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    From Chaos
    Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
    Audio CD (19 June, 2001)
    list price: $17.98 -- our price: $14.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
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    Reviews (198)

    3-0 out of 5 stars Under the Radar***
    "From Chaos" tends to be one of the least mentioned albums by 311 fans.This is both interesting and unsurprising, since the album is nothing new or special, but packs some of the band's best singles.Truely 311 may get a bad rap for predictability, but after a decade, they can still surprise you.

    Though it may be a typical 311 outing, the band does offer something new: emotion.They do rehash a few tricks, namely the funk-punk of the harder numbers, like "Sick Tight," "Hostile Apostle," and "You Get Worked."Even pop numbers like "From Chaos" and and the borderline hair-metal of "You Wouldn't Believe" are nice, if not calculated.But the real treat are the ballads."Champagne" bubbles with slow grooviness, aching for a chill-party like nothing 311 has accomplished previously.And "Amber" and "I'll Be Here A While" proved to be two of the most surprise come-back singles of the year.Buy it for the band.Stay for the singles.

    Overall:6 out of 10.

    5-0 out of 5 stars This album rocks
    311 is a premier band in our day and age, and they stand apart from a lot of musical acts that are out there and creating waves.I believe they nailed their sound with this record, and I commend them for doing such a good job by recording it live.The rock songs are energetic, the ballads are lovely, and I can tell they are having a blast playing them.That's all I can really ask for when I anticipate a new album from these guys.They come up with song ideas that are good, melodies that are refreshing, while fusing many styles with funk and zest.

    It's amazing that they've been around this long, surviving under the spotlight of media criticism that circulates and stabs what it basically doesn't understand (in the form of 311).In the end it's all about what you like, and what your personal taste is (like if someone hates steak, who are they to tell you not to eat it?).Not everyone can enjoy 311, while others revel in their majesty.I like to consider myself enlightened to their work, and feel very fortunate to have found them in my life.

    This record feels like a revamp of some of their older albums at times (especially on the first track "You get worked"), but it still carries a flavor that is fresh and welcoming to the ears of a loyal fan.Sort of, here's something new, but here's something we know you'll love.You get the best of both worlds.
    Ron St. Germain produced what is the sixth album from 311, and he seems to bring out the best in them (he is said to have been jumping around while they were laying down tracks in the studio).He produced the "blue album" in 1995 which was 311's biggest commercial success, and I believe they wanted to recapture some of that magic and optimism that they were feeling a few years ago.Before then they had been virtually unknown to most radio stations or MTV, so they sort of made it big with him.I think bringing Saint aboard really gave them an edge this time around.

    If you pick apart the music, listening to the guitar riffs, the bass lines, the drum beats, and the subtle programming in the background, you will understand how hard 311 worked on this album.I really enjoy their lyrics, which are positive and inspiring, much like the words of an old friend.They keep me going when sometimes no other mediums can.There's a real connection I feel.I can only hope that they continue their musical journey and bring ear candy to all of their "enlightened ones" in the years to follow.It will be interesting to see where they go with their sound.With this band, so much is possible.

    4-0 out of 5 stars They should have just released the entire session.
    This album could have been a classic.

    The major flaws in this album are lyrics, and the duration of tracks. SA Martinez and Nick Hexum quite easily release the worst 311 lyrics on this album. The angst lyrics do not work for them.. especially not with the nasal SA voice.

    The sessions produced great outtakes like Bomb the Town, We Do It Like This, TWO GREAT songs that could have been intermissions, Dreamland and Will the World, and the acoustic I'll be Here Awhile would have made a nice bonus feature.

    The only real weak song on this album is Full Ride, other than that.. the highlights are the most melodic songs on the album. Sick Tight, and I Told Myself have nice chorus work, but the guitar work just seems rushed. However, this album does have a cohesiveness that brings it together. It's good work, but it could have been made so much better. ... Read more

    Asin: B00005KBBL
    Sales Rank: 11211
    Subjects:  1. Pop    2. Rap-Rock    3. Rock   


    Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
    Audio CD (12 October, 1999)
    list price: $17.98
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    Editorial Review

    When "Down" shot up the singles charts in 1996, it was the culmination of eight years of hard work for Nebraska-bred, Los Angeles-based 311. Soundsystem ups the ante on the quintet's good-time, never-forced amalgam of hip-hop, rock, funk, and reggae. "Come Original" features Nick Hexum's identifiable talk-singing style, and the tune's lilting dancehall and reggae overtones make it perfect for convertible cruising. From the odd but compelling rhythms in "Freeze Time," to the Santana-influenced stylings and Tim Mahoney's intricate guitar work in "Life's Not a Race," to the almost metallic riffing of "Evolution," 311 have constructed a diverse yet cohesive collection. The band's crisp, edgy sound, well showcased by producer Hugh Padgam (XTC, the Police), is especially winning on the irresistible and rollicking "Mindspin" and the aggro closing cut, "Livin' & Rockin'." It's a good bet that this Soundsystem will find its way onto the sound systems of fans old and new. --Katherine Turman ... Read more


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    Reviews (254)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Don't Believe The Nazis
    Dont' believe those music Nazis that always claim that once a band has gone big all their work then sucks.Sure, for the most part this may be true.But its not an exact one-to-one ratio.Some bands have the ability to maintain artistic importance after they've made it big.
    This album by 311 is a good example of this.Each and every song, barring the last two, ebb and flow together well.They keep up the upbeat message with 'Life's Not A Race'.Tracks, 6-8 will keep ya bumpin' and movin' for a long time.I've had this album for about 5 and a half years now, and I still listen to the album like I picked it up yesterday.I'm not saying this album overshadows their previous work, but it definetly keeps the pace.

    3-0 out of 5 stars 1990's death by a Groove***1/2
    Though not a huge fan of the band, I'm impressed with 311's inability to be easily categorized.S.A. has helped us out with that problem through this album's lyrics; "dancehall," "punk guitars," "funk-slap bass," and "the mics in their hands."This is easily my favorite of the band's albums.

    "Soundsystem" suffers in the same way as 311's other work, namely a few very strong songs and an equal amount of filler, but the four opening tracks could be the band's legacy."Freeze Time" is second only to "Down" as the band's best opening song."Large in the Margin" is equal funk, rap, and pop, and it's infectious as anthrax.And of course "Come Original" and "Flow" are the band's call to arms of originality in rock music.

    Unfortunately, despite sparatic bright moments in places like "Life's Not a Race," the album never really recovers after the Big Four, but that's fine considering the rest is an above average party disc.Not a bad way to leave the 90's behind.

    Overall:7 out of 10.

    3-0 out of 5 stars Mediocre - 2 and a half for strong musical performance
    However, it does have "Eons" and "Flowing," two of my favorite 311 songs. The music is strong dynamically, but it is basically the same as all their other albums. Only not as good; I find rapper SA's vocals to be annoying, not sounding anywhere as good as they did on Transistor, which I believe to have the best perfomances from him. The lyrics are pretty mediocre. Save for 5 or 6 songs, not to great of an album. It all right, but now worth purchasing.

    Here is my opinion on their albums, from best to worst:

    1) Grassroots
    2) From Chaos
    3) Transistor
    4) 311
    5) Evolver
    6) Soundsystem - this one

    I don't have Music, but I've heard nothing but good things about it. ... Read more

    Asin: B00005ABI1
    Subjects:  1. Pop    2. Rock   

    Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
    Audio CD (05 August, 1997)
    list price: $17.98
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    Editorial Review

    With Sublime and Sugar Ray having made whitewashed reggae a hot commodity on the pop charts, it makes sense that the prime movers of the genre are making a headlong comeback into the fray. With Transistor, 311 goes for the jugular, cramming the disc with over 20 songs, and just as many angles on its melange of rock, hip-hop and Caribbean musical styles. There are hyper rap-metal rehashes of the hit "Down" ("Tune In," "Starshines," and "Borders"), chunky guitar tracks ("Beautiful Disaster"), and lots of frivolous reggae-lite songs ("Light Years," "Stealing Happy Hours"). --Aidin Vaziri ... Read more


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    Reviews (143)

    4-0 out of 5 stars Depending on my Mood, 311's Best..........
    Give this album and Grassroots and I am set for my island. This is 311's most experimental album by far and it showcases the wide ranges of talent they posess musically. Released in 1997 on the heel of the Blue Album, 311 were the princes of rock and this album was a curveball for many. It did still sell 4 million copies on the strengths of the previous albums residuals and the hit "Beautiful Disaster", but overall to mainstream critics it was a dissapointment. To many 311 fans however this album is a gem.

    The first 7 tracks are good (especially Prisoner and Inner Light Spectrum), but the album really gets moving with Jupiter and takes off with Use of Time, probably one of the top 5 songs 311 has ever done, with Nick Hexum lamenting about writers block and creating music. The 2nd half of the album (which is 21 tracks and takes up most the cd time allowed) showcases 311's dub influences (Strangers, Rub a Dub)and their ability for laid back stoner grooves (Stealing Happy Hours, Running). There is also a few rockers (Tune In, Starshines) and a track that reminds me of the opening theme from Adam's Family (Light Years). My only complaint is that there sems to be a rushed feeling to many tracks on the 2nd part of the album. 311 has stated they were pressed to get a massive concept like this finished on time. Maybe more time and an expansion of some of the song ideas into a double disc could alleviate this problem.

    311 has a lot to be proud of. Still together after 13 years and putting out records that still are relevant (everyone of their proper studio releases has charted in the top 10 since The Blue Album). They also have continued their tradition as a strong live act. This album is the peak of 311 as their subsequent work never again reached the work of the first four albums. Enjoy It!

    5-0 out of 5 stars I AGREE BEST 311

    5-0 out of 5 stars THE ABSOLUTE BEST 311!
    1. Transistor - catchy lyrics and some good guitar parts; the end is nice :) ***

    2. Prisoner - Spacey feel, great song. *****

    3. Galaxy - Building intro., then Tim and Nick trade guitars while S.A. crushes the mic in 2 killer raps. ****

    4. Beautiful Disaster - First single, classic sound, rocking end, overall quite nice. ****

    5. Inner Light Spectrum - Absolutely amazing use of instruments and vocals here. Very trippy and spacey. One of S.A.'s best slow vocals. *****

    6. Electricity - This song was originally titled, "F%$k the KKK." Good guitars and positive, unifying lyrics. ****

    7. What Was I Thinking - P-Nut owns this song. Original slap-bass intro. leading into slammin' guitar. Nick's voice is really distorted on this one, but not too hard to decipher. *****

    8. Jupiter - Another spacey intro., Nick and S.A. trade positivity, ends w/ great guitar. ***

    9. Use Of Time - Cream of the Transistor crop. Absolutely amazing. Great value, amazing soloing. Must hear. *****

    10. The Continuous Life - Dreary feeling intro. leading into S.A. rapping slowly. Guitars and vocals pick up and lead into sweet chorus. ****

    11. No Control - Odd sounding beginning w/ Nick describing how a person w/ so much can still be depressed. S.A. flies in w/ a new guitar sound, nice chorus. Original. ****

    12. Running - Tim and Nick trade guitars again while S.A. sings about not regretting anything. Catchy chorus. Great guitars. ****

    13. Color - Instrumental. ***

    14. Light Years - Creepy guitars and odd lyrics. Interesting though. ***

    15. Creature Feature - I hardly listen to this one. It's probably the worst on Transistor. Kinda bland. *

    16. Tune In - Good harmonizing and nice guitar breakdown. Energizing. ***

    17. Rub A Dub - A really nice island vibe song. Makes you wanna dance. ****

    18. Starshines - Guitars are mediocre and lyrics are weird. Takes a while to get into. Outro leads into next song's intro. ***

    19. Strangers - Bubbly guitar sound, nice flow, cool lyrics, just chill. ****

    20. Borders - Rockin' guitars throughout. S.A. and Nick trade raps w/ good lyrics. Chorus is alright. ****

    21. Stealing Happy Hours - Another one of those really relaxing, trippy songs. Great CD ender. Guitars are traded well in this mellow piece of art. *****

    -All of these songs sound real nice on headphones too.
    -My favorite CD of all time.
    -Go purchase it NOW.
    ... Read more

    Asin: B00005ABI6
    Subjects:  1. Alternative Pop/Rock    2. Pop    3. Rap-Metal    4. Rap-Rock    5. Rock   

    Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
    Audio CD (25 July, 1995)
    list price: $17.98 -- our price: $13.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
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    Editorial Review

    Razor-sharp guitars, hip-hop and funk rhythms, and healthy doses of ska and dance-hall reggae make this one of the most surprising albums to come out of the American heartland. But what's most remarkable about 311's breakthrough release is its enlightened attitude: In an otherwise terminally aggro style of music, where everyone strives to be harder than each other, 311 put down deadly weaponry on "Guns (Are for Pussies)." "Hive," meanwhile, disses hard drug use (but they're pro-hemp, of course), and "Misdirected Hostility" encourages, of all things, positivity ("All that angst sh*t is just cheesy"). Vocalist Nick Hexum and rapper Doug "S.A." Martinez trade lines with ease, and the band dexterously shifts gears between heavy tracks like "Down" and "Brodels," the frantic "Jackolantern's Weather," and the laid-back "All Mixed Up" and "Sweet." --Daniel Durchholz ... Read more


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    Reviews (169)

    2-0 out of 5 stars doesnt do it for me
    311.I have never been partial to them.I don't really like how they mix up the reggae stuff with their instruments; it just doesn't work for me.That's the root of my beef with 311.If you've heard any of their stuff, and you didn't like it, you probably shouldn't get this CD.If you did like it, go ahead and buy it much of their music is in the same style.

    4-0 out of 5 stars I can't believe i used to think this album sucked
    Im seeing some harsh reviews here.Screw it. I used to hate this
    album. Now i have rediscovered what a very good album this is.
    With the exception The rapping at times is laughable by nick hexum, but hes confident, so it doesnt really matter. This album has some awesome riffs, and catchy melodies. Like:
    Jackolaterns weather
    misdirected hostility
    Down-Yes their commercial effort which brought them to the masses, but one has to say so what? Down, is by far one of the heavyest and best 311 songs. All mixed up is good too. Let's not
    forget the in your face hive and totally kick @$$ t & p combo.
    I cannot stand don't stay home, and guns is the stupidest song
    they have ever done. This album is very rhymatic, they have
    a real ear for music. It's heavy and loud. Theres some slow down songs too, few as they are:
    This freaking album rules. Don't let this stop the 311 findings. Just because you never hear any songs from grassroots, music, transistor,evolver or soundsystem doesnt mean you shouldn't check those albums out too. Do it.

    3-0 out of 5 stars Know that they have always been "down down".
    There's no doubt that this is a good album, and their big break-through to the masses, but front to back I like others of theirs more. This does however include numerous good songs, and the hits "Down", "All Mixed Up", and "Don't Stay Home". Besides directing a newcomer to the "Greatest Hits", I'd also suggest "Soundsystem", "Transistor", and the excellent debut "Music". This album is still pretty "Sweet" though, and I like the alien related packaging. ... Read more

    Asin: B00005ABHH
    Subjects:  1. Pop    2. Rock   


    Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
    Audio CD (12 July, 1994)
    list price: $17.98 -- our price: $14.99
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    Editorial Review

    Starting where Holland's Urban Dance Squad left off--thrash rock coupled with hip-hop beats, rapping, and Jamaican-style toasting--311 found their own voice on 1994's Grassroots. Here they prove to be an estimable groove machine on cuts such as "Applied Science" and "Omaha Stylee," blending turntable moves and ska rhythms like a kinder, gentler Fishbone. Avowed stoners, they dip into noodly Grateful Dead territory on the jammy "Taiyed," touch on Meters-style funk in the sleek "Grassroots," and echo the Bad Brains on the rasta-metal mosh "Salsa." Their dub-rock lexicon is spoken by the likes of Sublime, Limp Bizkit, and Sugar Ray--players in a rock genre of which Grassroots is a modern classic. --James Rotondi ... Read more


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    Reviews (107)

    5-0 out of 5 stars I dont feel like registering
    Best album of any genre of music i've ever heard. Great guiar riffs, amazing solos, killer bass, great drum beats, and even a little d.j.ing by SA. Best songs are...

    1. Six
    2. Applied Science
    3. Homebrew
    4. Nutsymtom
    5. Omaha Syylee

    3-0 out of 5 stars 311 - 'Grassroots' (Capricorn)
    These Omaha natives return with their second CD.Keep in mind this was my first listen to the group.311 hit me like sort of a cross breed of,say The Beastie Boys and Red Hot Chili Peppers.Tunes I liked best were "Lucky",the hard-hitting "Silver","Salsa" and "Six".Still never got to see this act live as they often get booked in the medium to larger venues anymore when they tour.Might appeal to fans of Sugar Ray,Sublime and maybe Rage Against The Machine.A decent find.

    5-0 out of 5 stars 311 has Grass Roots. This album is amazing
    AHHHHH the sweeet sound of 311's best album Grassroots. When the boys of 311 came out with this album in 1994 they really hit the jackpot. This cd is such a great album to party to, to chill to or do whatever. It's very polished for a sophomore album too. Includes classics like Omaha Stylee, Homebrew, Lose and 1,2,3. here's a track by track analysis:

    1.Homebrew (5/5) one of the best on the cd. great melodic opener!!

    2.Lucky (5/5)just as good as homebrew

    3.Nutsymptom (4/5)A great song jsut doesn't do as much for me as the prior two songs. a real headbanger and like the weird intro b4 it breaks rite into SAs rapping.

    4.8:16AM (5/5)Wow a layed back chilling masterpiece

    5.Omaha Stylee (5/5) My sec fav song on the cd. long intro breaks into rocking melodic beat

    6.Applied Science (5/5) great beginning...mosh pit masterpiece..then a long but awesome drum solo followed by more rockin guitar and vocals

    7.Taiyed (5/5) i love the sound of the guitar in this song. great for chilling

    8.Silver (4/5) hard rocker..will get beginning riff stuck in your head for hours

    9.Grassroots (5/5) awesome song complete with a rockin beat and reggae beat

    10.Salsa (4/5) good song

    11.Lose (5/5) i love this song. i was obsessed with the nice laid back beat forever before i moved on the other songs. jsut an excellent tune.

    12.Six (5/5) aweomse melodic song. one of the best this album has to offer

    13.Offbeat Bare-ass (5/5) hardest song on the album. AWESOME. one of my favorite 311 songs

    14.1,2,3 (5/5) MY fav on the cd. 311 def saved the best for last in this case. Trippy chilling song with positive lyrics. great way to end a night of partying.

    This is one of 311 best albums if not their best. This is also a great cd to get anyone into 311

    ... Read more

    Asin: B00005ABHN
    Subjects:  1. Pop    2. Rock   


    Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
    Audio CD (25 April, 1994)
    list price: $17.98 -- our price: $14.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
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    • Explicit Lyrics
    Reviews (91)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Best Album
    Ive read alot of reviews for 311's "music" Some of them pist me off! This is 311's best album!!1 I cannot stress that enough. the best song in my opinion is Hydroponic. The newer stuff doesnt even compare to this album. Escpecialy Evolver which is by far (and i hate to say this cause i LOVE 311) their worst album. I own everyone except evolver it sucks. 311 is about making good fast-paced music with ketchy lyrics that kick ace. And anybody who dises on transistor should have there head examined.But i digress. Music is their best work to date. By this album and dont let it out of your site!!! 311 rulez!!

    5-0 out of 5 stars 311's Finest Work
    I have been a fan of 311 for about four years now, and unfortunately, I was unable to locate this CD until a few months ago. To state it simply, this is 311's best arrangement of music. In my opinion, it contains their most unique and original music as well as some of their most complex. "Visit" is one of the best 311 songs of all time. "My Stoney Baby" is also one of my personal favorites from 311. If you are a 311 fan, then beg, borrow, and steal for this CD. Casual fans may not like the different sound as opposed to their newer songs. However, if you have a bit of sense, then you'll enjoy this CD.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Awesome-wo!
    This was the third 311 CD I had bought sence I've only been a fan for a year or half. But this Cd was greaat!! The rythem changes and voals were amazing. Especialy P-Nut's(bass player) superve funk-slapp bass playing. S.A(vocals) and Nick Hex(vocal) rap interchangable voices were really cool. And the guitar was perfect, heavy riffs when needed and light reggea-funk tunes at the right moment. Overall this CD was AWESOME! ... Read more

    Asin: B00005ABHV
    Sales Rank: 11740
    Subjects:  1. Pop    2. Rock   


    by Irvine Welsh
    Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
    Paperback (01 May, 1996)
    list price: $13.95 -- our price: $10.46
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    Editorial Review

    Irvine Welsh's controversial first novel, set on the heroin-addicted fringe of working-class youth in Edinburgh, is yet another exploration of the dark side of Scottishness. The main character, Mark Renton, is at the center of a clique of nihilistic slacker junkies with no hopes and no possibilities, and only "mind-numbing and spirit-crushing" alternatives in the straight world they despise. This particular slice of humanity has nothing left but the blackest of humor and a sharpness of wit. American readers can use the glossary in the back to translate the slang and dialect--essential, since the dialogue makes the book. This is a bleak vision sung as musical comedy. ... Read more

    Reviews (169)

    4-0 out of 5 stars Like a Moth to a Flame
    Like many people, I read "Trainspotting" after seeing the eponymous film.The movie was just a great ride and the book was too.The book, however, was darker and more nihilistic.The humour blacker and landscape even bleaker.

    The essence of "Trainspotting" is a series of events revolving around the main character, Mark Renton, and his drug addicted mates.It is set against the backdrop of Edinburgh and its working class slums where work is resisted and drugs are accepted as part of day to day life.

    The language of the book is coarse yet plausible.The jargon and argot of the junkie weaves its way through out the book.As for the dialogue and grammar, this is the rough brogue of the streets.At first, this is difficult to grasp but after a few pages, it gradually makes sense and becomes more familiar.It is like a twentieth century and bastardised version of what Mark Twain was trying to do with Huckleberry Finn.

    "Trainspotting" is not a book to be read by the easily shocked or the self-righteous moraliser.It is a book that confronts our sensibilities as it slowly draws us into another world.The scenes often make the reader cringe but there is always something within the characters and the settings that acts to mesmerise.This is a book that acts like a flame to the moth.Its attraction is over powering.Take a gulp of air and be truly challenged.Read the book!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Entertainment Plus...one Mad Cool Book
    This is simply one of the best written, laid out, and especially entertaining books I've ever read. "Trainspotting" is basically one of the only books that I've ever read that had the ability to actually capture the characters, which is I think, the most important part of the story.

    The best thing about "Trainspotting" is that it allows you, the reader, to see everything not only from Renton's eyes (as it was in the movie) but also all the other characters. And it's this that gives you that insight into how all the other characters actually think.

    Then to top it off, Irvin Welsh, (the writer) went ahead and wrote most of it as if they were actually talking to you. So, when all these Scottish people are talking to you they don't say, "I drank down twenty beers and got drunk," they say, "Ah drank doon tweinty bevvs and got bevvied." It's a writing style that I haven't seen very many other times, and was greatly impressed/entertained with it.

    Other than the incredible writing, it's an overall cool story. The best part, is that it's not confined to one set plot. When hearing 'Trainspotting' you probably just thought about heroin. In truth, the book also has a whole lot about drinking in bars, getting along with 'yer mates' and just living. It's just a story about a bunch of guys, their problems, their needles, their beers and how they manage to get away with most of it.
    Yeah, so this book is definitely worth reading. It's now in my top ten list, but try it for yourself! Pick up a copy! Another book I need to recommend -- completely unrelated to Welsh, but very much on my mind since I purchased a "used" copy off Amazon is "The Losers' Club: Complete Restored Edition" by Richard Perez, also an exceptional, highly entertaining little novel I can't stop thinking about.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Wow!
    I loved this book.It was gruesome and sick at times.The Scottish dialect made the characters come to life when I read the book.My favourite story was the second - eew!Not for the light hearted! ... Read more

    Isbn: 0393314804
    Subjects:  1. Black humor (Literature)    2. Drug addicts    3. Edinburgh (Scotland)    4. Fiction    5. Fiction - General    6. General    7. Humorous stories    8. Popular English Fiction    9. Young men    10. Modern fiction   


    Marabou Stork Nightmares
    by Irvine Welsh
    Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
    Paperback (01 February, 1997)
    list price: $13.95 -- our price: $10.46
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    Reviews (63)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Quite A Zinger................Watch Out!
    Remember Naked Lunch ... the seminal post-modern novel written in intertwining realities and non-liner narrative, with several threads combining to give a deep and multi-faceted roller-coaster ride through the hallucinatory world of a junky? That was one hell of a read. Ever since it came out there have been others who have tried to imitate its disjointed style, but very few succeeded. Slaughterhouse 5 comes to mind as one that did. And now there is another title to add to that list: Marabou Stork Nightmares.

    On the surface this seems a confusing book. The narrative unexpectedly switches between several planes of reality, location, dialogue, and characters, but carefully picking the various threads apart reveals an intricately woven tale of the elements that make up life: Fantasy, environment, behavior, and interactions.

    The main character, Roy Strang, is in a coma while he narrates the story, and what he remembers, invents, and hears give this vegetable more depth than can be found in the heroes of most best-sellers. Like it or not, we can all relate to Roy Strang because, like him, we all have fantasies and events that determine how we react and behave in real-life -- and not all of them are pleasant and altruistic.

    The read starts as difficult ... trying to figure out what is real and what is not, and often the phonetic Scottish dialect and slang help obscure the story. But sticking to it is worth it.

    Marabou Stork may not be as entertaining or culturally iconical as Trainspotting, or as disturbing and depraved as Filth (two of Welsh's other novels), but it is overall the stronger work. Light readers, those who like a simple plot, those who prefer happy tales about bunnies and flowers, those incapable of following complex writing, and those who think John Grisham writes challenging prose probably shouldn't pick this up. But those with the nuts to give this a go will appreciate just why we had to learn our A-B-C's back in kindergarten. Great book! But try it for yourself! Pick up a copy. Another book I need to recommend -- very much on my mind since I purchased a "used" copy off Amazon is "The Losers' Club: Complete Restored Edition" by Richard Perez, an exceptional, highly entertaining, somewhat subversive little novel I can't stop thinking about.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Not for the weak-stomached
    From the author of Trainspotting, this story is told on three levels: the world around the main character in the hospital room where he lives in a coma, the flashbacks to his life in his mind, and the deeper dream world in which he and a fictitious friend hunt the terrible marabou stork. The main character is not a very likable fellow, and the story gets pretty hardcore at times, once making me physically sick. But if you like a book that has a visceral effect on you, as I do, this might do.

    3-0 out of 5 stars Warning
    I can't tell you if this book is good or bad but it is written in a hard to read dialect. I'm not telling anyone not to read this, but if you can't read poetry, you probably wont be able to read this. ... Read more

    Isbn: 0393315630
    Sales Rank: 68636
    Subjects:  1. Fiction    2. Fiction - General    3. General    4. Modern fiction   


    The Dark Is Rising Sequence: Silver on the Tree/The Grey King/Greenwitch/The Dark Is Rising/Over Sea, Under Stone
    by Susan Cooper
    Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
    Paperback (01 October, 1993)
    list price: $25.95 -- our price: $17.13
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    Editorial Review

    Joined by destiny, the lives of the Drew children, Will Stanton, and aboy named Bran weave together in an exquisite, sometimes terrifying tapestry ofmystery and quests. In the five-title series of novels known as The Dark IsRising Sequence, these children pit the power of good against the evil forces ofDark in a timeless and dangerous battle that includes crystal swords, goldengrails, and a silver-eyed dog that can see the wind. Susan Cooper's highlyacclaimed fantasy novels, steeped in Celtic and Welsh legends, have won numerousawards, including the Newbery Medal and the Newbery Honor. Now all fivepaperback volumes have been collected in one smart boxed set. These classicfantasies, complex and multifaceted, should not be missed, by child or adult.The set includes Over Sea, UnderStone, The Dark IsRising, Greenwitch, The Grey King, and Silver on the Tree. (Ages 9 andolder) --Emilie Coulter ... Read more


    • Box set
    Reviews (177)

    5-0 out of 5 stars A deep and rewarding literary treasure
    I first read The Dark Is Rising sequence as a grammar school student many years ago, having discovered it in our school library and checked it out essentially on a whim. I still remember to this day how I ended up spending an entire midwinter's weekend reading voraciously, forgetting about eating, about sleep, about going outside to play in the snow with friends.

    I read the series again the following year, and have done so every year since, at least once a year. I've long since grown into a middle-aged academic, but I continue to keep with tradition and read them regularly.

    Cooper's writing is both haunting and lyrical without being difficult, her characters and setpieces deeply moving and compelling without seeming overwrought. Cooper has created a world of High Magic, not of wand tricks and groaning, toothy monsters and self-absorbed wizards with pointy hats and potions, but a world that soon becomes a metaphor for the epic, humanistic moral foundation of all of human culture, a broad perspective that few authors ever manage to grasp, let alone are able to convey. Magic in the cooper world is sublime, forceful, and ageless, never verbose or quaint. These are tales of the magic of mother nature, the magic of family ties, the magic of history, of our collective memories and links to the past, and the magic of the living present, that we all cling to only for a moment.

    Though the writing is simple and accessible, the themes are those that make all great literature great. The Dark is Rising sequence is rewarding in the same way that McCrae's "In Flanders Fields" or Proust's "A Remembrance of Things Past" are rewarding, with the added benefit that The Dark is Rising can be shared with a younger audience coming to these notions and sensibilities for the first time.

    A must-read, for those of any age.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Another Childhood Classic
    First of all, I think that comparing these books to Harry Potter is unfair - let's not forget who came first here.
    Cooper creates an amazingly rich and well-textured series of worlds within worlds here. The balance between believable, sympathetic characters and the overarching symphonic structure that comes from high myth is extraordinarily well handled.
    The settings are exquisite, more than enough to make me want to jump on the next train to Wales or Cornwall. The characters are interesting, and Cooper does an excellent job of showing all the contrasts of good and evil, displaying them in black and white and every shade of grey.
    The series borrows extensively from the mythical traditions of Cornwall and Wales, so in some senses there are no surprises, but Cooper uses these common elements of myth to create a beautiful and compelling story, in much the same way as Tolkien of Lewis, and even George Lucas, have done.
    The Dark is Rising is my personal favourite of the sequence, a fairly classic quest/adventure tale, and one that works well as a stand alone, if you only read one of these books, this should be the one. Will Stanton is also a fascinating character, and quite literally comes into his own.
    Over Sea Under Stone is the first book in the series, and in many ways it is distinct from the other books. At first Cooper had no intention of writing a sequel, and the mythic elements are not quite so strong in this book. Don't disregard it entirely, however, it still makes a good starting point for the series.
    Greenwitch is an interesting interlude in the series, stressing the importance of human involvement in the fight between the Dark and the Light. Here we also begin to see that there is not only the magic and the power of Dark and Light, but also something unknowable, something Wild. This book also allows for the development of female characters in the series.
    The Grey King sees Will heading off on another quest, but this time we start to see the more overarching elements of the series fall into place, and we really get a sense that we are heading towards a final showdown. This book is exciting and more complex than some of the earlier ones, but I don't want to give too much away.
    Silver on the Tree is the last part of the sequence, and does seem to wrap things up quite neatly. The final chapter of the book has one of those little morality sort of sermons in it, which some people seem to find irritating but I personally found it to be very touching and moving, enough so that I have it stuck on my wall. The book is full of foreboding and seems to rush towards its climax, perhaps a little too fast. It may seem that Cooper has tied up all the loose ends, but with a little further thought any reader can imagine that life for her characters is not going to be easy from now on.

    I can't really recommend these books highly enough, so just read them!

    3-0 out of 5 stars Six signs shall burn all according to plan...
    This series was recommended to me and I was told that it would change me life and such.Well it didn't, but that doesn't make it a bad story.The Dark is Rising is different, not something I expected.

    I think I woudl have enjoyed the story much more if I wasn't 17 and into hard-core epic fantasy.The entire story just seemed too easy.Everything worked out according to prophesy, no interesting twists or such.It just felt wrong for it to be too easy, something that should have been complicated, especially for the high level of incorporation of Celtic myth and legend.

    I think what irriatated me the most was Will and the entire arrogance of the Old Ones.He was just so high on his horse throughout most of the novels."He suddenly got the spell from ages of knowledge past".The entire instant knowledge was pure cheating, and I HATE cheating in novels.

    The entire thing about the memory and forgetting really bugged me.It wasn't fair that the Drew children at the end, after going through the apocalypse and back should forget all they learned.It was as another reviewer said, without development what is the point of their envolvement.

    Even though the direct plotline lacked complexity Cooper's writing style and just sheer magnitude of the setting and scenery was incredible.While reading I could feel the wind of the beach and imagine standing on the cliffs of England and Wales.You got this sense of landscape that was trully a work of art.

    Of all the books my favorite was Greenwitch.I think it was because the plot centered mostly on Jane and her female connection with forces of nature and myth.My only beef was that it was way too short.

    The most annoying book was probably that last, Silver on the Tree.Everything fell into place too neatly.The Old Ones were as arrogant as ever and even Bran (who was so cool in The Grey King) viewed the Drew children as nothing but mortals at one point or another.I felt sorry for the Drew's because the ways of the world were set up that to matter you had to be born to power, not earn it through development and ingenuity.

    I like the books, they were a nice escape to the vast landscapes of Wales and England.The Drew children were the best part becauase they were funny and had character.However, I don't recomemd this book to adults or teens (as the books say they are marketing to).The plot line is too basic.It is like trying to read Chronicles of Narnia as an adult, it is hard because of the simple, easy language.Same here, they just don't possess a challenge.

    P.S.Even if you don't read this books, buy that last one "Silver on the Tree" just for the poems.They are the COOLEST!! Reminds me of the time-traveling devices' poem in Dragonlance, pretty and prophesy-like. ;) ... Read more

    Isbn: 0020425651
    Subjects:  1. Children's 9-12    2. Children: Young Adult (Gr. 7-9)    3. Fantasy    4. Fiction    5. General    6. Great Britain    7. Juvenile Fiction    8. Science Fiction, Fantasy, & Magic   


    The Usual Suspects
    Director: Bryan Singer
    Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
    VHS Tape (02 November, 2004)
    list price: $9.94 -- our price: $8.95
    (price subject to change: see help)
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    Editorial Review

    Ever since this convoluted thriller dazzled audiences and critics in 1995 and won an Oscar for Christopher McQuarrie's twisting screenplay, The Usual Suspects has continued to divide movie lovers into opposite camps. While a lot of people take great pleasure from the movie's now-famous central mystery (namely, "Who is Keyser Söze?"), others aren't so easily impressed by a movie that's too enamored of its own cleverness to make much sense. After all, what are we to make of a final scene that renders the entire movie obsolete? Half the fun of The Usual Suspects is the debate it provokes and the sheer pleasure of watching its dynamic cast in action, led (or should we say, misled) by Oscar winner Kevin Spacey as the club-footed con man who recounts the saga of enigmatic Hungarian mobster Keyser Söze. Spacey's in a band of thieves that includes Gabriel Byrne, Stephen Baldwin, Kevin Pollak, and Benicio Del Toro, all gathered in a plot to steal a large shipment of cocaine. The story is told in flashback as a twisted plot being described by Spacey's character to an investigating detective (Chazz Palmintieri), and The Usual Suspects is enjoyable for the way it keeps the viewer guessing right up to its surprise ending. Whether that ending will enhance or extinguish the pleasure is up to each viewer to decide. Even if it ultimately makes little or no sense at all, this is a funny and fiendish thriller, guaranteed to entertain even its vocal detractors. --Jeff Shannon ... Read more


    • Color
    • Closed-captioned
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    Reviews (473)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Who is Keyser Soze?
    My god, this movie is the most mindblowing, intense, and truly spellbinding movie i've ever seen. great cast, great script, and what can i say about the ending that hasnt been said. So many quotable lines in this movie, from the "devil's greatest trick" to the "hand me the keys you..." well you know. and did i mention the end was unbelievable. singer could have simply said, "ok heres the ending...surprise" and just called it a day. but no, the way the end is revieled...i mean honestly its the coolest piece of footage i think i've ever seen. i wanna say it but i dont wanna spoil it, just go see this movie now.

    5-0 out of 5 stars ...and like that, he's gone
    The Usual Suspects begins with a police investigating of an exploded boat on a San Pedro pier.Police discover 27 bodies and $91 million worth of drug money, but no drugs and no motive. The only survivors are a severely burned and very scared Hungarian terrorist and Verbal Kint (Spacey), a crippled con-man who is quickly granted immunity by the district attorney.Kint tells the story of five men who are hauled into the New York police station because a truck hi-jacking with arms was committed and they are the "usual suspects."Least pleased of this arrest is Keaton (Byrne), a former crooked cop who was exposed, indicted, but now is desperately trying to go straight. The cops won't leave him alone, which scares off his investors into a restaurant chain he wishes to pursue.As the five criminals wait for their lawyers to post bail Keaton is talked into doing one more job with the other four. All goes tolerably well until the influence of the legendary, criminally renowned "Keyser Soze" makes his presence felt.Keaton, and his four associates, quickly becomes controlled by Soze as strings on a puppet.All five criminals discover they have crossed Soze at one time and now owe him a favor.The question remains, why no drugs, is Soze real, and is someone on the inside controlled by Soze?

    "The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world he did not exist."

    Bryan Singer (Superman Returns in 2006, X-Men, X2, and Apt Pupil) directs Usual Suspects.Usual Suspects was his first hit film.He made it in 35 days with a $5.5 million dollar budget.The Usual Suspects would be a masterpiece if it cost $100 million to make.However, the fact Singer was able to do so much with so little is amazing.His character development of Keaton and Kint was awesome.The story also unraveled masterfully.Singer's first major film may end up being his all time greatest work.

    "Keaton used to say, I don't believe in God, but I'm afraid of him."
    "Well I believe in God, and I'm afraid of Keyser Soze."

    The Usual Suspects was marvelous supported by the lines of the film and the character development.Casual conversation is miraculously unraveled.Singer utilizes what is a very average cast, plus Spacey and Byrne, and makes them all look like top notch actors.You would think you are watching Oceans Eleven; however, Usual Suspects cast is utilized better in my opinion.Singer portrays a marvelous story that appears strait line in the first 45 minutes of the film.The last half hour a larger then life story appears which begins with the introduction of the character Keyser Soze.

    "How do you shoot the devil in the back?What if you miss?"

    The Usual Suspects is a definite must have for your DVD collection.It is not for all ages, as the story is not strait line, and can be considered complicated.However, the intricacies are masterful, and the characters are wonderful.This is a very intelligent film.I would include it on the list of films you can feel safe purchasing prior to ever viewing.

    "What about it pretzel boy, what's your story?"

    Grade: A

    5-0 out of 5 stars The Usual Suspects
    This is a thriller with a twist. I've always liked movies that leave you in the dark until the last possible moment and this movie is a prime example.

    Kevin Spacey stars in this deceptive film about five high-ranking conmen and their last major job before they are all killed in an attempt to blow up a boat with an inordinate amount of cocaine. The payoff: $91 million. To the dismay (or demise i should say) of the five "usual suspects" the objective doesn't seem to be there. But somehow the money is.

    Anyone who likes this kind of convoluted suspense will definitely appreciate this flick. It really makes you realize how smart and shady the filmmakers are in the sense that they show you that the audiences' expectations can really be used against them. After watching this movie you will constantly be thinking the name Kaiser Soze and how you can't trust cripples anymore. ... Read more

    Asin: B00000JZIK
    Subjects:  1. Feature Film-action/Adventure   


    Live at Red Rocks 8.15.95
    Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
    Audio CD (28 October, 1997)
    list price: $21.98 -- our price: $18.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
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    Editorial Review

    Like a lot of his jam-band compatriots, Dave Matthews's personality can come off as muted in the studio, but really spreads out live--which makes this a must-have for fans who don't already have the bootleg, or nineteen more from the same period. But absent a hits sampler, Live at Red Rocks could also be the best Matthews album for more tentative listeners. It draws heavily from the Under the Table and Dreaming material, as well as from the then-upcoming Crash. "All Along the Watchtower," previously only available on an indie EP, ends the set. --Gavin McNett ... Read more


    • Live
    Reviews (194)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Out of 7 Live CDs From DMB This Is The Best
    This was DMB first real live concert release, not including "Remember Two Things" which was a mix of songs from different concerts.You can tell that they wanted the jam sessions that they were creating at these concerts to be released in the right way.I doubt that they could've picked a better concert.

    This consists of songs from their "Under the Table and Dreaming" with a portion of experimental songs from their up and coming super hit album "Crash". You can tell that the album,"Crash", hasn't been released yet because the audience doesn't go crazy when they hear the intros of the songs.That still doesn't stop them from getting blown away with songs like "Tripping Billies" and "Two Step".

    One aspect that makes this concert unique is the appearances of Tim Reynolds.He has been considered the 6th unofficial member of DMB, and his guitar work has been in many of their albums too.His playing is shown throughout the concerts on songs like "Satellite", which is probably the best version out there, and most notably his solo on the end of "Two Step".You can't go wrong with Tim's playing.

    So look no further the best live album from Dave Mtthews Band, so far, is Live At Red Rocks.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Wonderful intro to DMB: everythings perfect
    I got this at the library the other day and love it now, especially DM's strange contorted singing that is haunting and beautiful all at once, not to mention the playing of the band.Pick this up ASAP, don't wait 3 years like I did.This cd is always worth having!While there are better jam bands, like phish, I actually like DMB better because they seem more like honest musicians and players, especially in a live setting.No hype, just music.If you are trying to "get" dave matthews, unlike other bands there is nothing to get.He is just there playing his songs.So get it and be amazed!

    ps see if you can pick out all of the John Denver musical and vocal references (hee hee) my sister freaked out when she heard them!

    3-0 out of 5 stars Much better than Matthews Live In Chicago
    Is just my copy, or does every copy have a digital defect during the first 20 seconds of the acoustic guitar that opens this CD set?Also, the little tabs that hold the CD in place all snapped off.

    Dave Matthews Band is one of the best and most important bands to come out of the nineties.But, because of Matthews insistance on releasing whole concerts, the band has yet to put out a great live album.

    All of the truly great, classic live albums have taken the best performances from several different concerts.These include the Allman Brothers, Live at the Fillmore East; Derek and the Dominoes Live; Grateful Dead, Live/Dead; Quicksilve, Happy Trails; etc.

    When you have a single concert, you don't get the best performances of each song.Plus, you get all the songs from that concert.These include the obligatory hits or songs off of the latest studio CD.There is nothing special about how these songs are played, and the studio versions are usually better.

    The other problem with the Dave Matthews live releases is that many of the songs are on every one of the live albums.Some songs are played a little differently and some are not.Lie In Our Graves is played almost the same on the Chicago album.

    All of the truly great, classic live albums have great sound with the audience noise kept to a minimum.On these albums, it is sometimes difficult to tell that music is being played live.I don't need audience cheering to let me know that the music is good.The yelling and screaming during great musical interludes just distracts.

    The sound quality on this CD is not very good.And the audience is turned up way too loud and actually drowns out the band in parts.There is no need for this.Someone purposely had to turn up the audience track when this CD was mixed.To get audience noise, the band has to place special audience microphones.The music comes in through different tracks into the soundboard.

    This album does have some great parts to it.The opening is fantastic.Like the other Matthews CD's, things seem to slow up on the second CD.This is because Matthews starts playing more of the new material later in the show.The new material is featured to market the new CD and there usually isn't much done with these songs to make them better or more interesting than the studio versions.

    With a CD burner, I can 1 great CD out of this set.On the plus side, this 2 CD set doesn't cost much more than a single CD.
    ... Read more

    Asin: B000002X4Y
    Subjects:  1. Adult Alternative Pop/Rock    2. American Trad Rock    3. Jam Bands    4. Pop    5. Rock   


    A Rollins in the Wry
    Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
    Audio CD (20 February, 2001)
    list price: $16.98
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    Editorial Review

    On the track "Clintonese," Mr. Henry Rollins sums up the former United States president's Paula Jones case deposition: "Basically, he had 800 spears a minute thrown at him for five hours, and dodged every one of them." Rollins throws plenty spears of his own on his latest spoken-word album, recorded from a series of weekly shows at the Cafe Luna club in Los Angeles. He nearly always hits his targets--which range from people who shop at Rite-Aid to his own tired pick-up lines--and he does so with a dexterity and penchant for free association that is both brutally funny and honest. A Rollins in the Wry is, without a doubt, a comedy album. While he may not be quite as incisive as Dennis Miller, as prone to screaming as Sam Kinison, or as pissed-off as Bill Hicks, Rollins combines elements from all three in a way that assures you'll be laughing and, later, playing your favorite cuts for your friends. --Mark Huntsman ... Read more

    Reviews (15)

    4-0 out of 5 stars Reasons to avoid Rite Aid!
    Henry hits his stride with jabs at Rite Aid and Clinton-speak.Those looking for the emotional connection that rougher discs like "Big Ugly Mouth" and "Live at McCabe's" evoked won't find it here.However, even with a 'routine' set, he's more entertaining than many so-called 'professional' comedians."ARITW" is well worth your time.

    4-0 out of 5 stars When punk does comedy
    I've heard some of Henry Rollins spoken word routines on MTV and stations like this. After hearing this,....I didn't realize that Henry is actually funny. Not only has he done Black Flag, Rollins Band, but his spoken word albums is filled with the same angst in his lyrics but taking everything in the world and making light of it.He is intellectual as a comic with that hardcore edge that we have come to know and love.I DEFINITELY recomend this CD. Pop it in, listen to it, reflect on it, and be prepared to laugh.I just don't see why he does more of this sort of thing.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Dont believe everything you hear

    This CD is fine. It's not wall-to-wall laughs like most of Think Tank. It doesnt get deep like sections of Big Ugly Mouth. It's not the absolute pick of the bunch (depending on what you're looking for) but it's not a waste of money either. RITW is a stand-alone performance and the biggest thing wrong with it is the lacklustre crowd, who seem to respond quite well to the mention of their own town's name and not much else. I believe Henry gives his best performances when the crowd is responsive (both with Rollins Band and spoken word) and the crowd at this gig sound like they are half asleep and more interested in eating their meals than getting into the show.

    I won't dissect the CD and sing the praises of each individual track. If youre a fan, this is a worthy addition. If youre a first-time listener, its worth a go but probably isnt his best work in terms of outright comedic content or the make-you-think observations that characterise his previous offerings. That said, its not a dog either - I listen to my copy from time to time and certainly dont regret buying it.

    One last note for the Henry-is-past-it gang; I saw Henry in Melbourne a year ago and it was about the best thing I've heard him do. Stories like The KISS Army were just brilliant and outshone even some of the best stuff on Think Tank. His take on the way people behave, coupled with the clever references and links to things mentioned earlier in the show had the crowd falling about laughing. Stuff from that show will hopefully be released soon and prove that Henry is only getting better at Spoken Word as time goes by.

    Oh, and if any of the Powers That Be at Pioneer are reading - give us a spoken word DVD that isn't Zone 1 exclusive. ... Read more

    Asin: B000056O2O
    Subjects:  1. Pop    2. Spoken / Comedy / Radio Shows    3. Standup Comedy    4. Stories   

    Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
    list price: $24.99 -- our price: $24.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
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    Editorial Review

    Spell a word backwards, hum a tune, answer a multiple-choicequestion, draw with your eyes closed, and more when you play Cranium.Unlike games that focus on only a few skills, Cranium offers 14talent-tapping activities designed to bring out the best in you and yourfriends. Cards from four decks, color-coded to match each of the crazycharacters--Star Performer, Creative Cat, Data Head, and WordWorm--describe activities that teams must complete in order to advance aroundthe board. If you choose a Sculptorades card from the Creative Catdeck, for example, you might be asked to sculpt a hamburger fromlemon-scented Cranium Clay while your teammates try to guess what you'recreating.

    To win the game, teams have to make it to Cranium Central--the largepurple brain in the center of the board--and then successfully completeone activity from each of the four decks. The result is that the teamwith the best combination of abilities comes out on top. With itswonderfully diverse set of activities and top-notch design (artwork byillustrator GaryBaseman decorates the colorful board and decks of cards), Craniumoffers the best of all board game experiences--and it's a whole lot offun, too! (For 4 or more players) ... Read more

    Reviews (496)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Hours of Fun, and Most of it is Spent Laughing
    Cranium is the ultimate combination of every party game you love in one nice package.Acting, unscrambling, humming, drawing, there is always a new challenge to face that will have the entire group laughing.

    You play the game in partners and will find the games level of difficulties ranging from spelling a word to 60's trivia. The competition is eased through the constant mishap whiletrying to complete the zany challenges which adds for a funner atmosphere.

    The games design is modern and nicely done, and the replay value of the game is high since the card booster sets have been made and the first deck will last you a long time.Cranium doesn't get old fast, it's so entertaining I doubt it will ever get old.It is a must own game and definately the best of the new wave of party games.

    Cranium's Crazy Contests earn it
    A Bliss of 9

    3-0 out of 5 stars Good game
    Cranium is a good game, but does not appeal to everyone in the group. Rigamarole is a lot more fun and there is something for everyone.

    This is without a doubt the best boardgame ever created! Friends of mine who hate boardgames love this one! It combines pictionary, charades, trivia, and a whole slew of other exciting games--all in one! Highly recommended for teenagers and adults. ... Read more

    Asin: B00000DMBQ
    Subjects:  1. Games    2. Board Games    3. Brain Games    4. Learning    5. Family Favorites    6. Trivia    7. Party Games    8. Grownup   


    Kundun: Music From The Original Soundtrack
    Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
    Audio CD (25 November, 1997)
    list price: $18.98 -- our price: $18.98
    (price subject to change: see help)
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    Editorial Review

    For the second of 1997's dueling Buddhist epics (the other beingSeven Days in Tibet, scored by John Williams), director Martin Scorsese made a wise--if commercially challenging--choice in tapping noted minimalist composer Philip Glass to score Kundun. Glass (who's previously scored the avant gardedocumentary Koyaanisqatsi trilogy, Mishima, and the strangeCandyman horror series), is the perfect choice here; his own Buddhist beliefs play a key role in meshing image and music. Glass's familiar compositional techniques are wedded on Kundun to a sensitive use of ethnic instruments and the voices of the Gyuto Monks, adding an aura ofspiritual power missing from most Hollywood fare. --Jerry McCulley ... Read more


    • Soundtrack
    Reviews (24)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Fabulous blending of music, film and subject
    First, let me explain that I absolutely love the film Kundun.

    I beleive it is a true work of art/ labor of love that didn't receive the recognition it so much deserves.

    Let me skip to the big point-- the last 10 minutes of this film is a near perfect blend of music that is spot- on for the subject matter, which is enlightenment.

    My guess is that a *very conscious* person had a lot to do with the creation, blending & timing of the music, script and film, especially for the last ten minutes-- OR that it was a total coincidence that it came out to be so near perfect. (either is very much in keeping with the movie's theme, which is NOT the Dalai Lama at all, but enlightenment)

    Not for everyone, and I'm afraid I may have built it up in your mind too highly, so that you'll feel let down by the actual expereince of the music itself, I can say that *everytime* I listen to the last ten minutes especially (titled Escape to India), I cry for joy at *experiencing* a few minutes of the most sublime enlightenment, tears, sorrow & simple joy and wonder at being alive in this dance of life myself.

    Thank you, Phillip Glass, Martin Scorcese and all those involved in this brilliant study of how a culture's focus on a single individual being assumed to be enlightened-- and his training to actually act the part, resulted in a person of great compassion, richness and insight.

    In other words, their culture made him enlightened by treating him as enlightened.

    What if we were all assumed to be enlightened and treated as such-- what difference would that make to you, at this very moment, dear reader, as you absorb these words?If that sentence has any impact on you at all, then you'll likely be *deeply moved* by both the movie and soundtrack.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A mixed bag
    PHILIP GLASS - Kundun

    Why a mixed bag? Its atmosphere is particularly dark and overall a sublime work with several standout tracks from the master of minimalism. Many different instruments are being used, like
    Tibetan Horns and Cymbals, bass trombone, bassoon (oboe), contrabassoon, percussion, clarinet and bass clarinet, harp, french horn, piano, celeste, synthesizers, cello, piccolo flute,
    flute and trumpet, all these most times in odd combinations that create an eerie and very interesting overall sound. Although this work is considered as one of the composers' best scores ever, is clearly not for those that aren't accustomed to his earlier, more minimalistic sound with the trademarked Glass weird instrumentations and sound combination experiments. Fans of his later composing style, clearly shown in scores like FOG OF WAR, NAQOYQATSI and THE HOURS will have difficulties approaching this.
    However, technically speaking this is a * * * * * (5). For Philip Glass fans : * * * * 1/2 (4 1/2) and for the rest of the film music / general orchestral music fans, it's a : * * * 1/2 (3 1/2).

    Demetris Christodoulides.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Hypnotic
    I may be in the minority of the reviewers here, in that I have never seen the movie "Kundun". I picked up this cd because it looked interesting (I know...u can't judge a book, or cd in this case, by it's cover), but I am a great experimentor and I love 'discovering' different forms and types of music. And this looked intriguing and different. I thought it might be hard to get into, but not at all. From the opening track I was spellbound. I find the whole album to be very dark and mysterious...captivating, hypnotic and spellbinding. It is unlike any soundtrack that I own, and I love it. I've been playing it straight for the last 3 days, and the more I hear it the more I find to like. It's a wonderful cd to relax and meditate too. It is very soothing. Now I just have to see the movie too.:) ... Read more

    Asin: B000005J4V
    Subjects:  1. Avant-Garde    2. Classical    3. Film    4. Minimalism    5. Original Score    6. Soundtracks & Film Scores    7. World Fusion   


    Director: Martin Scorsese
    Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
    DVD (06 May, 2003)
    list price: $9.99 -- our price: $9.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
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    Editorial Review

    It would be a mistake to call Kundun a disappointment, or a film that director Martin Scorsese was not equipped to create. Both statements may be true to some viewers, but they ignore the higher purpose of Scorsese's artistic intention and take away from a film that is by any definition unique. In chronicling the life of the 14th Dalai Lama, Kundun defies conventional narrative in favor of an episodic approach, presenting a sequential flow of events from the life of the young leader of Buddhist Tibet. From the moment he is recognized as the reincarnation of the 13th Dalai Lama in 1937 to his exile from Tibet in the wake of China's invasion, the Dalai Lama is seen as an enlightened spiritual figurehead. This gives the film its tone of serenity and reverence but denies us the privilege of admiring the Dalai Lama as a fascinating human character. There's a sense of mild detachment between the film and its audience, but its visual richness offers ample compensation. In close collaboration with cinematographer Roger Deakins, Scorsese filmed Kundun with great pageantry and ritual, and meticulous attention to details of costume, color, and the casting of actual Buddhist monks in the scenes at the Dalai Lama's palace. Certain images will linger in the memory for a long time, such as the Dalai Lama's nightmarish vision of standing among hundreds of dead monks, their lives sacrificed in pacifist defiance of Chinese aggression. Is this a film you'll want to watch repeatedly? Perhaps not. But as a political drama and an elegant gesture of devotion, Kundun is a film of great value and inspirational beauty--one, after all, that perhaps only Scorsese could have made. --Jeff Shannon ... Read more


    • Color
    • Widescreen
    • Closed-captioned
    Reviews (97)

    5-0 out of 5 stars *Pretty near* perfect
    5 stars + infinity

    First, let me explain that I absolutely love the film Kundun.

    I beleive it is a true work of art/ labor of love that didn't receive the recognition it so much deserves.

    Let me skip to the big point-- the last 10 minutes of this film is a near perfect blend of music, film and editing that is spot- on for the subject matter, which is enlightenment.

    My guess is that a *very conscious* person had a lot to do with the creation, blending & timing of the music, script and film, especially for the last ten minutes-- OR that it was a total coincidence that it came out to be so near perfect. (either is very much in keeping with the movie's theme, which IMHO is NOT the Dalai Lama at all, but enlightenment)

    Not for everyone, and I'm afraid I may have built it up in your mind too highly, so that you'll feel let down by the actual experience of the film & music itself, I can say that *everytime* I watch or listen to the last ten minutes (titled Escape to India), I cry for joy at *experiencing* a few minutes of the most sublime enlightenment, insight, sorrow & simple wonder at being alive in this dance of life myself, with you.

    ... and I'm not even Budhist.

    Thank you, Martin Scorcese, Phillip Glass and all involved in this brilliant study of how a culture's focus on a single individual being assumed to be & treated as enlightened-- and his training to actually act the part, resulted in a person of great compassion, richness and insight.

    In other words, their culture made him enlightened by treating him as enlightened.

    What if we were all assumed to be enlightened and treated as such-- what difference would that make to you, at this very moment, dear reader, to live in such a world, as you absorb these words, now?

    If that sentence has any impact on you at all, then you'll likely be *deeply moved* by both the movie and soundtrack.

    3-0 out of 5 stars Good but ...
    I could have given it a higher rating if the film has more emotional impact and the main characters speak their natural languages. Every time someone opens their mouth, I was constantly and immediately reminded that it is a (made in Hollywood) movie after all.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Good film, slow but.
    As a previous reviewer has stated, the first few minutes of this movie are agonizingly slow. Thankfully the pace picks up later on, but only slightly. I found myself wondering if Scorsese had really directed this movie, since it seemed very different from his other projects.

    The best part of Kundun was that it made me aware of the plight of the Tibetan people. But as with any one sided view of the events, especially on film, I was not quick to label the Chinese the bad-guys. The movie's focus is on the life of the Dalai Lama, and how he was raised up to rule his people. I have to admit that at times I found myself questioning the wisdom of trusting the destiny of a whole people to a little boy; it seemed like the stuff legends were made of, not how countries in the 21st century should be run.

    The boy did grow into a man however, and he matured fairly quickly. Much credit must be given to the system that transformed him. Although this is a very Buddhist film, I concentrated on the political struggle between this midget; Tibet and its giant neighbor, China. If there is any value in Kundun, it is that it made me want to know more about the history of Tibet and its relationship with the Chinese. There are, to its credit, little snippets of information in the movie itself, especially the meeting between Chairman Mao and the young Dalai Lama.

    I would give this 3 1/2 stars, because I thought Scorsese could have made this a better movie had he not relied so much on cinematography and concentrated more on the drama, that's just my opinion though. I would recommend this movie to you if you are interested in a brief, if one sided, overview of the situation between Tibet and China.
    ... Read more

    Asin: 6305090580
    Subjects:  1. Feature Film-drama   


    The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings
    by J. R. R. Tolkien
    Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
    Paperback (01 September, 1999)
    list price: $45.00 -- our price: $28.35
    (price subject to change: see help)
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    Editorial Review

    Hobbits and wizards and Sauron--oh, my! Mild-mannered Oxfordscholar John Ronald Reuel Tolkien had little inkling when he publishedThe Hobbit; Or, There and Back Again in 1937 that, once hobbitswere unleashed upon the world, there would be no turning back. Hobbitsare, of course, small, furry creatures who love nothing better than aleisurely life quite free from adventure. But in that first novel andthe Lord of the Rings trilogy, the hobbits Bilbo and Frodo and theirelvish friends get swept up into a mighty conflict with the dragonSmaug, the dark lord Sauron (who owes much to proud Satan in Paradise Lost), themonstrous Gollum, the Cracks of Doom, and the awful power of themagical Ring. The four books' characters--good and evil--arerecognizably human, and the realism is deepened by the magnificentdetail of the vast parallel world Tolkien devised, inspired partly byhis influential Anglo-Saxon scholarship and his Christian beliefs. (Hedisapproved of the relative sparseness of detail in the comparableallegorical fantasy his friend C.S. Lewis dreamed up in The Chronicles ofNarnia, though he knew Lewis had spun a page-turning yarn.) Ithas been estimated that one-tenth of all paperbacks sold can tracetheir ancestry to J.R.R. Tolkien. But even if we had never gottenRobert Jordan's The Pathof Daggers and the whole fantasy genre Tolkien inadvertentlycreated by bringing the hobbits so richly to life, Tolkien's epic aboutthe Ring would have left our world enhanced by enchantment. --TimAppelo ... Read more


    • Box set
    Reviews (1185)

    1-0 out of 5 stars Overrated!
    I read through these 4 volumes 33 years ago when I came to England because many of my fellow students raved about them.

    The Hobbit is mildly amusing story suitable for children.

    The LOTR is rather dreary boring tale which requires a lot of perseverence to complete. I have not re-read it since unlike other novels that I have re-read multiple times purely because a good work of literature improves on re-reading.

    If you want to read a true epic with complicated human characters try reading a retelling of the Mahabharata.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Check this out !!
    The Lord of the Rings series is about 2 hobbits named Frodo and Sam who take the challenge of taking an evil ring to destroy it inn Mount Doom, the MOuntian of Fire.

    While Frodo and Sam are being led to Mount Doom by Golem, the Fellowship tries to keep the Eye of Sauran off of them. The Fellowship tries to keep the Eye of Sauran off of them by fending off Orc armies.

    I like the Lord of the Rings series because of all of the action and adventure...!

    Submitted by: Onikage<---not real name

    5-0 out of 5 stars Hobbits, Dwarves, and Elves.
    J.R.R Tolkien is an awesome fantasy writer. The whole series is really long , but it's worth it.The way Tolkien discribes his scenery is awesome. When you read the book it's like you're you are right smack dab in the middle.
    The imagery was awesome throughout the whole book. You could see everything. An example of this is the battle of Minas Tirith, and th battle at the black gates. Tolkien uses major to describe the weapons, the smells, the scenery and everything else. You could see the battles.
    A perfect example of dialogue is how the elves talk, which is way different from the way the dwarves talk. The elves are more refined then most other kinds of people. They are more polite. For the time and the kind of characters the dialogue was correct. J.R.R Tolkien is the best fantasy writer ever.
    ... Read more

    Isbn: 0618002251
    Subjects:  1. Classics    2. Fantasy - Epic    3. Fantasy - General    4. Fiction    5. Literature - Classics / Criticism   


    The Art of Happiness: A Handbook for Living
    by Dalai Lama Howard C. Cutler
    Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
    Hardcover (26 October, 1998)
    list price: $23.95 -- our price: $16.29
    (price subject to change: see help)
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    Editorial Review

    Have you ever wondered what it would be like to sit down with the Dalai Lama and really press him about life's persistent questions? Why are so many people unhappy? How can I abjure loneliness? How can we reduce conflict? Is romantic love true love? Why do we suffer?How should we deal with unfairness and anger? How do you handle the death of a loved one? These are the conundrums that psychiatrist Howard Cutler poses to the Dalai Lama during an extended period of interviews in The Art of Happiness: A Handbook for Living.

    At first, the Dalai Lama's answers seem simplistic, like a surface reading ofRobert Fulghum: Ask yourself if you really need something; our enemies can be our teachers; compassion brings peace of mind.Cutler pushes: But some people do seem happy with lots of possessions; but "suffering is life" is so pessimistic; but going to extremes provides the zest in life; but what if I don't believe in karma? As the Dalai Lama's responses become more involved, a coherent philosophy takes shape. Cutler then develops the Dalai Lama's answers in the context of scientific studies and cases from his own practice, substantiating and elaborating on what he finds to be a revolutionary psychology. Like any art, the art of happiness requires study and practice--and the talent for it, the Dalai Lama assures us, is in our nature. --Brian Bruya ... Read more

    Reviews (292)

    4-0 out of 5 stars Heartfelt advice from a wise man
    The Dalai Lama is awesome! He has such great advice about a lot of the things that people concern themselves with. Of course, he lives in an entirely different world than we do in the USofA, but his principles are very fundamental. Compassion is universal.

    When I read "The Art of Happiness" I was in a really bad state of mind. I was depressed and suicidal. He helped me get through a lot of my own problems and make me into a more balanced person. It's still tough - especially when other people are such a-holes and have zero compassion for anyone or anything - but I'm going to keep trying to be the way the Dalai Lama says to be and hope for the best. "Why?" by Phil Nery was a great book for dealing with depression and suicide, too. Completely different manner than "The Art of Happiness" but just as effective.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Make peace with your emotions
    I enjoyed this book immensely and learned a great deal from it. The Dalai Lama's perspective on emotions and mindfulness is enlightening.

    In the same purchase I bought another book I was referred to that is endorsed by The Dalai Lama called "The Emotional Intelligence Quick Book." It's really great for learning specifically about EQ and increasing your own.

    5-0 out of 5 stars How wonderful a life and book!
    This book is a lesson in human will and wholesomeness. I am not of the Dalai Lama's faith, but I am a member of his world-wide gathering of respectors and admirers. I loved reading about him, his ability to master the self, and the message of the book-- human service. It is very well written and revealing. We get to see the Dalai Lama on stage, in meetings, and on his way to the car. In all situations, he is amazing and wonderful.
    One does not have to be a religionist or Buddhist to appreciate the depth of the Dalai Lama and his life and teachings.
    The Christian, atheist, or other religionist, has much to gain in reading this text. It holds the power to change one's life and is inspiring enough to provide the direction. I loved it.
    The book is a written narration of a visit the author had with the Dalai Lama in AZ at a conference. He writes a little background about the Dalai Lama, the faith, and then spends most of the time demonstrating how the Dalai Lama lives his teachings. One minute the narrator describes the talk the Dalai Lama just gave, then we find ourserlves at the breakfast table in a one-on-one conversation with the Dalai Lama. It is a great read. It is a history, a narration, a visitation, and a disciples book all in one.
    ... Read more

    Isbn: 1573221112
    Subjects:  1. Buddhism    2. Buddhism - General    3. Doctrines    4. Happiness    5. Personal Growth - Happiness    6. Psychology    7. Religion    8. Religious Life (Buddhism)    9. Religious aspects    10. Religious life    11. Religion / General   


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