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$3.91
21. Leaving Unknown: A Novel
$7.69
22. The Unknowns: A Mystery
$23.76
23. Known and Unknown: A Memoir
$2.36
24. Unknown (Outcast Season, Book
$15.94
25. The Unknown Black Book: The Holocaust
$12.74
26. Traders, Guns and Money: Knowns
$2.99
27. The Tale of the Unknown Island
$8.45
28. Unknown Soldier Vol. 2: Easy Kill
$4.51
29. Unknown Soldier Vol. 1: Haunted
$2.91
30. Darkness Unknown (Paladins of
$8.44
31. Unknown (The Unknown)
$4.37
32. The Unknown Darkness: Profiling
$9.41
33. At the Hands of Persons Unknown:
$18.06
34. Omega: The Unknown
$17.95
35. Grace Unknown: The Heart of Reformed
$10.46
36. Unknown Soldiers: The Story of
$14.13
37. The Unknown Masterpiece
$9.90
38. The Unknown Life Of Jesus Christ
$4.98
39. Destination Unknown (Signature
$2.33
40. The Unknown Shore

21. Leaving Unknown: A Novel
by Kerry Reichs
Paperback: 368 Pages (2010-04-01)
list price: US$13.99 -- used & new: US$3.91
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 006180813X
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description

Sweet Lips, Tennessee . . . Toad Suck, Arkansas . . . Okay, Oklahoma . . . Truth or Consequences, New Mexico . . . Maeve Connelly's epic road trip is taking her through every colorfully named tiny town in America on her way to the far less imaginatively named Los Angeles, California. With her foulmouthed cockatiel, Oliver, her only companion, Maeve's heading way off the beaten track with little money and a load of painful baggage she wants to leave behind. But when her beloved rattletrap, "Elsie," breaks down outside Unknown, Arizona, she finds herself taking a much longer rest stop than she anticipated.

The only mechanic in the vicinity is on an indefinite walkabout, so Maeve's in for the long haul—and she'll need to find two jobs to pay for Elsie's eventual repair. But she's starting to feel strangely at home among the quirky denizens of Unknown—especially around her new bookstore owner boss—so Maeve is seriously considering saying good-bye to Hollywood for good . . . if she can keep her past troubles from coming to light.

From Kerry Reichs, author of The Best Day of Someone Else's Life, comes a poignant and very funny new novel about finding yourself after finding yourself in the middle of nowhere.

... Read more

Customer Reviews (14)

5-0 out of 5 stars I Didn't Want To Leave....
"Leaving Unknown: A Novel!"All I wanted was for this book to go on and on!

Ms. Reichs had me enamored by her protagonist, Maeve Connelly, from the very beginning(sort of like those girl crushes Maeve herself has with Ruby and Tuesday- not to be put together in the form of a burger chain restaurant) when she arrives in Unknown, Arizona, on her way to a new life in Los Angeles.However, her car, Elsie, has a different idea, and she finds herself stranded in a town that she's finding harder and harder to leave.There is more than one romantic interest- Samuel and Noah- and to Ms. Reichs' credit, you don't hate the one you're not routing for.(sort of like the love triangle in "Sweet Home, Alabama."Even though you knew Patrick Dempsey's character wasn't for Reese Witherspoon's, you really wanted to see him end up happy, because he was such a great guy.)

This book will have you laughing one minute and crying the next.And Ms. Reichs does everything with such a deft hand.Nothing is maudlin or over the top.It's just superb writing from start to finish with characters so believable she'll make you want to take your own road trip to this incredible town, and meet all of Maeve's new friends. There is a definite surprise element in this book, which I won't divulge, because I don't think it'd be fair to ruin the revelation I got to experience while reading this book, and it's with that piece of information, that all of Maeve's quirks finally make sense to the reader.

I loved this book from start to finish and just wish there were more than five stars to give it.It was just that good.If you read just one book this summer, I would highly recommend this be the one!I myself can't wait to get Ms. Reichs first book now, although Leaving Unknown: A Novel" will be a tough act to follow

Noreen Riley is the author of, "A Funny Th"ing Happened On The Way To Her Brother's Shotgun Wedding."

5-0 out of 5 stars One of my new favorites!
I absolutely LOVED this book. I was shocked a few times, laughed several times, and cried at more than one point. I adored Maeve and all of the wonderful characters she interacted with. (Even annoying Laura-Lola was worth a few laughs!)

I love the spirit of this novel. It did nothing to disappoint and left me feeling completely satisfied.

4-0 out of 5 stars An enjoyable chick lit read
Leaving Unknown was a book I chose for no other reason than the blurb on the back sounded interesting. I had pegged this novel for a beach read, a decent-sounding chick lit story. It is in fact, just that.
Let me start by saying that I have absolutely no problem reading beachy chick lit. I love it, especially if I happen to be on summer vacation, or actually on the beach.
This was the engaging story of Maeve Connolly, a slightly neurotic twenty-something who can't seem to get past her consistent "bad luck". Maeve is scattered, always trying to seek something beyond her simple existence living in North Carolina. She has taken 7 1/2 years to graduate college, is in serious debt, lives with a foul-mouthed cockatiel named Oliver, and drives an ancient car she names Elsie.
Seemingly on a whim, she decides to drive across country to make a new life in LA. She has a "friend" that she can stay with so she sells all of her belongings to set out. Along the way, she breaks down a few times, but Elsie truly breaks just outside Unknown, Arizona. Maeve is forced to stay until her car can be fixed, but becomes enchanted with the people and the atmosphere. Without ruining the story, we learn that there is a lot more to Maeve than the bubbleheaded scatterbrain that she appears to be, and she becomes an entirely engaging character, right along with the others the author presents.
Honestly speaking, I found myself very irritated with Maeve in the beginning of the story. She was a likeable character, but her actions were so irresponsible that I wasn't sure I was going to enjoy her as the heroine of the story. However, it turned out that the author was skillfully hiding Maeve's true story as well as who she truly is, mostly because Maeve herself doesn't know. Events in Maeve's life have changed it's original course and honestly, although the author had quite a bit of hinting in the story, I didn't see it. But it was a pleasant surprise to find that this tale had more depth than expected.
The supporting characters in this story are quite colorful, if fanciful, but they lend an air of credibility to Maeve's escapades that would be somewhat difficult to swallow otherwise. There is one particular scene in which Maeve acts particularly heroically that while not out of character for her, is a bit far-fetched.
But the fanciful bits of this tale are what lends it its charm, and made it a fun, easy read. I would suggest it for those who like this type of fun, easy story to read on the beach, or really anywhere you want to be entertained.

5-0 out of 5 stars Spot On, a joy to read!
I could tell Leaving Unknown was going to be a fun and quirky book but I wasn't prepared for how spot-on it would be. Maeve is the type of person you just want to be around because she's fun, spunky and different! But what we (or at least I) didn't realize at first was that she was hiding something, something that had a big impact on her life but doesn't share with others. Other reviews talk about what it is she's hiding but I really liked reading it in the book and discovering it for myself, the hints all adding up!

I loved the little quirks about this book. Maeve's cockatiel Oliver, which had some hilarious phrases he shot out at the most horrible times and a set of little sculptures Maeve's mother made for her when she leaves on her journey. And just the way Maeve interacts with the other characters made her so endearing, she was such a caring person that tries her best but sometimes falls a little short, but definitely not for a lack of trying.

The secondary characters were fabulous, especially bookstore owner Noah, doctor Samuel and co-worker and friend Tuesday. The author cultivates this community not unlike one of my other favorites, Stars Hollow from Gilmore Girls.

Every page was a pleasure to read, I laughed (a lot), worried for Maeve and wanted her to find her place in this world. I was very pleased to find out the author's first book, The Best Day of Someone Else's Life following Maeve's sister Vi, it's sure to be just as good!

5-0 out of 5 stars Superb, a great read
I am one of those people that reads the first page of a book prior to leaving the store.I was sucked in by the first sentence, "I can honestly say I didn't intend to be bad..."I almost sat down on the floor of the bookstore to read more.

Maeve Connelly, the lead character is so beautifully written, she almost leaps off the page with realism.I immediately 'clicked' with the Maeve and felt as if I knew her and Oliver the Tiel.She sets off on a whirlwind travel, to get to California because she thinks that out there, all of her problems will be solved.Unkown, Arizona, she thinks is just a little blip on her way to becomming "her," but she doesn't realize she's already found herself in that quiet, little town.I've never seen an author be able to so accurately portray the crush, the flirtations and the pensiveness of love as Kerry Reichs.I kept saying throughout the book, "Gosh, go for Noah!Forget Samuel!"But even the relationship with Samuel is key and the author portrays it beautifully.It's like a well choreographed dance.

This was one of those books you hate to put down, but don't want to get to the end because you just want it to keep going.My new favorite book and a definite five stars. ... Read more


22. The Unknowns: A Mystery
by Benedict Carey
Hardcover: 272 Pages (2009-04-01)
list price: US$16.95 -- used & new: US$7.69
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0810979918
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description

In a trailer park called Adjacent, next to the Folsom Energy Plant, people have started to vanish, and no one seems to care. At first Lady Di and her best friend, Tom Jones, barely notice the disappearances—until their beloved math tutor, Mrs. Clarke, is abducted, too. Mrs. Clarke has left them clues in the form of math equations that lead them all over the trailer park, through hidden tunnels under “Mount Trashmore,” and into the Folsom Energy Plant itself, where Lady Di and Tom Jones and a gang of other misfits uncover the sordid truth about what’s really happening there.
 
F&P level: Y
... Read more

Customer Reviews (3)

4-0 out of 5 stars Mathematical mystery recommended for all
The Unknowns is a story about two kids, Tom Jones and Lady Di, who live in a Trailer Park called Adjacent.The mystery begins with local residents disappearing and continues on with action, secrets, and intriguing clues. Following the main characters through school, turmoil with peers, and spy-kid challenges, the reader is drawn easily into the adventuring lives of Tom and Di.But this is where Carey brings it home - weaving math equations, maps, math history, and geometry into the story, the reader is challenged through this fresh, fun mystery.I was impressed by his ability to depict such accessible characters who are simultaneously brave and awkward, and who experience the normal blunders of early adolescence. The Unknowns is an unexpected find that also offers a great opportunity for dialogue between parents and children. Carey's ability to move the plot forward with empowered yet human characters that rely on creative problem-solving is sure to be a draw for a broad audience. The Unknowns leaves any reader smiling and thinking -"Finally, something new, sharp, and moving!" I would recommend it to other parents, kids, teachers, and even grandparents and the illustrations are wonderful!!

4-0 out of 5 stars Humorous, engaging, recommended
I have to be honest, math is my Achilles Heel.I have never enjoyed it and aside from a random B in geometry, I was a consistent average-to-below average "math" student, which is why I approached this book with trepidation.I didn't think the mystery would engage me. 20 pages into The Unknowns, I was captivated.The lovable main characters and their witty voices combined with the vivid descriptions of life in Adjacent made this a very smooth and enjoyable read.I appreciate a well written story with round characters that are appealing to a broad audience, which is what Benedict Carey accomplishes with The Unknowns.I encouraged my ten-year old to read the book when I finished and wondered if some of the math elements would confuse him (I'm just assuming he's inherited the gene of "fear of math.") and he is understanding and enjoying the book. There are elements of this book that remind me of other great juvenile fiction books like Bridge to Terabithia, Chasing Vermeer or Hatchet.

2-0 out of 5 stars Far From Pi
Tom Jones and Lady Di, two eleven-year-olds, live in the island trailer park known as Adjacent. Throughout their entire lives they've lived next to the world famous Folsom Energy Plant, everyday the same as the one before. Wishing for something to happen, the two friends finally get their wish - people start to disappear. At first it's just an unknown bum who everyone believes has gotten up and moved. Soon after, the well known Mrs. Quartez vanishes. An investigation starts, but mysteriously ends. Life continues on until one ordinary day when Tom and Di go to visit their beloved math tutor. Thrown headlong into a mysterious conspiracy, Tom and Di leave behind their once boring lives for the confusing labyrinth of theorems, numbers, shapes, and pi. Left only clues by their tutor, Di and Tom try to navigate through Adjacent to figure out the mathematical clues. Creeping around underground tunnels, Di, Tom, and their newly acquired friends unearth a plot that will change their lives forever.

Carey's use of sarcastic language makes this book appealing to read for younger teens, but even then The Unknowns fails in holding attention. His complicated way of explaining the multitude of math problems throughout the story lost me in their depths. Inching along, this simple plot was uninteresting and poorly written. Unfortunately Carey's included maps haven't led him to success with this new story.

Reviewed by Sasha Alcon ... Read more


23. Known and Unknown: A Memoir
by Donald Rumsfeld
Hardcover: 896 Pages (2011-01-25)
list price: US$36.00 -- used & new: US$23.76
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 159523067X
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Editorial Review

Product Description
Like Donald Rumsfeld, Known and Unknown pulls no punches.

With the same directness that defined his career in public service, Rumsfeld's memoir is filled with previously undisclosed details and insights about the Bush administration, 9/11, and the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.It also features Rumsfeld's unique and often surprising observations on eight decades of history: his experiences growing up during the Depression and World War II, his time as a Naval aviator; his service in Congress starting at age 30; his cabinet level positions in the Nixon and Ford White Houses; his assignments in the Reagan administration; and his years as a successful business executive in the private sector.

Rumsfeld addresses the challenges and controversies of his illustrious career, from the unseating of the entrenched House Republican leader in 1965, to helping the Ford administration steer the country away from Watergate and Vietnam, to bruising battles over transforming the military for the 21st century, to the war in Iraq, to confronting abuse at Abu Ghraib and allegations of torture at Guantanamo Bay.

Along the way, he offers his plainspoken, first-hand views and often humorous and surprising anecdotes about some of the world's best known figures, from Margaret Thatcher to Saddam Hussein, from Henry Kissinger to Colin Powell, from Elvis Presley to Dick Cheney, and each American president from Dwight D. Eisenhower to George W. Bush.

Rumsfeld relies not only on his memory but also on previously unreleased and recently declassified documents.Thousands of pages of documents not yet seen by the public will be made available on an accompanying website.

Known and Unknown delivers both a fascinating narrative for today's readers and an unprecedented resource for tomorrow's historians.

Proceeds from the sales of Known and Unknown will go to the veterans charities supported by the Rumsfeld Foundation. ... Read more


24. Unknown (Outcast Season, Book 2)
by Rachel Caine
Paperback: 320 Pages (2010-02-02)
list price: US$7.99 -- used & new: US$2.36
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0451463099
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
Second in the new series from the New York Times bestselling author

Living among mortals, the djinn Cassiel has developed a reluctant affection for them-especially for Warden Luis Rocha. As the mystery deepens around the kidnapping of innocent Warden children, Cassiel and Luis are the only ones who can investigate both the human and djinn realms. But the trail will lead them to a traitor who may be more powerful than they can handle...

... Read more

Customer Reviews (12)

3-0 out of 5 stars Book Two of the Outcast series
I love Rachel Caine's Weather Warden series - well, at least the first four or five books which I have read - but hadn't read any of her more recent offerings. When I picked up 'Unknown' I assumed it was a different series than the Weather Wardens, which indeed it is, but it has many links to that previous series and mentions many of the same characters.

I haven't read the first in the Outcast Season but that didn't appear to matter too much; I think I'd have found this book much more confusing if I didn't know of the basic structure of the Weather Warden series and some of the people in that. This book was rather darker and less character-driven than the others, focusing on Cassiel, a Djinn who is now something approaching a human, and who, with Earth Warden Luis Rocha, is trying to stop another ancient Djinn, Pearl, from destroying humanity (what else!)

This book is very fast-paced, like the Weather Warden series, with our heroine dashing from problem to disaster. Lots of people are caught up in the crossfire and she leaves a trail of dead bodies, most of whom aren't her fault. The book hints at a romance but this wasn't particularly developed. It was an enjoyable read but somehow I felt the action was taking over too much and I didn't really connect with any of the characters. Cassiel is clearly developing but I wasn't entirely sure how it would play out, and I also felt that Pearl was a bit too nebulous an enemy, and not knowing the extent of her powers made it hard to gauge the real level of jeopardy for Cass and humanity.

Although I enjoyed the book I was a bit disappointed by the ending which left most of the story hanging. I will probably want to read the next in the series but I did find this book a bit too unfinished for full enjoyment.

Originally published for Curled Up With A Good Book © Helen Hancox 2010

5-0 out of 5 stars Whirlwind of an adventure!
Rachel Caine is one of my favorite authors so I was excited when I found out about this new series. An excellent spin-off from her excellent Weatherwarden series and a fascinating new character to get to know. Rachel Caine always takes us on an adventure that makes you feel like you are in a car chase in a whirlwind. Great stuff!!!!

5-0 out of 5 stars Best Series Of Caine's Books!
I must admit that I'm kind of a Rachel Caine junkie.I've read all of her wonderful Weather Warden books, all of her good Morganville Vampire books, and now, both of her Outcast books...and I can honestly say that of the three, I firmly believe the Outcast series is Caine's best work.
First of all, readers are given a very compelling lead character (Cassiel), a once Djinn (a race of uber powerful beings which readers have been introduced via Caine's Weather Warden series), now turning human due to her resistance to a commanding order by a head Djinn which would ultimately wipe out all of humanity.Even when Cass was fully Djinn, not feeling the vast myriad of emotions that humans do, she knew that this was not the answer to their problems.So, as a punishment (and as a way to force her compliance), she was turned human...complete with burgeoning emotions, weighing decisions prior to action, and the frailties of human physiology. In ways, Cass misses her former self, but in other ways she doesn't. Her newly made humanity is allowing her the opportunities to see things from other points of view besides the Djinn ways.
Paired with the mercurial Luis Rocha, a powerful Earth Warden, Cass works with Rocha to find missing Warden children, kids who are poised to become the next generation of Weather Wardens.One of these missing kids is Rocha's young niece Isabel, the daughter of Rocha's slain brother and deceased wife.Immediately they come to find that an insane and powerful Djinn (Pearl) has been taking these kids to train and use them in her machinations to wipe out civilization.By awakening their Warden powers too soon, Pearl is playing with these children's lives, sacrificing them for her goals.And it's ultimately up to Cass and Luis to stop her and save these children...before it's too late.

I don't wish to divulge any more of the plot, but I can say that the action in this book is amazing, it pulls you in immediately & doesn't let go.On top of that, the budding romance between Luis and Cassiel is something to look forward to as the series matures.

An all-around excellent read..."Unknown" will not disappoint even the most fickle urban fantasy fan!

4-0 out of 5 stars Review of Unknown
I admit it. I'm a Rachel Caine junkie.i got hooked on the Weather Warden series and now I'm thoroughly hooked on the Outcast Season series.I think I might actually like Cassiel better than I liked Joanna. (I know, insert gasp here).

This is what I love about these books.I can expect for 300ish pages to get tons of action, steamy hot characters (with none of the smut that's typically accompanying said steamy hot characters), guns, crime-fighting, magic, fantasy and a story that has so many twists and turns it's impossible to see where it will end.

That's what Rachel Caine has given me in every single one of these Warden books I've read and she did it again in Unknown.So. Much. Fun.

5-0 out of 5 stars New favorite series
Loved the follow-up book in the series.Lots of suspense, action, and tense/gruesome parts; but I was bit disappointed with the lack of promised romance/flirting.The couple in these books seemed a bit unnatural or forced, but I think I'm starting to warm up to them as a couple.Again, Caine's writing is on point, but I have to say the cover artist didn't seem to take the same care in relating the look to what is described in the book. ... Read more


25. The Unknown Black Book: The Holocaust in the German-Occupied Soviet Territories
Paperback: 496 Pages (2010-05-04)
list price: US$24.95 -- used & new: US$15.94
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0253222672
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description

"The Unknown Black Book invites the reader to enter an almost unimaginable world where atrocity became a way of life and survival a miracle.... Killing on the Eastern front was raw and unmediated violence. 'The Unknown Black Book' captures that grim reality of rave murder and at the same time disarms denial." -- Richard Overy, author of The Dictators: Hitler's Germany, Stalin's Russia

... Read more

Customer Reviews (10)

4-0 out of 5 stars Unknown Black Book
Very interesting document, not only by its content, but also given the history of the book itself in Soviet Russia.

4-0 out of 5 stars Well into the book
Informative, fascinating, sad, the veneer of civilization is thin. Thugs are among us all, and but for the opportuninty...
This book can be repetitive but that's in line with its mission and source. If one does not need to be convinced how and where and to whom this happened, a myriad of witnesses is not necessary but I found it interesting nonetheless. This book is not for the squeamish or the warm-fuzzy types. I always cringe whenever I hear anyone bash the Jews today including using Israel as the excuse. It's not complicated. A Jew hater is a Jew hater. Dress it intellectually how you will. Human nature does not change. We must be ever vigilant.

5-0 out of 5 stars Unique and horrifying
I have read many books on the Holocaust and this title, by far, rates at one of the most unique I have ever had my hands on. There are not very many books detailing the activities of the Einsatzgruppen. I must admit that I have read so many horrible accounts, but this book was very difficult for me at times. I had to close it often just to stop contemplating the crazy and terrifying images it evoked in my mind. I'm even more perplexed now than before when I think back on what I've read of the mobile killing units. What an incredible reign of fear that Eastern Europe must have been under during the war.
One of the issues that I had with it, was a lack of perpetrators' views, but given the timeframe of the editors collecting these accounts, perhaps that is why there are none. It's amazing that a book like this has existed for so long but is just now making its way to publication in America.
If you are looking for a new book to read on the Holocaust, get this book. You won't be disappointed. You will get a peek at a part of history that many people aren't aware of.

5-0 out of 5 stars Unbelievable,but true
A very sad commentary involving the killing and mutilation of many thousands of innocent people. A book that must be read although at times it will be difficult to continue due to the very nature of the material presented.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Unkown Black Book
Amazing story of the German and Romainian occupation of Russia and Lithuania during the invasion of the Soviet Territories during the second world war and the attrocities perpetrated on their populations especially the Jewish population and the brutality they endured at the hands of the occupiers. ... Read more


26. Traders, Guns and Money: Knowns and unknowns in the dazzling world of derivatives Revised edition (Financial Times Series)
by Satyajit Das
Paperback: 384 Pages (2010-07-17)
list price: US$19.99 -- used & new: US$12.74
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0273731963
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
Traders Guns and Money is a wickedly comic expose of the culture, games and pure deceptions played out every day in trading rooms around the world. And played out with other people's money. A sensational insider's view of the business of trading and marketing derivatives, this revised edition explains the frighteningly central role that derivatives and financial products played in the global financial crisis. This worldwide bestseller reveals the truth about derivatives: those financial tools memorably described by Warren Buffett asfinancial weapons of mass destruction'. Traders, Guns and Money will introduce you to the players and the practices and reveals how the real money is made and lost.The global financial crisis took almost everyone by surprise and even now new problems keep appearing and solutions continue to be elusive. In the original version of Traders, Guns and Money, Satyajit Das provided a highly prescient insight into the structure and risk of the world financial system exposing the problems that are becoming readily apparent.In a 2006 speech The Coming Credit Crash Das argued that: "an informed analysis shows that risk is not better spread but more leveraged and (arguably) more concentrated . This does not improve the overall stability and security of the financial system but exposes it to increased risk of a "crash". this is possibly the best insider account of a career in investments since Michael Lewis's book Liar's Poker .I can't recommend this book strongly enough.'www. dna.bloggingstocks.com a true rarity: a derivatives book that keeps your attention all the way through...'Kristina West FOW A worthwhile read for anyone with connection to the financial world.'WorldFinance.com ...this revealing insider's account ...the book is peppered with cautionary tales...Das wittily exposes the mechanisms behind the arcane language ...'Carol Kennedy, UKCorporate Director Traders, Guns and Moneywill be useful for anyone with connection to finance.'Patrick Norwood, Society of Business Economists Book Review given the dramatic impact of derivatives, this book is a must-read.'NYSSA News contains more than investor advice, with plenty of tales of gluttonous excess and trading floor antics...'Cameron DueckSouth China Morning Post . must read for all CEOs, CFOs, bankers and anyone who cares about what banks are doing with their money.'Lara Wozniak, www.financeasia.com The murky and complex world of finances and derivatives is scrupulously and frantically told in this brilliant narrativea collection and recollection of exquisite financial tales well worth your time.'Convergence 'an amusing, down-to-earth look behind the scenes of the derivatives market .There were several times I laughed out loud .'www.runningofthebools.typepad.com About the authors Satyajit Das is an international expert on financial derivatives and has over 30 years' experience in the financial markets. Having worked both on the sell side and the buy side for banks such as the Commonwealth Bank of Australia, Citicorp Investment Bank, Merrill Lynch and the TNT Group, he now acts as a consultant advising banks and corporations and presenting seminars on derivatives throughout the world. He is a frequent interviewee and widely quoted in the financial press in the USA, Canada, UK/ Europe, South Africa, Australia, NZ and Asia.Das is recognised for his capacity to communicate complex financial subjects and trends in simple and non-technical language. Das is the author of a number of key reference works on derivatives and risk management including Swaps/ Financial Derivatives Library Third Edition(2005) (a 4 volume 4,200 page reference work for practitioners on derivatives) and Credit Derivatives, CDOs and Structured Credit ProductsThird Edition (2005). He is also the author (with Jade Novakovic) of In Search of the Pangolin: The Accidental Eco-Tourist (2006). ... Read more

Customer Reviews (42)

4-0 out of 5 stars Well-written but slow
This book is definitely a slow-starter. I used to be an equity trader/analyst and find derivatives fascinating. However the way this book begins made me set it on the shelf for the time being. I will eventually go back because it does contain useful information. However for a book named 'Traders Guns and Money' don't expect the book to bring about the same excitement as the title.

That being said, this is an excellent resource on insight into the derivatives market and how it's been used by professionals and non alike. Well worth the read if you're looking to learn.

As far as other books go, "Pit Bull" by Schwartz and "Reminiscences of a Stock Operator" are two solid ones.

5-0 out of 5 stars A refreshing look into derivatives from a professional
The author studied and ACTUALLY traded the derivatives that some people ONLY talk about. The book is written in an entertaining yet very informative way. I figure you would not be an expert on derivatives after reading but you sure will know a lot more about them. So in way, this is an insiders recount of the world of derivatives. A great book.

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent primer on the whole derivatives market
This book is an excellent read. It opens with a fictional account of a typical deal gone bad and works from there to explain where the derivatives market started and how it developed over the years.

Satayajit is able to explain complicated concepts in a way that makes sense and his expertise on the subject is very evident. I actually liked the writing style too - between the fiction of the opening chapter, the humourous description of office life had me laughing out loud at times, as well as all the technical explanations!

The book confirms every investors worst fear about Wall Street and how they consistently pick the pockets of their clients and the fact that many managers of Investment banks didn't understand the toxicity of the products they thought were making them billions.

4-0 out of 5 stars Pretty Good
I read this book after sub-prime happened and was shocked to see that if so many people knew how derivatives are used then why didnt anyone do anything to stop them, not even regulators? The Writer almost predicts the disaster waiting to happen. Book is full of practical wisdom (for example, "new paradigm" invariably means new bubble!) and real world incidents and anecdotes (for example, one firm sold call options with $0.01 strike on itself, with maturity of 5 years. Why you ask. Deep in the money call is equal to selling shares, except that you defer taxes till the option is exercised). Book is full of such anecdotes, which make it very interesting.

I gave it four stars because, sooner or later all the wall-street books give the same feel. You read one and you have almost half read the next one. This one is slightly different because it requires a bit more knowledge about finance than some of the other books on wall street.

To conclude, if you have already read 5+ books on wall street, this one will not have much to offer you. If you are anyway related with finance industry, you'll love this. If you are only beginning to read about wall street, you should get this - Das has a very rich industry experience and you'll love his anecdotes.

5-0 out of 5 stars Dazzling World of Derivatives, Indeed
Traders, Guns & Money opens with the classic derivatives fairy tale: the farmer grows wheat, the baker bakes wheat, and the banker--God bless him--brings the two together with a forward contract, hedging their equal and opposite exposure. This is the legitimate use of derivatives. Satyajit Das dispenses with this story in one or two pages. The following 300 pages is a look a the other side of derivatives: the dangerous side.

Das walks the reader confidently through the sell-side, buy-side, risk management, quants, equity derivatives, structured products, and finally credit derivatives. That he manages to do so with clarity is impressive. That he manages to do so with humor is absolutely amazing. I would confidently recommend Traders to anyone with an interest in high finance. For those like myself with a sick interest in banking, fixed income, and derivatives, it's pure gold.

The book does suffer from under-editing: an egregious spattering of typos and a few rambling passages. It's also bitingly cynical. However, neither detracts from what is ultimately the most brilliant introduction to the dazzling world of derivatives one can hope to find. ... Read more


27. The Tale of the Unknown Island
by Jose Saramago
Paperback: 51 Pages (2000-10-05)
list price: US$10.95 -- used & new: US$2.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0156013037
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
A man went to knock at the king's door and said, Give me a boat. The king's house had many other doors, but this was the door for petitions. Since the king spent all his time sitting at the door for favors (favors being offered to the king, you understand), whenever he heard someone knocking at the door for petitions, he would pretend not to hear . . ." Why the petitioner required a boat, where he was bound for, and who volunteered to crew for him, the reader will discover in this delightful fable, a philosophic love story worthy of Swift or Voltaire.
Amazon.com Review
"A man went to knock at the king's door and said, Give me aboat."

Even without the "Once upon a time," it's clear from the opening sentenceof José Saramago's mischievous and wise The Tale of the UnknownIsland that we have entered a somewhat fractured fairy tale. Of course,it could be argued that all of his works are, in some form or another,fairy tales, from the whimsical, revisionist History ofthe Siege of Lisbon to the darker dystopia of Blindness. Originally published as a short story in Portugal, Unknown Islandcontains all of the elements Saramago is famous for--dry wit, a seeminglysimple plot that works on many levels, and an idiosyncratic use ofpunctuation, among other things. It begins as a satire concerned with theabsurdity of bureaucracy as supplicants arrive at the king's door forpetitions while the king himself waits by the door for favors:

Since the king spent all his time sitting at the door for favors (favorsbeing offered to the king, you understand), whenever he heard someoneknocking at the door for petitions, he would pretend not to hear, and onlywhen the continuous pounding of the bronze doorknocker became not justdeafening, but positively scandalous, disturbing the peace of theneighborhood (people would start muttering, What kind of king is he if hewon't even answer the door), only then would he order the first secretaryto go and find out what the supplicant wanted, since there seemed no way ofsilencing him.
On this particular occasion, the man at the door asks for a boat so that hecan search for an unknown island. When the king assures him that all theislands have already been discovered, he refuses to believe it, explainingthat one must exist "simply because there can't possibly not be anunknown island."A palace cleaning woman overhears the conversation, andwhen the king finally grants his supplicant a boat, she leaves the royalresidence via the door of decisions and follows the would-be explorer.Saramago then moves from satire to allegory as his two dreamers prepare fortheir voyage of discovery--and nearly miss the forest for the trees. TheTale of the Unknown Island packs more charm and meaning into 50 tinypages than most novels accomplish at five times the length. Readers alreadyfamiliar with the Nobel Prize-winning Saramago will find everything theylove about his longer works economically sized; for those who have not yetexperienced the pleasures of his remarkable imagination, UnknownIsland provides a charming introduction. --Alix Wilber ... Read more

Customer Reviews (29)

2-0 out of 5 stars Meanders before completely petering out
A short fable by Portuguese writer Jose Saramango (it could hardly be called a novel at a scant 51 pages... with illustrations) that starts strongly, but meanders, becomes less interesting, and then finally peters out before the big "revelation" of The Unknown Island. I like the tone, the flavor of this harkens-back-to-olden-times-of-storytelling piece, but the author's run-on sentences and paragraphs, his dialogue that is smooshed into the narrative action, just becomes tiring and not as effective a stylistic device as I think he intended. The drawings by Peter Sis are not nearly as inspired or as evocative as the ones he did for Dominguez's "The House of Paper," which adds to the disappointment I had with this book. Short, but definitely not sweet.

5-0 out of 5 stars Sweet Tale
I give this book as a gift every chance I get. It is nicely translated from Portugese to English, and the story is captivating with an old world flavor. In the end it is a testament to the real value in life's acquisitions.

5-0 out of 5 stars Servitude and Freedom
The fable can be read in different ways. For example, we can interpret the protagonist's efforts to sail off to the discovery of the Unknown Island as an impulsive, yet human need--we need to cast off in order to arrive to a place where no kings will rule us from their distant domains. Additionally, we can also see Saramago's empathic treatment of the cleaning woman as a symbolic reminder of the prevalence of class even in mythical creations. Furthermore, the end of the fable suggests the redeeming value of love to our understanding of freedom and, thus, of our humanity.

Without being an expert in Levinas, I hear in this story some echoes of his idea of seeing and recognizing the other in front of us in order to transcend. From this perspective, I am more inclined to assign the role of protagonist to the cleaning woman, who abandons her servitude to the king and gives herself to another human being as if she understood that there can be no personal freedom without the other's freedom, without recognizing his needs and struggles.

4-0 out of 5 stars Haunting mythic poetic story
This beautiful little fable has been compared to Antoine de Saint-Exupery's "The Little Prince."It can easily be read in one short sitting, but skip the jacket blurb, which detracts from the impact of the book itself.A man goes to the door of petitions to ask the king for a boat so that he can find the unknown island.The king is busy waiting at the door of favors for boons from his subjects, so the door of petitions is finally answered by the cleaning woman.When the persistent petitioner finally receives his boat from the king, his destiny becomes linked with that of the cleaning woman.The peculiar punctuation of this book makes the reader search within for meaning and adds to the book's poetry, depth, and wisdom.

If you've already read this book and want more in this vein, try Snow : A Novel.

5-0 out of 5 stars Wonderful read
This is an excellent book. It is a very fast read as it is quite small. However, the story shines through its imaginative plot and fantastic characters. Saramago's style lets you escape instantly into the fantasy being unwound. Recommended to all. I can't imagine a person I know who wouldn't enjoy this tale. ... Read more


28. Unknown Soldier Vol. 2: Easy Kill
by Joshua Dysart
Paperback: 200 Pages (2010-03-23)
list price: US$17.99 -- used & new: US$8.45
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1401226000
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
Welcome to Northern Uganda. In 2002, it's a place where tourists are hacked to death with machetes, 12-year-olds with AK-47s wage war, and celebrities futilely try to get people to care. Moses Lwanga is a pacifist doctor caught at the center. But when his life is threatened, Moses suddenly realizes he knows how to kill all too well. What is this voice telling him the only way to fix what's wrong with the country is by slaughtering those responsible? What is Moses' connection to another past bandage-wrapped warrior? ... Read more

Customer Reviews (4)

5-0 out of 5 stars Buy it!
Up there with the big BD's from France and Belgium. Scenario still hanging together and the artwork is excellent. Can't wait for Vol 3...

5-0 out of 5 stars Unknown Soldier Vol. 2: Easy Kill by Joshua Dysart, Alberto Ponticelli and Pat Masioni
The second story arc of any comic book series is very likely not going to have quite the same feel as the first. Once in awhile, a comic series might continue past the first arc and still be able to maintain the same level of intensity throughout the entire run. Preacher and Sandman have succeeded beyond the expectations of critics and sustained a good sequence of stories throughout their respective runs, but gems like these are few, rarely seen. Most of the series out there today are stories that make a huge impact in the first arc and wane a little in the second. Not necessarily a bad thing too, first arcs nowadays are built so tight to sell, to impress, and it's no surprise the follow-ups pale in comparison, or go off on different artistic routes for reasons only apparent to the creators. The second volume of Unknown Soldier looks to follow that trend but, thankfully, it captures more than enough of the same feel and traits that earned Unknown Soldier the Eisner for best new series of 2009.

Thrusting Lwanga Moses a.k.a. The Unknown Soldier deeper into the role of warlord within the war-plagued lands of Uganda seems to be an obvious way to go even with only the ending of the first arc (Haunted House) in mind, and it's exactly where Dysart goes. But it's unlike any lesser efforts one may have come across; he expanded upon the world of Uganda and went on to detail more about the lives of the characters from the first arc. But introducing new characters into the fold (in this case, a hippy group including a couple, Alimo and Christine, a typical example of how African couples look like, perhaps) right in the first issue was something out of the blue and the first issue was a joy to read for that reason alone. That scene alone tells one thing: that luxuries we take for granted in our modern societies, clubs and drinks, are trivial non-factors in a world where violence functions as bartering currency.

And that's only one of the sub-ideas Easy Kill contains, expanding even to the isolation and loneliness Sera, wife of the Unknown Soldier, grapples with, in the aftermath of The Unknown Soldier's pledge to war against the extremist Christian rebels from the first trade. It is unsure when the Unknown Soldier will return to Sera's side and thus make her complete. What we do know is that the very same people the Unknown Soldier has sought to kill for the obvious reason of peace want him in their clutches. Almost like homage to The Wire, Dysart bounced off the storylines of his characters against each other, created a push-and-pull as a device to expand the story into something beautiful, something world spanning. All while pushing the conflict of the soldier and the rebels forward with a pace resembling a novel's.

One who has read the series from the start know how big the ideas can get in this book, and Dysart cramps big ideas in like it's Thanksgiving. Every idea sounds mature and feels like they never belonged anywhere else, creating a flow of storytelling reminiscent of, yes, Preacher and Sandman.

As if that wasn't enough, the editorial team brought in Pat Masioni as a guest artist for the second part of this trade, named The Way Home, and which looks like it could have borrowed a page or two from naturalistic works such as Pride of Baghdad or any of Robert Crumb's graphic novels. It is obvious, though; that Dysart never lost his usual beat in the last two issues, having obviously written with Masioni and his sensibilities in mind. Panels presenting a fiery apparition of Lwanga's elusive double presence ring every much as big a resonance as any of Ponticelli's own panels from the beginning. And the amazing thing is that it sits within the book oh so well...

5-0 out of 5 stars A Contemporary "Night"
I don't often write reviews on Amazon, but couldn't avoid one for this book; it's just that good.

I recently saw Elie Wiesel speak about the genocide in Darfur, and while this book is set in Uganda, I couldn't stop thinking about the Nobel Laureate and his work and how it relates to Unknown Soldier. The second volume focuses a lot on the strife young Ugandan children face - and it is a tear jerker.

This book has many hooks: emotion, contemporary conflict/politics, action...

Highly recommended.

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent addition to this hard-hitting series.....
I wrote in my review of 'Unknown Soldier: Haunted House' that this comic isn't for everyone. I was even considering putting down the comic myself being somewhat turned off by it's violent nature and situations (a lot of it involving children). Thankfully I gave this next volume another shot and I can say Unknown Soldier is one of the most engaging and thought-provoking comics running.

'Unknown Soldier: Easy Kill' expands the story's scope by focusing on different characters and how their lives are effected by the protagonist Moses Lwanga and Uganda's civil war in 2002. I realise alot of comics do this as their stories expand but instead of just feeling like one-shot day-in-the-life pit-stops (i.e. Scalped and Preacher), Unknown Soldier uses this narrative to push the over-arching story along. I think it's especially potent that Moses' wife Sera is given just as much attention as a main character as the comic goes along. You even find out more about C.I.A agent Jack (who I thought felt too much like a gimmick in the first trade to bring out Moses' hidden CIA past).

This comic has really gripped me. I don't usually like comics that deal with real-world issues because they feel like they are either cramming their message down your throat or they're just exploiting their subject for cheap (and violent) thrills. There's alot of suspense and violence in Unknown Soldier and writer Joshua Dysart pulls no punches but never once did I feel he was being exploitive. It's a sort of matter-of-fact story-telling that I feel is missing from alot of comics these days.

Exceptional as always is the art by Alberto Ponticelli. He has a real slick and real style that really draws you in. The last couple chapters in this trade are drawn by Patrice Masioni Makamba who's a native to the Democratic Republic of Congo and the story involving Moses and a former child-soldier is very powerful.

If you didn't like the first volume of Unknown Soldier I can't say Easy Kill will change your mind. However if you were intrigued by the first trade and are willing to put up with Joshua Dysart's hard-hitting (but not over-done)story-telling you will be well rewarded.

(an added bonus at the end of the trade is an expose on guest artist Patrice Masioni Makamba and a timeline of conflict between the LRA and the UPDF). ... Read more


29. Unknown Soldier Vol. 1: Haunted House
by Joshua Dysart
Paperback: 144 Pages (2009-08-14)
list price: US$9.99 -- used & new: US$4.51
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1401223117
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
Welcome to Northern Uganda. In 2002, it's a place where tourists are hacked to death with machetes, 12-year-olds with AK-47s wage war, and celebrities futilely try to get people to care. Moses Lwanga is a pacifist doctor caught at the center. But when his life is threatened, Moses suddenly realizes he knows how to kill all too well. What is this voice telling him the only way to fix what's wrong with the country is by slaughtering those responsible? What is Moses' connection to another past bandagewrapped warrior? ... Read more

Customer Reviews (9)

5-0 out of 5 stars Compelling; a random issue does not do it justice
Some books you know from a random issue; not this one. It takes reading a full arc to understand the beauty and horror of this series.This is at the top of my monthly comic pile now.No shortage of action, either, to go along with some deep history.Unlike anything else on the stands.

5-0 out of 5 stars Unknown Soldier Vol. 1: Haunted House by Joshua Dysart and Alberto Ponticelli
To pigeonhole a book like Unknown Soldier as dark and violent from the outset would seem a normal reaction after reading the pieces of praise given by various websites, and the synopsis, both printed on the back of this trade paperback collection, but this book is, in many ways, far beyond any discernable categorization. Even its supposed genre, being an action book, its horror underpinning and the story premise of an extremist rebel group wreaking havoc in Northern Uganda, are mere backdrops to the underlying moral and social difficulties faced by most African countries. One does not simply come off reading this like you would a regular superhero comic, but gains an understanding and sympathy for the human condition in Africa and in general, and it doesn't hurt to know that Joshua Dysart achieves all this in intelligent and yet fearless style, translated into Alberto Ponticelli's gritty and yet beautiful art.

Every eye-catching sequence draws the reader ever deeper into the struggles of the Ugandan people, particularly the women and children. It all started innocently enough, with Dr. Lwanga Moses, an activist for peace in Northern Uganda, with a pacifist viewpoint, going back to the lands he originated from to heal and to repair. No other line better exemplified that viewpoint than this: "We, as a people, must teach our children that peace is their mother. Prosperity is their mother. But will we ever believe that...if we continue to answer violence with violence." When the `dark' side of Dr. Lawanga Moses, depicted here as a hidden double presence, manifested, however, he ceased to be that voice of peace and became the hand of justice and violence that strikes at the very same rebels that have plagued the women and children for a long time, the Unknown Soldier. Bit by bit and horrific scene by horrific scene, we see how this transformation happened and how it was justified. The disfiguration, along with dozens of heart wrenching scenes (like girls with stumps for legs), brings us to that emotional place of sympathy for the Ugandan people and a special attachment to the Unknown Soldier who, like the Punisher, dishes out impunity to the aggressors. It gives new meaning to the word "violence."

And with writing this suspenseful and exciting, and a pace this good, Unknown Soldier becomes a book that's impossible to fault. Dysart's source material is unmistakable, without even a hint of doubt to the plausibility of the setting or the ripped-from-the-headlines type of conflict between the Ugandan rebels and the victims. This ultra-realism is what brings it on par with comparable historic non-fiction. Unknown Soldier never feels a little like a book purely for entertainment. In fact, it is a little like watching a good documentary, but ratcheted up with graphic violence appropriate to the type typically seen in places like Uganda and spruced up with some of the best sequences done for a Vertigo comic. If there is any book that signifies Dysart's clear-cut rise to maturity in his content, this is it. This has "Magnum Opus" written all over it, and readers are sure to take in every single pulse of excitement and exhilaration in the action, absorbing every emotion of struggle within the war-torn lands of Uganda.

Ponticelli hit a home run with visuals soaking with realism to match the story's. Every person portrayed here looks like someone out of a newscast, right down to the scrawny bones of the terrorized African children. Phenomenal is the right word to describe it. It is far beyond its time, and looks, in every sense, like it very well have ushered a new generation of excellence in comic art, a level where art draws us into the story in immeasurable ways rather than push us away with unrealistic visuals.

This story resonates with astounding ease and this first volume is just the seed for things to come, which already looks epic and something for the ages. It even educates us in the process, brings its readers into the pitfalls and failings of Africa and pours a sense of identification and sympathy into them. It's almost unfair.

4-0 out of 5 stars Hard-hitting but very engaging...
I've just finished reading the first two trades of Unknown Soldier and must say I'm still very conflicted about this comic. On one hand I'm really getting sick of comics (particularly superhero comics) trying to address the serious issues of the REAL world using realistic violence and situations borderlining on tragedy porn. Apparently watching our favorite superhero's get raped, disemboweled, emotionally tortured or have to deal with child massacres became entertaining at some point. However this new version of Unknown Soldier never pretends to be set anywhere but the real world. It's also very well written and researched by writer Joshua Dysart.

Unknown Soldier is set in 2002 Uganda. It's protagonist is Dr. Moses Lwanga and he and his wife are on a peace-keeping mission. Through circumstances Moses is attacked and discovers he has combat abilities (ala the Bourne Identity) and proceeds to wage a one-man war against the LRA (Lord's Resistance Army) and it's leader Joseph Kony. Along the way he discovers more and more the complexities of the situations in Uganda (political or otherwise) and how it effects the people who live there showing that these problems existed long before the LRA came into being.

Unknown Soldier may sound like a simple action-adventure story but it's actually very heavy handed. Every action Moses takes has an impact and not just on the LRA. He kills alot of his enemies but there are always reprocussions. Also just like real life, the LRA fights alot of it's battles with child soldiers. In this comic you will see children kill adults and other children; as well as be killed by others (including Moses himself). Normally this would be enough reason NOT to read this comic but never once did I feel it was trying to be exploitive. Even when it seems the action is starting to get too stylish there's always something to remind you of how very real this world is. Watching someone get killed (bad guy or anyone else) is anything but fun and this comic knows it.

Along with good writing is fantastic art by Alberto Ponticelli. Unknown Soldier is drawn very compitantly (great use of colors too) and helps ground the subject in reality.

Obviously Unknown Soldier isn't for everyone; in fact I'm still debating if it's even for me. The story's very realistic and grim (though the second volume offers it's characters some glimpse of hope). The story is also very intelligent and doesn't feel like it's exploiting it's real world subject matter for the sake of entertainment like so many other comics these days (i.e. Iron Man, Green Arrow, the Ultimates and just about anything Garth Ennis writes). It even encouraged me to learn more about Uganda and it's history. For that alone I think Unknown Soldier is at least worth a look.

4-0 out of 5 stars Very Interesting Comic about a man in Uganda

I came into this book with high expectations as I've read great reviews and I am very interested in stories about Africa. The comic does not disappoint. It is sad, scary, exciting and different.

The story starts with an idealist, practical Ugandan doctor trying to help people in Northern Uganda. He is a pacifist and he is loved by the people he helps. Tragedy changes him into a soldier. This sounds like a ridiculous comic book cliché, a tragedy transforms a person into a vigilante, however the comic uses it in a new way. At almost every issue we get the notion that violence might be making things worse. The villains are monsters, but it is not clear whether violence is the way to stop them or if there's a peaceful solution. I really like that the comic keeps questioning whether violence is the way (something which comics usually take as the default answer).

The art is very well done. Ponticelli does a fantastic job of making the world feel real. It is the part of the book that makes things scary, as the visceral images bring in an extra layer of terror.

A very interesting story that makes you think of tough questions about life. I can't wait to read the next volume.

5-0 out of 5 stars A mature good read
An excellent story. The drawings are good, but the content and accurate details of the story are what make the book excellent. Having worked all over Africa and the Middle East for over a decade, I can say the book overall is somewhat accurate. Yes some things are over the top and blown out of proportion; however, the context is pretty much on par with what I've witnessed. Like I said, the story is a good read. The only thing I didn't care for was the "Unknown Soldier" title. I'm used to the WWII "Unknown Soldier" and thinking about an "Unknown Soldier" that wasn't fighting in WWII turned me off a little bit. After reading the first few pages...the title didn't matter. ... Read more


30. Darkness Unknown (Paladins of Darkness, Book 5)
by Alexis Morgan
Mass Market Paperback: 384 Pages (2009-01-27)
list price: US$6.99 -- used & new: US$2.91
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1416563431
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description

Alexis Morgan's seductive Paladin series continues with a red-hot romance between a powerful warrior sworn to secrecy and the irresistible woman who makes him lose control....

Gwen Mosely's life changes forever when she stumbles across a handsome stranger, bleeding and left for dead in the woods behind her farm. But the real shock is how his wounds heal overnight -- a trait he shares with Gwen's teenaged half-brother Chase.

Jarvis Donahue can't keep his eyes -- or his hands -- off the sexy redhead who rescued him. Gwen's warm smile and lust-filled eyes are impossible to resist...but Jarvis immediately recognizes Chase as a fellow Paladin, a warrior born to defend mankind in the relentless battle against the Others. Although Gwen may hate Jarvis for it, he is dutybound to introduce Chase to the Paladins' dangerous lifestyle.

As the barrier between the two worlds weakens, the threat grows perilously close to Gwen's farm. Jarvis is determined to protect his lover -- but if he reveals his identity, he not only betrays his people's secret, he risks losing her forever.... ... Read more

Customer Reviews (16)

1-0 out of 5 stars a HUGE disappointment
So far i have read every book in the Paladin series(just not in order lol), and unfortunately this book was a HUGE disappointment to the series. Jarvis has been in the other books but never talked about in depth so i was excited about finally getting to read about him, but his story was so badly written and lackluster that im surprised i even finished the book.

The story basically begins with a half dead Jarvis being found by a young women(Gwen/Chase)and her brother on their family farm. When Gwen notices that Jarvis has the same abilities as her brother she decides to try to find some answers. FROM this point the book could still have been decent but it was a complete bust, most of the book was spent with either Jarvis hating the fact that he had to lie to Gwen or thinking about being with her. The whole story was so bad that even the most obsessed Paladin reader couldnt find any good points about the book.

Good luck to those of you who feel you have to read the book to keep up to date with the Paladin series, but try reading Hunters story because it was amazing(lol)
ENJOY

1-0 out of 5 stars Very Disappointing
Did Alexis Morgan really write this book?I couldn't believe how amateur the writing style was, especially after reading all the other books in the series.The author told me everything, never let the characters do it themselves, or if they started to, she abruptly summarized for them. Grr! I knew the author had some minor issues with her writing style, but in this book I never got to know the main character or empathize with him or any of the other characters.I'd been waiting a long time for this book because I loved the series.Now it's doubtful I will continue.What happened??

4-0 out of 5 stars More like 4 1/2 stars...
Jarvis Donahue is a Paladin, dedicated to fighting the alien race of the Others even if it means losing his life. Gwen Mosely finds Jarvis near her farm and recognizes that he has the same unusual healing properties as her brother, Chase. Will saving Jarvis cost Gwen everything? Or can this warrior find happiness in love?

DARKNESS UNKNOWN is the fifth installment in the Paladins of Darkness series but can easily be read as a stand alone. Alexis Morgan detours away from the Seattle Paladins to introduce us to Jarvis and a new group of Paladins. DARKNESS UNKNOWN also focuses more on the romance and less on the mystery of the Others than some of the prior books. I have to admit that I missed the ventures into the mindset of the Others but I suspect that DARKNESS UNKNOWN may be setting the stage for future mysteries to unfold.

Alexis Morgan always does an excellent job at character development and DARKNESS UNKNOWN is no exception. Jarvis and Gwen are a great couple and the attraction between them is undeniable. The issues involving Chase's heritage add just the right touch of tension to their story. However, the most powerful scenes are not the ones involving the main characters but are instead those focusing on the secondary character of Hunter. I can't wait to read Hunter's story!

DARKNESS UNKNOWN is in some ways a reintroduction to the Paladins. Alexis Morgan is branching out past Seattle and has to reestablish some of the world as a result. I look forward to seeing just how all the various tidbits are going to fit together. Easily recommended!

COURTESY OF CK2S KWIPS AND KRITIQUES

4-0 out of 5 stars Finally a Romance That's Not Just About the Sex!
This is my first book I have read in this series and i will be getting the others!I love romance novels with a fantasy twist and this series looks very promising.The thing I loved most about this book is that it wasn't all sex focused and there was a great story to it!I get bit so many times by romance novels that spend more time agonizing over the sexual tension and pining that the story gets completely left out.This book has a fantastic story line and the romantic content is perfectly applied!

4-0 out of 5 stars Darkness Unknown by Alexis Morgan
a GREAT book, like her others in this series...the Paladins. This is book #5 and it's Jarvis' story...very good, and i loved it! ... Read more


31. Unknown (The Unknown)
by Mark Waid
Paperback: 112 Pages (2010-10-12)
list price: US$9.99 -- used & new: US$8.44
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1608860434
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
She has solved every mystery known to man. But there is one mystery that remains... UNKNOWN! Revered as the smartest person alive, Catherine Allingham is the world's most famous private investigator. Follow her adventures as she sets out to solve the one mystery she's never been able to crack- death! A new graphic novel series from Mark Waid (KINGDOM COME) in the vein of RUSE with international superstar Minck Oosterveer. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (2)

4-0 out of 5 stars Interesting character and premise
Mark Waid seems to get more press for the things he's done with colorfully clad superheroes.He rewrote Superman's future in Kingdom Come and set a lot of plot lines into play that writers jockeyed with for years (and some still do), and he had an absolutely sterling run on Captain America that fans still talk about today.But he's always had a turn toward mystery and the supernatural that fit better in the "real" world - of course, he shows his "pulp" roots while spinning those stories.

In The Unknown, the first Catherine Allingham story arc, Mark Waid introduces his audience to a compelling, troubled character.Catherine is an internationally known private detective, one that has no peer when it comes to unraveling the tangled skeins of murder.However, she's dying.Her particular form of cancer has left her six months to live and she knows it.What she does not know is what will happen to her after she dies.

Unable to wait on that Great Mystery, Catherine desperately turns her attentions to cases that touch on learning what that Unknown holds for her in a few short months.

The introductory sequence is chilling.As part of her affliction, Catherine has started seeing things that aren't real.One of them is a particularly gruesome specter that hangs around her and pops up at stressful times.Minck Oosterveer (the artist) has created a terribly effective image that haunted me even after I finished the graphic novel.In fact, Oosterveer drew a multitude of images that stand out in my mind.The pulse-pounding race through the train as bodies explode around Catherine, the terrors barely restrained in the sanitarium, and the horrors behind the Big Door are right there at my fingertips.

During the introductory case that sets up how smart Catherine is at her chosen vocation, she also takes on a protégé, a bouncer named James Doyle.While being a large and capable man, Doyle is also incredibly observant, and it's this skill that draws Catherine to him.Now that she can no longer completely trust what she herself is seeing, she wants someone around her that can keep her from jumping at grim-faced shadows.

Unfortunately, and even more creepy, Doyle isn't completely immune to those specters.I have to admit that this is a twist I hadn't seen coming, and I'm not really happy that it wasn't explained in this first arc.I'm completely sold on the second arc when it comes out, though.I'll be first in line to pick it up.That arc is coming out in monthly comics now, but I hate having to wait as cliffhanger follows cliffhanger.

I love Catherine's character, and Doyle is a fantastic partner for her, but I don't know what his ultimate game plan is, or whether I should completely trust him even though I want to.Mysteries pile on mysteries in this first edition.

The mix of straight mystery, a plucky heroine up against the ropes, and the supernatural combine to create a dizzying confection of rapid-paced adventure.Oosterveer's brilliant artwork provides a beautiful garnish that brings the story to macabre and mysterious life.

3-0 out of 5 stars Four issue mystery/adventure miniseries written by Mark Waid
This hardcover collects the four-issue 2009 Boom! Studios mystery/adventure miniseries from writer Mark Waid and artist Minck Oosterveer.World-famous private investigator Catherine Allingham has a brain tumor and six months to live.She hires bouncer James Doyle as her assistant (her Dr. Watson?) in pursuit of the ultimate human mystery: what happens after we die?The pair faces both man-made and supernatural challenges in their international quest.Allingham also battles disturbing hallucinations apparently brought on by her illness.Waid offers two appealing main characters, but after a strong start, the plot is eventually unsatisfying.This is the first American comic book series for Dutch artist Minck Oosterveer, whose artwork is sometimes appealing but often too cartoonish.Variant covers are included: Erik Jones' painted covers are the highlights.Boom! Studios' $24.99 is a very high list price for a 112 page hardcover (the four regular-sized individual issues were priced highly enough at $3.99 each).The Waid/Oosterveer creative team has combined for a second Unknown four-issue miniseries entitled "The Devil Made Flesh". ... Read more


32. The Unknown Darkness: Profiling the Predators Among Us
by Gregg O. Mccrary
Mass Market Paperback: 400 Pages (2004-10-01)
list price: US$7.99 -- used & new: US$4.37
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0060509589
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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In basement offices three stories below the ground at the FBI's Academy in Quantico, Virginia, former Supervisory Agent Gregg McCrary was among the first generation of the most elite force for criminal investigation in the world.

In The Unknown Darkness, McCrary takes the reader behind the crime scene to examine in raw first–person close–up the lethal competition between America's most dangerous predators and the dedicated souls who pledge to put them away. McCrary's 25 years in the Bureau have yielded over 1000 cases to draw upon. The 10 he describes in the book reveal the strengths and pitfalls of modern criminal investigation.

McCrary is not afraid to answer the questions most often skirted by the others: what happens at the crime scene, what kind of person does it take to grapple with the serial killers among us, and exactly how do we disarm the enemy?

... Read more

Customer Reviews (18)

5-0 out of 5 stars Great information and an interesting read!
I found this book to be very interesting. I learned a great deal about profiling, and the author used various cases to explain the training one must go through in order to become a profiler. The cases were interesting; I recognized a few because they were "famous," but others were ones with which I was not familiar. He goes into detail about what is involved with giving a profile as well as other types of work that he has done as part of the Behavioral Science Unit in the FBI. All of it is quite fascinating and very clear--you will definitely know what you need to do in order to get close to having a chance at a job like this if you are interested. If not, and you are just interested in what goes on with profiling and how serial killers/rapists, etc. are caught, I think you will still find it to be a captivating read.

5-0 out of 5 stars entertaining read
This genre can be kind of dark, but this book is well-written and certainly interesting. He covers numerous cases and the descriptions are fascinating.

5-0 out of 5 stars Another perspective on Criminal Profiling
The Unknown Darkness: Profiling the Predators Among Us
Having read a large number of true crime books and many in the area of criminal profiling this is one I would highly recommend on the subject. McCrary comes across as one of the more modest of his many colleagues. The books chapters follow a number of well known cases such as Waco, The Sam Sheppard Case, The 'Ken and Barbie' case following Paul Bernardo as the Scarborough Rapest and his later murders. The book is cleverly written as each story portrays different aspects of Criminal Investigative Analysis from personality profiling, interview techniques, hostage negotiations, crime scene analysis etc. It is a well written, easy to read book for first time crime readers through to the avid fans of the genre.I found it very hard to put down until I had gone 'cover to cover'. McCrary's narrative and obvious knowledge flows easily throughout.

4-0 out of 5 stars Interesting Peek into a Dark World
The book reads like a really long research paper, which will turn off some people.It's an intense read with case details and insights into dark minds.The transitions between chapters are nicely handled so that it doesn't seem like a collection of loosely connected notes.

It's not really a "fun" book, but it is informative and highly interesting.Those looking for thrills should look elsewhere, but those looking for honest, intellectual insight into how the predators think have found what they're looking for.

4-0 out of 5 stars Only for Crime Reading Enthusiasts!
Okay, I have read better books but I believe the author's role in the Karla Homolka and Paul Bernardo's dispicable crimes in the murders of three innocent young ladies including Karla's sister is worth reading in the first place if you followed the crimes. Now, Karla is a free woman. Paul will be eligible for parole in 2020 according to the book. I understand profiling is not an exact science. The author writes about the miss in the Hindu Mass HOmicide case where nine innocent monks including a nun were killed execution style for literally peanuts of their wealth. They would have probably given them everything they asked for if they were given the opportunity. The author does lose me with the David Koresh and the Waco situation. I don't believe he firmly explained how dangerous Koresh was specifically. As a reader, we know he followed in the footsteps of another monster, Jim Jones, but the author never clarifies the process of Koresh's madness from leader to dictator in his small congregation. The book is really for crime enthusiasts like myself who enjoys reading about crime and what makes people tick. He is accurate in his depiction of Paul and Karla's crimes against young virginal women including Karla's sister, Tammy Lynn. She was a Christmas Present for Paul from his beloved fiance, Karla. Their relationship was twisted and Karla knew of Paul's crime spree as the Scarborough Rapist but supported it as a game. It still angers me that Karla was released and that Paul may have a chance at parole. Write the Canadian parole boards to stop this from happening. As for Karla, she's the most hated woman in Canada. He also writes in detail about Arthur Shawcross's crimes as a serial killer. There is the European serial killer, Jack Untweger, but he doesn't go into detail about his crimes. He is not as clear as he is about Shawcross' crimes. ... Read more


33. At the Hands of Persons Unknown: The Lynching of Black America (Modern Library Paperbacks)
by Philip Dray
Paperback: 544 Pages (2003-01-07)
list price: US$16.95 -- used & new: US$9.41
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0375754458
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Product Description
Winner of the Southern Book Critics Circle Award for Nonfiction

This extraordinary account of lynching in America, by acclaimed civil rights historian Philip Dray, shines a clear, bright light on American history’s darkest stain—illuminating its causes, perpetrators, apologists, and victims. Philip Dray also tells the story of the men and women who led the long and difficult fight to expose and eradicate lynching, including Ida B. Wells, James Weldon Johnson, Walter White, and W.E.B. Du Bois. If lynching is emblematic of what is worst about America, their fight may stand for what is best: the commitment to justice and fairness and the conviction that one individual’s sense of right can suffice to defy the gravest of wrongs. This landmark book follows the trajectory of both forces over American history—and makes lynching’s legacy belong to us all.Amazon.com Review
Lynching, the extrajudicial punishment inflicted by vigilantes and mobs on often innocent victims, was far from an unusual occurrence, though some historians have depicted it as such. Instead, writes Philip Dray, lynching was part of a "systematized reign of terror that was used to maintain the power whites had over blacks." Drawing on records held at the Tuskegee Institute, Dray argues that from 1882 until 1952, not a single year passed without a recorded lynching somewhere in the United States, most often in the Deep South and Mississippi Delta regions. This violent "justice," meted out "at the hands of persons unknown" (with, therefore, no possibility of attaching guilt to the perpetrators, though, as Dray points out, such seemingly spontaneous events required organization and planning) held African American communities in terror and was one force behind the exodus of black southerners to the north in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Dray's extraordinary study reveals a pattern of crime against humanity, one that, he writes, diminished gradually for various reasons, not least of them the work of reformers and ordinary citizens "who knew we were too good to be a nation of lynchers." --Gregory McNamee ... Read more

Customer Reviews (27)

5-0 out of 5 stars haunting account of terrible era of u.s. history
I took a course in my community on race and racism. As a white person from white suburbia, I wanted to learn more about some things that we discussed, including lynching. This book was so disturbing as to be almost unbelievable, but for the fact of Mr. Dray's well-documented evidence. I remember reading one particular account in silence until I fully grasped what had happened to the victims, and then just gasped out loud to the empty room "God Almighty... God Almighty..." The cruelty of the perpetrators and the way they justified (and profited from)their crimes haunt me still. It is difficult to imagine how a person could participate in such evil and then go on living normal life. Why read a book about such a dark part of history? For the same reason we read about Hitler, Nazis, and the Holocaust: to remember the victims, to realize our nation has its own terrible history, and to watch for signs of evil rising up again so we can fight against it.

4-0 out of 5 stars Good Condition
When receiving the book, I was very surprised and found that the book was in very good conidtion like it said it was. I was very impressed when I received it.

5-0 out of 5 stars Why are you reading this?
"Why are you reading about this?" was the question many asked me after I told them I picked this book up. Being a woman of color, I was concerned that I wouldn't be able to get through this book without my emotions getting the better of me, but I was pleasantly surprised by how deep I had fallen into this book, and how I was able to go to work the next morning.

This book reads like much of the sensational stories of today, unattached, and yet sympathetic to the cause. It gives you the facts, gives some analysis on the climate of the times, but overall reads better and more clear than any history book I've ever had from elementary through college.

5-0 out of 5 stars YOUR EYES WILL BE OPENED
This well-written and shocking book about our country's dismal treatment of black Americans (mostly, but not exclusively) documents in gruesome detail some of the worst traits of man-on-man violence ever put on paper and I don't exaggerate when I say it is quite sickening how ingrained hate can effect whole communities.In some of the most hideous stories you won't hear about in grade school history, white violence against black people of all ages, sex or origin (mostly in the South, tho) are told with compelling narrative.You come to understand that it was a long haul from Reconstruction to voting rights laws, punctuated by the terror of being dragged out of your home and brutalized in the most terrible ways imaginable.Granted, some of those lynched were probably guilty of crimes they were accused of but none were given fair trials and even then, many were dragged out of police custody and killed outrageously in front of huge crowds.This is not a pleasant book but there are inspiring characters on the side of justice who worked long years to stamp out lynching and for that the author is credited with balancing a horrible subject that otherwise would be the most depressing history book ever.My only regret is that footnotes aren't apparent until you get to the end of the text and see there's a section of "Notes" that tells even more stories that could've been elaborated in real-time reading.But this caveat takes nothing away from this important book.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Hanging Tree
At the Hands of Persons Unknown: The Lynching of Black America (Modern Library Paperbacks)


In the nineteen-twenties, Indiana was a hotbed of Ku Klux Klan activity. In the period following the First World War, popular sentiment supported the Klan¡¦s xenophobic, anti-catholic, anti-immigrant, and anti-black philosophy. The Grand Kleagle of the Klan in Indiana, D.C. Stevenson, boasted "I am the Law in Indiana" He was right: the Klan owned the Governor¡¦s office, the legislature, and many white males belonged to the Klan just as they would another fraternal organization like the Elks or the Lions Club.Lynching was not unknown in Indiana: in 1930, there was a public lynching of two black men believed to have made inappropriate passes at a white woman (the ultimate violation of racial etiquette), in Marion, Indiana.
A famous photograph of the affair was widely circulated as a picture postcard.
A Lynching in the Heartland: Race and Memory in AmericaCitizen Klansmen: The Ku Klux Klan in Indiana, 1921-1928
Having lived in Indiana in the 1960's and 1970's, I have seen some Klan activity as a journalist. I once covered a Klan rally in Southern Indiana, parts of which are as southern as Mississippi or Alabama.
Against this background, Philip Dray has written a masterful and moving history of Lynching in America.He writes:
¡§The high degree of ritual seen in the Smith lynching and many others ¡V the use of fire, the sacredness of objects associated with the killing, the symbolic taking of trophies of the victims¡¦ remains, the sense of celebratory anticipation and then the lingering importance participants placed on such events --all suggest an anthropological basis for viewing lynching as a form of ritual sacrifice.¨ (P. 79)
It took a dedicated group of men and women to abolish lynching just as it had to abolish slavery decades earlier.Dray examines the work of Walter White, Ida B. Wells, Booker T. Washington and Tuskegee University in bringing to light, and doing away with, the shame of the lynch mob.
Reconstruction, and the period that followed it, continues to be one of the darkest periods in US history.
Suggestions for further reading:
Reconstruction: America's Unfinished Revolution, 1863-1877
The Bloody Shirt: Terror After Appomattox


... Read more


34. Omega: The Unknown
by Jonathan Lethem
Hardcover: 256 Pages (2008-09-24)
list price: US$29.99 -- used & new: US$18.06
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0785130527
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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The story of a mute, reluctant super hero from another planet, and the earthly teenager with whom he shares a strange destiny - and the legion of robots and nanoviruses that have been sent from afar to hunt the two of them down! Created in 1975 by Steve Gerber and Mary Skrenes, the original Omega the Unknown lasted only ten issues, but was a legend to those who recall it - an ahead-of-its-time tale of an anti-hero, inflected with brilliant ambiguity. One of Omega's teenage fans was award-winning novelist Jonathan Lethem, who has used the original as a springboard for a superbly strange, funny, and moving graphic novel in ten chapters. Collects Omega: The Unknown #1-10. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (53)

2-0 out of 5 stars Rather Be an Alpha than Omega
I'd have to say I'm not a fan of the style of writing or graphics. Steve Gerber first wrote the fist Omega in the 1970s, and it's obvious that Jonathan Lethem was very true to Gerber and honored his anti-corporate message -- the story is marinated in retro revolution. Farel Dalrymple's art is a rough and unpolished, simple drawings without bright colors, like you'd see in older graphic novels.

The first half of "Omega: The Unknown" is a set of confusing subplots, and occasionally a plot threads lead absolutely nowhere. Some times it seemed like weird was the theme just for the sake of being "weird." The second half tighten up the plot. Even then, in the second half it takes the reader to some strange, surreal places. The final chapter is the most unusual -- dialogue whatsoever.If you're into strange for the sake of strange then you probably love it.

Lethem goes full out on weird and satirical -- the Mink is a unheroic "hero" who declares war on Omega for threatening his "M" franchise, and the story is often narrated by a statue that only has hands and a head (and occasionally sings). Even weirder, one of the big threats to the city is Mink's robotic severed hand (which grows legs and walks out of the lab -- can it get much weirder than that?). Anti-robot salt, grilled birds and neighborhood bullies all play a part.

Another review of Omega called it Trippy, and if you disregard the untrippy graphics, I'd say that about sums it up.

4-0 out of 5 stars Pretty Cool, Pretty Cool Indeed!
I have not read the original run of Omega, thus these comments are strictly limited to a stand alone reading of Jonathan Lethem's, et al. work, although, the artwork of this version bears no resemblance whatsoever to said original run.

It's not very difficult to recommend this comic book, nonetheless. All aspects of the excellent artwork--lettering included--match the quirkiness of the script whereupon, e.g., even the main character tries his hand at illustrating a comics mini-tale featuring quite a style of its own in Chapter VII, eccentric psychological insights are furnished by a Guardian of the Galaxy-like floating talking-head and lead singer of a band called The O-Thinkers that utters lines like: "...You never know exactly what combinations may occur when silicon and meat-beings start swapping spit" and its sense of humor, illustrated by such dialogue lines as:

--"I think that guy's called "Doc Digestion."

-- Yea, yeah, from "Astonishing Tales of Nutrition," right?

or

"My friggin' hand got Andromeda Strained."

The story is intriguing, attractive and its pacing is superb, very Mike Allredish in both its artistic spirit and letter.

All characters are remarkably odd in both their uniqueness and recognizable aspects. Purple dressed Mink, e.g., reads like a corporately-restrained Garth Ennis-like take on Booster Gold minus the annoying flying mechanical gizmo, plus a bothersome supporting retinue of hot purple dressed Mink wannabes instead.

Pretty cool, pretty cool indeed!

3-0 out of 5 stars Interesting but ultimately mediocre updating of an interesting but ultimately mediocre 1970's comic book series
Omega The Unknown was an interesting but ultimately unsuccessful comic series (both creatively and commercially) created by cult fav comic writer Steve Gerber (Howard The Duck, Man-Thing) during the 1970's; it has inexplicably been brought back to life by writer Johnathon Lethem and illustrator Farel Dalrymple to no great effect.

Fans of the original comic book will be hard-pressed to recognize Mr. Gerber's original comic creation and will no doubt come away disappointed. I must wonder... why bring this niche character back in the first place if you intend on doing such a radical overhaul in tone and style? Why not just create a new character altogether? The indie-comic style art is OK, as is the story (yet another quirky, satirical, deconstructive look at the super-hero genre).

All in all, worth a read, if not a buy.

4-0 out of 5 stars Interesting Redo of Unknown Comic
Leave it to Jonathan Lethem to reimagine a comic that has been long forgotten.Omega the Unknown had a short run many years ago.There is an afterword in this graphic novel explaining how the series came to be and how it is loosly based on the original series.In some cases, frame almost matches frame and then the story veers away and becomes something different.I have yet to look up the originals, but the Lethem version was an interesting story.

A boy is shipped off to a school and a car accident reveals his parents to be androids.His origin as some kind of super hero manifests itself and he is sent to a place where he can trust noone.He has problems realizing his powers.He is sent to school where he makes a friend among many people who pick on him.A super hero turned bad named The Mink plots against him.Another hero, a mute who often does nothing, works subtly behind the scenes to help the kid.At times the kid walks blindly and cluelessly through what happens to him.Other times, he rises above.One of the best segments is when he revisits his parents' house and finds his uniform and a few secrets about his parents.A maze sequence is also very good.There are, however, times when the narrative drags and it becomes hard to read.Then it picks up again.The idea of a super hero who wanders through life as an everyman is interesting.I liked the fact that the story meets with a satisfactory end.There is no cliffhanger to leave you wanting to read the next one, which did not disappoint me at all.

I don't know if there will be another Omega graphic novel by Lethem and friends, or if this is a one shot.The end seemed pretty conclusive, but there are areas than could be expanded upon if the creators wanted.I would definitely recommend it to fans of Lethem.It is definitely better than "Fortress of Solitude," but not as good as "Wall of the Eye" or "Gun With Occasional Music."

2-0 out of 5 stars I really wanted to like this.
It's not all bad. OMEGA: THE UNKNOWN has its good moments, but they are too few and far-between. Jonathan Lethem is really grasping for the quirkiness of the original series mixed in with some pseudo-WATCHMEN style examination of the superhero in reality, and with his unfortunate lack of great storytelling skills and not being the best artist hurts his attempts to make a genre-bending tale here. It's unfortunate, because I really did want to like this book. It just didn't work for me. ... Read more


35. Grace Unknown: The Heart of Reformed Theology
by R. C. Sproul
Hardcover: 230 Pages (1997-03)
list price: US$19.99 -- used & new: US$17.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0801011213
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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R.C. Sproul has undertaken to make Reformed theology clear and comprehensible to the general reader, focusing on its most fundamental doctrines and locating their source in Scripture. At the heart of Reformed theology, Sproul finds true grace. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (21)

5-0 out of 5 stars Truly helpful and encouraging
I find myself returning to this book a lot - for encouragement, guidance and explanation. Sproul doesn't waste words in this short (230 pages) overview of Reformed Theology. The first half of the book explains the major ideas of Reformed Theology: centered on God, based on God's Word alone, faith alone, devotion to Christ and a proper view of the covenants of Scripture. The second half of the book explains the acronym TULIP (total depravity, unconditional election, limited atonement, irrestible grace and perseverance of the saints), which is often called the Five Points of Calvinism. Using direct, readable language, Sproul explains that God is sovereign in all things, including salvation. Obviously, Sproul writes from a Calvinist perspective, but he is respectful of other theological views. The last chapter of the book, Perseverance of the Saints, is outstanding. It is a great source of comfort in that it explains that true believers cannot lose their salvation.

5-0 out of 5 stars Grace Unknown -- Odd Book Title; Excellent Presentation
When I first heard of R.C. Sproul's book Grace Unknown a number of years ago I must admit that I wasn't quite sure what it was about. An unknown grace seemed a little far fetched, so I decided to look into it more closely. When I saw the subtitle on the book cover, The Heart of Reformed Theology, the subject matter became much clearer. But then I saw his book titled What Is Reformed Theology? Now I was perplexed all over again and couldn't figure out why Dr. Sproul would write two books on such similar material. Comparing the two books side by side all became clear. The book What Is Reformed Theology? is the same book, only with a new book title. I guess he saw the same problem with the old book title as a number of his readers did.

With that cleared up, Sproul's book is an excellent introduction to Reformed Theology (also known to some as Calvinism). Sproul admits that this book is not intended to be a textbook on systematic theology, nor a detailed, comprehensive exposition of each and every article of the Reformed Doctrine. Instead, he has written a "short-hand introduction to the crystallized essence of Reformed theology." With this as his stated goal, I think he really hit the bull's-eye with this book.

Sproul's book is broken into two very straight-forward parts. The first part covers in some detail the Foundations of Reformed Theology. He goes to extra lengths to ensure the reader understands that Reformed theology is not a religion, but a theology, the two clearly not being the same thing. The study of religion being chiefly the study of a certain kind of human behavior, usually taught academically under anthropology, sociology, or psychology. The study of theology, on the other hand, is the study of God. Religion is anthropocentric; theology is theocentric. Sproul states, "The difference between religion and theology is ultimately the difference between God and man--hardly a small difference."

The last chapter in Part 1 introduces a title many readers may not be familiar with. In Chapter 5, Sproul covers a nickname for Reformed Theology called Covenant Theology. He states this nickname "distinguishes it (Reformed Theology) from Dispensationalism." Sproul spends the major portion of this chapter defining and describing Covenant Theology. The second part of the book specifically covers the Five Points of Reformed Theology, a separate chapter covering each point of the acronym TULIP.

Grace Unknown includes the usual End Notes, an Index of Persons and another index of Scripture used in the book. What this book includes which is not always included is a very nice For Further Reading section and a Glossary of Foreign Terms.

Overall, I found Dr. Sproul's book, Grace Unknown, very well presented. His historical knowledge of Reformed Theology certainly helped frame his presentation into a very tight and well-written book. Sproul's passion for Reformed Theology is very evident. This book, and possibly the book The Five Point of Calvinism (Revised and Expanded Edition) by Steele, Thomas and Quinn, are probably the best books available for those who would like to investigate Reformed Theology.

5-0 out of 5 stars From Arminian To Reform...
At first, this volume disturbed me. But as I began to read the Scriptures and look at the whole concept of election and esp. the "golden chain of salvation" in Romans 8:29,30, I developed at great appreciation for RC Sproul and this particular volume.

This volume is a great presentation of the Reformed position. If you are like me once, or you are searching for some good material on Classical Reformed Theology, this is a great place to begin.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great Introduction to Reformed Theology
R.C Sproul is well known by all in the Christian world. He is a Calvinist and a reformed theologian. In this book he sets out to explain what his theological background is. So the first half of the book he explains what the foundation of Reformed Theology is which is based in GOD himself. The second half deals with what is controversy today in the Christian church a doctrine that people often misunderstand and misrepresnt. The doctrine known as Calvinism or TULIP. Many people and scholar( Norman Geisler) and authors like Dave Hunt and George Byrson and also Hank Hanegraaff often misrepresent Calvinism. In this book R.C. Sproul explains it well. Great Work,......

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent introduction to classical Reformed Theology
This is my first reading of a book expounding upon the specifics of Reformed Theology, and also my first book by R.C. Sproul.I highly recommend both this book and his work in general.After realizing that I never really understood just what "Reformed Theology" really was, I decided to read this book to find out.It's split into two parts, the first covering the basics of Reformed Theology itself (Faith Alone, Covenant Theology, etc.) and the second covering the 5 Ponts (TULIP).

As entire volumes have been written about each topic he covers, this book is by no means exhaustive.Nor is it intended to be.I found his introduction to just about all the topics to be easy to read and very enlightening.Of all the chapters, the one covering Covenant Theology was the only one I thought was lacking in sufficient detail...I'm still not sure exactly what this encompasses, or how many covenants are in view (Sproul lists 3, many other sources only refer to 2).

I'm still not convinced of the correctness of Calvinsim (nor of any other specific system, for that matter).But one thing that became glaringly clear is that almost everything I thought I knew about it was really a misunderstanding, and that almost every argument I've ever read against Calvinism in fact distorts the real positions.I began by being steadfastly opposed to Calvinism...how could a just God pick and choose who's saved arbitrarily, etc.It's now much more agreeable to me, and that's largely due to this book.I'm investigating other sources now and continuing to learn.

I highly recommend the R.C. Sproul Digital Library, which I've ordered.It contains many of his books and audio/video lectures, all of which are excellent regardless of whether you agree with his conclusions.Go to www.ligonier.org to check out all his materials. ... Read more


36. Unknown Soldiers: The Story of the Missing of the First World War (Vintage)
by Neil Hanson
Paperback: 512 Pages (2007-05-08)
list price: US$16.95 -- used & new: US$10.46
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0307276546
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Product Description
The First World War was a conflict of unprecedented ferocity. After the last shot was fired and the troops marched home, approximately three million soldiers remained unaccounted for. An unassuming English chaplain first proposed a symbolic burial in memory of all the missing dead; subsequently the idea was picked up by almost every combatant country.

Acclaimed author Neil Hanson focuses on the lives of three soldiers — an Englishman, a German, and an American — using their diaries and letters to offer an unflinching yet compassionate account of the front lines. He describes how each man endured nearly unbearable conditions, skillfully showing how the Western world arrived at the now time-honored way of mourning and paying tribute to all those who die in war. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (21)

4-0 out of 5 stars A Story Worth Remembering
World War I is a particularly crucial event to remember, although the horror and scale of such human carnage is almost beyond comprehension. It's also important to realize that the First World War's inadequate resolution laid a foundation for continued conflict mere decades later.

'Unknown Soldiers' is a personalized account of WWI viewed through the perspective of letters written by individual soldiers from both sides. The book brings to life those who experienced the tragedy of WWI and provides different perspectives.

5-0 out of 5 stars Unknown Soldiers, Th Missing of World War One
This is an excellent non-fiction account of three soldiers who are buried in no known graves. The three men are brought back to life through their letters home and their accounts of the war. The author has put a human face on the many thousands of men whose bodies were never recovered from the battlefields of France. The story of the German soldier is of particular interest because we are not exposed to many such stories from the other side of the front line. The book also contains a great deal of information on the conduct of the war, much of it new to me. I highly recommend this book. Bill Miller

5-0 out of 5 stars Unique and Moving
The beginning epitaph is strong enough but Mr. Hanson never falters throughout. I have read many military books...often with slight sense of guilt. Should I even try to be recreating this in my mind? Understanding this?The horror of WW1 is transcendent. Mr. Hanson does an outstanding job of making that known to any reader who dares venture there. It should be required reading as another reviewer has said. It seems like WW1 made all things possible that followed. Civilized nations that could send millions into that and for what? The war aims were so pitifully small and deceitful. The aftermath is beautifully handled. I thought I would get bored with the details of the ceremonies to the Unknowns...but it was ultimately more meaningful and made the book great. The tableau from France and then in London on 11 November 1920 is amazing...he recreates every hymn and the incredible impact on the populace. Truly it should have ended all wars. I only wish we could have seen what the defeated did...of course by then Austria-Hungary was gone and Russia Bolshevik. Did they ever create an Unknown Soldier for those suffering peoples?

5-0 out of 5 stars Fantastic reading
This is a fascinating book. It is by turns sad, gross, uplifting, and a constant reminder of what can go wrong. While some may find the details a bit overwhelming, they are part of the whole, and for me, could not be left aside. The author crafted a memorial to this era, and to this war.

4-0 out of 5 stars wonderful book
This was an excellent book , well researched and beautifully written. I felt I knew each of the soldiers , Paul, Alec and George and I grieved at their deaths and the waste of their young lives as though they were my own sons and not just men who died over ninety years ago.
I was fascinated by the History surronding the burial of the unknown soldier , the building of the Cenotaph and indeed the story of the first Rememberance Day.
I highly recommend this book to any who want to learn more about this period in history. ... Read more


37. The Unknown Masterpiece
by Honoré De Balzac
Paperback: 24 Pages (2010-07-24)
list price: US$14.14 -- used & new: US$14.13
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1153774062
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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The book has no illustrations or index. Purchasers are entitled to a free trial membership in the General Books Club where they can select from more than a million books without charge. Subjects: Masterpiece, Artistic; Fiction / Classics; Fiction / Literary; Art / Individual Artist; Fiction / Classics; Fiction / Historical; Fiction / Literary; History / Europe / France; Literary Criticism / European / French; ... Read more

Customer Reviews (9)

3-0 out of 5 stars Two very minor classics
Brilliantly translated by Richard Howard, these two unknown tales by the master novelist, Balzac, concern the process and wonder of creation in both art and music.If you've read any of the great works of fiction---"Lost Illusions", "Père Goriot", "Cousin Bette", "Eugenie Grandet" or even "Colonel Chabert"---you will find these stories thin and pale, not up to the magnificent standard set by the others.That is, if you expect to find a similar direction.Balzac had set himself an immense task.That was to portray the whole of French life in his times in a series of novels and stories."The Unknown Masterpiece", the first of two stories in this book, concerns art.Though there is a slight, rather weird, plot withthree characters, and it smacks more than a little of Andersen's story "The Emperor's New Clothes", I felt that Balzac wrote it as a showcase for his opinions on art.Real artists, `Mabuse" (the pseudonym of a Flemish artist) and Nicolas Poussin, appear on the pages, but there are long lectures on the nature, power, and importance of art.It seems this story influenced Picasso many decades later, but in my opinion it will not appeal much to most modern readers.If you are interested to read Balzac's opinions about art, or are a person who thinks about the process of creativity, I admit that this will be a five star story for you.

The second tale, Gambara, concerns a humble Italian musician living in Paris."My music's goal is to offer a representation of the life of nations conceived from the loftiest perspective," he says as he plans his great opera on the life of Muhammad.(If he had done this today, somebody would probably have killed him.)He talks learnedly, but his music is a jumble of noise unfathomable to listeners.A tragic tale of love at first sight, leading to a rich man's involvement with the composer [his beautiful wife of course], and a company of the Parisian poor, serves as a vehicle for Balzac's long expositions on music.In both stories he emphasizes the fragile nature of differences between good art/music and bad, the nature of genius, and the magic of inspiration.It may be true that many famous writers after Balzac drew on his writing to spark their own efforts to describe these things, but in many ways the stories resemble lectures more than literature.

5-0 out of 5 stars The conflicts & challenges to great artist.
The first short story [there are two in this book] is 22 pages filled with the challenges & conflicts faced by anyone who aspires to fame in the visual arts.The struggle is timeless.Readers should know beforehand that of the three artist only Frenhaufer is fictional -- Poussin & Porbus were actually living at the time of the action -- though Balzac changes their ages &-- for Porbus -- his status at that time.Fact & fiction are skillfully woven into an art form which has been utilized by so many writers.The introduction to the book gives a short history of that period in art history.Knowledge of Balzac's life experiences & writing habits adds greatly to the reader's appreciation.
In the second short story Balzac again tries to relate the struggles of artist -- though he uses the performing arts for his subject.
B. Joan Wragg

5-0 out of 5 stars Being Human
Who among us doesn't have their own 'great unfinished work?' How many of us have wanted to do something that was greater than ourselves? How many of us want to put something out there not only into the current public forum, but into the historical forum as well? Something, perhaps a work of art not only for the 'now,' but for posterity, too?

I do. And certainly most of my friends, if they're being honest, do, too. It stands to reason that although the idea and the drive may be there, most will never accomplish the masterpiece that eludes them.

And although we try, what we produce is often so devilishly poor in quality that, sickened, we tear it up, or painted over it, or erase the recording vowing to never again attempt something so foolish. Yet, a few days pass, and there we are, attempting. Tempting.

So we lie. We lie to ourselves and we lie to our friends. We convince everyone that what we have in store is beyond measure. Beyond perfect. Not just life changing, but culture changing. And if this continues long enough, we tend to believe it. Egging on our ego, building ourselves and our work or our talent up to the point the it transcends the ability of humans and must have be a work of pure divinity. Creating our own legend. Perpetuating our own myth.

But alas, our ability is simply human. And as a result, the work we produce, while perhaps divine in inspiration, is always human in ability. And as it is human, it is, as we are, fallible.

This book could be about art. It could be about the fear of opening ourselves up to the judgment of others. I think it is about being human.

1-0 out of 5 stars BORING ARGUMENTS ABOUT ART
The effect of reading the two short works in this book is one of overhearing two snobbish and conceited intellectuals arguing about painting and music in a wanna-be hip cafe. Being that, The Unknown Masterpiece is not only annoying, it's boring. Set in Paris in 1612, a young unproven painter named Nicolas Poussin has come to the city to make a name for himself by studying under the great master Frenhofer. Frenhofer has been holed up in his studio for years working on his great masterwork, a portrait of a woman who he has disturbingly started referring to as his wife. The problem is that he hasn't found a suitable model for him to be able to finish the work. "Gambara", the novella that is also in this book, also concerns an artist that can never quite find the X-factor that would allow him to finish his work. Signor Gambara is a composer of music, whose grand operas come out as random noise to all those that listen, except when he's drunk, then his music turns beautiful, as if he can only communicate his divine music when his conscious mind is gone. A young playboy Count is meanwhile trying to steal Gambara's beautiful wife Marianna.

This book was awful and is a poor example of Balzac's genius. Even for his big fans like me. I don't know why Richard Howard even went to the trouble of translating this. Supposedly "Masterpiece" has had a profound effect on painters like Picasso who identified with the character Frenhofer. So what? It's just the same blithering romantic notion of capturing the unattainable that we've heard for centuries. "Gambara" is even worse. In a normal Balzac work, he would have focused on the characters of the Count and the Gambaras, but here he focuses on chord names and arguments and analyses of operas that I had to literally slog through with my eyes. If these had been longer pieces I would not have finished the book. Steer clear. It's a shame because probably only about 10% of Balzac's novels are available in English so why waste time printing this sub-minor work?

If you want to see Balzac's true genius, check out any of the Penguin editions of his works.

4-0 out of 5 stars Artists are not gods
Balzac's The Unknown Masterpiece is not about abstract art! It is about the destructive power of obsession for perfection. The artist Frenhofer over-paints and touches-up his masterpiece until it is not recognizable as anything but a mess. Balzac's Gambarra was too wordy but it does have the interesting theme of an artist, totally consumed by his personal vision, and thus not able to recognize the sacrifices and motivations of those around him. He writes an opera about the beginnings of Islam and the sacrifice of a woman for the man she loves. Yet Gambarra can not see this same pattern being played out with his wife and thus his single minded vision destroys his marriage. He is both a genius and a fool. His atonal compositions were 100 years before their time.His inability to empathize and get out of his own visions results in his wife's running off with an Italian count who plots to steal Gambarra's wife after he sees the composer's Achille's heel.I don't think I would recommend these books to anyone but artists.They reveal the artistic feet of clay which we so often overlook. ... Read more


38. The Unknown Life Of Jesus Christ
by Nicolas Notovitch
Paperback: 114 Pages (2008-12-06)
list price: US$9.95 -- used & new: US$9.90
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1440489602
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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Where Jesus was during his twenties? One theory is, that Jesus went to India, travelling thewell-established trade routes of the time.In the late nineteenth century, Nicolas Notovitch, published a book on his trip through India, into Kashmir, eventually reaching Ladakh, in Tibet, where a lama toldhim that Jesus is revered as a Boddhisattva, under the name Issa, by a smallsect ofTibetan Buddhists. While Notovitch was recovering from a broken leg, an ancient manuscript was read to him about Issa, the name by which Jesus was called, telling of how of Jesus traveled to India to study the Vedas and Buddhism, and the adventures and controversies written of his life in the East. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (15)

5-0 out of 5 stars Christ legacy from different angles.
Many may doubt the authenticity of the manuscript, however the truth can easily be verified as suggested by the same author. This is supposed to be a translation of original Buddhist scrolls, not an original work. Yet its contents and the story of Issa is fully representative of the Christ I am accustomed toin my own Christian, Southern Italian tradition.

4-0 out of 5 stars interesting
Interesting account of the authors trip and experiences in India and the Himalayas. Very colorful descriptions of the countryside and people of the period. This reveals nothing new to those familiar with the concept that Jesus spent his teen and 20-something years traveling outside Israel and learned from (ant taught)some of the Far East's great spiritual masters.

5-0 out of 5 stars Lost teachings of Christ
It's a wonderful time of world that these lost teachings are being published and made available to those who thirst for and seek the Truth.It's obvious in the Christian Bible that too many secrets were left out...

5-0 out of 5 stars The Unknown Life of Jesus Christ (by NICOLAS NOTOVITCH)
Excellent short work by NICOLAS NOTOVITCH accidentally discovered the history recorded in Buddhist scriptures about Issa (or Jesus)'s life, his preaching of God in Asia, and studied Buddhism in Tibet Buddhist temples, his persecution and his death.

1-0 out of 5 stars Douglas and Max Müller's View
Archibald Douglas and Max Müller recognized Notovich's work as fraudulent, although it was not immediately clear (to Müller, at least) what the source of the fraud was. Perhaps the best thing is to read excerpts from the original, absolutely scathing account, from the Nineteenth Century academic journal itself (long out of copyright):

(from The Nineteenth Century, 39 (January-June 1896) pp. 667-677
THE CHIEF LAMA OF HIMIS ON THE ALLEGED 'UNKNOWN LIFE OF CHRIST')

"I was resident in Madras during the whole of last year, and did not expect to have an opportunity of investigating the facts respecting the Unknown Life of Christ at so early a date. Removing to the North-West Provinces in the early part of the present year, I |668 found that it would be practicable during the three months of the University vacation to travel through Kashmir to Ladakh, following the route taken by M. Notovitch, and to spend sufficient time at the monastery at Himis to learn the truth on this important question. I may here mention, en passant, that I did not find it necessary to break even a little finger, much less a leg, in order to gain admittance to Himis Monastery, where I am now staying for a few days, enjoying the kind hospitality of the Chief Lama (or Abbot), the same gentleman who, according to M. Notovitch, nursed him so kindly under the painful circumstances connected with his memorable visit.

Coming to Himis with an entirely open mind on the question, and in no way biassed by the formation of a previous judgment, I was fully prepared to find that M. Notovitch's narrative was correct, and to congratulate him on his marvellous discovery. One matter of detail, entirely unconnected with the genuineness of the Russian traveller's literary discovery, shook my faith slightly in the general veracity of the discoverer....

...I will now call attention to several leading statements in M. Notovitch's book, all of which will be found to be definitely contradicted in the document signed by the Chief Superior of Himis Monastery, and sealed with his official seal. This statement I have sent to Professor Max Müller for inspection, together with the subjoined declaration of Mr. Joldan, an educated Tibetan gentleman, to whose able assistance I am deeply indebted.

A more patient and painstaking interpreter could not be found, nor one better fitted for the task.

The extracts from M. Notovitch's book were slowly translated to the Lama, and were thoroughly understood by him. The questions and answers were fully discussed at two lengthy interviews before being prepared as a document for signature, and when so prepared were carefully translated again to the Lama by Mr. Joldan, and discussed by him with that gentleman, and with a venerable monk who appeared to act as the Lama's private secretary.

I may here say that I have the fullest confidence in the veracity and honesty of this old and respected Chief Lama, who appears to be held in the highest esteem, not only among Buddhists, but by all Europeans who have made his acquaintance. As he says, he has nothing whatever to gain by the concealment of facts, or by any departure from the truth.

His indignation at the manner in which he has been travestied by the ingenious author was of far too genuine a character to be feigned, and I was much interested when, in our final interview, he asked me if in Europe there existed no means of punishing a person |670 who told such untruths. I could only reply that literary honesty is taken for granted to such an extent in Europe, that literary forgery of the nature committed by M. Notovitch could not, I believed, be punished by our criminal law.

With reference to M. Notovitch's declaration that he is going to Himis to verify the statements made in his book, I would take the liberty of earnestly advising him, if he does so, to disguise himself at least as effectually as on the occasion of his former visit. M. Notovitch will not find himself popular at Himis, and might not gain admittance, even on the pretext of having another broken leg.

The following extracts have been carefully selected from the Unknown Life of Christ, and are such that on their truth or falsehood may be said to depend the value of M. Notovitch's story.

After describing at length the details of a dramatic performance, said to have been witnessed in the courtyard of Himis Monastery, M. Notovitch writes:

A fter having crossed the courtyard and ascended a staircase lined with prayer-wheels, we passed through two rooms encumbered with idols, and came out upon the terrace, where I seated myself on a bench opposite the venerable Lama, whose eyes flashed with intelligence (p. 110).

(This extract is important as bearing on the question of identification; see Answers 1 and 2 of the Lama's statement: and it may here be remarked that the author's account of the approach to the Chief Lama's reception room and balcony is accurate.) Then follows a long résumé of a conversation on religious matters, in the course of which the Abbot is said to have made the following observations amongst others:

We have a striking example of this (Nature-worship) in the ancient Egyptians, who worshipped animals, trees, and stones, the winds and the rain (p. 114).

The Assyrians, in seeking the way which should lead them to the feet of the Creator, turned their eyes to the stars (p. 115).

Perhaps the people of Israel have demonstrated in a more flagrant manner than any other, man's love for the concrete (p. 115).

The name of Issa is held in great respect by the Buddhists, but little is known about him save by the Chief Lamas who have read the scrolls relating to his life (p. 120).

The documents brought from India to Nepal, and from Nepal to Tibet, concerning Issa's existence, are written in the Pâli language, and are now in Lassa; but a copy in our language----that is, the Tibetan----exists in this convent (p. 123).

Two days later I sent by a messenger to the Chief Lama a present comprising an alarum, a watch, and a thermometer (p. 125).

We will now pass on to the description given by the author of his re-entry into the monastery with a broken leg:

I was carried with great care to the best of their chambers, and placed on a bed of soft materials, near to which stood a prayer-wheel. All this took place under the immediate surveillance of the Superior, who affectionately pressed the hand I offered him in gratitude for his kindness (p. 127).

While a youth of the convent kept in motion the prayer-wheel near my bed, |671 the venerable Superior entertained me with endless stories, constantly taking my alarum and watch from their cases, and putting me questions as to their uses, and the way they should be worked. At last, acceding to my earnest entreaties, he ended by bringing me two large bound volumes, with leaves yellowed by time, and from them he read to me, in the Tibetan language, the biography of Issa, which I carefully noted in my carnet de voyage, as my interpreter translated what he said (p. 128).

This last extract is in a sense the most important of all, as will be seen when it is compared with Answers 3, 4, and 5 in the statement of the Chief Superior of Himis Monastery. That statement I now append. The original is in the hands of Professor Max Müller, as I have said, as also is the appended declaration of Mr. Joldan, of Leh.

The statement of the Lama, if true----and there is every reason to believe it to be so----disposes once and for ever of M. Notovitch's claim to have discovered a Life of Issa among the Buddhists of Ladakh. My questions to the Lama were framed briefly, and with as much simplicity as possible, so that there might be no room for any mistake or doubt respecting the meaning of these questions.

My interpreter. Mr. Joldan, tells me that he was most careful to translate the Lama's answers verbally and literally, to avoid all possible misapprehension. The statement is as follows:

Question 1. You are the Chief Lama (or Abbot) of Himis Monastery?

Answer 1. Yes.

Question 2. For how long have you acted continuously in that capacity?

Answer 2. For fifteen years.

Question 3. Have you or any of the Buddhist monks in this monastery ever seen here a European with an injured leg?

Answer 3. No, not during the last fifteen years. If any sahib suffering from serious injury had stayed in this monastery it would have been my duty to report the matter to the Wazir of Leh. I have never had occasion to do so.

Question 4. Have you or any of your monks ever shown any Life of Issa to any sahib, and allowed him to copy and translate the same?

Answer 4. There is no such book in the monastery, and during my term of office no sahib has been allowed to copy or translate any of the manuscripts in the monastery.

Question 5. Are you aware of the existence of any book in any of the Buddhist monasteries of Tibet bearing on the life of Issa?

Answer 5. I have been for forty-two years a Lama, and am well acquainted with all the well-known Buddhist books and manuscripts, and I have never heard of one which mentions the name of Issa, and it is my firm and honest belief that none such exists. I have inquired of our principal Lamas in other monasteries of Tibet, and they are not acquainted with any books or manuscripts which mention the name of Issa.

Question 6. M. Nicolas Notovitch, a Russian gentleman who visited |672 your monastery between seven and eight years ago, states that you discussed with him the religions of the ancient Egyptians, Assyrians, and the people of Israel.

Answer 6. I know nothing whatever about the Egyptians, Assyrians, and the people of Israel, and do not know anything of their religions whatsoever. I have never mentioned these peoples to any sahib.

[I was reading M. Notovitch's book to the Lama at the time, and he burst out with, 'Sun, sun, sun, manna mi dug!' which is Tibetan for, 'Lies, lies, lies, nothing but lies!' I have read this to him as part of the statement which he is to sign----as his deliberate opinion of M. Notovitch's book. He appears perfectly satisfied on the matter. J. A. D.]...

Regarded, then, in the light of a work of the imagination, M. Notovitch's book fails to please, because it does not present that most fascinating feature of fiction, a close semblance of probability.

And yet, if I am rightly informed, the French version has gone through eleven editions; so M. Notovitch's effort of imagination has found, doubtless, a substantial reward. In face of the evidence adduced, we must reject the theory generously put forward by Professor Max Müller, that M. Notovitch was the victim of a cunning 'hoax ' on the part of the Buddhist monks of Himis.

...I do not believe that the venerable monk who presides over Himis Monastery would have consented to the practice of such a deception, and I do not think that any of the monks are capable of carrying out such a deception successfully. The departures from truth, on other points, which can be proved against M. Notovitch render such a solution highly improbable....

...I have visited Himis, and have endeavoured by patient and impartial inquiry to find out the truth respecting M. Notovitch's remarkable story, with the result that, while I have not found one single fact to support his statements, all the weight of evidence goes to disprove them beyond all shadow of doubt. It is certain that no such passages as M. Notovitch pretends to have translated exist in the monastery of Himis, and therefore it is impossible that he could have 'faithfully reproduced' the same.

The following "postscript" was amended to the article by Max Müller himself:

"...After having read, however, the foregoing article by Professor Douglas, I feel bound most humbly to apologise to the excellent Lamas of that monastery for having thought them capable of such frivolity. After the conrplete refutation, or, I should rather say, annihilation, of M. Notovitch by Professor A. Douglas, there does not seem to be any further necessity----nay, any excuse----for trying to spare the feelings of that venturesome Russian traveller. He was not hoaxed, but he tried to hoax us. Mr. Douglas has sent me the original papers, containing the depositions of the Chief Priest of the Monastery of Him is and of his interpreter, and I gladly testify that they entirely agree with the extracts given in the article, and are-signed and sealed by the Chief Lama and by Mr. Joldan, formerly Postmaster of Ladakh, who acted as interpreter between the priests and Professor A. Douglas. The papers are dated Himis Monastery, Little Tibet, June 3, 1894.

I ought perhaps to add that I cannot claim any particular merit in having proved the Vie inconnue de Jésus-Christ----that is, the Life of Christ taken from MSS. in the monasteries of Tibet----to be a mere fiction. I doubt whether any Sanskrit or Pâli scholar, in fact any serious student of Buddhism, was taken in by M. Notovitch. One might as well look for the waters of Jordan in the Brahmaputra as. for a Life of Christ in Tibet.

F. Max Müller.

November 15, 1895."
... Read more


39. Destination Unknown (Signature editions)
by Agatha Christie
Paperback: 320 Pages (2003-04-07)
list price: US$14.45 -- used & new: US$4.98
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0007154909
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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A young woman with nothing to live for is persuaded to embark on a suicide mission to find a missing scientist...When a number of leading scientists disappear without trace, concern grows within the international intelligence community. Are they being kidnapped? Blackmailed? Brainwashed?One woman appears to have the key to the mystery. Unfortunately, Olive Betteron now lies in a hospital bed, dying from injuries sustained in a Moroccan plane crash.Meanwhile, in a Casablanca hotel room, Hilary Craven prepares to take her own life. But her suicide attempt is about to be interrupted by a man who will offer her an altogether more thrilling way to die! ... Read more

Customer Reviews (21)

5-0 out of 5 stars One of the best!
Destination Unknown is possibly my favorite Christie novel. It is filled with twists and turns and follows an incredibly likable woman named Hilary Craven who must pretend to be someone she is not. She is faced with a mysterious journey where each step takes her closer to danger and further from her previous life. Her goal is to find a missing scientific genius who has vanished into thin air. The reason for the disappearance is absolutely impossible to deduce until the very end. One of the main themes of this book is: the acceptance of inevitable captivity.

4-0 out of 5 stars Unusual Christie
One of Christie's more atypical books, Destination Unknown is much more of a spy thriller than a traditional murder mystery. Brilliant scientists are mysteriously disappearing from all over the world, and the British secret service races to discover where they've gone and why.

Hilary Craven, a strong and lovely young Englishwoman who is traveling to Morocco to escape from the desperate tragedy of her life, finally realizes that she is trying to escape from herself and the pain she carries with her, so she decides to end her life. Hilary's blazing red hair turns out to be a surprising gift, however, and at this point the Secret Service makes contact with her. Hilary is sent off into the ancient cities of Africa on a wild and dangerous mission replete with the near-certainty of failure and death.

Destination Unknown is a colorful and vivid spy thriller remarkable for its well-paced character development, as Hilary progresses from brokenness and utter despair to strength and courage.

5-0 out of 5 stars Unconventional Christie
As an unapologetic, die-hard Christie fan, I loved this book.However, it was one of her later ones and is not a murder mystery. Rather it is a sort of spy thriller.The story is that scientists have been disappearing from their posts all over the world, just after WWII.A wife of one of the disappeared men announced her intention to take a trip for her nerves.On the way she dies, and the police set up another red-haired woman who resembles her to take her place.This imposter is taken on a journey to an unknown destination in Africa to meet up with her husband.The trip was described so well that I fell into it and almost felt as if I were along for the ride.I think it had to be based on actual trips she took herself. Once she reaches her destination, she finds herself trapped with a man who is not her husband but who is willing to keep up the pretense for reasons of his own.How she is finally rescued and falls for one of her fellow captors concludes the story.The plot has the trademark Christie twist at the end, but it is admittedly not the mystery she is known for.The remarkable thing about this book is that Christie finally indulges her desire to express her philosphies of life, which she always wanted to do, but was restrained by her publishers.I marked the bits of philosophy which really didn't relate to the plot and found many of them.A lot of this book sounds autobiographical and may reveal more of Christie's true self that her official autobiography.Absolutely fascinatingand irresistable to a Christie fan like me.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Creeping Unknown
I know this book has an indifferent reputation and it is sometimes compared unfavorably to Christie's preceding thriller, THEY CAME TO BAGHDAD.But over the years I've come to prefer DU to BAGHDAD, maybe as I've grown older and more reflective.The insouciant and devil may care heroine of BAGHDAD, Victoria Jones, was once more appealing to me, and the social comedy of that book remains a delight.But now I am in a Hilary Craven state of mind.If you ask me, Hilary Craven is one of Christie's greatest accomplishments as a character, and her gradual transformation during the events of her "ritualized suicide" is so skillfully done it's hard to see how it could be improved.

At first she is a frightened, despondent mess, as a result of catastrophes in her personal life, a broken marriage, and the death of her only child, a little girl.She keeps obsessing about Brenda, the dead girl, and visualizing the pathetic tiny mound of her grave.She decides to commit suicide and nothing is going to stop her.Christie takes you deep inside Hilary's mind, and her decision seems perfectly rational and even moral, and then fate knocks at her door.In a way we've heard Christie tell this story before, because a would-be suicide turns into the hero of TOWARDS ZERO, and we get some idea of her philosophy on the subject--don't kill yourself because of the butterfly effect, and you never know when you might save someone else's life if only you live.DESTINATION UNKNOWN shows signs of Christie's interest in French existentialism, and the questions it asks are pretty deep ones.What is the price of personal freedom?Is freedom an illusion?In paradise--real or imagined--is there any freedom of choice?If humans are infinitely adaptable and can get used to anything, where is the spark that separates us from the animals?Is identity itself a learned response?

5-0 out of 5 stars WILL SOMEONE LET THE WOMAN SPEAK?
What "improvements" have been made for the Greenway Ed edition?There are already major differences in punctuation, word choices, and scene breaks between the original Collins and Dodd Mead (SO MANY STEPS TO DEATH) editions of this novel. There are further differences between the Dodd Mead editions republished by Random House/Avenel and the Dodd Mead editions republished by Simon & Shuster/Pocket.There are further additions still in the Bantam, Berkley, Signet, and Black Dog & Leventhal editions.For every publishing house putting out her works, there seem to be a new batch of editors altering Agatha Christie's words and the sound of her voice.What's the matter with these publishers? Whose voice do they think we want to hear when we sit down to a novel by Agatha Christie? And what will she sound like twenty years from now? It's frightening that her estate has failed to see the importance of guarding her words as she wrote them.Please tell me I'm not the only one here who senses that a crime has been committed. ... Read more


40. The Unknown Shore
by Patrick O'Brian
Paperback: 320 Pages (1996-10-17)
list price: US$14.95 -- used & new: US$2.33
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 039331538X
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Product Description
Follows the adventures of two young seamen who are shipwrecked along the coast of Chile in 1740 and are driven to drink and mutiny by a ruthless captain. Reprint.Amazon.com Review
The Unknown Shore, a sort-of sequel to The Golden Ocean, is afascinating blue-print for the Aubrey-Maturinseries. We follow Jack Byron and Tobias Barrow, twounlikely neighbors and fast friends in whom we catch glimpses of theheroes of the epic series to come. They set off to sea in 1740 as partof Commodore Anson's fleet to circumnavigate the globe.Byron, aromantic, forceful lad, signs on as a midshipman; Barrow, a strangelyeducated, scientifically brilliant boy, is running away from hisfather and wins a commission as a surgeon's mate.Set up in theWager, which is parted from Anson's squadron and sinkssomewhere along the desolate coast of Chile, Byron and Barrow are leftto struggle for survival by wits alone, facing mutiny, famine,indifferent natives and lingering infighting.A fully realized hintof the fictional magic to come. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (15)

5-0 out of 5 stars If you like the Master and Commador series you will not be disappointed
I've now read everything Patrick O'brain's written and this was not a disappointment at all.Excellent book.

5-0 out of 5 stars A fix for Master and Commander fans in withdrawal
You'd think 20 books of the "Master and Commander" series would have been enough, but it really wasn't, not for true devotees, which is almost everyone who ever started the first one and then found themselves hooked. We were left hungering for more, a more that would never come, as author Patrick O'Brian had died.

So we look for anything we can, and "The Unknown Shore" is a surprisingly close recall of it. In this (early?) book O'Brian essentially created the characters of Jack Aubrey and Stephen Maturin, two young sailors here on Anson's ill-fated attempt to circumnavigate the globe in 1740.

Midshipmen Jack Byron is easily Aubrey as a young man, albeit 30 or 40 years earlier; he's a hale fellow well met, with many friends, a quick mind, a love for navigation and an affection for his eccentric friend Tobias Barrow. Tobias is a bit different from Maturin. An orphan raised by an equally eccentric country gentleman with progressive but strange ideas about education, Tobias is scientifically brilliant while being clueless about most other things, including arts, human behavior and social norms. But he has Maturin's charming absentmindness and fear of heights, as well as his obsession with natural science. Byron, a midshipman with a few voyages under his belt, gets Barrow signed on as a surgeon's assistant on the same ship. The fleet is battered going around Cape Horn and their ship, the Wager, is wrecked at one of the coldest and most remote spots on Earth.

O'Brian comes close to his final style in this book, but you can still see him playing with it. It has a storybook-like tone to it early on, fitting well with the humor playing off Barrow's many social gaffes. But he gets more serious when the two's lives are in danger.

I found myself turning the pages as relentlessly as in any of the originals. If "Master and Commander" is your heroin, this is some mighty fine methadone.

4-0 out of 5 stars Feeds the Habit
I am probably like most readers of this book, a longtime fan of Patrick O'Brian, principally through the Aubrey-Maturin series.Like them, I think O'Brian died too young at 86; the twenty books in that series were not enough.

In hopes of finding a bolt of lightning like the ones I had found in earlier readings of O'Brian's work, I picked up The Unknown Shore.I am pleased to report that I was not disappointed.

As a stand-alone volume, it lacks the density and momentum of the Aubrey-Maturin books, but it definitely shares the same parentage.It is very entertaining, both amused and amusing and, ultimately, familiar.It was like finding money in the pockets of old clothing.

3-0 out of 5 stars A bit of plagiarism in this story..
It needs to be said, that The Unknown Shore is 99% based on the narration by John Byron (grandad to the poet) a midshipman of the Wager, who survived the wreck in desolate Patagonia and returned five years later to England. History describes Byron as"surviving great hardships". You have to read his account of the story to really understand the meaning of the word (well, from your comfy chair). So when some of the reviewers sort of complain about "oh, how much hardship can we take", I'd say, "Dude, that actually happened"
Patrick O'Brien simply lifted the story, scene by scene, and in no edition of this book I have seen any recognition to Byron's narrative.
The story is so compelling, that it is still in print. Do yourself a favor and read the original. Find it in Amazon as The Loss of the Wager. This edition adds even more fascination to the story, because of including a second account of the wreck, this time by the group that deserted Captain Cheap, and sailed back south, through the Magellan Strait once more.

5-0 out of 5 stars Nothing less than an excellent Aubrey-Maturin PREQUEL!
Fans of the Aubrey-Maturin series will not be disappointed.

Here again is the real, witty dialog, the warm (and evil) characters, the all-too-real scenery made possible by what can only be called preternatural powers of story-telling.

You won't be disappointed in experiencing O'brien's failings, too:complete disregard of tying off the loose ends of a plot, complete lack of any epilogue.But haven't we come to love even that part of his work?

... Read more


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