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Book reviews for "Young,_Arthur" sorted by average review score:

Published in Hardcover by Wendy Lamb Books (10 September, 2002)
Author: Arthur G. Slade
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Fab Book!
it's REALLY fun but no way superfiscial because the narrator is a psychological mess, and as the story proceeds he changes from kooky to a touching, real character. his underlying problem and coping mechanism becomes as the story unfolds, and it's very interesting and different. i think high school flavor is dead right-- the cliques, the animosities between them. i recommend this book VERY highly.

Writing from the Heart: Young People Share Their Wisdom (Best of the Laws of Life Essay Contest, V. 1)
Published in Paperback by Templeton Foundation Pr (2001)
Authors: Peggy Veljkovic, Arthur J. Schwartz, and John Marks Templeton
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from the heart
I think this is an excellent book which shows the truth on the hearts of the world's youth. Many books today work to stigmatize or give a bad name to this generation when infact, as this book demonstrates, we are a generation of hopful, honest, and motivated young men and women.

Young Arthur
Published in Hardcover by Bantam Books (1997)
Authors: Robert D. San Souci and Jamichael Henterly
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This is such a great book, I think other kids should read it
I waited for a long time for this book to finally come out. I am so excited that I finally have it.I liked when Arthur pulled the sword out of the stone the best. I liked very much how he illustrated it. This book inspired me to draw pictures about the middle ages. I think other kids that like king arthur stories should read this exciting book. I also wrote my own king arthur legend. Brian Kelly age 7

The Young Reader's Companion to American History
Published in Hardcover by Houghton Mifflin Co (1994)
Author: John Arthur Garraty
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This is a terrific book for EVERY student of US History
This is a survival guide for any student who is struggling for an understanding of American History. Not only does this book provide insight into the facts of our country, but also gives commentarys and analysis. This is a stand alone reference guide which should be among everyone's collection.

2001: A Space Odyssey
Published in Library Binding by Bt Bound (1999)
Author: Arthur C. Clarke
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The novel version of "2001" is a poor cousin of the film.
The movie "2001 A Space Odyssey" doesn't play out like any ordinary film. The unique ideas of the story are told almost completely visually. The birth of intelligence in the apes, the vast emptiness of space, Bowman's bizarre journey, and the connection between the monoliths are shown to us, never narrated. No one tells us what is going on, the dialogue is merely an extra in the story. How then, does Arthur C. Clarke wish to put this into words? He defeated the whole idea. The best thing about the movie was Stanley Kubrick's unusual style. Besides giving Kubrick "The Sentinel" (which, by the way, is a fantastic story) and helping with scientific facts, Clarke should have left Kubrick's work alone.I haven't even gotten into some of the absurd parts of the book where, on more than one occasion, Clarke gives too much of the mystery away. The novel is no better than a companion piece to the movie. Only read it if you've seen the film and understand and appreciate the story.

Classic Sci-fi...Clarke really knows what he's doing
One might think that 2001 the book was based on the screenplay for 2001 the movie (it's written on the back of the book). However, after reading the epilogue before I read the story (oops), I found out that Clarke worked on the two projects simultaneously. The book is actually very well written, with the technical expertise of any good science fiction writer. It does not read like a screenplay at all; it keeps you interested throughout the whole book.

The two different yet related conflicts in the book are well chosen. The struggle between man vs. machine on board the Discovery is similar to the conflict of man's insatiable curiosity vs. the vastness of space. Human beings have always been longing for contact with another race of beings, and this first contact is described flawlessly by Arthur C. Clarke. Clarke also portrays the worst case scenario of modern technology: a computer that is capable of malice and has control over human lives.

All in all, this book is one of science fiction's best and a must-read, whether you've seen the movie or not.

Filled with strokes of genius and inspirational notions
Such an easy, yet thought provoking, read. The structure of the book is wonderfully original, and some of the concepts and plot devices simply inspirational. Clarke and Kubrick, who were trying to counter the image of the stereo-typical Marsian alien, knew that for the aliens to be truly alien they would have to be incomprehensible to humans. How to describe something that is beyond human comprehension? Substituting the actual presence of the alien being with the monolith was a solution borne out of genius. The exploration of such giant themes as man's relationship to technology (whether it be in the form of a bone or a satellite orbiting the earth, or a super intelligent computer), the evolutionary process, or the human impetus towards worshipping icons and the formation of religions, is conducted in a remarkably unpretentious manner. One must say that the book is in the unfortunate position of being compared as a work of art with the superior Stanley Kubrick movie. The sense of mystery that the film retains in its conclusion and the poetry of the photography and editing, raise it to a yet higher plain. Nevertheless, both book and film owe a great deal to one another, and to the imagination of Arthur C. Clarke.

Darkness at Noon
Published in Library Binding by Bt Bound (1999)
Authors: Arthur Koestler and Daphne Hardy
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To differ with the common opinion here...
Koestler's "Darkness at Noon" is a magnificent book, no doubt about it. However, I believe that the current reviews are a bit mistaken in their depiction of Koestler's argument.

First, it is important to undrestand that "Darkness at Noon" is semi-biographical. The experiences involved seem to indicate tha the main character is in truth the Russian intellectual Bukharin, whom Lenin had wanted to succeed himself. Physically speaking, the main character resembles Trotsky. It's likely that these resemblances suggest that Russian socialism could perhaps have worked better under a leader other than Stalin.

The common perception that Koestler was demonstrating the "evils" of communism is naive and rather unperceptive. Koestler believed hat Russian communism ultimately failed as a system because it failed to address the spiritual side of man. The "new man" created by their social structure devoid of traditional bourgeoise moral value was abominable.

The movement inspires a complete commitment to it; so much, that one sacrifices oneself for the greater good. The individual is completely lost here. Koestler ultimately determines that this is unethical, that progressive "history" is unworthy of the sacrifice of millions of individual lives.

But are these flaws latent in communism within the specific context of the novel? Probably not. Koestler was a great critic of Stalin and Utopianism... but it's doubtful he would have considered communism "evil" or have attempted to expose it as such.

Excellent commentary on the nature of communism.
Finally finished Darkness at Noon. It was quite good. It's basically an account of the arrest, interrogation, and trial of N. S. Rubashov, a fictional Russian communist. He is one of the few survivors of the original revolution. No. 1 (Stalin) has decided that Rubashov must be removed from power and killed. He is arrested, jailed, and placed under the jurisdiction of a former friend, Ivanov. Ivanov is arrested and shot for being too soft with Rubashov. Rubashov then falls into the hands of Gletkin, a young and brutal communist. Gletkin subjects Rubashov to brutal interrogations and eventually obtains a confession of treason. Rubashov is then tried and shot.

Much of the book tells the story of Rubashov's life through flashbacks. It tells of his work for the party, offering harsh evidence of the communist principal that the end justifies the means. This principal, along with several others, is examined and referenced throughout the book. Koestler offers much social commentary on communism, man's nature, and his historical plight. Overall, the book is bleak and depressing. Dark images such as the suicide of a dockworker who cannot understand the changing position of the party, the torture and execution of Rubashov's secretary, and the condemnation of a faithful but misguided communist youth pervade Darkness at Noon.

In just over 200 pages, Koestler offers philosophy, history, and fascinating characterization.

One of the greatest novels of all time?
You be the judge. Beautifully written as if Koestler were a pupil of Tolstoy or Dostoevsky, "Darkness at Noon" is one of the most influential books I've ever read. Koestler's use of foreshadowing and symbolism is paralleled only by that of Krzystof Kieslowski's films. The author challenges the reader to constantly think and use their knowledge of post czarist Russian politics to keep up with the clues he leaves for the reader. For example, the author begins each chapter with a passage from Machiavelli, Dostoevsky, or Saint-Just hinting to what the chapter will contain. Koestler also never uses Lenin's name but refers to him as "the old man with the slanting tartar eyes", and refers to Stalin as "No. 1". This book also showcases Koestler's uncanny ability to write dialog between characters. The thought provoking conversations between Rubashov and Ivanov were marvelously written. Even more impressive was the depth given to each character. From Richard, the young German who devoted his life to the movement of the communist party in his country, to Little Loewy, a Dutch dock worker with the same task as Richard, and finally Gletkin, who would succeed Ivanov in becoming Rubashov's tormentor. I highly recommened this book to anyone who loves intelligence and intrigue in their reading. For a truly passionate and realistic view of though Russian politics, read this book.

The Hound of the Baskervilles
Published in Paperback by Scholastic (1987)
Author: Arthur Conan, Sir Doyle
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This Hound Does Bark
As a mystery writer with my debut novel in its initial release, I always appreciate the classics of the mystery genre. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's works are among the best of the genre, and THE HOUND OF THE BASKERVILLES is Doyle's best novel. Those readers expecting to find in this book the famous Holmes line about the dog that didn't bark will be disappointed. That nonbarking dog isn't here. It's in one of the Holmes short stories. What we have here is a moody work set among the moors with a strong and obvious Gothic influence upon Doyle by the mystery genre's founder, Edgar Allan Poe. Holmes and his supporting cast are all in fine form. The plot works, as does the setting and the tone. THE HOUND OF THE BASKERVILLES has endured. It will continue to endure in the future. It is a classic that people actually read.

Like Classics, Read this Book
Follow Sherlock Holmes and his trusty colleague, Watson, in one of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's best murder mystery ever, The Hound of the Baskervilles. Watch while Sherlock Holmes uncovers the mysteries of the Baskerville Hall of London.

You and Sherlock Holmes get to discover all the clues of Charles Baskerville's mysterious death and protect Henry Baskerville from being murdered. You listen to stories of the notorious hound. Finally, before its too late, decide who is behind the murder of Charles Baskerville. Was it the baronet, Mr. And Mrs. Stapleton, or was it possibly Laura Lynes? Find out in the end.

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle keeps you in suspense throughout the book. He keeps bringing in more leads to the story. The author also provides an interesting and intriguing topic with a tall tale creature tied in.

This book is wonderful and would be best appreciated by all readers 10 and up.

Classic book, can't beat the price!
[This is a review of the Dover thrift Edition of 'The Hound of the Baskervilles'] Dover Thrift Editions have done a lot to get me to read great literature: classic lit at an *incredibly* affordable price (at the time I'm writing this review the book retails for a *buck fifty*...even if it goes up, that's still one of the best book values you'll ever find!).

Dover's no-frills approach (generic jackets, inexpensive paper) belies the classic range of their thrift editions, and this is one of my favorites: Conan Doyle's best-known Sherlock Holmes adventure, genuinely chilling and moody. If you haven't read it in a long while, you might have forgotten how well-drawn and detailed this is. Conan Doyle's characters, dialogue, cliffhangers (Chapter Two's end is, in my opinion, one of English lit's best example of suspenseful cliffhangers that will have you flipping the page), setting and the suspenseful climax have made this a mystery classic for over a hundred years. If you're familiar only with Nigel Bruce's humorous but bumbling portrayal of Doctor Watson, you'll enjoy the *true* Watson of the novel...intelligent man of action, trusted by Holmes to investigate the scene ahead of him.

The price makes this an excellent gift (aw, at this price, go ahead and pick them up a few more Dover Thrift editions, including 'Six Great Sherlock Holmes Stories') or a great book to take on a trip (at this price, you can afford to give it away to a fellow traveler when you've finished).

Childhood's End
Published in Library Binding by Bt Bound (1999)
Author: Arthur C. Clarke
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Classic Clarke, Classic Utopian Speculations...
If you are an Arthur C. Clarke fan, you must read this. Characteristically, some of his main themes include the tension between rationalism and mysticism, which crops up repeatedly in his work, as in the ending of "2001: A Space Odyssey", or in "The Fountains of Paradise", to name just two examples. He seems to have a real love/hate relationship with this issue -- as far as I know, it may date from his experiences, as a scientist, of local religious beliefs in the land he has called home for decades now, Sri Lanka... At any rate, in this book the "Overlords" are a mysterious, powerful, but ultimately tragic group of beings which have vastly potent minds, but which cannot undergo the spiritual metamorphosis which would take them into direct communion with the sort of Godhead that directs their (and our) destiny. I liked Clarke's ideas about utopia, which is more or less what the Earth becomes after a few generations under the guidance of the Overlords. He seems to have had a lot of fun playing with ideas about future art forms, for example, among other things. However, this utopian society is doomed, because of an unforeseen, quantum leap in evolution, which turns out to be an evolution of the communal spirit. Clarke has a lot to say here about what connects us to each other, as human beings. Are we all linked with some higher being at the level of spirit, in the manner that islands would be revealed to be all linked, if one were to somehow drain the world's oceans? Or is striving toward a planned, ordered, social utopia, with allowances made for developing all of every individual's gifts to the fullest possible degree, the best way to relate to each other? These are the sort of questions that Clarke explores in this terrific novel, and he does it in a highly entertaining fashion throughout.

Childhood's End: Happy Ending vs. Ironic Tragedy?
I read Arthur C. Clarke's "Childhood's End" during a course in science fiction literature I took during my senior year at the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor. Not only did I thoroughly enjoy this novel, which reads so briskly that I finished it in three nights, but it is the most powerful and influental book I have read in my career as a student. Clarke uses the genre of science fiction and the backdrop of an alien invasion of planet earth to illustrate larger themes about how small the human species is, how inferior we our to both ourselves and the cosmos, and how infinite the Universe really is beyond the friendly confines of our home planet. Although numerous lenghty critiques have been written on this work by Clarke, the issue that really interests me is the true meaning of the books' title, and whether the ending can be read as a "happy" ending or a tragic one. On the one hand, I believe it is tragic, for obvious reasons, which I will not list as to spoil for those readers who have yet to read the book. However, I believe it is a happy ending because it symbolizes the unification of an already diverse and divided species, one that is more likely to destroy itself by its own means than to be destroyed by an alien civilization. I believe this is the central theme of Clarke's vision of the fate of the human species. Clarke made the Overlords want to have the children, and not the adults, because children are innocent, and therefore, naive. Children have yet to concern themselves with the materialistic desires, racial bigotry, and conflict that plagues modern society. Clarke illustrates that, while many have lost hope in the adults who are in charge of the globe - politicians, military leaders, and the media - there is still hope in the future of children, which Clarke restricts to those under the age of 12. Through a tragic ending we arrive at an optimistic message, that if humankind invests in its youth, we can save our species and, with the guidance of those who are older, wiser, and who think beyond religious, cultural, and even planetary restrictions, the species Homo sapiens can continue to progress in an evolutionarily successful manner. It is through the end of childhood that children gain the intellect and experience necessary to lead our species into the scary but nonetheless challenging adult world.

Probably the best science fiction novel ever written.
I fell in love with movies when I first saw 2001: A Space Odyssey. I fell in love with books when I read this science-fiction masterpiece. Both deal with what one might transcendental evolution i.e. mankind taking the next or final step in ways way beyond science (or, at least, "explainable" science). No other novel I have ever read (s-f or otherwise) has ever filled me with such an epic feeling of loss and loneliness. This short tale -short by today's standards- tells of the sudden, but benign, invasion of Earth by a superior race from other space. The media dubs them "the Overlords". Clarke masterfully unveils their mysterious plans to midwife the human race as it unknowingly is about to give birth to the next generation. It will be a generation that bears very little resemblance to the ones before it. The three stories about 1) our first face to face meeting with the Overlords (a monumentally advanced race that sadly knows it will never get anymore advanced), 2) the Golden Age that follows their arrival to clear the way for the next generation and 3) the tradgedy of our species having to watch and comes to terms with its own extinction all fill you with awe and wonder. Clarke skillfully creates whole characters with economy and fluidity. His descriptions of other worlds would stop George Lucas and his wizards in their tracks. Those worlds are utterly alien and believable. However it the emotions of romance, yearning, loss and desolation that send you reeling. This book extends the reaches that 2001 sent you out on and it saddens you deeply. Few authors have ever used science better to thruster power their imagination. Clarke has done it many times in novels and stories. Childhood's End is his finest work.

Rendezvous With Rama
Published in Library Binding by Bt Bound (1999)
Authors: Clarke Arthur C. and Arthur Charles Clarke
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Rings very true
While I agree with some of the other reviewers' criticisms here that characterizations here tend to be a bit flat, the human characters simply were not the point of this great novel - RAMA itself was the main character. ACC does a great job of fleshing out Rama so we can really envision it and believe it is real. A great novel (or movie) takes you somewhere you have never been before (that is, its not just a retread of familiar plots and characters). Rendezvous with Rama did that for me. I don't simply mean that it's a novel about contact with an extraterrestrial force - that's been done zillions of times. But rather, this one does it in an extremely compelling and believable manner. I found this to be one of those novels that I had to read virtually all at once because I couldn't wait to see what happened next. Except for the fact that NASA doesn't have the financial resources that the earth folks in this novel do, this book could happen today. No ACC has not tied everything up in a nice neat package - real life seldom does. I don't want to give away the ending - but I love the ending of this book. It puts our civilization in proper perspective, again seems very credible, and was a rather new idea back in the early 70's when this was written. In fact, my least favorite thing about the sequels, particularly the final one in the series, is that they trounce upon the spirit of the original ending. [For those readers who do want more character depth, the first sequel (Rama II) is perhaps the best in retaining the spirit of the original while providing truly fleshed out characters. I presume the latter was attributable to Gentry Lee, rather than ACC.]

Clarke at his best
"Rendezvous with Rama" was, and is one of my favorite science fiction novels, penned by the great sci-fi writer Arthur C. Clarke.

In the 22nd century, the asteroid detecting system SPACEGUARD detects what at first looks like a very strange looking asteroid entering the solar system and heading towards the sun. A space probe sent to investigate discovers the "asteroid" to be really a gigantic cylindrical space vessel. The crew of the spaceship "Endezvour" is sent to investigate the alien spacecraft dubbed "Rama".

Clarke paints such a vivid picture of the inside of Rama, that I could almost see it with my own eyes. The three ladders extending from the center of Rama into seeming infinity, the view of the cylindrical sea, the large empty "cities", all vividly described. Also, I really liked Clarke's description of Rama coming to life. The way Rama starts off in darkness, then the lights come on, the cylindrical sea melts, and the "biots" start rearing their heads.

Clarke doesn't forget about the issue of gravity in space, something many science fiction writers leave out. Rama rotates, giving the inside of the ship a sort of artificial gravity. As you climb down the ladder from the center of the ship, the gravity increases from zero to normal. It's nice to have a science fiction novel with some science in it, something Clarke's novels always have.

Appropriately, Clarke doesn't reveal everything about Rama, leaving a sense of mystery much like he did at the end of "2001".

The characters aren't drawn vividly, a frequent complaint by Clarke detractors, but this didn't bother me. We're here to explore Rama, not the characters. This book is a great read for any lover of science fiction or Arthur C. Clarke. Beware of the sequels co-written by Gentry Lee.

Rama Base - Endeavour has landed
I have read several of Arthur C. Clark's novels, and once again I find myself in love with the magic he weaves with his imagination. There is a power behind his words, a power that keeps your eyes connected to the pages for hours on end. Arthur C. Clark is very knowlegeable about science and it helps to improve the realism in the boo - no space marines walking perfectly in zero gravity.

This book had an excellent plot; it is simply the best extra-terrestrial contact book I've ever read... The only book that compares to it is 'Childhood's End', also written by Arthur C. Clark. I won't discuss the plot as Amazon has already provided a beautiful description of the book.

There was only one problem with the book - It's too short and static. Each chapter has an average length of 8 pages, and the pages are rather small, so even though I loved the book, I kept wishing that there was more to read...

The Bottom Line: If you're looking for a book to relieve your mind of the stress in your life, Rendevous With Rama is an excellent book to spend your hours... Just make sure your boss doesn't catch you reading it! Heh heh... -Aragorn

2010: Odyssey Two
Published in Library Binding by Bt Bound (1999)
Author: Arthur C. Clarke
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Better than the origianl novel?
This is a very difficult review to write. Why? Well, before I get down to it, let me say that the film version of "2001" SHOULD HAVE BEEN the only story released. No books, No sequels! (One of the main reasons for this is that I prefer mystery over the always "too easy" answers. For example, I'd rather always wonder why HAL did what he did, rather than have them tell me). In spite of all that, this is actually a pretty good book. The creepy manner in which the often overrated Clarke deals with the fate of the Tsien journey is astounding, to say the least.( I wish this would have been done in the otherwise good movie version). The main part of the book, the journey to Jupiter, is made interesting by the fascinating characters and the growing animosity between them. Not to mention thenice way the tension in Dr. Floyd's family is handled. But,I have one more tiny problem with the book. Since the novel version of "2001" dealt with a mission to Saturn, shouldn't the novel version of "2010" have done the same? Instead of Europa and Io, they could have explored Japetus and Titan? It wouldn't really change the story but would have kept the continuity.(Again another minor failing by Clarke). Conclusion: yes, as far as the novels go "2010" is better than "2001." Clarke's "2001" severly "dumbed down" Kubrick's great story. In "2010: Odyssey Two," however, he puts together a decent Sci-Fi story.

Very good...
... but not as good as 2001. Although the story was very interesting, I could not get involved with the characters. This was especially painful because the main character's nonchalant acceptence of events really takes the impact out of key plot points. However, Clarke manages to find ways to make up for this lack.

The science of this book was obviously well researched and, in many cases, is still applicable today. This adds a reality that much of the science fiction of the past years lacks. It really adds to the story.

The story itself is a pleasure to read. Many questions raised in the first installment of the series are answered in this book in such a way as to increase speculation instead of quell it. I am very fond of his choice. Clarke appears to really want his readers to think about what they read, and I enjoy that opportunity.

I don't agree with the author in that he chose to remain loyal to the movie instead of the book. The location is changed and I find Saturn much more interesting than Jupiter. However, the story flows freely from one to the other, and anyone who has read or seen either the book or the movie will find no trouble accepting this book.

Although I don't like everything in it, I enjoyed this book and have no trouble recomending it.

The Planet of Jollity
2010 brings the approach of a second Cold War between the United States and Russia, and at the same time, a problem is raised when the Discovery's orbit is decaying and risks a crash on Jupiter's moon, Io. Heywood Floyd, the director of the Discovery mission in 2001, is sent on the Russian ship Alexei Leonov to help stabilize the doomed space station. His other mission objectives is to solve the mysteries between HAL 9000's malfunction and the status of David Bowman after the encounter with TMA-2, or Big Brother, a gargantuan version of the monolith found on the Moon. And even more questions develop when the Chinese ship Tsien comes in contact with life on Europa.

The characters are very believable, with a few good lines from Max. "'Not to worry,' said Max cheerfully. 'All that will be gone when you wake up. It's--what do you say?--expendables. We'll eat your room empty by the time you need it. I promise.' He patted his stomach." (pg. 31) The plot develops quite rapidly, with strange new conflicts in every section. The author also gives excellent descriptions of what could be true behind many planets' and moons' secrets. "The core of Jupiter, forever beyond human reach, was a diamond as big as the Earth." (pg. 190)

Clarke tells the story very well, and everything seems to flow evenly, quite the contrary to my expectations. This book is never boring, and will keep you reading until your eyes bleed (or you finish the book, which ever comes first). The ending is not at all sudden, and it leaves the story wide open for more. Of course, Clarke has taken advantage of this fact in the sequel 2061, but that's beyond this review. This is a must-read for any Sci-Fi fan.

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