Craig's idea of actors as marionettes, little more than mindless slaves of the director is interesting on the page and probably works well in film, bu...moreCraig's idea of actors as marionettes, little more than mindless slaves of the director is interesting on the page and probably works well in film, but is rather dull when put into practice on stage. For me, the thrill of live theater is the chemistry between actors, seeing what each brings to the performance, under the unifying force of a strong directorial vision. Part of me wonders if Craig conceived of his brainchild after the hair-tearing experience of directing a pack of egotistical, flakey actors ("What's my motivation?" "i'm having an existential crisis and will therefore be two hours late to every rehearsal"). Craig's ideas on set design and lighting, however, were revolutionary and continue to be in use to this day.
This work is highly recommended to theater majors or anyone else with a love of the theater and an interest in its evolution.(less)
Not too much to say about this one other than: what fun! I think most parents of school-age children could relate to some of the Galer Street stuff -...moreNot too much to say about this one other than: what fun! I think most parents of school-age children could relate to some of the Galer Street stuff - I certainly could. Didn't quite buy the Antarctica stuff, but that was okay, still enjoyed it.(less)
This is a very concise, well-written book with accurate but non-threatening illustrations for the pre-adolescent set. I bought it at the same time I b...moreThis is a very concise, well-written book with accurate but non-threatening illustrations for the pre-adolescent set. I bought it at the same time I bought Usborne's What's Happening to Me? However, I held this one back for a couple of years, thinking that my son wasn't quite ready for all of the information in it at the age of nine, and that the Usborne book was perfectly pitched at him.
Alas, I think I waited a little too long. My boy had some questions recently that were addressed more fully in this book, but as a twelve-yr-old he now found the book and its illustrations a bit "kiddy-ish" and worth poking fun at. "It's perfectly normal to talk about sex," he squeaked in a baby voice as he read the last line of the book to me, then, changing to his regular, deepening adolescent tone, cracked, "If I was in class and said 'Hey teacher! Penis penis penis! Vagina vagina! Pubic hair!' it would be perfectly normal for me to get sent to the principal's office."
So all I'm saying by relating this anecdote is this: wait until you think your child is ready for all of the material in this book - but don't wait too long lest it become material for mockery.(less)
I once had a stalker of my own in college, hence my interest in this book. However, my experience was back in the days before the internet, when my st...moreI once had a stalker of my own in college, hence my interest in this book. However, my experience was back in the days before the internet, when my stalker had to use his physical presence, creepy notes stuck under my dorm room door, and stealing of my mail from my mailbox to freak me out. That said, the feelings of helplessness, anxiety, and depression, not to mention the terrible sense that no one can or will help you or even take you seriously as described here by James Lasdun were all too familiar to me. "Lucky" for me, my stalker only kept it up for seven months until he failed his end-of-year exams and got tossed out of college, though those seven months were enough to make me a nervous wreck, constantly glancing over my shoulder and distrustful of everyone, even my family. I can't imagine what kind of basketcase I would have been had stalker-boy kept it up for 5+ years like Lasdun's Nasreen.
Lasdun is a good writer, and the book is very readable. However, I would level the criticism that perhaps his story is only worthy of a long essay. The extra material in here i.e. his exploration of anti-semitism and drawing parallels between his situation and the classic tale of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight felt like filler and a stretch, respectively. He also wanders off topic at times, exploring other topics that interest him that are not directly related to his stalking and do not really serve to further the story.
Overall, the book was worth reading, and I hope it serves to heighten awareness of the problem of stalking and cyber-bullying, as well as to empower Mr. Lasdun and others to not accept the role of passive, helpless victim.(less)