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Book reviews for "Wandesforde-Smith,_Geoffrey_Albert" sorted by average review score:

Hoyle's Rules of Games
Published in Mass Market Paperback by Signet (05 December, 2001)
Authors: Edmond Hoyle, Geoffrey Mott-Smith, Philip Morehead, and Albert H. Morehead
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Sine qua non
Most civilized persons would consider this reference as essential as a dictionary or atlas. It is entirely important to remember that some things in life should be ordered, standardized, and predictable, even when (especially when) they are based upon random chance along with strategy.

Like any good reference, it is important not only to own this book and to be familiar with it, but to use it. It is fun to read, and promotes a sense of reaffirmation when the modern world constantly attempts to paint every issue in shades of gray. It's just too bad there is not a section in this edition for dealing with election disputes.

Unless you have been part of a weekly poker game, you may not understand why I like this book, particularly the section on "ethics and etiquette," so much. There really is some honor among thieves. Life really is more fun (and chaos more enjoyable) when we adhere to the letter and spirit of the rules.

a must have!
I first bought this book over a dispute in poker I had with a friend. You can imagine my shock when I found out he was right. Since then, the cover has been worn off my copy from repeated use. This book is great for settling disputes and learning new games. A must have for anyone who plays cards.


The New Complete Hoyle Revised
Published in Hardcover by Doubleday (1991)
Authors: Albert H. Morehead, Richard L. Frey, and Geoffrey Mott-Smith
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Great book of Games! Easy to learn instructions!
This book gives you all the things you need to know about card, board, and dice games such as craps, baggamon, and poker! These are some of the many great games you can learn about in The New Complete Hoyle Revised! Learn all about other games such as gin, chess, casino games, bridge, and all of our other treasured games of chance that we love! Take the games that you thought you hated and give 'em a go! Hoyle makes learning card, dice, and board games fun! There are adult chance and betting games to children's games that bring back memories of your days of charades and fun! Have a blast reading the book, and a better time gathering the guys and playing a round of poker or two. Or three. Or perhaps even five! For the kids, on long car trips, you may say "are we there yet?" Bring a deck of cards, a maximum of ten dice, and your Hoyle book, look up a dice game such as lair dice or a card game like solitare and your parents will be shocked to hear you say "were there already?" For the boring, rainy days, pull out a deck of cards, look up in your Hoyle book a game that you thought you would never learn to play, and learn! The day will whiz by while you take turns with your brother playing war! Ask your sister to roll the die and see about a seven at craps! See? Completely revised, updated, and expanded! It even says so on the cover! The authoritative guide to the official game rules of popular games of skill and chance!


A Short History of the French Revolution: 1789-1799
Published in Paperback by University of California Press (1989)
Authors: Albert Soboul and Geoffrey Symcox
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GREAT Book
Recomended for any undergraduate studing the French Revolution.


The Complete Book of Solitaire and Patience Games
Published in Paperback by Foulsham & Co Ltd (2002)
Authors: Albert H. Morehead and Geoffrey Mott-Smith
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Pretty good
I bought this book so I could learn different ways to play solitaire. It has pictures and plenty of instructions. I do wish it had a few more pictures so I could see how they were saying to lay them out but all in all it is pretty good.

The New Testament for card players.
If According to Hoyle by Moorehead was card-game bible when I was a child, this book was certainly a new testament.

I really didn't fit in well with other kids, so I had nothing much to do. So, I studies solitaires. But I had 150 ways to play solitaire, and all that book did was confuse me.

When I found this book at KayBee many years ago, I was most impressed. It's the clearest book on cardgames that I have ever read. They're even thoughtful enough to create two games, Joker Klondike and Joker Canfield.

This book will clarify almost any game, and I still pull it down from the shelf. In fact, I think I'll pull it out right after I've finished posting.

The Complete Book of Solitaire and Patience Games
Detailed instructions, illustrations, terminology, time requirements, and odds in winning of over 225 of the most challenging and fascinating card games ever invented from the famous Canfield Solitaire to Napoleon's Forty Theives. It's here -- everything you need to know about Solitaire and Patience games.


The Canterbury tales
Published in Unknown Binding by G. Allen & Unwin ()
Author: Derek Albert Pearsall
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One of the major influences of modern literature.
The version of this classic I read was a translation into modern English by Nevill Coghill. As you can see above, I awarded Chaucer (and the translation) five stars; but I do have a criticism. This translation (and many other publications of Chaucer) do not contain the two prose tales ("The Tale of Melibee" and "The Parson's Tale"). These are rarely read and I understand the publisher's and the translator's desire to keep the book to a managable size. Still, that should be the readers decision and no one else's. I had to go to the University library and get a complete copy in order to read those sections. As I mentioned, this copy is a translation into modern English. However, I do recommend that readers take a look at the Middle English version, at least of the Prologue. Many years ago, when I was in high school, my teacher had the entire class memorize the first part of the Prologue in the original Middle English. Almost forty years later, I still know it. I am always stunned at how beautiful, fluid, and melodic the poetry is, even if you don't understand the words. Twenty-nine pilgrims meet in the Tabard Inn in Southwark on their way to Canterbury. The host suggests that the pilgrims tell four stories each in order to shorten the trip (the work is incomplete in that only twenty-four stories are told). The tales are linked by narrative exchanges and each tale is presented in the manner and style of the character providing the story. This book was a major influence on literature. In fact, the development of the "short story" format owes much to these tales. All of the elements needed in a successful short story are present: flow of diction and freedom from artifice, faultless technical details and lightness of touch, and a graphic style which propels the story. In poetry, Chaucer introduced into English what will become known as rime royal (seven-line stanza riming ababbcc), the eight-line stanza (riming ababbcbc), and the heroic couplet. His poetry is noted for being melodious and fluid and has influenced a great many later poets. He has a remarkable talent for imagery and description. With respect to humor, which often receives the most negative responses from a certain group of readers (as witnessed by some of the comments below), there are at least three types: good humor which produces a laugh and is unexpected and unpredictable (for example, the description of the Prioress in the Prologue), satire (for example, the Wife of Bath's confession in the Prologue to her tale), and course humor, which is always meant to keep with the salty character of the teller of the tale or with the gross character of the tale itself. I am really stunned at the comments of the reviewer from London (of June 21, 1999). He/she clearly has no idea of the influence of the work nor on the reasons why Chaucer chose to present the humor the way he has. T. Keene of May 17 gave the work only three stars, presumably because it was once banned in Lake City, Florida. (Does that mean it would get fewer stars if it hadn't been banned?) Perhaps our London reviewer will be more comfortable moving to Lake City! Another reviewer suggested that "The Canterbury Tales" was only a classic because it had been around a long time. No! Chaucer's own contemporaries (for example, Gower, Lydgate, and Hoccleve) acknowledged his genius. My goodness, even science fiction books acknowledge the Tales (for example, Dan Simmons' "Hyperion," which won the 1990 Hugo Award for best science fiction novel of the year, is based on the Tales). These brief entries are too short to review all of the tales. Let me just descibe the first two. Other readers might consider reviewing the other tales in later responses. In "The Knight's Tale," the Theban cousins Palamon and Arcite, while prisoners of the King of Athens (Theseus), fall in love with Emelyn, sister of Hippolyta and sister-in-law to Theseus. Their rivalry for Emelyn destroys their friendship. They compete for her in a tournament with different Greek gods supporting the two combatants. Arcite, supported by Mars, wins but soon dies from a fall from his horse (due to the intervention of Venus and Saturn). Both Palamon and Emelyn mourn Arcite, after which they are united. It is the basis of "The Two Noble Kinsmen" by Fletcher and Shakespeare. "The Miller's Tale" is a ribald tale about a husband, the carpenter John, who is deceived by the scholar Nicholas and the carpenter's wife Alison that a second flood is due. In this tale, a prospective lover is deceived into kissing a lady in an unusual location. And, recalling the response from our reviewer from London, apparently this Tale should not be read by people from London (or Lake City)!

Canterbury Tales can be fun to read
The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer is one of the first great works of literature in the English language and are good reading for a number of reasons. They are written in "old English", however, and read like a foreign language for most of us. Barbara Cohen's adapted translation gives us four of the tales in contemporary English and therefore provides an excellent introduction to Chaucer's Canterbury Tales. Cohen's tales retain Chaucer's colorful insight into fourteenth century England including life as a knight, the horror of the plague, and the religous hypocrisy of the age. The illustrations by Trina Schart Hyman are vivid and tell a story all by themselves. I use Cohen's book as a supplement to teaching medieval history and literature to 7th and 8th graders.

A Must-Read
In addition to its literary importance, Chaucer's Canterbury Tales are an enchanting reading experience. The Bantam Classic edition presents the tales in Modern English translation alongside the Middle English so that one can fully appreciate the tales as Chaucer composed them, or if you're just in the mood for a fun romp you can speedily read the translation. The tales themselves move at a quick pace, so beginners will probably enjoy the modern version much more.

The Canterbury Tales revolve around a group of 29 on a pilgrimage to Canterbury Cathedral to pay homage to the martyred St. Thomas a'Becket. The members of the pilgrimage come from all walks of life, including a Knight, Prioress, Merchant, Miller, the ever-entertaining Wife of Bath, and many others. The Canterbury Tales are the pilgrims' stories and each one reflects the individual character's personality beautifully. One can't help but feel a part of this lively group.

Whether you like a bawdy, raucous tale or a morally sound fable you will definitely find something entertaining in this book. I laughed out loud several times and found Chaucer's use of symbolism, wit, wisdom, and the glimpse into 14th Century life absolutely fascinating.


Troilus and Criseyde
Published in Paperback by Michigan State Univ Pr (2000)
Authors: Geoffrey Chaucer, R. A. Shoaf, and Albert Croll Baugh
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The same but different!
I'm a lover of Shakespeare's works. I found a used copy of George Krapp's 'Troilus and Cressida' at a local book store. This Modern Library version is an reprint of his classic translation. If you love to read the sources for Shakespeare (Plutarch, Chaucer,Homer and Ovid) then I believe readers will enjoy this poem.

A marvelous translation and an excellent place to start.
CHAUCER : TROILUS AND CRISEYDE. Translated into Modern English by Nevill Coghill. 332 pp. New York : Viking Press, 1995 (Reissue). ISBN: 0140442391 (pbk.)

Nevill Coghill's brilliant modern English translation of Chaucer's 'The Canterbury Tales' has always been a bestseller and it's easy to understand why. Chaucer was an intensely human writer and a great comic artist, but besides the ribaldry and sheer good fun of 'The Canterbury Tales,' we also know he was capable of other things. His range was wide, and the striking thing about Coghill's translations are how amazingly faithful they are to the spirit of the originals - at times bawdy and hilariously funny, at other times more serious and moving when Chaucer shifts to a more poignant mode as in 'Troilus and Criseyde.'

But despite the brilliance of Coghill's translations, and despite the fact that they remain the best possible introduction to Chaucer for those who don't know Middle English, those who restrict themselves to Coghill are going to miss a lot - such readers are certainly going to get the stories, but they're going to lose much of the beauty those stories have in the original language. The difference is as great as that between a black-and-white movie and technicolor.

Chaucer's Middle English _looks_ difficult to many, and I think I know why. It _looks_ difficult because that in fact is what people are doing, they are _looking_ at it, they are reading silently and trying to take it in through the eye. This is a recipe for instant frustration and failure. But fortunately there is a quick and easy remedy.

So much of Chaucer's power is in the sheer music of his lines, and in their energy and thrust. He was writing when English was at its most masculine and vigorous. And his writings were intended, as was the common practice in the Middle Ages when silent reading was considered a freakish phenomenon, to be read aloud. Those new to Chaucer would therefore be well advised, after reading and enjoying Nevill Coghill's renderings, to learn how to read Middle English _aloud_ as soon as possible by listening to one of the many excellent recordings.

Coghill certainly captures the spirit of Chaucer, but modern English cannot really convey the full flavor and intensity of the original. Learn how to roll a few of Chaucer's Middle English lines around on your tongue and you'll soon hear what I mean. You'll also find that it isn't nearly so difficult as it _looks_, and your pleasure in Chaucer will be magnified enormously.

Worthy of the annals of Priam!
As usual, Chaucer has come through as the greatest poet of Middle English. This is by far the best expansion on Homer's epic poetry to appear since Publius Vergilius Maro's ├ćneid, and I'm sure Augustus would have enjoyed it just as much! Shakespeare's adaptation, Troilus and Cressida, is an excellent play but does not give this poem justice. I would definitely recommend it to any serious fan of English literature!


The New Complete Hoyle Revised: The Authoritative Guide to the Official Rules of All Popular Games of Skill and Change
Published in Hardcover by Doubleday (01 March, 1991)
Authors: Edmond Hoyle, Richard L. Frey, Alfred H. Morehead, Albert H. Morehead, Geoffrey Mott-Smith, and Albert L. Morehead
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Authoritative, yes
It is true. This book is THE authority when it comes to games of skill or chance, and even games that combine the two (like all games that mean anything to anyone). But this book is too authoritative, almost facistic in its clinging to the rules of each and every game. All games need to grow and expand (or contract) from their traditional settings. This philosophy is not, I suppose by definition, a part of this book. Otherwise ... yes, a perfect book. Of its type.

Hoyle rules the game
Sure you've been there the fight over how to play a particular game, or better yet the boredom on a rainy day when you've played all the Old Maid you can stomach. Whether you are looking to end a game of poker without bloodshed or want new ways to use that deck of cards Hoyle is the answer. Before you while away another boring day get cracking and secure a copy of Hoyle's latest.

Terrific Tome for Card and Board Games
More lurid books have I read,
but that goes better unsaid.
But still, just the same,
these rules of the game
is complete from alpha to zed.

Stop arguments with your family. Checkers really does have rules. Learn if you must jump the other guy, if you must move the piece you touch, and precisely when a red queen can be placed on a black king.

No one who plays games should be without "The New Complete Hoyle Revised." It was great 300 years ago (so I'm told) and is
great now.

Anthony Trendl


The Life of Geoffrey Chaucer: A Critical Biography (Blackwell Critical Biographies, Vol 1)
Published in Hardcover by Blackwell Publishers (1995)
Author: Derek Albert Pearsall
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Reading this book is like getting your gums scraped.
Unfortunately, I had to read this book for a class on Chaucer. The book is an unbiased, fact-filled historical account of what is known about Geoffrey Chaucer. It includes a mind-numbing string of references to actual documents related to Chaucer, anything that mentioned him. It is not exciting. It is not fun to read. The good thing is that the author does not take it upon himself to make Chaucer into some kind of hero, or super-poet.

Excellent Critical Biography
Dr. Pearsall's Chaucerian Biography is an excellent critical biography that will serve the serious Chaucer scholar well in getting a better acquaintance with biographical contexts in the study of "The Canterbury Tales" as well as other of Chaucer's great poetic works. Pearsall's detailed approach to biographical and literary matters coupled with the fact that he does not conjecture about biographical material makes this edition a wonderful addition to the work on Chaucer scholarship


Basic Inorganic Chemistry
Published in Hardcover by John Wiley & Sons (1987)
Authors: F. Albert Cotton and Geoffrey Wilkinson
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Good Reference and well written, BUT....
Presents a good overview on most of the elements. The basic edition is realy the same as the Advanced edition but with some of the Transition Metal stuff tossed out... I wouldn't buy the Adv. Edition, unless the school was shoving it down my throat... Not that this is bad, but I think that there are WAY WAY WAY better books on the subject of Trz. Complexes and Mechanisms (Spessard comes to mind in the fantastic "Organometallic Chemistry"). It is undeniable that FA Cotton can really write well and that the man is a genius on the subject, hell the guy lived through the glory years of Inorganic, but the book never really shows people what really happens mechanistically in the book... Everything is presented in an encyclopedic fashion, which sometimes makes things ambiguous... I think that this is a landmark of a book, but one that is really a first reference on a particular subject...

Best overall text
I had the first edition of this book as a student and used it my first years teaching inorganic chemistry before I tried other books. The reason I left this text to try others is that there is just so much information here and not the best organization for the order in which I teach inorganic. However, that being said, I am now returning to this classic from Cotton, Wilkinson & Gaus. The main reason being I had fewer student complaints about the text when I used this book vs. the others. As other reviewers mentioned, the text is encyclopedic! And you end up jumping around to find what you want; however, Cotton et al. has the most complete volume for the undergraduate & beginning graduate course, so that you can pick & choose what you want to cover without much problem. For those with a descriptive bent, there are many descriptive chemistry chapters. For others who have a bit more physical inorganic bent, there is good coverage of those topics. I've used texts on both ends of the spectrum, and I found they only pleased a small portion of the students, while others struggled. This book has everything you want in a beginning course, and more (!) while being flexible enough that you can design your own course by picking chapters to cover. Finally, for the student, it is an excellent reference to keep for the future.

Great text for introductory inorganic chemistry textbooks
This textbook is written in an easy to follow matter unlike other inorganic textbooks in the market that is harder to understand.It gives good examples for an introductory course especially for first year University students.The only downside is that, advanced concepts are not or insufficiently discussed.But in the Advanced Inorganic Chemistry textbook by the same author,these concepts are discussed in more depth. I would recommend that any student who is interesed in inorganic chemistry should get both the basic inorganic and advanced inorganic textbooks .With these two books you should have no problem understanding the wide topic of inorganic chemistry.By using an introductory and an advanced text, the student is slowly introduced to the topic.Instead of being thrown headon into reading and understanding a single inorganic chemistry book


Jazz: A History of America's Music
Published in Hardcover by Knopf (2000)
Authors: Geoffrey C. Ward, Ken Burns, Albert Murray, and Dan Morgenstern
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Great Book Abrupt Ending
This is a lavish book. Great pictures and stories about the founding fathers of jazz, particularly Louis Armstorng and Duke Ellington and how they affected and were affected by historical events. This also gives a lot of insight about earlier jazz artists who are not as popular today but still important.

What bothers me the most about this book is that it seems to abruptly end at about 1955-1960. Admittedly jazz becomes harder to cover as styles branch out and diversify. However, I am a big Miles Davis fan and I was greatly disappointed by the coverage of Miles and artists of the last 50 years. A lot of sniping in the book from artists about other artists. I'm more interested in the stories behind the music.

That said, this is a great book about jazz up to 1955, but it runs into a brick wall and stops. This series is good in that it will get people interested in all type of jazz again but there is a lot more than what this book covers.

Not perfect, but wonderful nonetheless
I loved this book; it's well-balanced and has plenty of cultural perspective. There were lots of anecdotes and photos that I have never seen before (the pictures of blacks dancing at an outdoor big band show at Randalls Island in 1938 are almost worth the price of the book alone). The main criticism about this book (and the Ken Burns Jazz series in general) is that it gives short shrift to jazz since the 1960s. First off, as Ken Burns has said himself, he's an historian, so this project will obviously focus more on the origins and development of the music rather than present-day musicians. And as much as today's jazz musicians and fans like to tell you otherwise, there haven't been too many groundbreaking developments in the music since the free jazz movement of late Coltrane and early Ornette Coleman, or the funk/rock excursions by Miles Davis. Furthermore, and more importantly, jazz is simply no longer a big part of the present-day American landscape. Although jazz records rarely sold as well as more pop-oriented music (a jazz record that sold 20,000 copies was considered a big hit), the music was always written about in mainstream publications and talked about by just about anyone. Heck, guys like Miles, Dizzy Gillespie, Charlie Parker, Thelonious Monk and Coltrane were occasionally featured on prime-time television. Today, the biggest (and perhaps only) jazz star is Wynton Marsalis, a bland neo-traditionalist who hasn't forged any new ground himself. For myself, I'd rather read about Satchmo, Bird, Billie Holiday and Monk.

Start Here
As a jazz fan and a professional music retailer, I can recommend this book as a wonderful place to begin one's discovery of jazz or gain more knowledge of the cultural legacy of the music. In conjunction with the excellent video series and a box of cds by the titans written about by Ward, ie. Armstrong, Ellington, Davis, Parker, Holiday, etc., one can have a wonderful adventure either discovering the music for the first time or revisiting and expanding old passions. Those who quibble with its incompleteness run the risk of branding themselves cynics after the fashion of Wilde's definition: "A man who knows the price of everything but the value of nothing."


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