James Brain

Helpful votes received on reviews: 100% (8 of 8)
Location: Sydney
In My Own Words:
Naturally, for an enormous book site regular, I am a compulsive book addict of the near-tragic kind. I read excellent things to revel in their excellentness, and horrible things to put them in perspective. I read books, pamphlets, palimpsests, CD liner notes, E-books, webpages, blogs, whisky labels, pizza vouchers... anything. Last time I moved, my first and most critical decisions were based arou… Read more


Top Reviewer Ranking: 523,943 - Total Helpful Votes: 8 of 8
Treason: Liberal Treachery from the Cold War to th&hellip by Ann Coulter
Controversy surrounding the publication of this book reached Australia almost immediately. And considering the kind of polarity of reaction it generated, I made up my mind to read it almost immediately.
Before hearing of Ann Coulter on the news, I had never heard of her, nor read her first book, nor read any of the below reviews. I am not American, and cultivate deep ignorance about American politics. I am not any kind of political anything. I am a book-nerd, here by chance.
In other words, as completely free of bias as a rational person can be.
...and forewarned, a rational person would not have read this excuse for a book.
An unbiased commentary is not possible. It… Read more
Confessions of an English Opium Eater by Thomas De Quincey
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A slice of the auld 19th, Nov. 17 2003
...and not a Begbie to be found.
De Quincey's prose is frustrating - Classical and 19th Century literary allusions go by at a pace that slaps my 21st century brain into its ignorant place. Shelley, anonymous nobles, Milton, Spinoza, all pop in and out of focus. Words are slung into sentences, and sentences into paragraphs, the end result being maddening to the young brain with but an inkling of classical education.
However, for someone who has done a fair amount of pharacological research and become familiar with the stigma that drugs entail, it is absolutely fascinating to read of a time when opium used like we use aspirin today, and likewise the reverence De Quincey has for… Read more
The Art of War by Sun Tzu
The Art of War by Sun Tzu
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
The Art of War was originally intended for reading by ancient China's ruling military elite, and not lowly commoners such as us. It is one of the few great books people seem to be universally familiar with, and for good reason.
The struture is blindingly simple - Sun Tzu writes short chapters about different areas of battle which consist of simple dictums. Utterly straightforward, and generalisable to any form of conflict.
Surface-reading this book will take you minutes, not hours - however, time must be spent with even the barest of his principles. The purchase of this book has become alarmingly trendy over recent years, but with no noticeable effect on the global intelligence of… Read more