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1. Steve Buscemi
2. Valley Stream Central High School
3. The Grey Zone: Tim Blake Nelson,
4. American Firefighters: Clint Eastwood,
5. American Sport Wrestlers: Paul
6. Films Directed by Steve Buscemi
7. New Yorker Magazine November 14,
8. New York City Firefighters: Steve
9. BOMB Issue 59, Spring 1997 (BOMB
10. Pagan Babies - Abridged (4 cassettes,
11. Pagan Babies
12. Gates of Eden
13. Loser: Library Edition
14. Motherless Brooklyn
15. Igor [V-IGOR WG] [DVD]
16. BOMB Issue 42, Winter 1993 (BOMB
17. New Yorker Magazine November 14,
18. Fargo
19. The Big Lebowski
20. I'm Dirty

1. Steve Buscemi
Paperback: 156 Pages (2010-07-11)
list price: US$62.00 -- used & new: US$62.00
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Asin: 6130982658
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High Quality Content by WIKIPEDIA articles! Steven Vincent "Steve" Buscemi ( born December 13, 1957) is an American actor, writer and film director.Steve Buscemi was born in Brooklyn, New York, the son of Dorothy, who worked as a hostess at Howard Johnson's, and John Buscemi, a sanitation worker and Korean War veteran. Buscemi's father was Sicilian American and his mother Irish American. He has three brothers: Jon, Ken, and Michael. Buscemi was raised Catholic.He graduated in 1975 from Valley Stream Central High School in Valley Stream, New York, a school which he attended with actress Patricia Charbonneau and writer Edward Renehan. In high school, Buscemi wrestled for the varsity squad and participated in the drama troupe, at that time directed by Mr. Lynne C. Lappin. He was also a member of Alpha Omega Theta fraternity. Buscemi's 1996 film Trees Lounge, in which he not only starred but served as screenwriter and director, is set in and was largely shot in his childhood village of Valley Stream. ... Read more

2. Valley Stream Central High School Alumni: Steve Buscemi, Fred Armisen, Jim Breuer, Valley Stream Central High School, Stephen Boyd
Paperback: 50 Pages (2010-05-06)
list price: US$19.99 -- used & new: US$19.99
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Asin: 1155727533
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Purchase includes free access to book updates online and a free trial membership in the publisher's book club where you can select from more than a million books without charge. Chapters: Steve Buscemi, Fred Armisen, Jim Breuer, Valley Stream Central High School, Stephen Boyd, Patricia Charbonneau, Michael Brandon, Peter Barton. Excerpt:Fred Armisen Fred Armisen (born December 4, 1966) is an American actor, comedian, and musician, best known for his work as a cast member on Saturday Night Live . Personal life Armisen grew up in Long Island, New York . His mother is of Venezuelan descent and his father is of German and Japanese ancestry. He attended the School of Visual Arts (NYC ). With Darrell Hammond gone from the cast at the start of the 35th season, Armisen is now the only SNL cast member to be born before the 1970s and the oldest cast member at age 43. Armisen married Elisabeth Moss of The West Wing and Mad Men on October 25, 2009. Music career Armisen began his career in 1988 when he moved from New York to Chicago to play drums for the punk rock band Trenchmouth . In the 1990s, he played background drums with the Blue Man Group in Chicago. He currently endorses Shine Drums. In 1997, he toured with Those Bastard Souls , a project of David Shouse of The Grifters which also featured The Flaming Lips ' Steven Drozd . He plays drums on three tracks on Les Savy Fav 's 2007 album, Let's Stay Friends . Trenchmouth publicity photo Discography Year : Title Television and film career While playing with Trenchmouth, Armisen's interests switched to performing. In a January 2006 interview with The AV Club , he explained it this way: "I wanted to be on TV somehow. For some reason, I always thought it would be an indirect route, I didn't know that it would be comedy and Saturday Night Live . I just wanted to do something with performing that would lead me there". Armisen's subsequent television work, such as some "memorable Andy Kaufman -esque appearances" on Late Night ... ... Read more

3. The Grey Zone: Tim Blake Nelson, David Arquette, Steve Buscemi, Harvey Keitel, Mira Sorvino, Daniel Benzali
Paperback: 112 Pages (2010-02-19)
list price: US$53.00 -- used & new: US$48.00
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Asin: 6130438532
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High Quality Content by WIKIPEDIA articles! The Grey Zone is a 2001 film directed by Tim Blake Nelson and starring David Arquette, Steve Buscemi, Harvey Keitel, Mira Sorvino and Daniel Benzali. It is based on the book Auschwitz: A Doctor's Eyewitness Account written by Dr. Miklos Nyiszli. The title comes from the title of an essay by Auschwitz survivor Primo Levi. The film tells the story of the Jewish Sonderkommando XII in the Auschwitz concentration camp in October 1944. These prisoners were made to assist the camp's guards in shepherding their victims to the gas chambers and dispose of the bodies in ovens. ... Read more

4. American Firefighters: Clint Eastwood, Coolio, Steve Buscemi, Curt Weldon, Jill Carroll, Dan White, Bob Armstrong, John Leonard Orr
Paperback: 256 Pages (2010-09-15)
list price: US$33.68 -- used & new: US$33.68
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Asin: 115707412X
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Chapters: Clint Eastwood, Coolio, Steve Buscemi, Curt Weldon, Jill Carroll, Dan White, Bob Armstrong, John Leonard Orr, Craig Hollywood, Sam Graves, Jamie Walters, August H. Runge, Tom Westman, Salvatore Cassano, Glenn "G.t." Thompson, Scott Lynch, Bonnie Bleskachek, Red Adair, Ryan Sutter, Chip Prather, William Pershing Benedict, Phil Pfister, Robert William Fisher, Emmett J. Rice, Reggie Dupre, Bill Bathe, Ángel Juarbe, Jr., Ed Wildberger, Anthony Martin Sinatra, Mike Stoker, Lillie Hitchcock Coit, George Consider Hale, James O. Page, Myron M. Kinley, Craig Fugate, Walthall Robertson Joyner, Molly Williams, Ralph Mcleod, Don Herbert, Dick Hammer, Rick Timmons, John Henderson, Matthew Ryan, Charles Gaines, Sam B. Boyd, Frank Ricci. Source: Wikipedia. Pages: 255. Not illustrated. Free updates online. Purchase includes a free trial membership in the publisher's book club where you can select from more than a million books without charge. Excerpt: Clinton Elias "Clint" Eastwood, Jr. (born May 31, 1930) is an American film actor, director, producer, and composer. He has received five Academy Awards, five Golden Globe Awards, a Screen Actors Guild Life Achievement Award, and five People's Choice Awards including one for Favorite All-Time Motion Picture Star. Eastwood is known for his anti-hero acting roles in violent action and western films. Following his role as a cast member of the TV series Rawhide starting in 1958, he went on to star as the Man With No Name in the Dollars trilogy of Spaghetti Westerns in the 1960s and as Inspector Harry Callahan in the Dirty Harry films of the 1970s and 1980s. These roles have made him an enduring icon of masculinity. Eastwood is also known for his comedic efforts in Every Which Way but Loose and Any Which Way You Can, his two highest-grossing films after adjustment for inflation. For his work in the films Unforgiven (1992) and Million Dollar Baby (2004), Eastwood won Academy Awards for Best...More: http://booksllc.net/?id=43373 ... Read more

5. American Sport Wrestlers: Paul Wellstone, John Irving, Steve Buscemi, Kurt Angle, Norman Borlaug, Brock Lesnar, Scott Steiner
Paperback: 896 Pages (2010-09-15)
list price: US$93.01 -- used & new: US$93.00
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Asin: 1157545858
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Chapters: Paul Wellstone, John Irving, Steve Buscemi, Kurt Angle, Norman Borlaug, Brock Lesnar, Scott Steiner, James Chico Hernandez, Randy Couture, Charlie Haas, Bobby Lashley, Bob Backlund, Shelton Benjamin, Nick Nemeth, Larry Zbyszko, Dan Severn, Ray Lloyd, Jack Brisco, Dan Henderson, Mark Coleman, Kevin Randleman, Rick Steiner, Douglas A. Zembiec, Jake Hager, Mark Kerr, "Dr. Death" Steve Williams, Verne Gagne, Josh Koscheck, Mike Rotunda, Matt Lindland, Nate Parker, Lash Leroux, Matt Hamill, Clarissa Chun, Gerald Brisco, Efrain Escudero, Melvin Guillard, Tim Donst, James Yee, Leroy Mcguirk, Cliff Keen, Dan Gable, Rulon Gardner, Sylvester Terkay, Russ Haas, Ben Askren, Johny Hendricks, Frank Gotch, Homer Moore, Jesse Forbes, Dick Beyer, Jim Jordan, Vincent Clark, Dustin Schlatter, Aaron Stark, Cael Sanderson, Craig Pittman, James Raschke, Cole Konrad, Dave Schultz, Jake Rosholt, Sammie Henson, Danny Hodge, Daniel Cormier, Jacob Young, Greg Wojciechowski, Kevin Jackson, Steve Mocco, Leroy Kemp, Alan Fried, Robin Reed, Carlton Haselrig, Mark Schultz, Kristie Marano, Barry Davis, Brian Gamble, Chad Corvin, Henry Cejudo, Bruce Baumgartner, Les Gutches, Henry Wittenberg, Zeke Jones, Stephen Neal, Jeff Blatnick, Michael Schoeffling, Tom Brands, Sara Mcmann, Dylan Bruno, Richard Sanders, Mike Zadick, Leroy Gardner Iii, Andy Hrovat, Dick Hutton, George Stults, David Vizzini, Kendall Cross, Nate Carr, Brad Rheingans, Nat Pendleton, Patricia Miranda, Ray Murphy, Jr., Dean Rockwell, Chris Taylor, Gbenga Akinnagbe, Gerald Leeman, Jess Lewis, Dennis Hall, Bill Weick, Kenny Monday, Leander Talbott, Tab Thacker, John Peterson, Stephen Abas, Robert Curry, Dale O. Thomas, Ryan Bertin, Ben Peterson, Deanna Rix, Jake Deitchler, Greg Jones, Jim Zalesky, Jack Carkeek, Townsend Saunders, Terry Brands, Kevin Dresser, Randy Lewis, Ali Bernard, William Kerslake, Matt Ghaffari, Jamill Kelly, Allie Morrison, Douglas Blubaugh, Bobby Douglas, Lloyd K...More: http://booksllc.net/?id=346200 ... Read more

6. Films Directed by Steve Buscemi (Study Guide): Lonesome Jim, Interview, Trees Lounge, Animal Factory
Paperback: 24 Pages (2010-10-21)
list price: US$14.14 -- used & new: US$14.13
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Asin: 1158644485
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This is nonfiction commentary.Chapters: Lonesome Jim, Interview, Trees Lounge, Animal Factory. Source: Wikipedia. Pages: 22. Not illustrated. Free updates online. Purchase includes a free trial membership in the publisher's book club where you can select from more than a million books without charge. Excerpt: Lonesome Jim is a 2005 American comedy/drama film directed by Steve Buscemi. Filmed mostly in the city of Goshen, Indiana, the film stars Casey Affleck as a chronically depressed aspiring novelist who moves back into his parents' home after failing to make it in New York City. Liv Tyler also stars as a good-hearted nurse who finds contentment through encouraging optimism in Jim's glum world. Lonesome Jim premiered at the 2005 Sundance Film Festival where it was nominated for the Grand Jury Prize but it lost the award to Ira Sachs' Forty Shades of Blue. Jim (Casey Affleck) is a perennially gloomy 27 year-old aspiring novelist from Goshen, Indiana who moved to New York City in hopes of finding success with his writing. After two years of barely making a living as a dog walker, he defeatedly decides to move back home to his parents' house in Goshen. Jim's 32 year-old brother Tim (Kevin Corrigan) is a recently divorced father of two young girls whose business recently failed. Tim has moved back into his parents' home and he works in the ladder factory that's owned and operated by their pessimistic father Don (Seymour Cassel) and overly cheerful mother Sally (Mary Kay Place). Jim has no interest in the family business and he resists pressure from Don to start working there. Jim meets Anika (Liv Tyler), a nurse, in a bar and they end up having sex in a hospital bed, though Jim finishes embarrassingly early. After an argument between the two brothers on whose life has been more pathetic so far, Tim, having previously made repeated unsuccessful attempts to commit suicide, drives his car into a tree in hopes of ending his life; he i...http://booksllc.net/?id=5668860 ... Read more

7. New Yorker Magazine November 14, 2005 Paul Theroux Fiction, Steve Buscemi Profile, Poems by Mahmoud Darwish and Meghan O'Rourke
Single Issue Magazine: Pages (2005)

Asin: B002MGZ6JU
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8. New York City Firefighters: Steve Buscemi, John Decker, Jack Mcgee, Dennis Smith, Salvatore Cassano, Fireman Ed, Orio Palmer, Timothy Welty
Paperback: 76 Pages (2010-05-06)
list price: US$19.99 -- used & new: US$19.99
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Asin: 1155771893
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Purchase includes free access to book updates online and a free trial membership in the publisher's book club where you can select from more than a million books without charge. Chapters: Steve Buscemi, John Decker, Jack Mcgee, Dennis Smith, Salvatore Cassano, Fireman Ed, Orio Palmer, Timothy Welty, Stephen Cassidy, Ángel Juarbe, Jr., John Costelloe, William M. Feehan, Victor Navarra, James Hanlon, Mose Humphrey, Peter J. Ganci, Jr., Ronald Paul Bucca, Peter H. Wendover, Bill Walsh, Derek Kelly. Excerpt:Bill Walsh William J Walsh (born September 25, 1957) is a New York City firefighter , known for his role in the television series Third Watch . In Third Watch , he started as a firefighter consultant to the show's producers . Walsh is currently Captain of FDNY Squad 41 in the South Bronx . References (URLs online) Websites (URLs online) A hyperlinked version of this chapter is at Dennis Smith Dennis Smith is a former firefighter, a writer and president of a company offering financial services to emergency services personnel. He is an advocate for firefighters in the United States. He served for 18 years as a firefighter with the New York City Fire Department , he developed profound respect for the professionalism of the firefighters with whom he worked, and their willingness to give of themselves in the course of their duty. He also came to know their needs, balanced against the modern management needs of a large urban fire department operating within the mandates of an emergency organization and the constraints of a municipal budget. His experience and reputation make him aware of the interests and concerns of fire and emergency departments and emergency professionals, particularly in the post 9/11 economic and political environment. Career Firefighter Smith began his career as a firefighter with the New York Fire Department in 1963, and served in some of the city s most active and dangerous fire districts. In 1972, Smith published Report from Engine Co. 82 , a... ... Read more

9. BOMB Issue 59, Spring 1997 (BOMB Magazine)
by Emmylou Harris, Wallace Shawn, Gilles Peress, George Walker, Tim Roth, Wolf Kahn, Christian Wolff, Kendall Thomas, Amy Hempel, Steve Buscemi
Single Issue Magazine: 104 Pages (1997-03-15)
-- used & new: US$50.00
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Asin: B003TY3FTM
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BOMB 59, Spring 1997, featuring: Interviews with Emmylou Harris by Lucinda Williams, Wallace Shawn by Patrick McGrath, Gilles Peress by Carole Kismaric, George Walker by Stephen Haff, Tim Roth by Steve Buscemi, Christian Wolf by Damon Krukowski, Kendall Thomas by Lynne Tillman, Matthew Ritchie by Jennifer Berman, and Amy Hempel by Suzan Sherman. Fiction and Poetry by Joel Rose, Kirsty Gunn, Frederic Tuten, Vijay Seshadri, Brooklyn Moon Cafe Poets, Connie Deanovich, Kathy Acker, and Richard House. Artwork by Amanda Means, Roger Newton, Gary Hill, Keith Sonnier and Wolf Kahn. ... Read more

10. Pagan Babies - Abridged (4 cassettes, Read by Steve Buscemi)
by Elmore Leonard
 Audio Cassette: Pages (2000)

Asin: B002FC82XI
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11. Pagan Babies
by Elmore Leonard
Audio CD: Pages (2000-09-05)
list price: US$29.95 -- used & new: US$14.40
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Asin: 0553712284
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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Five CD's,6 hours
Read by Steve Buschemi

In Rwanda during the genocide, Hutu thugs storm into a church and kill everyone except Father Terry Dunn, on the alter saying his first mass. He's powerless to do anything about it--until one day he faces several of the killers and exacts a chilling penance.

But is Terry Dunn really a priest?

He doesn't always appear to act like one. He comes home to Detroit and runs into Debbie Dewey who's doing standup at a comedy club. In her set, Debbie tells what it was like in prison, down for aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. Terry and Debie hit it off; they have the same sense of humor and similar goals in that both are out to raise money. Terry says for the Little Orphans of Rwanda; Debbie to score off a guy who conned her out of sixty-seven thousand dollars. This is Randy, now wealthy, who runs a fashionable restaurant and is connected to the Detroit Mafia.

It's Debbie who keeps prying until she learns the bizarre truth about Terry; Debbie who sells him on going in together for a much bigger payoff than either could manage alone.

What happened in Rwanda remains alive through the unexpected twists and turns of the plot. But even with this tragic background. PAGAN BABIES comes off as Leonard's funniest straight-faced novel to date.
Amazon.com Review
After 30-odd novels, one might think that Elmore Leonard has nothing left to prove. But Pagan Babies, a novel filled with hissignatures (tight plotting, scathing wit, and that grittilyrealistic dialogue), shows once again why he sets the standard againstwhich other crime novels are measured. In fact, Leonard has raised thebar. How many authors would dare use the Rwandan genocide as backdropfor a story that moves gaily between romantic comedy and a massive,labyrinthine con? More to the point, how many of them would pull itoff?

Father Terry Dunn doesn't have qualms about substituting punishment forpenance. If that means killing four Hutu murderers who slaughtered hisTutsi congregation, so be it. Being an instrument of divine wrath hascertain disadvantages, however, so Dunn breaks camp and heads forDetroit, where he's welcomed by family, a five-year-old federalindictment for tax fraud, and a fast-talking fireball named DebbieDewey. Fresh from a stint in prison for assaulting her formerfiancé, Randy, with a Ford Escort, Debbie is out for revenge:

"I still can't believe I fell for it. He tells me he's retiredfrom Merrill Lynch, one of their top traders, and I believed him. Did Icheck? No, not till it was too late. But you know what did me in,besides the hair and the tan? Greed. He said if I had a savingsaccount that wasn't doing much and would like to put it to work... Heshows me his phony portfolio, stock worth millions, and like a dummy Isaid, 'Well, I've got fifty grand not doing too much.' I signed it overand that's the last I saw of my money."
It's only a matter of time before Debbie's desire for cold, hard cashand Dunn's fundraising for Rwandan orphans join forces in a carefullyplotted financial assault on Randy's benefactor, Tony Amilia, who justhappens to be the last of the old-school Detroit Mafia. Throw in acouple of hit men to whom loyalty is a foreign word, and you'vegot vintage Leonard: a fast-paced, roller-coaster ride of a novelwhere deceiver and deceived are gloriously shiftysignifiers. --Kelly Flynn ... Read more

Customer Reviews (72)

5-0 out of 5 stars Chilling and Very Good to Boot
Genocide is raging as Hutu thugs storm into a church and kill everyone except Father Terry Dunn, who is on the alter saying his first mass. There is nothing he can do about the slaughter, but one day he faces off several of the killers and exacts a chilling penance from them. But who is Terry Duun, really? Is he a priest as he says? He goes home to detroit and runs into Debbie Dewey who is working at a comedy club, doing stand up. Debbie spies and pries until she learns the bizarre truth about Terry.

There are plenty of twists and turns in this super story that will open your eyes to a great injustice even as the story pulls you in deeper and deeper.

1-0 out of 5 stars Sloppy Leonard work misrepresents reality of Rwanda
I am generally a fan of Elmore Leonard but this work was a terrible piece of junk.It is typical schlock of the kind written by what are called in the political world "useful idiots"; i.e. naive westerners who buy the propaganda of a brutal dictatorship.

In Leonard's Pagan Babies, the Hutus are evil and the Tutsis are noble victims and/or supermen.As a former UN human rights investigator in Rwanda, I know the reality to be very different.The truth is that for centuries, the Tutsis [the last African ethnic group to settle in Rwanda] had, despite being only 10-15% of the population, ruled over the 80-88% Hutus and the 1-2% Twa [the first inhabitants] as the aristocracy or apartheid elite.Then came the Germans who established a protectorate, leaving in place the Tutsi monarchy and ruling through them.When the Belgians took over the colony after Germany's loss in the First World War, it pretty much kept the same system. Unlike in neighbouring Congo, there was not widespread abuse nor much European settlement.At independence, the Hutus gained power and the Tutsi hegemony was ended. Used to being in charge, much of the Tutsi elite did not take this very well.There were several failed rebellions to try to restore their control, all brutally put down and resulting in massacres of innnocent civilians: the sort of scenario one could anticipate if the Boers tried to re-establish control in South Africa.Many Tutsis went into exile in neighbouring countries, particularly Uganda, Burundi [where the Tutsis had managed to maintain control] and Congo [Zaire].Similar to today's Hutu rebels, they often attempted to stage invasions from these neighbouring countries.In the 60's in the Congo, they even allied themselves with the Communist advnturer Che Guevera.Unlike today however, the Hutu government of the day did not invade its neighbours in an attempt to wipe them out.

During the late 70's and early 80's, Tutsi exiles allied themselves with the rebel movement of Yoweri Museveni in Uganda.When he came to power, they occupied key security posts in the Museveni's regime.Fred Rwigema was in charge of the army and Paul Kagame was head of military intelligence.Despite the massive aid they received from Britain and the US, these were not "choir boys".Killings and other human rights abuses were common.At the same time, Ugandans were asking why "foreigners" were playing such an important role in the country.Museveni therefore allowed the elite of his army to form an invasion force - the Rwandan Patriotic Front - to attempt to take over Rwanda.Ostenibly multi-ethnic, it was heavily dominated by Tutsi military serving in the Ugandan army. During one incursion, RPF leader Rwigema was murdered by his fellow Tutsis, possibly linked to Kagame who then took over the movement. Unprovoked, they first invaded in 1990, committing numerous massacres and raising the temperature in the country. They were more successful in 1993, effectively occupying the northern part of Rwanda.This forced the Arusha Peace Accords which were supposed to lead to elections in the small African autocracy.But the Government had no intention of sharing power with the former ruling minority and the RPF knew that, as a primarily Tutsi organization [with a base of 10% of the population], they could never win a democratic election.Both sides continued to prepare for war and in Spring 1994, the RPF shot down the plane carrying the Hutu presidents of Rwanda and Burundi [allowing the Tutsi military in Burundi to retake the power they had never really given up there].Pandemonium broke out in Rwanda.The Tutsi RPF re-started its campaign to take over the country while the Rwandan [Hutu] security forces and [Interahamwe] militias started massacring all Tutsis and moderate Hutus as fifth columnists.The RPF also massacred civilians as reported in the suppressed Gersony Report.Once the RPF had established control, they successfully manipulated Western politicians and other useful idiots like Leonard to put out their own version of events to justify their continued repression.More Hutus, particularly intellectuals, were murdered.Millions of Hutus took refuge in Tanzania and mostly in Zaire [Congo].In Congo, the former security forces and Interahamwe militias controlled the camps and attempted to invade and re-take control.

In 1996-1997, the RPF invaded Zaire with the help of Uganda and other countries, committing many massacres of a genocidal nature similar to what it had done under areas of its control during the genocide [ex. calling peasants to a meeting only to massacre them].With Congolese dictator Mobutu out the way, they set up a puppet government under the leaership of Laurent Desire Kabila, an old comrade in arms from the 60's when they were allied with Che Guevera.The security forces were under Rwandan control: a Rwandan general [James Kabarebe] was in charge of the army and Tutsis occuied many of the key positions.A UN investigation into the massacres carried out by Rwanda and its allies was stymied and buried by Bill Clinton and his administration.When the Congolese got fed up with being run by Rwandan Tutsis, Kabila asked them to leave. Kagame then invented a new "rebellion" and invaded again.

The UN human rights mapping exercise in the Congo recently re-started.The final report had to be leaked in August 2010 in order to prevent it being completely watered down by Rwanda, the US and UK. It is estimated that about 6 million have died in the [re-named] Democratic Republic of Congo as a result of Kagame's invasions and occupations [from massacres but mostly from the pillage and resulting humanitarian conditions].Kagame -and to a lesser extent his former friend Museveni [they fell out over the pillage from the Congo] have continued to stir the pot in order to better exploit the Congo's natural resources. This is mostly done by supporting rebel warlords like Thomas Lubanga [now at the International Criminal Court] and Laurent Nkunda [in exile in Rwanda].

Meanwhile back in Rwanda, Kagame has managed to recreate the Tutsi hegemony of old days.Virtually every position of any importance is held by a Tutsi, usually one that came from Uganda.Opponents are assassinated or thrown in jail, now including many Tutsis who used to be his comrades.Westerners who helped him with his killing and pillaging, like Bill Clinton and Tony Blair, continue to sing his praises.UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon, known for toadying to dictators, made him co-chair of the Millenium Development Goals Advisory Group, even though he knew him to be a war criminal and World Bank statistics show [despite massive aid, debt relief and pillaging] that higher and higher percentages of Rwandans live in poverty and inequality has doubled.

Perhaps Mr. Leonard should stick to garden variety American criminals.

5-0 out of 5 stars Improbable characters that work
Who else but Elmore Leonard could come up with a phony priest and an ex-con standup comic as his hero and heroine?I'm guessing the Catholic Church left its marks on him in one way or another because he's had Catholic characters in other books, most notably TOUCH and BANDITS.I went to Catholic school, and the title PAGAN BABIES alone was enough to stir memories and draw me in.(And a tip of the hat to the person who thought to put a mission box on the cover.Perfect!)Leonard unfolds this story of scammers and scumbags with a deft hand, giving us a generous helping of his signature humor and bull's eye dialogue.No one writes like him, and thank God he's so prolific.The man is a national treasure.

4-0 out of 5 stars Mixing Oil with Water?An Unusual Gangster Story
Elmore Leonard's PAGAN BABIES is a bit of a strange ride so far as gangster stories go.The protagonist is Father Terry Dunn, who may or may not be a real priest (the answer is revealed in the story).As the story opens, we find him in post-genocide Rwanda, hearing confessions nearby his church, which, at the behest of authorities, is still filled with the decaying bodies of the dead, a supposed monument to a massacre that occurred while Terry was presiding over Mass.After a Hutu involved in that massacre confesses that he's about to commit another atrocity, Terry takes action to stop him, and then flees Rwanda for the States.

Back in Detroit, Terry falls in with an ex-convict, Debbie, who is trying to exact revenge on a former boyfriend who had swindled her.(It was because, out of anger, she had run over her boyfriend Randy with her car that she was sent to prison for three years.)Terry and Debby hatch a plan to extort from Randy the money owed Debby, and at the same time benefit Terry.In short order, the plan is modified to hit the gangsters with whom Randy consorts.

Leonard is a master of dialogue, plot, and finding humor in the absurd or grim. The story's rapid dialogue, spun of the patois of Detroit street thugs and gangsters, drives the story almost as much as the intricate plot he weaves.This is a story of deals and double-deals; it's fun to see it all unwind towards the end.Leonard tones down the absurd humor a bit, I suspect because of the Rwanda background story, though it emerges subtly in the stateside scenes.

I found this a great read, but I was troubled a bit by Leonard's use of the Rwanda background story.Might one question whether it's right to use that terrible recent history of genocide as backdrop for what is essentially a contemporary American gangster story? Granted, the horror of that event doesn't feel cheapened in Leonard's hands.At the very least, its appropriateness might make a good topic for a book club discussion.

4-0 out of 5 stars The Ugly American with a conscience?
This novel is my fourth by Elmore Leonard: I have a great admiration for his style and ability as a writer. This one in characterizations resembles
"Get Shorty". He sort of has the decadence of modern America where priests, lawyers, Gangsters and police seem to leave ordinary people very little
of the pie. The anti-hero is a man who pretends to be a priest, but is actually a small time hood. He runs into the rule that you sometimes become what you are pretending to be, while falling for a female stand-up comedian who is also a tough semi-hood who works for lawyers.
Money for the orphans comes between them... ... Read more

12. Gates of Eden
by Ethan Coen
 Audio Cassette: Pages (1998-11-01)
list price: US$25.00
Isbn: 0671582801
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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From the Academy Award-winning Fargo to the cult classic Blood Simple, the Coen brothers have earned critical acclaim and a passionate, devoted following. Now, with Gates of Eden, Ethan Coen brings to the audiobook the same razor-sharp wit, imagination, and shocking intensity that have resonated with millions of fans.

With these unabridged stories, sometimes heart-felt, sometimes brutal, always wildly entertaining -- Ethan Coen delivers everything you would expect from such an original imagination.Amazon.com Review
Small-time mobsters, private investigators, adulterers, andHebrew-school students populate these stories written by Ethan Coen,the Oscar-winning cowriter of the Fargo screenplay. Read mostlyby actors who have appeared in his films--including regulars SteveBuscemi, John Goodman, and John Turturro--these vignettes are setprimarily in Minneapolis. There is a lot of fighting, farting, and theother f word in these tapes, disqualifying this audiobook forthe fainthearted, but the listener is well rewarded with some smart,if brutal, writing. Standouts include the Matt Dillon-read "Destiny,"a Mafioso story about a college graduate-cum-failed boxer whosepoverty sucks him into an underworld rivalry, and William H. Macy'sreading of the title story, a tongue-in-cheek noir featuring aCalifornian who is temporarily distracted from his work by a geishagoddess. (Running time: 5.5 hours, 4 cassettes) --KimberlyHeinrichs ... Read more

Customer Reviews (16)

5-0 out of 5 stars Hilarious and distrubing...
As a big fan of his movies, I was really inpressed with this collection of short stories.This guy can really write.GATES OF EDEN will leave you wondering if every story included could be made into a film.Brilliant!

5-0 out of 5 stars Help! Coen turned people into pulp!
Well no, these aren't actual people in Coen's stories, but they are 'real' and brilliantly drawn. The dark humor those familiar with the Coen Bros. movies is ever-present in these stories, and Ethan proves he's as capable a writer as a storyteller, with very clever use (and abuse) of language and clever turns of phrase.

I suppose what I enjoyed most is that every chapter of this short-story collection is a *story*, rather than just a writing exercise from a creative writing course. These stories are populated by *characters*, and the actions of these characters advance the *plot*. Each is pure fun to read, and again, are excellent *stories*. They're about people, and the things people do, and how screwed up the whole species really it.

5-0 out of 5 stars From Hector Berlioz, p.i., to the weights-and-measures man.
Coen brothers.

Just say the words, and most moviegoers can tell you what you're probably in for.

Crime. Criminals. Mystery. Shenanigans.

The same holds true for "Gates of Eden," a collection of short stories by Ethan Coen, one-half of the brother team (bro is Joel Coen) that created such contemporary classics as "Blood Simple," "Fargo," "O Brother Where Art Thou?" and, most recently, "The Man Who Wasn't There."

With the short stories in "Gates," Ethan displays the tendency to irresistible characters that the brothers have put to such acclaimed use in their films.

And characters they are. Hapless schmucks, crooks who just don't seem to have a clue, oddballs and hitmen, all of whom are destined to win your heart. Or, at the very least, your funny bone.

The title story is probably my favorite, simply because it examines a career that is usually shucked aside by storytellers in favor of more glamorous work: The weights-and-measures man.

It's Joe Gendreau's job to make sure the gas station attendant isn't overcharging for or skimping on gas; a beating with a tire iron will keep him straight. All in a day's work, ma'am.

Like Joe says, "Standards are what make us a society. A community agrees. A gallon is a gallon. A pound is a pound. He who says fifteen ounces is a pound - he must be put down. A pound is a pound, or we go bango."

Sigh. Coen's use of dialogue makes me weak in the knees. Oh, to have that firm control of dialect.

Other faves in "Gates":

"Destiny": A knocked-out-too-often boxer agrees to take pictures of guy's wife in bed with a business associate, and ends up caught in between two gentlemen of less than civil reputation.

"Cosa Minapolidan": Among other things, a mob boss wants a fresh stiff. But the guys he's got on the job ain't quite right in the head, if you know what I'm saying. And one of 'em's new on the job.

"Hector Berlioz, Private Investigator": Aside from his name, there's nothing out of the ordinary about this private investigator. Coen sets the whole story like it could be an old-fashioned radio drama, and the results are both familiar and fantastic.

"A Fever in the Blood": Next to "Eden," this is the best story in the collection. Another p.i. finds himself deaf in one ear psychologically after having the other one bitten off. Brings the "Twilight Zone" to mind, complete with twist at the end. Perfection.

Anyone in need of a quick pick-me-up or an enjoyably light read can do worse than Coen. Grab your teddy bear, hunker down under the covers after (or in the middle of) a long day and thank your lucky stars you don't lead these sorry souls' lives.

4-0 out of 5 stars The Strange Mind of Coen
Ethan Coen's collection of short stories is a hint to his remarkable movies.The writer of such great films as Raising Arizona, Fargo, and O Brother Where Art Thou? brings his unmistakable sense of humor to literature with his first work of fiction, Gates of Eden.Coen's sense of humor is uniquely intelligent at times, stupid at others, and very often disturbing.

From mafia back-stabbing to a decapitated wife and every story in between, Coen makes the reader laugh and simultaneously makes the reader feel uncomfortable for laughing.One often finds himself asking, "Should I really be laughing at this?"It is upon this type of humor that the Coen Brothers built their film career.Coen overcomes the occasional lack of true plot development with intriguing character analysis and captivating dialogue.

This book is a very easy read even with the intriguing and interesting lanuage and dialogue.The stories are short enough for a single sitting and long enough to actually say something.I would recommend this book to anyone who has taken even the slightest interest in a Coen Brothers film.But take heed, many stories are not for the weak-stomached conservative.Be prepared for a few shocks and an interesting insight to the American way.

4-0 out of 5 stars If you like his movies...
If you like Ethan Coen's wacky films, and I am among their biggest fans, then you are bound to enjoy most if not all of the subject stories.Unlike most audio collections, these stories are narrated by many of the actors who have starred in Coen Brothers films such as William H. Macy, John Goodman, John Turturro and Steve Buscemi.I thought that was a great touch, and unlike another reviewer here I thoroughly enjoyed the vocal talents, never sensing that the stars had been quickly handed the stories and told to "read" by the director.

As for the tales themselves, they were each very different, and ranged from typical Coen brothers slapstick crime stories to poignant tales of growing up Jewish in Minneapolis.I really enjoyed "Destiny",the story of an over-educated boxer with no fighting spirit, narrated by Matt Dillon, who becomes hopelessly involved in a battle between a couple of two bit hoods while getting pummeled throughout the story."The Boys", a story of a father struggling to maintain his sanity on a camping trip with his two sons really struck a chord as well, since Coen displays his typical caustic wit and dead-on observations of family relationships.

The stories are not for everyone, sometimes the language can get a little coarse (especially the Steve Buscemi narrated "Have You Ever Been to Electric Ladyland", involving a music industry executive who tries telling the police the myriad of enemies who might have tortured his dog), and those easily offended may want to look elsewhere.Even here Coen's biting sarcasm is evident, as he skewers thinly-veiled real stars including Cat Stevens.

Overall, while Coen may never push writers like Raymond Carver out of the pantheon of American Short Story writers, these tales are an amusing bunch, made more entertaining by the considerable vocal talents of each of the narrators.I recommend you give them a try, especially in audio format. The people in the next car will wonder what you are grinning about. ... Read more

13. Loser: Library Edition
by Jerry Spinelli
Preloaded Digital Audio Player: Pages (2008-04)
list price: US$54.99 -- used & new: US$54.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1605147354
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
From the author of STARGIRL, a powerful novel of a young boy who is like all kids, yet unlike all kids. Loser is unique, a one-off, a touching and powerful book about the pull of individuality over the need to fit in...Donald Zinkoff has a problem. And it isn't just his name. Though, having a name beginning with Z does cause him lots of problems, not least making him last to be called for everything. Donald's main problem is his happiness; his enthusiasm -- particularly for school where he arrives early every day. His happiness leads to laughter -- loud laughter. It sometimes gets him into trouble at school. It sometimes gives people the wrong impression. His classmates think he is bonkers, a bit of a problem, a loser. But Donald is blissfully unaware of this. He thinks when they cheer and jeer him, that they like him. He thinks when they don't pick him for their team, oh well, maybe tomorrow. Donald is the eternal optimist -- a delight.Throughout his school life there are people that recognize his individuality and admire him; two of his teachers; the old lady he 'delivers' mail too; Claudia, the little girl who lives down the road, always on a harness, in case she runs away; The Waiting Man -- still waiting after thirty years for his son to return from Vietnam. And most of all, his parents, and sister, Polly, who love him to bits and will always be there to support him.The novel offers snapshots of Donald's life as he progresses through his first year in school, to his graduation to High School. It is warm, witty and wonderful and has the reader reaching for a hanky and shouting 'Go, Donald, go!' simultaneously. With some of his finest writing to date, Jerry Spinelli uses wit and emotion to create this unique novel about a unique person. As with Stargirl and Wringer, the author writes about the power of individuality over the need to fit in; the importance of attitudes to failure and how any name can ultimately be replaced with 'hero'.Amazon.com Review
Donald Zinkoff is one of the greatest kids you could ever hope to meet. He laughs easily, he likes people, he loves school, he tries to rescue lost girls in blizzards, he talks to old ladies. The only problem is, he's a loser. Until fourth grade, Zinkoff's uncontrollable giggling in class, sloppy handwriting, horrible flute playing, bad grades, clumsiness, and ineptitude at sports go largely unnoticed. When he blows a race for his team, however, his transition to loserdom is complete: "[Loser] is the word. It is Zinkoff's new name. It is not in the roll book." Fortunately, he doesn't really notice. As he did in Stargirl, Newbery Medal-winning author Jerry Spinelli again explores the cruelty of a student body and how it does and doesn't affect one student, pure of spirit. Presumably if Loser makes one child view a "different kid" as a three-dimensional character, Spinelli will consider his book successful.

The author recounts Zinkoff's story--a case study of sorts--in short sentences from a deliberately reportorial point of view, documenting the first years of the boy's life and his evolution into a loser. What makes the book charming and buoyant is that the reader, like Zinkoff's parents and his favorite teacher, appreciates the boy's oblivious joie de vivre and his divine quirks. What is less compelling about the novel is the "let this be a lesson to us" heavy-handedness that accompanies the reportorial approach. Still, Spinelli comes through again with a lively, often moving story with humor and heart to spare. (Ages 8 to 12) --Karin Snelson ... Read more

Customer Reviews (203)

5-0 out of 5 stars Charming but Honest and Real
When my 7-year-old daughter asked to get this book at the library, I was at first taken aback. She seems too young for the pre-teen angst the title suggests. Apparently a teacher at school had picked the book and was reading it to the kids, and she wanted to follow along.

I found Zinkoff to be a really likable kid despite his faults. There's certainly nothing wrong with loving school, being excited about life, and not giving up when things get tough. There's a tendency sometimes to portray nerds or 'losers' as relentlessly miserable outcasts, or as being ground down or stifled by jerky kids, but that's not the case with Zinkoff. He certainly has his low moments, but he's still a kid with a good heart who has a family that loves and supports him.

As a once and current geek myself I will say there are moments in the book I can remember from my own past (I would have loved to have skipped Field Day myself), so while it's rather embarrassing I'll go ahead and say this book gets a lot right as far as the life of a socially awkward kid goes.

The book ends on a hopeful note, I think, but not a 'that wraps it up, all problems are solved' note. I can't help but wonder how things turned out for Zinkoff after reading the book, but as a geek myself I know things can get better as life goes on. I was impressed with this book and will read some of Spinelli's other books with my daughter. She also liked the book a lot, so I'm sure she'll want to do that, too.

1-0 out of 5 stars THIS BOOK STINKS
Why do people like this book? It's not realistic at all. I am personally a kid and I have not run away from home once. Oh, and the details are way too long. I mean whole chapters are just unimportant details without anything happening at all. Parents, if you are thinking about buying this book, it had better be for a coaster.

2-0 out of 5 stars Plotless

Loser seemed to be going somewhere at first, but nothing really seems to happen. There's not a conflict throughout the book. He's happy being who he is, although he doesn't have any friends. If the conflict was about how the other kids changed, why did the author only introduce the basketball kid at the end? If I had to draw a plot chart for it, it would be almost flat. I liked the characters, but nothing happens to them.

5-0 out of 5 stars Loser, I DON'T THINK SO!!
In my opinion this book was the best ever. I could relate to Donald Zinkoff.
because he was a genuine person not relying on others validate him.As a teenager we sometimes wait on our friends to make us feel accepted but he didn't.I really enjoyed the book also because it was written about a first grader who goes through some of the same things as a teenager.
I compare this book written by Jerry Spenilli to another that I've read, Stargirl.It is about a young lady who too deals with peer pressure but does not surrender to it.I think that Mr. Spenilli writes very well about books dealing with peer pressure because maybe he dealt with it himself.I really enjoyed reading Stargirl.
I think that this book definitely should be taught and read in schools because young people deal with a lot of peer pressure. Some good and some bad. This book teaches you to think for yourself, be yourself and make wise choices.I think it should be read by young people of all ages.

3-0 out of 5 stars Loser

In my opinion this book was the best ever. I could relate to Donald Zinkoff because he was a genuine person not relying on others validate him.As a teenager we sometimes wait on our friends to make us feel accepted but he didn't.I really enjoyed the book also because it was written about a first grader who goes through some of the same things as a teenager.

I compare this book written by Jerry Spenillito another that I've read, Stargirl.It is about a young lady who too deals with peer pressure but does not surrender to it.I think that Mr. Spenilli writes very well about books dealing with peer pressure because maybe he dealt with it himself.I really enjoyed reading Stargirl.

I think that this book definitely should be taught and read in schools because young people deal with a lot of peer pressure. Some good and some bad. This book teaches you to think for yourself, be yourself and make wise choices.I think it should be read by young people of all ages. ... Read more

14. Motherless Brooklyn
by Jonathan Lethem
Audio Cassette: Pages (2000-10-01)
list price: US$25.00 -- used & new: US$40.39
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 069452364X
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

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From America's most inventive novelist, Jonathan Lethem, comes this compelling and compulsive riff on the classic detective novel.

Lionel Essrog is Brooklyn's very own Human Freakshow, an orphan whose Tourettic impulses drive him to bark, count, and rip apart language in startling and original ways. Together with three veterans of the St. Vincent's Home for Boys, he works for small-time mobster Frank Minna's limo service cum detective agency. Life without Frank, the charismatic King of Brooklyn, would be unimaginable. When Frank is fatally stabbed, Lionel's world is suddenly turned upside-down, and this outcast who has trouble even conversing attempts to untangle the threads of the case, while trying to keep the words straight in his head. A compulsively involving a and totally captivating homage to the classic detective tale.

Performed by Steve BuscemiAmazon.com Review
Pop quiz. Please complete the following sentence: "There aredays when I get up in the morning and stagger into the bathroom andbegin running water and then I look up and I don't even recognize myown _." If you answered face, then your name is obviouslynot Jonathan Lethem. Instead of taking the easy out, the genre-bustingnovelist concludes this by-the-numbers string of words withtoothbrush in the mirror.

This brilliant sentence and a lot of other really excellent onescompose Lethem's engaging fifth novel, MotherlessBrooklyn. Lionel Essrog, a detective suffering from Tourette'ssyndrome, spins the narrative as he tracks down the killer of hisboss, Frank Minna. Minna enlisted Lionel and his friends when theywere teenagers living at Saint Vincent's Home for Boys, ostensibly toperform odd jobs (we're talking very odd) and over the yearstrained them to become a team of investigators. The Minna men facetheir most daunting case when they find their mentor in a Dumpsterbleeding from stab wounds delivered by an assailant whose identity herefuses to reveal--even while he's dying on the way to thehospital.

Detectives? Brooklyn? Is this the same Lethem who danced thepostapocalypso in AmnesiaMoon? Incredibly, yes, and rarely has such a departure beenpulled off with this much aplomb. As in the "toothbrush" passageabove, Lethem sets himself up with the imposing task of making tiredconventions new. Brooklyn accents? Fuggetaboutit. Lethem'sdialogue is as light on its feet as a prize fighter. Lionel'sTourette's could have been an easy joke, but Lethem probes soconvincingly into the disorder that you feel simultaneously rattled,sympathetic, and irritated by the guy. Sure, the story is a mystery,but Motherless Brooklyn could be about flower arranging, forall we care. What counts is Lionel's tic-ridden take on a world fullof surprises, propelling this fiction forward at edgy, breakneckspeed. --Ryan Boudinot ... Read more

Customer Reviews (226)

3-0 out of 5 stars Not quite Chandler
It isn't just that critics have seen something Chandleresque in Lethem's Motherless Brooklyn, the book itself quotes from the old master ('About the only part of California you can't put your foot through is the front door - Marlowe, The Big Sleep'). And Lethem's modern-day crime-cracker, in an utterly different and unique style, has all the polish of the noir genre. Lionel, the Tourette-afflicted hero, is a kind of anti-Marlowe at the same time as he is Marlowe: damaged but brilliant, relentless in fooling everybody else through sheer wit. His verbal tics - disturb-a-stick! feral shtick! - lend the narrative a quirky, darkly humorous spin and are indeed good for quite a few guffaws. But Motherless Brooklyn is slow to get into. The plot isn't quite there, danger not as pressing as in Chandler, the characters not quite as grabbing. And in spite of an impressive ending, the story lacks a sufficiently fast pace. This is good, but to be read for its weird elegance more than as a thriller. And, by the way, if you haven't read any Chandler, then please, please do.

3-0 out of 5 stars When is a detective story not about detectives?When it's written by Jonathan Lethem.
My friend Matt gave me this book this summer, and after I read it I realised that this was the second book I've read by Jonathan Lethem, who also wrote the incredibly strange This Shape We're In. This story is about a young man, part of a team of four "detectives", all orphans, who do work for the Brooklyn hustler who took them out of the orphanage. The narrator, Lionel Essrog, also suffers from Tourette's Syndrome, the condition of tics and verbal outbursts, which people in his vicinity either understand or don't. When his boss is murdered, he goes on the case to try to find the murderer; the murderer is obvious, so the story is more about finding out why he was murdered. But even more, the story is about Lionel, and understanding how he lives, how he controls his tics, and what kind of a future he has waiting for him. Orphans with Tourettes probably have a hard lot in life, and since Lionel is probably also the world's worst detective he doesn't have much going for him there either. He doesn't really do anything, he stumbles onto the story somewhat haphazardly, and hardly gets any information out of anybody.

The book wasn't supremely satisfying, but nonetheless well-written. And although the story is a bit of a non-story, the way it is told and the way the story unfolds is good writing. It's certainly more straight forward than This Shape We're In.

3-0 out of 5 stars Hard boiled with a twist
The novel "Motherless Brooklyn" by Jonathan Lethem is both familiar and original.Lethem took a familiar genre, a traditional detective novel, and added an unlikely twist - the protagonist of this novel, Lionel Essrog, has Tourette syndrome.The result is an unusual and original book that has won numerous awards.

Lionel fancies himself a detective and, when his boss Frank Minna is murdered, Essrog is determined to discover who killed him.This part of the story is a rather predictable hard boiled who-done-it.Add to that the fact that Lionel has Tourette's and the book takes on a new dimension.

Lethem effortlessly pulls the reader into Lionel's world, which is haunting.Lionel has tics, both physical and vocal.His vocal tics are often shouted profanity.Other times he conjoins words or parts of words, creating sounds that burst out of him.The result is unsettling, though at times the word combinations are humorous.

Reading this novel, the detective story faded as I focused on Lionel's life with Tourette syndrome.I'm not sure if that was the effect that Lethem hoped to achieve, but it's probably the reason this book won awards.Regardless, it's an interesting book and the character Lionel is especially intriguing.

5-0 out of 5 stars Brilliantly Defying All Convention
In his treatise On Writing, Stephen King says the spark for many of the best novels is when a writer combines two or more disparate ideas/topics/themes and then figures out how they can complement each other in interesting or unexpected ways. Jonathan Lethem's Motherless Brooklyn is one of the best examples you'll ever find of this theory in action.

To explain why, let's try to follow (an absurdly abbreviated version of) what must've been Lethem's thought process before actually sitting down to write: "What I want to write is a literary detective novel that pays tribute to the masters like Raymond Chandler. I like that. But I need something more. What if one of the characters has Tourette's Syndrome? Yeah, that'll add intrigue. But he can't be a punchline, he has to be sympathetic. And his relationship with language is how I'll make him sympathetic. Boom, novel."

Then, he sat down to write, and the book he produced (in 1999) won the National Book Critics Circle Award for fiction, turned out to be one of the most-read novels of the aughts, and is often cited as a favorite novel of all time.

The plot is pretty simple: Gangster Frank Minna is murdered, and the four wise guys he's nurtured since orphan-hood (Tourrette's-afflicted Lionel Essrog being one of them) try to find out who killed him and why. Lionel tells us the the story in first person, as he wanders around New York City and then coastal Maine looking for clues and doing his best to manage his disease.

In my mind, Motherless Brooklyn succeeds spectacularly for two reasons: 1) The novel is incredibly inventive, and avoids cliche, when cliche would've been easy, and 2) It's very clear how much fun Lethem must've had writing this novel, which makes it fun to read.

First, how easy would it have been to make Lionel and his Tourette's a silly source of comic relief? Instead, Lethem uses Lionel's Tourette's in anunexpected way: He uses the disease to show us how intricate and clever language can be. Lionel must use the "wall of langauge" as a way to protect himself from his disease-addled brain's attempts to destroy him. For Lionel, language isn't what sets him apart from what's normal, it's what helps him be normal himself. If he didn't have language, even nonsensical strings of language, as an outlet to oppose his other physical tics, his disease would get the better of him, rendering him useless. This is part of Lethem's trick to make Lionel a sympathetic and incredibly self-aware character, as opposed to a source of cheap laughs. He also has Lionel continuously explain Tourette's to us so that we not only understand it (see below for an amazingly written passage explaining Tourette's), but we also understand how his unconventional thinking is actually helping him solve the mystery.

Secondly, if we understand #1, then we can also understand that when Lethem has Lionel let loose with a string of language (Franksbook! forkspook! finksblood, i.e.), the effect is not meant to be comic relief. It's just Lionel being Lionel. But, those Tourette's word explosions (ghostradish! pepperpony! kaiserphone!), which appear frequently, sure had to be helluva lot of fun to write! If Lethem wants to be funny, he'll have his characters tell a joke, use a pun (i.e., soon after Frank's dead: "my mourning brain had decided renaming itself was the evening's assignment"), or toss in a word like "chucklehead" -- which cracked me up every time. It wasn't until about two-thirds of the way through the novel when this notion of how much fun the novel had to be to write dawned on me. And that's the moment the novel really clicked for me. Lethem's not showing off or being superfluous, he's having a blast! And therefore, as a reader, you can't help but have a blast also.

5-0 out of 5 stars Tour de Force
Outstanding book. I would highly recommend this book to anyone that is a fan of quirky literature. It is a great murder mystery. It is a great illustration of a man living with Tourette syndrome. What more could you ask for? ... Read more

15. Igor [V-IGOR WG] [DVD]
by Anthony(Director) ; Cusack, John(Voice Talents of); Buscemi, Steve(Voice Talents of) Leondis
 CD-ROM: Pages (2009-10-31)

Asin: B001S2VQDE
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16. BOMB Issue 42, Winter 1993 (BOMB Magazine)
by Sue Williams, Neil Jordan, Steve Buscemi, Quentin Tarantino, Richard Serra, Tom Ze, Don Scardino, Walter Hill, Guillermo Gomez Pena
Single Issue Magazine: Pages (1993-12-15)

Asin: B003U79QTQ
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Editorial Review

Product Description
BOMB 42, Winter 1993, featuring: Interviews with Steve Buscemi by Quentin Tarantino, Sarah Schulman by Milyoung Cho, Ahora: Jeff Perrone by Robert Jaurrez, and Ralph Lee by Charlie Ahearn, Sue Williams by Nancy Spero, Neil Jordan by Lawrence Chua, Coco Fusco and Guillermo Gomez Pena by Anna Johnson, Richard Serra by David Seidner, Tom Ze by David Byrne and Arto Lindsay, Don Scardino by Michael O'Keefe, and Walter Hill by Larry Gross. Fiction and Poetry by Kelvin Christopher James, Leslie Dick, Jill Eisenstadt, Dael Orlandersmith, Reg E. Gaines, Peter Spiro, Maggie Estep, Edwin Torres, Dana Bryant, Tracie Morris, and Mike Tyler. Artwork by Tina Barney, Woman's Action Coalition, Kunie Sugiura, Sarah Rapson, Marilla Palmer, Dan Walsh, Scott Grodesky, Alix Lambert, Chuck Nanney, Thom Merrick, and Jennifer Sirey. ... Read more

17. New Yorker Magazine November 14, 2005 Paul Theroux Fiction, Steve Buscemi, Poems by Mahmoud Darwish and Meghan O'Rourke
Single Issue Magazine: Pages (2005)

Asin: B002KBNEAU
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18. Fargo
by Will H. Macy, Steve Buscemi, Harve Presnell, Peter Stormare, Starring Frances McDromand
 Paperback: Pages (1996)

Asin: B000QOFUKU
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19. The Big Lebowski
by John Goodman, Julianne Moore, Steve Buscemi, John Turturro Starring Jeff Bridges
 Paperback: Pages (1998)

Asin: B000QOFUFU
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20. I'm Dirty
by Kate McMullan, Jim McMullan
 Audio CD: Pages (2008-01)
list price: US$12.95
Isbn: 0545094496
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description

Clank! Rattle! Bang!
Who's making all that noise?
Backhoe Loader, reporting for duty.
Cleaning up a mess? Easy as pie.
Make that a mud pie.

Who wants to be clean when it's so much fun being dirty?
I just LOVE my job!

... Read more

Customer Reviews (25)

4-0 out of 5 stars Runner-up to I Stink!
Most of the people who enjoyed 2002's I Stink! will naturally gravitate to this 2006 sequel. I'm Dirty! is a fun book most kids should love, though it is not the classic its older brother has become.

The backhoe seems friendlier than the trash truck but I am not convinced that makes the story better. Also, the 10 to 1 countdown is both less fun and less educational than the original's alphabet soup.

Still, I'm Dirty! teaches the importance of hard work, and of actually enjoying it. So add this to your collection--in addition to (but not instead of) I Stink!--and have a dirty day!

4-0 out of 5 stars I'm dirty
We love this book at our house... we have several by this author.My 2 and 4 year olds love them.This was a bargain book and the cover was printed upside down.Not a huge deal - but my it drives my 2 year old crazy.

5-0 out of 5 stars My son LOVES this book!!!
My son loves construction vehicles, trash trucks and pretty much anything with wheels.We got this book, I'm Dirty, first from the library and he hated sending it back.He just turned four and he has the book memorized so he can "read" it himself.

5-0 out of 5 stars Perfect for a girl (or boy) fascinated by tractors!
My daughter (3) loves this book.We picked it up from the library originally and had to buy it because everytime we're there, it's "Can I get I'm Dirty?"She's fascinated by tractors of any sort (farm, road, etc.)and this has been a great tool to teach her about what different tractors do -- there's a lot of construction going on near our home area and it's been fun to explain the different ones and their jobs.Plus, the little picture on the back cover ("Sheesh!") is an extra giggle after reading it.The book talks about the job of the backhoe loader and runs through counting numbers 1-10 so we get a double learning shot with this one.One of her favorites now and I'm looking forward to sharing with her 9 mo. brother soon!

5-0 out of 5 stars Great book!
My 3 year old Love love loves this book! We have read it every night for weeks. He has actually memorized the entire thing. This book has created a true interest in construction equipment and now he is determined to learn everything he can about them. It is a very fun read, about the right length for bedtime reading. I really enjoy the book too and have bought it for both my 4 year old nephews. ... Read more

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