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Susan Norton (Australia)

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The Road to Middle-Earth
The Road to Middle-Earth
by Tom Shippey
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 25.18
24 used & new from CDN$ 11.14

5.0 out of 5 stars A fine book about a great writer, July 4 2004
Tom Shippey is a profound student of Tolkien with a deep love of middle-earth and a deep understanding of it and its origins.
Unlike so many academics, he is a fine writer. He has style, insight and erudition. Professor Shippey succeeded to Tolkien's chair at Oxford and he has the feeling of Tolkien's world in his bones. He knows Tolkien not only as a fantasist but also as a philologist and understands - and can explain in simple and lucid language - how Tolkien's studies of words influenced his creative work. He has also written interesting critiques of science-fiction.
This is a most valuable book that will contribute proufoundly to any reader's understanding and appreciation of Tolkien's greatness without - and this is very important! - destroying the magic.
I know Tolkien's work well and cannot fault this book.

Hating America: The New World Sport
Hating America: The New World Sport
by John Gibson
Edition: Hardcover
18 used & new from CDN$ 0.98

5.0 out of 5 stars Read It!, June 12 2004
I'm Australian, and like most Aussies I grumble about America from time to time. But, and also like most Aussies, I know it's the best, most successful, most intelligent, most humane, most cultured and most admirable society on Earth, the true beacon of human achievement and the light and inspiration of the world. Yes, for all its faults which I know all about.
I am, it is true, half British. Modern British envy of America saddens me, as the envy-and-nihilism-intoxicated ravings of the loathsome, freakish Margaret Drabble and Harold Pinter and their likes fill me with utter disgust and shame.
As an Aussie, I, like most people in the developed world, owe my high standard of living directly of America and I know it. Not only because of American inventiveness and marketing. Nott only because America saved our bacon in world War II and ronald Reagan saved us from the threat of nuclear annhilation more recently. The American alliance allows us to keep our defence spending down to 2% of GDP. We loaf at America's expence, let it pay for two-thirds of our security, resent it, and scream for help when we're in trouble. We're not as bad, not as envy and inferiority consumed, not as neurotic and self-hating, as the French and Germans, but we could be a lot better, and yes, more grateful.
The Poles and people in Eastern Europe don't hate America. Their liberation by America is close enough in time for them still to remember it.
One word of advice to Americans: You are loved, you are admired, by people all over the globe. Don't forget your friends, and perhaps give them a bigger word of praise than you sometimes have in the past. America attracts more resentment because its culture tends not to acknowledge its friends than for perhaps anything else.
Read this book to understand one of the most dangerous, sick and disgusting pathologies in the world, and help do something to stop it.
God Bless America!

The Complete Far Side
The Complete Far Side
by Gary Larson
Edition: Hardcover
19 used & new from CDN$ 131.40

5.0 out of 5 stars Everything you expect, June 12 2004
This review is from: The Complete Far Side (Hardcover)
You know what is to be found on The Far Side - here it is, only more of it. This is a wonderful collection of humor for the INTELLIGENT.
It is queer that people knock America as a philistine culture when only America has produced this wonderful visual poet of the humor of science.
No other English-speaking country has anyone to touch it, though in the print medium the British Daily Telegraph's columnist "Peter Simple" and his books in a wild, strange way come close, showing a society and a world at once recognisable as our own yet transmogrified with a strange blend of wonder, laughter and anger. In Peter Simple, too, (Gary Larson Fans, please look up his books on Amazon and order them, you won't be disappointed!) we feel the same profund care for what trendies call "The Environment" and he calls "The Creation."
Normally, when people say a book is for people with "open minds", the open minds is question are recepticles for garbage about the Holy Blood and the Holy Grail, Twelth Planets, Astronauts in Ancient Sumeria and so on. Not this time. Gary Larson not only makes you laugh, he really makes you look at the world a bit differently.
There are too many favourites among the cartoons to list; the alien tripping over as it majectically descends from the space-ship? The vultures and the cow-boy? The cow poetry-readings? The shark's slide-show? The dung-beatles going visiting? The father summoning the Floating Head of Death? The rat in the singles bar? The wolf-kill group photograph? The boa-constrictor in the play-pen? The throwaway, almost reminiscent of the old master's Fall of Icarus (to be pretentious), of the stone-age scene with, near the bottom, Fred Flintstone sinking into the Le Brea tar pit?
Is there a message? Larson, thank goodness, avoids overt political preaching, and there's nothing party-political here. It can appeal to left or right, indeed it seems to transcend both. But somewhere, and it's fairly subtle and cumulative, a message comes through.
In the meantime, this collection is a treasure. Buy it, read it over and over. You'll never get tired of it and neither will your children.
Thank you, Gary Larson.

Dutch: A Memoir of Ronald Reagan
Dutch: A Memoir of Ronald Reagan
by Edmund Morris
Edition: Hardcover
75 used & new from CDN$ 0.78

1.0 out of 5 stars Pretentious, bizarre and incompetent, June 10 2004
Others have written revealing and insightful accounts of
Ronald Reagan. This is just pretentious ego-trippery, rubbish and fiction masquerading as biography. It is a complete waste of time, and hard to review as it is virtually beneath reviewing. There is one particularly weird segment where the author castigates Ronald Reagan for going to Berlin and saying "Mr Gorbachov, tear down this wall!" instead of quoting Robert Frost's poetry about walls and thereby showing himself an intellectual! Like, it's a sign of stupidity to be moral and forthright - and right??? I can only agree with the previoous reviewer that the publishers deserve to lose a fortune.

Civilising Global Capital: New Thinking for Australian Labor
Civilising Global Capital: New Thinking for Australian Labor
by Mark Latham
Edition: Paperback
10 used & new from CDN$ 19.99

1.0 out of 5 stars Confused and jargon-ridden, April 17 2004
This book is like a stale Pizza with "The lot" - Gough Whitlam, Ayn Rand, Adam Smith, Tony Blair, a mishmash of left-wing, right-wing and loopy ideas, all thrown in together without logic or discrimination. One chapter contradicts another. Is the welfare state to be abolished or strengthened, for example? Different chapters say both. There is an invocation of "community" takiung over some of the tasks of government and capitalism without the slightest indication of how this is to be achieved. The work of a man who cannot think critically or rigourously or organise his thoughts. Heaven help Australia if he should gain political power!

Dereliction of Duty: The Eyewitness Account of How Bill Clinton Compromised America's National Security
Dereliction of Duty: The Eyewitness Account of How Bill Clinton Compromised America's National Security
by Robert Patterson
Edition: Hardcover
52 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating and horrifying, April 14 2004
This fascinating and horrifying book shows beyond doubt that Clinton was not merely a scumbag and liar but by any moral if not legal reckoning a criminal. If the book's claims are not true, one wonders, why does Clinton not sue for libel?
The author, entrusted with probably one of the most desperately responsible positions in the world, comes across as a man of exceptional character and integrity, faced with something foreign to, and beneath, his own moral frame of reference. Yet there is no schadenfreud or vindictiveness here, only a determination to tell what he saw.
Clinton is revealed not only as a moral horror to whom the word "integrity" would be without the remotest meaning, but someone who the US should have indicted for dereliction of duty to an extent not far short of treason.
By comparison Richard Nixon was an honest patriot.

Legacy: Paying the Price for the Clinton Years
Legacy: Paying the Price for the Clinton Years
by Richard Lowry
Edition: Hardcover
36 used & new from CDN$ 0.53

5.0 out of 5 stars Should be compulsory reading!, April 14 2004
I am more-or-less a libertarian, but if I had the power this is one of the small number of books I would make compulsory reading. A truly chilling warning - America elected this dreadful creature who threw away so much of President's Reagan's victory in the Cold War and brought the greatest office in the world into ridicule and disrepute, who let down America's defences just in time for the terrorist onslaught, and whose mental limitations are as terrifying as the essential baseness of his personality is disgusting, married to a woman in some ways even more grotesquely repulsive than himself. A liar, an irresponsible, incompetent fool, a sleazebag and a lot worse. It happened once that such an apalling person could be elected and re-elected, in the decadent days before 9/11, and it could happen again. This book lays out the facts in horrible, unanswerable and truely frightening detail. It may leave you depressed about democracy, but, I hope, determined to defend it.

Man-Kzin Wars IX
Man-Kzin Wars IX
by Larry Niven
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
15 used & new from CDN$ 0.52

5.0 out of 5 stars A correction to the previous reviewer's ethics!, April 3 2004
I have reviewed this book previously but am having a second bite because I am annoyed by the conduct of the previous reviewer. He claims, apparently trying to dam the dialogue, there is a phrase: "As you known, Raargh Sergeant, we Wunderkzin ..." No such phrase occurs in the book. A human says to a Kzin born on Wunderland "We sometimes call you Wunderkzin ..." I suggest that if the reviewer wishes to pick holes in the style of a particular story he quote the actual words he complains of and not something he has invented. I believe this is related to a thing called ethics, you know, like honesty and truthfulness.
And all thes stories in the book are teriffic! Scream and Leap!

Madame Hillary: The Dark Road to the White House
Madame Hillary: The Dark Road to the White House
by R. Emmett Tyrrell Jr.
Edition: Hardcover
Price: CDN$ 24.54
38 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars Yes!, March 2 2004
R. Emmett Trrell Jnr. is one of the most brilliant journalists and commentators the US has, up there with Bill Buckley and Mark Steyn.
This is one of the most important and valuable, if frightening, books on contemporary US politics. It is a dire warning about the damage this dreadful woman could inflict on not only the World's most powerful democracy but on the world, and it gives evidence! And how! (I'm a lawyer and I know the difference between evidence and shinola, I hope).
What her lying, honourless husband did was bad enough (like letting Bin Laden build up strength virtually unmolested, like letting the pro-Western Governments of Eastern Europe go down the toilet and the Communist Old Guard take over under new names, like starting a war and bombing make-up ladies in Belgrade television studieos to distract attention from his semen stains on Monica Lewinsky's dress! What this woman could do would be worse. Clinton's ravening ambition coupled with - if you can imagine it! - an even greater lack of morality and one of those truely deadly streaks of twisted ideology and self-righteousness.
It's in the category of books that should be compulsory reading. Buy it as awful warning, as feast of schdenfreud, as hand-book for action, but buy it!

Deliver Us from Evil: Defeating Terrorism, Despotism, and Liberalism
Deliver Us from Evil: Defeating Terrorism, Despotism, and Liberalism
by Sean Hannity
Edition: Hardcover
65 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars Needed Today, Feb. 27 2004
A very valuable book from one of the brave men who challenges the left's media-monopoly and a book that sticks it up the leftists and nihilists who are apparently working to destroy our civilization from within.
There is evil abroad in the world, and as heroes from Marcus Aurealis and Alfred the Great to Winston Churchill and Ronald Reagan have known, it must be confronted and destroyed. This book is in the great tradition of preserving the values of our civilization and making them available to the oppressed.
It is written in the spirit with which the British Navy worked against its own empire's financial interests and broke the slave-trade at sea, an act of aggressive liberation, or the spirit in which America saved South Korea from the nightmare of slavery which the Communists tried to force on it. It's also a book that makes me, as an Australian, say: God bless America.

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