Tuesday, April 2, 2013

The Last Secret Of The Temple

Sussman, Paul - 'The Last Secret Of The Temple'
Paperback: 720 pages (Jun. 2006) Publisher: Bantam ISBN: 0553814052

Off-duty Detective Inspector Khalifa of the Luxor, Egypt Police is exploring with his son in the Valley of The Kings. He is trying to instil into his very reluctant son some of his own fascination for the subject of archaeology when they are interrupted by the discovery of a body of a dead European amidst the ruins. Khalifa has to leave his son and return to being a police detective in this fast moving and multi-layered story by Paul Sussman.
Khalifa discovers that the elderly dead man was a former fugitive Nazi Officer suspected of war crimes. The detective is required to forget his own natural antipathy towards Jews, as he needs to liaise closely with an Israeli Detective in order to research the background to the dead Nazi.
The Inspector is disturbed by the parallels between this case and an earlier murder he had worked on many years before, when he was a young novice detective but where he had always believed a miscarriage of justice occurred. Because he was so junior, he felt too embarrassed to speak out against his superiors at the time and had always regretted this.
Whilst investigating this, references are made to Nazi Holocaust survivors, Nazi loot, English Crusaders, Cathar massacres in France, and events in Egypt and Austria. The novel's time frame moves between events in AD70, 1944 and the present day without any artifice.
The author paints a fascinating picture of the present day Palestinian/Israelis conflicts and this creates a very engrossing story that keeps you turning the pages. The characters he describes in very learned descriptions often using Arabic or Hebrew words (there is a glossary in the back) which seem very realistic and emotional.
Whilst some other authors have covered similar story lines before I was very impressed by the very intelligent quality of this book which kept me guessing right up to the end and as it is only Paul Sussman's second novel I look forward to reading more of his future work in the years to come.
Terry Halligan, England
December 2006

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The Last Secret of the Temple

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Tenth of December: Stories

Tenth of December: Stories 

Tenth of December: StoriesA new story collection, the first in six years, from one of our greatest living writers, MacArthur "genius grant" recipient and New Yorker contributor George Saunders.

George Saunders, one of our most important writers, is back with a masterful, deeply felt collection that takes his literary powers to a new level. In a recent interview, when asked how he saw the role of the writer, Saunders said: "To me, the writer's main job is to make the story unscroll in such a way that the reader is snared-she's right there, seeing things happen and caring about them. And if you dedicate yourself to this job, the meanings more or less take care of themselves." In Tenth of December, the reader is always right there, and the meanings are beautiful and profound and abundant. The title story is an exquisite, moving account of the intersection, at a frozen lake in the woods, of a young misfit and a middle-aged cancer patient who goes there to commit suicide, only to end up saving the boy's life. "Home" is the often funny, often poignant account of a soldier returning from the war. And "Victory Lap" is a taut, inventive story about the attempted abduction of a teenage girl. In all, Tenth of December is George Saunders at his absolute best, a collection of stories and characters that add up to something deep, irreducible, and uniquely American

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Tenth of December: Stories

Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption

Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption 

Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and RedemptionOn a May afternoon in 1943, an Army Air Forces bomber crashed into the Pacific Ocean and disappeared, leaving only a spray of debris and a slick of oil, gasoline, and blood.  Then, on the ocean surface, a face appeared.  It was that of a young lieutenant, the plane’s bombardier, who was struggling to a life raft and pulling himself aboard.  So began one of the most extraordinary odysseys of the Second World War.

The lieutenant’s name was Louis Zamperini.  In boyhood, he’d been a cunning and incorrigible delinquent, breaking into houses, brawling, and fleeing his home to ride the rails.  As a teenager, he had channeled his defiance into running, discovering a prodigious talent that had carried him to the Berlin Olympics and within sight of the four-minute mile.  But when war had come, the athlete had become an airman, embarking on a journey that led to his doomed flight, a tiny raft, and a drift into the unknown.

Ahead of Zamperini lay thousands of miles of open ocean, leaping sharks, a foundering raft, thirst and starvation, enemy aircraft, and, beyond, a trial even greater.  Driven to the limits of endurance, Zamperini would answer desperation with ingenuity; suffering with hope, resolve, and humor; brutality with rebellion.  His fate, whether triumph or tragedy, would be suspended on the fraying wire of his will.

In her long-awaited new book, Laura Hillenbrand writes with the same rich and vivid narrative voice she displayed in Seabiscuit.  Telling an unforgettable story of a man’s journey into extremity, Unbroken is a testament to the resilience of the human mind, body, and spirit.

Hardcover, 496 pages
Published November 16th 2010 by Random House
1400064163 (ISBN13: 9781400064168)
edition language
original title
Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption

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Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption

The Legend of Zelda: Hyrule Historia

The Legend of Zelda: Hyrule HistoriaDark Horse Books and Nintendo team up to bring you The Legend of Zelda: Hyrule Historia, containing an unparalleled collection of historical information on The Legend of Zelda franchise. This handsome hardcover contains never-before-seen concept art, the full history of Hyrule, the official chronology of the games, and much more! Starting with an insightful introduction by the legendary producer and video-game designer of Donkey Kong, Mario, and The Legend of Zelda, Shigeru Miyamoto, this book is crammed full of information about the storied history of Link's adventures from the creators themselves! As a bonus, The Legend of Zelda: Hyrule Historia includes an exclusive comic by the foremost creator of The Legend of Zelda manga — Akira Himekawa!

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The Legend of Zelda: Hyrule Historia