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Best Amazon book reviews!

Best Amazon book reviews!

Old Feb 15th 2011, 9:28 pm
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Talking Best Amazon book reviews!

Astonishing work really:

In the opening few pages of this, the 11th work in the Mr Man series, we are almost led to expect of Hargreaves a foray into dialectical materialism.

We meet Mr Uppity with his top hat and monocle - a clear and overt representation of the bourgeois industrialist. Other arriviste trappings such as his long limousine and imposing townhouse further give the game away.

In a thinly-veiled reference to the oppression of the workers by the ruling class, we are told that Mr Uppity is rude to everyone, and the detail that he has no friends in Bigtown explicitly informs us that the masses are on the brink of revolution. Are we about to bear witness to class war, Hargreaves-style? To see Mr Uppity brought to account by the revolutionary power of the proletariat? Vanquished and overthrown by the party of the workers?

Not so. Mr Uppity is no Marxian analysis, no Leninist prescription for class action. As always, Hargreaves' inherent and essential conservatism comes to bear. His critique of the bourgeoisie comes not from the proletariat but from the feudal aristocracy. It is the authority of a king that places limits upon Mr Uppity's excesses, as his usurpation and arbitrary exercise of power has violated 'the natural order of things'. Hence the protection the masses are dealt in response to this transgression is paternal, and they receive it as subjects not radical agents of change.

Being so staunch a traditionalist, Hargreaves of necessity is a reformer not a revolutionary. The King does not have Mr Uppity executed, imprisoned or even sent into exile. There is no state seizure and collectivization of his wealth, or in fact any redistribution at all. (Despite his pomp and grandeur, the King no longer has such powers - both the outward self-importance and ultimate weakness of his intervention appear little more than a face-saving exercise for his waning hereditary rule.)

Rather, in the end it is the mildest of all regulation that is imposed upon the capitalist class. The ownership of the means of production remains the same, with no fundamental change to the economic base - just some superstructural tinkering to rein-in any overly brutal treading on the small man. The ruling class can do pretty much as it did before, as long as it says 'please' and 'thank you'. The aristocracy is duly appeased.

Hence we arrive at the Britain Hargreaves lived in - a gently regulated capitalism coupled with sham aristocracy, maintained by our own collective nostalgia and a national lack of appetite for mass action.
More brilliant reviews here: http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/cdp/membe...stRecentReview
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Old Feb 16th 2011, 6:37 am
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Default Re: Best Amazon book reviews!

thanks for that!

I've always thought the Mr Men series a bit sinister... and have had to make several Little Miss books disappear due to their negative focus on character traits. Positive parenting, it ain't!
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Old Feb 16th 2011, 6:43 am
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Default Re: Best Amazon book reviews!

Originally Posted by Hello.Kitty View Post
thanks for that!

I've always thought the Mr Men series a bit sinister... and have had to make several Little Miss books disappear due to their negative focus on character traits. Positive parenting, it ain't!
Try Thomas the Tank Engine - got to be the most negative set of stories I have ever read.
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Old Feb 16th 2011, 7:01 am
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Default Re: Best Amazon book reviews!

Originally Posted by EmiratesMillhouse View Post
Try Thomas the Tank Engine - got to be the most negative set of stories I have ever read.
I've actually got a book of Victorian nursery rhymes that quite frankly border on emotional abuse!

Little Suck-a-Thumb
One day, Mamma said: "Conrad dear,
I must go out and leave you here.
But mind now, Conrad, what I say,
Don't suck your thumb while I'm away.
The great tall tailor always comes
To little boys that suck their thumbs,
And ere they dream what he's about.
He takes his great sharp scissors out
And cuts their thumbs clean off, -and then,
You know, they never grow again."
Mamma had scarcely turn'd her back
The thumb was in. Alack! Alack!
The door flew open, in he ran,
The great, long, red-legg'd scissor-man.
Oh! children, see! the tailor's come
And caught out little Suck-a-Thumb.
Snip! Snap! Snip! the scissors go;
And Conrad cries out-Oh! Oh! Oh!
Snip! Snap! Snip! They go so fast,
That both his thumbs are off at last.
Mamma comes home; there Conrad stands,
And looks quite sad, and shows his hands,-
"Ah!" said Mamma. "I knew he'd come
To naughty little Suck-a-Thumb."

or, one that I remember my dad reading me

Harriet and the Matches

It almost makes me cry to tell
What foolish Harriet befell.
Mamma and Nurse went out one day
And left her all alone at play;
Now, on the table close at hand,
A box of matches chanc'd to stand.
And kind Mamma and Nurse had told her,
That, if she touch'd them, they should scold her.
But Harriet would not take advice,
She lit a match, it was so nice!
And see! Oh! what a dreadful thing!
The fire has caught her apron-string;
Her apron burns, her arms, her hair;
She burns all over, everywhere.
...
So she was burnt, with all her clothes,
And arms, and hands, and eyes, and nose;
Till she had nothing more to lose
Except her little scarlet shoes;
And nothing else but these was found
Among her ashes on the ground.


gosh... there are more. It's worth a read in a kind of WTF?! way.
http://the-haunted-closet.blogspot.c...thumb-and.html
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Old Feb 16th 2011, 9:59 am
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Default Re: Best Amazon book reviews!

I was looking up a Brothers Grimm tale to remind myself of its contents (for small daughter) and came across the Juniper Tree.

Father remarries, new wife hates child (of course) kills him, cooks him up and serves him to father as dinner. Father thinks is delicious...and stopped reading here.

I will not be sharing that with my toddler.
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Old Feb 20th 2011, 4:24 am
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Default Re: Best Amazon book reviews!

Originally Posted by Pomster View Post
I was looking up a Brothers Grimm tale to remind myself of its contents (for small daughter) and came across the Juniper Tree.

Father remarries, new wife hates child (of course) kills him, cooks him up and serves him to father as dinner. Father thinks is delicious...and stopped reading here.

I will not be sharing that with my toddler.
Surprised Hollywood hasn't got its hand on it yet and made it into a movie...
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