Cross of Iron Willi Heinrich I have to admit that I read this book a long time ago, so perhaps it isn’t as good as I remember. But as I remember, it is incredible, a true classic of combat writing, so I thought I’d write a review of it for German Literature Month 2017. […]
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Strata Terry Pratchett Before there was the Discworld, there was “Strata,” the story of a company that builds planets. Including, it turns out, a strange flat planet out in the middle of nowhere… It’s a bit hard to review “Strata” in a meaningful way, because it both prefigures the Discworld novels, and stands in inevitable […]
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Under Orders Dick Francis As one of the last acts in the twilight of his career, Dick Francis took his favorite character, Sid Halley, out for one last race. Things have changed a bit since Sid Halley first appeared, back in 1965. As part of the time warp I mentioned in one of my earlier […]
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Come to Grief Dick Francis After an almost 20-year hiatus, Dick Francis returns to his favorite character Sid Halley in “Come to Grief.” Like the other Sid Halley stories, this one is dark and edgy even for a Dick Francis book, and like the other novels from the early 1990s, it features a particularly sadistic […]
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Whip Hand Dick Francis In “Whip Hand,” Sid Halley returns, this time with his damaged hand replaced with a myoelectric version. He’s returned to life after the depression of the first book, but has to face his own weakness when his nemesis threatens him with his worst fears. Francis’s use of Halley as a recurring […]
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Odds Against Dick Francis In “Odds Against,” Francis’s fourth fictional outing, he takes a decidedly darker turn. Although not lacking in evil villains, both “Dead Cert” and “For Kicks” had a strong aspect of glamorous wish fulfillment, and so, in its own way, did “Nerve.” Alan, Rob, and Daniel all had tough times, sure, but […]
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For Kicks Dick Francis In “For Kicks” Francis continues to demonstrate the mastery of the horse-thriller genre he established in “Nerve.” Even more so than “Nerve,” “For Kicks” is slightly bizarre, unrealistic wish fulfillment, but that in no way diminishes its charm–in fact, it is one of the key factors in its charm. Who doesn’t […]
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Unrest here at WFU! I’m very excited to say that Wake Forest University will be holding a screening of “Unrest” today at 6pm in Broyhill Auditorium, Farrell Hall. The screening will be free and open to the public, and there will be a panel discussion afterwards that will, health permitting, include me. I’ll probably discuss […]
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Hadji Murad Delphi Classics edition, with portrait of Tolstoy Decades after his time in the Caucasus, and years after he had turned his back on writing the kind of fashionable, worldly novels that had propelled him to fame, Tolstoy took up his fiction-writing pen again in order to create “Hadji Murad,” often considered to be […]
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Sevastopol Sketches Leo Tolstoy Riding on the success of “Childhood,” his first work, burning with patriotism and thirsting for adventure, the young Leo Tolstoy, ardent army officer, requested a transfer to Sevastopol during the Crimean War. His presence there did not win the war for the Russians. But it did launch Tolstoy’s career, provide him […]
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