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THE BATTLE OF ARGINUSAE :
VICTORY AT SEA AND ITS TRAGIC AFTERMATH IN THE FINAL YEARS OF THE PELOPONNESIAN WAR
By Debra Hamel


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KILLING ERATOSTHENES:
A TRUE CRIME STORY
FROM ANCIENT ATHENS
By Debra Hamel


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READING HERODOTUS:
A GUIDED TOUR THROUGH THE WILD BOARS, DANCING SUITORS, AND CRAZY TYRANTS OF THE HISTORY
By Debra Hamel


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THE MUTILATION OF THE HERMS:
UNPACKING AN ANCIENT MYSTERY
By Debra Hamel


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TRYING NEAIRA:
THE TRUE STORY OF A COURTESAN'S SCANDALOUS LIFE IN ANCIENT GREECE
By Debra Hamel


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PRISONERS OF THE PELOPONNESIAN WAR
By Debra Hamel


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SOCRATES AT WAR:
THE MILITARY HEROICS OF AN ICONIC INTELLECTUAL
By Debra Hamel


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ANCIENT GREEKS IN DRAG:
THE LIBERATION OF THEBES AND OTHER ACTS OF HEROIC TRANSVESTISM
By Debra Hamel


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IT WAS A DARK AND STORMY TWEET:
FIVE HUNDRED 1ST LINES IN 140 CHARACTERS OR LESS
By Debra Hamel


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I've decided to stop accepting review copies. The downside of getting buried in free books is that reading increasingly becomes an obligatory act. After some seven years of blogging books, it's time for me to return to the simple pleasure of reading only the books I want to read, when I want to read them.



  
From a random review:

  

« Marcus, James: Amazonia | Main | Ambrose, David: Superstition »

Spencer, Scott: Men in Black

  

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Knopf © 1995, 321 pages [amazon]
3 stars

Sam Holland, one-time serious author of two well-received novels, can barely pay his bills until a book he tossed off and published pseudonymously starts flying off the shelves. His Visitors from Above is a hit among conspiracy theorists, all UFOs and alien abductions  and the enigmatic disinformation specialists of Scott Spencer's title--those fellows who, "sallow of complexion" and inappropriately dressed, can convince alien spotters, Tommy Lee Jones-like, that they haven't seen anything whatever out of the ordinary. But financial success and the celebrity of a national book tour are difficult to swallow when they spring from a product Sam can neither feel proud of nor claim as his own. They are, moreover, empty rewards against the backdrop of Sam's crumbling personal life, his failing marriage, his teenaged son's recent disappearance.

His Visitors from Above is a hit among conspiracy theorists, all UFOs and alien abductions  and the enigmatic disinformation specialists of Scott Spencer's title--those fellows who, "sallow of complexion" and inappropriately dressed, can convince alien spotters, Tommy Lee Jones-like, that they haven't seen anything whatever out of the ordinary.Scott Spencer's Men in Black offers readers a complex story about one man's belated recognition of his life's value. Unfortunately, Spencer's late bloomer was not a man I could empathize with. Sam and his wife and son, the characters through whose eyes the story is told, are unlikable creatures who are dissatisfied with their circumstances--the perfectly good, indeed arguably enviable circumstances of their lives--and they make matters worse for themselves by behaving badly. In the end I did not care what the Hollands wound up doing with their lives--though I was certain alien abduction was not in the cards for them--figuring that they had merited whatever unpleasantness (divorce, incarceration) might lay in store after the last page. A good premise, then, but Men in Black fails, finally, because its characters cannot engage the reader's emotions.

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Book-blog.com reviews by Debra Hamel are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution - Noncommercial - No Derivative Works 3.0 License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0/).

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About the blogger: Debra is the mother of two preternaturally attractive girls and the author of a number of books about ancient Greece, including Trying Neaira: The True Story of a Courtesan's Scandalous Life in Ancient Greece. She writes and blogs from her subterranean lair in North Haven, CT. Read more.

  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  






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Book-blog.com by Debra Hamel is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution - Noncommercial - No Derivative Works 3.0 License.