Monday, February 18, 2008

Book Reviews, In Brief

The AP reviews High Crimes: The Fate of Everest in an Age of Greed by Michael Kodas, summing up the book's non-fiction tales of prostitution, narcotics, physical assault, extortion and theft of indispensable oxygen tanks with this twisted travel ad: 'Mount Everest — if the brutal winds and minus 30 degree Fahrenheit temperatures don't kill you, your fellow climbers will.'

The NYTimes gives the Oscar to Mark Harris' Pictures of a Revolution: Five Movies and the Birth of the New Hollywood, saying that the book "can take its place alongside top-shelf film industry books like Easy Riders, Raging Bulls, Final Cut, The Studio and The Devil’s Candy for qualities all of them share: the big-picture overview, the nuts-and-bolts understanding of exactly how films evolve from the drawing board to the screen, and gratifying antennae for all forms of Hollywood-related horror stories."

Want to piss off your Bible-thumping peers with well-constructed, fact-based arguments proving that their translations are no damned good? Then perhaps Truth in Translation: Accuracy and Bias in The Old Testament is not the book for you. According to Kirkus Reviews, author Frances Werner "sets out to show statistically how well 20 major English translations of the Bible match up to the ancient biblical languages," but falls short by of her goal by "oversimplifying the difficulties of translation" and using "one-sided statistics and occasionally incorrect syllogisms (that) make her argument only partially convincing."
So much for giving this one out as an Easter present.