✎✎✎ Childhoods By George Gladwell: Chapter Summary Gladwell

Friday, May 28, 2021 3:01:23 PM

Childhoods By George Gladwell: Chapter Summary Gladwell

Childhoods By George Gladwell: Chapter Summary Gladwell does a great job writing a compelling Childhoods By George Gladwell: Chapter Summary Gladwell set apart from the comic series in a Childhoods By George Gladwell: Chapter Summary Gladwell that makes it interesting for fans and newcomers alike. But he had Childhoods By George Gladwell: Chapter Summary Gladwell dropped down to slap another magazine into the What Is The Role Of Prohibition In The 1930s of his weapon. Once we have learnt something we become far less conscious of our performance. The Mind's Eye by The Kite Runner Power Analysis Childhoods By George Gladwell: Chapter Summary Gladwell My rating: 2 of 5 stars Presented as a collection of loosely related essays, I found the book neither compelling Childhoods By George Gladwell: Chapter Summary Gladwell informative. Hastings Museum Childhoods By George Gladwell: Chapter Summary Gladwell Natural and Cultural History. Czaban, L. NOTE: Cargill primarily provides food ingredients and value-added services to food and beverage manufacturers.

Dragon Psychology 101 - Revisionist History by Malcolm Gladwell

A few, like White Star Line executive J Bruce Ismay and a wealthy British couple , who behaved dishonorably during the sinking, are never explicitly identified for legal reasons. We also meet the crews of two other ships, the Californian and the Carpathia , in what will prove to be the most infuriating subplot of the movie. You know what happens next. Throughout, the filmmakers do an excellent job imparting the geography of the ship to the viewer so that this vast, complex event is visually comprehensible—no mean feat. And even where you may not know the names of particular characters—many of them are not introduced in the traditional Hollywood manner—their faces remain familiar and so it is easy to distinguish the many converging and interweaving storylines.

The special effects are good for their time, an effective blend of miniatures, matte paintings, and optical composite shots. The joke with all Titanic movies is that we know what happens—here it remains suspenseful, with dread steadily rising into panic, not because we doubt what will happen but because we sense the inevitable catching up to the characters. And A Night to Remember is excellently cast from top to bottom—something especially important in a film with so little traditional characterization.

More is a standout in a type of role he played several times—just a few years later in Sink the Bismarck! The man who quietly gets the job done. Michael Goodliffe as Andrews and Laurence Naismith as Captain Smith are also excellent as two men who are doomed and know it. My wife and I wept. After all, the story of the Titanic must always be a story about death. Two-thirds of the people who sailed aboard her from Europe died that night, and despite its age and whatever stereotypes we may have about films from the s, A Night to Remember never looks away from that fact.

And, what is more, it does so without cheap sentimentality, without caricaturing real people, and without the kind of cheap Hollywood gimmicks—love triangles, lazy class politics, manipulative music—meant to pull at the heartstrings. This is a film that tells its true story as straight as possible and remains beautiful, gripping, horrifying, and finally a reverent and deeply moving tribute because of it. I highly recommend it. The film is, of course, based on the classic book by Walter Lord , who interviewed scores of Titanic survivors in the process of researching it.

With the exception of a few questions only settled by the discovery of the wreck in —such as whether or not the ship broke in half as it sank—it remains highly accurate. Its engaging writing is another draw. SeriOusly, what are you wearing? Despite the illness and fatigue I got a lot of reading done, which I covered in that post. But not all of them. Here, for your edification, is what I watched in quarantine:. This feature-length documentary on the life and career of screenwriter and director John Milius was a delight.

And what a career! Schwarzenegger quite movingly credits Milius with the first big boost of his career; he had been told that because of his body and his accent he would never be a leading man, but Milius saw potential in him and brought that out for the first time in Conan. At the time Milius came out he had partially recovered from his stroke and was continuing work on a passion project, a film about Genghis Khan.

That project is still in development. Time will tell. But until then, Milius stands as a great tribute to a strange and wonderfully interesting man and filmmaker. All the laboratory-and-focus-group-concocted Strong Female Heroes that Hollywood has thrown at us the last couple years have nothing on Mallory Kane, the heroine of this underrated espionage action thriller from Steven Soderbergh.

When the Gina Carano tempest brewed up in the social media teapot a month or so ago—remember it? Carano plays Kane, a former Marine now working as an intelligence contractor for government types that are up to… something. This is the movie that made Fassbender my favorite for the next Bond. Worth your while. It was all a hoot—beautifully shot scenery, interesting locations, a nonstop parade of mechanical troubles, and of course the appeal of hanging around with these three. The show is fun and hilarious and even manages to gin up a real frisson of adventure, and their wry British humor and the merciless ribbing they give each other always hit me exactly right.

These were the best laughs I got for two weeks. Rumor has it that the Germans are preparing a big push— the big push—and even fixes a date for the attack. We follow freshly minted Lt. Raleigh through his first days in the combat zone, where he eagerly reunites with an old school friend, Captain Stanhope, now the company commander, and finds him a horribly changed man.

Other small dramas play out, and always the rumor of attack hangs over them. This is really excellent character study and features fine acting by a lot of great British actors. Asa Butterfield is realistically young and babyfaced for a new lieutenant in recall that CS Lewis reached the front line as an infantry lieutenant on his nineteenth birthday and his struggle to cope with his new surroundings and the changed Stanhope is affecting.

A very good movie. Dillinger was one of those. An industrial worker with a complicated past, Elser had devised and constructed his own bomb using stolen or homemade parts and explosives smuggled out of the quarry where he worked at the time. Elser was caught at the Swiss border. During his interrogation he found out that he had failed. Hitler had left the beer hall uncharacteristically early and in the middle of his speech—thirteen minutes before the explosion.

Elser had missed his target, and his imprisonment had begun. All of this gives us some glimpse of who this complicated man was and why he might have attempted what he did without trying to explain it fully—a wise choice. An incredible artistic achievement, from its moody and beautiful black and white film cinematography to its eerie and ominous sound design and its authentic 19th century New England dialogue, marvelously acted by both Willem Dafoe and Robert Pattinson, and compulsively, deliberately, quietly creepy, like The Shining.

Director Robert Eggers builds an all-pervading, hypnotic gothic atmosphere that draws you in and keeps you there. All the psychosexual and homoerotic stuff feels cheap. So I wanted to love The Lighthouse but could only admire it. James Norton plays Jones, a former adviser to David Lloyd George, who uses his connections and his clout from once having gained an interview with Hitler to visit Russia in hopes of interviewing Stalin.

How, Jones wants to know, has Stalin wrought his miraculous program of modernization? How has he created all the widely ballyhooed progress and prosperity? And where is all of the money for these programs coming from? Jones will be stunned by the answers—or non-answers—that he discovers and dedicate the rest of his life to getting the truth out. Though streamlined and lightly fictionalized e. Jones visited the Soviet Union three times, not once, was not arrested, and probably never met George Orwell, who appears throughout as a kind of Greek chorus , Mr Jones does a good job presenting the stranglehold Stalin kept not only on his people but even on the Western media during his reign, especially with active collaborators—like New York Times Moscow bureau chief Walter Duranty, vividly played as an oleaginous pervert by Peter Saarsgard—colluding to cover up the mass starvation of Ukrainians and smear the reputations of journalists like Jones or Malcolm Muggeridge, who very briefly appears.

Compare Patton , produced about the same time, which pitched Old Blood and Guts as a rebel to its counterculture audience and succeeded. Nevertheless —I found Alfred the Great immensely entertaining. Not always for the reasons the filmmakers intended, but from start to finish nonetheless. But this is a commendable effort, clumsy as it is. Den The plan fails immediately, leading to the German interception of their fishing boat, its scuttling, and their capture. Only Baalsrud escapes—soaked to the skin, with only one shoe, and, after the Germans shoot at him as he flees, the big toe on his bare foot shot off.

The other eleven men, tortured and interrogated, are eventually executed. Only the twelfth man remains to be captured, a task to which SS officer Kurt Stage, whose reputation is on the line, dedicates himself totally. What follows is an astounding survival story, as Baalsrud swims between islands in below-freezing seawater to escape, makes hesitant contact with sympathetic locals, and, in a scene guaranteed to make stress sweat pop out on your forehead, performs surgery on himself to save his foot from gangrene. He is both sheltered and shuttled along from hiding place to hiding place by the locals, small acts of bravery with very, very high stakes.

The 12th Man is well-acted, has beautiful location cinematography in the fjords and snowy mountain plateaus of Norway, and exciting and realistic action. It also makes clear how aggressively the Nazis would move to repress resistance, showing what a real resistance movement entails and how badly it can and often does turn out for its scattered and vulnerable members. But The 12th Man also shows what it takes to succeed, especially courage and tenacity—the sheer guts to endure.

This is an excellent movie that I highly recommend, and it was a good movie to end my quarantine on. With a couple exceptions, this was a good batch of movies. My favorites of the bunch were Haywire , 13 Minutes , and The 12th Man —with a nod of appreciation to The Lighthouse for its craft—but I thoroughly enjoyed all of them and am thankful to have had the chance to watch them while I was out sick. It me. I originally had an introduction here in which I surveyed theatre shutdowns and the unwelcome pivot to streaming, but that was windy, pessimistic, and irrelevant. So I scrapped it. Here instead, without further introduction, are are my favorites movies of Tenet is the biggest what-might-have-been of the year, Christopher Nolan having decided to make the most extreme form of the kind of convoluted brain-melting movie he is reputed to make, only to have the COVID epidemic keep people far, far away from the box office.

How good is the cast? An overlooked accomplishment. Tenet is also great to look at, with beautiful large-format film cinematography and some great locations. I was fortunate enough to see this, one time, in theatres. I was the only one in the whole place. Read my full review of Tenet , in which I elaborate on all of these themes, on the blog here. This was my surprise hit of the year. Fay has received some strange calls at the switchboard and captured some odd radio signals, and with Everett, who plays a recording of the noise on the radio station, thus prompting calls that might provide leads, they set out of investigate the origin of the sounds. The military? The Russians? Something else? Something not of this world? The Vast of Night entranced me from the beginning.

The characters are fun and the dialogue snappy and humorous. And for a low budget independent film it is visually striking, with excellent cinematography especially Steadicam work, with long shots swooping across the basketball court or down entire city streets , and sets and costumes that evoke the time and place wonderfully well. But what makes The Vast of Night especially good, and makes it feel so accomplished, is its perfectly calibrated and controlled tone.

It captures precisely the strange combination of suspense, tension, and eagerness that comes with listening to a scratchy, staticky radio signal waiting to hear… whatever is out there. The thrill of the encounter with the creepy. Anyone who has hunched over a computer speaker late at night trying to hear a sample of otherworldly audio knows this feeling. The best example comes in a one-shot scene that is a subtle, low-key masterpiece, in which Fay works the switchboard, talking, questioning, listening, trying to check her equipment for problems, trying to connect or reconnect with people, and always, always returning to the mysterious signal to listen—all while the camera, with glacial patience, pushes in to a closeup. The Vast of Night keys up our anticipation from the beginning and plays it perfectly.

Since I imagine fewer people have heard of The Vast of Night , check out the trailer here. You can read more about the book in my year-in-review here. Greyhound takes place across about forty-eight hours of the life of Commander Ernest Krause, captain of the destroyer USS Keeling , as he strives to protect the merchant vessels of an Allied convoy from U-boat attack. This film offers a stripped down, mostly unromanticized glimpse of life during World War II without a lot of Hollywood exposition or stock characters or cliched plot elements to get in the way. That requires the viewer to pay attention and keep up, something I always appreciate in a movie. Tom Hanks wrote the script himself and his performance is the centerpiece of the movie.

Read my full review of Greyhound on the blog here. It was worth the wait. Like other adaptations, this Emma streamlines, condenses, and rearranges things to keep the film a manageable length. Anya Taylor-Joy plays Emma as a spoiled but immensely self-assured rich girl, one with some fine qualities but a long way to go toward maturity. The zest with which Taylor-Joy plays Emma—matchmaking with the hapless Harriet Mia Goth , flirting with Frank Churchill Callum Turner , and trading zingers with Mr Knightley Johnny Flynn —makes her negative qualities, her self-absorption, her obliviousness toward or outright disdain for others, and most famously her cruelty, all the more cutting.

Which also makes Mr Knightley all the more attractive, given his earnestness, his sense of honor, and especially his charity toward others. The litmus test for any adaptation of Emma has to be that scene. The painfully mixed emotions of everyone involved are expertly portrayed. The performances are excellent across the board. I laughed every moment he was onscreen. But perhaps my favorite performance was Flynn as Mr Knightley. I wondered, when I saw the trailer for this version of Emma , why we needed another one. The last couple years have been crowded with high-profile remakes, often with some faddish social agenda glommed on, usually disappearing fairly quickly. This one should last; it approaches the story respectfully but from a newer angle, making it fresh and fun—a reminder of why people love Jane Austen.

Check it out if and when you can. The army built COP Keating in a mountainous province of Afghanistan but sited it very badly, with virtually the entire interior of the outpost visible from the mountains above. Everyone who entered it became a target—fish in a barrel. Not only the heroic efforts of Romesha and Carter but the teamwork of all the men in the outpost and pilots who bring much-needed close air support save the day, though not before eight men have been killed and dozens wounded. The Outpost dramatizes all of this exceptionally well. When lulls or mealtime or the boring, routine work around the outpost turns in an instant into combat, the transition is startlingly immediate.

Everything feels intensely real. Scott Eastwood and Caleb Landry Jones are good in the lead roles, as is Orlando Bloom is a small part near the beginning of the film. The supporting cast is also good, and we get a good sense of the camaraderie of the men in the outpost as they shoot the breeze, rag on each other, and switch—again, instantaneously—into combat mode. The Outpost is a gritty, unromanticized look at modern combat and well worth checking out. For this he was imprisoned and beaten, his wife and daughters were ostracized from their small, tightly knit rural community, and he was eventually executed for treason.

It also lets us experience how, once he has made up his mind to refuse the oath to Hitler, something he, a faithful Catholic, believes he cannot do, first local peer pressure attempts to accomplish what the omnipotent Reich seems too distant to do—force him into line—and then how the authorities themselves come down on him. And then there is the prison, the trial, and the wait for the guillotine. The growing good of the world is partly dependent on unhistoric acts; and that things are not so ill with you and me as they might have been, is half owing to the number who lived faithfully a hidden life, and rest in unvisited tombs. We all imagine ourselves, especially in this self-congratulatory age, taking heroic stands, changing minds, changing the world, even if it takes our deaths.

But what if our deaths accomplish nothing? Would we really follow our faith all the way to the guillotine if there were no grand speeches or multitudes of people whose minds were changed? If no one ever knew our names? If it meant the ruin of our families and the orphaning of our children? If it meant losing? The film is beautifully shot, with gorgeous Alpine scenery, and wonderfully well acted. We live in a pragmatic age, where even the faithful strive for purely earthly ends and equate righteousness with success. A Hidden Life is a beautiful, powerful, and much needed reminder of that truth.

Soul and Onward —I have zero interest in jazz, the most precious of all musical genres, and am heartily sick of 80s nostalgia, but I love and trust Pixar and really liked the looks of both of these, especially considering the talent involved. Glenn Close looks amazing in this. Fatman —Mel Gibson as an ornery old Santa defending himself from a contract killer? Reviews were not good but I cannot not see this. This approach loses the magic of the originals—which were conceived of and designed to be cartoons —in the translation from animation. The most successful so far have been the handful that have had enough confidence to depart from the cartoons and develop enough of their own personality, style, and tone to work as independent adaptations of the same stories.

Mulan , based on the trailers, looked like it could. These are films that came out before —one of them over 90 years before—but that I watched for the first time last year. Presented in approximately ascending order, certainly with the best last:. Somehow the film slipped me by until years later. The Hunley tells the story of the Confederate submarine of the same name, famous as the first submarine to sink an enemy ship. The movie does an excellent job conveying the hard work and claustrophobic conditions of manning the sub, and the viewer has to marvel at the effort put into mastering the use and maneuver of the craft by its doomed crew. Despite some tonal missteps in the final scene, some dodgy lates CGI, and an obviously lower budget than films like Gettysburg or Andersonville , The Hunley was well acted and gripping throughout, with enough narrative surprises to keep it interesting.

It is a short and at times metaphysical history and look at the Martini. In this case Martini primarily means a drink made of gin and vermouth served in the iconic glass. The author prefers his Martini cold, to , shaken, straight up, with the oil from a twist of lemon. I find it strange that given his tastes the cover picture includes the lemon rind floating in the drink instead of discarded as directed [xviii]. Continue reading "Martini" ». Tags: books gin martini. I don't quite remember when I bought the book, but it had been sitting on one of my shelves for some time. I found the story engaging and recently completed it. I won't even begin to claim that I understood all of the philosophy contained in the book. What I do agree with is many of the general ideas.

I'm sure reading through the Objectivism entry would help clarify things. I also suspect rereading the "This is John Galt Speaking" chapter would reiterate the main points. For me, the fact that the philosophy was set in a fictional world helped make the material more digestible. Instead of being a dry exposition many of the tenets were captured in the characters actions and personalities. Overall I'm glad that I read it. Putnam is a dense and sobering look at the state of social capital in America. The book is meticulously researched, the last pages are devoted to discussing the sources of the books' data and the copious cited material.

The picture painted is one of a nation under change, but it is presented in straightforward manner allowing the reader the chance to draw conclusions about what it means for America. It isn't until the last 50 pages that the author switches to a more call to arms prose. Continue reading "Bowling Alone" ». I recently completed "Founders at Work" by Jessica Livingston. It traces the stories of startups' early days.

It focuses on software and hardware companies from the technology sector. While reading the interviews from the 32 companies, I started to find reoccurring themes:. Continue reading "Founders at Work" ». Tags: books entrepreneur. The book is well written and approaches the topic of economics in a very layman friendly way. I just personally wasn't interested in reading more about economics at the time. With that said I slowly came back to the book and recently finished it. Each chapter addresses a different fundamental economic concept and builds well on the previous topics. Most importantly the book is filled with many anecdotes which help convey the underlying principle.

My favorite quote out of the book "Growing them in Iowa makes use of a special technology that turns wheat into Toyotas: simply put the wheat onto ships and send them out into the Pacific ocean. The ships come back a short while later with Toyotas on them. The technology used to turn wheat into Toyotas out in the Pacific is called 'Japan', but it could just as easily be a futuristic biofactory floating off the cost of Hawaii. Tags: books economics. It has been some time since I've finished a book. I attribute it to my phase nature. In any case I recently read "Thunderstuck" by Erik Larson. I really enjoyed the last book of his that I read. What it didn't do is draw me into both stories. Continue reading "Thunderstruck" ».

Tags: books london science. It has been way to long since I've sat down and focused on reading a book. Thankfully over this past week I've done just that as a way to relax. Life is starting to slow down a little and reading made for a nice change of pace. The book was a recent present called Three Cups of Tea. Greg for over a decade now has been working to build schools in remote areas of Pakistan and other out of the way places in that part of the world. Yes it is possible for the determination of one person to change the lives of so many.

He has had many people help and continue to help him along his journey but by and large without Greg the schools would not exist. Which also plays into the only negative aspect mentioned in the book, that without Greg this work would not continue. I can only hope that through this book others leaders capable of building the relations and trust can carry on what the Central Asia Institute has done, since having others in the field with the determination Greg has would only further expand the impact that can be made.

It isn't often that I read a book that I find truly speaks to me. Some books are engaging in that I find the material of interest while other books are written well and I find myself wanting to see what happens next. For a book to really speak to me it has to be something different. At the same time I ended up picking up What should I do with my life? I hoped Bronson's book would speak to me. It didn't. Urban Tribes ended up sitting on my bookshelf for months with other books I had hoped to read or thought I was going to read. While packing for my drive to Virginia to attend Dave Fried's wedding I was trying to decide what I should bring along to read. I picked up Urban Tribes as it seemed about the right length and attending yet another wedding this year made it seem that much more relevant.

Turns out it was and it really spoke to me. Continue reading "Urban Tribes" ». Tags: books gilmanmanor life. A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole was an entertaining book for reasons different from most fiction I read. The writing in the book is superb and was the primary reason that I kept reading it. Unlike most fiction books where the draw to keep reading is that I've found a character I relate to or a character I empathize with, in this book I hated them all. If ever there was a text book example of victim mentality, the characters in this book fit it to a tee. The dichotomy of loving to hate the characters doesn't remind me of any other books I've read lately which helps it stand out.

I'm not sure what I else I can say without getting caught up in all of the storyline, so I'll keep it short. Great book worth the read. It has been awhile since I've found a book so riveting that I had trouble putting it down. I actually had a couple fits of insomnia this past week because of the heat and thankfully this book was there to pass the hours. Or maybe it was the other way around, I want to read so I feinted insomnia? In any case the book is mesmerizing and extremely well written. Unlike A Million Little Pieces the author's note at the beginning sets the tone "However strange or macabre some of the following incidents may seem, this is not a work of fiction" emphasis his [xi].

The story follows two men and is set around the World's Fair that was held in Chicago. The first man is the architect behind the World's Fair. The second is a gruesome serial killer who played upon people coming to see the World's Fair. The city of Chicago itself also takes center stage throughout the book with the author's vivid descriptions and auxiliary people that are tied into the two main men. To read about a city trying to assert itself and America through the fair then be stricken along with the rest of the country as the economy took a downturn only makes the success that the fair achieved even more phenomenal. That success would not have been possible without the men and women behind the fair all of which are captured in the book.

Likewise the cunning dastardly deeds of the killer provide a somber backdrop to the excitement of the fair. A truly remarkable, approachable, educational, and entertaining book. A sense of the Mysterious by Alan Lightman is primarily a collection of his essays that have previously appeared in various other magazines and publications. The essays cover a wide range of topics and range from his personal observations about being a scientist to short biographies about other scientists.

Overall I didn't find the book that engaging. While the essays were organized well, I didn't find themes that followed through all of them to really tie the book together. They felt just like a collection that had been repackaged together. In many of the essays I found the author's frequent digressions to be distracting and superfluous as they didn't offer any support of the main topic. With all of that said there are nuggets of reflection buried throughout the book that I found myself agreeing with and broadening my own perceptions.

The concept of the "creative moment" isn't something I have felt to the same degree as Mr. Lightman I have briefly touched its outer edge and agree with his description. His "Prisoner of the Wired World" reflects many of the same feelings as the ceaseless society talk. Overall the book's short essay format makes for quick reading with one or two small nuggets to be gleamed from each piece. It's a quick read, but very good. One aspect of the book that I found most interesting was the random inclusion of various math and physics concepts.

Having read about most of the random tidbits mentioned in the book it was neat to see how they were woven into the book. As a work of fiction I can't say that I got that much out of the book besides a few hours of enjoyment. I didn't feel that attached to any of the characters and didn't feel that they evolved that much throughout the book. The most engaging aspect of the book is its writing style and a unique protagonist. Bringing Down the House by Ben Mezrich is a quick read. It's also a fluffy read. The book leaves many questions unanswered including some surrounding the main character, such as if and when he ever told his family what he did, which could have been answered. It also ends on too clean of a climax, with the purple poker chip on the table, making me think that certain aspects of the book were over embellished.

The mystery of who sold the team out is only touched on and never explores the opinions of the characters. New team blackjack system that works for awhile in Vegas, he casinos catch on and they end up exploring other casinos which leads to trouble and the operation basically goes belly up. Neither book I felt did a good job of really exploring the subject, instead both were light treatments of the characters involved. Both are good plane reading material but nothing that great. Tags: blackjack books gambling. Pascal Boyer's book "Religion Explained" explores the evolutionary origins of religious thought. I found the text to be fairly dense and dry but it throughly examined the subject.

The primary idea presented through the book is that the mental facilities humans have for intelligent thought, planning, and learning and the social structures around them make us predisposed to acquire religious connotations [3]. Once acquired they stick for a variety of reasons but one of the most important is religions use of ontological exceptions [80]. Rituals most of which are religious play a role in marking key events of our lives birth, marriage, death so that the event becomes public knowledge []. One of the last concepts touched upon is that religious concepts are parasitic since they require and build upon all of our other mental capacities []. The book dives into each of the points mentioned above along with many others examining them from a cognitive, social, and biological perspective.

Since I struggled through the text I know I didn't pick up as much as the book that to offer. Below are some additional observations I took while reading:. Continue reading "Religion Explained" ». The one thing I've noticed is that I tend to read fiction much faster than non-fiction. Part of that may be when I'm reading non-fiction I'm really trying to learn the material where with fiction I'm reading it for pleasure and don't mind if I come away from the book with nothing more than a few hours letting my mind wander around in an imaginary word.

I suspect that is the same affect that is happening when I'm watching a movie. I get sucked in and for a couple of brief hours don't really notice much of anything around me. I recently finished "Empire Falls" by Richard Russo which is why this topic came up. It's set in a fictional small town in Maine. Unfortunately, being from Maine albeit not as small a town as the book depicts his characterizations of many Maineisms ring all too true.

I throughly enjoyed the book and while my thoughts on it this time will be brief, I highly recommend it to others interested in a well written book filled with many fleshed out characters and a focus on the human condition. I bought this book at the same time I bought "Urban Tribes" which I'm planning on reading next after finishing "Religion Explained". Po Bronson was quoted on the back of "Urban Tribes" and the title of the book intrigued me. I can't claim that I've thought about the question at any great length or focus.

Which makes me wonder why I bought and read it at all? I don't think I'm really struggling with the question, but then I might also be deluding myself. Because I haven't resolved that fundamental issue I didn't get as much out of the book as I had hoped. Saying that I had hope for someone means that I was looking to the book for something, but now looking back I have no idea what that was when I bought it. Spencer Wells "The Journey of Man: A Genetic Odyssey" explores the role of genetics in tracing the history of human expansion across the world. The primary means of accessing this spread is various markers on the Y-chromosome. Since these markers don't change except through rare mutations, by looking at the concentration of specific markers throughout the world it is possible to trace the human population back to a genetic Adam.

There is an equivalent genetic Eve, but the data isn't as good. This is later attributed to the paternal nature of most human societies, in that the woman traveled to the man's village thus causing more dispersion of genes. Overall I enjoyed the book and feel that the author presented a very compelling case that humans did originate in Africa and then spread out across the rest of the world at various points through time. More importantly, that spread occurred in a very short amount of time, compared to the age of the earth. Continue reading "The Journey of Man" ». I've mostly been reading scientific non-fiction. While I love doing that, it was time for a change. I heard about an upcoming book discussion about A Million Little Pieces by James Frey and I figured given the recent controversy about that book that would be a nice change of pace.

Originally billed as a memoir it has since been determined that the author changed much more than one should to be able to still call it non-fiction. These transgressions were summarized in a reader's note that will be included in all future publications of the book. With that said, the book itself is a great read. Frey is a great author and his narrative style moves the book along. One stylistic trait I found odd at first but came to like was the lack of punctuation detonating conversation.

There isn't a quote mark to be found. The repetitive elements I found helped draw me into the addicts mindset and understand the difficulty of the healing. How much of that was real versus embellished I'm almost inclined to ignore as it helps makes the story work. I do agree that if it was fictionalized it should be marked as such, but I think the core of the addiction healing process is what captivates. One simple sentence echoed out at me as having double meaning in light of the falsifications. In the original intent it concerns the reflection he is having on his life and how his addictions caused him to act poorly and mess everything up, thus creating many painful memories.

In a more cynical view, it can be read that he has made up his memories and hates himself for having done that. As I previously mentioned John highly recommended it. I agree. The basic theory throughout the book is that the pursuit of wealth and possessions might actually be undermining our well-being [9]. The author walks through various aspects of peoples lives and how materialism can have a negative impact on each of them. These include: self-acceptance, affiliation, and community feelings []. The causes of this condition are varied but include issues such one's environmental circumstances such that an environment that fails to provide security and safety increases the tendency for materialistic tendencies [37].

This materialistic pursuit then leads to bad relationships and feelings of insecurity, among others [73]. Continue reading "The High Price of Materialism" ». I was astounded that such an incredible book could be written about a speech that lasted only words, but Garry Wills has done just that in Lincoln at Gettysburg. Wills dives into details about the political climate of the time, the structure of the speech, and many details about Lincoln that help show how the speech was written and why it had the reverberating impact that it did. With my spotty English, political, and historical background I know there are many pieces of the book that I just missed.

This will be a great book to pickup and reread in a few years time. Continue reading "Lincoln at Gettysburg" ». I also had a hard time getting through the book as I felt many concepts were touched upon too briefly. I think that since the author approached the theory of quantum gravity from three different perspectives and each had its own terminology and history, the book would have been three times as long if he had tried to go into more detail. The book focuses on the history and current state of research into quantum gravity. It is not out to answer all of the questions and assures you that there is still much to be done.

This is a very different outcome from many of the other books we have read in the group that had a distinct viewpoint and a definitive ending. The author does maintain a good level of objectivity when talking about the competing theories that are outside of his field of research. He makes a point towards the end of mentioning that in doing so he upset all camps, which in his mind means he found the proper balance between them. Having read other book about quantum physics in the past I found this book more challenging and felt that for many of the concepts introduced I didn't grasp them.

I'd be tempted to read it again, but think that with the general objections raised about the author's approach to the subject I might find a second read more infuriating than rewarding. Instead I'd probably delve into the extensive list of recommended further readings the author includes after the very helpful glossary. Some of the scientific concepts I did pick up are that space and time are defined of discrete indivisible units, black holes emit radiation and as such shrink over time, and that there is the concept of the horizon which hides information from the observer. Continue reading "Three Roads to Quantum Gravity" ».

I think if you were to wind back time you could predict the outcome again with a high degree of certainty. The problem, which is easier to explain if you say it is luck, is that the number of variables that go into one species surviving over another are too difficult to track and analyze over any reasonable time scale. Evolution is still about adaptation to the changing environment, the problem is the environment is constantly changing, so what made one species the most adapted a minute ago might have changed think asteroid hitting the earth. This is why I think you can predict what will survive if you play out all of the what-if scenarios, provided you can think of them all. The shear number of interdependencies between everything makes this unrealistic, hence luck can instead be used to explain the outcome.

The author's discussion on the impact that visual representation can have on a concept was great and I think has lead to the misconception of equating evolution with progress, which is isn't. I could have done without the middle section of the book where every creature from the Burgess Shale was described in detail. I felt like the author wanted to give the reader a taste of what it was like to reread all of the highly technical descriptions of those animals by the teams that reexamined them.

Continue reading "Wonderful Life" ». Your tax dollars well spent. If this isn't design by committee I don't know what is. The entire graphic is a joke. When you need a separate page just to explain it, it's trying to be too abstract. Amir D. The book is about twice as long as it needs to be. The second half is very repetitive and many of the tangential stories and characters, while intriguing, sometimes stray too far from the main character and topic. I also felt the book didn't go into as much detail on some of the scientific material as I would have liked. While aimed at a general audience a more through appendix could have been used to expand on the pendulum and frame of reference concepts.

Recurring themes in books I've read recently include the advantages of being multidisciplinary, the role of simplicity, and having an outside perspective. The author contends that since Foucault wasn't a traditional scientist and dabbled in multiple fields, his multidisciplinary helped him to conceptualize and realize the pendulum experiment. Other scientists of the time had theories about the concept, but none took it to the logical conclusion.

This ties into the simplicity of the experiment. While constructing an apparatus to let the pendulum swing in any direction with almost no friction required trial and error along with working with metal, the concept behind the experiment can be easily explained. Simplicity allows the results to be easily verified and reproduced which is vital given that the results varied by latitude. Lastly, Foucault and his experiment were initially shunned by the elite scientists of his time because he was an outsider and the experiment was so simple.

Those scientists couldn't believe that they had missed it. Thankfully for Foucault others noticed the achievement and he eventually got due recognition. Continue reading "Pendulum" ». I'm thinking that while I'm posting comments about these books, I'm not really going into depth. It's seems to act more as an outline of what I'd want to talk about with someone after I'd read the book.

Since most of the books that I've been writing up came from the Museum of Science Book Club, that discussion has been taking place, just not in an electronic format. I think I tried to summarize one of those discussions, but felt it was just reduced to sounds bites. If nothing else, I find that by putting these comments together I have a better chance of actually remembering what the book was about and hopefully recalling some of the details. It is amazing that for all that I read, I usually don't assimilate that much of it consciously, it instead filters in and sometime in the future it begins to make sense if I come back to it. I'm particularly finding that to be the case with my current book.

I read an entire chapter today over lunch and knew that I would have to read it again to understand what it was trying to get at. Now onto this book:. Innovation requires risk, it is the job of the engineer to think about those risks and ask the right questions [,]. If all engineers played it safe the rate of innovation would slow to a snails pace or the cost would remain too high. The risks are controllable if they are within reasonable bounds of existing experience [5,].

The book covers many examples of well known failures, the failures being well known since they are the anomaly []. Continue reading "To Engineer Is Human" ». I'm behind on putting together my notes for some of the books that I've recently read. The World's Most Astonishing Number. This book held a special interest as it is part of what makes NeoPhi what it is. I've always had a love of math and incorporating that into my domain name just seemed like a nice tie in, besides it just sounds good. Unlike a lot of other books I've read lately, the author wasn't pushing a point of view as much as summarizing all that is currently known about the number.

He does spend time discrediting various theories about where phi was used. For example the pyramids are not influenced by phi. I think you have to have some interest in math to really enjoy the book even though is it approachable to a general audience. Continue reading "The Golden Ratio" ». One of the main points that the author makes throughout the book is the concept of humans being the steward of nature. The following are some excerpts from the book that touch on this thought:.

We will have them both, you and I and all those now and forever to come who accept the stewardship of nature. And our tragedy, because a large part of it is being lost forever before we learn what it is and the best means by which it can be savored and used. Still another intensely felt value is stewardship, which appears to arise from emotions programmed in the very genes of human social behavior. If the rest of life is the body, we are the mind.

Thus, our place in nature, viewed from an ethical perspective, is to think about the creation and to protect the living planet. Continue reading "The Future of Life" ». A wonderful book that covers a lot of ground but helps fill in gaps from what you learned in school while updating you on research and offering plenty of chuckles along the way. Before my trip I also started Edward O. Between the two I must conclude that we humans are on the way out. Mind you neither of these books makes that mention, but that's a conclusion I draw.

A few tidbits that I managed to jot down while read Bryson include:. It is easy to overlook this thought that life just is. As humans we are inclined to feel that life must have a point. Life, in short, just wants to be. But-and here's an interesting point-for the most part it doesn't want to be much. It cannot be said too often: all life is one. That is, and I suspect will forever prove to be, the most profound true statement there is.

I mention all this to make the point that if you were designing an organism to look after life in our lonely cosmos, to monitor where it is going and keep a record of where it has been, you wouldn't choose humans beings for the job. Happy Black Friday! I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving, and thank you for taking the time to check in with the Genoshan on your holiday weekend!

I'll jump right into the review so you can go back to eating your leftovers. Synopsis After being wounded in battle in Afghanistan, Dr. John Watson returns to London on leave and attempts to find ways to occupy his time. After several weeks of idle debauchery, he discovers that his funds are quickly running out, and so decides to leave his expensive room and find a more economical situation, preferably with a roommate. Through a mutual friend, Watson meets a strange fellow named Sherlock Holmes, and the two decide to go halvsies on a two-bedroom flat on Baker Street.

After a few weeks of living together, however, Watson is confounded by the number of strangers who visit the apartment and pay Sherlock for "private meetings" get your mind out of the gutter. Holmes finally confides that he is a private detective, and is often consulted by police officers and civilians alike in order to solve difficult cases. The next day, a case is brought before Sherlock Holmes that he is less than willing to take on, since he knows all the credit will end up going to the police.

Watson, however, convinces him to at least check it out, and the two go off to solve their very first mystery together. The police had found a man dead on his back in an uninhabited building, with no signs of any kind of struggle or wounds. For some reason, though, there is plenty of blood on the floor, and the word "Rache" is written on the wall in it. Despite the seeming perplexity of the case and the police's inability to solve the crime, Sherlock Holmes sets off on his own to catch the dead man's killer using only logic and reason as his tools. If you've been reading my Wednesday Supplements of Sherlock Holmes short stories, you know by now that this is the basic formula that Doyle uses for most of his mysteries. A Study in Scarlet is different—and better—in quite a few ways, though.

First of all, it's a novel, so it's obviously longer. The case is more complex, and there are several dead ends and near misses that Holmes has to shrug off throughout the book. Secondly, it features an incredible flashback that mostly takes place in America, written in a completely different, but equally engaging, voice. Thirdly—and this is probably the most important—, this is the first story! Here, the reader is introduced to Sherlock Holmes and his faithful biographer, Watson, for the very first time. Doyle makes the meeting remarkably natural, and includes several misgivings that Watson initially has upon meeting Holmes.

I thought that I might have gotten sick of all this Sherlock Holmes stuff by now, but A Study in Scarlet is so well written that I could hardly put it down. It's not very long, so I read it all in an evening. That's one of my favorite things about these stories, actually, that I can just pick them up and read through them quickly, and they're almost always enjoyable.

This was a much better book than I expected, though. I still have plenty of Holmes stories to get through, and I might find something that I end up liking more than this, but it's definitely my favorite so far. I recommend checking out A Study in Scarlet first if you're interested in this Sherlock Holmes stuff at all. You won't be disappointed. Rating A Study in Scarlet by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle Story—9 Doyle came up with one of the most singular characters in all of literature, but was able to write a compelling story around him as well. I can hardly believe this book was written over a century ago. When it comes down to it, though, if a book is good, it's good. The Harry Potter books are mysteries; most comic books are mysteries; The Lost Symbol , the fastest selling adult novel in history, is a mystery.

Try it out, I think you'll like it. He did a great job writing a strong protagonist and an accessible, entertaining mystery. I can't wait for the next one. Overall—9 There's definitely a reason why Sherlock Holmes is one of the most recognized characters in the world. These books are no joke. I've been having way more fun with this little project than I ever could've imagined. I highly recommend taking a look at some of them.

Again, I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving! Thanks for remembering to stop by for a quick review. Have a great holiday weekend, and keep reading, Genoshans! I have for your reading pleasure eight more thrilling exploits of the amazing Sherlock Holmes! Sherlock Holmes suspects foul play, but where's the body? Comments —Not terrible. The only thing of note in this one is that Watson goes into some of the quirkier details of Holmes' character, like the fact that Holmes keeps tobacco in the toe of a Persian slipper. Rating —3 "The Reigate Puzzle" Synopsis —Holmes and Watson go to visit an old friend of Watson's, and stumble upon a small, country mystery!

A string of robberies has been plaguing the village of Reigate, although the burglar doesn't seem to be taking much Comments —I really enjoyed "The Reigate Puzzle. Rating —4 "The Crooked Man" Synopsis —A man is seemingly murdered by his wife after the two have an argument one evening. Sherlock Holmes is brought in to look over some of the more peculiar aspects of the case, however, like the existence of an extra set of muddy footprints that were tracked into the room, and the animal tracks climbing up the curtains. Comments —I didn't enjoy this very much, but it contains the only instance in any Sherlock Holmes story or novel where Holmes actually says "Elementary.

Rating —3 "The Resident Patient" Synopsis —A young doctor comes to Holmes with a curious problem: his landlord and benefactor has become increasingly delirious in recent weeks, and now swears that someone is out to kill him. Can Holmes discover the identity of the supposed killer before it's too late? Comments —It may not seem like much from the synopsis, but "The Resident Patient" is actually really good, and it kicks off a string of amazing stories that are all in a row. It was the first time so far that I've just plowed through from story to story, unable to put the book down.

Rating —4 "The Greek Interpreter" Synopsis —A Greek interpreter is kidnapped and forced to aid in a shady international business deal. When the man is finally set free, he tells of his curious adventure to only man he knows who can shed some light on the situation—Mycroft Holmes? Comments —Sherlock Holmes has a brother? Watson is just as amazed as you and I when he meets the older and smarter—though much less energetic—of the two Holmes brothers.

Great mystery, too. Rating —4 "The Naval Treaty" Synopsis —An old school chum of Watson's is thrown into a fit of brain fever when an important Foreign Affairs document left in his charge is stolen. He turns to Sherlock Holmes to find the document before it falls into the wrong hands and causes an international crisis! Comments —First of all, this is probably one of the best mysteries that I've read so far. It's got a ton of different things going on, and the ending makes perfect sense, even though I couldn't figure it out ahead of time. Secondly, though, and more interestingly, the plot revolves around a secret treaty that Britain signs with Italy and Germany that France and Russia can't find out about or else it would result in a global catastrophe.

This was written in Twenty years later, a World War is started because Britain had a secret treaty with France and Russia that Germany and Italy didn't know about. Two years after the death of Sherlock Holmes, Watson takes up his pen to tell the detective's last tale. Comments —Amazing. After months of chasing Professor Moriarty around London, Holmes becomes the hunted, ultimately falling to his death at the Reichenbach Falls. I actually got a little emotional at the end of this one, not gonna lie. Having barely avoided death at the hands of Professor Moriarty, Holmes goes into hiding for several years, but is forced to come out of retirement to put one of his old opponents behind bars. Comments —I honestly don't know how he did it, but Doyle brought Holmes back in a way that made sense, and I'm glad he did.

I've seen characters die and come back in comic books plenty of times, but this is a great story and a fantastic way to start a new book. Rating —5 That's all the short stories for this week, but make sure you check back in on Friday when I review the first of Doyle's four Sherlock Holmes novels, A Study in Scarlet. I'd like to say that I did extensive research on the film and timed this review to perfectly coincide with its release, but in fact I'm just incredibly lucky.

Huh, so she's adapting her own novel? Wonder how that's gonna turn out. Curiouser and curiouser. Well, let's not judge until we've at least seen the trailer , shall we? Back yet? Alright, what'd you think? Yeah, same here. Synopsis Pippa Lee is a middle-aged woman who is forced to move into a retirement village after her much older husband suffers a series of heart attacks. While the new living situation isn't ideal for Pippa, she finds comfort in the fact that she has now regained her youth in a way, being the youngest resident of the village by at least a decade. Content with the idea that the adjustment to the house will just take time, she begins to settle into her new life.

One morning, however, Pippa wakes up and discovers a chocolate cake on the kitchen table, sliced up and served on several plates. A few mornings later, she finds a dirty frying pan in the sink and eggshells on the counter. Thinking that her aging husband is growing senile, making himself meals in the dark, she installs a security camera in the home. Unfortunately for Pippa, it's not her husband that has the problem: Pippa has been sleepwalking. Here the book jumps back four decades or so, to the point in Pippa's childhood where she says she first began sleepwalking. The book doesn't exactly make it clear how or why this started, or how or why it specifically ended, but it seems more like a writing tool anyway, geared as a transitional element to bring the reader back to what I like to refer as Pippa's White Oleander period.

She has a terrible relationship with her mother, a woman so hopped up on diet pills she can hardly stop talking. She begins seeing an older man, taking drugs, moving from one bad situation to another. It's all very dramatic, I promise. It's about as okay as you can get. It's not fantastic, but it isn't bad by any stretch of the imagination. It's really just okay. I'll expound. The Private Lives of Pippa Lee starts out as a serious piece about the problems a middle-aged woman faces when her older husband is on the verge of death.

She doesn't want to watch him die, but loves him too much to even consider leaving him. It's fresh, compelling, and a great idea for a novel. Then it jumps back to Pippa's teenage years, and it's sex this, drugs that, bad situation over here, terrible life choice over there, meet the future husband and fall in love. There's no real suspense or sense of excitement about it, because you know it's all going to work out just fine. In the beginning of the novel, middle-aged Pippa is a happy, well-adjusted housewife, so we know where her life is going. Rebecca Miller might as well have written, "Well let's just see how she got here, in case you're curious.

Everything is too neat and tidy. I'm not really giving anything away by saying this, but I hated the ending of the book because it wasn't a book ending, it was a movie script ending. Everything was all cleaned up and the loose ends were tied and every little issue became resolved within the last ten pages. Then, looking back, I realized it fit, since the rest of the novel wasn't really a novel, it was a prose film. Again, it wasn't bad. I wouldn't go around saying this book is terrible. It just wasn't all that great, either. Apparently, Rebecca Miller has done this before. Her first film, Personal Velocity , was adapted from her first book, a collection of short stories. I'm sure the woman is a fantastic screenwriter and director—although that trailer looks like garbage, honestly, so who knows, maybe she's not—but I don't see the need for a novel and a film, within a year of each other.

Does she think that publishing the novel first gives her more credibility? Can she not decide which she wants to focus on? Remember when you were little, and your favorite movie would come out, and there'd be a companion book that would come out at the same time, and it was crap because the studio had it written just to make some more money? That's what this feels like. I like her style of writing, I think the voice is good because it's clean and well-suited for narrative. I think she does a very good job at creating characters and making them real.

I also think she's not a very good storyteller, though, and could have written a fantastic novel if she kept Pippa in the retirement village the whole time. That might not have made a very interesting movie, though Like I said before, the entire middle portion of the book was a cheap White Oleander knockoff. I'm sick of wayward girls getting into trouble because they lack an adequate mother figure. It's adequate. Read it if you like, I wont stop you. Maybe you'll love it. You might as well just go see the movie, though. General—7 I enjoyed reading this book while I was reading it. It has a voice that's easy to follow, and is never heavy handed in its themes.

I realized once I'd finished that it read so easily because there was no real substance, so there's that, but it's not a terrible book. It's okay. I guess. I wouldn't pay to go see it, though. If any of you do check it out next weekend, let me know how it is. Otherwise, keep reading, Genoshans! This week, the Wednesday supplement is being posted on Thursday. It's fun keeping you on your toes that way. That and I hadn't finished this week's eight stories until last night. As I'm sure you remember from last week, each review includes a brief summary of the story, followed by a few choice comments, and a rating from , with 1 being God awful, and 5 being His gift to Sherlock Holmes enthusiasts.

The two men take a trip to see Sherlock Holmes in the hopes of discovering exactly what this engineer has gotten himself into. Comments —Eh. It wasn't terrible. I admit I had no idea what the final outcome was going to be, but it didn't blow me away. Could it have been a jealous ex-lover? Comments —Skip this one. I saw it coming a mile away. Rating —2 "The Adventure of the Beryl Coronet" Synopsis —When a banker in possession of a priceless national heirloom is robbed in his own home, he enlists the aid of Sherlock Holmes to get back the missing jewels.

The plot thickens, however, when all of the evidence points towards the man's own son! Comments —There are enough twists and red herrings in "The Adventure of the Beryl Coronet" to make it one of the better stories so far. I was never quite sure where it was going to end up, but didn't feel like it came out of nowhere, either. Rating —4 "The Adventure of the Copper Beeches" Synopsis —A young red-head Doyle really likes red-heads, apparently is hired as a country governess for a wealthy, if eccentric, family. As the family's quirky requests grow more and more outlandish, however, the woman decides to ask Sherlock Holmes for help in discovering what's really going on with them.

Comments —This one is just weird. You'd think Doyle would want to end the book with a bang, but this bizarre tale is lackluster at best. Also, I'd like to point out that for the entire first half of this story, I thought it was titled "The Adventure of the Copper Breeches" and had something to do with a special pair of pants Can Sherlock Holmes and his faithful friend Watson discover the whereabouts of the horse and reveal the identity of the killer before the Wessex Cup race?

Comments —Not a bad way to kick off the next book, I must say. Rating —4 "The Yellow Face" Synopsis —Sherlock Holmes is visited one day by a distraught young man whose wife seems to be hiding something. Could it possibly involve the couple's new neighbors, and the freakish yellow face that sometimes appears in an upstairs window? Comments —This book is a little different, and breaks form more often than Adventures does. That little novelty doesn't make this story any better, though.

The ending is slightly unexpected, but only in one minor detail. Rating —2 "The Stock-Broker's Clerk" Synopsis —A young stock-broker's clerk comes to Holmes' office hoping the detective will be able to shed some light on a strange work situation. The new position that the clerk has just been hired for seems too good to be true—and just may be! Comments —Really now, Doyle, this again? Nice try. The only truly interesting thing about this story is that it begins with a little background into Watson's medical practice.

A friend of Holmes' from college enlists the young detective's aid when the man's father dies of horror after reading a simple note. Does the note have some hidden meaning? What could be so terrible as to scare a man full to death? Comments —Another disappointment. All of the stories are told by Watson after the fact, but this one is told by Watson as told to him by Holmes, so at some point the dialogue goes three or four quotation marks deep. I had no idea who was speaking half the time. We shall see. Until next time, keep reading, Genoshans!

I had heard rumors to that effect, but didn't know of anyone who had actually read the thing, so I didn't know if it was artsy, almost porn, or legit, hardcore porn. When I saw it in a huge, leather-bound version at Borders the other day—with a nice "For Adults Only" sticker on it, btw—I decided to see if it was really all that scandalous. It is. Synopsis Set just before the outbreak of World War I, Lost Girls tells the story of three women who meet in an Austrian hotel and quickly become close friends.

Another unique quality that these three women share is that they each had luridly sexual childhoods, committed unspeakable acts of depravity, and have never shared their secrets with anyone—until now. Alice details her misspent youth as a virtual concubine to the "Red Queen," an abusive woman with an insatiable sexual appetite; Dorothy tells a story that involves becoming rather intimate with three farm hands and a "wizard" of a man; Wendy confesses to having been sexually involved with a charming young street urchin named Peter and his "lost boys" one summer when she was sixteen. Startled by the bizarre similarities between their childhoods, the women continue to grow closer together, until they ultimately become lovers themselves.

So yeah, it's pretty much just porn. Alan Moore made an interesting comment regarding Lost Girls that I had discovered before purchasing the book, and which made me curious as to the artistic elements vs. As it turns out, he was right. Since he preemptively labeled it "pornography," it hasn't received nearly as much criticism as would be expected. Nevertheless, that doesn't change the fact that, indeed, Lost Girls is one big, fat, comic book porn. I don't like Alan Moore very much. I didn't enjoy Watchmen or The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen , and as much I loved the film version of V for Vendetta , I couldn't even get through the first few issues of the comic book. Lost Girls is a little better. Moore and Gebbie—who are married now, btw, as a result of working on porn together for 16 years yeah, that'll do it —do a really good job of separating the characters and their stories stylistically.

Alice's stories look completely different than Dorothy's stories, which look nothing like Wendy's stories, which have little in common with the smaller stories told through a book they read together, which don't look anything like the regular style of the main narrative. Lost Girls is also very mathematically meticulous, and is broken into three books of ten chapters each, with each chapter consisting of 8 pages.

I also have to admit, begrudgingly, that the way Moore retells each of the girls' stories is rather ingenious. Apparently his idea for The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen , which brings together characters from several different novels to fight crime and solve mysteries, was born out of the sexual dalliances of Lost Girls. Enough of this artistic mumbo-jumbo, though. At this point, I'm sure half of you are saying, "Oh my god, this is absolutely disgusting," and the other half are saying, "I get it, it's porn, but is it good porn? Yes, it is disgusting, it's an absurdly depraved book containing several absolutely unspeakable sexual acts which I hope to God have never actually been committed by anyone over the course of human history.

That being said, it's also a comic book, so it's not nearly as disgusting as watching things that are half as bad in a John Waters movie or a real porn. Yeah, it's gross, but it's clearly not real. My biggest problem with Lost Girls , though, was that after a while it got boring. It's just the same thing over and over again. People having sex, telling stories about having sex, having more sex, watching other people having sex, etc. This book is gigantic, and every single page depicts someone having sex. Although, when I think about it, I guess that's kinda the point Poetry and porn have a lot in common, actually: both are highly subjective; both can be intensely personal; both tend to induce phrases like "Oh yes, this is exactly what I've been looking for" or "why would anyone ever publish this garbage?

I must say, though, this is definitely my favorite Alan Moore comic. Does that say more about me, or him?

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