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H. F. Corbin "Foster Corbin" (ATLANTA, GA USA)
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Romeo & Juliet 68
Romeo & Juliet 68
VHS
12 used & new from CDN$ 5.69

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Zeffirelli and Shakespeare: A Perfect Match, June 7 2004
This review is from: Romeo & Juliet 68 (VHS Tape)
There is nothing worse than bad Shakespeare but not to worry here-- Franco Zeffirelli and Shakespeare come together here in a lavish, opulent production of ROMEO AND JULIET, just when we thought there was nothing fresh to say about them. Zeffirelli has broken new ground by casting Leonard Whiting, who is 17, and Olivia Hussey, who is all of 15 but looks even younger, in this timeless classic story about "star-crossed" lovers. With the possible exception of some parts of the musical score-- although much of it soars-- this film is as good today as it was when first released in 1968. (The musical theme was beautiful the first 50 times I heard it on the radio. Then it became trite.)
There are no bad actors here. In addition to the two lovers, Michael York as Tybalt and Pat Heywood as the nurse give outstanding performances, just to name two. My only negative comment about the acting is that Romeo always seems to run to and from an event or meeting; he never walks. Perhaps that is what a seventeen-year-old, testosterone-laden lad does, however. On the other hand, Romeo and Juliet's tragic story is completely believable and will put chills on your spine. Additionally, the dance scenes and duel scenes are quite wonderful. The wardrobe department got everything right as well.
A word about the language-- it goes without saying that Mr. Shakespeare is and ever shall be the greatest writer in English. Hearing his words again is a transcendent experience.

On the Couch Vol. 2
On the Couch Vol. 2
by Tom Bianchi
Edition: Hardcover
Price: CDN$ 43.41
13 used & new from CDN$ 43.41

5.0 out of 5 stars More Of A Good Thing, June 7 2004
This review is from: On the Couch Vol. 2 (Hardcover)
Tom Bianchi continues where he left off in ON THE COUCH, VOLUME 1, so much so that if you showed me a page from either book, I would be hard put to tell you from which volume the photograph came. The men remain god-like, and the photography again is perfect. Perhaps the artist will combine the two volumes into one lavish coffee table book sometime soon. Oh, we have some variety here-- a little bondage, some leather, and we go from a threesome in the previous edition to four in the floor here. The men this time around come from Brazil, Chicago, Canada, Australia and San Francisco; and at least one model makes a repeat appearance. There are some handsome men here. I recommend Darren of the Beautiful Feet for one.
Mr. Bianchi states in his introduction that he wants gay men to be comfortable with their sexuality. He further says that this work FROM THE COUCH is his Sistine Chapel-- maybe a bit of a stretch--although this photographer is certainly not short on talent.
For the artist's next book, I'd love to see a series on men who have B bodies or maybe a couple of C pluses thrown in for good measure. Something tells me that a lot of men occasionally would enjoy seeing pictures of men who look a little more like they do as opposed to so many gods from Mount Olympus. It's a little like having only chocolate truffles at every meal.

Reflections in a Golden Eye
Reflections in a Golden Eye
VHS
3 used & new from CDN$ 15.53

4.0 out of 5 stars One of Brando's Finer Roles, June 2 2004
Adapted from the novel of the same name by the Georgian writer Carson McCullers and directed by the great John Huston, REFLECTIONS IN A GOLDEN EYE stars Marlon Brando, an army officer on a military post somewhere in the South, and Elizabeth Taylor as his bored wife. There is a lot going on here. Brando plays a latent homosexual who is being cuckolded right under his nose by another officer Brian Keith who is married to a fragile mental case, Julie Harris. Ms. Harris, who has just cut off her nipples with scissors when the movie begins, is cared by by an effeminate Asian houseboy. Add to this mixture a young soldier (Robert Forster) who has a propensity for riding horses bareback and with a bare backside.
I have seen this movie three or four times now and can never decide if it's me or the movie; but I never get all the parts fitted together. This film certainly is worth watching and has an erotic mystery about it. Elizabeth Taylor repeats a part she had done before of the beautiful Southern woman and does a credible job with her Southern accent. But by far the best thing about this movie is Marlon Brando. He of courses acts in every frame and is perfect as the army officer about ready to go to pot who struggles with his forbidden desires.
I do not remember what kind of reviews this movie received in 1967, but Brando gives one of his best performances here. The critics should have so stated.

Charade [Import]
Charade [Import]
DVD ~ Cary Grant
10 used & new from CDN$ 7.99

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars That's Entertainment!, June 1 2004
This review is from: Charade [Import] (DVD)
I saw this movie in 1963 when it was released. I was captivated by it then and remain so. The kaleidoscopic opening credits are as beautiful as I remember, and the chase scenes-- on foot here-- are still exciting. We will never see anyone like Audrey Hepburn again. A total original, she and Gary Grant-- showing considerable skill as a comedian here-- are magnificent as a couple, having both style and electricity, often forgotten qualities in many of today's leading actors. Heburn and Grant are assisted by the likes of James Coburn, a young Walter Matthau and George Kennedy in supporting roles. Then there's Henry Mancini's score and direction by Stanley Donen. The plot takes many interesting twists and turns as Ms. Hepburn tries to figure out just who the dashing Mr. Grant really is-- a criminal or her savior or perhaps both or neither.
If you've seen this movie before, you'll enjoy a replay. If this is your first time, you'll in for a real treat, a delightful way to spend an evening.

Have You Heard
Have You Heard
by Anderson Ferrell
Edition: Hardcover
Price: CDN$ 21.20
9 used & new from CDN$ 0.17

5.0 out of 5 stars On Being Different in Small Town America, June 1 2004
This review is from: Have You Heard (Hardcover)
On day Jerry Chiffon from Branch Creek, North Carolina, dressed to the nines in a lady's red suit, "the kind favored by Nancy Reagan," with tasteful red, white and blue accessories, goes to a political rally at the State Capitol. Upon arriving, he pulls out a pistol and fires a round of shots at North Carolina's homophobic, racist U. S. Senator Henry Hampton. (Who on earth could Mr. Ferrell have based this character on?) This is just the beginning of Mr. Ferrell's tale of a small Southern town with all its pretentiousness, customs and secrets. The author understands completely the mindset of Small Town USA where everyone attends funerals, whether they knew the deceased or not, and take obligatory casseroles to the wake. And if there is anything unusual about the deceased-- say a father is buried in the same coffin with his deformed son-- then the funeral may have to be moved to the high-school auditorium to handle the crowds. Everybody knows everybody else's business, or at least they think they do. "No, sir. We never leave each other alone or to our own individual devices. I am glad to say I know everybody's business, and I am proud they know mine." But it is in this small town environment, where boys won't "let their mothers help them with a necktie," that Jerry Chiffon takes home economics in high school and instructs the local ladies about style. From him they learn many things: that you live in a house; you are "at home" and that you shouldn't wear too much jewelry to a funeral, for example. Bathrooms should be white; telephones, black. And you never have unlit candles anywhere.
Mr. Ferrell has written a brilliant novel, rich in detail, and funny in the tradition of SPLENDORA but ultimately a sad commentary on being different. Jerry neither fits completely into the glitzy gay life of New York just before and during the worst of the AIDS epidemic nor in the little North Carolina town to which he returns although there is that sort of "let's not talk about it" mentality of the town, particularly among the women. In their defense, they stand by Jerry when he gets in trouble; but of course, the gossip mill works practically 24/7.
This is not just Jerry's story. Maggie Labrette, his mentor, and Dr. Parchman Anderson, the local practitioner, figure prominently as well as the plot takes a surprise twist near the end of this novel.
HAVE YOU HEARD is ultimately about being different, missed opportunities, love and courage, and in the words of the author, "the goodness of people." In describing the awfulness of the AIDS epidemic in New York and how people rallied around the dying, Jerry, in prison, remembers that "the world divided along the lines of those who are willing to help and those who are not. . . Finding the helpful was like finding you [his friend Maggie] and the others again. . ."
Mr. Ferrell has created in Jerry Chiffon a character you will not soon forget. This is a fine book indeed.

ON THE COUCH- C
ON THE COUCH- C
by Tom Bianchi
Edition: Hardcover
12 used & new from CDN$ 11.15

5.0 out of 5 stars On The Couch I: Fahrenheit 450!, May 30 2004
This review is from: ON THE COUCH- C (Hardcover)
In Ray Bradbury's science fiction thriller, paper burns at 451 degrees fahrenheit. If that is indeed the case, the temperature of this "thriller" has to be at least 450 degrees. I have never seen a hotter book. Mr. Bianchi says in his introduction that he sees "our sexual energy as a vibrant aspect of our inner Godliness. I wanted to create an erotic record that demonstrates this truth." Be that as it may, he certainly has found some gods for this volume. Beautiful men-- most of them mature-- came to visit Mr. Bianchi's brown couch: from Amsterdam, Atlanta, Australia, Siberia, the Midwest and just across the street.
Mr. Bianchi says that the men here are not professional models. There is certainly a refreshing spontaneity about them, singly and in twosomes and threesomes, as they frolick partially clothed, nearly naked and buck-naked before Mr. Bianchi's camera. (Has anyone gotten more free advertising in the past 20 years than Calvin Klein, thanks to the publication of books and magazines like this one where the hunks often get in and out of underwear that has become known simply as "Calvins?")
These photographs were shot with a digital camera which allowed Bianchi to use natural light, giving these stunning images almost a painterly quality.
This volume is Mr. Binachi's finest work thus far and worth every penny it costs.

Just Doll
Just Doll
by Janice Daugharty
Edition: Hardcover
12 used & new from CDN$ 0.47

5.0 out of 5 stars Janice Daugharty's Best Work Yet, May 29 2004
This review is from: Just Doll (Hardcover)
This novel begins in 1887 in South Georgia. Doll Baxter, a feisty young woman, is seventeen years old when she meets and marries Daniel Staten, a well-off land-owner, to save her family's homeplace. The story ends around the turn of the century; Teddy Roosevelt has just gone to "put an end to the Spanish-American War." Both Dolly and Daniel are strong, fully developed characters. Much of the action has to do with the tension between them. They reminded me a little of Jane Austin's Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy in their verbal fencing but not in their attitudes about the world around them. Both of these characters are grounded in the Georgia soil, and Doll never forgets what it means to be poor. They grow and change and become better, wiser people. The plot, which has many interesting and sometimes unexpected twists and turns, is, nevertheless, totally believable and often very moving. (This novel would make a fine movie if done right.)
In addition to Doll and Daniel, there are many other complex characters here-- Maureen, for instance, along with Mrs. Baxter and Estelle. And Ms. Daugharty, a white Southerner, is as gutsy as her heroine Doll. She is not afraid to tackle race and has created three-dimensional, sympathetic black characters.
The language in JUST DOLL is both accurate for the time and place and poetic. I had not seen the word "davenport" since my grandmother used it many years ago. These characters say "Howdy do" and "I suspicion" and "bless her heart." "Pretty is as pretty does." Daniel is "Santy Claus" at Christmas; and people, when asked about their health, are "fair to middling." Collard greens are "sobbing" in grease. A woman stirs clothes in a pot of water like a "stiff batter of a fruit cake." Shadows are paisleyed." Ms. Daugharty sent me to the dictionary several times; I now know what "cerise" means and have learned several other new words as well.
There are many beautiful passages here: "It seemed that people were just passing through only long enough for you to get to loving them, then gone as if they never were, or were somebody you had dreamed up for the sole purpose of bringing suffering. Love was dangerous suddenly; a child or husband might be with you one day and gone the next and leave you gnawing on the corner of your pillow to keep from crying out questions in the middle of the night. Then morning, there was always morning." This is about as good as good writing gets. JUST DOLL is Ms. Daugharty's best novel yet.

The Bookman's Promise: A Cliff Janeway Novel
The Bookman's Promise: A Cliff Janeway Novel
by John Dunning
Edition: Hardcover
51 used & new from CDN$ 0.07

5.0 out of 5 stars Mr. Dunning Gives The Reader a Cliffhanger, May 26 2004
Cliff Janeway is back with a fury. Mr. Dunning begins this novel in 1987 in Denver, the home of Janeway's bookstore. Then the policeman-turned-bookseller travels to Baltimore, Charleston and then back to Denver in his quest to find the murderer of Denise Ralston, who Janeway believes was murdered because the assailant thought she had a rare book by Sir Richard Burton, the l9th Century English writer, not the 20th Century actor, as Dunning would say. To paraphrase Faulker, "once a cop, always a cop" as Janeway's sleuthing skills come back to him. He sets about to solve the several mysteries here in a deliberate, meticulous fashion. As we have come to expect from Dunning's two previous novels, Janeway's relationship with a woman he pursues is rocky. And THE BOOKMAN'S PROMISE ends on a cliffhanger!
This novel flows more easily than the first two mysteries, I thought; apparently Mr. Dunning has found his stride. The reader learns a lot about Richard Burton; and for those who want to know more about this interesting individual, the author gives a list for further reading at the end of the book.
I must say I missed all the referenes to book publishers and first editions and prices that were so entertaining in the first two books of this series and for the most part are absent here, although Mr. Dunning does make a couple of digs at St. Martin's Press.

Eats, Shoots & Leaves: The Zero Tollerance Approach to Punctuation
Eats, Shoots & Leaves: The Zero Tollerance Approach to Punctuation
by Lynne Truss
Edition: Hardcover
Price: CDN$ 18.18
159 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars Ms. Truss's Losing Battles, May 15 2004
Lynne Truss writes a wickedly funny treatise on the death-- if we, the faithful who care about apostrophes, are not armed and ready to fight the barbarians-- of punctuation as we know it. Of course, her dilemma is that only people who care about correct punctuation are the ones who will read this fascinating book. Those who are most guilty will not or cannot read her.
But for those of us who read this book there are wonderful tidbits. For example, Oliver Wendell Holmes said that We have to dismount from an idea and get back into the saddle again at every parenthesis while the writer Gertrude Stein found question marks the most uninteresting of all punctuation marks. F. Scott Fitzgerald said that the exclamation point (as it is known in America) is "like laughing at your own jokes." My favorite image from the book is that of the semicolon that "quietly practises the piano with crossed hands."
For those of us who care, Ms. Truss gives a good review of the rules of punctution. She discusses thoroughly the correct use of all forms of punctuation, from the apostrophe to the hyphen, and compares the differences between British and American usage. She also discusses the blight that e-mail messages have brought on us all. "I keep thinking that what we do now, with this medium of instant delivery, isn't writing, and doesn't even qualify as typing either: it's just sending. What did you do today? Sent a lot of stuff."
I fear that punctuation problems are worse on this side of the pond than they are in England. I attended a black tie event recently for over 300 people in which words large enough to be read from the back of the dinning hall were projected on a huge screen behind the speaker. The apostrophe was used over and over to express the plural, rather than the possessive of words. I felt as obsolete as a rotary telephone.

Troll: A Love Story
Troll: A Love Story
by Johanna Sinisalo
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 11.64
46 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars This Novel Will Give You Pause!, May 15 2004
This review is from: Troll: A Love Story (Paperback)
By definition, a troll is a supernatural creature from Scandinavian folklore that lives in caves or in mountains. It is stumpy, mishapen, and can be as big as a giant or a small as a dwarf. It has been known to abduct children. Trolls have made appearances in such literary works as BEOWULF, LORD OF THE RINGS and HARRY POTTER. With that in mind, you should be prepared for the unexpected in this novel by the Finnish author Johanna Sinisalo. You will not be disappointed. This writer has crafted a bizarre but strangely moving love story between Mikael, nicknamed Angel, a young Finnish photographer, and a troll whom he rescues from a pack of hoodlums one midnight as the young man staggers home from a night of drinking and unrequited lust for one Martes, who says he is only looking for "good conversation." Angel takes the troll in, nurses him back to health and starts down a path from which there is no return. With each passing day, Angel finds himself becoming more hopelessly attached to the troll with the juniper-berry smell-- whom he names Pessi-- and having to hide his new housemate from his friends and neighbors. As you would expect, a novel about a love affair between a man and a troll will not have a happy ending. Even so, I was not quite ready for the explosive finale.
Ms. Sinisalo's prose is both concise and evocative: "I look him [Martes] in the eyes. His face wears a friendly, open, and understanding smile. He seems at once infinitely lovable and completely unknown. His eyes are computer icons, expressionless diagrams, with infinite wonders behind them, but only for the elect, those able to log on." The author raises questions about man's relationship with wild creatures-- how much we know or don't know about them and what they know about us. She seems to say something about the animalistic tendences that lie deeply hidden in the most civilized of us just waiting to be let loose.
Although on one level, TROLL is just a great story that you cannot stop reading, on another it asks questions about the very nature of us all.

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