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"blissengine"

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Daughter of Elysium
Daughter of Elysium
by Joan Slonczewski
Edition: Hardcover
10 used & new from CDN$ 2.83

5.0 out of 5 stars A gorgeous supplement to "A Door into Ocean", Feb. 25 2004
This review is from: Daughter of Elysium (Hardcover)
Following a couple centuries after "A Door into Ocean", "Daughter of Elysium" revisits the planet Shora, home of the ocean-dwelling Sharers and the city-dwelling Elysians. Raincloud Windclan came to Elysium accompanied by her family to help avert a war. Her scientist husband was invited to assist in delving into the secrets of Elysians' longevity and in solving the Elysians' inability to bear children. The technologically superior Elysians live a pleasurable existence surrounded by their robot servants, who are slowly gaining sentience despite various precautions. In this epic sci fi tale, various threads entwine and produce a glorious and compelling exploration into compassion and humanity that fascinates as it entertains. Slonczewski deftly portrays the complex nuances of the bevy of characters, leading readers to explore their own human natures and giving us much to ponder.

Hallucinating Foucault
Hallucinating Foucault
by Patricia Duncker
Edition: Paperback
22 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars Love song, Feb. 11 2004
This review is from: Hallucinating Foucault (Paperback)
The famous French novelist Paul Michel lived a glamorously unconstrained life, much like his books, until the death of Michel Foucault in 1984. Soon after, he snapped and attempted murder, and was incarcerated in an asylum. Our narrator is writing his thesis on Paul Michel's fiction, and with the urging of his alarmingly intense girlfriend, he sets out to find the man behind the myth and fiction. Travelling through France and finding the lost writer in a hospital, the young man finds himself seduced further by Paul Michel's sharp personality and sets out to free the man he loves from his physical prison, but what of the writer's mental prison? "Hallucinating Foucault" is a fiery confession of love between reader and writer, of the allure of the passionately mad, of living beyond consequences. Like each of the characters, we readers find ourselves seduced by story and falling in love with words, and bereft when the book ends. Patricia Duncker entrances us with this magnificent and potent story of literature, madness, love, and inner darkness.

Elf Child
Elf Child
by David M. Pierce
Edition: Paperback
18 used & new from CDN$ 3.01

4.0 out of 5 stars A romantic supernatural thriller, Feb. 11 2004
This review is from: Elf Child (Paperback)
Russ and his mother Lizzy are decades-old shapeshifters who have settled in San Diego for the time being. Russ uses his abilities to spice up his long string of one-night stands. When he meets Eric, Russ is immediately smitten and feels ready to risk it all to make the relationship work, including the truth about his supernatural self. Their love strains under this burden, and when Eric's mother starts piecing together the truth about Lizzy and Russ, things become more complicated. In one brutal instant, Russ and Eric's love is tested and they could lose not only their connection but also their lives. "Elf Child" is a compelling romance that embraces themes of our image-conscious culture, being an outsider, and the consequences of hiding the truth about oneself. There are some contrived elements to the novel, like the connection between their mothers, but those are but blips in a charming and fantastical supernatural thriller that earns its nomination for a Lambda Literary Award.

The Eyre Affair
The Eyre Affair
by Jasper Fforde
Edition: Paperback
130 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

3.0 out of 5 stars Bedazzle, Feb. 8 2004
This review is from: The Eyre Affair (Paperback)
Thursday Next is a Special Operative in literary detection in an England of 1985 where time travel is routine for some and altering literature is a serious offense. A man from Thursday's past named Acheron Hades is quickly gaining attention for his heinous crimes, especially after he steals the original manuscript for "Martin Chuzzlewit". Thursday's uncle has created a machine through which one can enter books, and Hades has kidnapped him. After killing off a minor character in the book, Next and her fellow operatives know Hades means business, and when he next steals the original "Jane Eyre", Thursday takes it personally because it's her favorite book. In this wildly imaginative thriller, Jasper Fforde keeps readers dazzled with his quirky tale that references pop culture, literary classics, and historical alternatives. "The Eyre Affair" is a witty book that will delight many bibliophiles and will leave many heads spinning.

The Elegant Gathering of White Snows
The Elegant Gathering of White Snows
by Kris Radish
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 12.99
102 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

4.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful journey, Feb. 5 2004
Kris Radish's allegorical tale is about eight women in rural Wisconsin who meet regularly, ostensibly to read books or discuss life. One night they set out on a walk together for various personal reasons, and the walk stretches over a couple of days. The story gains national attention and exposure, and inspires lots of women worldwide. The walking women have no knowledge of their effect, and are only out as friends supporting one another. Intimate, glorious, and emotive, "The Elegant Gathering of White Snows" is a wonderful novel about friendship and personal liberation. Like "And Then They Were Nuns" by Susan Leonardi or "Wanderground" by Sally Miller Gearhart, this book is not about the individual characters as much as it is about female friendship and the power of women as a group.

The Egyptian: A Novel
The Egyptian: A Novel
by Mika Waltari
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 13.83
14 used & new from CDN$ 9.85

4.0 out of 5 stars The grand scope of humanity, Jan. 31 2004
This review is from: The Egyptian: A Novel (Paperback)
In this epic novel, Mika Waltari traces a portion of Egyptian history through the eyes of Sinuhe, the physician to the Pharaoh Akhnaton. His humble and mysterious origin colors his views as he bears witness to the winds of change in Egypt as the Pharaoh supplants the old gods for a new one, much to the dismay of his citizens. He also is witness to the rise of Horemheb, whom he calls a friend, as this military general defeats the encroaching Hittites and eventually becomes the next Pharaoh. Brilliantly illuminating life in ancient Egypt, Waltari entertains readers with a tale of love and loss, of war and tragedy, of friendship and betrayal. "The Egyptian" sometimes comes across as plodding or dry by modern standards, but the fascinating and flawed main character entrances readers to reach the final pages.

Rainbow High
Rainbow High
by Alex Sanchez
Edition: Hardcover
23 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

4.0 out of 5 stars A great continuation, Jan. 31 2004
This review is from: Rainbow High (Hardcover)
Continuing from the successful "Rainbow Boys", "Rainbow High" follows Nelson, Jason, and Kyle through most of their senior year in high school as they look forward to their futures after graduation, but will they all be together? Nelson struggles with having an HIV+ boyfriend, while Jason and Kyle work through the beginnings of their relationship. Kyle is hesitant to decide on a college until he knows where Jason is heading. Jason, meanwhile, decides to come out to his basketball coach and team, but this could jeopardize his scholarship, or will it? This young adult novel explores friendship and dating in these characters' lives, and paints a hopeful picture of being young and gay. While the story does gloss over much of the emotional intricacies of the teens, "Rainbow High" is a delight to read. Like in his first book, Sanchez also includes resources for gay youth after the story's conclusion.

Miss Julie
Miss Julie
by August Strindberg
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 3.25
54 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

4.0 out of 5 stars Spiral, Jan. 22 2004
This review is from: Miss Julie (Paperback)
Strindberg's classic play follows the downward spiral of an aristocratic young woman whose break-up with her fiancé is quite the talk of the estate. Miss Julie pursues her father's valet, and seduces him, without thought for the repercussions. Unfortunately for Julie, these consequences must be faced. Controversial at its debut, "Miss Julie" also was highly original in form and structure, and while its subject matter isn't as shocking today, the palpable drama does resonate.

The Salt Roads: A Novel
The Salt Roads: A Novel
by Nalo Hopkinson
Edition: Hardcover
17 used & new from CDN$ 1.27

4.0 out of 5 stars The heritage of women, Jan. 20 2004
In this mythic fantasy, Nalo Hopkinson braids together the lives of three distinct African women into a potent and sensual feminist vision. Mer is a plantation slave and a healer in what is now modern-day Haiti. She is the lover of Tipingee, but shares this love with Tipingee's husband. Jeanne Duval is a former dancer who is now the lover of struggling Parisian poet Charles Baudelaire. In ancient Alexandria, Thais is a prostitute, and her journey will take her to the outskirts of Jerusalem. Through their lovemaking and daily lives, these women host the spirit sometimes called Ezili, who echoes other names. Ezili can influence their actions, although she often is simply witness through their corporeality, even as she flails against her own bonds. Weaving these seemingly disparate threads together, Hopkinson illumines the lives of women as she explores sexuality, transcendence, spirituality, and personal freedom. Much like "Godmother Night" by Rachel Pollack and "The Female Man" by Joanna Russ, this novel reaches beyond the confines of genre to sing passionately with new rhythms.

Gay Perspective: Things Our Homosexuality Tells Us About the Nature of God and the Universe
Gay Perspective: Things Our Homosexuality Tells Us About the Nature of God and the Universe
by Toby Johnson
Edition: Paperback
25 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

4.0 out of 5 stars Envision, Jan. 12 2004
With a clear vision, Toby Johnson explores how being homosexual, and thus non-standard, allows us queers a unique view on religion, society, spirituality, sexuality, and gender roles. Embracing a variety of faiths and a range of progressive and feminist doctrines, he shapes a brave redefinition of how to live as gay and lesbian individuals, fully in tune with the concepts of God's whole nature. "Gay Perspective" is a thought-provoking volume, and is intended as such, to create a discourse for us to express in our relationship with the non-gay world in which we live. I found it quite inspiring, especially in its reaffirmation of simple truths that are easily forgotten in our modern world, and I heartily recommend it to anyone willing to imagine the world as a tapestry of beauty.

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