This is an excellent adventure book that takes a Conan like hero and plots him against all sorts of evil (and good), including some Cthulhu creations as well.
Originally Ghor was an unfinished story by Conan creator Robert Howard. Upon finding this unfinished story, a magazine decided to finish it. What they did was have a different chapter every month written by a different top fantasy writer. It made the reading interesting.
While most of the chapters were great. Some were excellent. Unfortunately there were a couple chapters that I just wanted to get through to reach the next writers' chapter. Overall a really good read.
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Charles Harrington Elster and Joseph Elliot main point of writing Tooth and Nail was to educate students and adults of new vocabulary words. The novel uses vocabulary words that show up on the SAT. When I read Tooth and Nail for my honors English class, I myself, learned a new assortment or words and new meanings to other words I prior knew before reading the novel. Though, the words in the book were repeated a number of times I guess for reinforcement of the words meanings and different ways to insert into sentences. One thing I did notice that I thought was a brilliant idea was that the vocabulary words were in bold face and could be found in the back of the books glossary. The glossary gave the words part of speech, definition, and the page numbers the word id found on. On some words it also gave some synonyms to the word.
This book proves to have a lot of benefits, but an educated high school student should know eighty-five percent of the words presented in Tooth and Nail anyways. One of the major benefits I got from the novel was words that have similar meanings. Most of the words had synonyms that were also in the book. You have to like synonyms to enjoy this book because let me tell you there is a lot of them. The book could be very beneficial to a student that will be taking the SAT test. Even if the student knew all the words they should still read it as a reinforcement activity to bring back all the prior knowledge that might have been forgotten.
The basic plot of the novel is two new freshman students go to college leaving their families behind. Catlin, one of the freshman students, wants to make name for herself and decides to join the Holyfield Newspaper. She enjoys her first few assignments and makes some new friends, but she's finding herself interviewing victims and almost becoming a detective of some sort in the mystery, searching for a very, very, important item that will change history forever. The two freshmen meet new friends and professors that come into play throughout the books mystery. The two students meet and come upon strange things that are going around the college campus. They have a breathtaking quest to figure out a mystery that has something to do with the great play writer Shakespeare and one of his plays. Throughout the book new clues and suspects suddenly appear without any notice. The book provides mysterious clues and suspenseful plots. You have to read it to believe this book is suspenseful and mysterious.
I would give this book three and a half stars out of a total of a five star rating. I think personally if they would of came up with a little more interesting storyline this book would of got five stars. One thing I did enjoy about the book it used good description words for its characters and places. I think it went extremely in depth in describing certain subjects in the books, making the book a lot more enjoyable and understandable. The narrative voice in the book was Catlin and Phil switching back and forth throughout the story. I think the authors should come out with another book with more challenging, wider variety of vocabulary words, and a more interesting plot I would be the first one in the store to buy copies. If I would give advice to a friend about buying this book I would say yes, only because it a vocabulary builder.
The authors call Tooth & Nail a mystery novel, yet the "mystery" part only compromises the last 40% or so of the book. The preceding stuff is just garbage -- extremely slow exposition. There is even a chapter (the "radio chat" for those of you that have read this book) that serves ABSOLUTELY no purpose, other than to cram in words. That's fine and dandy, except one thing: the less interesting a book gets, the less likely you'll finish it. You can tell that the authors haven't visited a college campus for a while (yet, I think they put forth valiant effort trying to make it seem real.)
Indeed, I augmented my lexicon from taking etymology, but most of it was from a wordlist book. Contrary to what many people say, word-books are a good way to learn lists of words, so long as they provide exercises---this is what I recommend instead of (or at LEAST in addition to) this book.
The story itself is about two incoming college freshmen who gradually find out that strange things are going on around the campus. It's not the most enjoyable story, but it is interesting and relevant to people who are preparing for the SAT (and, as others have said, a whole lot more fun than memorizing word lists).
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The first five chapters (220 pages) provide a review of what accounting is, the accounting information system, the income statement and the balance sheet. Most of the what is written here is either too basic or will be later found in the remaining chapters of the book. These pages could be easily removed without sacrificing the remaining contents and the understanding of accounting.
Later chapters, however, are also wordy and take too much time explaining concepts that could readily be understood in a couple of lines. You end up getting tired of reading the same thing again and again.
In the end, we have to pay the price for so many pages. With 1300 + pages this book is the heaviest one I have ever carried around. Many people in my class have to use a wheeled backpack. I sometimes can't understand the fascination of editors in the US for such heavy books. If you go to Europe, Asia, and South America, books are usually thinner and much, much lighter.
I would recommend the book to be offered in a CD Rom (or e text) format. Carriyng my laptop around makes more sense than carrying the book.
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However, after the second chapter, it became vividly apparent that the book was written for the sole purpose to viciously and scathingly mock the Mormon founder and "Prophet". The Cranes seemed to be having a fine time doing so. Based on some of their comments in the book, I could envision them sitting around the computer, father and son having a fine time trying to outdo each other in wit and satire.
Instead of simply presenting the facts about the Mormon "Prophet", and allowing the reader to come to his own conclusions about the foundations of Mormonism, the book was riddled with sarcastic, mean-spirited comments about Joseph Smith.
Although there are historical facts presented in the book, some of the necessary information is suspiciously left out. For example, the theory that Smith plagiarized the Book of Mormon from a contemporary named Spaulding was presented as irrefutable truth. The Cranes failed to mention, however, that there are serious doubts that the Spaulding manuscript ever existed! All of the evidence regarding the manuscript is sketchy at best. None of this important information is given in Ashamed of Joseph (By the way, the phrase "ashamed of Joseph" is used so redundantly throughout the book as to make one want to pitch it across the room every time it appears.)
After much research into the character of Joseph Smith, I'm confident enough to say that he was certainly no "Saint". After reading the Cranes' book, however, I can also say the same about them. They certainly had their own agenda in the writing of this book, and it wasn't a very loving, or Christian one.
There are no illustrations of any Mormon leaders, followers, or other Mormon points of interest. The authors made sure to include photos of themselves, however.
For the serious researcher into Mormon history, I would definitely not recommend this work
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The real mass of the book is an endless litany about how long it takes to get Ng to trial, and in fact, the trial hasn't even begun when this book ends. The authors endlessly quote sources, to the point that the reader just wants to cry.
I am still trying to figure-out the reason for this book. It basically tells the reader nothing, and doesn't inform in any way.
Don't waste your money.
A key ingredient of this book is the very size of the case, which presents giant hurdles for the police and prosecutors who must bring the case against Charlie Ng. Fortunately for law enforcement and victims, one of these murderers commits suicide when first apprehended. But the remaining killer, Charlie Ng, flees to Canada to escape the possible death penalty in the U.S. Charlie Ng is a master of gaming with the legal system, firing his lawyers, stalling, engaging in other delaying tactics at the expense of the victims and the legal system. The legal manipulations get so bad that an appeal goes beyond the Canadian high courts to the United Nations committee on Human Rights. Although the murders were committed in 1984, it's not until 1998 that Ng actually goes to trial. The sheer size of the case is staggering, and the legal system is in danger of collapse from its crushing weight and the tremendous financial burdens imposed upon the authorities.
The last section of the book is devoted to ideas and commentary on reform of the judicial system. On the whole, this is an ambitious book, but it chokes on the same bones that the legal system uncovers during its investigations. There's too much of everything to consider: too many murders, too many people, too many clues and crime scenes. Another reason for what occasionally seems a disjointed approach may be that it was written by two authors. Though some readers might need to bypass the nauseating details of the crimes, this is worthwhile news reporting of a case that occupied the public attention for more than a decade and resulted in several network television documentaries. The book's commentary and critcism of the legal system have an appeal and relevance to crime victims and their families, as well as to officers of the courts.
I suppose one could recommend this book for undergraduate military history courses (if any even exist, given the sorry state of academia today), or perhaps for Air Force ROTC cadets. Anyone who already knows any military history will find little that is new in this book.
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