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Reviews Written by
Ronald W. Maron "pilgrim" (Nova Scotia)

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Good Omens
Good Omens
Price: CDN$ 7.10

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Too many cooks/writers spoil the broth/novel............, July 13 2014
This review is from: Good Omens (Kindle Edition)
While both authors are deservedly recognized as being the tops in their field, this 'combined writing adventure' leaves a great deal to be desired. The premise itself, a humorous view of the Fundie's mythical apocalypse, is highly commendable and is rife with potential humor. But, the quality humor had far greater lapses into sophomoric silliness and lacked the intensity that a shorter, more highly edited work would have provided. The story itself starts out very strong but quickly retreats into a scattered and difficult tale to follow as we tread from evil to good and back again.

The combined authorship reminds me of attempting to have two drivers from the Indy racing scene attempting to drive the same vehicle. Both try to take charge in order to win the race but because of this internal conflict they come in near to last place. Neil and Terry, it is easy to project that both of you are quite close and are good friends. The next time, however, one of you develops an idea let him, alone, drive the car while you remain in the stands cheering him on. Please !!


5.0 out of 5 stars The ever shrinking spiral that we call 'life'........., June 29 2014
This review is from: Replay (Kindle Edition)
While I have never been captivated by so-called romance novels and have always looked upon Harlequin as being little more than word litter, I am thrilled to have followed the intertwining romance in the lives of Jeff and Pamela. The author, Ken Grimwood, was able to take the lives of two people and move them congruently through a series of decreasing, yet intensifying, periods of life. While time travel, as we have come to know of it, is the engine that drives this novel, it is done so in an intriguing manner; they live the same time period over and over again.

Most modern novelists fail to allow their works to include either a universal moralistic teaching or a text from which the reader can actually make applications to their own life and future endeavors. This book does both beautifully. We are given the glory of life itself to reflect upon, the critical immediacy of living each moment to its fullest, and the ultimate inadequacy, regardless of how we choose to live, to have any major effect on the world around us. Thank you Mr. Grimwood for a message we all need to reflect on and grow from......

Breakers (Book 1)
Breakers (Book 1)
Price: CDN$ 0.00

3.0 out of 5 stars Notable writing skills hampered by a poor plot line........, June 19 2014
This review is from: Breakers (Book 1) (Kindle Edition)
Mr. Robertson does have the potential to be a quality author. He has a good ability with the definition of characters and, at times, his prose reads in a highly poetic manner. That being said, however, he has a dire need to develop a somewhat believable and rational plot line. His tale went very well until he decided to take us on a trip that entailed gigantic soft-shelled crabs as not only being the causal factors for the world wide plague but are now entering the Earth's atmosphere in a mountainous sized space ship. How did they originally spread the virus if they weren't here initially? How does a crab-like creature operate a space ship? If they only hovered over LA, was the rest of the world affected? How do you maneuver a hot-air balloon to safely land on an alien space craft? If these aliens are smart enough to spread a world-wide plague and travel through inter-stellar space, why are they as dumb as rocks in the finale and could seem to get out of their own way?
Please, Mr. Robertson take the time to think your next novel through to the end before sitting before a keyboard. You simply cannot make up a believable tale as you are in the process of writing it. You do have a writing talent that should not be shrouded by a story that contains more flaws than a three year old's finger-painting............

The Portal (An Alternative History Novel)
The Portal (An Alternative History Novel)
Price: CDN$ 5.13

3.0 out of 5 stars A good book for the adolescent reader............., June 12 2014
The word 'free' is a very deceptive concept. While there was no money exchanged in obtaining this novel, I view the hours it took to peruse it and the writing of this review to be ample re-payment for what I received.

While I was initially not enthused with the direction and plot lines that this book was taking, the author does have a way of capturing the reader and driving him/her further and further into his historical fantasy. His writing style is clear and concise, his characterizations of those involved is adequate and while the eventual ending was obvious within the first few chapters, he was able to draw together a Disney-like 'happily ever after' conclusion to his tale quite well. This is a good book for an adolescent reader because it allows him/her an initial contact with the theories of multiple universes and infinite lives................

Paradise GL22458BK Low Voltage Stamped Aluminum Round 7-Watt Deck Light, Black
Paradise GL22458BK Low Voltage Stamped Aluminum Round 7-Watt Deck Light, Black
Price: CDN$ 9.50
7 used & new from CDN$ 9.50

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A great lamp with a terrible connection problem..........., May 31 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I am not a typical DIYer because I can actually tell the difference between a hammer and a screw driver. While I give the lamp, itself, 5 full stars, I also give the electrical connections system an empty 0. The persons who reviewed this item and gave positive responses to the connection system either work for the company or are paid to transcribe false information. The opening in the connection itself is too small for a regulation low voltage wire! After shaving the wire down to fit, it was still less than a 50-50 chance that a positive linkage was made. Out of the 5 lights that I purchased 3 of them are now hard-wired to avoid the connection system altogether. If you like these lights, consumer, be prepared for a hassle while perching yourself on the top of a tall ladder...............

Offered by HarperCollins Publishers CA
Price: CDN$ 0.99

5.0 out of 5 stars We are all Siddhartha...............if only people would pay closer attention, May 27 2014
This review is from: Siddhartha (Kindle Edition)
It is interesting to have read this book as a High School assignment at the beginning of my adult life and now I have read it fifty years latter. Yes, I feel we are all Siddhartha, if only we would pay closer attention to the movement of our life as it goes through its intricate and purposeful steps that evolve before us. No matter where we step in life a path in that direction always opens up to us, no matter which side of the coin we are living at that moment we are already perfect, and because time is simply a man-made illusion that we created in order to determine the space between two events, we are already immortal. The steps shown in this book parallel our lives; We are born already empty and blameless (childhood), we sacrifice our physical happiness for the sake of being disciplined (religion), we refuse to seek the wisdom of others by feeling we already know life's answers (independence), we become immersed in the world and all its powers and pleasures (materialism) and we eventually reach an age where we allow ourselves to reflect on the life we have just struggled through (retirement). These are the concepts I became initially aware of in an English course so many years ago and these are the concepts through which I knowingly evolved through as an adult. Yes, the book finally makes receives a full five stars as being a road map of life but only because I allowed my path to take the direction that it needed to go; my own spiritual maturity and understanding of life, death and infinity.

Yes, as other critics have noted there are a few typo. mistakes in this issue. No, the world is not perfect as they wish it to be, but, then, it was never meant to be. So, please be less critical of the editor and more critical of the footpath that you are following. I think that this may serve you well................

Answers about the Afterlife: A Private Investigator's 15-Year Research Unlocks the Mysteries of Life after Death
Answers about the Afterlife: A Private Investigator's 15-Year Research Unlocks the Mysteries of Life after Death
Price: CDN$ 9.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Am afterlife primer for the slightly informed.............., May 23 2014
The author, like myself, has spent a great deal of time researching the works of others, contemplating his findings and drawing clearly stated conclusions from this arduous task. He has presented them in an question and answer, easy-to-read manner. While his work produces no new conclusions that I have not previously deduced, it is an excellent read for those persons who wish to move beyond the 'toe-in-the-water' approach into a greater level of understanding. Every topic that is conceivable in the area of diffuse area of the afterlife is described in a pragmatic and clearly defined manner. My only reservations about this work is that it is a bit repetitive in places, confuses some psychosocial and learned behavior for being genetic caused and casually mentions the questionable influence of astrology on our development. A purchase of this book can initiate a discussion with friends and relatives about the most critical topics that are never discussed, our
obvious mortality and our eventual demise on this earth...................

Capital in the Twenty-First Century
Capital in the Twenty-First Century
Price: CDN$ 23.67

14 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This book is meant to create an adult discussion and not a childish rant................, May 16 2014
I would be remiss if I did not respond to the negativity generated by the 'patriots' who felt it necessary to grant this writing a single star along with their swift action by the back of their hand. My review will center on not only the content of this tome, but others like it that encourage us, as a country, to closely examine the tenets we were told to memorize in secondary class rooms in order to test their present day validity.

Recent statistics reveal to us that in terms of 'comfort and happiness' the USA ranks 37th in the world. That should neither be something to be proud of nor entail an intellectual death struggle in order to maintain this lowly position. The countries that compile the highest scores are the Scandinavian, socialistic countries of Northern Europe. (but, I used that bad word, 'socialistic', didn't I!). They rank in this elite class due to the levels of equality they feel among themselves, the 'cradle to the grave' concept of personal security, and having the government look out for their, and not corporate, interests. Yes, their tax level is higher than the US and Canada but the return on their investment in a people-centered government is much greater. The US, on the other hand, has since its inception viewed monetary accumulation as being the ultimate goal that all of should plug into and spend our lives trying to attain. While persons who collect newspapers and stack them to the ceiling or have their homes overrun with hoards of cats are considered to be crazy, the person who also acts on his equally irrational compulsions and collects piles of money and then ships it to overseas tax-free accounts has his picture placed on the cover of a Fortune 500 magazine. Why the difference? The difference lies in our socially determined value structures; money, and the control of it, is more important than the needs of others. The answer to the question of "Am I my brother's keeper' is no longer a hesitant 'Yes' but now it has become an emphatic "No!'. Societies are created and built for the benefit of all others within its borders, not solely for the over-bloated 1%. But, through the amassing of such unbelievable wealth the 1% not only have captured the money streams of the country but have captured the media outlets for their benefit as well. The third rail of our democratic experiment is under the clutches of those who desire change the least and whose concerns for the poor are the worst; namely its wealthy.

As the author so vividly points out, this is not a novel situation for it has gone on since the original shekel was invented and given in return for goods or services. Class struggles have long revealed a bloody trail across civilization's jagged history. And, it seems to building up to that tantamount again. Guns are being dispersed like Pez candy drops, militant groups have grown ten fold in the last two decades, political unrest, fueled by racism and prejudice, stands on the edge of a cliff while the income disparity of its people is totally nothing less than selfish greed run amuk. Mr. Piketty is not here to lay out a road map of where to go, what restaurants we must frequent and what sites are required viewing for journey that is call 'Life'. Mr. Piketty is here to show us the data and concluded factoids of earlier events and social cataclysms, provide a sensible conclusion to these previous facts and allow us, as adult participants, to begin to have a discussion about how we wish to travel our road ahead. Anyone who fails to enter into this discussion due to 'knowing' the answer beforehand is not welcome. But, not being welcome does not entitle you, as a reading public, to denigrate someone who has actually examined both sides of the same coin while you, who only can repeat the propaganda heard from the corporate media, have a tendency to lash out in an obvious prejudicial and close-minded manner. Please "Shut up" and let those of us who actually are interested in words like 'progressive', 'humanistic', and 'fairness' make the steps forward that our country requires.

Please read this book, even if your not interested in the world economy. It is more about you and where you are headed rather than being a dull tome of economic projections as the title suggests..............

Silo Submerged: (The Runner, The Diver, The Watcher)
Silo Submerged: (The Runner, The Diver, The Watcher)
Price: CDN$ 4.26

2.0 out of 5 stars Did I love it? Not so much............., May 15 2014
While I give praise to WJ Davies for a good attempt at sci-fi writing, there are a few things that troubled me about his effort.
#1. If a person is going to attempt 'piggy-back' writing through attaching his work to one previous, the first thing he must achieve is excellence in writing skills. While the author, himself, is more than adequate at narrating a story line, his skills are far less than the original author, Hugh Howey, that he is trying to emulate.
#2. The factoids that an author presents must be accurate. Human sexuality is a genetic presupposition to a specific gender. One is either attract to males or attracted to females. There is no 'omni-sexuality' as the author implies.
#3. Lastly, good authors maintain a high level of suspense as a reader delves into the last chapter. This rendition, however, was highly predictable half way through the readings. Next time Mr. Davies put a twist to your conclusion and try not to copy the 'happily ever after' syndrome that Walt Disney made so alluring..............

Dust (Silo series Book 3)
Dust (Silo series Book 3)
Price: CDN$ 5.95

5.0 out of 5 stars A tremendous trilogy that was presented in the wrong order......., May 10 2014
Trilogies generally follow the same path; the introduction and the conclusive books are the best whereas book #2, the tie in volume, flounders on the topic and merely hovers about until we set out towards the conclusion of the tale. Hugh Howey's second book failed, however, for a different reason. In his attempt to avoid this floundering in book #2, he flashbacked to a time period prior to book #1. While the story in itself was entertaining and gave background to the first tale, the lack of linearity of the telling of the tale leads the reader to periods of confusion and memory gaps of the first book once you begin the third book. The sequence of this trilogy should have been book #2, book #1, book #3 rather than the manner in which it was presented.

That being said, Hugh Howey is one of the very best new sci-fi authors to hit the scene in a long time. His tales are gripping, his characterizations are alive and the imagination that goes into his tale-telling is quite creative. I am looking forward to continuing to follow this author throughout his career.............

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