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S. Benders (Edmonton, AB)

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Priests of Mars
Priests of Mars
by Graham McNeill
Edition: Hardcover
14 used & new from CDN$ 84.51

0 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
2.0 étoiles sur 5 Dreadful and underexciting..., Dec 26 2012
Ce commentaire est de: Priests of Mars (Hardcover)
I am a big fan of McNeill, Warhammer and especially the Adeptus Mechanicus - so when I stumbled upon "Priests of Mars", it seemed like a gift from the Emperor.

I would, however, caution everyone who is planning on buying this book. The biggest issue I have with the book is that McNeill presents us with (too) many different characters and plot lines, none of which really come to fruition. It is hard to identify with any particular character, leaving me as reader quite detached from the story. The book is full of details that aren't picked up on and story lines that the author fails to bring to a conclusion. It is never clear exactly where this book is headed and even having finished it, I can't really see the point of the novel.

That being said, McNeill is a giant when it comes to beautiful descriptions and one does get to enjoy learning more about the Mechanicus and its workings, as well as an impression of a Warlord Titan crew, some Cadian military backdrop and an impression of the miserable lives of the 'normal' denizens of the Empire. In that sense the book wasn't a complete loss.

However, if you really enjoy getting to know the human-machine hybrids that call Mars their home, take a look at McNeill's "Mechanicum" and read my review there :)

Horus Heresy: Mechanicum
Horus Heresy: Mechanicum
by Graham McNeill
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
22 used & new from CDN$ 2.86

5.0 étoiles sur 5 Completely drawn in!, Nov. 13 2012
Graham McNeill has a knack for really describing the 40K universe. I've loved some of his other books, but this was definitely the best one I've come across. I don't easily put down 5 stars, but I've done so this time for excellent writing skills, choice of words, turn of events; a great change of pace while keeping storylines clear; and finally, a great entertainment value. I found it hard to put down!

In addition to all the lauds I've already thrown at the book, let me say that it is great fun to really be drawn into the planet of Mars where the Mechanicum has made its home. One really gets a great feel for the place, the hierarchy, its grandeur and its darkness. Many of its denizens are well on their way to complete machinehood and one cannot help but wonder what the future holds in store for us actual humans. Will we employ implants more and more in the future? What will we make of it? Will we at some point be more machine than man as well?

Questions like these come to the reader as he or she makes his way through the story, making the acquaintance of likeable characters such as the protagonist Dalia, her intriguing master Adepth Koriel Zeth or sinsiter villains such as the Fabricator General of Mars. A definite must-read for anyone interested in getting to know more about this relatively unknown corner of the Warhammer Galaxy!

7 used & new from CDN$ 25.82

4.0 étoiles sur 5 Great insight into the Jewish culture, Nov. 13 2012
Achat vérifié(Quest-ce que cest?)
Ce commentaire est de: Ushpizin (DVD)
A Jewish friend of mine had given me this movie. Now I'm not much for foreign/arthouse films, but I watched it for her benefit. It was a very pleasant surprise!

While the movie may look somewhat unappealing, I couldn't help but be sucked into the storyline of a man trying to make his fortune, while two of his former friends drop by, just escaped from prison. While already at odds with his wife, he finds himself in the season of hospitality in which it is actually an honour to receive guests. The fact that his two buddies are petty criminals brings some tense and even hilarious moments to the movie.

Not going to spoil what exactly happens, but safe to say, it wasn't just a good movie... I also came away with a GREAT insight into some Jewish values and culture. Highly recommended!

Orion: The Vaults of Winter
Orion: The Vaults of Winter
by Darius Hinks
Edition: Paperback
Prix : CDN$ 13.99
11 used & new from CDN$ 13.99

2.0 étoiles sur 5 Poor attempt to bring Woodland realm to life, Nov. 13 2012
Darius Hinks misses an opportunity to bring life to a much neglected part of the Warhammer universe: Athel Loren. While the Wood Elves certainly aren't my first love, they deserve a lot better than they got from this book.

The novel is not a complete loss, though, and that's the reason I didn't put it down entirely, so let's start with the good: at times we do see a bit of elvishness peek through, so I kept wondering all the way till the end if I would learn anything worthwhile about the locale I've come to love as a (Wood-Elf) Warhammer player.

What is not so good about it, was already heralded by about a dozen spelling errors throughout the book. The characters were not only very flat, they also didn't go together. The author fails to bring across that the meeting of his characters is a real, plausible or even entertaining event. The storyline is completely unbelievable, ludicrous almost, and it doesn't feel like it's set in Athel Loren at all. It was at times hard to follow what on earth was happening. There was a complete lack of the use of the forest as an actual entity, and I didn't learn much new about the denizens of Athel Loren either. The opportunity to describe grand things like the Wild Hunt, the Queen's court, life within a kinband, and so on, are pretty much squandered in a cobbled-together story with an almost given, uninteresting outcome.

I would therefore strongly advice anyone to think twice before trying their hand at Orion: Vaults of Winter.

Alice in Wonderland and Philosophy: Curiouser and Curiouser
Alice in Wonderland and Philosophy: Curiouser and Curiouser
by William Irwin
Edition: Paperback
Prix : CDN$ 21.79
31 used & new from CDN$ 7.14

4 internautes sur 4 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
3.0 étoiles sur 5 Serious Nonsense, June 13 2010
Achat vérifié(Quest-ce que cest?)
I am a huge Alice in Wonderland fan. One who was a tad disappointed with the 'Annotated Alice'. I wanted to know more about Wonderland and the thoughts behind it. This book about philosophy and Wonderland in some ways fulfilled this desire. This book contains 14 contributions from different scholars, each of whom take different (philosophical) perspectives on Wonderland.

The good thing about the book is that it does offer a very wide range of topics: from a feminist view on Wonderland to metaphysical issues, issues about language or time and even thoughts on nuclear war and Wonderland. There are definitely a few chapters in there, while entertaining, that do not merit the name of philosophy, though.
The second good thing is that the book is definitely not a boring read. Most authors are very well aware that they are writing for an audience who probably doesn't really know all that much about philosophy. Most chapters are quite accessible and the authors endeavoured to really use Alice-like language and refer a lot to the Alice books.
The last good thing is that I actually got a few perspectives on Alice that I never had before.

Now for the downsides: the book is very diverse due to the multitude of contributors and topics. It's not one comprehensive view. Most authors only scratch the surface and employ very little philosophy to make a sometimes obvious point. Some authors seem unable to make any point whatsoever and sometimes even contradict themselves (e.g. "Alice is very Nietzschean in her exploration of Wonderland" and a next page explains how Alice certainly isn't Nietzschean because she wants to structure her experiences). Sometimes contributions come off as people trying really hard to make *a* point about Wonderland and philosophy and they really don't have much more to add, but manage to write 12 pages about it nonetheless. Several authors also put excessive effort in trying to make their contribution 'fun' to read. Lastly, while mostly low key, some difficult philosophical themes are also employed by a select number of authors, but only a few of them really manage to explain the elusive concepts they use.

So, would I recommend the book? I definitely do not consider it a waste of my time and I had fun reading it and got some new perspectives. That's all that it takes for you to go and buy this book without hesitation, I'd say. Just keep in mind that there's really not all that much philosophy, it's sometimes not all that clear and sometimes it's just plain silly. But then again, "we're all mad here". Enjoy!

Knights of Columbus (1920)
Knights of Columbus (1920)
by Thomas C. Knight
Edition: Paperback
Prix : CDN$ 12.68
8 used & new from CDN$ 5.07

2.0 étoiles sur 5 Disappointing and outdated, April 19 2010
Achat vérifié(Quest-ce que cest?)
Being a Knight of Columbus myself, I certainly wouldn't mind getting to know a bit more about the Order itself. This booklet is a reprint of a really old book (1920). There are only a handful of pages in the book and they're blown up about 200%, so at first glance you think you're going to read a lot about the Order, but once you've opened it, you can close it about ten minutes later (and this is not too much of an exaggeration).

What's more, the information in the book is rather outdated. Hardly any of it is usable. If you're hoping to learn anything about the 'secret' rituals of the Order, well, this book certainly isn't for you. While some of the descriptions in ways reflect the initiation degrees, they only vaguely approximate what really happens. I think that over the course of a century the rituals have undergone quite a lot of changes.

Information regarding the order, such as its founder, the reasons behind it, etc. are quite good, but this is information readily available from the KofC website.

I didn't give this book 1-star, because I still feel it's good to see a bit about the ancient workings of the orders (how things used to be) and, like I said, the information regarding the founder and the founding are not half bad. I certainly wouldn't recommend it unless you have money to waste! :)

Acheron: A Dark-Hunter Novel
Acheron: A Dark-Hunter Novel
by Sherrilyn Kenyon
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
Prix : CDN$ 8.99
62 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

2 internautes sur 3 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
2.0 étoiles sur 5 Quite a terrible read, April 19 2010
This book really is quite hard to get through. The book is extremely repetitive, which only really serves to drive the point home. The protagonist has been severely handicapped and abused. Apart from the sometimes quite visual and terrible abuses, one just about wants to tear one's hair out at the stupidity and incredibility of some of the characters. While trying in a quasi-psychological style to justify the behaviour of her characters, Kenyon really takes us for a ride: they're rather stereotypical and a tough sale to any sane reader out there.

For such a long read, the reward is rather poorly. I was left quite frustrated. I don't consider the book to be the worst of the worst (hence the two stars), because I was able to finish it and I liked the 'twist' with the main character, Acheron, rising to power and operating in our day and age. The interaction between the divine and our secular daily life was quite rewarding and the story was definitely more interesting in this second part of the book. But really... hundreds of pages preceding it just to let us know what a psychologically damaged kid our Acheron was, is just too much.

Inglourious Basterds (2-Disc Special Edition)
Inglourious Basterds (2-Disc Special Edition)
DVD ~ Brad Pitt
Prix : CDN$ 25.99
15 used & new from CDN$ 2.88

23 internautes sur 26 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Artistic and Entertaining!, Dec 23 2009
Achat vérifié(Quest-ce que cest?)
Folks love it or hate it.

I think it mainly depends on whether you can appreciate Tarantino's style. If you are expecting to see your ordinary Hollywood movie, chances are you are going to wind up upset, like some of the negative reviews I've read on here.

The movie can, indeed, be quite gruesome. You'll have to be able to see some artistic quality in that. I can, even though I do not particularly enjoy it. What I enjoy most, however, is the awesome acting. Christopher Waltz, the German officer-bad guy, carries a conversation for almost half an hour with a farmer who is hiding Jews. It's almost like a verbal battle, with sorties, retreats, tactical reforms, minor victories for both sides, until one side finally manages to get the upper hand.

The impeccable costumes, the humor, the jab at Americans and American culture, the completely unhistoric (and therefore to me, unexpected) climax and the great attention to detail, I think, make this a superb movie for those that can appreciate this quality. If you'd rather see an action-packed run-of-the-mill movie, though, this one might not be for you!

DVD ~ Lindsay Younce
Offered by Fulfillment Express CA
Prix : CDN$ 33.17
22 used & new from CDN$ 15.82

5 internautes sur 5 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
3.0 étoiles sur 5 A Movie on St. Therese: a Mission Impossible!, Aug. 19 2008
Ce commentaire est de: Therese (DVD)
It is impossible to show Therese's life on a single DVD. At the time I am writing this, two other reviews were written, one rating 1 star, the other 5 stars. Both are right!

The 5 star review is right, because ultimately for me the question would be: does this movie lift my heart up to God? And I must answer, without hesitation, yes! I love St. Therese dearly and even more so after this movie. Many things I know from Therese's letters are in the movie. They try to depict as much as they can, and especially when you catch what the makers of the DVD are referring to, you'll love Therese all the more, because you are seriously taken into her life.

However, the 1 star review is also right. During the movie, I thought that a 10 hour movie would be a lot better. The scenes skip very fast and I think only with the proper knowledge of her life, you'll really get something out of the movie, because you only need a few images to bring back what you know about this Little Saint. Scenes I had been looking forward to, like her taking her vows (as well as many others!), are so short, you do feel a little disappointed.

Still, this movie was made with love and respect for St. Therese. If you love her as well, and can suffer some disappointment, then I suggest buying it. If you are looking for the perfect movie on St. Therese, skip this one, though.

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