Tony Danza tells it like it is, I have spent 17 years in the classroom and Mr. Danza experiences and writes about almost every issue that teachers face in the classroom today and hits the nail on the head every time. Great read.
Michael Caine gives his most personal and heartwarming performance yet as he tells his life story, and what a story it is. Rising out of poverty to become a beloved movie star who's life's work has touched millions. If you have enjoyed Mr. Caine's films and characters you will love his story and no one is more qualified to tell it than Michael himself.
A decent telling of the battle of Shiloh, obviously well researched. Jeff does a good job of filling his father's shoes, however there was a spark in Michael's work that just isn't present in Jeff's.
Remember those paint by the numbers things when you were a kid, the ones where the scene was already drawn out for you and you had a little pot of paints to fill in the colors? That's what this novel reminds me of, the characters are pre-established, all we need to plug in a story and you have a novel. No real surprises here, also no real innovation. The story is weak and predictable, the characters we already know and know well so no real development there either. In the end I was just listening to get through it. The sound effects and narration voices are excellent and are the high point of the novel.
In a word... letdown. The story plods along, rehashing and re-telling old stories until the last few chapters where things get interesting only to have the main characters enter a pointless struggle, then alot of tedious, boring fill in the blank storytelling. A weak ending to a decent trilogy.
An interesting follow up that definitly lacks something that the first book had. The trilogy is getting even darker and more violent.
It's a biography
The reader comes off like he is reading to third graders, slow and deliberate with a bit of condescension in his inflection that will slowly drive you nuts.
Being a compilation, this book is an uneven compilation at best. Some of the stories are excellent, well written first hand accounts of the major battles of the civil war while others are very tedious and dry stories that read like trooop reports and after action reviews.
Typical holier than thou, pompas poser art school blather. I had to endure endless hours of self gratifying, self agrandizing lectures like this when I attended art school. These were delivered both professors who had never spent a day making art (or making a living from art either) in the real world, and student wanna bes (all of whom are today are gainfully employed as waiteresses, bag boys or art school professors). Pure and unadulterated BS!
A Song Of Ice and Fire started off with such wonderful possibilities, such rich and well developed characters and a highly detailed world that fired the imagination. The series slowly went downhill as Martin's fame grew, until he clearly hit a wall in "A Feast For Crows" which went nowhere as the story arc spiraled out of control. 5 books into the story, In "A Dance with Dragins" Martin still sees the necessity of introducing dozens of new characters and factions while leaving countless story arcs dangling undeveloped and unfinished, it's as he has lost control of the narrative and suffers from ADD, there have been so many new arcs and characters introduced that it becomes impossible to have any empathy whatsoever for the incoming characters, reading Martin becomes a chore, something to get through, a sort of drudgery, not unlike the tortured paths he sets his characters upon.
The world he creates for us, once seemingly so rich and detailed has become a tedious and tiresome place. As I read this I can only trudge through it, wondering what has become of the characters that were once central to the story (while also wondering what has become of that central story) all the while watching an assemblly line of new characters and story arcs come along Martin's assembly line all the while not caring one whit about any of them. After two duds back to back , in half a heartbeat, I have decided to get off the George RR Martin bus, the remaining novels, should his lordship Martin choose to finish them, will not be purchased or read by me. I would rather be flayed alive than spend another couple of months listening to these tedious books.
Roy Doltrice, with his shallow voicings (I swear I think he only has three characters voices in him) hasn't helped Martin's cause any at all.
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