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It delves deeply into the moral aspects of the human soul, while weaving a unique friendship among 2 worlds represented by 2 teenagers in the pre Second War World, in Dusserldolf: A jew and a German...
If you aprecciate deeply the delicacy and talent of a friend...make him/her this amazing gift of love
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Magida effectively portrays Fred Neulander as the rabbi from hell: a sociopath who breaks every possible commandment while abusing the trust of his congregation and community, not to mention his profession. That Neulander meets up with Janoff, the hitman, is tragic karma for Janoff, the classic loser, who is easily manipulated by this evil man. Had the two not met, Neulander would have found some other mechanism through which to kill Carol.
This book demonstrates Magida's journalistic skill. He does not moralize but rather salts his narrative with quotes from Jewish sources that leading the reader to conclude that Neulander's lifelong behavior and choices represent an inversion of normative Jewish values and ethics.
I hope that Magida sells the film rights to this book to a foreign director. I don't know if an American could capture the sense of "film noir" that the story demands.
"Magida's cast seems to have been recruited from the dank, smoke-filled and, invariably, black-and-white alleyways and barrooms more commonly conjured by Philip Marlowe or Raymond Chandler.... Yet this is not make-believe, but horribly, vividly and even nauseatingly real.... The result is a dense yet tightly paced retelling that reads like a top-notch crime novel and has more angles than a dodecahedron....
"... a thoroughly entertaining and satisfying read... Magida's writing demonstrates his backbreaking research and is spiced with just enough emotion and personality to avoid the banal tone of daily newspaper reporting but not dip over the top into a morality play."
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I have found that the pictures in this version of 'Puss' appeal immensely to kindergartners through third graders. (Fourth and Fifth grade children also like it, but are often embarassed to say so in a classroom setting!). Children who often have a hard time sitting still for a story have sat transfixed as I read this book, holding the pictures in front of them all the time and giving them lots of opportunities to check out the wonderful use of light and color. The illustrator uses a lot of wonderful yellow that is very appealing to young children and seems to draw them into the book. I love reading this book out loud both to see children's reaction and also because I love the detail and color in the pictures.
Reading this book aloud has also sparked some beautiful art work from young children.
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The only reporter brave, or stupid, enough to face the professor's wrath and get the story is Edward Malone, young, intrepid journalist for the Daily Gazette. At a boisterous scientific meeting, Professor Summerlee, a rival scientist, calls Challenger's bluff. Summerlee will return to South America and prove Challenger wrong. The young journalist volunteers to go along. Lord John Roxton, the famous hunter, can't miss an opportunity to return to the jungle and adds his name to expedition. Professor Challenger is happy they are taking him seriously, even if they don't all believe him. But what will they find in South America? A strange, living time capsule from the Jurassic period filled with pterodactyls and stegosaurs? Or will they only find vast tracks of endless jungles and Challenger's daydreams? Either way there will be danger and adventure for all.
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle wrote "The Lost World" in 1912 for the Strand magazine, the same magazine that published his Sherlock Holmes stories. It's a great Edwardian science-fiction adventure, although some may not like the British Imperialism and Darwinian racism. Still, in "The Lost World" Conan Doyle lets his hair down a little. Changing narrators from the earnest Doctor John Watson to the rash reporter Edward Malone makes for a big change. There is a good deal more humor. The students in the scientific meetings are forever yelling out jokes at the expense of nutty Professor Challenger. Affairs of the heart play a big role in Malone's life. He matures from a young swain out to impress his girlfriend to more of a wistful man-of-the-world by the end. It is a very different Conan Doyle than some are used to reading. Different, but just as good, maybe, dare I say it, even better.
Doyle's human characters are described much more richly than Michael Crichton's minimally interesting protagonists in Jurassic Park (1990), so the story hinges as much on Challenger's eccentricities as it does on dinosaur attacks or Ned Malone's quest for validation of his masculine bravado. A weakness is the lack of female characters worthy of more than passing note. Ned's fickle and heartless girlfriend makes only brief and displeasing appearances at the beginning and end of the tale. Crichton does no better with females.
Hopp's Dinosaur Wars, published in 2000, does a much better take on genders, giving equal weight to a young male/female pair who brave the dangers of dinosaurs loose in modern-day Montana. It seems that even dinosaur fiction has evolved over the years.
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