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Rebel: The Nathaniel Starbuck Chronicles: Book One
Rebel: The Nathaniel Starbuck Chronicles: Book One
by Bernard Cornwell
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 13.36
66 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars CORNWELL FANS, LET'S BE ARROGANT!, July 6 2004
Bernard Cornwell can write a scene of battle better than anyone on this planet. Sharpe, Thomas of Hookton, and Nathanial starbuck have all slugged through horrendous tours of duty and we've all intimately felt it thanks to the "in the trench" writing of Cornwell. Despite some sentiment that Cornwell has developed a recipe for his novels and have unjustly hacked stars from the ranking, they should look at other novelists who have remotely produced a body of quality work such as Cornwell. That being said, Rebel is the first in the great Starbuck Chronicles(Chronicles is to Legion as Series is to Brigade). The quote on my copy says, "The best thing to hit Civil War fiction since Michael Shaara's The Killer Angels." - Washington Post. The Killer Angels is the Gold Standard of Civil War writing. Fairly said, Rebel alone is no Killer Angels, but the series certainly is and Nathanial Starbuck is a character that you want to get to know. As with Sharpe and Thomas (of Hookton), his courage, knowledge, and confidence grow with time and experience and as a reader, you grow with them. For readers who are Civil War reenactors you'll find no "farby" writing here. The Zouaves (between the cracks Federal & Reb uniform nuance) and artillery are represented and for the Rebs in the crowd you'll be happy to see the Tigers at Manassas.
One questions Bernard, "Whatcha got against the horses?" That's the point; Cornwell pulls no punch when the men are at war. I encourage all Cornwell fans to read (ya already have I suppose) - fans of Civil War, Yanks or Rebs and fans of top shelf historical fiction - climb on board this caisson!
Enjoy,
23rdPA "Birney's Zouaves!"

The Office: The Complete Second Series
The Office: The Complete Second Series
DVD ~ Ricky Gervais
Price: CDN$ 12.85
41 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars THAT'S THE POINT, IT'S SUPPOSE TO CURL YOUR TOES, June 8 2004
To those nay-sayers who carp that it's too uncomfortable to watch should take a moment and realize that that's the reaction that you're suppose to have. David (the unbelievably brilliant Ricky Gervais) has grown into a more multi-dimension charactor this season - sure, the first season it was comfortable to sit back and be thankful you didn't work with this maniac. Season 2 tests the viewers by making them periodically sorry for David - truly an emotion that's hard to reconcile...nearly everything he does is misguided and his inferiority complex is easly in biblical proportions...it sucks when you find yourself relating (at least in a small..real small measure) and wanting to come to his defense.
Enjoy!

Vagabond
Vagabond
by Bernard Cornwell
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
36 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars THOMAS OF HOOKTON RETURNS, June 2 2004
This review is from: Vagabond (Mass Market Paperback)
The Grail Quest saga continues - and I couldn't be happier with this 2nd outing. Thomas remains a man of his time, no revisionist history or contemporary conceits - a rarity in historical fiction & Thomas as well as the others think and act like they would in 1346. I only mention that because some reviewers (including myself) of the first book (Archer) were a little skeptical about a great 100 Year War story getting bogged down by a quest for the Holy Grail. I think Cornwell does a good job of detailing the "Quest" as well as provide a fairly believable back-story - there's no magic or fantasy elements, which was my fear...this is straight up history.
As in The Archer's Tale, Bernard Cornwell pulls no punches in the battle narrative - and he can write a battle scene as well as anyone - worth the price of admission alone.
Bottom Line: I love this series and hope it doesn't end at Heretic. Thomas is a great character & I would consider this series to be some of the best in ACCURATE historical fiction writing. Enjoy!

Big Fish (Bilingual) [Import]
Big Fish (Bilingual) [Import]
DVD ~ Ewan McGregor
Offered by TUNESUS
Price: CDN$ 9.46
48 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

2.0 out of 5 stars PSYCHEDELIC LIFE MAGAZINE, May 12 2004
Tim Burton has mastered the collective acid trip stereotyped 50's suburban landscape - the hair, just a little too big, the shirts, just a little to white...the homogeneous nightmare. The steady diet of his parent's stash of Life Magazines must have had a profound affect on him, because he loves the look. Edward Scissorhands and Ed Wood come to mind. Big Fish is full of interesting images and at first they fascinate you and make you wonder where it's all going to end up. Too bad it goes nowhere - Burton's landscape is just eye candy and I challenge anyone to tell me just what he was trying to say. Here's his message as far as I could tell: Be yourself - parents are funny - parents (dad) is a liar, but that's okay...who knows. Not that every movie needs a point, but there has to be some substance, and Big Fish doesn't.

Lion of Ireland
Lion of Ireland
by Morgan Llywelyn
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
44 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The greatest Ard Ri of Eire, May 8 2004
The story of Brian Boru is fascinating - truly the last and greatest Celt. His ability to unify Ireland through shrewd politics, forward thinking alliances, and of course, warfare are simply amazing. Llywelyn does an adequate job of his story and hits all the major issues. However, her writing is very romaticized and a little soft around the edges lacking the punch you'd expect from a story dealing with a life-long warrior such as Boru - the battles are very weak and almost bloodless. I'd like to rate it higher, but Llwelyn created a cuddly warrior in this book...I like my Celts Celts.

Patrick: Son of Ireland
Patrick: Son of Ireland
by Stephen Lawhead
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
Price: CDN$ 9.89
54 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars PATRICIUS - THE EARLY YEARS, April 11 2004
It should be noted that this book does not in any substantial way cover the Christian teachings of St.Patrick in Eire. The story is about his incredible journey leading up to his eventual prophecy - those looking for the devote religious aspects of his life should look elsewhere. Additionally, those that believe Saints are born Saints may also not want to read this story - Patrick (Succat) is very much a flawed individual (like us all). The story, as some have suggested, is not a subtle rant against the Catholic Church nor is it a condemnation of the Pagan religion - readers of Lawhead will recognize the style, especially those who've read The Iron Lance & Byzantium (in my opinion his best works).
His journey was incredible and Lawhead keeps the story popping right along - if you're a fan of SL or simply curious as to the events leading up his teaching in Ireland, then read this story. If you're looking for "the Saint" aspect of his life - then this read probably isn't for you. Final thought: a lot of the early details of Patrick's life are not known, such as his actual birthplace - SL had to take a guess on many events and despite what some of the other nitpicker say, I think he succeeds.
Enjoy!

Celtic Requiem
Celtic Requiem
Offered by Vanderbilt CA
Price: CDN$ 34.95
2 used & new from CDN$ 11.99

3.0 out of 5 stars THE CONFUSING WORLD OF IRISH MUSIC, April 6 2004
This review is from: Celtic Requiem (Audio CD)
As a fan of traditional Irish music, modern Irish music, and (to a small degree) New Age music - I have found it increasingly difficult to sift through newer releases with an absolute certainty of what I'm buying. As a music "risk taker" I often purchase CD's based on a gut feeling of what I think will be on the record. Irish/Celtic music as become almost interchangable. Celtic can mean traditional Donegal, Ireland pub music, or it can mean etheral new age - such is the case with Celtic Requiem - this is not traditional Irish Music at all, save the Gaelic singing and titles. It's not a bad CD as far as new age music goes, but since when did the Irish theme become become the symbol of the new age sound. I know that Enya is partly responsible (I enjoy her music - you know what you're getting) for the trend, and maybe I can pin it on the druid priests of the early Celtic tribes - who knows. My point is simply that if you're looking for traditional music this isn't it - it's not even Irish, except for the celtic themed cover art.

Permission to Land
Permission to Land
Price: CDN$ 13.33
33 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars THE DARKNESS, A CATALYST FOR CHANGE, April 2 2004
This review is from: Permission to Land (Audio CD)
The 80's are back, and I couldn't be more thrilled! The Darkness have captured what was so great about those early days of hair rock & I'm amazed that they've become so popular given what is currently playing on rock radio. A singer who sings! What a concept! I only hope other bands follow suit.
If you're an unabashed fan of bands/singers like; Billy Squire, Dokken,& Zebra, then you can't go wrong.
Enjoy!

Irish, Q&S: Learn to Speak and Understand Irish (Gaelic) with Pimsleur Language Programs
Irish, Q&S: Learn to Speak and Understand Irish (Gaelic) with Pimsleur Language Programs
by Pimsleur
Edition: Audio CD
Price: CDN$ 17.32
29 used & new from CDN$ 11.46

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A GOOD TOOL TO HELP UNDERSTAND IRISH (GAELIC), April 2 2004
As a beginner you've probably already discovered that there are a large number of books, cassettes, and on-line resources available to help you understand, speak, and write Irish. I've been plugging along for about 30 days now with this CD (unabridged 4 disk set) and have found it very helpful - the repetition is great, but most important is simply hearing how the words sound. I have a few books and a pile of lessons I've got off the web and the most frustrating thing is that the phonetic spelling that accompanies the Irish word varies GREATLY from one resource to the next, which (at least for me) just created further confusion. I've seen Dia duit (Hello) phonetically spelled about 8 different ways - I finally thought I had it down until I heard this CD - of course I was wrong!
I wouldn't use this as your only resource, but it's a great way to pass the commute to work and a good item to have in your pile of learning resources, plus the price is great.
Go raibh maith agat!

Stargate SG-1: The Complete Season 5 (Widescreen) (5 Discs)
Stargate SG-1: The Complete Season 5 (Widescreen) (5 Discs)
DVD ~ Richard Dean Anderson
Offered by M and N Media Canada
Price: CDN$ 53.96
8 used & new from CDN$ 18.87

5.0 out of 5 stars OKAY - I'M OFFICIALLY A GEEK, March 24 2004
I have always enjoyed scoffing at those that enjoy cheesy science fiction television. Star Trek - crap, Babylon 5 - junk, the "rest" - horrid! Despite my smugness, nearly all of my close friends are consumed with some stupid space series - maybe I was the problem. To satisfy my curiosity I decided to start my experiment with SG1 Season 1 because I actually enjoyed the movie. I was completely confident that it would be un-watchable and I would be able to crow to my clutch of close nerds that not only was it bad, I could actually tell them why. Episode 1 was awful, episode 2 was miserable (still feel that way), episode 3 better, and end of season result...hmmm, better check Season Two just to make sure. Well, I just finished the brilliant Season 4 and Season 5 in a one week marathon - I'm hooked! What's the point of this aimless review you ask? If you're a dedicated snob such as I was (and am now to a smaller degree) and you lump all shows like this into the genre of the original Star Trek (still crap by the way) I just want to say that Stargate is really good, well written, and amazingly original. Give it a shot - you don't have to tell anyone.

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