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Book reviews for "Edwards,_Kim" sorted by average review score:

Jesus - The Same: Yesterday, Today and Forever
Published in Paperback by Discipleship Publications International (November, 1997)
Authors: Tom Jones, Kim Hanson, and Charles-Edward Jefferson
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Revealing, inspiring, and challenging
"Jesus The Same" has opened my eyes to see more clearly the attributes of my Lord. Jefferson is able to poignantly paint a biblically-based "portrait" of the traits of Jesus Christ. During my reading of the book, I was inspired to deepen my love for God as I have come to be more impressed than ever of who Jesus really was.

An inspirational look into the character of Jesus Christ
Jesus the Same is an incredible study of the character of Jesus that challenges all Christians to imitate his example. Originally the chapters were individual sermons preached in the early 1900's and released under the title The Character of Jesus. However, the message never grows old. I plan on reading it again. It is filled with insight and references to Scripture. This is a must read for every disciple of Christ.

Excellent devotional companion
This book provides some unprecedented insight into the various characteristics found during the life of Jesus. This is significant to all christians because this is the one who we are ultimately trying to imitate. The author presents many common trials that many people face and describes how Jesus viewed the same type of situation. Many of these explanations can be very radical by presenting original conclusions, and are usually very inspiring as well. This book has had a deep impact on the way that I viewed Jesus as well as my own life.

The Secrets of a Fire King: Stories
Published in Hardcover by W.W. Norton & Company (March, 1997)
Author: Kim Edwards
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An amazing first effort
Kim Edwards is a highly gifted writer with a wonderful grasp of both character and language. While many of her locales are exotic, the characters are very recognizable in their humanity. Some stories made me cry, and others made me want to shake some sense into the characters. This book is an amazing first effort, and I look forward to Ms. Edwards' future works

Fabulous Story Collection
This book is full of a sincere magic and an earthly clarity. The characters' lives are extraordinary and compassionataly rendered -- I have been touched and moved by all their stories. If you love short story collections definitely read this book

Highly recommend!!
Ms. Edwards took me to distance lands and introduced me to wonderful characters through her strong writing style. She left me wanting more!! Thank you, Ki

The Secrets of a Fire King
Published in Paperback by Picador (September, 1998)
Author: Kim Edwards
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One of the best short story collections EVER
I read a lot of short stories, and this collection really knocked my socks off. Totally amazing.

Ms. Edward's book contains fascinating stories about outsiders in "normal" society. The stories really grab you and you won't be able to easily put the book down.

Signs of Safety: A Solution and Safety Oriented Approach to Child Protection Casework
Published in Paperback by W.W. Norton & Company (July, 1999)
Authors: Andrew Turnell, Steve Edwards, and Insoo Kim Berg
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A challenging and uplifting read!
If you work in the field of Child Protection/Family Services and feel discouraged and/or burned out, this is a must read. I read it on vacation last week, I could not put it down! It is well written and provides lots of case examples. The material is especially appealing and accessible if one is familiar with Solution Focused Brief Therapy principles. Bravo and well done to the authors!

Stones from the River
Published in Audio CD by Sound Library (November, 2002)
Authors: Ursula Hegi and Kim Edwards-Fukei
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Don't put this book down. You'll be glad you didn't!
Trudi Montag, a woman born in Burgdorf, Germany tells her country's story through the end of World War II by telling her own. As the book begins, Trudi's parents attempt to raise a dwarf daughter in a town of "tall" people and Trudi struggles with her differentness and the acceptance of herself as she is despite the cruelty of others' reactions to her. Unfortunately, Hegi spends 150 pages tracing the first seven or so years of this adjustment and it becomes quite boring. As I passed that point, however, Hegi began to introduce the townspeople in a very intimate way, World War II ensued and I found myself intrigued with this story, unable to put it down for days. The comination of recorded history, the use of extensive characterization and the saga of Trudi Montag make Hegi's book an irresistable piece of literature. I would specifically recommend it for those like myself who read too little history and could use a lesson or two.

A Different View of World War II: From the Eyes of a Midget
At first, the author's liberal use of commas to make extremely long sentences annoyed me. However, I soon forgave the author my pet-peeve since this is a common trait of Ursula Hegi's first language, German. As I read on, I realized that these long sentences created a beautiful poetic cadence in the book that made the book almost melodic.

The main character in the story is a German "zwerg" woman (a midget) named Trudi. The reader gets to see the inner and hidden thoughts of the "zwerg" woman as well as her longings to have a lover and a child of her own. When she finally does experience a beautiful romance, she keeps it a secret because it seems like something from a dream. To shift people's thoughts from her differences, Trudi spreads stories about all the townspeople through her gossip at the pay library that she and her father owns. STONES FROM THE RIVER takes place before and during World War II in a small German town. Through Trudi's acquaintances with the townspeople, the author introduces the reader to the characters in the town. Thus, the reader gets a sense of how people reacted as Hitler spread his propoganda throughout Germany. Some people, like Trudi and her father, hid Jews in their homes or were punished for showing kindess to them. Others spouted hate and turned against their neighbors to hopefully save their own lives. People felt pressure to join clubs and wear the colors of the party even when they did not agree with what the party was doing (although some actually did agree). The children were fed with so much propaganda in their schools that they often turned their own parents in for not being loyal to the party without understanding what they were doing.

This was definitely an insightful book and not soon to be forgotten. The author fills the book with so many characters and small stories about each of them that I did sometimes find myself confused when a character would suddenly resurface and I couldn't remembering what happened to that character 200 pages back when they were 10 years younger. I should have written downs the characters' names and something about them as I went along. There were times when I couldn't put the book down, times that I laughed, and times that I wanted to cry. All in all, it was a great find and highly recommended to others.

Pure Perfection
The first time I read "Stones From the River" was with my book club. I believe it was the only book we all categorized equally with "To Kill a Mockingbird" and "The Grapes of Wrath"
Yes, it was that good.

The second time I read it was for the pure pleasure of Hegi's words. Her powerful voice is translated through Trudi Montog, the main character. A German girl whom happens to be a dwarf (Zwerg) A misfit. Who hangs from doorframes until her fingers are numb. "Grow, grow!" she prays to an ineffective God...why else would he create her short, stubby, ugly, and utterly despicable.
But she was given a gift. The wonderful gift of story-telling. This will save her as humour saves the character in "A Beautiful Life" or at least made life tolerable.

In the midst of Trudie's battles, Hitler is rising. Slowly, like a cancer spreading. Jews are being taken from their homes, disappearing, losing their German passports, given a yellow star to wear on their chests.
Nobody believes it is really happening.
"They are only working at those camps." they say.

INDIFFERENCE is worse than anything. Indifference makes monsters grow.

"Stones From the River" is about the human condition during war. How it can sometimes turn us into animals, Intolerant of our differences. Hating one another because of them.

Who understands better than Trudie about the ugliness of being different...."They will find anything. Anything to separate one from another. Widows. Jews. Swergs. Madness. Hitler will find something."

"Stones" is not an easy read. I wanted to scream at times...WHY did you all let this happen? WHY?" And at the same time...the story was so beautiful, I carry some of the sentences around like jewels to savor later.

In the end, Trudie accepts herself as she is...too much has already happened to feel sorry for herself now.

..."And what to end the story with. It had to do with what to enhance and what to relinquish. And what to embrace." ...STONES

SHOW ME THE MAGIC : My Adventures in Life and Hollywood with Peter Sellers, Stanley Kubrick, Danny Kaye, Freddie Fields, Blake Edwards, Britt Ekland, Jo Van Fleet, Federico Fellini, Donald Sutherland, John Cassavetes, Mick Jagger, Paul Newman, Gena Rowlands, Elia Kazan, Kim
Published in Hardcover by Simon & Schuster (June, 1999)
Author: Paul Mazursky
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Very Enjoyable, Recommended for Movie Buffs
I don't believe I've seen more than two of Mazursky's films but I enjoyed his book, especially the juicy chapter on his adventures with the increasingly more bizarre Peter Sellers. This is not a biography, but rather a series of essays about his involvement with different Hollywood people and some chapters about his current life and childhood. Recommended.

The Mensch (not the Mouse) Behind The Movies
An interesting, light and witty Summer read that gives you insight into Mazursky's career and tales of movie production. Mazursky, born in the Brownsville section of Brooklyn started out as an actor (Blackboard Jungle), moved on to be a comedy writer (Danny Kaye, I Love You Alice B Toklas) when acting parts were infrequent, and made his directorial debut with Bob and Carol and Ted and Alice. My favorite scenes in the book? When a young Mazursky catches his zade eating his bubbe's herring on the afternoon of Yom Kippur; when Eisner and Katzenberg ask Mazursky if he thinks that the I.B. Singer story (Enemies, A Love Story) is too Jewish... maybe it can be about the Cambodian Holocaust instead of the WWII one; when Richard Dreyfus pulls out of the Enemies project; and the creation of Down&Out in Beverly Hills.

I would have liked to have seen more!
I loved reading this book, both from the standpoint of appreciating Paul Mazursky the director of many of my favorite films and reveling in Paul Mazursky the no-holds-barred storyteller. But--and, I'm sorry, there is a 'but'---why devote one sentence to the great Art Carney, who Mazursky calls the most pure actor he'd ever worked with, and then not tell the reader WHY he feels that way about Carney? There are no anecdotes to share about Jill Clayburgh or Robin Williams? Come on, Paul, give! This lapse is mostly compensated for by Mazursky's tales of traveling in the "then" Soviet Union and South America, his memories of working for Danny Kaye and his sharing the bitter and the sweet about his family, his friends and the ups and downs of his life. The chapter about Mazursky's relationship with his mother is especially powerful and a reminder that much of the pathos within even his funniest films came honestly to him. So, five stars for what's here---just would've liked to have seen more!

Published in Digital by Amazon Press ()
Authors: Rudyard Kipling and Edward W. Said
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Vast in its simplicity
In all its complexity, this really is a simple book: it is simply an exuberant vision of India.

I wanted a book that would give me an English Colonialist view of India. It is a rather hard thing to find: few English Victorian writers of any consequence wrote about India. It wasn't until later, ie, Orwell and Forster, that it became a popular topic, and they wrote with a vastly different attitude. I just wanted to know what an Englishman thought of the "jewel in the English colonial crown".

What I found is exactly what I wanted: so exactly that it caught me off guard. Kipling offers no politics, neither "problems of England in India" or "The White Man's Burden". Kim is, quite simply, a vision of India. Exuberant, complex, vibrant, full of energy and life and change. This is Kipling's India. It is a beautiful, mysterious, dangerous, amazing place.

There is a hint of mass market fiction here -- the basic structure being a young boy, a prodigy, uniquely equipped to help the adults in important "adult" matters -- reminds me of Ender's Game or Dune (both books I loved, but not exactly "literature". But perhaps this isn't either. Such was the claim of critic after critic. But anyway.) Yet in reality it is only a device -- an excuse for Kipling to take his boy on adventures and to immerse us more fully in the pugnant waters of Indian culture -- or cultures.

As far as the English/Colonialism question goes, perhaps the real reason Kipling drew so much flak is because he deals his English critics the most cruel insult -- worse than calling them evil, or stupid, or wrong, he implies that they just don't matter that much. Kipling's India is a diverse place, with a plethora of people groups in it, divided by caste, religion, ethnicity, whatever. And the English, the "Sahibs"? Another people group. That's all. They don't dominate or corrupt or really change anything in any profound way; they just sort of become part of the broiling swirl of cultures and peoples that is India.

An imperialist's bildungsroman
To be honest, I disdained Kipling as a writer ever since turning away from the Jungle Book movie. When pressed to read his more representative novel "Kim", however, I was much more impressed. Kipling picks up on the bildungsroman theme in his book about a young white boy growing up in British India. True, the reader feels the heavy intrusion of Kipling in the narrative, such as the caricatured descriptions of ethnic peoples, but one also feels a genuine fondness for India, however patronizingly misplaced.

I thought some passages were quite remarkable for a writer at the height of the British Raj, such as the occasional sympathetic treatment of Indians and the allowance of deep relationships between the conquerors and the conquered (e.g., Kim and Mahbub Ali). The feeling of youth is well-given and Kipling succeeds at making the horror of imperialism both remote and romantic.

A wonderfully told tale..........
Rudyard Kiplings' "Kim" is so utterly enchanting it, in some ways, defies description. It is a tale of personal growth, filial love, and the joy of life set amidst the Indian sub-continent in the time of the British Raj. Kim O'Hara, an orphaned Sahib, cunning and street-wise, and of India in all but blood, embarks upon a journey with a Tibetan lama in search of spiritual cleansing. Kim matures under the lama's patient guidance and, in turn, gives his heart to his mentor. The two support each other unconditionally through the passages they both must make.

In time, Kim's parentage and talents are "discovered" by the British and he is drafted and trained to be a participant within the Great Game; a political battle between Russia and Britain for control of Central Asia. Lama and student seek their disparate goals together as they traverse the plains of India, hike Himalayan foothills, and discourse along the way.

I found myself completely rapt by the book and longing to return to it. The characters are splendidly wrought and the descriptions of India and its' people enthralling. Though previous reviews tell of difficult reading, I found it nothing of the sort. One must orient themselves to the vernacular employed, but this isn't in any way trying for those attuned to historical reading. Some previous knowledge of the Great Game and the British Raj would also be helpful. Be that as it may, with remarkable ease the reader is absorbed and transported by this tale to wander India, late 19th century, with Kim and his Tibetan holy man amidst the intrigue of colonial rivalry and the mysticism of Eastern belief. Rudyard Kiplings' "Kim" has rightfully earned a place among my favorite novels of all time. There is no higher praise by which I might recommend it.

Dermo!: The Real Russian Tolstoy Never Used
Published in Paperback by Plume (August, 1997)
Authors: Edward Topol, Laura E. Wolfsonm, Kim Wilson Brandt, and Laura E. Wolfson
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Russians misrepresented - be careful using
The author has provided most accurate translations of single words and phrases between Russian and "true" American English.
However, I can't agree with definition of this particular layer of the Russian language presented in this book as "real Russian." That's not true, I've met many folks born and raised in Russia who never ever use that "real Russian" of Mr Topol et al.

Russians who have NEVER been exposed to other "real" cultures of the world, they grow up believing that they are unique with their dirty words, there are so many jokes in Russia on that matter. However, in reality Russians in their everyday speech practice are not much different from other civilized nations; you don't hear more obscenities in the streets of Moscow than in New York or Tijuana. You can get in as much trouble in Moscow misusing these "real" words and phrases as you would here in Nevada. With these words, you can lose a contract, a friend, a date; for most educated girls from good families in Russia one single word from Mr Topol's book used at a wrong time will act as IMMEDIATE and FINAL turn off.

The Russians grow up learning by trial and error when they can use specific language and when they absolutely can not. I've heard swear masters in Russia speaking like Mother Goose when they had to.

When foreigners try to speak "real", the reaction of natives can not be predicted. You may have some hearts opened, you may get smiles and a pat on the back, but depending on your intonation and attitude your face may face one of these tight clenched well seasoned made with pride in Russia genuine and real Russian Bad Street Battle Fist(TM) flying on the collision course doing about 100 mph...

If you did not grow up in Russia playing with your real Russian classmates in the nursery school, don't even try to use Mr Topol's book recommendations at your own discretion. Quite likely you may end up making a fool from yourself.

Hilarious but difficult to master
Right from the start, Topol just couldn't stop making me laugh. His reasoning behind writing the book is exactly why I wanted to read it-to break down that barrier that exists between classroom languages and the reality. Because I want to communicate with people my own age when I go to Russia, I know that theyre not going to speak all prim and proper-I know I don't speak English that way! While decency would prevent me from saying many things, also for fear of my own life, it's great to have the vocab as well as to teach it to English speaking friends so that together, you can pretend to compliment people in a language they don't understand. The only downside to the book is that to seriously learn it all takes a major effort and many of the words are quite difficult to get your tongue around, even if you do speak some Russian.

Very useful resource for non-native speakers
Dermo! is not just a list of "dirty words" and their translations; it is a peek into Russians' everyday life and culture.

Organized by category [rather than alphabetically], the reader is taken through the basics of everyday slang, anatomy and physiology, and (of course) curses, oaths, and exclamations. The Russian words and phrases are in Cyrillic, with English phonetic pronunciation (helpful if you're learning "conversational" Russian and aren't up on reading it just yet). A great deal of supplemental info is included (such as history behind expressions, just *how* vulgar is a word, etc.), but not so much that it becomes tedious.

I highly recommend Dermo! to anyone who will be dealing with actual, living & breathing Russians. As a colleague who teaches Russian (and recommends this book to her students) told me, "You will never understand Russians until you learn to curse -- at least a little."

Eva's Cousin
Published in Audio CD by Chivers Sound Library (November, 2002)
Authors: Sibylle Knauss, Anthea Bell, and Kim Edwards-Fukei
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If this book is a novel, why pretend everything is true?
Unfortunately, this novel drags along in the opening chapters. The reader becomes as bored as Marlene, Eva Braun's cousin, who visits Eva in Hitler's mountain retreat. Though the title offers promise as a glimpse of Hitler through the eyes of his lover, the story focuses on the day-to-day life of his mistress and nothing more. While other Germans suffer miserably, it is hard to identify with the spoiled Eva and her small circle of companions.

However, the story finally becomes interesting when Marlene supposedly hides a young boy who has escaped from a work camp. She becomes involved with a German officer who complicates her life. Marlene begins to learn the truth about the war by listening to an illegal radio that is eventually seized. These are the only interesting events in the entire novel.

As a reader I resented not knowing what was true and what the author fabricated. I would have preferred the truth.

Guilt through the shadows
This book was a pleasure to read. The language was masterfully crafted, a real tribute to both the author and the translator. The seduction of power in its many forms is considered by the protagonist who recognizes how those around her come under its sway but who, only in retrospect, sees its impact directly on her. As she progresses through the novel, she causes the reader to consider the essence of guilt and of shame and how they are tied together. In today's political climate, it is interesting to reflect on what the German populace knew during the World War II era and Knauss makes us reflect on that society's and our own society's responsibility for allowing cruel, totalitarian leaders to continue in power.

Three months after completing this book in our bookclub, we still find ourselves returning to this book as a point of departure for discussing our other readings.

The Vision of Emma Blau
Published in Audio CD by Sound Library (April, 2003)
Authors: Ursula Hegi and Kim Edwards-Fukei
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Slow but Steady
The Vision of Emma Blau takes you on a journey through the lives and times of a family with immigrant roots. The saga begins with a little developed character from Stones from the River, Stefan Blau, who leaves his homeland of Burgdorf, Germany at age 13 to seek his fortune in America. Settling in New Hampshire, he builds an extraordinary apartment building on a lake, called the Wasserburg (water fortress) across from which he runs a restautant. The beginnning of the book sets you up for what promises to be a romantic and mysterious ride through the life of Stefan and his future progeny. However, it never delivers that promise. Although there are the beginnings of several good characters and plot lines, Hegi never fully develops any of them. The reader keeps waiting for a climax that never arrives while you plod through 432 pages and end saying, "so?" What prevents you from putting it down permanently, is Hegi's trademark use of language and description.

A Vision of Desire
Ursula Hegi uses her poetic prose and emotional insight once again to create a world in which by exploring the lives of others we learn more about our own. Hegi's previous book, Stones from the River, used the dramatic backdrop of Hitler's Germany and the life of a young dwarf to explore themes of belonging, exclusion, alienation, and "status in the tribe". In The Vision of Emma Blau, Hegi creates five generations of characters through which she explores human desire, how desire manifests"~ itself in our lives, and the impact of those manifestations on those around us. to provide a means to explore our humanity, then this book is fine art indeed.

Fantastic book, you can always count on Ursula Hegi
Having previously read, many of Ursula Hegi's books, I was not disappointed with a continuation of some of the characters from her "Stones from the River". This book is also equal to that wonderful book. Here as usual you get in the skin of her characters, from their observations to their priorities and justifications.

In this book emigrant Stefan Blau comes to the US and eventually settles in a small town in New Hampshire. He has picked up the skill for French cooking and does well for himself in a small restaurant he creates. However, this is not his dream. His dream is an apartment building he is inspired to build: The Wasserburg. In a daydream while boating, he is inspired not only by the building he imagines creating, but a child he imagines playing in its courtyard.

Stefan's financial adventures go well, but his personal life is troubled. Things go on that bring one misfortune to the other to his doorstep. I don't want to go into too much detail and ruin the book, but this book isn't all doom and gloom. This is a not-so-typical families saga, with both good and bad. However, there are forces in Stefan Blau's life that eventually steer him to lead his life in a particular fashion. This book chronicles Stefan Blau's family over 3 generations and 2 continents. An excellent tale of a family, the ties that contrict, bind, bond and break one.


As always Ursula Hegi fleshes out her characters. You understand the motivation of Stefan and his family right down to the youngest grandchild Emma. Not till the end of the book do you understand the meaning of the name... At least I didn't.

What I particularly liked is the description of the house. You can see it through the author's eyes. I love houses so this was pleasant. Also, you see the basis for all the characters, but not in a descriptive way. You get in their skin. This story centers around a community and a family living in this one building.

One other point, I imagine dear to Ursula Hegi's heart is the portrayal of a German family in American when Germany was the enemy. She describes how the immagrant family feels out of place in both country, but beholden to both.

An excellent read, hard to put down.

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