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review 2018-04-09 19:56
Lass das Vieh los
Der Hornbrecher: Festa Extrem - Edward Lee

Inhaltsangabe

Dean Lohan hat so einige Probleme. Das schlimmste ist das Zusammenleben mit der hysterischen Schlampe, die er geheiratet hat. 
Doch als sein Vater stirbt, kehrt Dean zurück auf die alte Ranch und steht wieder vor dem Leben, das er hinter sich gelassen hatte – ein Leben voller Sex, Gewalt, Drogen und Vieh…viel Vieh. 
Und dann ergründet Dean die bösen Geheimnisse seiner Familie… 

 

Meine Meinung 

Edward Lee ist ein Autor, der mich begeistert mit seinen abgrundtief grausigen Ideen, welche er in seinen Werken verarbeitet, aber hinsichtlich seiner stilistischen Mittel nicht immer überzeugt.

 

Glasklar ist hier aber, dass er diese perfekte Charakterdarstellung hat. Setze mir 10 Charakterprofile vor die Nase und ich kann dir auf Anhieb sagen, welches Profil von Herrn Lee ist. Diese Hinterwäldlerfiguren sind einfach seins!

 

Von Dean Lohan lernt man im Prolog kurz als Jungen kennen.

Trägt er doch diesen ganz besonderen Titel des Landessiegers im Hornbrechen.

Über das Abbrechen von Hörnern junger Ochsen habe ich mir tatsächlich noch nie Gedanken gemacht, umso mehr Leid konnte ich empfinden.

Aber in DeSmet, South Dakota ist das eine Art Sportart und die Umschreibungen dieser Disziplin, als auch das Setting im Nirgendwo an sich, haben mir super gefallen.

 

Dann lernt man kurz darauf einen ganz anderen Dean kennen.

Dean Lohan ließ DeSmet hinter sich und begann ein komplett neues Leben in Seattle. An seiner Seite ist seine Frau Daphne. Er spricht von Liebe, aber plötzlich sind da diese Tagträume, in denen er Daphne als Schlampe bezeichnet und auch so mit ihr umspringt. Lee spielt hier so gut mit seinen Worten, dass ich das eine und andere Mal ganz schön geschluckt habe, was da abging.

 

Gemeinsam mit seinem ganz speziellen Kumpel Ajax versucht Dean seinen Fantasien auf den Grund zu gehen. Leidet er an einer gespaltenen Persönlichkeitsstörung? Oder kommt einfach sein altes Ich durch?

Der tabakspuckende, bombastisch aussehende Ranch-Dean?

Die Sex-Maschine, der jede Frau in ganz DeSmet von innen gesehen hat?

Edward Lee überrascht mich mit dieser sehr starken Story auf so wenig Raum.

 

In seiner Heimatstadt selbst ereignen sich zur gleichen Zeit sehr seltsame Dinge.

Kinder verschwinden und werden kurze Zeit später tot aufgefunden.

Sie geben ein durchbohrtes und ausgeweidetes Bild ab.

Was treibt dort sein Unwesen?

Zeugen sprechen von einer Schattenfrau.

 

Als Deans Vater verletzt wird, geht kein Weg daran vorbei, dass Dean zurückkehrt.

Ach, er gehört nach DeSmet. Scheiß auf Seattle und Daphne dachte ich mir die ganze Zeit.

Howdy und los geht’s!

 

Wer Edward Lee’s Stil kennt, weiß, dass dieser sich gerne sci-fi-angehauchten Elementen bedient. Da komme ich einfach nicht ran. Dieser Punkt trat hier allerdings nicht zu, sondern ein Fakt, der mein Interessengebiet völlig einnimmt.

Also Lee kann auch mich begeistern. Des Öfteren ist es das Ende, mit dem er mich einfach nicht rumbekommt. Hier besteht das Ende aus Dean Rückkehr nach Seattle. Diese Szene werde ich NIE wieder vergessen. Daphne, Daphne, Daphne…

 

Mein Fazit

Für mich ist „Der Hornbrecher“ ein etwas anderer Lee und dennoch überrascht er mich positiv. Der Autor verpackt eine gewalttätig und sexistische South Dakota- Geschichte auf 208 Seiten und lässt zu keinem Zeitpunkt Langeweile aufkommen.

Direkt nach Beenden des Buches war ich mir sicher, dass sich meine Bewertung auf 4 Sterne einspielen wird. Aber mit dem Schreiben meiner Rezi merke ich einfach, dass mir echt nichts fehlt. Lee brachte mich zum Erschauern und zum Lachen.

Und ich bin ein DEAN-Fan!

Auch wenn viele ihn als anders betrachten, traut euch!

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review 2018-04-07 01:14
The treasure fleets and the man who led them
Zheng He: China and the Oceans in the Early Ming, 1405-1433 - Edward L. Dreyer

In the early 15th century, the coastal states of Southeast Asia and the Indian Ocean were the subjects of a remarkable event, as they received repeated visitations by a large fleet of Chinese ships.  Dispatched by the order of the Ming emperor Yongle, they consisted of thousands of men on board the largest wooden ships ever built.  The expeditions were all commanded by Zheng He, a eunuch with a long history of service to the emperor.  Yet in spite of the dramatic novelty of the voyages, they and their commander received only the scantiest attention in the Chinese historical sources, with many of their exploits becoming as much myth as reality.  In this book, Edward Dreyer attempts to uncover the man behind the myths, assessing his goals and achievements by evaluating them in the context of his times.

 

To do this, Dreyer reconstructs Zheng’s life as completely as possible from the available contemporary and near-contemporary sources.  This provides at best only a sketchy outline, which the author then fills in with a broader analysis of the voyage, the ships and men involved, and the broader background of events.  He argues that, contrary to later writers, Zheng’s expeditions were not voyages of exploration or assertions of naval hegemony but an effort to extend the Chinese tributary system to that part of the world.  Though far less inspiring a motivation than the others, it is one that helps to explain the subsequent abandonment of the effort after a final voyage in 1431-33, as the returns were far outweighed by the considerable expense of the effort – a factor that became critical during a time of enormous expenditure on military expeditions to Mongolia and construction of a new imperial capital in Beijing.

 

Though thin in some areas and repetitive of its major points, Dreyer has succeeded in writing a clear and accessible study of a legendary figure.  Though it, readers can better understand both the scope of his achievement and why it was not followed up by Yongle’s successors.  For anyone seeking to understand the early Ming dynasty or why a tantalizing opportunity was never fully exploited, Dreyer’s clear, thoroughly researched, and well-argued study is an excellent place to begin.

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review 2018-04-04 11:18
Paris
Paris: The Novel - Edward Rutherfurd

by Edward Rutherfurd

 

Like other books written by Rutherfurd, history is illustrated within intertwining stories of people and families covering a sequence of centuries showing life and how it developed within the chosen city, in this case, Paris.

 

I enjoyed the book a lot, though it didn't have quite the generational flow that some of his others did. The stories of individual characters kept me interested and seeing what happened with their descendants was reminiscent of Rutherfurd's style in earlier books.

 

It is a long book, over 800 pages, and took me a long time to read through all of it, but it was time well spent. Seeing the construction of the Statue of Liberty and the Eiffel Tower, plus exploring the variable feelings that local residents had about the latter, really brought the history alive. Also reading through eras of religious and political strife in France and how Paris residents were affected expanded my knowledge of history, which is part of the point of reading Historical Fiction!

 

Rutherfurd remains one of my favorite authors in this genre. The last few chapters took us underground in the French resistance of WW2 and although I find that era generally over saturated, I really got caught up in events, some real, some fictionalized. Rutherfurd included an afterword to differentiate which was which.

 

There were a few very long chapters that could do with sub-chapters, but it was a good read and kept my interest, despite the length.

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review 2018-03-30 07:17
An insightful reassessment of an unexpected presidency
John Tyler, the Accidental President - Edward P. Crapol

Dismissed by his contemporaries and forgotten by subsequent generations, John Tyler does not immediately stand out as one of America’s more notable presidents.  Yet as Edward Crapol demonstrates in this book, such obscurity unfairly obscures his contribution to American history.  His assertion of authority upon taking over the White House after William Henry Harrison’s death established a precedent that has since come to be taken for granted, his annexation of Texas and extension of the Monroe Doctrine to the Hawaiian Islands furthered the nation’s scope, and his outreach to east Asia paved the way for the Open Door policy with China.  Crapol’s biography of Tyler seeks to give the tenth president his due, demonstrating that his years in the White House left a far more lasting imprint on the nation than is traditionally believed.

 

As was the case historically with vice presidents, Tyler was selected as Harrison’s running mate for the geographical balance he brought to the Whig ticket.  Upon taking office, though, Tyler soon demonstrated his indifference to Whig party goals.  As president Tyler was a staunch defender of slavery and a strong supporter of national expansion, seeing the two as key to America’s success as a nation.  Despite being isolated politically by the Whigs, he nonetheless found supporters of his goals and achieved a number of foreign policy triumphs.  Yet he failed to achieve his most cherished goal of winning the presidency in his own right, and he left office with the issues he championed serving increasingly to divide the nation – a divide that ultimately forced Tyler at the end of his life to make a momentous decision to renounce his allegiance to the union he had once led.

 

Though advertised as a biography of Tyler, Crapol’s book is not so much a biography as it is a study of the issues that defined Tyler’s presidency with an examination of the prevalence of those issues throughout his career.  Much of his initial goal of writing a more narrowly focused study of Tyler’s foreign policy as president is reflected in its pages; his pre-presidential career is addressed in passing, and details of both his personal life and his domestic agenda are scanty.  Readers seeking an introduction to Tyler are better off starting off with Gary May’s more concise study , yet for anyone seeking to understand the legacy of our nation’s tenth president this book is an indispensable and insightful study that cannot be missed.

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review 2018-03-12 14:28
Dunbar / Edward St. Aubyn
Dunbar - Edward St. Aubyn

‘I really did have an empire, you know,’ said Dunbar. ‘Have I ever told you the story of how it was stolen from me?

Henry Dunbar, the once all-powerful head of a global corporation, is not having a good day. In his dotage he handed over care of the family firm to his two eldest daughters, Abby and Megan. But relations quickly soured, leaving him doubting the wisdom of past decisions...

Now imprisoned in a care home in the Lake District with only a demented alcoholic comedian as company, Dunbar starts planning his escape. As he flees into the hills, his family is hot on his heels. But who will find him first, his beloved youngest daughter, Florence, or the tigresses Abby and Megan, so keen to divest him of his estate?

 

This is the Hogath Shakespeare’s version of King Lear, a play that I have seen performed at least twice in the last couple of years. It’s a powerful story and I would imagine that it would be a daunting piece to take on in a retelling such as this one, but Edward St. Aubyn was certainly up to the task!

I picked it up Sunday morning, meaning to just get a start on it. After all, I already knew the inevitable ending—everybody dies, right? But St. Aubyn’s creation grabbed me and would not let go! He made it fresh with Henry Dunbar, the media mogul, whose hubris has brought him low. I read the entire thing before lunch!

I was impressed by both performances of Lear that I’ve seen, but they both played up Lear as suffering from dementia, as that’s one of the concerns of modern society. But St. Aubyn returned to Shakespeare’s original intention, I think, that Dunbar is brought low by his desire to have privilege without responsibility. Like Lear in the play, Dunbar regains his wits just long enough to realize all that he has lost, a truly tragic ending.

I really loved the drunken comedian, Peter Walker, in his role as the fool. That was an inspired bit of casting on the author’s part.

How have I not read any of St. Aubyn’s work before? That mistake must be corrected!

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