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Reviews Written by
J. Israel "jaisrael" (San Francisco, CA United States)
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The Orchid Thief
The Orchid Thief
by Susan Orlean
Edition: Audio CD
11 used & new from CDN$ 5.06

3.0 out of 5 stars A good book, but a lousy audio edition, Feb. 9 2004
This review is from: The Orchid Thief (Audio CD)
I enjoyed the content of this book, but I was listening to the unabridged audio version, and the reader was just awful; she read the book like an annoying children's story, it made it hard to even get even get through the book.

High and Mighty: Suvs-The World's Most Dangerous Vehicles and How They Got That Way
High and Mighty: Suvs-The World's Most Dangerous Vehicles and How They Got That Way
by Keith Bradsher
Edition: Hardcover
27 used & new from CDN$ 2.98

5.0 out of 5 stars Extremely interesting and well written, Jan. 2 2004
When I got this book, I was dubious that it could be interesting. I could believe there was enough info on SUV's to fill a chapter or two, but not a whole book. This book was interesting from start to finish, a lot of fascinating detail on how our political system works, and history of the automobile industry, and it is very engagingly written.
My only warning would be that this book can make just about anyone angry: if you consider yourself an environmentalist, then learning the history of how Detroit and our policiticans are being very short sighted regarding saftey and pollution is infuriating. If, however, you feel that governement regulation has no place regulating industry or you don't believe in global warming, then Bradsher's writing will piss you off, because he very clearly comes down on the side of the environmentalists.

Americas Splendid Little Wars
Americas Splendid Little Wars
by Peter Huchthausen
Edition: Hardcover
26 used & new from CDN$ 0.05

3.0 out of 5 stars A good premise, but a disappointing book, Dec 9 2003
It was a good idea to review these episodes in American history, but the events are presented in a shallow, jingoist manner, and were not informative or insightful.

The Best American Science and Nature Writing 2003
The Best American Science and Nature Writing 2003
by Richard Dawkins
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 12.78
39 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

4.0 out of 5 stars Not as good as 2002, but still very good, Dec 4 2003
This is a great series. This year the selection seemed to have more of an anti-religious and political tone, but most of the selections are still well-written, educational and thoughtful.

Chang and Eng
Chang and Eng
by Darin Strauss
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 14.44
55 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars Imaginative, funny, a great read., Dec 4 2003
This review is from: Chang and Eng (Paperback)
There were a few hard to believe scences (the lynching) but overall, this was a suprising, interesting and wonderfully warm historical novel.

The Best American Science and Nature Writing 2002
The Best American Science and Nature Writing 2002
by Natalie Angier
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 12.78
48 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars A real pleasure, Nov. 5 2003
This is a truly wonderful anthology. Thought-provoking, humorous, almost every chapter taught me something new and fascinating.

Middlesex: A Novel
Middlesex: A Novel
by Jeffrey Eugenides
Edition: Audio Cassette
7 used & new from CDN$ 19.69

3.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining, but not a classic, Aug. 18 2003
I enjoyed this as a book on tape, but I've enjoyed Eugenides' othe work much more. The reader made a number of surprising mispronounications.

The Best American Essays of the Century
The Best American Essays of the Century
by Joyce Carol Oates
Edition: Audio Cassette
12 used & new from CDN$ 31.21

3.0 out of 5 stars Not bad, but not the best of the century, Aug. 18 2003
Some good essays here, but a number of boring ones as well, if they had 100 years of essays to choose from, I'm suprised this was the best they could come up with.

Ain't No Rag: Freedom, Family, and the Flag
Ain't No Rag: Freedom, Family, and the Flag
by Charlie Daniels
Edition: Hardcover
Price: CDN$ 22.02
24 used & new from CDN$ 0.27

2.0 out of 5 stars This book is a rag, Aug. 12 2003
Say you take a gifted writer with no musical background, hand him a fiddle, and tell him to play "The Devil Went Down to Georgia." How do you think that would sound? Or the opposite: let's take a talented musician, enthusiastic but undereducated, and ask him to write a book. How would that book come out? A lot like this, obviously. The reason I gave this book 2 stars and not 1 star is that it was really quite interesting... interesting to ponder what sort of person would write a book like this, and what sort of person would enjoy it. My thoughts on this sort of writer: if he had been born in Afghanistan, he would be Taliban. But instead he was born here, so he spouts off about Jesus and Patriotism. Thank God this is still a free country and folks like this can't tell the rest of us how to live! Keep your fingers on that fiddle Charlie, but please don't write anything but your grocery list ever again.

Everything is Illuminated
Everything is Illuminated
by Jonathan Safran Foer
Edition: Audio Cassette
Price: CDN$ 32.91
2 used & new from CDN$ 22.55

3.0 out of 5 stars Clever, but needed a good editor., Feb. 25 2003
I wanted to like this book. The premise is excellent, and it does have moments of brilliance. But it has more moments that drag on and are annoying. It is two stories in - the journey of a young man to trace the roots of his family who survived the holocaust, and a fantasy-fiction-within-a-fiction tale of an old Ukranian shetl. The shtetl section is captivating at times, but is mostly too clever by half. The other part of the story is much better. I listened to the audio version, and the "Ukranian" reader was terrible, he sounded like Steve Martin from Saturday night live pretending to be a Wild and Crazy guy. The whole book would have been much better if it were about 1/2 the number of pages.

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