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    The Last Straw: A Critical Autopsy of a galaxy far, far away review []  2019-12-18 20:2

    If you felt disappointed with that movie, or with the Disney era Star Battles in general, read this and you will obtain at least some enjoyment out of the thing. :)

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    The Last Straw: A Critical Autopsy of a galaxy far, far away review []  2019-12-18 20:2

    From the "Film Perps" who perpetrated this movie, down to the opening scrawl, John C Wright does a funny and masterful dissection of the movie abomination that was "The Latest Jedi." He critiques the music. He critiques nearly every choice created by this film, it's writer / director, and has a tone one would imagine if Robin Williams were enraged, yet still cracking jokes as he that "The Rise of Skywalker" is upon us, this is the excellent time for the fanboys to strike back.

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    TOWN BY TOWN review []  2020-1-11 20:25

    City by City is simply one of my favorite albums to come out in the past year or two. I came to YMSB by word of mouth, and bought this disc without having heard them play a note. I was completely blown away! They deliver with incredibly high energy and an intensity rare in a lot of other bands. And they're doing it with just guitar, mandolin, banjo, and bass, yielding a very traditional yet modern sound. For my cash they far exceed what other bands who incorporate elements of bluegrass are doing (i.e., String Cheese Incident, Leftover Salmon, and Blueground Undergrass). "Rambler's Anthem" and "New Horizons" search the guys in fine form throwing down some impressive and speedy licks. There are also mellower songs of love and loss: "Must've Had Your Reasons" (a favorite) and "To See You Coming Round the Bend". And real to bluegrass tradition, they deliver with a few instumentals including "Wildewood Drive". Really, every track is amazing (including a sweet hidden gift track). As an aside, for my cash this disc is much more consistent than their previous release Elevation, City by City is on a various level (just one man's opinion). Call YMSB's brand of bluegrass whatever you want, these guys are the true deal. Don't forget to catch 'em live!

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    TOWN BY TOWN review []  2020-1-11 20:25

    I mentioned in my review of _Elevation_ that these four guys aren't quite going to displace Railroad Earth at the top of my Favorite Band Currently In Existence list, but they're getting mighty close. And I hereby create it official that they've replaced the String Cheese Incident as my second ch nearer to "traditional" bluegrass than either of those other two bands (in part because they don't use drums/percussion), the Yonder Mountain String Band plays like one mind with four heads and eight hands. Each of the four (Jeff Austin, mandolin; Ben Kaufman, bass; Adam Aijala, guitar; Dave Johnston, banjo) is just so good, and so in tune with the other three, that they sound as though they could play the phone book, without rehearsal, and create it interesting to listen to.I mildly (very mildly) prefer _Elevation_ over this one as a recommended YMSB "starter" CD, in part because the songs on _Town By Town_ contain a couple of oblique references to tunes from the earlier release. But there's a lot to commend this one as well (and even if you don't obtain it _first_, don't forget to obtain it _later_).Since I especially like Austin's stuff, I'll single out the near-epic "New Horizons" and "Peace of Mind." They're cool enough songs in the first place. But Austin is just manic on that mandolin, and both these tunes give the rest of the band a possibility to shine on their extended instrumental breaks. (Pay unique attention to Kaufman's bass work on "New Horizons." His playing seems to be informed by a classical/jazz sensibility, which works wonderfully here. I don't mean to ignore Aijala's frenetic flatpicking and Johnston's banjo pyrotechnics, both of which are awesome; it's just that you don't have all that a lot of chances to hear Kaufman by himself.)The vocal work is tight throughout, but here too Austin's songs have (for me) a unique edge: they pair Austin with Kaufman on some preternaturally tight, almost otherwordly harmonies that sound like one voice coming out of two mouths. (Do you remember "Highway Song" from Hot Tuna's _Burgers_ release, on which Jorma Kaukonen and David Crosby sing a harmony so tight that you can't even tell which one of them is which unless you listen very, very closely? Austin and Kaufman are like that all the time.)And in the Credit Where Credit Is Due Department, here's a deep bow to the fine fiddle work of Tim O'Brien. (Darol Anger played on _Elevation_.)If you're just now being introduced to YMSB, I'd recommend starting with _Elevation_ and following it with this one; then move on to the _Mountain Tracks_ releases. But it won't damage too much if you vary the order. Heck, you can even obtain them all at once.

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    TOWN BY TOWN review []  2020-1-11 20:25

    Saw these guys at the Fresh Orleans Jazz Fest this year, and the entire crowd was blown away! They are amazing. Chose this CD based on reviews, and was not disappointed. Of course, I can't imagine these guys disappointing me...Even if you're not a huge bluegrass fan, you'll search YMSB draws you in, particularly at their live performances. See them when you can, and when you can't, this CD (along with their others) will tide you over.

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    TOWN BY TOWN review []  2020-1-11 20:25

    amazing cd

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    TOWN BY TOWN review []  2020-1-11 20:25

    The Yonder Mountain String Band has a huge legion of young, exuberant fans, and this album demonstrates why. Their sound is distinctive. The lyrical messages of their original material are interesting. Their material is well-rehearsed and arranged. Their songs convey spirit, energy and enthusiasm. Unfortunately, they sometimes push their musical capabilities and challenge their own skills on their up-tempo pieces. "Rambler's Anthem" and "Easy as Pie" begin the album and are examples of this. The album then settles into a groove with songs like Idaho, Loved You Enough, Sorrow is a Highway, and Must've Had Your Reasons. They succeed with the up-tempo showcase newgrass number, Fresh Horizons, written by mandolinist Jeff Austin. The other band members contain Dave Johnston (banjo), Adam Aijala (guitar), and Ben Kaufmann (bass), and they all contribute original material to this album. Tim O'Brien also appears on fiddle and bouzouki. The Yonder Mountain String Band doesn't stick to those straight three-chord traditional progressions. They punctuate and accentuate their melody with a lot of excitement, and these guys clearly have a lot of fun which, in turn, energizes their audiences. Bluegrass is in amazing hands with bands like the Yonder Mountain String Band that are drawing a huge following of young fans to the music.--by Joe Ross, moderator/reviewer for "Nwbluegrass"

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    TOWN BY TOWN review []  2020-1-11 20:25

    This is one of those CDs where every track is great. The songs range from tight instrumentals, Wildwood Drive and Hog Potato, to a nine min Fresh Horizons that goes through some awesome changes. Dave, Jeff, Ben and Adam all are awesome musicians by themselves and together create some beutiful music. It seems every year this band becomes more popular, especially amoung college age demograph. Even though I've heard some of the die-hard bluegrass traditionalists disapprove of these guys for different reasons I belive even they will fall in love with this album. Order it now, you won't be disapponted.

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    TOWN BY TOWN review []  2020-1-11 20:25

    Yonder Mountain has captured the sure-fire funky attitude that sets them apart from other bluegrass musicians. A tremendous live act, YMSB reaches altitude on "Town" repeatedly. Noteworthy is the absoulute breakdown on "Horizon." Honestly, this is what hooked me personally. I heard the song in the middle of the night from a small public radio station on a dark highway in Kentucky--I was absolutely jolted. After an obsessive search, I found the boys, bought the CD, then saw them live in Falls Church, VA. In short though--the CD conveys the energy needed to move a cynical and cranky person like myself to actively find for more of this group. God Bless fresh melody and young talent!! Grab this CD--see the boys live, and help determined genuine talent every possibility you get!!

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    TOWN BY TOWN review []  2020-1-11 20:25

    Yonder Mountain's City by City is one of my favorite studio albums of all time. It is truly a bluegrass classic. With each song being describing vivid and attractive country sides in the west and dealing with life struggles it simple to appreciate the music. I especially enjoyed when i went to rocky mountain national park in colorado this album i had playing non stop, it just so fitting for the situation. Just an all around feel amazing bluegrass album. :)

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    TOWN BY TOWN review []  2020-1-11 20:25

    Unbelievable!!! The boys have done it again. Though seeing them live is unbeatable, their studio performance this time around is remarkable. With support from producer Tim O'Brien, Yonder Mountain has taken over the scene, making me wish more, more, more. Hold 'em comin guys!!!!!

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    Far Away review []  2020-1-20 21:38

    This is one of Kirk's earlier CD's, it's very pleasant, but not as amazing as some of his later work. I still have fun listening to it, even so.

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    Far Away review []  2020-1-20 21:38

    love it

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    Another River, Another Town: A Teenage Tank Gunner Comes of Age in Combat--1945 review [Book]  2018-2-26 18:0

    With so a lot of private accounts of Globe Battle II being published, it’s hard to pick and choose which one to read; so, I test to read any that I come across. While I search most all of these books good, some stand out more than others … ANOTHER RIVER, ANOTHER TOWN is one that stands hn Irwin admitted he was nothing more than a naïve, self-absorbed teenager upon entering the troops … in other words, a typical American kid. After proving he was best-qualified to be a tank-gunner, he is shipped out to Europe following the War of the Bulge as a gunner in a M4 Sherman. From the book’s beginning, Irwin reveals himself to be self-deprecating, honest and quite detailed in his recollection of his service. Baptized by a lesson in humility from the very begin of his foray into the front lines, Irwin gradually finds a comfortable niche with his fellow M4 crewmates and proves himself as being an able gunner and comrade.ANOTHER RIVER, ANOTHER TOWN is a short, but riveting read. Irwin’s combat tour may have been brief (5 months), but it was full of action. There are no lulls in his story-telling, even when resting between incidents of contact with the enemy. What readers will obtain is a teenager’s view of Globe Battle II, not just what he sees, but what he thinks as well. Some of the best excerpts of the book are Irwin’s interactions with his crewmates (a hodge-podge of veterans and replacements each with his own quirks). With visions of heroic duty erased on his first days in Europe, Irwin gradually matures under the guidance of two grizzled combat vets whose trust he manages to earn and value more than e combat described in the book is straight-forward, exciting and fast … a series of brief skirmishes with German tanks, infantry and even German children with Panzerfausts (disposable, but deadly hand-held anti-tank guns). Some of Irwin’s crewmates become casualties, as does the M4 (which is replaced with the more-able and rare Super-Pershing). His straight-forward and vivid recollection of happenings are what makes the book such an enjoyable read. There are moments throughout where Irwin experiences coming-of-age incidents (one being the moment he knows he’s killed someone and another being the opportunity of his first sexual experience). The five months that elapse between joining the Troops and the war’s end reveal a maturation process that has one forgetting the author is only eighteen years old (until he divulges in thoughts or actions typical of teenagers). In a lot of ways, the entire book is presented as a scary adventure on a grand scale, related to how most youngsters view defining moments in their lives. There is an element of sadness knowing that Irwin was but one of a lot of who were forced to grow up under such dire circumstances; he survived the experience, but a amazing a lot of did not.ANOTHER RIVER, ANOTHER TOWN is an exciting and enjoyable read. Seeing how the battle was fought through the eyes of a teenager proved to be a special perspective for me.

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    Another River, Another Town: A Teenage Tank Gunner Comes of Age in Combat--1945 review [Book]  2018-2-26 18:0

    I was surprised considering the number who served, how few first hand accounts by US tankers exist. This book is a well written, interesting acc of armored warfare late in the battle on the western front. A lot of people consider the battle virtually over after the Bulge, but for those on the hint of the armored sweeps through Germany, it was still very risky and full of e author does a amazing job of giving the reader the feeling he is riding along with tank crew. He gives concise descriptions of the fast deadly contacts that occur in armored warfare without letting it bog down in insignificant info like so a lot of of these type accounts tend to do. This is a memoir, not a technical treatise, so if you are looking for yet another rehashing of why this tank was better than that one, or what strategies were used, look elsewhere, though it does especially stand out as a rare testimony to the capability of the Pershing. The fact the author was gunner in the only "Super Pershing" makes it quite historically significant as an added bonus. But the book is not about the tank, it's about the men.War is not a board android game and this acc gives insight as to why so a lot of other factors than the tank itself mattered. Supply, squad training, leadership, and morale had as much or more bearing. Factors such as armor thickness and gun size are all but meaningless if you are the lead Sherman pushing through a German town defended by fanatical SS. Sometimes your number is just up, and the author understood this very well and seemed to be at peace with it during the war, in contrast to his driver who required "liquid courage" just to hold me reviewers wish to fixate on a minor mistake here or there, or the fact its not the longest book on the subject. I search it refreshing its pared down to hold things interesting and the book is not as short as some test to create it. Amazing read!

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    Another River, Another Town: A Teenage Tank Gunner Comes of Age in Combat--1945 review [Book]  2018-2-26 18:0

    This was a book that I think should be read by all Globe Battle 2 history ally enjoyed the first person narrative and the writer puts you in his shoes.I think this book would be enjoyed more by veterans then non veterans. His stories are awesome and no flag waving takes put and no mention of glory hounds. Just brave, humble men of the greatest generation saving the globe from tyranny. We can never repay these wonderful men and women who saved us from evil both in the Europe and the Pacific theater of this book if you have fun amazing Globe Battle Two books.

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    Another River, Another Town: A Teenage Tank Gunner Comes of Age in Combat--1945 review [Book]  2018-2-26 18:0

    This is a little book. Given this, it's amazing that the author doesn't waste time and he starts off his acc promptly with joining up with his unit, Company `I', 33rd Armd Regt, 3rd Armd Div. This is a `tankers' view of battle and it seems to have a various feel to it. I'm not quite sure why this is, maybe it's because the author's experiences are restricted by the limited numbers in his tank squad or the vision of his gunner's e author does go into detail but not to the extent that I would've liked. This said, he writes about fighting Tiger 2's, JagdTigers and the panzerfaust troopers lying in wait for him. He is the gunner and he scores a amazing number of `hits', though he doesn't give a face to those he fought and this has created his acc seem less vivid. He is more forthcoming giving voice to his own fears and those he shares his tank with though. Again, interesting but without giving me the feel of being in that smelly tank with him. The other thing I suppose, is that his time in the ETO is in the few months before VE Day, there is no Bulge for instance. His experiences do contain liberating the V weapon slave camp at Nordhausen and fighting those Tigers near the training facility at Paderborn. He also found himself to be the lucky recipient of one of the first Pershings. There's also some interesting road fighting, in help of infantry.Overall, a solid read, with some various perspectives and experiences to those of the infantry. However compared to most of those, I feel it lacks depth, probably due to being a bit on the short side.

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    Another River, Another Town: A Teenage Tank Gunner Comes of Age in Combat--1945 review [Book]  2018-2-26 18:0

    I absolutely loved the book! If you wish a detailed acc of a young teenage boy, barely out of his teens, thrust into the hell of combat, then read this book. It tells it like it was, bloody, dirty, and godawful. There is a part of the book where the author is one of the first to liberate a concentration camp. His description of this evokes the real horror found in these atrocious places. I would recommend this book to any person, historian or not, who wants to know what it was like being a teenage boy caught in the death throws of the most evil regime in history.

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    Another River, Another Town: A Teenage Tank Gunner Comes of Age in Combat--1945 review [Book]  2018-2-26 18:0

    This is a unbelievable book. There are fewer tanker memoirs in the WW2 literature compared to the infantry, but if I could only have one first-person American memoir of WW2 tank warfare this would be it. Without a doubt, it puts you right there in the tank with the author. The only thing keeping me from giving it a five-star rating is its relatively short length. This is not a fault of the author, simply a reflection of the fact that the meat of the book concentrates on his time in combat and didn't obtain to the front until after the War of the Bulge - i.e. his time in combat while intense was relatively short.

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    Another River, Another Town: A Teenage Tank Gunner Comes of Age in Combat--1945 review [Book]  2018-2-26 18:0

    This book read like I was watching a amazing battle movie. The author joined his unit at the Rhine and is involved in the armoured fighting across Germany in the latest few months of the war. The author eventually found himself as a gunner in the M26 Pershing tank. Since this tank arrived late in the war, I don't believe there are any other private accounts with the Pershing tank. The book is an simple read. It's a private acc of his combat actions as well as some of his down time between battles. Highly recommend.

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    Another River, Another Town: A Teenage Tank Gunner Comes of Age in Combat--1945 review [Book]  2018-2-26 18:0

    The battle as viewed by a teenage tank gunner. Really well written and yet not the sort of book you would often read. Highly recommended.

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    Another River, Another Town: A Teenage Tank Gunner Comes of Age in Combat--1945 review [Book]  2018-2-26 18:0

    Learn what it's like to war from a Sherman or Pershing tank in WW II and how easily those tanks were killed.

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    Another River, Another Town: A Teenage Tank Gunner Comes of Age in Combat--1945 review [Book]  2018-2-26 18:0

    Simply written, but to the point. An entertaining read.

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    Star Wars Origami: 36 Amazing Paper-folding Projects from a Galaxy Far, Far Away.... review []  2020-1-20 0:53

    I bought this book for my 9 year old daughter since she just had a tonsillectomy, and needs drawing/crafts to hold her busy while she is healing. She was really excited at first and we sat down at the table to look through the book together. The illustrations are great....but that’s about it. She wanted to create a landspeeder, and we got about four steps in before we set the paper aside to test something easier. We read through the “basics” at the beginning but even the basics were beautiful difficult?! So we decide to test a light saber. How hard could that be? We couldn’t even finish the light saber either. Mind you, I am a college educated individual with two degrees and I have some experience with origami (little animals and such) but no luck here. The instructions were vague and would go from a primary “mountain”or “valley” fold to a supremely difficult fold with no explanation as how to obtain from #1 to #2. This book is definitely not for a small child or even most adults. We’re going to test again when her dad is home from work and maybe he’ll understand the instructions better. I may modernize my review if we can figure it out.

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    Star Wars Origami: 36 Amazing Paper-folding Projects from a Galaxy Far, Far Away.... review []  2020-1-20 0:53

    Not for beginners!!!! You have been warned. One really needs the power of the force to figure out all the folds and nuances of these detailed origami projects.

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    Star Wars Origami: 36 Amazing Paper-folding Projects from a Galaxy Far, Far Away.... review []  2020-1-20 0:53

    Much larger than I actually expected! There are really cool looking designs for just about everything in the Star Battles universe , from Tie Warriors to Emperor Palpatine himself. The book actually has removable pre-designed pages to fold, but since the difficulty ranges from beginner to expert, I would recommend copying these on a printer, because you will probably mess up several times on the harder ones. Other than that there is hours of entertainment in this book, and I could see it being a "crafty" child's favorite bonus on a birthday or holiday!

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    Star Wars Origami: 36 Amazing Paper-folding Projects from a Galaxy Far, Far Away.... review []  2020-1-20 0:53

    So hard!!!!! My his band and I were Stumped at the x-wing. The illustrations for the folds were vague. You have to go back to the beginning to look at what type of fold to do. For example, do a squash fold, do a mountain fold. But then the next illustration is so vague you aren’t sure if you did the previous several part fold correct. Ended up with a sad child (7 yrs old) and frustrated parents.

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    Star Wars Origami: 36 Amazing Paper-folding Projects from a Galaxy Far, Far Away.... review []  2020-1-20 0:53

    Don't buy this for kids--and not for any adults who do not have a lot of experience in origami. These are super difficult and I feel the pictures often skip steps. What a frustrating afternoon and a waste of my money. I am so disappointed. I thought the paper to fold with would create easy folded projects look amazing. Instead we have a book we cannot use. If I had bought this at a brick and mortar I would return it for my cash back.

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    Star Wars Origami: 36 Amazing Paper-folding Projects from a Galaxy Far, Far Away.... review []  2020-1-20 0:53

    I bought this for my boys ages 10,8,and 7 for Christmas. It is now April and they are still paper-folding. Amazing gift! They are still using the book and have been inspired to test other forms of origami.

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    Star Wars Origami: 36 Amazing Paper-folding Projects from a Galaxy Far, Far Away.... review []  2020-1-20 0:53

    So here's the deal. I bought this for my Star Wars-obsessed 4-year old who has found a fresh liking in origami (i.e. folding paper). However, these folds are beautiful hard for me as a parent much less a small guy. If you're amazing at origami or WANT to be amazing at origami, sure. Pick it up! There are a few easy ones for the younger crowd but they're not true detailed and he wants to do the really fun ones. They're TOUGH. Just be prepared but overall, very fun book even if you don't accomplish the creations. :)

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    Star Wars Origami: 36 Amazing Paper-folding Projects from a Galaxy Far, Far Away.... review []  2020-1-20 0:53

    My son loves this book. He has been making things constantly since he got it 3 weeks ago. The instructions are easy enough that a middle-school student can follow them and create the origami on their own without help. They give you 2 of each decorated paper in case you do create a mistake. Also has some fun Star Battles trivia and other Star Battles info that the children enjoy. A amazing buys for fans of Star Battles and origami.

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    Star Wars Origami: 36 Amazing Paper-folding Projects from a Galaxy Far, Far Away.... review []  2020-1-20 0:53

    Awesome graphics and really cool projects, but Method too ADVANCED! Even for an adult that likes origami. This need videos or more detailed instructions.

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    Star Wars Origami: 36 Amazing Paper-folding Projects from a Galaxy Far, Far Away.... review []  2020-1-20 0:53

    I first bought one of these books for an xmas show and then found out that another person liked origami and was having a birthday. The included pages are very nice and the designs are totally fun. Be aware though that a lot of are probably not as cool when reproduced without the papers from this book. Still, it is a amazing bonus for a Star Battles folder.

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    Far Away Stories review [App]  2019-4-23 13:11

    This is a very cute, easy application that does exactly what it sets it to do.

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    Far Away, Down On A Georgia Farm review []  2019-12-24 20:59

    Best cash I ever spent on a CD, and I have been a Blake fan for more years than I care to remember. The melody is beautiful, with an outstanding mix of instruments. Would add a note of caution here. This melody will appeal to people much closer to the End than to the Beginning, such as I; and I suspect that now contains the majority of Blake fans.

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    Far Away, Down On A Georgia Farm review []  2019-12-24 20:59

    Discovered Norman and Nancy over twenty-five years ago. Have only seen him three times over the years. He was warming up backstage and a few people were there. He played as though he was just playing for them. I knew he had gotten John Harford to flat-foot on some of John's tracks, so I danced as he played, and he loved it! What a amazing guy! Saw him just a few years later and he seemed to remember me. Needless to say I was impressed. Want he toured more. I am slowly replacing my melody of Norman and Nancy with CD's. Thanks to all for the reviews as I never owned this one. Norman is the guitarist even the best guitarists stive to be. Norman once told me that he would message his guitar not being with him before he would message his pants were not on.

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    Far Away, Down On A Georgia Farm review []  2019-12-24 20:59

    Being a Norman Blake fan for the latest 20 years, i finally got around to getting this CD. I wasn't disappointed. I've only listened to it about ten times so far, but it is a amazing addition to my collection. This CD features Norman at his most humble moments; attractive instrumental fingerstyle pieces, heartfelt ballads, and of course some flatpicked masterpieces. What Norman's voice lacks in tone and vibrato, it more than makes up for in emotional delivery and honesty. Mr. Blake's melody has a timeless quality that i love.

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    Far Away, Down On A Georgia Farm review []  2019-12-24 20:59

    Really amazing items and various than anything else he has done. Throw back to old timey and rag.

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    Far Away, Down On A Georgia Farm review []  2019-12-24 20:59

    In latest reviews of "Brother, Where Art Thou?" and "Songcatcher" in this zone I mentioned some of the high points of the mountain melody revival of the early part of the 2000's (weird to write that, right?) I noted the name Norman Blake as a premier example of the modern continuation of that tradition. If Hazel Dickens (and Alice Gerrard) represented a powerful female voice for the revival of this melody then Norman Blake represents the male counterpart.I also noted in a documentary, "Down The Tracks: The Melody That Influenced Bob Dylan", tracing the roots that influenced his development that one commentator noted that when different ballads (mainly listed in the "Child Ballad" inventory) came over from the old country (England, Scotland, Wales, Ireland) and landed in the Appalachian Mountains they never got out and remained (with a lot of local variations) essentially unchanged for generations. And the musical instruments didn't change much either-fiddle, guitar and, occasionally a mandolin. But, come Saturday night the tournament was fierce to be "king (or, less often, queen) of the hill". Those points remain real today and it is this tradition that Norman Blake can call his own.His virtuoso guitar playing has always attracted me since I first heard him long along a local radio program called "Hillbilly At Harvard" (Weird, right? But it had amazing items on it.). He continues that here with some nice instrumentals and a few vocals. The Georgia (and hence the title of my headline) centers on Georgia and the need to either obtain out or to search his method back to it. An eternal dilemma. Tops here are "Down On The Georgia Farm" and a very funny take on marriage "Give Me Back My Fifteen Cents".

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    Far Away, Down On A Georgia Farm review []  2019-12-24 20:59

    Norman Blake couldn't create a poor recording if he tried. His fans have come to expect paramount taste and distinctive stylings, and that's what he supplies. This recoding sounds like it could have been created on the same day as "Chatanooga Baby," although perhaps a bit more reflective. Typical of his work for the past fifteen years, he's not out to present off how quick and flashy he can be (which, of course, he can), but this guitarist's guitarist knows how to obtain the most from his instrument.

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    Far Away, Down On A Georgia Farm review []  2019-12-24 20:59

    This is another fine album by Norman, complete with more of his increasingly impressive original body of work ("Whiskey Deaf and Whiskey Blind", for one) and fine takes on old standards ("Give Me Back my 15 Cents"). Pure, simple, and truly attractive music. Norman is as artist of the highest caliber, and this melody reflects his loving preoccupation with old-time tones and archaic poetry. A must-have for Norman fans.

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    Angry BaBa: Hit & Far away review [App]  2019-1-8 13:0

    meh game, turned from paid once to amount money grab with in application purchases.

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    Angry BaBa: Hit & Far away review [App]  2019-1-8 13:0

    ad gifts don't work, and actually cause you to lose the bonus. otherwise I would say it's a fun time assassin

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    Angry BaBa: Hit & Far away review [App]  2019-1-8 13:0

    how to play?

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    Far and Away: Reporting from the Brink of Change review []  2020-1-18 20:46

    I have read every book Mr. Solomon has written, and a lot of of his magazine articles as well. Far and Away, Mr. Solomon's recent book, maintains that exceptionally high standard of prose I encountered in his previous writings. I have never read non-fiction works with such a high caliber of detail; detail that paints a picture in front of you so beautifully articulated that you feel you are by Mr. Solomon's side and see what he sees and experiences with your own eyes. His intimate knowledge and description of each location, as well as that of the people with whom he shares his experiences, are stunning. His characters, fully drawn and faceted, are all believable. The stories of his adventures, regardless of location, are fascinating and it becomes, at times, impossible to place the book down. Twice I found dinner had been forgotten.

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    Far and Away: Reporting from the Brink of Change review []  2020-1-18 20:46

    Parts of this book were hard to read - I found the parts on Russia and China rather depressing. But the book is very well written, very interesting, and is helpful for learning about the globe we live in. I got the book because Fareed Zakaria recommended it, and I'm very glad I read it. I would recommend that everybody read this book.

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    Far and Away: Reporting from the Brink of Change review []  2020-1-18 20:46

    He has reported from a wide dozens of locations around the world, and has a special method of trying to understand various situations and cultures. His latest adventure as a scuba diver in Australia and being lost from his boat for a significant time was particularly interesting and scary. I have been in almost as precarious a a situation as a diver. He explained some of the thoughts and fears that go through your mind in that isolated situation very well.

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    Far and Away: Reporting from the Brink of Change review []  2020-1-18 20:46

    in very amazing condition. bought it used for $4, but fresh price is $30. amazing deal. very interesting book. i'm a globe traveler, so i can appreciate his stories. stories about his travels are simple to read and interesting.

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    Far and Away: Reporting from the Brink of Change review []  2020-1-18 20:46

    interesting observations and experiences. superb writer. insights and historical perspective presented could serve as a primer for foreign affairs study. Chapter on Myanmar especially interesting in this regard. A amazing accompaniment to the Foreign Policy Association Amazing Decisions discussion presentation on this topic.

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    Far and Away: Reporting from the Brink of Change review []  2020-1-18 20:46

    An absolutely encyclopedic collection of high-brow travel literature spanning the past twenty five years. As if you are travelling in Andrew's pocket, listening to the nuances of travel with a visionary. He provides depth of knowledge of the arts and politics in Russia, China, Taiwan and South Africa during periods of profound change. The section on Libya is extraordinary. The passage set in Senegal evocative. The introduction clues you that this is not a casual read, but a treatise on the power of travel to inform in fairly obscure locals before they were opened to more frequent travel. I highly recommend this book for those who think they are globe travellers. You will be richer for the read.

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    Far and Away: Reporting from the Brink of Change review []  2020-1-18 20:46

    Perfect stories from diverse and often uncomfortable first hand experience. Less politically projective than I would have thought based with author's interview with Fareed Zakaria on CNN's GPS program recently|. Still a nice piece.

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    Far and Away: Reporting from the Brink of Change review []  2020-1-18 20:46

    Amazing read! Can be read sequencialy or chapter by chapter. I also bought it for my 13 year old grandson who's about to embark on his first true trip. I hope it will inspire him to be a amazing traveler and a amazing observer.

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    Far and Away: Reporting from the Brink of Change review []  2020-1-18 20:46

    The author's writing style was too turgid for me. Too hard slog.

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    Far and Away: Reporting from the Brink of Change review []  2020-1-18 20:46

    Attractive writing, but often too much for a casual reader.

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    Heaven is High and the Emperor Far Away, a Play review []  2020-1-17 22:29

    This was a fascinating play. The introduction will be invaluable for those, like me, who are less familiar with Chinese culture. Even so, I found myself referring back to it to follow along with the subtleties of the characters status' and interactions.I'm not sure if it was a effect of the translation, but the dialogue was a bit abrupt. I'd have preferred to see some of the scenes develop slower, with characters exposing bits of the interaction through the scene, rather than explaining it in one line of dialogue and moving on to the next concept. I understand this is chop down from a longer play: I'd love to see a full translation, to see how much of that is inherent in the style of the original, and how much is a effect of cutting it down and simplifying it for a various cultural ere's not a defined "story" to be seen, and sometimes the lack of a decided dramatic arc created it difficult to carry things through, from one scene/period to the next. I actually liked the concept of that, though, since it allowed the focus to be on the characters' lives in a larger pattern, rather than on any one left me with a powerful desire to research more literature from this era, to obtain a fuller sense of the people and culture. It touched on a lot of complex cultural issues, and some of the characters were quite entertaining in their coping mechanisms.

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    Heaven is High and the Emperor Far Away, a Play review []  2020-1-17 22:29

    It took me a few pages to obtain into the feel of the book, but once I settled into this style I found it an enjoyable read. I'm sure there are guidelines for writing the play, but I'm not familiar with those and therefore won't review the writing e story line reminded me of an Croatian TV series that follows the small barber store before, through, between and shortly after the two globe wars. The barber's main line was "I won't tolerate politics in my shop." Yet, politics was all that was talked about. Same in the Teahouse, the owner place up signs about not discussing the politics, yet the developments in the country was the only thing on people's mind.I would love to see this onstage. Perhaps it'd be less confusing with the lines for actors the kind of voice they should say the lines.I understand that this is a translation into English, but perhaps some various words should have been chosen. For instance eunuch, the dictionary tells us it is "a man who has been castrated, esp (formerly) for some office such as a guard in a harem" Yet in this story eunuch, from what I gathered, was a man of wealth and influence who had as it was implied used a then young girl to show her as his kid bride. I found this a bit confusing, but contributed it to being lost in l in all, this was a amazing and entertaining read.

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    Heaven is High and the Emperor Far Away, a Play review []  2020-1-17 22:29

    This play is set in China, but written in English, in the early part of the 20th century. The author did a very amazing job conveying the time and place, and the conflicts event in China during this time. There is plenty of suffering and conflict, and the characters are likable. I found myself feeling much sympathy for them. Especially for Pockface Lu. I didn’t see an actual story line, rising action, climax or falling action. It was more just a look at this particular Teahouse in various e author did a amazing job with all of the scene directions, etc. I could see the actors playing the parts in my head, and see the interior of the tea shop.I appreciated the look into the conflicts and difficulties of battle following war, and the pain and suffering it caused. The author did a amazing job of showing that, and I think people who have fun a amazing history lesson would like this play. It would be interesting to see the play performed!

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    Heaven is High and the Emperor Far Away, a Play review []  2020-1-17 22:29

    Hock Tjoa has undertaken a large task in this short historical play, adapted from another, long play written some years ago by another Chinese playwright. Its background is Chinese society during two war-torn periods in the first half of the 20th century, a poor time for China. In his introduction to this two-act piece, Tjoa lays out why--civil war, social and political dislocation, traditional values vs the fresh order--and also what family structure was like as seen in honorific titles and the like. I felt I was in amazing hands, and especially appreciated his orderly and sympathetic approach. It was a pleasure to e play is, however, a bit static. All the action occurs on one set, a teahouse that has survived if not thrived since the Manchu dynasty, and which is slowly succumbing to age and war. Its owner, though a real entrepreneur, is beset by issues from dislocated relatives and mates to shakedown artists, i.e. police and soldiers. Each hero not only embodies a particular social issue but also tells the audience what that issue is, so there's quite a bit of explanation and small action beyond a couple of dramatic moments. This is why I say static. On the other hand, with amazing scene direction, people could express plenty, and also probably move around a lot onstage, resolving the challenge of so a lot of people telling their stories. The plot is more philosophical than dramatic, another challenge.But Mr. Tjoa has done a lovely job overall of conveying the uncertainty, fear and the method both amazing generosity and petty greed play out during two times of civil war.

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    Heaven is High and the Emperor Far Away, a Play review []  2020-1-17 22:29

    Writer Hock Tjoa states that his intention with this play is to create traditional Chinese culture more widely known and Heaven is High and the Emperor Far Away certainly achieved that for me. I am wiser about Chinese social and familial relationships, history, politics and culture than I was.I understand that this is a translation and adaptation of an original work. Certainly the dialogue, though reflecting all the forms of politeness and understatement one associates (perhaps stereo-typically) with the ever-courteous and retiring Chinese person, displayed none of the awkwardness which translations can sometimes carry. I found it accessible and iefly, this two act play compares the same Beijing Teahouse some twenty five years apart, revealing all that has changed, and all that has remained the same. Only two characters survive the turbulent history of the intervening times but the rest of the characters, though various in each act, prove the French proverb `the more things change, the more they stay the same.' Although the puppet-masters change, the puppets must still dance.I liked some of the scene direction which is intended to support the actors; some quite Stanislavskian `impulses' calling for subtle interpretation like `in a tone which suggests that he has found a method to create a better mouse trap,' and `with unconcern, but not bravado.'I found the preface very helpful. It explained modes of address as well as something of the history of the times. I presume that these notes would appear in the program of a theatrical production. However some of the explanations did sound more like value-judgements which the author should perhaps leave for others to ing a play straight from the page can never do it proper justice and one has to leave a huge allowance for the animation, emotional in-put and characterisation which the actors would bring to it. However the dramatic structure seemed to me to lack cohesion. The first act culminates in a shocking climax but the second act does nothing to resolve it or to trace its fall-out. That happening sinks like a stone into a pond, leaving no ripples. Although times are hard and there are threats at hand, there is no out-and-out conflict between characters, which I do think a play needs. There are undercurrents of tension but it would take a really talented cast to exploit these thoroughly enough to satisfy the audience's need for dramatic tension, eruption and resolution. The nearest here was the return of a woman to confront the man who had sold her to a eunuch some years before. More of this kind of confrontation would have created for better drama, but perhaps such is not the Chinese e first act is a fairly hard mountain for the reader/audience to climb given the quite huge cast, and what I presume would be their unfamiliarity with the topic matter. One would expect the second (final) act to be something of a free-wheel after this ascent, carrying the audience along in the dramatic surge made by the first, but in fact the non-continuity of a lot of of the characters, plus the time-lapse, create the second act another steep learning curve. The cast of characters is huge to the point of being unwieldy and I failed to see how some of them contributed to the drama other than as representatives of various sections of society or as mouthpieces to explain life outside the teahouse. I thought the playwright's suggestion that the same actor play the same role in its earlier and later manifestation might confuse the audience, too.Just because a topic is unfamiliar or a form various does not mean that we as readers should baulk at the challenge and I am grateful for the opportunity which Hock Tjoa gave me to read his work in return for an honest review.

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    Heaven is High and the Emperor Far Away, a Play review []  2020-1-17 22:29

    'Heaven Is High and the Emperor Far Away, a Play' by Hock G. Tjoa, was a most enjoyable and informative read of a most tragic period of Chinese history, of a time when China was recovering from the ravages committed by the Japanese troops during Globe Battle Two, only to plunge into the civil battle as the Communists rose to power. The play gives us a glimpse of daily life in this time, by letting us experience it through the goings on within a teahouse that had survived decades of power struggles and wars.I felt very sorry for the shopkeeper as he poured his life and years into the teahouse, only for the vultures of a corrupt government take advantage of him time after time. I lost count of how a lot of times he had to fork out bribes, to cops, agents, and others, just to hold in business or to hold them away from his customers.And all the while the shopkeeper is preparing to re-open the teahouse. As I read I began to wonder if he would even be able to re-open the teahouse before running out of money. There is a broad spectrum of characters, from a lot of walks of life, and watching them interact with each other is a treat.Disclaimer - I was provided a copy of the play by the author for an unbiased review.

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    Heaven is High and the Emperor Far Away, a Play review []  2020-1-17 22:29

    This is a short play about a shopkeeper, his tea house, and his family and mates as he struggles through political change, economic woes, and societal immoralities in a China not so long is was a very enjoyable and light read. Translating and adapting an original work is difficult, and delivering a play in an interesting and accessible format is quite a challenge, but I think the author did a fabulous job of balancing historical context, dialogue, and scene direction to help the reader in conjuring up an photo of the play in his or her e preface was extremely helpful, not only because it set up the political and social environments in which this play unfolds, but also because it allowed for some of the author's voice to come out. Favorite quote: "Heaven is high and the Emperor is far away was a familiar saying in the provinces of China...It reflects the sense that human ideals are quite remote from out mundane reality." The author has a knack for elegant yet not overly embellished writing, and this preface contrasted well with the simplicity of the play itself.Of course, because this is meant to be a play, and we as readers aren't able to see the actors' facial expression, catch their subtle motions, or hear the anguish or laughter in their voice, much of it is left to the readers' imagination. For those who are seeking descriptive hero development and a detailed plot, you may not have fun this as much. But for me - an avid reader who appreciates when books leave a lot of room for the readers' own imagination - this was a very enjoyable read.

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    Heaven is High and the Emperor Far Away, a Play review []  2020-1-17 22:29

    Hock Tjoa’s “Heaven is High and the Emperor Far Away” is a fictional play set in China in the historical period surrounding the second globe war. Tjoa conveys a amazing understanding of this time and place, as a vivid backdrop and well crafted characters. I was only vaguely familiar with the historical context before reading Tjoa’s play, but through his words I feel I have now lived a short time is a difficult and tumultuous time in China’s history. The stories follow a dozens of daily characters through the tribulations they face. The people in general are plagued with poverty and starvation and surrounded by chaos, corruption and immorality flowing first from the ravages of globe battle and then from the internal strife of civil war. From that perspective, it was a difficult experience, in huge part because of Tjoa’s ability to transport you into the character’s lives. For example, (without giving too much away) I honestly felt sorrow for one of the characters who was wrongly accused and executed for a crime he did not a play, this was a more visual experience for me than a lot of novels. I found myself wondering who might play different roles as I read. Perhaps this is because what prior knowledge I did have of this period came from different Chinese period films (Ip Man, in particular).I would recommend this play to anyone interested in historical fiction with only a few caveats. First, note that this is a play and not a novel and, as such, is a very various experience. Though I knew this going in, it’s been a lot of a lot of years since I’ve actually read a play, so for me it took a bit of a mental adjustment to obtain myself into the flow. Second, this is a difficult and somewhat disturbing time and put in history. Again, simply being prepared for the journey into a more harrowing time will let the reader to more fully embrace the experience. That being said, it is a journey worth taking.

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    Heaven is High and the Emperor Far Away, a Play review []  2020-1-17 22:29

    This play is an awesome look into China, a country that most schools gloss over in their textbooks, and a time period where most teachers talk about other things. It's a two act play that manages to convey in dialogue the happenings of two various days in the life of a shopkeeper, his family, and the people who come to his tea shop. It also allows you an idea of what was actually going on in China in the early twentieth century.Heaven is High and the Emperor Far Away is a play that should be shared more, either performed or read aloud. I recommend it for people who like plays, or like China, or just really wish to read something good.

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    The Emperor Far Away: Travels at the Edge of China review []  2020-1-17 22:44

    David Eimer's book "The Emperor Far Away: Travels at the Edge of China" discusses the problem of China's minorities in their different respective regions. Careful not to create any sweeping generalizations, Eimer traveled personally to each region to interview the respective members of the individual groups. Through a careful process of one-on-one interviews, shared travel experiences, and active listening; Eimer was able to obtain these people, typically reserved toward foreigners, to begin up with their real e book is in four major sections; the people in Northwestern China known as the Uighurs, the Tibetan struggle, the heavy conglomeration of identities in Southern China and the Golden Triangle, and finally the ethnic Koreans and Russians in the cold and bitter section one, Eimer describes the absolute uniqueness of this part of the world. The landscape, people, culture, and languages have existed in essentially the same forms for thousands of years, largely untouched by the outside world. The spread of Buddhism from India and Islam from Afghanistan into pre-dynastic China occurred in these remote and desolate deserts. This is a region of the globe that resisted the might of China's most strong dynasties (and even then the Yuan had to grant them a semi-independent state). Now, this region is undergoing rapid change as the might of modernization and sinicization combine. Some of these cities are already converted to majority Han population, and that spread is all but guaranteed to continue as the CCP suppresses traditional Uighur culture and section two, Eimer travels to Tibet. Here the book takes on a various tone. As Eimer discusses related problems to the Uighurs, one cannot support but feel that the Tibetans have already been beaten, a possible warning to other minorities. While their identity persists, they seem a broken people who are rapidly losing their will to continue the section three, Eimer goes to the deep South of China. Here the border is very porous and the minorities travel largely as they please. Their relationship with the CCP is an unusual one. They play the role of the "happy dancing minorities" for the government and numerous tourists, but still live their personal lives, largely unaffected by huge government. They could be described as wearing a mask when the huge brother is in town, but as soon as he turns his back, they allow loose. This had led them to preserve much of their identity and culture, albeit it ly in section four, Eimer travels to the remote and cold North of China along the border with N. Korea. His discussion of the 'third Korea' and China's fears are unparalleled and alone create the book a worthy read, especially for any student of international policy in the region. His justifications for China's help of N. Korea are special and shine fresh light on an unconsidered reason for China's is worth noting that Eimer only intended to obtain the often censored minority viewpoint show in this book. He makes no effort to challenge their challenges to the central government, and one is left mad at the 'bully' CCP. While these may be justified feelings, one should always strive to see the other side, and while this book presents the complexity of minority problems wonderfully, it does small to defend the CCP's actions. Therefore, I believe one should strive to understand the CCP's motivations after reading this book.5/5 - read immediately

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    The Emperor Far Away: Travels at the Edge of China review []  2020-1-17 22:44

    This is an acc of the "official" minority nationalities of China, a lot of of whom live in far-flung regions such as Tibet and the former Manchuria. The author visits those he can and speaks to those he can, but the results are often disappointing. I am not sure this is the author's fault given political realities. It does not paint the dominant Han Chinese in a very amazing light (surprise). On the plus side the author writes well and realistically. Three stars for its sameness; with a small editing it would earn four.

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    The Emperor Far Away: Travels at the Edge of China review []  2020-1-17 22:44

    This is a book that teaches and entertains, stimulates thought and reverberates in the mind.Unlike any other book that I’ve encountered about China, it focuses on the ‘uncooked’ groups living on the ‘edges’ of the Han empire. The Uighur, Tibetans, Koreans, Mongolians and the different Yunnan tribes including the wild Wa- who have created their own country in the Shan States of Burma (Myanmar) based on drug exports.A possibility encounter with the author inspired me to read the book- and it was well worth it. As Kurt Vonnegut wrote in Cat’s Cradle, “Peculiar travel suggestions are dancing lessons from God.”

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    The Emperor Far Away: Travels at the Edge of China review []  2020-1-17 22:44

    Very amazing read. This book accurately describes the ongoing drive by the PRC to marginalize minority populations, and to suppress dissent. The Emperor Far Away is well supported by latest works by several other authors, both in news media and in published books.

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    The Emperor Far Away: Travels at the Edge of China review []  2020-1-17 22:44

    This book focuses on the minority populations of China that are not Han Chinese. The Uighurs in western China, the vast zone of Tibet. the Korean Chinese that live in the northeast across from North Korea and the region in southern China are explored.

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    The Emperor Far Away: Travels at the Edge of China review []  2020-1-17 22:44

    I have a feeling I'm typical of Americans in our view of China. We see it as a huge homogeneous country ruled by the Communist party that controls everything. As usual, a closer look reveals things aren't quite as settled or homogeneous as we this amazing (sort of) travel book, the author does a amazing job of describing each region or province and the natives therein, and then describes happenings that are causing om the far west near the Kazakh border to the far south to the far north; each region is unique. Each adventure is ter reading this book, one has to wonder for how long the central government will be able to maintain control. Will it be for just a few more decades or will it be for hundreds of years? Will the Han wipe out (or assimilate fully) the Uighers and the Tibetans and others, or will there be an accommodation?This book is an eye-opener and enjoyable too.God bless the emperor and...

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    The Emperor Far Away: Travels at the Edge of China review []  2020-1-17 22:44

    As someone who's spent twelve years living in China, this is definitely one of the most interesting and entertaining books on the topic that I've read over the past few years.Eimer's book does an perfect job of introducing a number of the Chinese minorities - including the Uighurs, Kazakhs and Kyrgyz of Xinjiang, Tibetans, and the lesser known Dai and Wa of Yunnan and Korean, Daur and Oroqen of the north-east - to the reader, taking you on his journey to some of the most fascinating regions of a rapidly changing country.I personally found the Xinjiang section to be the most compelling part of this book, possibly as its the one region outlined which I haven't yet travelled to. Moreover, with the negative press versus the Uighurs and Xinjiang in latest years, it as refreshing to read a balanced acc of the Uighurs, interspersed with the author's private interactions. I do love reading these human elements; its always amazing to see people portrayed as individuals, and not necessarily as representatives of their race or ethnic group.Looking at the Tibetan chapters, again, reading Eimer's private experiences was interesting as he provided an honest acc of his impressions and experiences of the Tibetans he encountered during his travels. I did feel, however, that this section could be further improved by a bit more depth and reflection on the situation of the Tibetans between the different regions (Sichuan, Qinghai, Tibet Autonomous Region etc) through a larger range of Tibetan contacts, as only two (one in Litang, Sichuan, and one in the TAR) would described here in e adventures with the minorities of Yunnan was another highlight for me. While Yunnan - and a lot of of the minorities in this region such as the Bai and Naxi - entice both domestic and foreign tourists, the regions which Eimer travels to are largely unknown to the western world. As a female, I felt envious of Eimer's ability to travel alone to such locations with e only little criticisms I have of this book are that it could be improved by extra interactions with a range of people from the minorities represented, but then again, this may have added a lot of more months / years to Eimer's travels! All in all, a amazing read.

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    The Emperor Far Away: Travels at the Edge of China review []  2020-1-17 22:44

    Amazing book overall

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    The Emperor Far Away: Travels at the Edge of China review []  2020-1-17 22:44

    Informative, educational, and, yes, also entertaining. I learned a lot about the political, cultural, social, economic, and ethnic life along China's frontiers. The writing is brisk and engaging, amazing "travel" writing as well as insightful. Some of it is a bit depressing, as it can't support but focus on the authoritarian Chinese oppression of ethnic minorities in the frontiers. But the book avoids overt politicization. This isn't anyone's doctrinal screed, but, instead, a window onto a globe that is unfamiliar to a lot of of us. When we can't go there ourselves, we put ourselves in the hands of a amazing writer, and David Elmer ably carries us to this faraway land.

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    The Emperor Far Away: Travels at the Edge of China review []  2020-1-17 22:44

    A fascinating acc of the author's very extendedtrip through the south, west and northern edges ofChina. This is where a lot of other ethnic groups, likethe people of Tibet, live who are not Chinese, butwho have been forced into belonging to the Chinesenation. The dozens of their lives and customs arevery interesting, as are their determinations to remainthemselves and not have their locations diluted by theChinese ethnic Han ch a mélange of people living in some of the mostdifficult locations of the world. A very worthwhilearmchair cultural encounter.

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    Far and Away: How Travel Can Change the World review []  2020-1-25 17:37

    As usual, Andrew Solomon is fascinating! Book arrived promptly and I'm loving it.

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    Far and Away: How Travel Can Change the World review []  2020-1-25 17:37

    disappointing to me. It was well hyped!

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    The Far Away Brothers: Two Young Migrants and the Making of an American Life review []  2020-1-19 23:17

    This offers perfect and accurate insight into why people immigrate from Central America, what it takes to create it to the US, and what life is like once here. By using the real story of twin brothers, the author conveys the human realities of undocumented immigration. At the same time, she portrays the twins very honestly, not as saints but as young people who are stronger than most in a lot of ways, but with flaws and immaturities that are common in most young people. They may take various expressions than they would in American born youth because of various and very difficult circumstances. But as I read this book, I became less judgmental about their behaviors and choices. These were children taking on more than I have ever had to take on.I used the word thorough in my title. The author uses data and facts very well to portray who immigrants are and to explain immigration laws, agencies, and processes. I am somewhat knowledgeable about those topics, and I was impressed. I am going to recommend the book to mates who wish to learn more about the technical as well as the human aspects of immigration. She was fair and balanced in her treatment of this e book is well written. It’s is a amazing story that could create a amazing film or series. A amazing read that is a learning experience as well.

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    The Far Away Brothers: Two Young Migrants and the Making of an American Life review []  2020-1-19 23:17

    Markham's book seamlessly weaves together the story of one family while telling a much broader story about illegal immigration from Central America. I found myself immersed in the characters and story and had to remind myself multiple times that I was reading non-fiction. While heart-wrenching, it's also enjoyable and educational. Highly recommend!

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    The Far Away Brothers: Two Young Migrants and the Making of an American Life review []  2020-1-19 23:17

    For those of us who live in comfortable surroundings in well-ordered towns such as Berkeley, the day-to-day realities of life as experienced by undocumented migrants may be impossible to understand. Most of what we know comes from news reports and occasional exposés about the efforts of the Trump Administration to expel what Right-Wing politicians have insisted we call "illegal immigrants." In The Far Away Brothers, Berkeley journalist Lauren Markham brings the lived experience of two young Salvadoran migrants and their family under a spotlight. The picture she paints is nuanced and moving as well as entical twins Ernesto and Raúl Flores were seventeen years of age when, separately, they crossed the Rio Grande into Texas with the support of coyotes. Though in so a lot of ways their experience is unique, they also stand in for the tens of thousands of young Central Americans who flooded across our southern borders earlier in this decade—and for a lot of of the millions of Salvadorans, Hondurans, and Guatemalans who now reside in the United States. Nearly all latest refugees from Central America were driven north by the gang violence and official corruption that are now endemic in the region. However, as Markham makes clear, economic motives also loomed large. Abject poverty conjures up visions of prosperity in "El Norte" among a lot of Central Americans, as it does in a lot of other people around the I read about the often horrific circumstances that confronted the Flores brothers over the three-year span described in the book, I couldn't support but think about the sharply contrasting experience of my father's parents, who emigrated from Russia early in the 20th century. Their lives in the shtetl where they had lived, plagued by repeated pogroms, were at least as difficult as those of the Flores twins in El Salvador. Also, it was no simple feat for them to create their method through the vastness of the European continent and then across the Atlantic in steerage. But the welcome they received at Ellis Island, though decidedly chilly, was in no method comparable to the repeated violence and official hostility that met the Flores brothers both on their method and after their the author makes clear, the heavy migration of young Central Americans to the United States is, in a huge sense, the consequence of US policy in the region throughout the 20th century, but especially in the 1980s. In El Salvador, Nicaragua, Honduras, and Guatemala alike, our government actively supported local efforts to stamp out local insurgents in the name of anti-Communism—murdering tens of thousands of peasants in the process. Huge numbers of young men fled to the US to escape that violence. A lot of succumbed to the lure of crime and were imprisoned in California. There, in prison and on the roads of Los Angeles, the most violent gangs that victimize Central America today were formed (Mara Salvatrucha, or MS13, and Barrio 18). Today, these gangs are enormous, multinational criminal enterprises. They're responsible for an outsized body count in our cities and a major share of drug trafficking in the US today. In a true sense, then, we're paying the price of our government's intervention in Central America in the latest century. And so are tens of thousands of migrants from the e Far Away Brothers is Lauren Markham's first book, but the Berkeley author and journalist has been writing fiction, essays, and journalism for several years. The book is based in part on her work at Oakland International High School since 2011, where the Flores brothers attended classes on and off, and more generally on her "thirteen years of experience working with, interviewing, and reporting alongside thousands of refugees and migrants like the Flores twins."After reading The Far Away Brothers it's difficult to see how today's "illegal immigrants" are in any substantive method various from the Irish, Chinese, Italians, and Jews who created their method into the US in the nineteenth and early twentieth century.

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    The Far Away Brothers: Two Young Migrants and the Making of an American Life review []  2020-1-19 23:17

    This is an necessary book written with passion and intelligence about the true life experience of a family trying to escape violence and poverty in El Salvador and move through even more violence and terror in route to the USA. It truly is a must read. Markham has a true bonus for writing a riveting story woven with her researched facts of immigration from El Salvador to the USA. Her work challenges our assumptions and helps us understand what is really event on our borders and who is gaining what. It is not an simple book to read but it is written with the heart and soul of what lies behind our current news broadcasts - on either side of the debate. Read it. Discuss it. Call her!

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    The Far Away Brothers: Two Young Migrants and the Making of an American Life review []  2020-1-19 23:17

    Riveting story that portrays one family being torn apart by violence and our inhumane U.S. immigration policies. It's also a beautifully told coming of age story for these brothers who have normal adolescent struggles on top of being unaccompanied minors. High recommended!

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    The Far Away Brothers: Two Young Migrants and the Making of an American Life review []  2020-1-19 23:17

    Markham describes the impact of El Salvador’s poverty and gang violence on the Flores family, in particular the Flores twin brothers, and the socioeconomic and legal factors shaping the lives of immigrants, particularly undocumented ones, in the U.S. For anyone interested in increasing their knowledge and understand on current migration patterns without the dehumanizations on those involved.

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    The Far Away Brothers: Two Young Migrants and the Making of an American Life review []  2020-1-19 23:17

    I can't recommend this book highly enough. Markham takes us into the lives of these brothers who struggle so hard to obtain to a safe place, along with the sacrifices created by their family to help them. It's especially relevant in the light of Trump's executive order to rescind the Temporary Visa Permits for 200,000 El Salvadorans living here since 2001. The book puts faces on the people behind the headlines; it's both emotionally gripping and very informative.

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    The Far Away Brothers: Two Young Migrants and the Making of an American Life review []  2020-1-19 23:17

    This was a amazing book.. Especially for our book group here in immigration rich California.. Amazingly for non fiction, (it had me in the edge of my seat hoping all would turn out well. She did not gloss over the difficulties with protagonist S either.. Very human assessment.. Does it turn out OK? Does it?

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    The Far Away Brothers: Two Young Migrants and the Making of an American Life review []  2020-1-19 23:17

    This book was neither a story about 2 brothers migrating to the US, nor an article about the migration of refugees. It was a combination of both which created it chopped up and sometimes hard to follow. The author tried to do too much and that interrupted the flow of the story. Too bad.

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    The Far Away Brothers: Two Young Migrants and the Making of an American Life review []  2020-1-19 23:17

    --that's how I would describe this book. Goes in depth of what is event at Central America and the story of twin brothers who wants what everyone else would want--a satisfied life. Very well written and vast amount of research to understand what is going on in today's immigration status.

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    The Far Away Brothers (Adapted for Young Adults): Two Teenage Immigrants Making a Life in America review []  2020-1-11 19:8

    The story is so close to the truth that’s going on now. It’s a hard feeling to know that we could send people back to that violence that they are running away from.

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    The Town review [Movie]  2017-10-13 21:47

    Amazing film with amazing cast. No fresh plot but well performed and entertaining.

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    On the Town review [Movie]  2017-10-13 21:51

    Unbelievable city gets a unbelievable movie. As would be tradition, the story at the core of On the City isn't anything to sing from the roof tops, but it plays out as one of MGM's most memorable slices of froth. Propelled by talented stars and singers, it's a musical of comedic delights. Adapted from the successful scene production, charges of being dated and that not all the songs are great, is correct. The dated thing is not always a viable debating tool, but certain stereotype and sexist elements here will ring a small hollow with some folk. Yet if you can just run with it and accept the era of movie making it comes from, then this is mostly a joyous and uplifting picture. So roll with the boys and girls, with the unbelievable dances and the unbelievable singing, for Fresh York Fresh York, A Unbelievable Town. 8/10

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    We Town review [App]  2019-3-1 13:45

    after todays modernize fame has crashed nothing android game opens but no houses or running people please fix

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    We Town review [App]  2019-3-1 13:45

    Videos not working at all today, beautiful much impossible to obtain anywhere without the ads

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    We Town review [App]  2019-3-1 13:45

    Best

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    We Town review [App]  2019-3-1 13:45

    amazing

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    We Town review [App]  2019-3-1 13:45

    Complete and utter garbage. the android game is glitchy, tedious, and the leveling system forces you to pay true globe cash to progress. dont bother trying this android game for credits either, they created progression purposely difficult so that you dont complete objectives.

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    The Bride of Valentine Town (Brides of Valentine Town) review []  2020-1-22 21:33

    It's sad that this is number 1 for teens. Gives a poor impression of love to those so young. Desperate women who will fall over themselves for a man's attention is not romantic. Tag was a stupid idiot. Jessica's desperation for Tag was pathetic and quite sad. Lucy was just as stupid as Mark. It would be funny if George and Jessica got together and dumped both Lucy and Tag respectively. Now THAT would've been a amazing storyline.I agree with the hero that told Jessica to snap out of it and stop fawning over a man that didn't wish her. It's the man's job to court the woman not the woman's job to do all the courting...especially to a man who doesn't want to be en all of a sudden he loves her? How could he love her? He mistreated her and then disappeared and wasn't around her. Then all of a sudden he loves her? He didn't wish her because he behaved like a spoiled child. He and Lucy both played with each other and they damage George and Jessica in the end. If I was Jessica I would've not bothered with Mark. How Jessica could be in love with him in such a short time is ridiculous. Especially considering Tag didn't wish her. Jessica should've stepped on his foot and slapped his face then told him to grow up and act like a man. Then maybe if he courted her for 6 months and behaved like a mature adult she'd consider marriage. She was just too pathetic throwing herself at is story screams desperation and a pathetic woman who will accept scraps from a man because she will take whatever she can obtain from a man. I realize in the 19th century women required a husband unlike today. But still the woman doesn't need to act like scraps is alright with her.

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    The Bride of Valentine Town (Brides of Valentine Town) review []  2020-1-22 21:33

    A amazing story about brides finding husbands in the west and being satisfied with each other and city and friends

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    The Bride of Valentine Town (Brides of Valentine Town) review []  2020-1-22 21:33

    I have fun these short small love stories, the Mail Order Brides, are a joy for a eighty year old man, who loves to wile away my time, on a cold winter night. The author is a unbelievable story teller!

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    A Step Too Far: Too Far Series, Book 2 review []  2020-1-22 22:16

    I’ve been looking forward to this book. I required to see what was going on with Mikhail and Dmitry, to see if the poor guys got what was coming to them and if the amazing guys triumph in the e plot for A Step Too Far is exciting and suspenseful with a amazing pace and secondary characters that are supportive of the storyline. The author drew me into the hearts and minds of Mikhail/Ryan and Jake, making me love them even when they didn’t think they were very lovable. I could feel the pain, disillusionment, and anger they experience as they are created to play Dmitry’s games, but I could also feel the desire and budding love they cling to even as their globe is upended and then demolished by Dmitry.Even though they are not overly graphic, some of the scenes are quite hard to take. I cringe as I remember what these two men, especially Jake, are created to do to survive in their fresh reality. I don’t know if I love or hate the author for doing this to these characters. It makes for compelling reading, but it also damage my heart and destroyed some of my ere is a nice flow to the work that makes the transitions these two guys experience believable, heartwarming, and heartbreaking. There is so much pain caused by one strong person that it is hard to wrap my mind around.I am glad that Valentin and Max from A Dance Too Far create an appearance. Their involvement provides a catharsis of sorts for them e HEA is attractive and satisfying. There is no neat bow attached, but there is hope for the future. I am glad that these characters obtain another possibility to be everything to each other.I look forward to more from this author.

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    A Step Too Far: Too Far Series, Book 2 review []  2020-1-22 22:16

    This was another amazing book to follow up A Dance Too Far. I enjoyed the darker tone of A Step Too Far, I love some sting in my reading and I got that.Dual POV that gives you amazing insight into the MCs and moves the plot along at a amazing paceSexyPulls at the heartstrings and makes sure your emotion is angagedTwo engaging MCsOne horrid antagonistValentin deserves a medalFabulous reading with hurt/comfort, some nail-biting happenings, and a amazing ending.

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    A Step Too Far: Too Far Series, Book 2 review []  2020-1-22 22:16

    This is the second book in the Too Far series, and it can be read as a standalone. The tale touches a small on the previous characters from the series, and Mikhail's involvement in it, but the former leads are absent until the end and there's enough of an explanation that you could place the pieces - of which there aren't a lot of - together. This tale is very lite on common sense, massive on TSTL from both leads, and utterly absent of Bratva and all things Bratva. Oh, and brains. This book talked the talk but didn't deliver and I can't understand the high r a tale written by an English schoolteacher, I was shocked at the poor grammar, at the repeated not good sentence structure that had me pausing to create sense of the author's intended meaning; at antonyms used where the author meant the complete opposite (because of her not good sentence structure; in particular, her use of 'uninhibited' comes to mind); at the typos and seemingly no knowledge of how to use apostrophes; and at commas that appeared repeatedly in the wrong places. She also wrote in a mix of UK English and US English for no discernible reason. Did she not have SPAG lessons in her time? And, why use various spellings in this book for certain repeated Russian words that were spelt differently in book 1? This book needs a proofer and an editor, and I am glad it was a KU offering, as I wouldn't have paid for comparison to book 1 that did have a bit of a tale, although it was also BWB? (here, I refer to Bratva) this doesn't have much. It does have Jake who's very close to TSTL when he signs his contract with the D-guy (can't recall the spelling of his name, but he doesn't merit the moniker of baddie, as he's not a baddie on-page. There are no evil deeds, no offing of persons, no true threats, no leering, merely faux promises that anyone with half a brain could see through). As for the Mikhail/Ryan lead? If a member of the Met* really were that reckless and stupid and led by his small head, then he'd deserve to be sacked, not allowed to resign. Seriously, he (more than once) compromised an op that had been two years in the making/planning, endangered himself, Jake and Igor, and possibly his own family as well as Igor's??!! I mean, had there actually been a Bratva connection, hits could have been taken out on the entire Met* team. Thank goodness for all of them that there was no Bratva at all in the tale.And, the intro of Mikhail as Mikhail/Ryan? The author's use of first person narrative from M/R, referring to himself as 'I', M *and* R in the one same paragraph, was utterly confusing and disrupting, and though I can see it was to introduce the concept of M=R, it was poorly done and muddied things. And, the problem with the cameras and speaking/not, passing notes/not? Didn't you just know that the latter would be found, because TSTL Jake wouldn't have thought to burn them or flush them or dispose of them securely enough that D-guy wouldn't easily search them? Jake was meant to be terrified by Bratva (though he knew nothing about them, until M/R gave a brief explanation) so would he really leave evidence lying around? Really, author?I'm beautiful sure that the author did no research for these books. There is no evidence whatsoever of Bratva involvement, because to use the word (as in book 1) without anything to substantiate it suggests laziness, i.e., not going there, and a lack of respect for her craft and her readers. And, the Met *would not* be investigating organised crime and people trafficking, etc., as that's not in their remit. Since 2013 that's come under the National Crime Agency (was SOCA's remit before, I think), which operates independently of the police forces in the UK - again, no research... And, there's no 'British' accent - there are English accents (and the different regional dialects), Welsh accents, Scottish accents (and the different regional dialects) and Northern Irish accents, which someone living on these shores should e tale fell apart when D-guy flew Jake out to Russia from Heathrow. At this time, I can't recall mention, but it must have been a personal jet out of Heathrow, because there's no method it could have been a commercial one without Jake being drugged into compliance before the flight. And, there was ample opportunity for Jake to draw the authorities' attention whilst in the airport, but no, he had BWB? i.e., Brain, What Brain? And, getting him back to the UK via the US, without an entry visa from Russia and without a passport? Nope, that would never, ever work in a million years and I couldn't allow that pass. There was no mention of how Ryan and the previous tale's leads got into Russia, as they couldn't afford a charter/private flight, so how did they obtain there and back? That was asking for too much suspension of disbelief on top of everything else.And, the ending? Not worth going there, but it was rushed and unrealistic for someone who was in an utter fugue when rescued to be OK enough for reunion sex 3/4 days later, and to not need counselling. And yes, it got trope-y with bottom-Jake suddenly needing to top to prove he wasn't damaged by his six months of captivity and sexual servitude...Yes, I obtain that it would have been hard for Jake to allow all out to a counsellor, but it could have been done without revealing a certain character's death and Jake's involvement of sorts in it. Ryan, as a former, if implausible and ineffective, cop, should have known about this and being the older, wiser(?)/with-training guy, should have been aware of post-trauma disorders and the need for counselling or 'debriefing'/comedown, but if the latter happened, it was, like most things in this tale, is tale could have been decent, but the author slacked, I'm afraid. It's a read-and-delete and I'll think twice about reading more from her.

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    A Step Too Far: Too Far Series, Book 2 review []  2020-1-22 22:16

    SpoilersI've been looking forward to finding out all about the mysterious Mikhail since the first book.I loved Jake. Jake BEFORE Dmitry, that is. Mikhail I did not like until after Dmitry. I obtain that he was undercover and couldn't risk his mission by telling Jake anything, but how is having sex with him a better decision? Ryan created a lot of sloppy mistakes after coming clean to Jake which leads to Dmitry finding out he's undercover. He just seemed like a really poor undercover cop.I also can't imagine someone like Dmitry not finding Ryan and George after the "showdown" to slay them. Dmitry mentioned Ryan being killed to Jake {why Jake would believe him after he had manipulated him by lying multiple times in beyond me} but he is paranoid by nature. Wouldn't he confirm? He was going to slay Max in the latest book, I don't see him not doing the same to Ryan & d seeing Valetin and Max again. I enjoyed seeing the confrontation of Valentin and Dmitry.(I wish to say that although this book didn't do as much for me as I anticipated, that doesn't mean it was a poor book. I am very picky when it comes to realism in books. Overly so. To a fault. So yeah, maybe don't listen to me 🤔)

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