Allen Smalling

"Eclectic Reader,"
Helpful votes received on reviews: 88% (68 of 77)
Location: Chicago, IL United States
Anniversary: March 13
Birthday: July 25
In My Own Words:
Retired, with one partner and two gerbils. I am not currently able to accept products for review or SPA's. Unsolicited e-mails for same will be deleted.

Chicago-based. Currently reviewing books about mainline Protestantism, Broadway musicals (also CD's), church hymnals, GLBT issues (most), current events, popular biographies incl. show-biz, bridge, "read-aloud" kids' books, travel, pets (esp. "critt… Read more


Top Reviewer Ranking: 382,020 - Total Helpful Votes: 68 of 77
A Star is Born (Widescreen) <b>DVD</b> ~ Judy Garland
A Star is Born (Widescreen) DVD ~ Judy Garland
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
The film A STAR IS BORN, the 1954 Judy Garland musical for Warner Bros., has been through nearly as many trials and tribulations as any real-life movie-star wannabe to maintain its reputation and realism. The director--George Cukor's--love/hate letter to the joys and sorrows of Hollywood stardom came in just over three hours long--181 minutes. In an ironic affirmation of the film's recognition that "the lush days are over" for Hollywood, the studio cut the actual release print down to 154 minutes so that theater owners could squeeze in one extra screening per evening. That is the only version we had between 1954 and 1983, and any revivals, cinematheque offerings or TV… Read more
Canadian History for Dummies by Will Ferguson
Canadian History for Dummies by Will Ferguson
27 of 30 people found the following review helpful
In the Fifties, Marilyn Monroe (supposedly) said she thought Canada was "way up in the mountains somewhere," and I can't say my ignorance was much lighter until I visited sophisticated and efficient Toronto, avant Montreal and tragically beautiful Vancouver--and grabbed Will Ferguson's CANADIAN HISTORY FOR DUMMIES to try to make sense of the land that, during my childhood, was condescendingly referred to as "Our friendly neighbor to the North."
Okay, it seems that every time I'm up yonder some key component of the economy is on strike, and the taxes are practically Scandinavian, but somehow it hangs together. Survey after survey show that Canadians enjoy the highest standard of life… Read more
Raising Demons by Shirley Jackson
Raising Demons by Shirley Jackson
RAISING DEMONS is the second and last of mystery writer Shirley Jackson's autobiographical accounts of her life as a small-town mommy in bucolic Bennington, Vermont in the Baby Boomer Fifties. Although many of the chapters in this book were originally published as short stories in various women's magazines and the NEW YORKER, in final form together the work functions as a good chronological novel set in the "Together-ness" mid-fifties.
But if the prospective reader thinks that Shirley Jackson's acceptance of the roles of Housewife, Mother of Four and Faculty Wife doomed her to an empty-headed vacuity, think again: there's a universe of verbal subversion going on in her mind… Read more

Wish List

How to Be a Canadian (Even if You Already Are One) by Will Ferguson
A history of the Canadian peoples by J. M Bumsted
Crow Lake by Mary Lawson
Crow Lake by Mary Lawson
Souvenir Of Canada by D Coupland
Souvenir Of Canada by D Coupland
Black Bird by Michel Basilieres
Black Bird by Michel Basilieres