The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Vol. 1 by Alan Moore is a graphic novel collecting issue from the first run of this popular series. A movie byThe League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Vol. 1 by Alan Moore is a graphic novel collecting issue from the first run of this popular series. A movie by the same title was made in 2003, however don’t let that turn you off from reading this wonderful rendition.
Campion Bond, Director of England’s Intelligence service — MI5, has recruited a team of inventors, scientists, spies and adventurers who are known for being able to get their job done no matter what. This team consists of Mina Murray from Bram Stoker's Dracula, Allan Quatermain protagonist of H. Rider Haggard's series from the late 19th Century, Captain Nemo of Jules Verne’s 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, Henry Jekyll and Edward Hyde of the Scottish author Robert Louis Stevenson’s famed horror novel, as well as HG Well's invisible man, Hawley Griffin.
The team is ordered to recover an anti-gravity compound, Cavorite – invented by physicist Mr. Cavor (from H.G. Wells’ The First Men in the Moon) before the notorious Dr. Fu Manchu (introduced in a series by Sax Rohmer during the first half of the 20th century) can get his hands on it and attack London from the air.
The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Vol. 1 by Alan Moore brings in a bunch of famous fictional characters, written by different authors, to a steampunk adventure which spans literature and imagination. The story revolves around several famous Victorian characters which serve as a wonderful introduction to their stories and authors.
The graphic novel is illustrated with skill and talent, every panel has an aim and is worthy of close examination. Every panel is aimed at the reader who, with some knowledge of the classics, can appreciate the humor and genius behind the lines and words.
The characters which Mr. Moore “borrowed” are full of life and relevant despite their Victorian origins. While the main cast (The League) gets the majority of the panels, there are many more literary characters hidden within the novel, hunting for them was a major part of the fun in reading this work. The story, together with the art, can be read as a very complex novel which is probably the reason it was not done justice being translated to the big screen.
This graphic novel is full of violence, blood, death and sexual situations and innuendos, that is not a bad thing, but let the informed buyer beware. Kevin O’Neill’s magnificent art compliments and enhances Mr. Moore’s storytelling. The imaginative panels of Mr. O’Neill breathe life into old favorites, you will never read those same classics again in the same way.
I felt the book is a fair portrayal of Washington as a human and gives the reader a new insight into the person. Mr. Ellis tries to take a man which hI felt the book is a fair portrayal of Washington as a human and gives the reader a new insight into the person. Mr. Ellis tries to take a man which has become a myth in his own time and deconstruct him to see what makes him tick. What did he find; Washington was a man like any of us, making his decisions based on what's good for his bank account, and putting in strategic moves for the future. We must remember that in that time people put in work to collect decades later, unlike today.
This is an overview of Washington's life, the important decisions he made and why did he make them. Mr. Ellis' research is well founded; his speculations and premises make logical sense and put a new light on old tales.
Are Mr. Ellis' assumptions correct? Who know, but isn't that half the fun or reading history books, to make your own assumptions, theories and hypothesis and see if the author agrees with you.
Don't be afraid to read this book, you will come away with a great appreciation and admiration to Washington because, not despite, he was a human being and not a super-man. ...more
This is a must for every history lover out there. I could not put this book down, not only did I learn quite a few things, and enlarged my understandiThis is a must for every history lover out there. I could not put this book down, not only did I learn quite a few things, and enlarged my understanding of other important historical events, but I had to put the book down after almost every chapter and think of what Mr. Loewen is saying. \ Right or wrong is not the issue, but he raises some very disturbing points about our education system, which should be looked closely by teachers and parents alike. A very insightful book, well thought out and makes a wonderful discussion topic among friends and other interested parties. ...more
I liked the book due to its fast paced and "man on the ground" type of feel. Mr. Shaara writes well about battles and the history - in an overview senI liked the book due to its fast paced and "man on the ground" type of feel. Mr. Shaara writes well about battles and the history - in an overview sense - is mostly accurate mainly concentrating on Manassas, Fredricksburg and Chancellorsville.
As in most of Mr. Shaara's books this one is also "historical fiction", an oxymoron if you ever head one, and is a very interesting character study of the major players. I especially enjoyed the characters of Jackson and Chamberlin and give thanks to this book for sparking my interest in those two fascinating figures which prompted me to read more about them.
It is a very nice complement to history books and biographies I have previously read. ...more
Having read all of Ludlum's books, this was the first "inspired by" novel that I read. The novel starts slowly, and keeps on going a bit faster, and eHaving read all of Ludlum's books, this was the first "inspired by" novel that I read. The novel starts slowly, and keeps on going a bit faster, and ends very fast paced. I liked the book and it does keep with the Ludlum spirit. From some reason it simply took me a very long time to read.
If you enjoy Ludlum's novels you will enjoy this one also, albeit maybe not each and every word. ...more
I liked this book much more than Collin Powell's book. It just seems more honest and less self serving, General Schwartzkopf admits mistakes, and posiI liked this book much more than Collin Powell's book. It just seems more honest and less self serving, General Schwartzkopf admits mistakes, and positions he has taken for political reasons. It makes a very interesting read about decision making in the higher ranks of the military. If you've read Powell's book, you'd like this one, and if you haven't, read it after this as a great supplement. ...more
I have read all of Mr. Shaara's novels, this one is a bit below them since it does not flow as smooth, and I got the feeling that he took too much "liI have read all of Mr. Shaara's novels, this one is a bit below them since it does not flow as smooth, and I got the feeling that he took too much "liberties" with the characters. There is no way for us to know exactly what was said, and who was thinking what, but I felt he went a little beyond his "Gods and Generals", and "The Last Full Measure" being much more free with historical characters. Mr. Shaara did justice to General Scott, who to this day does not get the credit he deserved, but I think he got a bit confused with the character of R.E. Lee in his youth.
All in all, I really enjoyed reading the book and if you enjoyed this author's previous works, you'll enjoy this one also ...more
"Roma" by Steven Saylor is a packed historical fiction book which attempts to tell 1,000 years of history in 600 pages. The book succeeds superbly in"Roma" by Steven Saylor is a packed historical fiction book which attempts to tell 1,000 years of history in 600 pages. The book succeeds superbly in some parts, but not so much in others.
It is difficult to write a synopsis for "Roma" since the book spans one thousands years. Starting with the early Roman settlers, the salt traders, the book introduces the reader to fascinus, the winged phallus which becomes a family heirloom and each chapter afterwards.
The book follows through on the building of Roma, how the city became a center of power and conflict while the Roman Republic is being created.
According to Steven Saylor, his book "Roma" is mainly inspired by Roman historian Livy. Coincidentally Livy also inspired Shakespeare though I would not mistake Shakespeare's works for anything close to history, too bad many other authors do.
The book tells of the origins of Roma by mixing legends with actual events focusing on Roma's two most famous families, Potitii and Pinarii. The book touches on many famous stories and events, Hercules, Romulus and Remus, the rape of the Sabine women, rape of Lucretia, the abduction of Verginia and the festival of Lupercalia which I always wanted to know more about. While it seems that the book might be glossing over some of the big events that defined ancient Rome, I felt that it did a marvelous job attempting to describe the day-to-day lives of the Romans.
The story follows an artifact, a winged phallus (fascinus), which is handed down from generation to generation until its significance is lost and it simply becomes an ancient heirloom passed down. However, an artifact isn't a character and while I found the book very interesting and entertaining, I felt as if it lacked focus. The books spans a thousand years and multiple generations so character development is lacking - but the story is gorgeous.
Roma" was the "go to" book whenever I found myself without a book at the moment, however about one quarter in to the book I just made the plunge and read it straight through. I believe that reading this book in sections, versus just trudging through it as the way to go. The stories, while not too complex are not simple either and during fast reading one might miss the significance of an event.
The book is supplemented by a very helpful picture of the family tree which the chapters talk about as well as fantastic maps showing Rome at that time as well. I recommend the book for anyone who wants an introduction to history of Rome and Italy, keeping in mind of course that the history and legends are mixed.
The Secret Servant by Daniel Silva brings back Israeli spy Gabriel Allon in this seventh installment. This time we find Allon as a weary, tired agentThe Secret Servant by Daniel Silva brings back Israeli spy Gabriel Allon in this seventh installment. This time we find Allon as a weary, tired agent ready to hang up his holster and, unwillingly, accept his fate in management.
Master art restorer and Israeli agent Gabriel Allon is on his way to Amsterdam to look through the archives of an Israeli asset that has been murdered. A routine assignment perhaps, but Allon soon discovers that the Islamic underground plots to commits acts of terror in England.
Elizabeth Halton, daughter to the ambassador to the Court of St. James, is kidnapped. In order to save her Allon has to confront his conscious and make unlikely allies along the way
I found The Secret Servant by Daniel Silva to be a more current, at least in atmosphere, of the Gabriel Allon series. As usual with the rest of the series, the book is difficult to put down, a fast paced adventure and thriller which brings back familiar characters.
The characters age with the books, which I like. None are superheroes, but people with issues and problems who only justify their acts to themselves by holding a high moral ground. However, this high moral ground must be broken from time to time which leaves them feeling confused and filled with regrets.
The book is filled with many characters, bumbling politicians, Islamic extremists, non-extremists Islamic people and other hot button issues from current day world. However, what I especially liked about this book is that Mr. Silva constantly challenges the reader to rethink preconceived notions and ethical issues within the context of the story.
Mr. Silva chose an omniscient narrator for this book, and it is a wise choice due to the many personal struggles the characters go through. Much like another favorite spy of mine, James Bond, the author chose to blur the differences between the acts of the villains and the heroes (I am talking, of course, about the Bond books, not the movies of the tongue-in-cheek superhuman spy). The villains justify killing for their religions, the heroes – for their country. The villains resort to torture, in the name of their G-d, the heroes resort to those same tactics for their cause, justifying it to themselves
The Islamization of Europe is also covered some very interesting sections. I have read a few articles about the subject in the past several years. I think Mr. Silva, while with some obvious opinions, did a fair job in presenting the subject from various points of view. The fall of Mubarak and how his régime of Egyptian oppression bred hate is also weaved into the story.
While the Gabriel Allon books become formulaic at this point, they are still very enjoyable and well paced. The woven current events and weaknesses within the main characters add another dimension to this novel which I found fascinating and thought provoking.
Disclaimer: I'm a sucker for WWII and / or spy books
Before I start - this is not a "Gabriel Allon" book as mentioned on Amazon's book title.
"The UnlDisclaimer: I'm a sucker for WWII and / or spy books
Before I start - this is not a "Gabriel Allon" book as mentioned on Amazon's book title.
"The Unlikely Spy" is a fast paced page turner, set mostly in days preceding the Normandy invasion in WWII. The story's unlikely hero is a university professor named Alfred Vicray who was recruited by none other then Winston Churchill himself to work for the British MI5.
Vicary is a spy catcher - he does his job well until realizing that a small group of German sleeper agents trained by Abwehr officer Kurt Vogel are still in Britain. The threat is that the German agents could discover the secrets to the invasion and allow the Germans to setup a proper defense line (or call the invasion off) and the invasion would fail.
Chief among the German spies is Anna Katerina von Steiner, known in Britain as Dutch tourist Catherine Blake. Catherine is an attractive woman and a top notch spy who has been a sleeper agent in London for six years - now she has been activated by Vogel. Let the mind games and puzzles begin....
The plot twists and turns very cleverly and the ending caught me by surprise. Even though this is a big book, the narrative is told masterfully, the twists keep coming and it's hard to stop reading.
The characters in the book are well drawn, they each are painted in shades of gray -the German spies have some redeeming qualities and the English MI5 agents are not depicted as saints doing G-d's work. ...more
In the sequel to "The Mark of the Assassin (Gabriel Allon)", ex-CIA agent Michael Osbourne is recouping from his physical injuries and gets bored outIn the sequel to "The Mark of the Assassin (Gabriel Allon)", ex-CIA agent Michael Osbourne is recouping from his physical injuries and gets bored out of his mind playing Mr. Mom. When Osbourne's father in law has taken a position as the USA's ambassador to the Court of St. James, Osbourne willingly comes back to the CIA in order to investigate a new Irish terrorist group as well as protect his relative. Osbourne manages to foil the plot, but the group takes out a contract on his life.
The plot actually has two main parts, the Irish terrorists who call themselves "The Ulster Freedom Brigade"; the second is about Osbourne and the two parts are closely related.
This book has most of the same characters as its prequel, but the book is not as enjoyable. The pace is fast but the story is predictable, about half way through (if not sooner) I already figured out the ending which, this time, had no twists.
This is an OK thriller, I liked Silva's other books better. ...more
Like other reviewers I bought this book after reading Kavalier & Clay. Unlike the others, I didn't compare the two when writing the review. It's nLike other reviewers I bought this book after reading Kavalier & Clay. Unlike the others, I didn't compare the two when writing the review. It's not fair to the author, the reader or to the book as it stands up by its own merit.
The premise of the book is simple: what if Israel lost the 1948 war, the Jews were driven into the sea and Roosevelt's proposal of establishing a Jewish state in Alaska passed (I'm sure the deciding vote belonged to Storm Thurman). Thus the setting of Sitka, Alaska - a town where Yiddish is the native tongue and kosher is the law of the land - is born. The tale is weaved around an alcoholic, yet highly moral, homicide detective, his ex-wife (now his boss), his missing sister and a bunch Jewish mobsters hiding behind their religion (but which mobster doesn't). Throw in a wannabe messiah as well and you got yourself a story.
The novel has a noir feel and smoothly moves along like an old familiar pulp detective novel, the story has some rich Jewish imagery from old Europe as well as jokes and, like the old Yiddish tales, each paragraph is crafted to be rich in meaning and thick with symbolism.
This is a good book but, for me, a slow read. Maybe the symbolism was too much, maybe I had to re-read some parts or maybe I just didn't "get" several points. Yet, I enjoyed the novel very much. I felt it dragged a bit in the middle, but quickly picked up. The story is interesting, the premise is brilliant. This is not just a "Jewish murder mystery", but also about Diaspora, a search for a home and a community which is being ostracized from the world. ...more