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Content by Chad Spivak
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Reviews Written by
Chad Spivak (North Miami Beach, Florida)

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Searching for Bobby Fischer
Searching for Bobby Fischer
2 used & new from CDN$ 24.95

5.0 out of 5 stars Check Mate, June 12 2001
This is one of the most touching movies ever written. It has so many special undertones and hidden messages, making for a very pleasurable movie-watching experience.
Joe Mantegna discovers his seven year-old son, Josh played by Max Pomeranc, has a gift for playing chess. He sees his son's talent, and the enter the world of chess tournaments, behind the guidance of tutor, Ben Kingsley. Before long, he becomes the number one child chess player, and is seemingly unstoppable. Conversely, Josh merely wants to be a "normal" boy and just wants to have the love and admiration of his family instead of countless trophies, so he soon loses his edge for the chess world.
The cast is astonishing. Lawrence Fishburn, one of the most underated actors of our time, plays a wonderful "street smarts" chess player. Add in cameos by Dan Hedaya, David Paymer, and William H. Macy, who I can't watch on the silver screen without saying "Ah, Gees," and you have one entertaining film.
This is a truly wonderful movies, with lots of depth. It is not so much about chess as it is about finding one's inner strength and character in the face of adversity and high-pressure challanges. The acting is superb, and the chess tournament scenes are, in fact, riveting. This film is a can't miss.

Darkest Fear: A Novel
Darkest Fear: A Novel
by Harlan Coben
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
71 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars The Best Somehow Gets Better, June 11 2001
Harlan Coben is, simply put, phenomenal. DARKEST FEAR is the seventh book in the Myron Bolitar mystery series, and the last one for a little while. And, it truly is outstanding.
This novel is slightly different than the previous six Bolitar novels, in that it is written from a much more personal level. Myron, the college basketball star turned FBI agent turned "investigative" sports' agent, is back again in another thrilling novel. Emily Downing claims that she needs Myron to find a bone marrow donor for her 13 year old son, Jeremy, dying of a rare disease. To make things interesting, Jeremy just happens to be his son, conceived the night before she married his college nemesis, Greg, who ruined Myron's professional basketball career.
In DARKEST FEAR, Myron is faced with many personal challanges, and, unlike the previous six books, he is involved in many heartfelt exchanges. This book allows us to peak into Myron's personal mannerisms and characteristics. There are still the suspense-filled scenes, and wildly interesting investigations. Win, as per usual, is his witty, candid self. In a nice change of pace, Myron's parents, "El-Al" Bolitar, are much more vocal in this book, which makes for a more complete reading experience.
This novel, as in all of the other Bolitar books, is a fast-paced page-turner, with plot twists galore. Coben continues to put out amazing, well-written books, that are a true pleasure to read. DARKEST FEAR is absolutely fantastic.

The Monkey's Raincoat
The Monkey's Raincoat
by Robert Crais
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
Price: CDN$ 11.39
74 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

4.0 out of 5 stars Disney Figures In His Office!, June 11 2001
If the mere hint of a private investigator with Disney figurines and a Pinochio clock in his office isn't the least bit interesting, I don't know what is. Robert Crais has created a wonderful persona in Elvis Cole.
Cole, a former security guard turned private investigator, is hired by Helen Lang to find her missing husband, Mort, and son. Before you can even begin to wonder about kidnapping, Mort is found dead in his car, and their house has been trashed, with the boy still missing. Throw in the mafia and a spanish bull-fighter turned aristocrat, and you have one exciting novel.
Cole is a wonderful, wise-cracking character, complimented nicely by his mercenary partner, Joe Pike. Together, they make a sensational team. The storyline is nicely developed and the suspense is great. Crais is talented writer.
Overall, this is an excellent book, and a really good start to the Elvis Cole mystery series. This faced-paced story doesn't stop with the thrills until the heart-stopping, wild ending.

The Final Detail
The Final Detail
by Harlan Coben
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
47 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars Best Mystery Writer Around...Case Closed, June 11 2001
Harlan Coben is the most gifted mystery writer to enter the literary world in quite some time. In this sixth book of the Myron Bolitar series, Coben is, again, nothing less than sensational.
Bolitar, owner of MB SportsReps, has taken a vacation in the Carribbean, without telling anyone. While relaxing on the tropical beach for three weeks, his company goes to pieces, and his partner, Esperanza, is arrested for the murder of Myron's first ever client, major league relief pitcher, Clu Haid.
Myron is rushed back into the limelight, as a potential suspect as well as an accessory. He is forced to scramble to keep his agency afloat, clear his best friend's name, and deal with his competition, which is run by the mafia. To make matters worse, Esperanza wants him to back off, something that Myron just can't do.
All of the loveable characters are back, and fans of Big Cindi will really get to know her a lot better in this novel. A few new interesting characters are introduced as Myron travels through New York's sexual underground for answers.
There are so many wicked plot twists, the book becomes a wild page-turner instantly. Coben's gifted writing talents shine through remarkably, and the character dialogue is perfectly snappy. The storyline is impressively complete and well-defined. This is simply another super effort by Coben, and one entertaining read.

by Robert Parker
Edition: Hardcover
63 used & new from CDN$ 0.56

4.0 out of 5 stars Spenser For Hire, June 8 2001
This review is from: Potshot (Hardcover)
Actually, I would like to classify the book as 3.5 stars, as this was a seemingly different type of Spenser novel. However, it is Robert Parker, and he gets the benefit of the doubt with the fourth star.
Private Eye Spenser is back when Mary Lou Buckman hires him to find out who killed her husband, Steven, in the town of Potshot, Arizona. In working on the case, he is further employed by some of the higher members of the city to eliminate the seedy outlaws that make up the Dell. Led by a older man named The Preacher, this group of ruffians run the town, collecting money and instilling fear in all of the citizens.
Spenser recruits a lot of his old friends, including the ever-popular Hawk, that have made appearances in several other books. There are a few turns, but not as many twists as usual in other Spenser books.
The one thing that Parker books all have in common is that they are loaded with dialogue. It makes up most of this novel, and it is meshed quite nicely with his clear writing style.
POTSHOT is a good effort, and has a decent enough storyline to make for entertaining reading, but it is not quite up to the usual Spenser standards. First time Spenser readers should start with one of his earlier books.

The Phillies Reader
The Phillies Reader
by Richard Orodenker
Edition: Hardcover
19 used & new from CDN$ 1.38

5.0 out of 5 stars The Ultimate For All Phillies Fans, June 8 2001
This review is from: The Phillies Reader (Hardcover)
Yes, I am one of the few, the proud,.....the Philadelphia Phillies' fans. And was this book ever perfect for me.
I have always been a baseball fan, and my favorite team has always been the Philadelphia Phillies. This book allowed me to travel back through the wild history of the ball club. The stories are wonderful, but more importantly, most of them are written by top-notch newspaper reporters or well-known authors. Some of the more personal stories, written by players, etc., are also well-done, and give a nice human touch to the book.
This was an intersting and entertaining read, and one that could be enjoyed by all fans of America's Pastime.

Back Spin
Back Spin
by Harlan Coben
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
41 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars Coben Sinks This One, And That's No "Lie", May 30 2001
This review is from: Back Spin (Mass Market Paperback)
Yes, I couldn't resist all of the golf puns in my review title. Needless to say, this book is a lot better than my title.
Once again, Myron Bolitar, the college basketball superstar turned FBI agent turned sports' agent, and his wonderful supporting cast are back once again in another fast-paced book. Jack Coldren, has a large lead in the U.S. Open on the same course he choked on 23 years ago. His wife, Linda, is the number one player on the women's golf tour, and they become Myron's lastest clients, when he agrees to help them find their son, Chad, who has been kidnapped.
Myron wonders through the darkest parts of Philadelphia, running into all kinds of seedy individuals along the way. The ride is one of non-stop twists and turns, and to make matters worse, the Coldrens are part Win's, Myron's best friend, family. Myron has to solve this case alone.
Most of the regular characters are back for this novel, as well as a few more. Win and Esperanza are the perfect compliments to Myron, and as always in Coben books, all of the characters are well-developed. The storyline is chock full of surprises, which makes for an enjoyable page-turning adventure. Coben uses a literary witty dialogue between his characters, peppered with humorous observations, that helps the book flow so well.
This fourth book in the Myron Bolitar series lives up to its reputation. It is entertaining and humorously suspensful. BACK SPIN in one unpredictable, exciting book.

Drop Shot: A Myron Bolitar Novel
Drop Shot: A Myron Bolitar Novel
by Harlan Coben
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
54 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars Coben Serves Up Another Ace, May 28 2001
This is yet another solid effort by Harlan Coben. DROP SHOT is the second book in the "overhand smash"-ing Myron Bolitar series. Sorry, I couldn't help the tennis play-on-words.
Once again, athlete-turned federal agent-turned sports agent, Myron Bolitar graces the pages of this fast-paced book. He is the agent of Duane Richwood, a hot twenty-one year-old tennis sensation, who is hoping to go far in his first U.S. Open tournament. During his opening match, Valerie Simpson, a fallen tennis phenomenon wishing to make a comeback, was shot dead at the food court.
Upon investigating the murder, Bolitar uncovers a connection between Richwood and Simpson and a six-year-old murder. Add in the mafia and a seemingly crooked United States' Senator, and you have one interesting novel.
Like all of Coben's books, the one super underlying facet is the incredibly witty dialogue that would also be perfect for television or the "silver screen." Bolitar and his friend, Win, are hilarious together, not to mention the straight humor of the wrestler-turned office assistant, Esperanza. His characters are all so well-developed, and three-deimensional. Even more importantly, they all are blended together so nicely. Everyone from the snakeskin boot wearing cop, Rolly Dimonte, to the mob-muscle man, Aaron, has a very intricate role in making this such a good book.
The plot is fast-paced, and the twists are full of suspense and never-ending. Coben's writing is sensational, and the storyline is very fluid as usual. DROP SHOT is a definate page-turner. This is a very good novel, and with the surprise ending, a very enjoyable read.

by Marissa Moss
Edition: Paperback
24 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars "Your Future Is In YOUR Hands", May 26 2001
I purchased this book for my 10 year-old daughter, and she absolutely loves it. As we read it together, I couldn't help but think of what a wonderfully positive message this book reveals.
Designed to look like a child's composition book, MADAME AMELIA TELLS ALL is a very colorful book that is put together quite nicely. There are some really entertaining quizzes that help your child learn more about herself, and there are several pages loaded with words of wisdom to help her make the right decisions in life.
There is a cute "Career Finder" that reveals what your child might be when she grows up, and the last section of the book has some "Fold-Over Fortune Tellers" to share with her friends. The illustrations are excellent, as the colors just jump off the page. I liked the book being done in handwriting, as it comes across on a more personal level.
Overall, this in an excellent product put out by "American Girl," and one that should be read by all young girls.

Legends Lies & Cherished Myths of American History
Legends Lies & Cherished Myths of American History
by Richard Shenkman
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 17.50
73 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

4.0 out of 5 stars The Book My Kids' Teacher Won't Mention, May 25 2001
Ever wonder about the true story behind the Liberty Bell in Philadelphia? Have you ever visited Abraham Lincoln's Log Cabin, and wonder if it is authentic? Well, look no further. In this book, Richard Shenkman sheds some light on some of the "stories" behind U.S. History as we know it.
This book was, if anything, a really fascinating read. Shenkman did a lot of research in objecting to the time-held beliefs and traditions of some of the greatest pieces in American history. He mentions several historical things, and then counters them with his own detailed views and findings.
The writing is very easy to follow, and the short, yet detailed chapters make the book a fairly quick read. I can't say that the book was a total "eye-opening" experience, but it was rather interesting.
Is the tourist attraction of Betsy Ross' house really hers? Was Colombus' reason for the journey to the New World really made up by Washington Irving? Find out the answers to these and several questions like them in this entertaining book.

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