This review is of the fourth edition of this book.This new edition is a beautiful, full-color publication which includes a new chapter and ending chronology. The new chapter is a write-up of personal reflections by the author of Ghandi's influence, both on the author and, by association, Indians of his generation. The additional chronology provides a quick but detailed overview of the events mentioned in the text of the book.The book provides a cursory sketch of Ghandi's life. It is more concerned with various tenets of Ghandi's philosophy and basic outlines of their origins than Ghandi's personal narrative. There is virtually no discussion of his familial life---only that he honored and cherished his wife's life-example. His children are brief notes. The book does explore the major events that mark his path as an international figure. The excellent afterward summarizes the philosophical and religious elements of Ghandi's teachings and how they can be applied to political and domestic spheres. Owners of the most recent previous editions will most likely not find the additional material worth the purchases price. Those readers who are very familiar with Ghandi's life and philosophy will find little new in this book. However, for those who are at the beginning of their journey learning about and understanding this incredible figure, this beautiful, photograph-filled book is a nice way to begin.
The original English printing (Brilliant Orange: The Neurotic Genius of Dutch Football), currently out of print, gets five stars. While some find it too much of a stretch, I find the hypothesis that Total Football has a direct relationship to the culture in which it was developed to be fascinating. I love the analysis and the attempt to bring in cultural references from throughout Dutch life and history. This printing gets three stars for its Americanization of "football" and because it lacks the original's drawings and pictures. Why are the pictures gone?!
One of the best books for the layman on zen Buddhism. Aimed at anyone who can identify with a traveller, a punk rocker, a Japanese artist, and a cynic. Brad Warner tells it like it is, and in the process he begins to convince the reader that maybe this reality really is all we have.
I thoroughly enjoyed the short stories collected here. Many were quite short, which I enjoyed. Little vignettes of science fiction (as the introductory articles call them---though this is not space-travel/utopia science fiction). Not the magical realism of "Love in the time of Cholera" or "Like Water for Chocolate," yet something very akin. I enjoyed the first introductory essay, although the second was a bit over-wrought. The stories themselves spanned Poe-like horror to magical realist-saddened love, to more science fiction monster stories. All were "Mexican," but not, as one of the forwards notes, the post-colonial Mexico of more well-known writers.I would recommend this collection to anyone who enjoys Poe-like short stories, magical realism, or contemporary Mexican writing.
I found this book rather disappointing. It has already been released in the UK to (what seems to be) great reviews. Nevertheless, I had difficulty finishing the short novel. The story centers around Philip Erskine, a young entomologist and Nazi sympathizer in 1936. He becomes obsessed with a Jewish boxer, Seth Roach. The novel actually opens in modern-day London, with a murder and a number of Nazi memorabilia collectors. It isn't well into the novel that we understand why the two are connected. The characters, save for Sinner Roach, are completely unsympathetic, including the modern-day protagonist, Kevin, Inexplicably, he has a terrible smelling disease, trimethylaminuria. I have no idea why that was even added, nor do I care. The final third of the book picked up pace and interest, but by that time, I really hadn't gained any interest in Erskine. There were several tangents (Erskine's grandfather's obsession with creating a global language, for example) that added nothing to the book. Further, the "twists" (such as they were) were so late in the making that they didn't have any impact.
One of, if not the best ethnographies I've read. (Did I mention that I don't read ethnographies often?) Duneier's dedication to researching and corroborating statements made by his subjects, his care in conducting follow-up interviews with subjects and incidental passers-by, and his sensitivity in reporting (and humor) have created a first rate ethnography. He blends his extensive knowledge of street life studies, black studies, and theory with first-person observations and participation in life on the sidewalks of Greenwich Village. Ovie Carter's copious photographs make this a book to treasure.
Following his stellar Hardcore Zen, this book was a bit of a let down. Following the same format as his first book, Warner mixes personal history, punk rock, and zen buddhism in an eminently readable way. The problem is, little is new here.
I enjoyed Lethem's use of academic speak to describe the narrator's world, his emotions. As an academic, I loved the romanticization of the language. (Some people find this type of book, like Special Topics in Calamity Physics to be "pedantic," or they find themselves put off by the writing. I did not find it pedantic or myself put off, not in the least. You might.)This isn't a dense read, or a deep read... It is a lyrical read, and a sometimes witty read. A quick, quiet read.
Disappointing. The main character (and his pathetic life) was utterly uninteresting. The book is so short, one wonders what the point was in writing it? The reader gets snapshots of each of the major players in the Maitre's life, nearly all of whom despise him, not out of jealousy but because he was just an ass of man. There is nothing to draw the reader in, not even a story.
Watered down, tautological definition of identity and its outcomes, no guidance as to how to transform their propositions (such as they are) into testable hypotheses. Only post facto explanations given.