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Ailene Isaf

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Future Jazz
Future Jazz
Price: CDN$ 16.83
19 used & new from CDN$ 6.39

4.0 out of 5 stars A good sampler, May 20 2000
This review is from: Future Jazz (Audio CD)
What this CD essentially aspires to is not a listening device, but instead a companion to Mr. Mandel's "Future Jazz" theories and foresights. Spot-on they are, and this compilation is fine quality and tune, but noticably inconsistant. It will not make you a fan, but it will surely make you curious and athirst for more of the same. A fine and recommended purchase.

V1 Asian Travels (India)
V1 Asian Travels (India)
Price: CDN$ 10.51
38 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars This will blow you AWAY, May 19 2000
This is absolutely one of the finest CDs I have ever purchased (and I have purchased what would be considered by many more than my fair share). It is so overwhelmingly amazingly cool you will not even believe that such sounds could be compiled in one place. Consider: This has a FILA BRAZILLIA track on it, and EVERY OTHER track is JUST AS GOOD IF NOT BETTER than that glorious piece. It's amazing. It glorious. It is freaking transcendent and ascendent and so far out in the jungles of genius that I am well aware I am sounding like some kind of gushing fool. I accept that. I would gush foolishly over this CD until the ends of time itself. Buy. BUY. BUY THIS CD!

Cryptonomicon
Cryptonomicon
by Neal Stephenson
Edition: Hardcover
40 used & new from CDN$ 6.06

3.0 out of 5 stars A decidedly mixed bag - but well worth it., May 7 2000
This review is from: Cryptonomicon (Hardcover)
First of all, let me dispel something straight from the start. An awful lot of people have been making some rather shocking comparisons between this book and the Illuminatus! trilogy. I want them to stop right now. Stephenson is not above trying to achieve the same vibe, but it falls deadly short. In Illuminatus!, when a piece of the puzzle fell into place, you leapt up and down and shouted "yes! yes! yes!". With Crypto, it's more like, "oh... well, yeah, I guess". The one or two trippy scenes do more to detract from the story than add to it. Never mind the fact that comparing anything to the Illuminatus! trilogy is like trying to find a poster to compare to an original Picasso... it ain't gonna happen any time soon. Stop with the Illuminatus! comparisons!
Now, as for the book itself: It's good, but you have to commit to it. For the first half - yes, half - you may suffer under the burden of a plot that goes nowhere - heck, isn't even a plot! - and really really two-dimensional characters. But by halfway through, the two stories - WWII and sorta-present - start to converge and things start happening and the characters start evolving and you sigh heavily in relief. From there on out there are few problems. It gets pretty hilarious in places, and some parts started music action pounding in my head - which is good.
Careful however. This book is decidedly lacking in twists. Oh, it LOOKS like there are twists, but they really aren't twists because when the twists are tied off it is always in some mundane and rather obvious manner. Then again, some twists are just left hanging. Why the heck does that guy turn up in the jungle? So does this guy die or what? Why put those in if you're just going to ignore them later? Stephenson could have written juuuust a little more and left me much more satisfied over all.
And don't let the crypto-babble make you think this is a book that is about crypto! It ain't. The technical rants are about as complex as a four-piece puzzle. You won't learn anything about number theory, cryptoanalysis, heck, nothing even about maths, from reading this book. The book description might try to convince you this book is actually about a code called Arethusa. This code comes up and is practically ignored as a plot device and eventually rendered obsolete.
However, where the book his HEAD ON is with its skilled depiction of some very contemporary struggles, and with its wonderfully lush WWII scenarios. This might as well be a primer for fighting a Big Brother-esque information-society, and what makes it even more creepy is that almost everything that happens in this book is happening RIGHT NOW, although the places they're happening in have some more realistic names ;-)
All in all, this is a fine read, but not for the faint hearted and not for those actually seeking to get a whole lot out of it. This is an odd criteria, to be sure, but as truthful a one as I can manage.

Battlefield Earth: A Saga of the Year 3000
Battlefield Earth: A Saga of the Year 3000
by L. Ron Hubbard
Edition: Paperback
36 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars Deals well with the issue of Goat Men from Mars, April 30 2000
At first, I was wary of a book about Goat Men from Mars, but half way through Battlefield Earth, I realized that Goat Men from Mars were not only REAL, but coming to get us! No, I'm only joking. The Goat Men from Mars in this book are only a METAPHOR for the human condition. If you study this book in depth, you will find that reading of the Goat Men from Mars is like reading about yourself! In fact, if you could see a Goat Man from Mars, it would be like looking in a mirror. Except for the fact that he would be a Goat Man. From Mars.
All Hail Layfatty Ron.

What is Scientology?
What is Scientology?
by L. Ron Hubbard
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 25.88
37 used & new from CDN$ 3.25

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I love L. Ron!, April 30 2000
This review is from: What is Scientology? (Paperback)
You simply MUST respect this man. Goodness, anyone who can simply pull a Crowley and magick up a religion using only alcohol and sulfur dioxide, hook millions of people into it, make even more money than that Moon guy, and STILL WRITE BOOKS YEARS AND YEARS AFTER HIS DEATH! well, such a man must be respected. If you read this book, I recommend you read other books by dead people, such as the ground-breaking "Jesus: I'm Still Here, Durnit!", the excellent "Tupac: Foolin' All Ya Suckas", the riveting "Elvis: Just Biding My Time", and, of course, "Al Gore: Been Dead Since '82, But You Think Anyone Noticed?"
All the above books have as much intrisic value as this one, the latest pioneering book by L. Ron Hubbard, a man who shows us that death need not be an end to greedy sponging.

Rafi's Revenge
Rafi's Revenge
Price: CDN$ 17.01
15 used & new from CDN$ 11.79

4.0 out of 5 stars I'll give it the benefit of the doubt..., April 22 2000
This review is from: Rafi's Revenge (Audio CD)
I wouldn't really give this 4 stars, more like 3.5 stars. It's a really good album, don't get me wrong. ADF aren't hailed as one of the two founders of the Asian Underground movement for nothing. But after the first few times leaping to it, it kind of gets dull. It's all very trippy and hip-hoppy, but it takes you nowhere compared to the transcendental grooves of Talvin Singh. The socially-loaded lyrics are nice and whoever that is singing can really belt it out. Don't hesitate in buying this CD, but at the same time don't think this is all there is to Asian Underground. ADF started it off well, but they just aren't holding up to what they started.

The Urantia Book
The Urantia Book
by Urantia Foundation
Edition: Leather Bound
Price: CDN$ 31.47
19 used & new from CDN$ 31.47

5.0 out of 5 stars Hoho, YES INDEED!, April 22 2000
This review is from: The Urantia Book (Leather Bound)
Ahhh... it doesn't get anymore out there than this, ladies and gentlemen. Nothing less than a complete and utter debasement of practically every Christian belief ever held. Urantia means Earth in alien tongue! Christ was an ALIEN! The aliens are coming to save us, but they're all spiritual beings and angels and demons and stuff! And so on, and so on. Yes, it's mostly freaking gibberish and ridiculous tripe, but the kind that makes you want to leap up and down on your bed (or your altar, or your rose-bush, or whatever gets your jolly on). If you hate Christianity, love Christianity, or just like a good dip into some nice esoteric hooplah, grab ye The Urantia Book! Hey, this one is leather bound too! I'm getting me one!

Virgin Suicides
Virgin Suicides
Price: CDN$ 12.75
47 used & new from CDN$ 0.56

3.0 out of 5 stars A soundtrack... not an Air album, March 30 2000
This review is from: Virgin Suicides (Audio CD)
I really don't know what I was thinking getting so excited about this CD. Perhaps it was the disappointment generated by the lacklustre stopgap that was Premiere Symptoms. But... it's a soundtrack. The pieces lack individuality and to a certain extent creativity. It's over way too soon and leaves a bad taste after expecting some sort of redemption near the end that never arrives. I would recommend this only to the Air completist. Otherwise, get "Moon Safari" and stick with that until they come out with a real sophomore effort.

Chronic 2001
Chronic 2001
Price: CDN$ 8.00
40 used & new from CDN$ 4.45

1.0 out of 5 stars Aie. Yup, gangster rap..., March 25 2000
This review is from: Chronic 2001 (Audio CD)
I try. I really try. I want to like gangster rap. But how am I supposed to take this "return" seriously? So the "old" Dr. Dre is "back"? So what. All I'm hearing is a lot of people cursing and threatening people to "hip-hop" that amounts to little more than pocky music. Bleep-bleep-boop, I hurt you! Bop-bop-blop, up yours! etc... Who came up with the idea of making violent drug dealers into social icons? Dre reels about how bad things are in the hood, then verbally struts all his guns and drugs and murderous intentions. Dre hates to see poor people in the hood, but can't help rubbing his immense personal wealth in our face. The rapping is tired, the music is farcical, and the only thing interesting is the shiny new curse combinations. Oh, Dre! Try something new already!

Planning in the USA: Policies, Issues and Processes
Planning in the USA: Policies, Issues and Processes
by J. Barry Cullingworth
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 56.62
22 used & new from CDN$ 2.81

5.0 out of 5 stars Very useful, March 24 2000
I used this book as my primary source in an independent study I did in my Junior year of High School, entitled "Issues in Modern Urban Planning". It was absolutely indispensable. The case studies and the clear, logical, empirical approach to the matter broadened my perspective of the very real issues facing the modern world tremendously. I cheer Mr. Cullingworth for this fantastic tome.

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