A little piece of comic genius for you here! The ultimate bachelor book that made me laugh out loud from begging to end, i really couldnt put this downA little piece of comic genius for you here! The ultimate bachelor book that made me laugh out loud from begging to end, i really couldnt put this down. The story runs around the life of Jim Dixon, an intern at a polytechnic university. He is young, wistful, a drinking, smoking kind of guy with things on his mind and, remarkably, just the right amount of luck. Jim needs to impress his Department boss Welch, a rambling old fool with too much to say for him self, so he can secure the job after his probationary period. I have rarely read a more fluent and hilariously battering dialogue than in the arguments that ensue between Welches son Bertrand and Jim. Bertrand, a new wave artist who wears a beret with questionable righteousness, is the 'if i want it i take it' guy of the novel. Jim doesnt quite agree with this as far as Bertrands girl Chrstine is concerned and feels quite right in telling him so with painful comic bluntness. The comedy that ensues here is the stuff of a true master and Amis' descriptive Narrative is to die for. I cannot recommend this enough!...more
I have just finished reading an advanced proof copy of this book and feel as though i have walked away with something both insightful and thought provI have just finished reading an advanced proof copy of this book and feel as though i have walked away with something both insightful and thought provoking, that both confirms my fears and consolidates my thoughts on everyday American culture. Ehrenreich discusses how the people of America are so built up in the idea of positive thinking that they cannot even accept the possibility of negative thought. It has become a cult to be positive, and although it is the mainstream to accept being Optimistic, she shows how this philosophy of the mind is actually very highly damaging, not to mention narrow-minded. Realism is necessary in an everyday life. You would not go to your doctor and expect him to tell you that everything is fine and just tell you to hope for the best. You would not expect a tank commander to lead his forces into battle solely under the hope that positive thinking will win the battle. Ehrenreich shows how positive thinking has deluded people into thinking that they should not question the workings of the world around them, whether they be social injustice, unfair rates of pay, sackings, war etc. Positive thinking psychology (itself a market that leads to over £9 billion a year in sales revenue for such items as self help books and tapes)suggests that any problems are merely in yourself and can be cured with positive thinking. It teaches that if you want something it can be yours if you want it enough, and both state, business and church help to consolidate this message for both the average layman and white-collared businessman alike.
I thoroughly enjoyed Ehrenreich's style and knowledge, finding her touch both personal (she relates her own experience to the positive outlook towards cancer and describes the ostracising of those who are negative against survival) and impartial. I readily advise anyone who is interested in the subtle makings of mainstream reality and the world at large to read this. There is a lot to be learned from this book and when it comes out i believe it will generate favourable success and positive reviews....more
An underrated (when looking at the relative fame of those such as Clapton, Santana and George Harrison) extremely sensitive, blues ridden musical iconAn underrated (when looking at the relative fame of those such as Clapton, Santana and George Harrison) extremely sensitive, blues ridden musical icon, Peter Green is a true inspiration to me. The Biography is far from overly flattering and seems hard to get a hold of but outlines the basic features of his life. There are interviews with the man himself (though of course he is far from together in his mind now) and all of the old Fleetwood Mac. If you have never heard of the man then i do urge you to read this book which is interesting as a tie-in to the 'Man Of The World: The Peter Green Story' DVD Biopic. B.B. King once said that he was 'the only man who could send shivers down my spine', this is a man who plays the blues from his soul. His song writing is almost as soul shattering as his singing and guitar playing and such songs as 'I loved another woman, Man of the World, and the Green Manalishi' left me speechless. I would recommend this book for any fan of the late 60's blues revival and anyone who thinks Eric Clapton is the best white blues guitarist ever...they may wish to change their minds....more
A fine summary of a great man. It is short but I believe it is long enough for the reader to get the right message of Dostoevsky. There is a depth ofA fine summary of a great man. It is short but I believe it is long enough for the reader to get the right message of Dostoevsky. There is a depth of Historical backdrop outlining the progression of the Biography and at the bottom of every page there is a reference word or sentence for quick and easy access to specific points. There is so much i did not know about this shrewd gentlemen, this wise and loving Everyman, soft and gentle in his nature, though harsh and coarse in his depiction of Russian, and indeed world life. His Xenophobic and provincial life style leaves much to be desired but created one of the true Geniuses of the 19th century literature scene. Richard Freeborn, being a translator of various works such as Turgnevs Fathers and Sons and Dostoevsky's An accidental family is the perfect man to talk of the man and the period he lived through, i recommend this for the curious man or woman wanting to find out more about the great man though not already knowing that much; it may not give a great deal to one who is familiar with his life, works and times. WARNING: If you plan to read the main Dostoevsky novels this book does give Spoilers on some key events so beware. ...more
'I think therefore I am' Probably the most quoted philosophical reference around today. But people generally don't know what it means! Descartes is rep'I think therefore I am' Probably the most quoted philosophical reference around today. But people generally don't know what it means! Descartes is reputed as the Father of Modern Philosophy, the bringer of new ways of thinking, of revising our beliefs. Though a blatant sexist, speciesist and bigot he was a man of his time. His philosophy however was not. Imagine an evil genius, he has your brain in a jar somewhere and is manipulating it to make you believe all that you perceive around you. You can see, smell, feel, taste, hear and believe all of them. Descartes said that all of these senses could well be the creation of that evil genius and we have no reason to believe that the world around us it real. All that Descartes could safely assume was real was his mind. For if the mind was not real, how could the genius deceive you? Thought is the essence of man, it's reality. Descartes believed in something known commonly as Two Substance Dualism, and more academically as Cartesian Dualism. This states that humans have a material and a mental substance, each being separate. When the body dies the mind will survive as it is not dependant on the body, though the body needs the mind to make it human. At the time this was ground breaking, and it didn't contradict Christian orthodoxy (of whom Descartes was a pious believer). All of this is nowadays taken for granted, this knowledge of so pivotal a change in the book of history is equally relevant today. Though not my favourite philosophy (preferring works of Mill and Sartre) it is none the less core stuff and should appear on every self respecting philosophers shelves....more
A man ahead of his time John Stuart Mill wrote this with the understated help of his wife and lifetime accomplice Harriet Taylor. 'The only purpose foA man ahead of his time John Stuart Mill wrote this with the understated help of his wife and lifetime accomplice Harriet Taylor. 'The only purpose for which power can be rightly excercised over any member of a civilised community against his will is to prevent harm to others. His own good, either physical or moral, is not sufficient warrant' In this Mill's finest work he discusses the right and important role of indivdual liberty and the benefits to society. Without this liberty, he says, the world will degenerate into dead dogma. Views that are suppressed lead to views that are out of date. Individuality is the hope for the future. Mill was criticised heavily for this work, indeed even by his own Utilitarian brethren. Society had little place for the everyday proletariat/layman and without this work, who knows, the world may have been a much darker and less egalitarian place. A cornerstone in British, and indeed any philosophy. ...more