Reviews by Rob Reader

An Inland Voyage

by Robert Louis Stevenson

This is Stevensons first book and a very worthwhile read. Stevenson and his friend Walter Simpson, known as Cigarette in the book take a leisurely canoe trip through Belgium and France in 1876. Obviously much of the pleasure is in their comment upon the sights and people they meet in their journey. Apparently the canoe was of a kind unknown on the continent as several people are curious about it whilst others find it suspicious. In one case an entire French village came out to see the odd craft. The pleasure in the book is in the slow pace, measured writing and use of language which give an almost dreamlike sense to parts of the book.

Not great literature but an interesting read. I recommend with 3 stars.

Reviewed on 2013.05.29

Hall of Mirrors

by Fredric Brown

Assuredly not great literature. No real character development, no actual dialogue whatsoever, nothing genuinely descriptive or insightful. Yet it is one of the few truly original short stories in this genre. A well done and interesting short story that is worth the few minutes required to read it.

I recommend with four stars.

Reviewed on 2013.05.22

An Outline of Occult Science

by Rudolph Steiner

I have never been able to make any sense out of Steiner or his social philosophy. His book on the occult is equally nonsensical. There is however a very significant part of Steiners work which I believe is a must read for anyone and everyone interested in nature, ecology and the functionality of society. I speak of his book and many lectures on bees. The common honeybee very properly fascinated the social reformer in Steiner. Considering what has happened to bee colonies throughout the world in the last decade his writings on bee society and the "protocol of love" which he imagines he finds in that society are truly fascinating. His work in this area is both interesting and informative and I highly recommend it to the reader.

Unfortunately the bee related works are not as yet available on ManyBooks however they may be found in many public and university libraries

Reviewed on 2013.05.18

Little Journeys to the Homes of the Great

by Elbert Hubbard

I can recommend Hubbards bios on Cromwell, Paine and Rousseau. Except for the aforementioned and his essays of John Knox and Wesley I must admit I was unable to finish the book.

I was drawn to the author when looking through the list of authors in the genre section of ManyBooks. This author had the same name as the co-founder of the Roycroft artist community which was responsible for much of the arts and crafts furniture constructed in the last part of the 19th century. I was much surprised to find they were one and the same person. His furniture and pottery were greatly superior to his writing.

Please do not take this as a negative comment concerning Hubbard. Very few of us do anything even remotely near the quality and originality of Roycroft.

Reviewed on 2013.05.09

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