It is not possible to judge the book by to-day's literary standards: books must be judged in their own time and social setting. The language is, at times, tedious, and the plot absurd - with impossible coincidences, but, to English reader of the mid 19th century, these were accepted and demanded. The characters are well drawn and the atmosphere is vivid. Miss Eyre is a strong character who proves that the good and honest will prevail in God's good time. I recommend this book to anyone who wants to gain a better appreciation of the evolution of literature.

Death of an Addict
Death of an Addict
by M. C. Beaton
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
Price: CDN$ 8.55
51 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

2.0 out of 5 stars Not of High Quality, Feb. 20 2005
This is the second Hamish McBeth book I have read, and it is a disappointment. It lacks the folksy charm of the first. The plotting is weak, and the situations absurd. I suppost if you want a simple, easy weekend read this would do. If I had a cottage, that is where I would put this lightweight piece of nonesense.

The Sunday Philosophy Club
The Sunday Philosophy Club
by Alexander McCall Smith
Edition: Hardcover
20 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars I was really looking forweard to this..., Feb. 13 2005
...but I was disappointed. Smith's rustic African philosophy worked well, for a while anyway, but I find that he did not translate well to the urbane setting of Edinburgh. This book took forever to get going, and the slow pace was irritating. Far too much philosophy and other introspection. Finally we get to some sleuthing, but this is, alas, not satisfying at all. Perhaps Smith will be able to get things into gear a little more quickly in the next book in this series, but I will not purchase it if it gets the same kind of reviews that Philosophy Club has been getting.

The Sunday Philosophy Club
The Sunday Philosophy Club
by Alexander McCall Smith
Edition: Hardcover
20 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars I was really looking forweard to this..., Feb. 13 2005
...but I was disappointed. Smith's rustic African philosophy worked well, for a while anyway, but I find that he did not translate well to the urbane setting of Edingurgh. This book took forever to get going, and the slow pace was irritating. Far too much philosophy and other introspection. Finally we get to some sleuthing, but this is, alas, not satisfying at all. Perhaps Smith will be able to get things into gear a little more quickly in the next book in this series, but I will not purchase it if it gets the same kind of reviews that Philosophy Club has been getting.

Decline and Fall (Modern Classics)
Decline and Fall (Modern Classics)
by Evelyn Waugh
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 14.59
30 used & new from CDN$ 0.78

5.0 out of 5 stars I get to read this classic again!, Jan. 29 2005
Our book club has decided to do Decline and Fall. It's been over 30 years since I last read this masterpiece. Oh what a treat to read it again!

The Cloud Atlas
The Cloud Atlas
by Liam Callanan
Edition: Hardcover
16 used & new from CDN$ 3.49

0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Too introspective, Jan. 5 2005
This review is from: The Cloud Atlas (Hardcover)
I though there was too much introspection and remorse in this. The story has interest, but I don't really think the author was able to make this as interesting as I would like. More action would have helped. Less mysticism as well. But, what do I know!

A Complicated Kindness
A Complicated Kindness
by Miriam Toews
Edition: Hardcover
52 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

8 of 13 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Over-rated, Jan. 1 2005
This review is from: A Complicated Kindness (Hardcover)
I found this somewhat tedious. A litany of teenage angst. I wanted her to get on with her life. I expected much more from a prize winner.

1984
1984
by George Orwell
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
98 used & new from CDN$ 1.07

5.0 out of 5 stars A Classic for the Ages, Dec 25 2004
This review is from: 1984 (Mass Market Paperback)
I read a lot of books. I rarely read a book more than once. I read this three times. It is hard to imagine a better book - inspiring and depressing at the same time! The satire is overwhelming. I do not think a person is truly educated if he or she has not read this book. It taught me to hate totalitarianism and it reinforced my love of freedom. This book will be read a thousand years from now.

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