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N. Richardson "nano" (Los Angeles, California United States)

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Leonard Maltin's Movie and Video Guide 2004
Leonard Maltin's Movie and Video Guide 2004
by Leonard Maltin
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
34 used & new from CDN$ 0.04

5.0 out of 5 stars Still the Best, Nov. 20 2003
When I was a film student in 1969, there were three books which I kept close to my side, "American Cinema" by Andrew Sarris, Halliwell, and Maltin. Always picked a update every two or three years and in the last decade, the Internet Movie Data Base seemed to replace Sarris and Halliwell.
This book is useful for a singular purpose-raw information: Title, cast, director, year and logline. It is up to the viewer to rate a film, I believe...and though I don't necessarily share Maltin's and his teams taste (I am constantly checking for a revision on "Alphaville" which is my personal touchstone in this case), this book was and continues to be an important reference for the general viewer and serious scholar.
It was never intended to represent serious scholarship, nor does Maltin represent himself as the arbiteur of what is good. Occassionally, his team is able to be ahead of the pack on spotting little masterpieces. Quibble as you may with individual reviews, overall the entire body of work represents one of the most important efforts in cataloging the motion picture.
It was and continues to be the one resource which MUST be had and used by any film lover. Period.

Cyanide Wells: A Novel
Cyanide Wells: A Novel
by Marcia Muller
Edition: Hardcover
Price: CDN$ 25.36
36 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

2.0 out of 5 stars The Case of the Missing....something, Nov. 16 2003
This review is from: Cyanide Wells: A Novel (Hardcover)
Muller has long been acknowledged as the mother the female hardboiled private eye subgenre, and when one has created and nutured as character as fleshed out and "alive" as Sharon McCone, it is disappointing when a stand alone book contains characters as unfleshed out, and even cartoonish as the people who populate "Cyanide Wells." She has created two potentially likeable characters in Matt and Carly, who team up to find what is up with the woman who both has loved...at considerable cost. When the truth about the missing woman is revealed, the reader is left with the feeling that the fatal flaw in each of the protagonists is they are truly lousy judges of character.
Muller returns to the North Coast of California, the fictional Soledad County, which in "Point Deception" stood in for the mismatched twins, Mendicino and Fort Bragg. She has captured a lot of the local color of those very different towns, yet even so, never conveys the outsider-local culture clash which has been a part of the area since I began to regularly visit there, which is for about thirty years. Still, it is clear that Muller knows the area very well, and that's fine....
However, the story just isn't a story. It is an outline, a few character sketches, and a concept, about as developed as the book the missing woman is supposedly writing. Also, from the various descriptions of gay culture in the area, I get the feeling this book was started 10 or so years ago, and was shelved and updated...by just changing the dates.
Admittedly, my opinion of this book has been colored by the awesomely horrible reading of this book, as released by Brilliance Audio....which utterly ruined by the vocal talents of "Sandra Burr" who sounds like a narrator who specializes in children's voices, and given over to handle Carly's point of view. I don't know where you come from, but in Mendocino, not too many lesbian newspaper owners sound like Rocky the Flying Squirrel! J. Charles, who does the man's part of book is okay.
Please, Marcia...do whatever you can to save your books from the clutches of Brilliance. They have one good narrator, Dick Hill...and if he isn't assigned to your book...you are fresh out of luck. And when Sandra Burr is assigned to direct as well as provide the voices....well...think of it as a learning experience.

Madame L'existence
Madame L'existence

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Taste of Bittersweet, Oct. 18 2003
This review is from: Madame L'existence (Audio CD)
One of the most important forces in popular music, Jacques Dutronc is all but unknown in America. And it is our loss. While his wife, Francoise Hardy has bridged the gap by recording a number of English language songs, Dutronc has never made that particular compromise. However, listening to his music (and with the help of Babelfish) you don't need to be fluent in French to understand you are hearing one of the most remarkable voices in popular culture today....and for the last 30 years.
He is referred to the Man with the Cigar and Black Glasses...ironic, audacious, terminally hip, and sexy---he is the essence of cool. And yet, "Madame L'Existence" is a sober and somewhat bittersweet album which drops the facade of nonchalance and projects a mature man asking all the questions which come in one's middle years. Yes, Dutronc is back...and he is as great as he ever was...yet he shows much more of himself and his remarkable voice which will speaks to all of us, no matter what our language.
People new to Dutronc might wish to sample him in his excellent live performance album, "Dutronc au Casino" which he did about ten years ago. That and Madame L'Existence are an excellent introduction this wonderful artist....and after a few listens (and with the help of Babelfish, you will return for more.
(also Dutronc is one of the most important actors in France, as well....and has been called to Yves Montand of his generation.)

Catch as Cat Can
Catch as Cat Can
by Rita Mae Brown
Edition: Hardcover
Price: CDN$ 30.36
40 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

1.0 out of 5 stars Even Cozies deserve better., Jan. 3 2003
This review is from: Catch as Cat Can (Hardcover)
When a writer has the reputation and respect that Ms. Brown enjoys, one would expect that she would at least have some respect for the readers she would take time and money from. I fully understand what the cozy subgenre is about, and while I prefer less precious kinds of mysteries, I do enjoy Mott and M.C. Beaton because their books offer interesting puzzles, as well as humor and other things one can fix into the pages of the novel.
HOWEVER, the complete and utter laziness and lack of insight into the fact that people who read mysterious have certain degrees of sophistication, and that a show on forensic science enjoys number one ranking on TV, why does Ms. Brown speak to her her audience as if she was talking to little old ladies who wear Dr. Scholls oxfords and still think it is 1949?
Even the cats and other animals are annoying.
I guess Southern Cats are dumber than California cats (who don't give a prrr about human relationships, and sure don't give a meow about what their human welfare wagon does as long as the cat chow feeds flowing.) Anthropromorphising animals is obnoxious enough, but why make these poor helpless creatures as vapid and as simpering as the humans that populate Brown's redneck and plantation paradise.
So a guy who runs a chop shop dies after drinking TEA? No autopsy. Why should we care who done it? The people who live in Brown's little phony balony hamlet sure don't. When there is coon hunting to be done....that is!
I quit in disgust for time which will never return to me.

Hunting Season
Hunting Season
by P. T. Deutermann
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
Price: CDN$ 9.99
37 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

3.0 out of 5 stars Good Solid Thriller with some serious problems, Dec 29 2002
A ripping yarn, but it is clear the author has an agenda which might at first be budget problems or turf wars for the Feds. Or maybe he justed hated Janet Reno. He doesn't let political facts stand in the way of his imagination, which is okay.
His FBI is bunch of incompentent fumblers. His heroine has seven years experience with the Fibbies, but sure is dense when it comes to being briefed by "horse holders."
Then again, there is the problem of basic procedure which regard to the baddies. Uh, wouldn't one imagine that some law enforcement agency would be able to call up background check on ol' Jared and know pretty quickly that his Daddy died in WACO.
I think so....and I think life you love male oriented adventure fiction with a hard right wing skrew, the logic and procedural problems will not bother the reader too much.
I am fussy about accuracy in police precedurals, but Deutermann has an instinctive understanding of plotting, and a pretty good handle on pacing and dialogue.
Perfect for that long plane ride to nowhere. And lot better than Tom Clancy hack jobs.

The Haunted Air
The Haunted Air
by F. Paul Wilson
Edition: Hardcover
16 used & new from CDN$ 2.52

5.0 out of 5 stars The Legend Matures, Dec 18 2002
This review is from: The Haunted Air (Hardcover)
First, I would like to say that while the print is small, reading glasses are cheap.
I fully understand why there is a discomforture with the evolution of Jack from a force for mindless vengence, to a fully fleshed out character confronting choices and responsibilities, I am happy to see this character involved in a mature relationship and friendships that defy convention.
Like Joe Landsdale, Wilson is far too good a writer to be tied down to the cliches of male oriented pulp adventure, and the Repairman Jack series is always full of wonderful surprises.
Not surprisingly, the introduction of Lyle and Charlie, who bust every stereotype in their dialogue on skepticism vs. belief and their overly decency, makes one hope they become part of the RJ ensemble of players.
This book is totally delightful, funny, smart, and action packed.
And it is smart...about people, ideas, and the unknown.
A great treat, and fast read....dispite the the print size.

Stone Kiss
Stone Kiss
by Faye Kellerman
Edition: Hardcover
Price: CDN$ 37.00
73 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

2.0 out of 5 stars It Just Gets Worse..., Nov. 17 2002
This review is from: Stone Kiss (Hardcover)
There was a time when Mrs. Kellerman's books could be counted on to be better written and be superior to her husband's books. However, the last four books have shown a serious decline of Cronwellian purportions.
It would seem that the Kellerman's are joined in a competition which pits them in a battle to career death. Or stated in other terms, how long will people continue to buy name brand authors who phone in and otherwise pad their creations with stilted and laughable dialogue, stories in which a child can tell whodunit with the first line of dialogue, and more phony introspection about the demands of police work and/or Yuppie Orthodox lifestyle challenges?
The challenges of delivering a new book every year to support the Kellerman's lifestyle, might be better spent perhaps writing about two married best seller writers who have run out of fresh ideas, discipline plotting and respect for the people who read their recycled exercises in vanity.

IN A TRUE LIGHT
IN A TRUE LIGHT
by John Harvey
Edition: Hardcover
23 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars The Entertaining Mr. Sloane....., Nov. 17 2002
This review is from: IN A TRUE LIGHT (Hardcover)
I would like to add a "me, too!" to T. Ross's fine review of "In A True Light." Harvey's Resnick series is such a pleasure, I could not bear to read the last book. (wasn't the death of Morse bad enough for fans of understated and intelligent British crime novels?)
Harvey's has once again created a character who at once is extremely likeable and flawed, who after a life of underachieving is given the greatest of gifts, a second chance. In his journey, he finds justice and redemption...and the wisdom to appreciate it.
The themes of unfinished business, unsentimental journeys into the past, and the art worlds of today's London and yesterday's New York moves along to a rich and satisfying conclusion.
The author's gift for characterization and dialogue is dead on. In a few lines we know enough to to embrace wholeheartedly or loathe to death the people who populate his worlds. I don't know if Sloane will star a new Harvey franchise, but I wouldn't mind meeting him again in his midlife adventure.

The Soul Catcher
The Soul Catcher
by Alex Kava
Edition: Hardcover
43 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Fairly predictable middling thriller, Oct. 14 2002
This review is from: The Soul Catcher (Hardcover)
Kava starts out with a fairly interesting premise, "profiler looks into series of serial murders set against the background of a religious cult." Not bad, but it is clear from the beginning that the plot is about as dense as the log line, and the lead character is about as compelling as folding laundry.
It doesn't take a brain surgeon to figure out who done it with in nano seconds of his introduction. Maggie's co-workers and friends aren't too well fleshed out either.
But what I found really annoying, is in a book about a religious cult, the only newspaper mentioned is the alleged newspaper, The Washington Times (not the Washington Paper of Record) and OWNED by the Moonie religious cult. A huge lapse, which can only be explained by either the author's unfamiliarity with the D.C. area, or her political leanings which are otherwise not discernable by her writing.
Bottom line. This is a book for people who don't like to read too much, don't like to be particularly challenged, and don't care if their are plot holes you can drive a Mac Truck through.
Also, the writer (or her editors) should be aware that the FBI profiling group is no longer called the Behavior Sciences Unit. But that is nitpicking, but really unforgivable if you are going to write a book about the current FBI.

Blinded by the Right: The Conscience of an Ex-Conservative
Blinded by the Right: The Conscience of an Ex-Conservative
by David Brock
Edition: Hardcover
Price: CDN$ 31.16
48 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely Devastating Portrait a Culture of Scandal, May 19 2002
I knew most this story before I picked up this book. Having followed the Neocon/NewRight movement since the Reagan years, I had long despaired at the inability of the left/center to counter the lies, smears, and just plain evil doings of a well financed and well disciplined cadre of smartasses looking to get rich and famous, while wielding no small degree of political power.
No matter what Chris Hitchens sez, every word in this memoir rings of a painful, gut wretching truth that can only be delivered by a insider from this Toxic Waste Dump O Politics, whose lyin' and cheatin' ways fooled some of the people, most of the time----especially the mediawhores whose only interest was their careers...
Even as their Smear Machine turns on one of the (former) own (courtesy of Freeper Madness and the other usual suspects) you can smell the fear a book like this engenders. (right here on this review section)
The interesting thing is that for all their posturing on morality, "decency" and American family values....it is all a lie---made worse because they assume that EVERYONE thinks, lies, and betrays each other like they do..... And this calculated bath of hyprocrisy is acted out on Political BBS all through the internet. Don't believe me, look for yourself. You can't miss it.
Well, now David Brock has gone and done it....and even though people who pretty know that Brock's story can be verified elsewhere...you will see his old friends not too happy with the family portrait he has turned out with incredible and deadly accuracy.
It also shows the contempt the New Right has for the "extra chromosome" crowd as described by that other evil genius, Lee Atwater. Whoa, baby...what a nest of vipers is trying to run this country......watch your back, America.
We have met the enemy and they are---
not them foreign evil doers and axis of evil villains--
strictly homeground and totally nasty domestic pieces of work--
with notoriously thin skins.
Read the book, if you have an ounce of intellectual honesty left, it will ring true to you. It will also throughly depress you when you see the huge damage Brock's former buddies have done to themselves, to their "enemies" and to the country.

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