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Reviews by Benjamin

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The first time I read The Penal Colony was 1998 or so; I spotted a well-used paperback copy in a pile of abandoned belongings at a college dormitory. I took it, began to read, and was instantly absorbed. I was blown away by the story, the characters, and through it all the language: sometimes sharp and precise, other times poetic, always compelling and memorable. I consider myself a fairly well-read person, in terms of classic literature as well as modern best-sellers, and without hesitation, I put The Penal Colony on my "Desert Island List" of ten books that I would take with me to my own exile on Sert.

Up until a few years ago, this book was hard to find: out of print (at least in the USA), and precious little information available on the internet. Now it's here, easy and inexpensive to download, and it's an absolute gem of a book. The ideas, situations and characters will stay with you for life.

Reviewed on 2008.11.24

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Author of the Day

Bonnie M Hennessy
In a time when 80% of American families don't buy or read books, Bonnie Hennessy works as an author and English teacher, inspiring young people to become more interested in books. While reading a bedtime story to her daughter one night, Hennessy was inspired to write the real story of Rumpelstiltskin. As our Author of the Day, Hennessy reveals why she decided to retell the famous fairytale, talks about her work as an English teacher and why she had to reshape the Duke's character three times.
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