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  • The Owl Service

  • By: Alan Garner
  • Narrated by: Wayne Forester
  • Length: 4 hrs and 35 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 63
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 54
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 53

After hearing scratches in the attic, Alison discovers a dinner service covered in an intriguing floral owl pattern, and a series of events are set in motion that will change her life forever. Alison, her step-brother Roger and Welsh boy Gwyn are forced into a cyclical replay of the tragic Welsh legend of Blodeuwedd, in which a woman is turned into an owl as a punishment for betraying her husband.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • About this book

  • By David on 02-11-10

Masterful tale weaving by an archeologist of myth.

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 26-10-18

Alan Garner tugs away the veil to help us see how the layers of lives past, shape our own lives. The climax is superb and furnishes us a profound tool for our own lives. Enjoy!

  • The Big Lie

  • Exposing the Nazi Roots of the American Left
  • By: Dinesh D'Souza
  • Narrated by: David Cochran Heath
  • Length: 9 hrs and 31 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 62
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 56
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 56

What is "the big lie" of the Democratic Party? That conservatives - and President Donald Trump in particular - are fascists. Nazis, even. In a typical comment, MSNBC host Rachel Maddow says the Trump era is reminiscent of "what it was like when Hitler first became chancellor." But in fact, this audacious lie is a complete inversion of the truth. Yes, there is a fascist threat in America - but that threat is from the Left and the Democratic Party.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Brilliant, but disapointing.

  • By Dave on 25-03-18

Brilliant, but disapointing.

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 25-03-18

Superbly researched, written and read.
This book turns the weaponised pejoratives, Fascist and Nazi, back on those who habitually use them.

It provides a detailed overview of the ideologies behind the communist, socialist and fascist movements of the last century.
Dinesh explores distinctions between them and the contemporary manifestations of these belief systems.

I found the comparisons between concentration camps and the slave plantations daring. It occured to me that the workhouses were a kind of precursor. However, the author failed to link the huge prison population in the US, due to the phony "war on drugs" and mandatory minimum sentencing that Reagan ushered in. With almost 1% of the US population incarcerated and millions working for a few cents an hour, this is a modern version of slavery on a scale only comparable to the prison population of China.

While discussing Woodrow Wilson and the progressives, D'Souza neglected to mention the Technocratic movement that had popular, intellectual support around that era.
He also failed to point out how Smedley Butler averted a fascist coup in the US that was being instigated by Prescott Bush, a republican.

My problem with this book is its polemic, two party, good against bad, false dichotomy. This is far too simplistic. Gary Allen’s explanation of the left, right delusion in 'None Dare Call It Conspiracy', is far more liberating.
Although the author does list the tenets of small,  decentralised government, that facilitates genuine diveversity, he appears to be disdainful of Hitler's distinction between parasitic capitalism and free market, production. The Soros type, are a very different breed of capitalist to the Henry Ford type.

Having said that; given the constraints of the  existing political system, conservatives rallying behind Trump may be the best chance The USA has of avoiding a truly fascist coup.

But I remain concerned that such books serve to  widen the political rift and risk civil war. Honest conversation may encourage well meaning democratic voters to question their allegiance. This book however, is probably too much of a partisan, republican club, to be much use in winning over conscientious people.

Disagreeable Dave. March 2018.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Strange Death of Europe

  • Immigration, Identity, Islam
  • By: Douglas Murray
  • Narrated by: Robert Davies
  • Length: 12 hrs and 17 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,258
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,150
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,144

The Strange Death of Europe is a highly personal account of a continent and culture caught in the act of suicide. Declining birth rates, mass immigration, and cultivated self-distrust and self-hatred have come together to make Europeans unable to argue for themselves and incapable of resisting their own comprehensive alteration as a society and an eventual end.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • very good, but do be careful

  • By julien on 06-08-17

Courageous! Essential! True genius!

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 17-08-17

This has to be the best analysis of condition contemporary Europe. Douglas covers the politics, philosophy, religion, art and culture of our time. He gives it historical context and provides examples. Forbidden subjects are discussed with compassion and honesty. Questions that we have not been allowed to ask in public, are asked without apology.

This is a brave and shocking work; exceptionally well researched, perceptive and pertinent.
This book will not fail to make you question your assumptions about the wisdom of mass immigration.

How can we justify surrendering our homelands?
How can we explain this the our descendents?
How could we excuse our cowardice to our forebears?

There is one area in which this book is weak, it avoids exploring the notion that the evidence itself suggests: the destruction of western civilization is an objective of a cabal of the most devious miscreants, such as George Soros, Peter Sutherland et al.

He sites the lack of vision, and incompetence of the political class as the reasons that they consistently work against the will and best interests of European nations. But we all know that politicians are ostensibly populist so they can win votes. Douglas appears incapable of exposing the power elite: those individuals and multinationals who buy and puppeteer our politicians. Without who's intervention, it is hard to imagine how the same "mistakes" could be repeated by so many nations at the same time.


Thank you, brave Mr Murray.

1 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Dumbing Us Down

  • The Hidden Curriculum of Compulsory Schooling
  • By: John Taylor Gatto
  • Narrated by: Michael Puttonen
  • Length: 3 hrs and 19 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 25
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 21
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 21

Thirty years in New York City's public schools led John Gatto to the sad conclusion that compulsory schooling does little but teach young people to follow orders like cogs in an industrial machine. With over 100,000 copies in print since its original publication in 2002, this book is collection of essays and speeches and includes a describes the wide-spread impact of the book and Gatto's "guerrilla teaching". John Gatto was a teacher in New York City's public schools for over 30 years and was a New York State Teacher of the Year.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • The most intelligent exposé of schooling.

  • By Dave on 06-09-16

The most intelligent exposé of schooling.

Overall
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 06-09-16

The "education" industry is the mental plague of the modern world. As it gets more protracted, more expensive and more centrally controlled, the bonsai people, who are it's product, become increasingly disinterested in learning anything important, and invincibly ignorant.

The proof is in the pudding. Schooling does not support individual education and becoming potent, competent, responsible adults, because it is designed to do the opposite!

Gatto doesn't confine himself to one "subject" but calls upon history, philosophy, religion, anthropology etc. to illustrate his thesis.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful