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Reviews Written by
HeyJudy "heyjudy" (East Hampton, NY USA)

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by Karen Robards
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
39 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

4.0 out of 5 stars When she is good..., Dec 10 2002
As an author, Karen Robards is like the nursery rhyme about the little girl who had a little curl, right in the middle of her forehead. When she is good, she is very, very good, and when she is bad, she is horrid.
IRRESISTIBLE is, indeed, very very good. This evaluation applies only to the novel's place within the genre of historical romances, however; one cannot judge romances by the same yardstick as is used for literature.
Still, IRRESISTIBLE is about as good as this category of writing can get. Robards tells an interesting story against the background of the Napoleonic Wars, and she creates a true feeling of the period. As always, her heroine is beautiful beyond words, her hero is to drool over, and her sex scenes are hot, hot, hot. In acknowledgment of modern values, there are no rape scenes, unlike the historical romances of decades past--and this change is a real improvement in the genre.
Any reader who enjoys historical romance will find IRRESISTIBLE to be... irresistible!

Greenwich Village: A Guide to America's Legendary Left Bank
Greenwich Village: A Guide to America's Legendary Left Bank
by Judith Stonehill
Edition: Hardcover
17 used & new from CDN$ 9.52

5.0 out of 5 stars Exquisite and Excellent, Nov. 16 2002
"Exquisite" is not a word one often gets to use about a book, but GREENWICH VILLAGE: A GUIDE TO AMERICA'S LEGENDARY LEFT BANK truly is an exquisite little gem of a book.
Obviously, books are bought only by people with an interest in their subjects, whatever that subject may be. Thus, I purchased this book due to my affection for New York City and, specifically, for the neighborhood which is featured. Before I read this GUIDE, I had thought that I had a fairly thorough knowledge of Greenwich Village--and, actually, according to this volume, I do know quite a bit. Yet my own knowledge is but a small fraction of the information that author Judith Stonehill presents.
Without question, Greenwich Village is the most fascinating corner of a fascinating city. Its history goes back to the earliest colonial times, and its impact extends right into the present. Stonehill covers all of the Village's incarnations, from the time that Washington Square was "the" address for the Knickerbockers, those worthy Dutch burghers, through the creative energy of the late 19th Century, right up to today.
Like the city for which it started as a suburb, and of which it became an integral part, Greenwich Village has led many lives. In four separate tours, Stonehill covers all of them.
According to my search on, this is the only book of walking tours to focus exclusively on Greenwich Village. The small size of the book makes it perfect to tuck into a pocket or a purse when one sets out on a walk--though, to be fair, this small size requires the use of such a tiny typeface that the book can be difficult to read without magnifying glasses.
Nonetheless, this work is excellent as to its concept, its scope and its execution--and the artwork and photographs chosen for illustration are, indeed, exquisite.

Pen Pals
Pen Pals
by Olivia Goldsmith
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
33 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars Powerful! Breath-taking!, Nov. 2 2002
This review is from: Pen Pals (Mass Market Paperback)
As an original fan of author Olivia Goldsmith, PEN PALS was not what I had anticipated. Consistent with Goldsmith's other novels, I had expected a romp with lots of laughs. PEN PALS is no romp, but it also was far better than my expectations.
The title is slang referring to friends in prison or, in vernacular, in the pen. Goldsmith has written an important book about the issues confronting women in prison, from the fact that so many of them somehow are victims of the men that they had been involved with, to the harshness of life inside. Her research is impeccable and, indeed, the final pages of acknowledgments testify to her efforts.
Goldsmith tells the story in the voices of several different prisoners who are forced by their common situation to become each other's support system. There is the white collar criminal, her primary heroine, who has agreed to take the rap for stock fraud committed by her boss. There is an elegant woman (shades of Jean Harris) who killed in a crime of passion, a con woman, etc. All of these characters are well-developed and touching.
PEN PALS bares some resemblance to a fairytale in its outcome; or, perhaps, it is a cautionary tale for the coming millennium. Regardless, the novel is riveting reading and Goldsmith is to be congratulated even for tackling this subject. That she does such a brilliant job with it simply is proof of her skill as a writer.
PEN PALS will make an extraordinary movie. Congratulations, Olivia Goldsmith, on your most important work to date.

Puppet Child
Puppet Child
by Talia Carner
Edition: Paperback
15 used & new from CDN$ 14.45

5.0 out of 5 stars Powerful and Riveting, Nov. 2 2002
This review is from: Puppet Child (Paperback)
From a prologue which makes the reader a witness to the crime on which this novel hinges, right to the final page, PUPPET CHILD is a riveting story.
Author Talia Carner has constructed a plot with as many layers as an onion, and each of these "layers" has been thoroughly researched and impeccably reported.
The basic premise of PUPPET CHILD hinges on a father who has consistently sexually molested his infant daughter. The plot turns on how our legal system, in its posture of presuming a party to be innocent under law unless that party is found guilty by an elaborate system of proofs, ends up putting the legal rights of this father ahead of the protection so direly required by the child. In the process, author Carner explores inept and indifferent civil authorities who use their powers as a sword in excusing them from their clear moral duties.
PUPPET CHILD is a tale of mother love, of the occasional need for parental kidnapping when the legal system leaves no other alternatives, and of the consequences of such kidnapping. The mother, in an episode vividly--and horrifyingly--described ends up in prison for contempt of court, and the child...well, read the book! This is a novel worth considering.
Carner tells the story elegantly, and she pulls together the multitude of complex issues so that the whole thing is plausible and touching. PUPPET CHILD is an impressive book.

Murder On 34th Street
Murder On 34th Street
by Edward Koch
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
17 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

4.0 out of 5 stars Cute, Oct. 21 2002
In his spare time, with collaborative assistance, former New York City mayor Edward I. Koch writes mystery stories. Curiously, his protagonist is a character named Edward Koch who is...the Mayor of the City of New York.
Basically, the books in his series are cute, nothing more, nothing less. Yet since these stories are told in the Mayor's own highly distinctive voice, and filled with detail about the back office workings of City Hall, the mysteries nonetheless make for interesting reading. Though the plots here are thin, a reader still will come away with new insights about the Koch administration and the governing of the City of New York.
In the end, Mayor Koch is not much competition for Rex Stout or Agatha Christie, but reading his New York City murder mystery series was fun. As a New Yorker born and bred--and a full-time resident there during his entire term--I enjoyed all of these mysteries.

by Nora Ephron
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 15.04
43 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars Far superior to the film, Oct. 14 2002
This review is from: Heartburn (Paperback)
HEARTBURN is Nora Ephron at her finest. Through her pain, she manages to find the comedy. This thinly-disguised autobiography makes for compelling reading; it almost could be a primer on surviving a spouse's marital infidelity. As always with Ephron, her writing is facile and her insights are overwhelming. Through the darkest moments, her own acute sense of the absurd shows through, and this humor is her salvation.
Anyone who merely saw the film into which this book was turned can have no sense of how wonderful the printed text proves to be. And Ephron's recipes are fabulous, too. HEARTBURN probably was the first novel which had recipes integrated into it. After twenty years, I still use many of them.
HEARTBURN offers solid clues to the genius that Ephron is, as evidenced in her subsequent career as a screenwriter (WHEN HARRY MET SALLY, to name just one film) and as a director.

A Man in Full
A Man in Full
by Tom Wolfe
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
56 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars Engrossing, Oct. 11 2002
A MAN IN FULL is author Tom Wolfe at his best, which is to say: Brilliant. As a social historian, there is no one better than Wolfe. He details his stories with an abundance of background detail that add to these stories' success in ringing chords of truth. Wolfe also is a satirist, noting and then puncturing the bubbles of pretension that permeate every stratum of society.
A MAN IN FULL is a vast novel, almost Dickensonian in its scope. It crosses the United States, in the process touching on many of the subcultures and social classes which now reside within our borders. Wolfe never loses his pitch, crafting a plot in which every one of the multitude of detail pulls together into a cohesive whole. He keeps the reader engrossed to the final page.

Liar's Poker
Liar's Poker
by Michael Lewis
Edition: Paperback
74 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars A Good Read, Oct. 11 2002
This review is from: Liar's Poker (Paperback)
LIAR'S POKER is a good read. This book offers a clever, even funny, first-hand analysis of what wrong with American business during the end of the 1980's. Author Michael Lewis provides a fascinating explanation, from an insider's point of view, of how those involved in the highest levels of the financial community made their obscene amounts of money--and how they destroyed the nation's economy in the process. His report is revelatory indeed. Anybody with an interest in the history of American business, or a curiosity about the high life in New York during an overheated decade, will find that LIAR'S POKER offers a great amount of detail.

Barbarians At The Gate: The Fall of R.J.R. Nabisco
Barbarians At The Gate: The Fall of R.J.R. Nabisco
by Bryan Burrough
Edition: Paperback
77 used & new from CDN$ 0.32

5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent!, Oct. 11 2002
BARBARIANS AT THE GATE reads like a work of fiction. To compare this book to fiction is quite a compliment to its authors. Just as easily, they could have been reported this story as a dry and dreary episode in the chronicle of this nation's business conglomerates.
Instead, they focus on the very real players in these dealings, a group of people who were living large at the end of the 1980's. This was a decade of ostentatious successes and conspicuous consumption, so these people and their lifestyles make wonderful copy. Along the way, the authors use their stories to flesh out the cut-and-dried business machinations which made them rich and famous.
BARBARIANS AT THE GATE is a lively account of a very specific moment in the financial history of our nation.

The Bonfire of the Vanities
The Bonfire of the Vanities
by Tom Wolfe
Edition: Paperback
106 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars A Snapshot of a time and a place, Oct. 11 2002
In retrospect, there is no better snapshot of New York City during the 1980's than THE BONFIRE OF THE VANITIES. This novel completely captures the energy, and even the euphoria, which crept into city life during a decade that now seems far removed.
BONFIRE is an engrossing novel, interweaving all of the many aspects of city life, from the self-indulgences of the newly (very) rich to the struggles of the ghetto poor. Much like that proverbial first potato chip, once a reader gets a taste of this book, it is hard to stop reading until the final resolution. Wolfe writes a detailed and informative story in his typical lively style.
Anyone who wants to remember New York City during the overheated 80's will find THE BONFIRE OF THE VANITIES to be a clear snapshot of that time and that place.

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