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April 12, 2006
  Book Review: A local mysteryPDF files may take a moment to load

There's nothing quite like a good mystery novel. Deciphering clues and piecing together the puzzle alongside the detective is one of the more unique thrills in life, if only for the moment of realization when the clues fall into place and the culprit is apprehended. While a good book, local author Garry Ryan's The Lucky Elephant Restaurant is not quite a good mystery.

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April 06, 2006
  Book Review: Get yer head crushedPDF files may take a moment to load

Though the Berlin wall fell almost two decades ago, the effects of the Cold War are still felt in Eastern European countries who have yet to make serious strides towards matching their western counterparts' economies. Straight out of Eastern Europe, Headcrusher puts readers in the perspective of Vadim, a Latvian bank worker who, disgusted with the system he sees around him, snaps and goes on a killing spree.

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April 06, 2006
  Book Review: Never Let Me Go never lets readers goPDF files may take a moment to load

The book The Remains of the Day should ring a few bells for quasi-scholars. We know it's a classic of sorts as the title trips so easily on the tongue, but when pried for any further info on the book, there is a bit of hesitation. In other words, when asked, "Have you read The Remains of the Day?" many of us will respond, "No, but I've heard of it."

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January 26, 2006
  Book Review: The real urban/rural dividePDF files may take a moment to load

The typhoon-swept and isolated fishing villages of China's coast make a fine backdrop for a novel, especially when juxtaposed against the hectic and expansive props of a modern city. Using both settings, Xiaolu Guo's Village of Stone follows the past and present of Coral Jiang as she tries to find meaning in her current life at the bottom of a 25 story high-rise in Beijing by looking into her past growing up in the Village of Stone, a small village on the coast of China.

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January 19, 2006
  Book Review: Crude not too crude, dudePDF files may take a moment to load

Oil, black gold, Texas tea, no other substance has a larger impact on our lives, either in terms of quality of life or how much money it can make us. However, dwindling oil reserves have come to shape the foreign policies of oil-consuming nations like the United States, a phenomenon examined in detail in Toronto Star journalist Linda McQuaig's sixth book, It's the Crude, Dude.

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January 12, 2006
  Book Review: Garbage HeadPDF files may take a moment to load

Garbage Head is a post modern epic. The book chronicles the adventures of a character of the same name--though not his real name, of course--but the book doesn't waste any time on the point. Brevity is the name of the game in Christopher Willard's Garbage Head and the average paragraph length clocks in at one medium-sized sentence. Although the piercing prose and rapid subject shifts can be jarring at first, the experience quickly resolves into a rewarding, if intense one.

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December 01, 2005
  Book Review: The Making of a good biographyPDF files may take a moment to load

Nearly 20 years after her death, Margaret Laurence remains an essential figure in Canadian literature. The award-winning author is best known for her Manawaka fiction, including The Stone Angel (1964) and The Diviners (1974). Establishing Laurence as one of Canada's literary giants, these pieces received dramatic and cinematic treatment and are fixtures on high school and university English course reading lists.

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November 03, 2005
  Book Review: The Darling not quite darlingPDF files may take a moment to load

If Russell Banks intended to prove he is capable of versatility by writing The Darling, now available in paperback, he succeeded. Having traditionally set his works in New England and cast them with male protagonists, composing a novel narrated by an American woman focusing mainly on her years in Africa marks a departure for Banks. It is one he handles well though unfortunately The Darling suffers from other problems.

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October 13, 2005
  Book Interview: Will Ferguson gets drunk, writes bookPDF files may take a moment to load

The late Hunter S. Thomspon's illustrious Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas outlined a fanciful, narcotic-induced road trip. While a veritable cornucopia of drugs spurned Raoul Duke and Dr. Gonzo along their journey, Calgarian author Will Ferguson's epic journey across Japan was instead fueled by sake and a drive to follow the blossoming cherry trees from Southern to Northern Japan.

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