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Reviews Written by
Frederick S. Goethel "wildcatcreekbooks" (Central Valley, CA)
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3000 Degrees: The True Story Of A Deadly Fire And The Men Who Fought It.
3000 Degrees: The True Story Of A Deadly Fire And The Men Who Fought It.
by Sean Flynn
Edition: Hardcover
28 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars This Book is HOT!, May 24 2003
There is little in this world that can be as terrifying yet as satisfying as crawling into a blazing building and cheating death and fire by escaping and beating the fire down. In 25 years with fire departments, I have never read a story that depictes the courage and fear involved in firefighting with the scope, depth and compasion as this book does. It actually stood the hairs on my arms up several times and caused me to have several flashbacks to those "tougher" fires in my life.
In addition, I was pleased to see the author treat firefighting with just enough simplicity for laymen, yet with enough attention to detail to capture the minds of firefighters themselves.
This is a must read!!

Fire Fighters: Stories of Survival from the Front Lines of Firefighting
Fire Fighters: Stories of Survival from the Front Lines of Firefighting
by Clint Willis
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 14.97
36 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

2.0 out of 5 stars Not What the Title Implies, May 24 2003
I was disappointed in this book. I found the majority of material to be related to 9/11 or to wildland firefighting while the cover implies it covers all ranges of firefighting. The material included is good...it just spends very little time on structural firefighting and the men who do that job. What time it does dedicate to it is mostly in the form of re-hash of previous material; Report from Engine Co 82, Working etc. There are better books out there, unless you are interested in wildland firefighting. If you are, then this is one of the better books on the subject.

Strange Philadelphia: Stories from the City of Brotherly Love
Strange Philadelphia: Stories from the City of Brotherly Love
by Lou Harry
Edition: Paperback
21 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

2.0 out of 5 stars Mildly Interesting, May 31 2002
This book was a mildly interesting look at some of Philadelphia's more interesting happenings, however many of the stories were plainly boring and of little interest, and a great many were typical stories from any big city. Having lived in Philadelphia for over 20 years, there were much more interesting stories floating around.
Individually, these stories were great for their original intended purpose as filler in a magazine, but as a book it is quite lacking. While it might be fun to check out of the library, I certainly wouldn't put down hard earned money to buy it.

The Last Face You'll Ever See: The Private Life of the American Death Penalty
The Last Face You'll Ever See: The Private Life of the American Death Penalty
by Ivan Solotaroff
Edition: Hardcover
27 used & new from CDN$ 0.14

3.0 out of 5 stars Unbalanced View of Complex Subject, May 25 2002
I have read a number of books on prisons, punishement of criminals and the death peanalty. I have yet to find one that was balanced and this book is no exception.
From the title and information on the dust jacket, etc., you expect an insiders look at the death penalty and the men who are given the unenviable task of applying it. Instead, what you get (primarily) is a look at the death house at Mississippi's infamous Parchman Prison and the 2 men who oversaw 3 executions there in the 1980s. The only form of execution that is covered, in a more than passing fashion, is the gas chamber, which as the book was published had been done away with in every state in the US.
To cover this subject fully, the author needed to explore the other types of execution in the US and speak to executioners in more than one state and who have performed executions by more than this method alone. His focus on death by gassing, which may be the most miserable form of death, is in itself, a staement against the death penalty.
There are better books on the history, types and operation of various execution methods. For a true view of the subject, I suggest one of them.

Death In Paradise
Death In Paradise
by Robert Parker
Edition: Hardcover
39 used & new from CDN$ 1.12

3.0 out of 5 stars Not his Best~Not his Worst Either, May 24 2002
This review is from: Death In Paradise (Hardcover)
I am a great fan of Robert Parker and think he writes wonderful mysteries. This is no exception. The mystery involved is wonderful and will have you guessing all the way throught the book.
I also had to admire his treatment of alcohlism in this book. While most books make drinking...even to excess... a virtue, Parker attacks the subject straight on and deals with the demons of the disease well enough to make me wonder if he has been down the road himself.
The one downfall to this book is Jesse Stones inability to speak in more than 2 or 3 word sentances, much like Spenser. In fact, almost every time Stone speaks, my mind conjured up Spenser. Parker needs to work on removing himself from Spenser while writing his other works.

Orphan Train Rider: One Boy's True Story
Orphan Train Rider: One Boy's True Story
by Andrea Warren
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 11.66
36 used & new from CDN$ 3.07

4.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Book for Family Discussion, May 7 2002
I would like to start by saying that I think the suggested reading age is a little low. While the writing is well within in capabilities of most 4-6 graders, the subject may be a little touchy for the younger end of the group. I would be reluctant to let a sensative child read this book until at least the 5th grade.
That said, I think the book was wonderful.The writing is well done for children's non-fiction, but also is able to capture adult readers. The book is a fascinating story about one of the few surviving children who rode one of the orphan trains as well as the general story of the trains history.
My wife, 11 year old daughter and I read the book (my wife and I in 1 evening, my daughter the next) and then we discussed the concept of the trains, the needs for them and why such things are no longer in use in today's society. It made for a good family discussion and we all learned from the experience.
This book has very good content, as well as interesting information about the sociology of this country's past. It was well worth the read for both adults and our daughter and we all enjoyed it.

I Spy Christmas
I Spy Christmas
by Jean Marzollo
Edition: Hardcover
Price: CDN$ 11.54
112 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars My Daughter's Favorite Book!!, March 30 2002
This review is from: I Spy Christmas (Hardcover)
We bought this when my daughter was about 4 years old and it quickly became her favorite book. She had an incredible ability to locate items in the photographs that boggled my mind. And, she never tired of finding those items. She is now 11 and just gave the book up.
I was amazed by the beautiful photographs and the fantastic way the items are hidden in the photgraphs. I had as much fun reading this book with my daughter as she did.
If you want to find the perfect book to bond with a son or daughter over...this is it!!!

The Saga of Billy the Kid
The Saga of Billy the Kid
by Walter Noble Burns
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 17.29
29 used & new from CDN$ 0.47

4.0 out of 5 stars A Wonderful Look Into A Short Life!!, March 30 2002
Billy the Kid is one of the West's most famous outlaws, yet there is little in the history books to detail his short but very violent life. In addition, most of what has been written has been written in the later part of the 20th century and relies not so much on true knowledge as on what can be found here and there.
This book, original written in 1924, is wonderful because the author actually found people still alive who had known Billy the Kid and who had lived through the Lincoln County Wars. While these people were hardly young when interviewed, they still had very good memories of Billy and his life style. This provides a look that is often missing in history.
One area that was missing was any detailed information on the early life of Billy the Kid, but, as the author points out, much was lost and may never be known.
The language in the book is, at times, difficult to process, as it was written in the style prevalent in 1924, not 2002. And it is a language that is caught between the older American English and modern American English. Generally it is a smooth read, but does have a couple of rough spots.
This is a MUST READ if you really want to know about the portion of Billy the Kids life that ocured during the Linclon County Wars!!

Report From Ground Zero
Report From Ground Zero
by Dennis Smith
Edition: Hardcover
56 used & new from CDN$ 0.20

5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful book about our Worst Day!, March 20 2002
As a retired fifefighter and author, Dennis Smith was in a rather unique position on 9/11. He went to volunteer his services with Ladder 16 and was on the front lines during the most horrific days in America's history. Having retired from an Engine Co. in the South Bronx, he was very qualified to assist and bear witness to events.
He details the scene, the people, the thoughts that were going through most firefighters minds and he interviews a number of other people on the scene, giving different perspectives. One of the most wondeful things about this book is how it puts things into a nice time frame where you can actually figure out what happened when. So much was jumbled that day and this really clarifies the events.
Smith has a wonderful style of writing and has the unique ability to take terms and language from the fire service and translate them into easly understood concept by laymen, without making you feel like a fool for not understanding the rather strange language of firefighters.
I highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to understand more about what happened on that fateful day, and needs a better understanding of how nearly 400 emergency service workers died. This book will give you the answers. There is also the added benefit of the publisher's and author's donation of proceeds from the book to charity.
A "Need To" Read!!!

Divided We Stand a Biography Of New York's World Trade Center
Divided We Stand a Biography Of New York's World Trade Center
by Eric Darton
Edition: Paperback
32 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

2.0 out of 5 stars Not a Biography of the Towers..., Feb. 5 2002
When I bought and read this book, I did so to gain information on the history, design, and construction of the World Trade Towers. Although they were built while I was growing up, I never thought much about them. And I still do not know much more about them than I did prior to reading this book.
This book covers a number of issues, including a detailed history of the Port Authority, the social and economic history of New York City from about 1900 to the current, and information on the impact of the towers on the p[opulation who lived and worked where they are located. What this book does not cover, in any detail, is a history of the Towers. There are maybe a total of 5 pages on the design and construction of the project....hardly what I call a biography.
While reading this, I had the disticnt feeling the author may have grown up in the area that was redeveloped by the Port Authority into the Twin Towers and was bitter about the dislocation. He certainly had some kind of axe to grind as this hardly seemed to be an unbiased look at the subject.
Finally, the writing was out of the doctoral thesis school of writing. While it did get better as the book went along, I had to dictionary my way through the early parts of the book. It almost felt like it was written by someone who had swallowed a thesaurus.
If you want a true biography and history of the World Trade Centers, find another book.

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