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Book reviews for "Sage,_Joseph" sorted by average review score:

Uncle Silas: A Tale of Bartram-Hugh (Penguin Classics)
Published in Paperback by Penguin USA (Paper) (05 June, 2001)
Authors: Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu and Victor Sage
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Slow moving
I was pretty excited when I came across Le Fanu's book as I had read somewhere that he was one of the originators of gothic literature. Perhaps I am not used to the pace of Victorian novels, but Le Fanu's book was too draggy for me. I am not even sure it was very suspenseful at all. Too many minor characters also spolit the book for me -- was Captain Oakley only in the novel to show off the naivety of Maud? The mystery of Uncle Silas wasn't very engaging and I was just dying to get to the end of the novel just so I could move on to other things. The ending of the book is also predictable, and Uncle Silas basically lived up to his horrible reputation.

Great stuff
This is a real rip-snorter of a gothic novel. Eighteen-year-old Maude, whose mother is dead, has been raised by her wealthy father, an adherent to a peculiar Scandinavian science religion. There are dark rumors afoot about the character of Maude's father's brother, the mysterious Uncle Silas, into whose guardianship Maude is entrusted at her father's death. Maude is the only thing standing between the money she will inherit from her father (when she comes of age) and Silas' considerable debt. Laudanum addiction, poison, big old houses with uninhabited wings, a creepy cousin (Silas' son), and an evil French governess: if you like gothic novels, this one's got it all.

A superb spine-tingler
Joseph Sheridan (J. S.) LeFanu, despite fame in Victorian times, has mostly fallen off the radar of modern readers. His superlative "Uncle Silas" is clear evidence as to why anyone who loves a good yarn will be immediately drawn in by his considerable gifts. This novel has a well-modulated dark atmosphere, clearly drawn and fully human characters and a superb plot.

The titular Silas is the uncle of our heroine Maud Ruthyn, who becomes the ward of her mysterious uncle upon her father's death. Silas has an unsavory reputation, having once been accused of murdering a man to whom he owed a gambling debt, but he has, by the time Maud first meets him, apparently repented and found religion. She goes to his home willingly, quickly befriends his saucy daughter Milly and is, for the most part, happy in her new surroundings. The plot thickens from there, and without giving away important details, the reader should know that LeFanu lets loose with a ripping good story that ends most satisfactorily and with some wonderful twists.

LeFanu is a skilled writer at the apex of his powers and an astute observer of the human condition. Some of the more telling lines exhibiting his gifts include:

" . . . that lady has a certain spirit of opposition within her, and to disclose a small wish of any sort was generally, if it lay in her power, to prevent its accomplishment."

"Already I was sorry to lose him. So soon we begin to make a property of what pleases us."

"People grow to be friends by liking, Madame, and liking comes of itself, not by bargain."

"She had received a note from Papa. He had had the impudence to forgive HER for HIS impertinence."

"In very early youth, we do not appreciate the restraints which act upon malignity, or know how effectually fear protects us where conscience is wanting."

"One of the terrible dislocations of our habits of mind respecting the dead is that our earthly future is robbed of them, and we thrown exclusively upon retrospect."

" 'The world,' he resumed after a short pause, 'has no faith in any man's conversion; it never forgets what he was, it never believes him anything better, it is an inexorable and stupid judge.' "

" . . . I had felt, in the whirl and horror of my mind, on the very point of submitting, just as nervous people are said to throw themselves over precipices through sheer dread of falling."

Admirers of Wilkie Collins, Thomas Hardy and, to a lesser degree, of Charles Dickens will find much to please them in the classic "Uncle Silas."

Passionate Sage: The Character and Legacy of John Adams
Published in Paperback by W.W. Norton & Company (2001)
Author: Joseph J. Ellis
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The felicitously written book has done a great deal to raise John Adams' reputation among the general public. Ellis concentrates on Adams' retirement years with chapters on his political writings, his correspondence with Jefferson, his other friendships, and his family life. While Ellis' goal is to explore Adams' character, this book necessarily covers Adams' remarkable achievements and explains clearly Adams' contributions as a political thinker. Adams was a complex figure; warm-hearted, sometimes vituperative, an unsystematic thinker and writer and thinker with remarkable insights. Adams refusal to accept the somewhat facile conventions of Jeffersonian liberalism made him an anachronism but his skepticism about American exceptionalism proved prescient. Adams was also remarkably accurate in major policy decisions. Over and over again, he made the right choice, even when his choices were unpopular. His pursuit of neutrality during his Presidency, for example, left him politically isolated but was undoubtedly the correct policy. As Ellis points out, Adams' reputation among scholars has risen steadily over the last fifty years. Today, he stands second only to Washington in the Pantheon of the Founders. Ellis's book and the just published biography by David McCullough are boosting awareness of Adams' achievements among the general public. An interesting corollary of this phenomenon is a corresponding fall in the reputation of Adams' political rival, intellectual antagonist, and friend; Thomas Jefferson. To scholars, Jefferson's achievements seem less than they did a generation ago. Pauline Maier summarized this clearly when she described Jefferson not as the author of the Declaration of Independence but rather as its draftsman; emphasizing the collective production of that great document. In the aftermath of the Civil Rights and Womens Movements, a man like Adams, who was able to treat intelligent women with relative equality, is more attractive than a probable sexual exploiter of his slaves like Jefferson. True to his Puritan heritage, Adams felt that reputation and adulation were snares and fatal to true virtue. His conduct towards his contemporaries tended to degrade his reputation. It is clear also that Adams hoped, perhaps expected, that posterity would rate him highly. As with other predictions, Adams appears correct.

I couldn't put it down!!!
I am like dspector -- I searched this book out after reading Ellis's "American Sphinx" on Jefferson. I am now a true John Adams fan. I have also read Ferling's biography of Adams, and agreed that it was more thorough, but not that it was as well written. Ellis has no equal in writing historical biography!

I'm now interested in knowing if anyone is working on a John Adams Memorial comparable to the Washington and Jefferson memorials in D.C. Why is he ignored? How about putting him on some of our money???

Introduction to our charmingly obnoxious founding father
Ellis' work focuses on the latter part of Adams' life. While it makes no claim to be a complete biography, the book serves as an excellent foundation for those seeking to learn more about our most underappreciated founding father. Through detailed comparisons with Jefferson - Adams' rival and close friend who has been treated more kindly by America's collective consciousness - Ellis begins to illuminate many levels of the New Englander's character. In doing so, he helps us understand why Adams was not, and probably never will be, adored by the nation he helped to create

Passionate Sage
Published in Audio Cassette by Blackstone Audiobooks (1995)
Authors: Joseph J. Ellis, Tom Parker, and Timothy Parker
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Author invented his Vietnam war experience,Why?
The book seemed OK , until I discovered that Mr. Ellis had invented his experience as a Vietnam Vet . If somebody does this, what's the value of the book?

If you have skipped over one of our major "Founding Fathers"
John Adams, you may want to consider Joseph Ellis's fine work, "Passionate Sage". Mr. Ellis does not dwell on Adams childhood or early years & that is fine. Not really that extraordinary for his time. Adams biggest problem was & is that he has never had the armies of p.r. men that have promoted Washington, Franklin & Jefferson thru the years. Adams knew this yet respected & envied them. He also knew his intellectual gifts surpassed the big three of the revolutionary generation. His integrity & forthrightness made him a most disagreeable person. He rationalized his unpopularity, feeling that virtue with fame is no virtue at all. His unpleasantness mellowed in his later years but not his brillant mind. In their last 14 years he pursued a lively correspondence with Thomas Jefferson. This may be his best legacy.

Chronique d'une jeune fille sage, 1944-1945 : roman
Published in Unknown Binding by Editions L'Harmattan ()
Author: Joseph Kurtz
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Lux Orientalis: Or an Enquiry Into the Opinion of the Eastern Sages Concerning the Praeexistence of Souls
Published in Hardcover by Georg Olms Publishers (1978)
Authors: Bernhard Fabian and Joseph Glanvill
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The Parker Ranch of Hawaii: The Sage of a Ranch and a Dynasty
Published in Hardcover by John Day Co (1974)
Author: Joseph Brennan
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Rabbi Akiva : sage of all sages
Published in Unknown Binding by Bet-Shamai Publications ()
Author: Hayim °I. Kolits
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Sage, Priest, Prophet
Published in Paperback by Westminster John Knox Press (1995)
Author: Joseph Blenkinsopp
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Sage, Priest, Prophet: Intellectual and Religious Leadership in Ancient Israel (The Library of Ancient Israel)
Published in Paperback by Westminster John Knox Press (1995)
Author: Joseph Blenkinsopp
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Sage, Priest, Prophet: Religious and Intellectual Leadership in Ancient Israel (Library of Ancient Israel)
Published in Hardcover by Westminster John Knox Press (1995)
Authors: Joseph Blenkinsopp and Douglas A. Knight
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