This book uses the career of Dr. J.B. Rhine and his Parapsychology Lab at Duke University to provide an interesting insight into the history of attempThis book uses the career of Dr. J.B. Rhine and his Parapsychology Lab at Duke University to provide an interesting insight into the history of attempts at scientific investigation of things like mind-reading and mind control, as well as poltergeists and other paranormal activity. The subject matter itself is interesting, and the book was entertaining enough to read. Horn’s writing is generally quite engaging, but she had a particular habit of continuously switching between calling someone by last name and then by first name, for different people throughout the book, which I found pointless and distracting.
I think this book really is meant to be a biography of Rhine and the scientists that attempted to learn more about these phenomena, and so is not really nearly as suspenseful or illuminating about the subject as the synopsis would have you think. However, it’s still worth a read if you want an introduction to the history of people trying to understand these strange happenings.
While I found myself wondering whether Horn actually believes in these phenomena or not, the take-home message of the book is that despite Rhine’s decades of work, science still has a long way to go to understanding any of the phenomena that so fascinate us....more
Everything in this book was absolutely heart-wrenching: very difficult to read, but also difficult to put down. HoThis rating is kind of a compromise.
Everything in this book was absolutely heart-wrenching: very difficult to read, but also difficult to put down. However, at the same time, I couldn’t help but feel that many of the things in this book were painted as much more dramatic than they really were, and so at certain times it feels like a cliche (especially at the end) even if at other times it’s utterly emotionally realistic.
So, I’m not entirely sure how I feel about this book. I don’t loveit, and I would not read it again and probably not recommend it, but when I was reading it, it swallowed me, and for better or for worse, brought me to the place Burroughs was writing about. I think this is one of those books that some people would reject entirely, but for others would really strike a chord.
One thing I definitely know I did not like, however, is the title and cover of the story: they’re too much of a simplification, and too graphic designer-y for the dark feelings Burroughs is trying to conjure. I would’ve liked to see something much more haunting on the cover....more
I rarely dislike books this much, and I'm afraid this short story collection has coloured my perspective of Byatt for the future. I'm surprised so manI rarely dislike books this much, and I'm afraid this short story collection has coloured my perspective of Byatt for the future. I'm surprised so many people enjoyed it, but I guess to each his or her own.
This collection starts with what I think is the weakest story of all, Crocodile Tears, a boring 75 page-long story about a woman who escapes her life and ends up in a small town. There really is no plot, and I felt no connection to the main characters; it just drags on and on. Byatt does do some good parts of writing with descriptions, but ultimately the story flails around without much purpose. There are 6 stories in the collection, and I somewhat enjoyed Cold, a rather fairy-tale-like story. Baglady stood out for its style, and was a much-needed short burst of energy. The concluding story, Christ in the House of Martha and Mary is also a somewhat enjoyable read, but I wouldn't say I really liked any of the stories.
The collection as a whole does nothing for me; Byatt writes mostly to meditate on the flickering of light in glass or in a swimming pool or some other sort of irrelevant detail, in a fanciful way more suited for poetry; in a short story, that style of writing is good to describe a small thing or a few small things of significance, but to make it the point of the entire story utterly ignores the medium. The characters, therefore,lose their appeal along the way and do not live up to their potential. ...more
What a beauty. A wonderful Gaiman poem accompanied by the always-beautiful, always-magical illustrations of Charles Vess. The poem itself is almost aWhat a beauty. A wonderful Gaiman poem accompanied by the always-beautiful, always-magical illustrations of Charles Vess. The poem itself is almost a "Oh! The Places You'll Go" with a fairy-tale take.
I got this book at the Toronto Comic Arts Festival in 2010, and got it signed by Charles Vess :)...more
In this book the author starts off going undercover at a Maple Leaf Foods slaughterhouse for a newspaper, and then talks about her brief stint as a veIn this book the author starts off going undercover at a Maple Leaf Foods slaughterhouse for a newspaper, and then talks about her brief stint as a vegetarian before thinking there must be a better way to eat the meat she loves. She goes on quite a few journeys, including to an Inuit community, a Texas cowboy ranch, an organic farm, and even to a meeting for people who believe in the power of a raw meat diet. She also talks about the steakhouse culture in one section.
I think this is a great introductory book about meat culture, but for me personally her writing really got on my nerves. She manages to on the one hand use way too many metaphors and descriptive words in each chapter -- which made me feel like she was trying to milk each trip she took for everything she could -- while on the other hand not go very deep into each topic at all. I would’ve liked her to do a more thorough discussion and reflection at the end rather than just having each chapter be like a freestanding description of one experience. ...more