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Sires "I like mysteries (particularly British ones, historical fiction and nonfiction, science fiction and fantasy." (Chesapeake, OH, United States)

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Haggard
Haggard
DVD ~ Keith Barron
Offered by niff78
Prix : CDN$ 44.97
4 used & new from CDN$ 19.97

5.0 étoiles sur 5 Dismal Weather and 18th Century Hijinks, July 9 2004
This review is from: Haggard (DVD)
Ah, do you love Tom Jones? No, not the Welsh lounge singer, the 18th Century novel by Henry Fielding so ably brought to life by Albert Finney in the 60's and again by Max Beesley in the British television series of this century. Haggard, much in the spirit of Tom Jones deals with the same line of country-- the British Squirearchy of the 18th century. But where Squire Allworthy and his adopted son Tom are examples of the good hearted English gentlemen of the period, Squire Haggard is the relentlessly impecunious gamester, his son a sad rake. Their only unencumbered asset is Grunge, the Steward, who both envies Haggard's social standard while preaching about the rights of man.
Each of the 14 episodes opens with Squire Haggard writing in his journal, recording the relentlessly dismal weather and the (often fatal but always hilarious) misfortunes of his fellow denizens of 18th century Britain.

Second Sight 1
Second Sight 1
DVD ~ Clive Owen
Offered by OMydeals
Prix : CDN$ 57.69
14 used & new from CDN$ 14.95

1 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Clive Owen is Hot, June 23 2004
This review is from: Second Sight 1 (DVD)
It's a predictable mystery but it's well packaged and, as I said, Clive Owen is hot! There's some intensely erotic moments in this series that make it worth watching even though the average mystery fan will have the plot all figured out way before the climax.
Yes, I've admitted elsewhere that I am incredibly shallow at times, and this is one of them.

Heaven is gentle
Heaven is gentle
by Betty Neels
Edition: Paperback
16 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

1.0 étoiles sur 5 Boredom Raised to a High Art, June 23 2004
This review is from: Heaven is gentle (Paperback)
This has to be one of the most boring books that I have tried to read. Ever!
Eliza Proudfoot is presumably a competent nurse. She is chosen from a list of nurses to assist in a study of asthma suffers that is going to be conducted in the winter in a remote part of Scotland. She drives to Scotland where she meets a rich Dutch doctor without much personality named Christian. Christian is engaged to be married to a woman named Estelle. The chemistry between Eliza and Christian is zero.
He grumps at her. She goes off in a snit-- she'll show him! A fog and a "blizzard" occurs and he has to show her how to get back to the lodge. There is also a sort of minor "flood" where the burn overflows and water washes in under the front door of the cottage where she is staying. He helps her mop it up. Then she is approached in a local town by a "rat-faced" man who calls her "girlie". (Oh the horror!) Christian rescues her by telling the guy to move along. She bursts into tears. What a WHIMP!
I started trying to think of other situations Christopher could rescue Eliza from in the future. She is filling out forms and receives a severe paper cut. He gives her a bandage. She leaves her pocketbook in a restaurant. He returns it. She sneezes. He hands her a tissue. All about as exciting as what does occur.
The other woman, Estelle, comes in for some lumps by the author. She is too skinny. The author mentions salt cellars in circumstances (a low cut dress) that I think might refer to Estelle's chesticalogical region (MST3K reference) that I really don't get. Dutch breasts-- or salt cellars-- must be quite different from those in the USA. Estelle is also lukewarm on animals and is interested in Roman ruins. If I had to spend time with either Eliza or Estelle it would be Estelle hands down. At least we could talk about something other than asthma and despite the author's effort to make her sound mean spirited she comes off rather well against Eliza's boring self abnegation.
I would give Eliza and Christian about a year and half together before the divorce due to sheer ennui.
Avoid this one unless you have insomnia.

Come, Tell Me How You Live
Come, Tell Me How You Live
by Agatha Christie
Edition: Hardcover
7 used & new from CDN$ 69.00

1 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Elizabeth Peters / Amelia Peabody Fans Take Note, June 17 2004
This book has been my companion for a few nights now, just a little amusing reading while I prepare to drop off-- if only those dogs would move over and give me some room!
Christie writes of a Middle East that few now can remember, and she is writing to entertain, not inform. There's a certain careless racism that caused me a little niggle of discomfort but, fear not, the Europeans come in for their fair share of ridicule as she skewers the members of the dig and their staff.
Those who enjoy Elizabeth Peters' mysteries set in Egypt (at admittedly an earlier period) might also enjoy this glimpse into what a dig in the desert could be like.
Just to put things in perspective, Mallowan (Christie's archaeologist husband) had begun his career digging with Leonard Woolley and Christie is writing oh so casually about events that underpin some of what is going on in that part of the world now. The massacre of Armenians and the differences between the Kurds and the Arabs are now writ large in our news reports.

Bubba Ho-Tep
Bubba Ho-Tep
DVD ~ Bruce Campbell
Offered by DVD Monkey
Prix : CDN$ 49.99
20 used & new from CDN$ 0.77

4.0 étoiles sur 5 Ok, I Give up, I Admit I thought this Movie was Great Fun, June 16 2004
This review is from: Bubba Ho-Tep (DVD)
Here goes. I know that this movie is based on a story by Joe Lansdale. But when I first heard about it I thought it sounded like something that would occur to a group of friends at 2 a.m. in a cloud of smoke.
Unlike most 2 a.m. ideas though, this one can stand the light of day. It isn't Citizen Kane or the Seventh Seal, but we already have those movies. We didn't have a movie that addressed the issue of what Elvis would have done in a nursing home if he had encountered a soul sucking Egyptian mummy-- until now.
Don't take it too seriously, don't dissect it looking for Deep Meanings. Just sit down and watch it.
And the DVD extras are pretty good, too. I love commentary tracks when they actually add something to the movie. It was also great to finally find the person who was responsible for Beastmaster-- quite possibly the worst movie I have ever seen in a long career of watching bad movies.

Fasting Girl
Fasting Girl
by Michelle Stacey
Edition: Hardcover
34 used & new from CDN$ 0.48

4.0 étoiles sur 5 Impossible Things and No Breakfast at All, June 10 2004
This review is from: Fasting Girl (Hardcover)
"One can't believe impossible things."
"I daresay you haven't had much practice," said the Queen. "When I was your age, I always did it for half-an-hour a day. Why, sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast."
That a goodly number of people in the United States would believe a young woman could survive for twelve years without eating anything more substantial than a cracker or a sip or two of milk punch now and then, is probably not to be wondered at too much. They in fact took to this belief with a fervor usually reserved for predictions about the end of the world--- give away all of your property and come sit in this cave to wait for it to happen.
And the author has done a lot of research into the state of the nerves of America in the last half of the 19th century-- bad, very bad. But it's the application of the research to the case of Mollie Francher that hits a bump in the road.
Did she have multiple personalities? Was she a hysteric? Did she suffer from chlorosis? Neuresthenia? Anorexia Nervosa? Take your pick. There is support for all of these. She could twist herself into shapes that would have astonished the exocist, lay for weeks and months in a trance, claimed to be completely blind while turning out fancy work-- sold in a shop on the ground floor of her home, and displayed what appeared to be psychic abilities.
It was very interesting to read about the birth pangs of psychiatry and the personalities who midwived it. Chlorosis (green sickness) and neuresthenia seemed similar in description to modern chronic fatigue syndrome. I took a liking to railway spine (caused by traveling at such a high rate of speed)and in light of some of the information provided, the case of Mrs. Palsgraf and the Long Island Railroad Company, that has bedeviled many a first year Torts student makes more sense.

Poppy Done to Death: An Aurora Teagarden Mystery
Poppy Done to Death: An Aurora Teagarden Mystery
by Charlaine Harris
Edition: Hardcover
19 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

4.0 étoiles sur 5 Is Roe Running Out of Steam?, June 4 2004
If anyone seriously thinks that Harris writes cozy mysteries then they are not paying attention when they read. The author who writes the edgy Lily Bard mysteries and the Sookie Stackhouse stories, has never been one to allow her characters more than time to catch their breath between disasters. Whether it was the death involved with the true crime group she was a member of in the first mystery to her subsequent detective efforts, Aurora has lost friends, neighbors and enemies to the grim reaper. Harris never lets the reader assume that there is a Happily Ever After ending out there. Good things are balanced with bad.
In this case Aurora loses an old friend and a new one, learns things about the murdered person and her family she would just as soon not know and there are still a lot of loose strings after the murderer is revealed to fuel the next book.
I enjoyed the characters and the writing but it almost seems that the mystery was an afterthought. I guessed who the murdered was on first introduction (off stage). Harris gave away the important clues with the very nonchalant air with which she introduces them. The denoument was almost anticlimatic. The death in this case seemed to be more a peg on which to hang the characters and events than the reason for the existence of the book.
Not bad, but she's done (and hopefully will do) better.

Brading Collection
Brading Collection
by Wentworth
Edition: Paperback
12 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

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4.0 étoiles sur 5 Entertaining English Country Club Mystery, May 27 2004
This review is from: Brading Collection (Paperback)
Consulting Miss Silver seems to be tantamount to asking to be murdered. As in several of her other cases, Miss Silver is approached by a person who wishes her help. The next thing she knows the person's murder is headlined in the paper.
This is a not too shabby locked room mystery. The locked room is a windowless annex to a country club (once the murderee's private home). It has one door for which there are only two keys, one in the possession of the owner, the other in the hands of his secretary. The approach to the annex is along a glassed in corridor that is lighted at night so that any person using that route may be seen.
Yet one day Lewis Brading is found dead in the annex and it seems that only one man could have murdered him. However Miss Silver is there to make sure that the guilty and not the innocent suffer.
Nice collection of eccentrics, interesting post WWII milieu. Pretty good mystery.

A gentle awakening
A gentle awakening
by Betty Neels
Edition: Paperback
26 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

2.0 étoiles sur 5 Malingering Father, Enabling Daughter, May 27 2004
This review is from: A gentle awakening (Paperback)
Filial piety seems to be a vastly overrated virtue. The set up for this story is one that is all too common in real life. A family member has a health crisis, the other family members rush to help them through it. Somehow the sick person never improves; in fact they begin to enjoy ill health because of the secondary gains of attention, lack of responsibility and no need to make a living.
By staying a home, catering to her father's every whim and giving him additional financial support, Florina was actually encouraging her father to continue as an invalid. After all his heart attack had been 10 years before. It was rather disappointing that she showed no real concern for her father when she tried to extricate herself from the situation. Instead of trying to help her father achieve independence, she simple continued her enabling pattern by finding another woman (her father's sister) to continue the duties she was abandoning.
It is also clear that had the perfect job not dropped in her lap, Florina would have stayed as her father's unpaid servant. As it was she went to the home of another man as his very well paid cook.
The hero in this book also appears to be drifting into an unsuitable marriage with a woman who is clearly not a GOOD woman, with GOOD women defined as those who enjoy domestic activities-- such as cooking. The hero was arrogant enough to think that he was going to change her into something he wanted, while she was planning to change the hero. These two unsuitable people were happily separated by Florina's appearance on the scene.
In this case neither the hero or heroine needed a gentle awaking, they needed a brass band to get them up.

Roses and champagne
Roses and champagne
by Betty Neels
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
19 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

2.0 étoiles sur 5 Invertebrate Heroine, May 23 2004
In the OED beside the definition of the word "spineless", there should be a picture of the heroine of this book. Actually, it seems inappropriate to call her a heroine because she does nothing at all positive or active. She is always the one acted upon. However, I can't remember her name although I've just read it so she is "heroine."
Let's see, she is twenty-seven (but looks ten years younger). The hero is thirty-four (but looks younger). Her sister, Virginia, is twenty (how old does she look, ten?) She raised Virginia after their parents death and made a complete hash of it. Of course no one ever acknowledges that the person who would have had the most influence on Virginia's character is her only sister. Virginia is spoiled, ill tempered, and without morals or manners. She is verbally and psychologically abusive to her sister, rude to her neighbors and we are asked to believe that because she is beautiful everyone puts up with it. Her sister responds by giving her money to buy things.
At some point before the story starts the heroine asks her neighbor and childhood friend, Lucian, to squire Virginia around and try to pry off some social barnacles. Lucian, obligingly does. Then the heroine gets upset because Lucian does what she asks. Lucian after a while indicates that he does not intend to marry Virginia. When the story opens the heroine is furious at Lucian because he has broken Virginia heart-- as if the little baggage had one! She seems to have forgotten that he ws only taking Virginia around because she asked him to do so.
The hero also has his problems though. His interest is in the sister that he can mould to his tastes. He is extremely manipulative as he manipulates the heroine into a "fake" engagement. This requires him to take her to London to pick out clothes-- indeed he guides her toward what he wants her to wear. He is possessive when another man comes around and manipulates the situation so that she is not home when the other man is to call. He manipulates her into a Greek holidy. He does everything but sit down and have a heart to heart talk about feelings. Probably it would have been no use though since the heroine is such a dimbulb.
Of course there is a Big Misunderstanding, that fortunately lasts only a few pages. It is precipitated by Virginia, back from her honeymoon just in time to try to rain on her sister's parade.
I wanted to grab the whole lot of the characters in this book and shake some sense into them-- hard.

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