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text 2016-06-03 15:08
When Books Tease!
London: The Biography - Peter Ackroyd

London is one of those long books that I love but as usual, sends me off to google. There are SO many other books referenced in the text that sound fascinating - and you have to wonder, is this book as interesting as it sounds from this quote? Is the interest aided mainly because Ackroyd loves the subject, or would I find it readable even if this book hadn't made it sound good? And for older books that might be out of copyright and online - well, I always have to go look to see if I can find the book, or at least read an excerpt. Of course finding them is the trick.

 

This often leads to websites which will sell you the books but that have little info about the contents - IF I actually can find any info about them online, that is. And that brings me to one book tease - the review that doesn't tell you anything, just hints at info. I'm not linking because I'm not wanting to spotlight this person, there are SO many people that do this. Example, not an exact quote:

This book contains many stories of this European city that I'd heard before, some that I haven't. It's a fascinating city, and I really want to make time to visit it someday.

I'd have been the slightest bit happier if there'd been mention of at least one or two of the stories this reviewer had heard - or hadn't. A noun, a place name, a person, maybe? Then I'd have something to go on and understand the star rating. As it is I have nothing to glean from that (except that this person wants to travel), and no one else reviewed this particular old book. So...yeah. Set that aside and moving on to other books I can find out more about.

 

The other book tease is done by authors when they cite something in the text, but there's no footnote. Ackroyd has an entire chapter at the end of this book that's an essay on his sources - but there's no way to tell within the text exactly where some of his references come from - unless he cites the book and author. (And then you'll know that much, but not where in the book that quote comes from.) Here's an example of a tease without a source:

 

p 111: "...At the very beginning of the nineteenth century a London journalist known as "Aleph" wandered down Lothbury, recalling its previous "tortuous, dark vista of lofty houses" lit only by oil lamps; since Aelph's journey it has changed many times, yet it still remains unique and identifiable, most particularly with its recurrent "darkness" and loftiness."

 

Yes, I'll get around to googling that. But just from previous reading and knowing how many newspaperfolk in that area used single names (or humorous pseudonyms) - you're not going to find them easily unless the author published multiple articles, in online-accessible papers. Or so I've found from past searches like this. (Will update if I find anything later.)

 

More babble later, am being paged to go help...

 

LATER:

 

Aelph apparently (I think) wrote London Scenes - ah ha, here we go:

 

London Scenes and London People

 

Had to look through several ugly .txt docs before I finally found that link - it's at archive.org. It would have helped to know that Aelph was a pen name of William Henry Harvey, 1811 - 1866. That's if archive.org is correct with that author name/date. I only know that the wikipedia page for him only mentions his botany work. And see, I think it's NOT the same Harvey - because other sources note: "William Harvey, wood-engraver, illustrator and writer of verse for children." Soooo, hmmm.

 

This is now become the mystery of Who is Aelph? Or Which William Harvey?

 

Which is again why I say footnotes: I read them, I love them. If you care enough to cite authors, please footnote so that I may then go read their books too. Don't be a tease about it.

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review 2015-01-19 12:04
She Done Him Wrong (1933), directed by Lowell Sherman
She Done Him Wrong - William LeBaron,Harvey Thew,John Bright

Listen, when women go wrong, men go right after them.

 

 

This movie simply doesn't age. When I first saw it, as a college student, it was already 50 years old. Now it's another 30 on top of that, and it's just as bawdy, just as delightful as ever.

 

The main attraction, of course, is Mae West, whose overt sexuality would be comical if she didn't back it up. But back it up she does. As Lady Lou, a singer in a Gay Nineties saloon and dance hall, West is intelligent, witty, poised, and possessed of enough self-confidence to power ten self-esteem symposiums. She's the ultimate bad girl, and it's no wonder every man who meets her is desperate to have her.

 

A very young Cary Grant plays Captain Cummings, who runs the church mission next door. He wants to save Lou's soul; she wants to corrupt his. Meanwhile, a girl tries to commit suicide, a counterfeiting ring kicks into operation, a criminal escapes, and a woman is stabbed to death. All in just 66 minutes.

 

It's tempting to call the plot a throwaway, nothing more than a vehicle for West's double entendres and one-liners. That, however, would be like dissing the straight man in a comedy routine. The movie works as well as it does because the two are so perfectly matched. You'd think, given all that happens, that the movie is fast-paced, but it isn't really until the very end. On the other hand, it doesn't need to be: West is racy enough on her own.

 

She Done Him Wrong is the shortest movie ever to be nominated for Best Picture. It was right up there with Little Women, the good one, starring Katharine Hepburn. But that's the way of it, isn't it? Sentimentality is fine, but sometimes you just need to laugh.

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review 2013-11-08 02:39
Individual Ratings for The Mammoth Book of Ghost Stories 2
The Mammoth Book of Ghost Stories 2 - Guy de Maupassant,E. Nesbit,M.R. James,Nathaniel Hawthorne,Robert Arthur,Washington Irving,Robert W. Chambers,Ralph Adams Cram,Ambrose Bierce,Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu,E.F. Benson,A.M. Burrage,Richard Dalby,Bernard Capes,Basil Copper,Derek Stanford,Lewis Sp

As I was not yet writing reviews when I read this book, I don't have reviews for each of the short stories included in this anthology. So here are my ratings; if I ever reread the book, I intend to add reviews.

★★★☆☆ Who or What Was It? by Kingsley Amis
★★★★☆ The Believers by Robert Arthur
★★☆☆☆ A Happy Release by Sabine Baring-Gould
★★★☆☆ One, Two, Buckle My Shoe by Nugent Barker
★★☆☆☆ The Man Who Went Too Far by E.F. Benson
★★★☆☆ The Secret of Macarger's Gulch by Ambrose Bierce
★★★☆☆ The God with Four Arms by H.T.W. Bousfield
★★★★☆ The Shadowy Escort by A.M. Burrage
★★★☆☆ The Widow's Clock by Bernard Capes
★★★☆☆ A Pleasant Evening by Robert W. Chambers
★★★★☆ The Elemental by R. Chetwynd-Hayes
★★★☆☆ Something to Reflect Upon by Clare Colvin
★★★☆☆ The Second Passenger by Basil Copper
★★★☆☆ No.252 Rue M. Le Prince by Ralph A. Cram
★★★★☆ St. Bartholomew's Day by Edmund Crispin
★☆☆☆☆ The Ghost in Master B.'s Room by Charles Dickens
★★★★☆ The Brown Hand by Arthur Conan Doyle
★★★★☆ Yak Mool San by H.B. Drake
★★☆☆☆ The Spirit of Christmas by Vivian Edwards
★★★☆☆ Uncle Christian's Inheritance by Erckmann-Chatrian
★★★☆☆ The Black Widow by John S. Glasby
★★☆☆☆ Across the Moors by William Fryer Harvey
★★☆☆☆ The Gray Champion by Nathaniel Hawthorne
★★☆☆☆ Governor Manco and the Soldier by Washington Irving
★★☆☆☆ Rats by M.R. James
★★★☆☆ Mädelein by Roger Johnson
★★★★☆ And Turns No More His Head by A.F. Kidd
★★★★☆ By Word of Mouth by Rudyard Kipling
★★★★☆ The Curse of the Stillborn by Margery Lawrence
★★★☆☆ Dance! Dance! The Shaking of the Sheets by Alan W. Lear
★★★☆☆ The Fortunes of Sir Robert Ardagh by J. Sheridan Le Fanu
★★★★☆ Haunted Air by L.A. Lewis
★★★☆☆ The Coxswain of the Lifeboat by R.H. Malden
★★★☆☆ On the River by Guy de Maupassant
★★★☆☆ Things by J.C. Moore
★☆☆☆☆ The Ebony Frame by Edith Nesbit
★★★☆☆ The Downs by Amyas Northcote
★★★☆☆ The Pot of Tulips by Fitz-James O'Brien
★★★☆☆ The Burned House by Vincent O'Sullivan
★★☆☆☆ The Unfinished Masterpiece by C.D. Pamely
★☆☆☆☆ The Witches' Sabbath by James Platt
★★☆☆☆ Metzengerstein by Edgar Allan Poe
★★☆☆☆ The Story of Saddler's Croft by K. and H. Prichard
★☆☆☆☆ The Face by Lennox Robinson
★☆☆☆☆ A Fisher of Men by David G. Rowlands
★★☆☆☆ A Mysterious Portrait by Mark Rutherford
★★★☆☆ Ward 8 by Pamela Sewell
★★★☆☆ The Coat by A.E.D. Smith
★★☆☆☆ A Voice in Feathers by Lewis Spence
★☆☆☆☆ A Dream of Porcelain by Derek Stanford
★★☆☆☆ No.11 Welham Square by Herbert Stephen
★★☆☆☆ The Bishop's Ghost and the Printer's Baby by Frank R. Stockton
★★☆☆☆ The Secret of the Growing Gold by Bram Stoker
★★☆☆☆ The Ash Track by Mark Valentine
★☆☆☆☆ In a Nursing Home by E.H. Visiak
★☆☆☆☆ The Stranger of the Night by Edgar Wallace
★☆☆☆☆ The Triumph of the Night by Edith Wharton
★★★☆☆ The Hall Bedroom by Mary E. Wilkins
★★☆☆☆ The Ghost at the "Blue Dragon" by William J. Wintle,

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review 2012-10-07 00:00
The Works of William Harvey (Classics in Biology and Medicine)
The Works of William Harvey (Classics in Biology and Medicine) - Some people study to achieve success. Or fame. Or a sense of accomplishment. Or to post stuff on Goodreads. Harvey is one of those rare individuals who studied simply out of his love of learning. After his publication of the Motion of the Heart and Blood in Animals, he faced severe criticism for his proposition that the arteries and veins formed a closed loop for blood circulation in the body. He refused to accept the millennia of established authority starting with Aristotle and Galen regarding the diffusion of blood through the body. Instead, he detailed his observations and experiments from which he drew his arguments.

Afterward, and years later, a good friend of his had an opportunity to review his collection of other observations which would later be published as On Generation. Reluctantly, Harvey agreed for the world to have access to his private stash of notes and learning. A world which had punished him before for his diligence and vision.

In many ways, for the modern reader (and most likely lay reader), the man is more interesting than the works. Even if we can’t follow the significance of all of Harvey’s observations, we can appreciate the discipline and drive needed to create these volumes.
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review 2010-08-02 00:00
The Beast with Five Fingers: Supernatural Stories - William F. Harvey,David Stuard Davies hahahaha fab fun!The Man in Black reveals the horror in a small box bequeathed to a scientist. Stars Edward de Souza and James LaurensenBroadcast on:BBC Radio 7, 12:30am Monday 2nd August 2010Duration:30 minutesAvailable until:1:02am Monday 9th August 2010
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