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1. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood
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2. Harry Potter and the Order of
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3. Harry Potter and the Goblet of
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4. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's
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5. Harry Potter and the Chamber of
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6. Harry Potter and the Prisoner
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7. Black Rose (In the Garden)
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8. Shelters of Stone, The (Earth's
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9. Star Wars, Episode III - Revenge
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10. Out of the Silent Planet
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11. Congo
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12. A Feast for Crows (A Song of Ice
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13. Wicked : Life and Times of the
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14. Star Wars: Episode II, Attack
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15. The Dark Tower VII : The Dark
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16. A Game of Thrones
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17. Diamond Age
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18. Chronicles of Narnia Audio Collection
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20. The Fellowship of the Ring (The

1. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (Book 6)
by J.K. ROWLING, J. K. Rowling
list price: $75.00
our price: $52.50
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0307283658
Catlog: Book (2005-07-16)
Publisher: Listening Library (Audio)
Sales Rank: 48
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Potter News You Can Use

J.K. Rowling has revealed three chapter titles from Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince to be:

  • Chapter Two: "Spinners End"
  • Chapter Six: "Draco's Detour"
  • Chapter Fourteen: "Felix Felicis"
A Few Words from J.K. Rowling
"I am an extraordinarily lucky person, doing what I love best in the world. I’m sure that I will always be a writer. It was wonderful enough just to be published. The greatest reward is the enthusiasm of the readers." --J.K. Rowling.

Find out more about Harry's creator in our exclusive interview with J.K. Rowling.

Why We Love Harry
Favorite Moments from the Series
There are plenty of reasons to love Rowling's wildly popular series--no doubt you have several dozen of your own. Our list features favorite moments, characters, and artifacts from all five books. Keep in mind that this list is by no means exhaustive (what we love about Harry could fill five books!) and does not include any of the spectacular revelatory moments that would spoil the books for those (few) who have not read them. Enjoy.

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
  • Harry's first trip to the zoo with the Dursleys, when a boa constrictor winks at him.
  • When the Dursleys' house is suddenly besieged by letters for Harry from Hogwarts. Readers learn how much the Dursleys have been keeping from Harry. Rowling does a wonderful job in displaying the lengths to which Uncle Vernon will go to deny that magic exists.
  • Harry's first visit to Diagon Alley with Hagrid. Full of curiosities and rich with magic and marvel, Harry's first trip includes a trip to Gringotts and Ollivanders, where Harry gets his wand (holly and phoenix feather) and discovers yet another connection to He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named. This moment is the reader's first full introduction to Rowling's world of witchcraft and wizards.
  • Harry's experience with the Sorting Hat.

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
  • The de-gnoming of the Weasleys' garden. Harry discovers that even wizards have chores--gnomes must be grabbed (ignoring angry protests "Gerroff me! Gerroff me!"), swung about (to make them too dizzy to come back), and tossed out of the garden--this delightful scene highlights Rowling's clever and witty genius.
  • Harry's first experience with a Howler, sent to Ron by his mother.
  • The Dueling Club battle between Harry and Malfoy. Gilderoy Lockhart starts the Dueling Club to help students practice spells on each other, but he is not prepared for the intensity of the animosity between Harry and Draco. Since they are still young, their minibattle is innocent enough, including tickling and dancing charms.

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
  • Ron's attempt to use a telephone to call Harry at the Dursleys'.
  • Harry's first encounter with a Dementor on the train (and just about any other encounter with Dementors). Harry's brush with the Dementors is terrifying and prepares Potter fans for a darker, scarier book.
  • Harry, Ron, and Hermione's behavior in Professor Trelawney's Divination class. Some of the best moments in Rowling's books occur when she reminds us that the wizards-in-training at Hogwarts are, after all, just children. Clearly, even at a school of witchcraft and wizardry, classes can be boring and seem pointless to children.
  • The Boggart lesson in Professor Lupin's classroom.
  • Harry, Ron, and Hermione's knock-down confrontation with Snape.

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
  • Hermione's disgust at the reception for the veela (Bulgarian National Team Mascots) at the Quidditch World Cup. Rowling's fourth book addresses issues about growing up--the dynamic between the boys and girls at Hogwarts starts to change. Nowhere is this more plain than the hilarious scene in which magical cheerleaders nearly convince Harry and Ron to jump from the stands to impress them.
  • Viktor Krum's crush on Hermione--and Ron's objection to it.
  • Malfoy's "Potter Stinks" badge.
  • Hermione's creation of S.P.E.W., the intolerant bigotry of the Death Eaters, and the danger of the Triwizard Tournament. Add in the changing dynamics between girls and boys at Hogwarts, and suddenly Rowling's fourth book has a weight and seriousness not as present in early books in the series. Candy and tickle spells are left behind as the students tackle darker, more serious issues and take on larger responsibilities, including the knowledge of illegal curses.

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

  • Harry's outburst to his friends at No. 12 Grimmauld Place. A combination of frustration over being kept in the dark and fear that he will be expelled fuels much of Harry's anger, and it all comes out at once, directly aimed at Ron and Hermione. Rowling perfectly portrays Harry's frustration at being too old to shirk responsibility, but too young to be accepted as part of the fight that he knows is coming.
  • Harry's detention with Professor Umbridge. Rowling shows her darker side, leading readers to believe that Hogwarts is no longer a safe haven for young wizards. Dolores represents a bureaucratic tyrant capable of real evil, and Harry is forced to endure their private battle of wills alone.
  • Harry and Cho's painfully awkward interactions. Rowling clearly remembers what it was like to be a teenager.
  • Harry's Occlumency lessons with Snape.
  • Dumbledore's confession to Harry.

Begin at the Beginning
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix


If You Like J.K. Rowling, You'll Love These Authors…

  • Cornelia Funke
  • Eoin Colfer
  • Garth Nix

New Novels to Keep You Busy

Cry of the Icemark

The Dark Hills Divide

Singer of All Songs

The Game of Sunken Places

Children of the Lamp

Dragon Rider

Authors Younger Potter Fans Should Try…

  • Geronimo Stilton
  • Andy Griffiths
  • Dav Pilkey

While You Wait
Hot New Series for Potter Fans

Charlie Bone

Guardians of Ga'hoole

Keys to the Kingdom

Underland Chronicles

Dragons of Deltora

A Few Words from Mary GrandPré
"When I illustrate a cover or a book, I draw upon what the author tells me; that's how I see my responsibility as an illustrator. J.K. Rowling is very descriptive in her writing--she gives an illustrator a lot to work with. Each story is packed full of rich visual descriptions of the atmosphere, the mood, the setting, and all the different creatures and people. She makes it easy for me. The images just develop as I sketch and retrace until it feels right and matches her vision." Check out more Harry Potter art from illustrator Mary GrandPré.

Did You Know?
The Little White Horse was J.K. Rowling's favorite book as a child. Jane Austen is Rowling's favorite author. Roddy Doyle is Rowling's favorite living writer.
... Read more

2. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Book 5 Audio CD)
by J. K. Rowling, Mary GrandPré, Jim Dale
list price: $75.00
our price: $45.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0807220299
Catlog: Book (2003-06)
Publisher: Random House Audio Publishing Group
Sales Rank: 596
Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars
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As his fifth year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry approaches, 15-year-old Harry Potter is in full-blown adolescence, complete with regular outbursts of rage, a nearly debilitating crush, and the blooming of a powerful sense of rebellion. It's been yet another infuriating and boring summer with the despicable Dursleys, this time with minimal contact from our hero's non-Muggle friends from school. Harry is feeling especially edgy at the lack of news from the magic world, wondering when the freshly revived evil Lord Voldemort will strike. Returning to Hogwarts will be a relief... or will it?

The fifth book in J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter series follows the darkest year yet for our young wizard, who finds himself knocked down a peg or three after the events of last year. Somehow, over the summer, gossip (usually traced back to the magic world's newspaper, the Daily Prophet) has turned Harry's tragic and heroic encounter with Voldemort at the Triwizard Tournament into an excuse to ridicule and discount the teen. Even Professor Dumbledore, headmaster of the school, has come under scrutiny by the Ministry of Magic, which refuses to officially acknowledge the terrifying truth that Voldemort is back. Enter a particularly loathsome new character: the toadlike and simpering ("hem, hem") Dolores Umbridge, senior undersecretary to the Minister of Magic, who takes over the vacant position of Defense Against Dark Arts teacher--and in no time manages to become the High Inquisitor of Hogwarts, as well. Life isn't getting any easier for Harry Potter. With an overwhelming course load as the fifth years prepare for their Ordinary Wizarding Levels examinations (O.W.Ls), devastating changes in the Gryffindor Quidditch team lineup, vivid dreams about long hallways and closed doors, and increasing pain in his lightning-shaped scar, Harry's resilience is sorely tested.

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, more than any of the four previous novels in the series, is a coming-of-age story. Harry faces the thorny transition into adulthood, when adult heroes are revealed to be fallible, and matters that seemedblack-and-white suddenly come out in shades of gray. Gone is the wide-eyed innocent, the whiz kid of Sorcerer's Stone. Here we have an adolescent who's sometimes sullen, often confused (especially about girls), and always self-questioning. Confronting death again, as well as a startling prophecy, Harry ends his year at Hogwarts exhausted and pensive. Readers, on the other hand, will be energized as they enter yet again the long waiting period for the next title in the marvelous, magical series. (Ages 9 and older) --Emilie Coulter ... Read more

Reviews (5092)

5-0 out of 5 stars The Most Anticipated Book Lives up to Its Hype
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix is a marvelous edition to J.K. Rowling's library, and well worth the long, long wait and the number of pages. Although the book is the darkest novel yet in the Harry Potter saga, it reads like one of the earlier editions, happy and light with plenty of humor thrown in compensate for the overall dark tone of the novel. The plot is complex and involved, but never difficult as Rowling takes time and trouble to make certain everyone understands the mystery before moving to the next part.

Many characters in this book become more well-rounded, and their actions are better justified. Professor McGonagall becomes a much more likable character, and we get more insight into the reason behind Professor Snape's hatred of Harry. We also see Harry's love life blossom somewhat as he ages, and he goes through typical teenage strife with his friends, Ron and Hermione.

The ending is an exciting, heart-in-your-throat adventure that is sure to delight Harry Potter fans old and new. My only advice for reading this book: Don't make this your first Potter foray. Read the other books first. Rowling doesn't explain every detail from the first ones; she just assumes you've read them and doesn't bog you down with details you already remember (if you've read the first four).

Basically, this is a very exciting book that well lives up to the Harry Potter saga and is sure to delight the many legions of fans who have waiting with bated breath for the newest edition.

5-0 out of 5 stars Book Five: My Fondest Dreams Realized.
At the end of book 4, I like most others found myself wishing one thing: the fifth book. It was a far greater delay than i wanted, but it was worth it. This is the Best Book in the Series.

I shall endeavor to avoid spoilers of any kind. Do Yourself a Favor. Dont wait for it to be out on Paperback. Read it now. If you havent read 1-4, start now so you can read book 5

Harry is finally growing up and his questions are finally getting answered. HP5 really made me wonder what happened to JK Rowling to make her paint the Ministry of Magic as such dangerously and willingly ignorant fascists.

The disjointed often poorly paced book 4 was full of a lot of passages where i wanted to slap Harry around for being such a whiner. Not So Book 5. The conflict is shaping up beautifully. It feels like this is the "Empire Strikes Back" of the Harry Potter Book: grim and full of white-knuckle tension, and not the funniest or easiest episode, but its the finest crafted and most important episode.

I thought Maybe JKR wouldnt beable to keep up the passion, angst and beautiful craftmanship of the first few books since they were written when she wasnt rich and famous etc. I thought fame might pull the spark out of the books, but i was wrong. If anything she's honed her craft even more.
What always struck me about the Harry Potter boos was that there was a legitimate, tangible sense of horror underlying the bad events. Often in children's books the bad stuff is contrived to give the main character something to Do, not so Harry Potter. Book 5 makes it clearthat death is very real, and it affects everyone, and that evil is real and present, And OFTEN done in the name of good.
Book 5 ups the ante, making it even more important to read. It is not so much a 'children's book' and more a book about universal struggles that we in which all need to immerse ourselves.

5-0 out of 5 stars Can't wait for the movie...
I'm a huge fan of the horror genre and am a huge King fanatic, but I couldn't resist reading this book after seeing the Third film. I'm 17 and I found unbelievable that these books are aimed at 9-12 yr olds. The vocabulary is fantasic and Ms Rowling is quite an inticing writer.
I should have read the fourth book first, that's a little advice for the rest of ye, because now I know the general outcome of that book - so I think I'll wait for the fourth film rather than read it.
Anyway, being such a huge King fan, I can't help comparing different writers to him. He is - to me - the best writer in the world, just just at horror but at everything, and I found J.K Rowling right up his alley. She's brilliant, the book's brilliant, cant wait for the film!!! :-)

4-0 out of 5 stars Good, but dark
There's a good reason most of us cannot recall being 15 very well and the latest Harry Potter book will show you why: his heroic behavior is being marred by hormones that make him confused, angry, and irrational. The blue cover should give you an idea of the darkness of this 5th and darkest year of Harry's schooling at Hogwarts. I was so enraptured by reading book #4, Goblet of Fire, that I paid the $30 to get an advanced hardback copy of this book. I would advise against that; it's not worth it, but is worth reading. It's nearly as long, about 700 pages, but you'll find yourself wizzing through them. The author balances action with description and lets her imagination run wild with this fantasy world. The dark tone of this book and the surprising twists will have you anxiously reading to find a good place to stop, but the evil does not let up until the final pages. Phoenixes, like the human spirit, rise perpetually, and in this book we get some long overdue explanations, but at the cost of someone's life. In this book, Harry has a complete reversal of fortune and becomes the laughing stock of the school. New characters are introduced, there is some serious espionage in this book, and the book mainly centers on the war between the Ministry of Magic and Hogwarts. We learn much in this book and even get to see Harry's dad who is less the saint then Harry has been told. The book also seems to be a scathing social commentary, in typical English style, against the government and the media. In this episode, they suddenly become unthinkably evil, twisting facts, commiting gross injustices, physically hurting people, and manipulating public sentiment. In this novel, the good guys get put on trial for crime, and it is mindboggling.

Overall, a very imaginative book, different in tone from the rest, that both captures teenage angst and the disruption to daily life caused by the Dark Lord. If you love the series, buy it but don't rush to do so. It's not as good a read as the other books, and is very dark, almost depressing. It's all bad news until the last few pages, and the kids cause some terrible trouble this time.

I have always taken issue with these stories as "childrens literature" for their moral content and bad role models. These kids break rules, lie, sneak around, and singlehandedly confront the dark lord on a regular basis. Perhaps this is why China has banned the books. Well, I think that Rawling has simply put aside these moral issues to tell a good, compelling, imaginative story. Harry is not every man, he is a very special kid, a sort of christlike lowliest child. If the kids were constantly telling Dumbledore what was going on, the story would get dull. In this book, you get a good sense of how annoying it is to constantly have adults intercede. And of course the overall moral tale is that good always triumphs over evil. In the end, it is for parents, not books to teach values.

5-0 out of 5 stars worth the wait
Harry's back and so is the others, well harry is having a crudy summer and when he goes back to school things dont seem to lighten up because the new teacher has the personality like a poisend beehive with a rabid badger and throw in a couple of 50 seperate posions and you get Dolores umbridge. however there are som good stuff, like ron becoming keeper, a secret program, and Harry might have a shoot at Cho but Voldemort is still out there and Harry is having this dream about a door at the end of a hallway but he wakes up. you got to read the book. ... Read more

3. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Book 4 Audio CD)
list price: $69.95
our price: $44.07
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0807282596
Catlog: Book (2000-07)
Publisher: Bantam Books-Audio
Sales Rank: 970
Average Customer Review: 4.76 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Read by Jim Dale

Running time:20 hrs., 30 mins. 12cassettes

Harry Potter returns to Hogwarts for his fourth year of magical adventures in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.This year Harry turns 14 and becomes interested in girls -- one in particular.And with Dark Magic comes danger, as someone close to Harry dies.You'll have to listen to learn more!The audio is available on July 8th.
... Read more

Reviews (4706)

5-0 out of 5 stars Darkness Reborn.
HARRY POTTER AND THE GOBLET OF FIRE is the fourth installment of the Harry Potter series and (so far) is also the longest and most dark. I had enjoyed the previous three books immensely, but had heard so many conflicting reviews about GOBLET OF FIRE, that I didn't know what to expect. After finally finishing the novel, I found that it was a most intriguing read and has become my favorite in the series so far.

The book begins during the summer before the fall term starts at Hogwarts. Harry joins the Weasley family and Hermione for a trip to the World Quiddich Cup. The tournament is marked by strange events which foreshadow the dark horrors and adventures that lie waiting for Harry and friends back at school.

The book builds from the opening, sinister and puzzling chapter to it's conclusion (over 700 pages later) when a line in the sand is drawn and the forces of good unite to stand against the resurrected Lord Voldemort. Whereas the previous three novels seemed self-contained and concluded in themselves, GOBLET OF FIRE ends on a cliffhanger, merely hinting at the huge struggle facing the forces of good. I have a feeling things are only going to become more dark and depressing for Harry and the gang.

5-0 out of 5 stars Not just for kids!
Ages 9-12 shouldn't get to have all the fun! "The Goblet of Fire" is a terrific story for anyone who has ever wanted to fly or gazed longingly at a poster of a favorite athlete, wishing that athlete could come to life. JK Rowling makes it happen and if your imagination hasn't been too stifled and trodden down by the concerns of everyday life, then this book might be for you, no matter what your age. "The Goblet of Fire" is exciting, funny, frightening and impossible to put down. I kept telling myself "just one more chapter" until I had finished the final 450 pages in one fell swoop! The hype and hyperbole proved to be fully justified and Ms Rowling has shown herself to be a wonderfully creative and insightful writer. As a junior high and high school English teacher, one of my main frustrations is the fact that my students don't want to read for pleasure, even when given time to do so in class. However, the Harry Potter series has renewed the hope with which I began my career 15 years ago, that books and good, old-fashioned story-telling and imagination weren't yet out of style. Thanks, Ms Rowling, for Harry Potter, Hermione, Ron and the rest of the Hogwarts gang, yes, even Draco Malfoy, the kid we all love to hate! And thanks, too, for bringing back my own junior high memories after all these years with your refreshingly honest and accurate portrayals of young boys and girls discovering new experiences and getting to know each other again for the first time.

5-0 out of 5 stars Awesome!
I definitely think JK Rowling has honed her craft. I did not like the original Potter book, because I thought there wasn't much depth to the characters and everthing was predictable. As of the Prisoner book, I think she has definitely improved. I liked this so much I could barely put it down.

The thing that separates this book out from her first two novels is that as the characters age, the plots have become much darker and much less predictable, and this one, in particular, reads almost like a mystery novel, because there is so much left up in the air.

The ending also sets the stage for future novels.

I think kids and adults (myself included) will find this to be the best Potter book yet (I have not yet read the Order of the Phoenix)

5-0 out of 5 stars Pushing it to the next level
I'm a thirty-something woman and I am a Harry-a-holic. Why should this fantastic series be just for kids? Obviously I'm not the only person who feels this way. I see adults riveted by this series everywhere I go. And the best thing is kids love it too! This series opens the door that many of us need, something in common with our children. It really helps us to identify with each other. Thank you J.K. Rowling!

"Goblet of Fire" shows us that it is not written reverently for the little ones, however. I must warn you, there is a tragic death. I'm sure most children can deal with it, but I personally was shocked. I'm not sure I'm old enough for where this series is going, but I'll let it take me there just the same.

By opening that doorway to the sad inevitability we all face, Rowling has pushed the boundaries of how we view children's adventures. We realize now that Voldemort means business and that anything could happen as he continues his quest for power. Can Harry stop him? Voldemort continues to get more powerful with every novel and Harry is only just able to stop his nemesis from succeeding with his ingenious plots to take over all the witching world and quite possible the muggle world as well.

This book left me waiting almost too eagerly for "Order of the Phoenix," which I read with my 9-year-old niece who seems to cope with the terrors in this series better than I am.

If you're all growed up, read this with some kids, they can comfort you when it gets scary.

5-0 out of 5 stars Real Emotion
The Goblet of Fire is the first time that Harry really deals with hard problems, and dark emotions. This is also the first time the book every brought out real emotion, such as sadness. J.K. Rowling really knows how to make each book better and better. Although this isn't my favorite of the serious, it's a very close second. There were many times in which I just bursted out into laughter, and others when i cried. Every emotion is provoked in this book. I really recommend that every one read Harry Potter, even if it to read this one book in the series. ... Read more

4. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (Book 1 Audio CD)
list price: $49.95
our price: $32.97
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0807281956
Catlog: Book (1999-12-01)
Publisher: Listening Library
Sales Rank: 903
Average Customer Review: 4.78 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Read by Jim Dale
8 hours 17 minutes, 6 cassettes

Harry Potter has no idea how famous he is.That's because he's being raised by his miserable aunt and uncle who are terrified Harry will learn that he's really a wizard, just as his parents were.But everything changes when Harry is summoned to attend an infamous school for wizards, and he begins to discover some clues about his illustrious birthright.From the surprising way he is greeted by a lovable giant, to the unique curriculum and colorful faculty at his unusual school, Harry finds himself drawn deep inside a mystical world he never knew existed and closer to his own noble destiny.
... Read more

Reviews (4768)

5-0 out of 5 stars A great kids' book that appeals to all ages.
I'm not much into kids' books but when my mom brought home Harry Potter, I remembered it from the NY Times bestseller list. In bed one night I flipped open to the third chapter and after five minutes, reverted back to chapter one. After 11 years of torture living with his foster family (Uncle Vernon, Aunt Petunia and cousin Dudley), Harry is shocked to learn that he is actually a world famous wizard! When he was only an infant, a powerful, evil sorcerer killed his parents but was unable to destroy him. All that's left of the encounter is a lightening shaped scar on his forhead. The incident having driven the sorcerer into exile, Harry is a celebrity everwher he goes, from diagon alley(for school supplies) to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. At Hogwarts, Harry befriends other schoolmates as they learn the arts of magic. While trying to keep his grades in check, Harry learns of a plot to undermine the scools headmaster. Harry risks his reputation and life as he does his best to get to the bottom of the situation. A captivating read, The Sorcerer's Stone contains the imagination of Roald Dahl, the magic of J.R.R. Tolkien, and the humor and suspense J.K. Rawling throws in to even it out.

5-0 out of 5 stars An exciting,mysterious fantasy...
I strongly encourage people to read this wonderfully written fantasy. When I first started to read the Harry Potter books,I just loved it so much,I had to read more. I'm now through the fourth book (Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire) and waiting for the fifth book in the Harry Potter series. This particular book (Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone) is fantastic.It is about a boy called Harry Potter who lives with his aunt and uncle(Petunia and Vernon)...also with his huge (fat) cousin , Dudley. He starts to get letters from Hogwarts, but, his uncle Vernon refuses Harry to open the envelope which contains Harry's Hogwarts letter. One day letters start pouring inside the house. Harry grabs one but fails to open it.Soon Harry,Petunia,Vernon,and Dudley are in an old house on the sea.The game keeper of Hogwarts comes and takes Harry to Diagon Ally to buy his Hogwarts school supplies. Then Harry takes the Hogwarts express to Hogwarts.He then gets sorted into Gryffindor House(out of Hufflepuff,Ravenclaw,and Slitherin houses).Then he sets off on the most thrilling adventure you could ever imagine.This book will make you sweat as you read it.It is the best book you could ever read!

5-0 out of 5 stars The One Book that Started It All: the Harry Potter-Mania
Harry Potter, a fatherless and motherless boy, has never seen a unicorn, has never heard of wizards or witches, and has not a clue what Quidditch means. The only thing that Harry has ever experience is the miserable life that the Dursley's have given him for the first ten years of his life. But everything changes when letters from no one start arriving at the Dursleys addressed to him. Also on the same day that Harry turns eleven years old, a giant of a man arrives at the place where Harry and the Dursleys are staying and tells Harry that he is a wizard and that him, Harry, has been accepted at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.
At Hogwarts, Harry does not only meet new friends like Ron Weasly or Hermoine Granger, or enemies like Draco Malfoy, or learns about magic and how to fly on a broom. He also come face to face with Lord Voldemort, his life-time enemy and the person that killed his parents and tried to killed him but only managed to give him a scar on his forehead in the shape of a lighting bolt. But is Harry ready to survive this new life that has been hidden for him for a long time, and is he ready to take hold of the destiny that awaits for him...from now on?

And once "The Sorcerer's Stone" is picked up, can it be put down? Well, I know I could not do it. The world created by JKR is the most amazing and fantastical trance. I loved every single word found in this amazing tale of modern fantasy. Harry Potter is a true hero because is he not only a wizard but a teenager with human characteristics.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great for kids, teens, geezers and fogies
It's not often that a new series comes out that captures its audience in such a magnificent way as Harry Potter. This series has influenced many other writers, including Stephen King! It has helped children to bond with adults in a fun and magical way. It has introduced a new world to all who read.

In the first book of this series, we are introduced to many of the main characters that play a crucial role in Harry's life. We travel to Hogwarts, a school of Magic where truth be told, I think many of us would like to attend. We meet deep characters, some good and some bad and we learn of magical villages that can be accessed only by those "in the know."

If you haven't done so already, make the HP series part of your library and share it with your children, friends and family.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Thrilling (Broomstick) Ride
It's not often that a new series comes out that captures its audience in such a magnificent way as Harry Potter. This series has influenced many other writers, including Stephen King! It has helped children to bond with adults in a fun and magical way. It has introduced a new world to all who read.

In the first book of this series, we are introduced to many of the main characters that play a crucial role in Harry's life. We travel to Hogwarts, a school of Magic where truth be told, I think many of us would like to attend. We meet deep characters, some good and some bad and we learn of magical villages that can be accessed only by those "in the know."

If you haven't done so already, make the HP series part of your library and share it with your children, friends and family. ... Read more

5. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Book 2 Audio CD)
list price: $49.95
our price: $32.97
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0807281948
Catlog: Book (1999-12-01)
Publisher: Listening Library
Sales Rank: 1284
Average Customer Review: 4.76 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

The Dursleys were so mean that hideous that summer that all Harry Potter wanted was to get back to the Hogwarts School for Witchcraft and Wizardry.But just as he's packing his bags, Harry receives a warning from a strange, impish creature named Dobby who says that if Harry Potter returns to Hogwarts, disaster will strike.

And strike it does.For in Harry's second year at Hogwarts, fresh torments and horrors arise, including an outrageously stuck-up new professor, Gilderoy Lockheart, a spirit named Moaning Myrtle who haunts the girls' bathroom, and the unwanted attentions of Ron Weasley's younger sister, Ginny.

But each of these seem minor annoyances when the real trouble begins, and someone--or something--starts turning Hogwarts students to stone.Could it be Draco Malfoy, a more poisonous rival than ever?Could it possibly be Hagrid, whose mysterious past is finally told?Or could it be the one everyone at Hogwarts most suspects...Harry Potter himself?
... Read more

Reviews (2308)

Potter 2, THE CHAMBER OF SECRETS (1998), may be the funniest one so far. Strangely, I think it is also the one that includes the greater number of physically unpleasant or revolting details, scattered all along the story.
In spite of it, the reading was pleasing to me (I must add I read the Spanish translation first: an eloquent one, but the translators should have probably saved a lot of words). There is a good deal of suspense in the book. Gilderoy Lockhart can make you fall off your chair with laughter. Dobby the house-elf is another brilliantly comic character (we'll meet him again in The Goblet of Fire). Mrs Rowling developes her characters in a way consistent with the 1st book (look up the Weasley twins or Snape, for instance, in Potter 1, since their first appearances until now, and you'll see what I mean). Though the adventurous fever that hits Hermione Granger came as a surprise to me: even her friends Ron and Harry (not half as well-balanced as she is) feel it's strange.
Like in Potter 1, Harry is the less remarkable character in the story, in a way. He's not specially funny or wise or a good student or anything (unlike Malfoy, he's not even specially nasty). Actually, if it wasn't for his scar and his quidditch skills (well, his desperate courage at deadly situations too), JK would have had to choose Mr Filch or that Norris cat to play the hero: Potter would have been as invisible as his cloak. Yet after reading up to the 5th title in the "saga", I think there is some purpose by the author: JK works hard on her books, she's a careful (even too careful) story-maker and character-painter: it cannot be a coincidence that inconspicuousness about Potter's personality. To those having read The Order of the Phoenix this fact is even more urgent, because Potter becomes "remarkable" there -but in the most unfortunate way!! But this lines are not about that book.
Sometimes one can even feel -say, angry with Potter, in this book. He seems to think (erroneously!!) that the best way towards sorting out problems is keeping them hidden from the people who can help solve them: that is Dumbledore in the first place. If Potter's side wins the battle in the end in this book is in spite of him rather than due to him... which is true also about the rest of the series so far. BR>
Finally, that McGonagall's idea, no exams for the pupils because of the hard events they've lived, I think it's foolish: no serious school in the world, even in the fiction world, would ever do such thing!

5-0 out of 5 stars "There is more than one way to burn a book"
The above quote was from the Coda of Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury. I quote it because while looking through all the one star quotes you see a lot of 'Don't let your children read it, it should be banned ect...' In other words they want to ... burn the book 'cos of their frail mind and 'idea's.' What also irritates me is the large amount of fellow Christians here bashing it and calling it 'Satanic' I am a strong Christian, and guess what? It's not. Witch's magic? Oh dear if a kid can't handle that however will they handle the real world? The point of a Fairy Tale is to prepare kids for the real evil in our world! No these books aren't The Narnia. The Chronicles Of Narnia is my favorite series, and these books o course are not supposed to be anything like them so don't expect them to be. Harry Potter isn't allegory (well according to Lewis's idea neither was Narnia) so don't expect the same level of skill or style. He had witches and goblins as well, will you ban him next? (Oh I forgot some "Christians" think Lewis is evil as well.) Besides "The Last Battle" was more horrific on a psychological level and in its vivid description of battle and mayhem then anything in this book (remember the horses and dwarfs?). There you have the destruction of lands, and all hell (literally) being rained down upon them. Here they have people in a state of shock and a villain getting killed. True the purpose behind the events in Narnia were different, all I'm saying is that the 'disturbing for children' was even more in "The Last Battle". These books are in no way evil; they are however entertaining, un-offensive and fine for kids. Don't worry about polluting minds, being sent to hell or comparing it to a completely different style of writing, just sit and read them for what they are. The ironic this is I never even intended to read a Harry Potter book, I made a promise I would in order to get someone to read Bradbury and here I am defending it, so... don't pre-judge and just get and enjoy them!

5-0 out of 5 stars Oh how fun! What an adventure!
Year two at Hogwarts has a rough start for Harry, who misses his train and has to make his own way to Hogwarts, breaking every rule in the book along the way. He's in a lot of trouble, yet he still manages to hold his head high and trudge along through school.

Draco doesn't let up as he taunts Harry and tries to cause even more trouble for our hero. We are introduced to new characters that we'll see later in the series. While we don't learn much about Harry's past in this sequel, we learn much more about Hogwarts, the teachers, and the students.

If the HP series were a journey "Chamber of Secrets" would be the bridge from "Sorcerer's Stone" to "Prisoner of Azkaban" where we learn much more about the hows and whys.

It's truly a thrill to read.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great book to follow the first!
This book was enjoyable, but it was a little slow in how it finally present the clues to discover the final showdown, I think it gives the good lesson in good things are worth waiting for. I didn't like how the characters were acting like total incompetents in seeking help and basically acting like airheads, but I guess that should be expected at 12 years old and only second years.

For a small summary: see the movie!

5-0 out of 5 stars So Silver
Harry Potter two, didn't have as much going on as the first book, but had much more suspense. Action: amazing. Writing: great. Illustrations: beautiful. All what I call a five star book! ... Read more

6. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Book 3 Audio CD)
list price: $54.95
our price: $34.62
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0807282324
Catlog: Book (2000-02-01)
Publisher: Listening Library
Sales Rank: 1410
Average Customer Review: 4.83 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Running time:11 hrs., 48 mins.10 CDs.

For twelve long years, the dread fortress of Azkaban held an infamous prisoner named Sirius Black.Convicted of killing thirteen people with a single curse, he was said to be the heir apparent to the Dark Lord, Voldemort.

Now he has escaped, leaving only two clues as to where he might be headed: Harry Potter's defeat of You-Know-Who was Black's downfall as well.And the Azkban guards heard Black muttering in his sleep, "He's at Hogwarts...he's at Hogwarts."

Harry Potter isn't safe, not even within the walls of his magical school, surrounded by his friends.Because on top of it all, there may well be a traitor in their midst.
... Read more

Reviews (2274)

5-0 out of 5 stars perhaps the best of the 4 books
This is the third book in the wonderful Harry Potter series (7 total, only 4 are published at the moment). Harry is to begin his third year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. During the summers, he lives with his aunt and uncle. They are not at all fond of magic and keep Harry away in his closet, forbidden to use magic (by the school) or have any contact with his friends. Harry's parents were murdered by an evil wizard when Harry was only an infant. Harry survived, mysteriously, unscathed except for a scar on his forehead. Harry arrives at Hogwarts having learned that a man named Sirius Black has escaped from the wizard prison Azkaban. Presumably he wants to kill Harry Potter. Black was a convicted murderer and worked for the wizard who killed Harry's parents.

The school is almost in a lockdown with the frightening Dementor guards looking for Black and guarding the school. Harry, of course, gets into mischief anyways and winds up involved in finding Sirius Black. There are plenty of surprises and Rowling writes this book with fast pacing and an interesting story.

This is one of the strongest books of the four, and with this book, the series is beginning to get noticeably darker and less for children than it was before. While not very frightening for an adult, the book may be scary for a young child. Though these are marketed for children, the Harry Potter series is as much for adults as it is for children. Excellent reading.

5-0 out of 5 stars Jim Dale's reading is a must-hear!
First of all, don't expect Tolkien or Lewis. You won't find such literary depth and deftness here. J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter books are much more akin to Roald Dahl's quirky, alternately lighthearted and dark children's stories. However, that's not to say Rowling's books aren't well-written, enormously entertaining and fun. They are. In fact, I can honestly say that very few books of late have delighted me as much -- *especially* the CD versions. For as much as I enjoy *reading* the Harry Potter books (and I have them all in print form), I love *hearing* them even more. Jim Dale's readings (especially the briskly-paced and richly charactered third book, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban) have to be heard to be believed. Dale is a master storyteller. He switches between characters seamlessly, giving each one a different voice and personality. His English accent is a delight, and the pronounciations are crisp. I especially enjoy hearing the voices of Draco Malfoy, Hagrid and Professors Dumbledore, Snape and McGonagall (who has a delightful brogue). I recently purchased the third book on CD in anticipation of my 3-hour drive (each way!) to Chicago for a conference. I loaded up my car's CD changer and listened all the way down and back, hanging on every word. Dale's fabulous reading turned what could have been a long, uneventful trip into a delightful escape to Hogwarts. In fact, when I returned home, I didn't want to get out of my car ... and, I'm nearly ashamed to say, kept looking for excuses to run errands just so I could continue listening to the exciting story unfold! Rowling's books seem tailor-made for *hearing*, as if she wrote them specifically to be read aloud. So if you've ever wanted to try an audio book, and if you enjoy reading the Harry Potter series, I highly recommend Jim Dale's presentations. Thankfully, the audio versions are UNABRIDGED so you can enjoy every single word. I hope Dale continues to be the reader for the Harry Potter series. I can't imagine any other voice for them. He's a perfect match for Rowling's words. By the way, I'm 39 years old. And I was raised on science fiction and fantasy books. I rank the Harry Potter books right up there with some of my all-time favorites. As I said in the beginning, Rowling's books are not as deep or clever as many of the classics of the genre, but they're every bit as entertaining in their own right. I recommend the books, but I *highly* recommend Jim Dale's reading of them. Especially Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.

5-0 out of 5 stars The foundation of HP
It was the release of this book that finally got me to pick up the series that had so many children and adults raving. It was one of the best book decisions I ever made. HP has proven to be an exciting and fun way to bond with my nieces and nephews along with many coworkers and friends.

"The Order of the Phoenix" does take the reader deeper into the dark world which Voldemort, the nemesis of HP and all good witches/warlocks has tried to plunge them. This book finally sheds light on part of Harry's past that helps to explain the present. Along with Harry, we learn more about his parents and about how things were at the time Voldemort killed them.

We are also introduced to an integral character, Sirius Black. Is he a good witch or a bad witch? Read this "Prisoner of Azkaban" to find out.

5-0 out of 5 stars Much Better than the Movie!
I've found the books to be much better than the movies! Especially with book three, since as the books get longer it seems more and more is cut out of the movies. To discover the real hidden clues to what lies ahead reading the books is a MUST!

This book was more enjoyable than the previous two for me in that it was more detailed. Had more substance in its plot, and it was written for a more advanced mind (all the books increase in difficulty level and for me enjoyment level).

For a small summary: see the movie!, otherwise Harry blows up aunt, doesn't get in trouble, ministry of magic is more worried about the escaped murderer they think is after Harry, turns out escaped murderer is no murderer and is Harry's godfather, harry has to deal with dementors with a powerful protronus charm (protective spell), harry learns spell from new dark arts teacher who was friends with his parents and he is a werewolf, in the end this book doesn't have the normal happy ending--traitor escapes and harry's godfather barely escapes dementors (prison guards) to live on the run.

5-0 out of 5 stars Wooow... amazing
I'm 13 years old and I can relate to the main character and the story. The 3rd book is mostly about teenagers and Harry's life change.Teens make a lot of changes. The book keeps you guessing until the end.It's an amazing and mysterious book. ... Read more

7. Black Rose (In the Garden)
by Nora Roberts, Susie Breck
list price: $34.95
our price: $23.07
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1593556136
Catlog: Book (2005-05-31)
Publisher: Brilliance Audio Unabridged
Sales Rank: 10045
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Book Description

A Harper has always lived at Harper House, the centuries-old mansion just outside of Memphis. And for as long as anyone alive remembers, the ghostly Harper Bride has walked the halls, singing lullabies at night...

At forty-five, Rosalind Harper is a woman whose experiences have made her strong enough to bend without breaking - and weather any storm. A widow with three grown sons, she survived a disastrous second marriage, and built her In the Garden nursery from the ground up. Through the years, In the Garden has become more than just a thriving business - it is a symbol of hope and independence to Roz, and to the two women she shares it with. Newlywed Stella and new mother Hayley are the sisters of her heart, and together, the three of them are the future of In the Garden.

But now that future is under attack, and Roz knows they can't fight this battle alone. Hired to investigate Roz's Harper ancestors, Dr. Mitchell Carnegie finds himself just as intrigued with Roz herself. And as they begin to unravel the puzzle of the Harper Bride's identity, Roz is shocked to find herself falling for the fascinating genealogist. Now it is a desperate race to discover the truth before the unpredictable apparition lashes out at the one woman who can help her rest in peace...
... Read more

8. Shelters of Stone, The (Earth's Children®)
by Jean M. Auel, Sandra Burr
list price: $189.25
our price: $189.25
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1587889900
Catlog: Book (2002-04-30)
Publisher: Unabridged Library Edition
Sales Rank: 570979
Average Customer Review: 2.5 out of 5 stars
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Jean Auel's fifth novel about Ayla, the Cro-Magnon cavewoman raised by Neanderthals, is the biggest comeback bestseller in history. In The Shelters of Stone, Ayla meets the Zelandonii tribe of Jondalar, the Cro-Magnon hunk she rescued from Baby, her pet lion. Ayla is pregnant. How will Jondalar's mom react? Or his bitchy jilted fiancée? Ayla wows her future in-laws by striking fire from flint and taming a wild wolf. But most regard her Neanderthal adoptive Clan as subhuman "flatheads." Clan larynxes can't quite manage language, and Ayla must convince the Zelandonii that Clan sign language isn't just arm-flapping. Zelandonii and Clan are skirmishing, and those who interbreed are deemed "abominations." What would Jondalar's tribe think if they knew Ayla had to abandon her half-breed son in Clan country? The plot is slow to unfold, because Auel's first goal is to pack the tale with period Pleistocene detail, provocative speculation, and bits of romance, sex, tribal politics, soap opera, and homicidal wooly rhino-hunting adventure. It's an enveloping fact-based fantasy, a genre-crossing time trip to the Ice Age. --Tim Appelo ... Read more

Reviews (699)

5-0 out of 5 stars Another in a great series
I have been reading some of the other reviews, and I would like to express my opinion. To dismiss this book as Jondalar and Alya get home, Alya has a baby is the equivalent of saying of Clan of the Cave Bear: Cro-Magnon girl adopted by Neanderthals, grows up, gets kicked out.
Shelters of Stone introduces many new characters: Jondalar's mom and other family, and explores the stresses of a city type civilization. Alya has to learn to live within a group of a thousand or more. The conflicts are of a subtler sort such as how to handle group pressure. Not all conflict is fangs at your throat. Sometimes it is someone whispering behind your back.

4-0 out of 5 stars Good To Read
This book seems to be more for the people that loved the series then for people that just read it to pass time.As in most of her Earth Children books she is very descriptive of the landscape (which could get boring), and has to remind people constantly of events that happened in the previous books... though you do get a little too much reminding...She could have shaved off 25 to 50 pages of landscape and past reminders, but the story really makes up for it.If you haven't read her past books do not read this one until you have finished the first four.If you do this book will have little meaning for you.The story of Ayla's journey ending really becomes a new kind of journey beginning for Ayla in this book.Ayla may have a new family, friends and a place to finally call home but she has new troubles, new fascinating customs to learn, and most of all new directions to go with her life that she has to decide on.The wonderful thing about this book is that it is still left open to so may questions, thoughts, and ideas for a sixth book.With the book being over 700 pages hard cover I found that I read it all in four days because it was so fascinating, and now that I have finished it I find the book leaves me anticipating and hoping for the coming of a sixth book to the series.

2-0 out of 5 stars Long wait . . . great disappointment!
Is it just me, or does anyone else wonder how Ms. Auel can possibly reach the intended goal of this series (the apparent envisioned meeting of Ayla's sons) in only one more book? Shelters of Stone should have spent more time delving into Durc's life after Ayla's "death"/departure from the clan (starting with the clan needing to find a new cave) in addition to Ayla's adapting to Jondalar's cave home.

Ayla and Jondalar have traveled for years (albeit getting stopped for adventures along the way), we know every detail of every minute of THEIR lives, and they're now so far away from her original clan home, that I don't see it being plausible to bring the two sons together for this meeting in 500 or 600 pages.Ayla hasn't even given birth to a 2nd son yet, and we have no information whatsoever on one moment of Durc's life during that time, nor how his life's events may have shaped the person he will be if this meeting ever takes place.

If Ms. Auel's leaving that for us to imagine, then she's lost sight of what it means to "tell" a story.It almost appears she's setting herself up to write another bomb in what started out as an otherwise great series.Shame, shame.

5-0 out of 5 stars Love has no time.
The series written by Jean M. AUEL "Earth's Children" I beleve is one of the most inspiring series of books out there. Yes it a series based in prehistoric ice age and the accention of man as the dominant species, but many over look that it is an moving love story. Its sory line has significance even to this day. Ayla cromagnon woman raised by neaderthals has to cope with being a minority in a male dominant society. It deals with racial inequalities, mix marriages ,standing up for what you believe in, and the power of women. It teaches that flexability,family, and tolerence is what make us human. It teaches perserverence, fortitude, and resilience when faced with survival. If your life depended on grouping with others for survival, it would you give a life altering experience that few have known. I believe todays society would benifit from this. Often I have wondered if I lived in prehistoric times would I have the courage of AYLA and all she faced. These books offer that experience to readers and also teaches early birth of moral values. The love between AYLA and JONDALAR is very real, and they faced many things that young and old alike face today.
It also ponders the question when face with over welming odds that humans create, adapt, perserveer. I have recommend this series to all that can read. The sex scenes are just that, sex in the raw form, not shameful, or imoral just a very natural wonderful showing of love. Many only know the movie with Darrl Hanna as AYLA in clan of the cave bear, which I beleve she did a wonderful job, but that only scatches the surface of the wonder of ALYA full story. These books are self contained so each are a story in of them selves. Very easy reading and imformative. One you can not put down and will have you waiting for more.

4-0 out of 5 stars Reading Auel in context
While I certainly agree that Jean Auel's writing is repetitious and badly in need of a good editor, and don't understand how her publishers failed her so badly, reviewers who see only that aspect miss the point of the series, as do those who complain about Ayla's mythic status. This *is* a myth, carefully developed through the series starting with "Clan of the Cave Bear" to show how circumstances, time, and distance combine to evolve a mythic figure out of a talented but still very human person.

The great, and enduring value of the series is (1) its portrayal of the 35, 000 year-old world when Cro-Magnon and Neanderthal overlapped, the great art of the cave painting and ivory carvings was created, and human ingenuity was starting to make itself felt, and (2) the psychological and cultural interactions of very different mind-sets.Auel condenses the historic record of human invention into one short period for good reason: it helps to convey the difficulties and importance of such creative and flexible approaches in a world where humans were few and weak.

To read these works as you would a realistic novel about today's world is to deprive yourself of a rich - and enriching - imaginative experience.If you need realism/naturalism then don't real Auel.Perhaps it is best to classify her work as historic fantasy, or magical realism, or even surrealism.
... Read more

9. Star Wars, Episode III - Revenge of the Sith
by Matthew Woodring Stover
list price: $39.95
our price: $26.37
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0739318322
Catlog: Book (2005-04-02)
Publisher: Random House Audio
Sales Rank: 129037
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (168)

5-0 out of 5 stars Best coverage of ROTS
If you've seen the movie or haven't yet, you still need to get the book. Simply because the movie lacks too much detail to really fully understand and appreciate the storyline.

What needs to be known is that the movie is not an exact visualisation of this book and you'll find quite a lot of inconsistencies throughtout the story. Doesn't matter, because the point of reading through this book is to provide points of view from key characters and also explain certain events leading up to the dialogue / scenes from the movie.

Don't think about getting this. Just GET IT. Although the movie was good, it can never give you the complete illustration of how great the movie can really be. Perfect companion to the movie.

4-0 out of 5 stars The end of the beginning
"Star Wars Episode III - Revenge of the Sith" is the same story as the movie; it follows Anikan as he decends into the Dark Side of the Force.The book and the movie are equally good, I think, but in different ways.I highly recomend watching the movie first, then reading the book to pick up important details that the movie was too busy to elaborate on.The book fleshes out the early stages of the Rebellion seen in the original triligy.It also makes Anikan's seduction to the Sith Order a much more gradual and realistic process.There are also many references in the book to other books of the series that the movie dose not acknowledge.The violence in the book is also a lot more brutal than in the movie, and so the pain Anakin's injuries is felt even more acutly.The relationship between Anikan and Obi-Wan is also deepend, as is all the other relationships that the movie just dosn't have time to explore; like Mace Windu and Yoda, Padme and Bail Orgona, and most importantly Palpitine and Skywalker.I have the same basic objections to the book as I do in the movie, like the role of Padme went from strong warrior to very weak person.I also thought that the Jedi were defeated just a little too easily.But that is only minor complaints; the book goes by a t a brisk pace, and the characters are all likeable.Enjoy.

4-0 out of 5 stars Episode 3
**** Although no novel can capture the images so vividly portrayed on the screen of unimaginable visual concepts and aliens never before seen, a novel can do what a movie can not. It can take the reader into the heart of the characters and provide the mythic history that there is no way to depict without weighing down a movie. By now, you surely know that Revenge of the Sith is the story of how Anakin completed his journey to the Dark Side, so unlike many reviews, this is not so much to tell you about the story of the book, but why it is important to read this book if you see the movie anyway. Although there are not quite as many "deleted scenes" in the novel of Episode III as there are in the novelization of Episode IV, A New Hope, there are still quite a few insights that will enhance the movie viewing experience. Things that are murky or ambigous on screen gain clarity if you have read the book. The two are a perfect complement to one another, and you will get more for your movie buck if you have the knowledge the book provides paired with it. ****

5-0 out of 5 stars Surprisingly excellent
This is a really well done Star Wars book, and has the added bonus of being an excellent add-on to the movie.You gain a much greater insight into what the characters are thinking and the depth of the overall plot.Stover does a better job in this book than in Shatterpoint, a novel which was entertaining but went on far too long.In Revenge, the pacing is perfect, the fleshed out dialogue convincing, the emotions deeps, the action suspenseful even *after* seeing the movie, the droids humorous...I really can't find a fault.I found it so consistent with the Star Wars universe I found myself wishing he'd write the next three episodes.

Worth 5 stars if you're into Star Wars, 4 stars even if you're not.

2-0 out of 5 stars It could have been so much better :(
The author spends the entire first half of the book on the battle over Coruscant and the rescue of Palpatine.This leaves little room for Anakin's fall to the dark side or other important elements such as the Battle of Kashyyk, the death of the Jedi or even the construction of Darth Vader's life support suite which he spent an entire 2 paragraphs on!The second half of the book seemed rushed and I was largely dissapointed.

You can also clearly ascertain that Mr. Stover is a martial artist by his unending need to describe, in detail, the fighting styles of each of the jedi.

It could have been so much better! ... Read more

10. Out of the Silent Planet
by C. S. Lewis
list price: $40.00
our price: $40.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0786198087
Catlog: Book (2000-12-01)
Publisher: Blackstone Audiobooks
Sales Rank: 182411
Average Customer Review: 4.45 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Written during the dark hours immediately before and during the Second World War, C. S. Lewis's Space Trilogy, of which Out of the Silent Planet is the first volume, stands alongside such works as Albert Camus's The Plague and George Orwell's 1984 as a timely parable that has become timeless, beloved by succeeding generations as much for the sheer wonder of its storytelling as for the significance of the moral concerns. For the trilogy's central figure, C. S. Lewis created perhaps the most memorable character of his career, the brilliant, clear-eyed, and fiercely brave philologist Dr. Elwin Ransom. Appropriately, Lewis modeled Dr. Ransom after his dear friend J. R. R. Tolkien, for in the scope of its imaginative achievement and the totality of its vision of not one but two imaginary worlds, the Space Trilogy is rivaled in this century only by Tolkien's trilogy The Lord of the Rings. Readers who fall in love with Lewis's fantasy series The Chronicles of Namia as children unfailingly cherish his Space Trilogy as adults; it, too, brings to life strange and magical realms in which epic battles are fought between the forces of light and those of darkness. But in the many layers of its allegory, and the sophistication and piercing brilliance of its insights into the human condition, it occupies a place among the English language's most extraordinary works for any age, and for all time.

Out of the Silent Planet introduces Dr. Ransom and chronicles his abduction by a megalomaniacal physicist and his accomplice via space ship to the planet Malacandra. The two men are in need of a human sacrifice and Dr. Ransom would seem to fit the bill. Dr. Ransom escapes upon landing, though, and goes on the run, a stranger in a land that, like Jonathan Swift's Lilliput, is enchanting in its difference from Earth and instructive in its similarity. ... Read more

Reviews (99)

5-0 out of 5 stars Captivating
If one is likely to read and love C.S.Lewis' The Chronicles of Narnia, one cannot help but be equally satisfied, and in some ways more, with this book and the other two in the Space Trilogy (Perelandra, and That Hideous Strength). This book is told about a Dr. Ransom who is taken captive by two aquaintances (Weston and Divine)on Earth and flown by spaceship to Malacandra. It is here where Ransom flees with fear of what may happen to him in his captive's hands and their motives. Along the way he meets the most intreaging of creatures on the planet who will both pull you in and take you away. Wonderfully described and portrayed, C.S.Lewis gives the reader a gift of traveling to a new world full of seroni, hrossa, etc. Allowing for readers with an open mind, to learn and ponder new thoughts and ideas. Ransom through his stay on the planet, learns to face his fears and become a better human being while respecting the differences in others who are unlike himself. The characters and story are unforgetable. I highly recomend this book, and I can assure you will not be hesitant to pick up the second when through.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great opening to the series
There's no denying that C. S. Lewis is one of the great writers of the 20th century and it's fast becoming the case that any truly literate person must be familiar with his work. Embarrassingly, I had never read his celebrated Space Trilogy, of which "Out of the Silent Planet" is the first installment. Simply put, the book is a quick, enjoyable read as simply fantasy/science fiction.

Granted, it's not what most folks would consider modern sci-fi. Lewis hews closer to the classic format used by H. G. Wells than the sex and violence-laden style used by most contemporary writers. However, the true genius of the work is the philosophical/metaphysical themes that run just below the surface. Sadly, some of this was spoiled for me because I had previously been given a "heads-up" about certain specifics discussed in the series. For that reason, I won't go into them here in this review. I think the book is an even better read if you don't know what to expect going in.

Suffice it to say, that "Out of the Silent Planet" is a wonderful book--intellectual but not heavy and overly grandiose. Read it. If you like books that entertain and make you think, you won't be disappointed.

1-0 out of 5 stars ooh!
here's the deal. i loved this book. it really makes you think towards the end and addresses alot of interesting topics. very interesting, imaginitive, spiritual, challenging, all the great c.s.lewis characteristics.

my one and only beef (and the reason you should NOT purchase this book) is that the publication is absolutely horrible. there are so many typos, i want to cry. i seriously can't find another publisher who still carries this book. i dearly wish i could, because i am ashamed to own it, and i hate that, because the book is marvelous. but when you are reading along and every apostrophe is replaced with a quotation mark and vice versa, and simple words like "the" and "that" are mixed up, i feel that c.s.lewis must be rolling over in his grave. if you can find another publication of this book (ie, NOT by scribner / simon & schuster), DO IT. don't buy from this publisher, but DO buy the book.

4-0 out of 5 stars A heck of a Book
Another wonder by C.S Lewis. The writing is incredible. He can take you on a journey to worlds unknown. The one problem is trying to remember the meanings of the hross words. When you can do that you can thoroughly enjoy the work of a genius.

5-0 out of 5 stars Best of the Trilogy!
'Out of the Silent Planet' is excellent, and the only decent book in the trilogy. It stands alone, so don't feel the need to read the other two books. 'Perelandra' is bad, and 'That Hideous Strength' is worse. ... Read more

11. Congo
list price: $17.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0679431136
Catlog: Book (1993-11-02)
Publisher: Random House Audio
Sales Rank: 361701
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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If you saw the 1995 film adaptation of this Crichton thriller, somebody owes you an apology. While you're waiting for that to happen, try reading the vastly more intelligent novel on which the movie was based. The broad lines of the plot remain the same: A research team deep in the jungle disappears after a mysterious and grisly gorilla attack. A subsequent team, including a sign-language-speaking simian named Amy, follows the original team's tracks only to be subjected to more mysterious and grisly gorilla attacks. If you can look past the breathless treatment of '80s technology, like voice-recognition software and 256K RAM modules (the book was written in 1980), you'll find the same smart use of science and edge-of-your-seat suspense shared by Crichton's other work. --Paul Hughes ... Read more

Reviews (223)

3-0 out of 5 stars Below Average Crichton
I like monkeys just as much as the next guy but I was disappointed with the number of pages it took to get to the good part. Usually Crichton writes a great first chapter then he goes into explanation then the last 50 pages are awesome. In ''Congo" only the middle was almost no explanation it was just boring.

On the positive side monkeys are cool.

On the negative side it was kind of boring.

3-0 out of 5 stars Not one of his best
From almost the very begining you know the main characters are going to survive.You keeping reading things like "Ross later stated that..." and "When asked about it later, Elliot said..." so you know they live to tell about it.Where's the suspense in that?Half of the story was technical stuff or historical stuff, which was only slightly relevant to the story.And you didn't really get into any action until the last quarter of the book (the rest talks about the journey there, which is only mildly suspenseful).And even then the action doesn't last for more than maybe 1 page.The gorillas attack a couple of times, the volcano errupts and some natives attack.
One thing I did like was the parts with the signing gorilla.

5-0 out of 5 stars Michael's Best Book
Having read all of Michael Crighton's work, Congo in my opinion is his best. Please do not compare Congo the book with Congo the movie - which was a hideous interpretation at best. I'm still scratching my head over Mr. Crighton's approval on that particular screenplay. The book is simply wonderful.

4-0 out of 5 stars Everything but the kitchen sink
I found myself on vacation with no book...tragic.I remedied this with a copy of Congo.

As I read Congo, the story of diamond hunters in, yes, the Congo, I realized how much has changed since 1980.A cutting edge computer thriller, it has references pinball machines, five-inch floppies, 256Kmemory and portable cassette tape players.Yet it was also current, with its talk of DNA testing and the competitive threat of both the Japanese and Chinese in the world markets.

Congo has it all: competing international diamond hunters, the Congo, African pygmies, cannibalistic tribes, various warring countries and factions, lost cities of bygone centuries, active volcanoes, sign-language gorillas, geographic history, gorilla history, African and Congo history, a possible new species of gorilla with its own agenda, communications satellites, plane crashes, hot air balloons, and, well I'm sure I'm leaving something out. Michael Crichton's deft writing brings it all together for an enjoyable action romp that works....almost.If anything suffers in the book it is the characters.So much is packed into the story that the characters do not develop, and are almost relegated to following the action, which never ends.The author has to explain a lot to the reader so that we can follow along.He does this as the narrator and often includes it in character dialogue.So much information is presented as dialogue that I get the picture of very educated people, stuck in the Congo with killer gorillas and dead bodies, finally snapping and pummeling each other to the ground yelling,"Why are you being so redundant?I KNOW all this stuff!"The reader often won't, however, making it important but at times slowing the book down.

I wondered how this book could be made into a movie, and on a whim rented the 1995 thriller.The movie works by leaving a lot out (no cannibals, competing groups, and not even one African pygmy, among other things) and by breathing life into the characters and even introducing new ones.It does not do the book justice, but it does do what the book does not; it brings the characters to life.

Congo ends with a three-page reference of all the works Crichton studied and referenced in writing the book.It was impressive and shows his ability to take so much and make it work. Before this reference section was an epilogue explaining what happened to the books major characters when the adventure had ended.I found myself less interested in this and more interested in the reference list, as Karen, Peter, Munro and the rest never really impacted me, and were lost in a thriller that has everything but the kitchen sink.

5-0 out of 5 stars The movie did not do this book justice
The film adaptation of this novel was criminal.Do not let that movie turn you off from this fantastic novel (my personal favorite from Crichton).The overall plot is the same:a research team disappears after an apparent attack by gorillas.A second team is dispatched to discover what happened and comes under attack from the same violent gorillas.Like other Crichton novels, this contains a lot of description and explanation of various sciences and technologies that surround the characters.Unfortunately, the technology is dated because of the 1980 publication date.Nevertheless, the action and suspense in this novel are first-rate.This was the first Crichton novel I ever read and it made me a fan instantly.I've read almost every Crichton novel since because of this book.This is one of those books you can't put down until you finish it.When you're done, you just want to read it again. ... Read more

12. A Feast for Crows (A Song of Ice and Fire, Book 4)
list price: $54.95
our price: $34.62
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0739308742
Catlog: Book (2004-12-31)
Publisher: Random House Audio
Sales Rank: 98224
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Book Description

Few books have captivated the imagination and won the devotion andpraise of readers and critics everywhere as has George R. R. Martin’s monumental epic cycle of high fantasy. Now, in A Feast for Crows, Martin delivers the long-awaited fourth book of his landmark series, as a kingdom torn asunder finds itself at last on the brink of peace...only to be launched on an even more terrifying course of destruction.

A Feast for Crows

It seems too good to be true. After centuries of bitter strife and fatal treachery, the seven powers dividing the land have decimated one another into an uneasy truce. Or so it appears....With the death of the monstrous King Joffrey, Cersei is ruling as regent in King’s Landing. Robb Stark’s demise has broken the back of the Northern rebels, and his siblings are scattered throughout the kingdom like seeds on barren soil. Few legitimate claims to the once desperately sought Iron Throne still exist--or they are held in hands too weak or too distant to wield them effectively. The war, which raged out of control for so long, has burned itself out.

But as in the aftermath of any climactic struggle, it is not long before the survivors, outlaws, renegades, and carrion eaters start to gather, picking over the bones of the dead and fighting for the spoils of the soon-to-be dead. Now in the Seven Kingdoms, as the human crows assemble over a banquet of ashes, daring new plots and dangerous new alliances are formed, while surprising faces--some familiar, others only just appearing--are seen emerging from an ominous twilight of past struggles and chaos to take up the challenges ahead.

It is a time when the wise and the ambitious, the deceitful and the strong will acquire the skills, the power, and the magic to survive the stark and terrible times that lie before them. It is a time for nobles and commoners, soldiers and sorcerers, assassins and sages to come together and stake their fortunes...and their lives. For at a feast for crows, many are the guests--but only a few are the survivors.

From the Hardcover edition.
... Read more

13. Wicked : Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West, The
by Gregory Maguire
list price: $39.95
our price: $26.37
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0060573767
Catlog: Book (2003-08-01)
Publisher: HarperAudio/ReganBooks
Sales Rank: 13431
Average Customer Review: 4.15 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

When Dorothy triumphed over the Wicked Witch of the West in L. Frank Baum's classic tale, we heard only her side of the story. But what about her arch-nemesis, the mysterious Witch? Where did she come from? How did she become so wicked? And what is the true nature of evil?

Gregory Maguire creates a fantasy world so rich and vivid that we will never look at Oz the same way again. Wicked is about a land where animals talk and strive to be treated like first-class citizens, Munchkinlanders seek the comfort of middle-class stability, and the Tin Man becomes a victim of domestic violence. And then there is the little green-skinned girl named Elphaba, who will grow up to become the infamous Wicked Witch of the West, a smart, prickly, and misunderstood creature who challenges all our preconceived notions about the nature of good and evil.

Performed by John McDonough.

... Read more

Reviews (572)

4-0 out of 5 stars Somewhere Over the Rainbow. . . .
I had alreay read Maguire's CONFESSIONS OF AN UGLY STEPSISTER when I read WICKED (very contrary to my otherwise anal, everything-must-go-in-order personality), and I was greatly looking forward to it. Maguire again takes a relatively familiar storyline and turns it on its ear--and the readers along with it! We oftentimes think we know who and what is evil and sometimes even why. Maguire tampers with the "why" moreso than the who/what, really challenging the idea of the stereotypes and preconceived notions we all have. The "Wicked Witch of the West" from THE WIZARD OF OZ seems hardly the same girl, Elphaba, that we encounter in Maguire's book. In fact, she is the same, but our preconceived notions have clouded Maguire's "reality." I found the whole geographic aspects fascinating. How can she be the WW of the West, when she is really from the East? How can Glinda be the Good Witch of the North, when she is really from the East, too? Why does the Witch want those foolish shoes anyway? Why has Glinda given them to Dorothy? Where is Dorothy? Maguire doesn't even bring her into the story until it is very nearly over. Dorothy is more of an afterthought than the pivotal role she plays in the movie, and Maguire doesn't paint her kindly. . . . Maguire has invented a whole new world with his Oz, complete with detailed map, political strife and corruption, family histories, and fantastic elements. I can't wait to see THE WIZARD OF OZ now and watch it from Maguire's alternative perspective. It must be even better than Pink Floyd's DARK SIDE OF THE MOON experiment!

The only times he lost me at all were when he stayed in that fantasy realm too long. I struggled momentarily with the lack of human beings and "reality" (whatever that is), unlike UGLY STEPSISTER, which has real people and real places throughout. That is hardly his fault, but that's why I gave UGLY STEPSISTER five stars and WICKED only four. Maguire is Tolkein meets C. S. Lewis meets L'Engle meets Jakob Grimm meets Ray Bradbury. . . . I don't know if he can continue this torrid pace of writing specatacularly creative, inventive, challenging, unique, and heady books, but I can't wait to find out!! (New one's out!!)

5-0 out of 5 stars A Wicked Treat...
This novel presents a disturbing and provocative view of Oz from the Wicked Witch of the West's perspective. Finally deemed worthy of a name, readers follow the life of Elphaba as she grows from a neglected infant to a much misunderstood woman murdered by a cold mercenary from Kansas. Author Gregory Maguire paints a bleak, cynical picture of Oz filled with secret police, racism, oppression, sadism and more. This isn't the fairy tale from your childhood...

Overall the book is thought-provoking and extremely rich in language and imagery. It's a treat to read. The exploration of morality is compelling and the conflict between good versus evil is reduced almost to a debate between semantics. In some ways it's possible to compare Wicked to Lolita in the way the evil of the central character is humanized.

Not so much bound together by a story, the book explores a darker side of Oz by outlining its history. Expect the book to offer a wealth of ideas and images rather than a page-turning plot. In many ways, the novel is poetic in nature.

I enjoyed it thoroughly and recommend it. Oz is less enjoyable now that I am an adult and the debate Maguire raises in Wicked is more compelling, in some ways, than the black-and-white morally clear world Baum painted for my childhood.

4-0 out of 5 stars Wicked?
The title of this wonderful book should probably include a question mark--Wicked? Because that's the question we're meant to ask ourselves as we read this chronicle of the life of the Wicked Witch of the West. Was she really wicked? Or did we just catch her at her worst, last moment in The Wizard of Oz?

Beyond being compulsively readable, filled with moments of recognition as the Witch moves steadily toward an end we've already seen on film, this book tackles serious issues on many levels. The Witch's father is a preacher, fighting to protect "unionism" from the new "pleasure faith" while also balancing it with the pagan tendencies and folklore of Oz culture. The presence of talking animals in Oz-remember the Cowardly Lion?-gives Maguire the makings of a civil rights struggle dedicated to fair treatment of these high-functioning beasts, as well as raising questions about the proper dividing line between man and animals and whether either has a soul. Maguire's Oz is filled with political intrigue and romantic tensions, re-imagining the Yellow Brick Road as a tool in the Wizard's assault on the freedoms of Munchkinland and the Good Witch of the North as a spoiled noblewoman, wooed by many, who started out as the Wicked Witch's college roommate. The magical shoes, the flying monkeys, and even the Witch's green skin all have fascinating explanations.

It is a measure of the book's success that I want to watch the movie again with all this back story in mind. Maguire has used one classic to create another, and in doing so, he has amplified both.

5-0 out of 5 stars A welcome bridge between the fanciful and the poignant
You know, I wanted to hate this book. I had seen self proclaimed literary buffs reading it, and really the concept (The Wizard of Oz from the Wicked Witch's standpoint) seemed really pretentious. Nothing aside from being delayed at the Houston airport with nothing else in the bookstore to buy could have prompted me to read this book. That being said, I read it before I got back to the Houston airport on my return flight.

From reading the back of the book, you would think that within lie the answers to all sorts of nasty little questions pertaining to the nature of evil and the tole society has in forming the individual. It does not. What it does is give you an excuse to become personally aware of your own prejudices through Elphie, the Wicked Witch. At times you will hate her, and at times you will sympathize with her, and all the while the reader gets to see the rest of Oz keep on trucking; I'd be willing to bet the reason McGuire made so much happen around Elphie is to make it difficult to focus specifcally on her. Read the book, you'll see what I mean.

The bottom line: This book is terrificl. If you are afraid to like a character who does things you think you shouldn't, don't buy it. If you like admitting to yourself that you have characteristics you won' fess up to in public, buy this book. It is amazing. It is also amazingly easy to read. Seriously, buy it now. Stop reading reviews and buy it.

5-0 out of 5 stars one of the best
Despite the topic the novel discusses, this is not a book for children, or even teenagers. This is a book for adults, plain and simple. I enjoyed every word, concept and literary device found in this book. I found it to be clever and moving. Yes, the book can be raunchy, but if we look beyond that we see evidence of the Witch being greatly impacted by the actions of her parents and peers. Her mother detested her, her father used her as an example; it is no wonder that she grew up bitter and angry. But, despite this bitterness, she strives to help others who are in the same situation she is in- being judged based upon appearence and not heart and mind, and soul. The Witch was misunderstood; she wanted to be loved and to love, she wanted to be what her parents had hoped she would be before her birth. It is a great story about the struggles of those who do not fit in, and who are trying to make themselves into something useful. The Witch's major fault was not her green skin, it was her obsessive need to be good enough for her parents, and not quite making it. I loved this book, I have been recommending it to all my friends. ... Read more

14. Star Wars: Episode II, Attack of the Clones
list price: $39.95
our price: $39.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0553714732
Catlog: Book (2002-04-23)
Publisher: Random House Audio
Sales Rank: 672938
Average Customer Review: 4.32 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Read by Jonathan Davis
6 cassettes 9.5 hrs. unabridged

There is a great disturbance in the Force. . . . From the sleek ships of the glimmering Coruscant skyscape to the lush gardens of pastoral Naboo, dissent is roiling. The Republic is failing, even under the leadership of Supreme Chancellor Palpatine, elected ten years earlier to save the crumbling government. Separatists threaten war, and the Senate is hopelessly divided, unable to determine whether to raise an army for battle or keep the fragile peace. It is a stalemate that once broken, could lead to galactic chaos.

Mischievous and resolved, courageous to the point of recklessness, Anakin Skywalker has come of age in a time of great upheaval. The nineteen-year-old apprentice to Obi-Wan Kenobi is an enigma to the Jedi Council, and a challenge to his Jedi Master. Time has not dulled Anakin’s ambition, nor has his Jedi training tamed his independent streak. When an attempt on Senator Padmé Amidala’s life brings them together for the first time in ten years, it is clear that time also has not dulled Anakin’s intense feelings for the beautiful diplomat.

The attack on Senator Amidala just before a crucial vote thrusts the Republic even closer to the edge of disaster. Masters Yoda and Mace Windu sense enormous unease. The dark side is growing, clouding the Jedi’s perception of the events. Unbeknownst to the Jedi, a slow rumble is building into the roar of thousands of soldiers readying for battle. But even as the Republic falters around them, Anakin and Padmé find a connection so intense that all else begins to fall away. Anakin will lose himself—and his way—in emotions a Jedi, sworn to hold allegiance only to the Order, is forbidden to have.

Based on the story by George Lucas and the screenplay by George Lucas and Jonathan Hales, this intense and revealing novel by bestselling author R. A. Salvatore sheds new light on the legend of Star Wars—and skillfully illuminates one of our most beloved sagas.
... Read more

Reviews (181)

4-0 out of 5 stars Much more depth than the movie
I really enjoyed this book, despite having seen the movie a few times already. The book provided a lot more information that there was in the movie.

There was a lot more depth to both the plot and the characters, including a look at Shmi's life with the Lars family and her abduction by the Tusken Raiders, and the failed attempts to rescue her, also the love story between Annakin and Padme is developed much better so it actually seems they have a real basis for their feelings for each other. We also get to meet Padme's family and are able to see her much more as a person than just a political figure.

These and a few others are the reasons to read the book. Everything else follows pretty directly with the movie, but there is enough extra information in the story to make the book well worth reading for Star Wars fans. I look foward to Episode III, both the book and movie.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great Saga Continuation...
I have been a Star Wars fan since 1977 when I was 5 and saw the first movie.

When I got this book I promised myself that I would read it before the movie came out. Well I did without even trying, it was that easy to read, fast paced and good plot. I highly recommend it.

But what I noticed a few days ago when I watched Star Wars for the 100,000th time, is that no matter how good the next two movies/books might be, they will never come close to the original series. Why? It is simple. When we first saw The Star Wars movies no one knew where they were going. You were surprised when you found out Vader's relationship to Luke, and Luke's to Leia. And the introduction and development of all the other characters.

But in the new prequel trilogy we already know the end result. So the adventure and excitement have been removed from the story. Yes it is interesting to find out how Anikan became Vader, but there is no suspense in the process. Part of the reason is, for the last ten years there have been a lot of Star Wars novels written, mostly in sequence with each other. Through them we are able to piece together the mystery of Vader and the Empire. Plus, even for people that just watch the movies, they have aready seen the end. So the new movie's just seem like and historical retrospective, which may seem cool but no real thrill.

So while the new movies/books may be good, they will never have the epic feel that the originals have.

Saying all that I still love the new movies and hype that surrounds them.

5-0 out of 5 stars Better than the movie?
Yes! Then again most books are! But if your a big Star wars fan then this is a must read. This book will take you deeper into the story of the man/machine Anakin. As Salvatore wrote me when he signed my book refering to this story, "A glimpse into the shadows of his soul." Indeed!

1-0 out of 5 stars Batting less than 1.000.....
I think I've read just about everything Mr Salvatore has written. Demon Wars, Drizzt and Wulfgar, Vector Prime... Salvatore is simply amazing. His detail with weapons, fighting techiniques, strategies, character development, story telling. This guy CAN do it all. Terry Brooks did an excellent job with Episode I, he really made the movie/story enjoyable for me. I was so excited when I read that Salvatore would be writing what was to be potentially the darkest chapter of Star Wars....

... then I read the book. I'm sorry, Bob, but this novel was terrible. You had a few good parts, but you rushed the entire 2nd half of the book. All of the fighting scenes, Force battles, military strategy... what happened? This was not Salvatore's normal writing style. I was very dissapointed with the Episode II novel.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Wonderful Adaptation Worthy of Star Wars.......
R.A. Salvatore, author of several New Jedi Order novels (including the series' first entry, Vector Prime) became the first Star Wars author to write a film's novelization when he was assigned to adapt Episode II: Attack of the Clones.

Released in hardcover a few weeks before the film's release, Salvatore's novelization of the screenplay by George Lucas and Jonathan Hales not only tells the story contained in the final film, but also adds three chapters of backstory establishing Anakin's emotional turmoil and Padme Amidala's inner struggle to find balance between her official duties as Senior Senator from Naboo and her growing awareness of a need for a more personal life.

Set 10 years after Anakin Skywalker's departure from Tatooine with Qui-Gon Jinn and Obi-Wan Kenobi, Attack of the Clones begins with a prologue in which Anakin has a nightmare. It begins with images of something the young Jedi Padawan longs for...the presence of family and friends...and especially the company of his mother, who he has not seen in a decade. But the dream -- or is it a Force-vision? -- quickly turns ghastly when his mother's image turns into a garish crystaline figure and shatters. When he wakes up, sweaty and out of breath, he's forced to focus on his current assignment with his Master, Obi-Wan Kenobi, which is to settle a dispute on the planet Ansion (which is described in full in Alan Dean Foster's The Approaching Storm, a prequel to Episode II). Anxious and unsettled, he wants to complete this mission quickly so he can go back to Coruscant and seek guidance, but not from his Master or any of the Masters at the Jedi Temple...but from Supreme Chancellor Palpatine.

Meanwhile, Anakin's mother Shmi is now no longer Watto's slave and happily married to moisture farmer Cliegg Lars. Although she is now free and loves both her husband and stepson Owen, she misses Anakin and wonders if he did, at last, become a Jedi. The chapter describing her new life on the Lars homestead sets up both the relationship between Owen and his girlfriend Beru Whitesun (who, of course, will be Shmi's grandson Luke's guardians in the future). Salvatore's expository chapter gives both depth and context to the later scenes involving Shmi and Anakin.

After another brief chapter of backstory, from Chapter Four on Attack of the Clones focuses on the events at the heart of the film. Ten years have passed since Senator Palpatine's election to the Supreme Chancellorship, but despite his promises to reduce corruption and restore confidence in the Republic, things have become worse. The Trade Federation and various other special-interest groups have joined a secessionist movement that has enticed several thousand systems to leave the Republic. Led by the charismatic Count Dooku, a former Jedi Master, this movement is gathering more momentum with each passing day, and Palpatine's negotiations are going nowhere. As the secessionists grow stronger and bolder, hawks in the Senate are pushing for the Military Creation Act, which will, for the first time since the founding of the Republic, set up a centralized army to assist the limited numbers of Jedi Knights. However, moderates such as Bail Organa of Alderaan and Padme Amidala of Naboo believe that such a move will result in open civil war.

When Amidala rushes back to Coruscant to vote against the Military Creation Act, her official starship is destroyed by an unknown assailant and her decoy Corde is killed. Alarmed by this incident (or so it seems), Palpatine urges the young senator to accept tighter security. When Amidala tries to object, Palpatine insists that she be guarded and suggests to the Jedi Council that she be placed under the protection of the Jedi...and he knows exactly who to assign: "Perhaps someone you may be familar old Master Kenobi."

For Obi-Wan Kenobi, the unexpected assignment is simply limited to the protection of the Senator. For Anakin, however, it becomes the catalyst for both renewing his relationship with the woman he loves and to yet again defy his Jedi Master. They openly argue, bringing to the fore the restlessness and impetuousness of the young Padawan. Then a second attempt is made on Amidala's life, and both Jedi Master and apprentice head off in desperate pursuit of the deadly bounty hunter Zam Wessel...a chase that will only be the first phase of a long and perilous search for clues that will reveal who is behind the attempts on Amidala's life.

Episode II is a return to the classic Star Wars format, with its exotic locations (the cloners' watery world of Kamino, the hostile desert environment of Tatooine, the factory planet of Geonosis with its huge termite-mounds, and the dizzying cityscape of Coruscant), chases, spaceship fights, romance, and, of course, a climactic lightsaber duel.

Attack of the Clones features both familiar characters from The Phantom Menace, including a reduced yet crucial (if rather unexpected) role for Jar Jar Binks, and such new characters as Count Dooku, Cliegg Lars, and the fearsome bounty hunter Jango Fett, whose genetic material is being used to make the clones that will become the Grand Army of the Republic. Boba Fett, the equally ruthless bounty hunter seen in the Classic Star Wars trilogy, is introduced in Episode II as Jango's only unaltered clone.

The novel format has the advantage that expository material can be inserted without the constrains of "running time." Readers can for instance, learn why Palpatine manages to serve despite having passed his term limit in office, or "meet" Padme's family in a sequence that was written and filmed but deleted from the final film.

Salvatore has the advantage of having written Star Wars material before, and his skillful melding of backstory, use of deleted scenes, and great story-telling abilities make this adaptation work. ... Read more

15. The Dark Tower VII : The Dark Tower (King, Stephen)
by Stephen King
list price: $75.00
our price: $47.25
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0743538102
Catlog: Book (2004-09-21)
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio
Sales Rank: 15838
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Book Description

All good things must come to an end, Constant Listener, and not even Stephen King can write a story that goes on forever. The tale of Roland Deschain's relentless quest for the Dark Tower has, the author fears, sorely tried the patience of those who have followed it from its earliest chapters. But attend to it a while longer, if it pleases you, for this volume is the last, and often the last things are best.

Roland's ka-tet remains intact, though scattered over wheres and whens. Susannah-Mia has been carried from the Dixie Pig (in the summer of 1999) to a birthing room -- really a chamber of horrors -- in Thunderclap's Fedic Station; Jake and Father Callahan, with Oy between them, have entered the restaurant on Lex and 61st with weapons drawn, little knowing how numerous and noxious are their foes. Roland and Eddie are with John Cullum in Maine, in 1977, looking for the site on Turtleback Lane where "walk-ins" have been often seen. They want desperately to get back to the others, to Susannah especially, and yet they have come to realize that the world they need to escape is the only one that matters.

Thus the audiobook opens, like a door to the uttermost reaches of Stephen King's imagination. You've come this far. Come a little farther. Come all the way. The sound you hear may be the slamming of the door behind you. Welcome to The Dark Tower. ... Read more

16. A Game of Thrones
list price: $54.95
our price: $34.62
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0739308688
Catlog: Book (2004-01-13)
Publisher: Random House Audio
Sales Rank: 30777
Average Customer Review: 4.53 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Here is the first volume in George R. R. Martin’s magnificent cycle of novels that includes A Clash of Kings and A Storm of Swords. As a whole, this series comprises a genuine masterpiece of modern fantasy, bringing together the best the genre has to offer. Magic, mystery, intrigue, romance, and adventure fill these pages and transport us to a world unlike any we have ever experienced. Already hailed as a classic, George R. R. Martin’s stunning series is destined to stand as one of the great achievements of imaginative fiction.


Long ago, in a time forgotten, a preternatural event threw the seasons out of balance. In a land where summers can last decades and winters a lifetime, trouble is brewing. The cold is returning, and in the frozen wastes to the north of Winterfell, sinister and supernatural forces are massing beyond the kingdom’s protective Wall. At the center of the conflict lie the Starks of Winterfell, a family as harsh and unyielding as the land they were born to. Sweeping from a land of brutal cold to a distant summertime kingdom of epicurean plenty, here is a tale of lords and ladies, soldiers and sorcerers, assassins and bastards, who come together in a time of grim omens.

Here an enigmatic band of warriors bear swords of no human metal; a tribe of fierce wildlings carry men off into madness; a cruel young dragon prince barters his sister to win back his throne; and a determined woman undertakes the most treacherous of journeys. Amid plots and counterplots, tragedy and betrayal, victory and terror, the fate of the Starks, their allies, and their enemies hangs perilously in the balance, as each endeavors to win that deadliest of conflicts: the game of thrones.
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Reviews (1061)

4-0 out of 5 stars Winter is Coming ...
Martin's book is a brilliant combination of old ideas, new ideas, pulp and literature. Overall this equates to a great read, which the reader can enjoy immersing himself in.

Martin does a wonderful job developing the implications of a world where the seasons last for an indeterminate amount of time (is. some number of years) without beating it over the reader's head. I really enjoyed the concept that very young adults would have no memory of winter and the difficulties that are associated with it. It reminded me a bit of those who graduated during the years our economy was flourishing and had no concept of what it was like to find work in a recession - until recently. No doubt, those older than me have much better comparisons.

It is the subtle development of such ideas that contribute a great deal to elevate the book above standard pulp fantasy. Other examples of well developed ideas are the mysterious and fearsome direwolves kept by the Stark family; the idea (and implications) that some characters follow gods which are more "ancient" than the gods followed by other charters; the well placed references to the historic races of man which inhabit the world; and the slow revelation of the history of the world.

One reviewer complains that the characters are uninteresting because they are archetypal. While I have to agree that many characters were archetypal, I found many of them to be so likeable or interesting that I did not care. For example, the fat King who enjoys overindulging in food and women. Stereotype -yes, but also more than enough extra character development to make him a very interesting and likeable character.

Having said all of that, I do believe that some of characters were a little one dimensional (i.e. Viserys, Lysa, Joffrey) and that the book might have benefited from editing out some of the details associated with them - and also some other scenes.

I also have a major problem with a decision that Catelyn makes, which is pivotal to the story. Granted she had very little time to commit to a course of action, however frankly I found it hard to believe that she was stupid enough to be tricked as she was. I thought this quite inconsistent with her character. I suspect it was done in an attempt to be true to life - everyone does stupid things that are out of character occasionally - however to me it appeared to be a huge flaw in the story.

Final complaint - the language is occasionally a bit melodramatic. Otherwise, the prose was excellent so this is a very minor point. It is easy to be a critic.

The bottom line is that this a great accomplishment and I am excited about starting the second installment.

5-0 out of 5 stars 'Historical' Epic Fantasy
The first installment of A Song of Ice and Fire reveals Martin's genius in creating a feudal society and the political machinations that went on behind the scenes. The end result is that everything seems real...and it is only when a direwolf or other non-earth creature appears that you remember that this is not a (wonderfully done) recreation of European history, Hadrian's wall and all. (But then again, maybe it is!) His characters come in so many assortments and with so much psychological depth that there is always something new, something deeper to discover about an individual and there is always someone you love to hate or to mourn with. An author who can do that on the scale that Martin does is truly a dedicated, talented, hardworking author, and every page reveals that Martin is just that. The writing is superbly crafted, the situations and plot carefully and intricately developed. The book is full of many surprises and developments that kept me unable to put it down, and I awaited the 2nd volume with much anticipation and I'll read the 3rd as soon as it comes out. This book truly earned its 5 stars.

5-0 out of 5 stars Fantasy for the non-fantasy reader
My husband, an avid fantasy reader, has tried for years to get me interested in the genre. One evening when I was desperate for something to read, he handed me this book and begged me to give it a chance. I was hooked from page one! The writing is exceptional, and the characters--especially the women--are well developed. What strikes me most about Martin's work is that it is brutally honest and the characters act and think like real people...they don't seem at all like the stereotypical "heroes" I've encountered in other books. One word of caution to those who don't read a lot of fantasy, be sure to give yourself a few chapters to get into this book. Until I figured out how this world worked I found myself confused a lot, and I kept having to ask my husband to clarify certain points. Once I "got it" though, I had no trouble reading. This book (and entire series) is so amazing it transcends genre and can appeal to any reader.

5-0 out of 5 stars Outstanding, original and unpredictable is a start
If I tried to sit here and describe in words how I felt about this book I would fail horribly, unfortunately Im not as good at writing as George R.R. Martin. But I can promise you if you want a world filled with Magic, Heroes, Damsels in distress, Cynical and pure evil villians and happy endings for all... then you will DETEST this book.

A lot of books in this genre are expected to have magic trickling through every page, but this one doesn't... heck it rarely has anything that has to do with magic, or dragons or whatnot... and when it does its makes sense! It isn't illogical out of the blue huge balls of fire flying at the enemies, its subtle, simple and dare I say, realistic (hard to refer to magic as realistic but this series pulls it off). To me this is a plus! I remember reading books by authors (who's names I will not disclose) and think to my self "oh geez.. thats just a bit too much" or "oh c'mon, WAY too corny!" but in this series, all that ever came to mind was "I WANT MORE!".

Heroes are common in almost all books, fantasy or not. But in fantasy books heroes are usually weilding a glowing sword in one hand, a beautiful woman in the other and a dragon between their legs. Not only is this series no where near that corny, it makes it SO hard to choose sides! To many people, I can understand how this would be frustrating, but if anything it just gives you a taste of everyday life where evil and good are not black and white.

The villians... are there actually villians in this book? Somtimes I wonder. Its just this book has you thinking in such a philisohical and open minded way, it makes it hard for you not to relate with someone who just preforms an 'evil' deed, or at least pity them. Although some characters are hated pretty easily, overtime you may suddenly realize you are in love with them... and not understand when or how it happened! Same goes for the other way around, at one point in respect to a certain character I was thinking "Oh this kid is great, will make a good man one day" and later on, im not sure when, I was thinking "never liked that stupid kid..."

Also, as a warning more than anything else, be prepared for death if you read this book. There are characters who you may love, and think are amazing, that will die horrible pointless meaningless deaths. Yes I know, not a very happy ending, but not all endings have to be very happy. On the same token, there may be a villian you may be growing attatched too, and be expecting many interesting things from, who may suddenly just keel over. Again, in its own way dissapointing. But in all respects, it made the book THAT much better.

I know there are a few people out there who don't appreciate the sheer brilliance of this series, or they maybe dissapointed in a certain outcome. The thing is the books don't follow a predictable path lined with dandillions, bunny rabbits and a rainbow arched above, so at some points you may even be upset with George for being so mean! But after a few more pages you quickly forgive him and dive right back into the amazing plot(s). Like I said earlier... if you want predictable over the top magic, heroes that always win, illogical ideals that are always either extremely evil or extremely good... than this book series is DEFINATELY not for you. BUT if you want somthing new with an original and interesting concept, somthing that is not afraid to hurt your feelings to further the plot, somthing that makes you ponder about life itself, than this book series is DEFINATELY for you! Two thumbs up! If I had more they would be up as well.

5-0 out of 5 stars Yes, I just finished reading the book...
... but let me tell you my odd (maybe even queer) reading habits.

... and immediately jumped on to write this review.

It took me 6 months to read to page 304. It took me 6 days to finish the book. The first 304 pages are not dry at all... very engaging. Let me describe myself:

1. I am not a reader of books: I do read periodicals and technical books out the wahzoo but the last book I actually sat and enjoyed was "Makes Me Wanna Holler: A Young Black Man in America" by Nathan McCall almost 10 years ago.

2. As a general rule, I loathe fantasy books despite labeling myself a hardcore fantasy roleplayer. I always felt that most fantasy books were so predictable, lacking character development and plot. Also, many faults lie with relying too much on magic, magic items, great monsters and beasts and in the end, have you really experienced anything different that you hadn't heard/read/seen before?

So when I tell you that this book is the one, do not be so quick to judge my lack of experience in fantasy book genre. The greatness of this book is that it deals with real characters, real character development and plots as heavy and thought provoking as you can ever experience. Best of all, it does not rely on magic, magic items, great beasts, superheroes, etc in order to tell the story.

Do yourself a favour, like I did, and get the entire series. You will be glad that you did.

When you play the game of thrones, you win or you die. There is no middle ground. - Cersei Lannister

Damn straight! ... Read more

17. Diamond Age
by Neal Stephenson
list price: $49.98
our price: $49.98
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1586211145
Catlog: Book (2001-08-01)
Publisher: Time Warner Audiobooks
Sales Rank: 293073
Average Customer Review: 4.18 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Decades into our future, a stone's throw from the ancient city of Shanghai, a brilliant nanotechnologist named John Percival Hackworth has just broken the
rigorous moral code of his tribe, the powerful neoVictorians.  He's made an illicit copy of a state-of-the-art interactive device called A Young Ladys Illustrated Primer  Commissioned by an eccentric duke for his grandchild, stolen for Hackworth's own daughter, the Primer's purpose is to educate and raise a girl capable of thinking for herself.  It performs its function superbly.  Unfortunately for Hackworth, his smuggled copy has fallen into the wrong hands.

Young Nell and her brother Harv are thetes--members of the poor, tribeless class.  Neglected by their mother, Harv looks after Nell.  When he and his gang waylay a certain neo-Victorian--John Percival Hackworth--  in the seamy streets of their neighborhood, Harv brings Nell something special: the Primer.

Following the discovery of his crime, Hackworth begins an odyssey of his own.  Expelled from the neo-Victorian paradise, squeezed by agents of Protocol
Enforcement on one side and a Mandarin underworld crime lord on the other, he searches for an elusive figure known as the Alchemist.  His quest and Nell's
will ultimately lead them to another seeker whose fate is bound up with the Primer-- a woman who holds the key to a vast, subversive information
network that is destined to decode and reprogram the future of humanity.

Vividly imagined, stunningly prophetic, and epic in scope, The Diamond Age is a major novel from one of the most visionary writers of our time

From the Paperback edition.
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Reviews (273)

4-0 out of 5 stars Honestly, I want to give it 4.999
The Diamond Age, or aptly named, a Young Lady's Illustrated Primer was great. It combined Stephenson's interesting characters with another unexpected plot just like his book Snow Crash. The tone that the book started with definitely led me way off track. Just like in Snow Crash, the ending and real meat of the plot is nothing like what the beginning of the book suggests.
Without giving too much away, the book revolves initially on the life of a young girl (named Nell) and how it changes through the intervention of a Princess's 'magic' book. However this initial plot is only one of three interwoven plots which also include: an aristocratic nanoengeneer's plight, and an actress, or "ractress" as they're known in Stephenson's world. And of course, Stephenson handles all of these stories with an expert's hand. The book has all the makings for an excellent sci-fi/cyberpunk book: psychological theories, nanotechnology, unique view of future TV, and all sorts of theorized neo-nations. The book almost requires a second reading to get the full effect of all its subtle humor and irony.
For whatever reason you read the book I'm sure you'll enjoy it. It only has one downfall. Towards the middle of the book, it slows down a little. It shifts roles from rapidly progressing through Nell's early life to her middle and early teen years. Out of the two books I've read by Stephenson (Snow Crash and Diamond Age) I would rank Snow Crash just above Diamond Age, just because the book kept flowing at the same rate throughout the plotline. However that matters little because they're both tremendous books.

5-0 out of 5 stars THE FINEST nanotechnology novel EVER, but the ending STINKS
After reading the book and the reviews on this page, I must say 2 things. To anyone considering the purchase of this book, RUN, RUN, RUN ! to your bookstore and purchase this jewel of speculative fiction. If you seek cyberpunk excitement, look elsewhere. However, if you are looking for the finest, clearest, razor honed diamond vision of the future of nanotechnology, this is THE book to read. Lucid characters, plot, and just plain perfect writing all contribute to make this the science fiction novel of the year, if not the decade. The second thing I must say about this book is that the ending SUCKS. Mr. Stephenson, if you have the opportunity to read this review, please take these words to heart. If you wrote the ending of this book as a prelude to a sequel, you did a poor job of it. If, on the otherhand, you are not planning a sequel, then your ending was absolutely idiotic. None of the perfectly woven threads of the story were resolved, and the shoddy construction of the last 20 pages is obviously hurried with no regard to the outcome. If you choose to write another novel, please don't be in such a rush to publish that you abandon your fine work, it is as if a master craftsman of the ming dynasty has crafted the finest of vases then glazed it with Krylon. Overall, I would recommend this above every other book written in the last 10 years, even over such classics as Greg Bear's Blood Music and William Gibson's Neuromancer. Please keep up the good work, Mr. Stephenson, but please learn how to write good endings for your stories.

5-0 out of 5 stars fascinating vision of nanotech-driven future
This book is pleasantly dense with interesting ideas about what the future holds. The title refers to the progression of material-driven stages of human progress -- the Stone Age, the Bronze Age, etc. In "the Diamond Age", matter compilers can easily create diamonds out of raw carbon. Basic foodstuffs and many other material wants can be satisfied by these matter compilers. This has created a world in which no one need starve. However there are still tremendous disparities between rich and poor, because many human comforts such as entertainment and fine food still require the services of other people, which must be bought in hard currency. Networked nano-technology is all-pervasive, with microscopic robots putting these poorer citizens under constant surveillance. Faced with this hyperactive stew of technologies, ancient instincts and traditions run strong. Crime, poverty, and tribal conflict are still rampant in this world. People cling to old ways of thought (a strong Confucian motif runs through the book) to help make human sense of the rapidly changing world.

Against this backdrop, a fantastically advanced piece of technology (a sentient child's primer) is stolen, and winds up in the hands of a destitute young waif named Nell. Her resulting world-class education, and what she does with that education, is the binding for the various threads of the story.

The book's characters are well-realized for the most part, the writing style is honed and mature, the plot is intricate and engaging. The ending is controversial in its ambiguity, but that does not diminish the power of the book as a whole. In all, a very thought-provoking read.

5-0 out of 5 stars Stephenson's best.
I have to say that this is Neal Stephenson's best work among what I've read and undoubtedly one of my all-time favorite books. It was simply incredible. I would like to give it more than five stars.

5-0 out of 5 stars Completely Original
The Diamond Age is the second of Stephenson's books that I've read. I enjoyed it far more that Snow Crash. While Snow Crash got off to a great start, I didn't enjoy the second half at all. I found myself reading it because it was a groundbreaking book, not because I enjoyed it. I read The Diamond Age because it was a fast-paced enjoyable read AND because it was unique and thought-provoking.

The Diamond Age is set is a very plausable near future where nanotech has eliminated basic problems, such as starvation, but its created its share of problems as well. Nasty nanotech devices that can track or kill people require sophisticated nanotech defenses.

Meanwhile, all nanotech products are provided be a central feed that both controls what can be delivered, what is free and what costs money, and frees peasents from substistence farming and the poor from working to survive. While this world is harldy a utopia -- as there are still massive economic disparities between the rich and poor and a tremendous amount of crime and pollution -- Westerners on the whole seem happy with this arangement.

But there are more than a few who are unhappy or restless. The Diamond Age is the story of what happens when a father who wants a better life for his daughter collides with an entire culture that wants change. Throw in an enormous computer made of human bodies, an interactive storybook that tells a story that takes over a decade to read, an army of teenage girls and a few other interesting characters and you have a compelling and fascinating view of the future.

When I first finished the book, I thought the ending was abrupt and disappointing. But, as I started to think about the end, I could see everything falling into place.

This is the best book I've read in a while and I highly recommend it. ... Read more

18. Chronicles of Narnia Audio Collection
by C. S. Lewis
list price: $50.00
our price: $31.50
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0694524662
Catlog: Book (2000-11-01)
Publisher: HarperChildrensAudio
Sales Rank: 38579
Average Customer Review: 4.75 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

The Chronicles of Narnia Audio Collection brings all seven of C.S. Lewis's beloved Narnia tales to life, as they are read by some of the world's most celebrated and renowned performers. ... Read more

Reviews (563)

5-0 out of 5 stars Truly Fantastic
Clives Staples Lewis has created a mythical world which absolutely captures the human mind. The Chronicles of Narnia contain exciting plots, which all converge upon each other at the finally of the series: The Last Battle. Through out the books weaves the morals and beliefs of Christianity. These books do a wonder job of telling the story of the Bible, from the instantaneous creation of the world to the death of Aslan (Jesus). The way God cares about every one and desires us to enjoy life through Him, to the last battle and final days at the end of the world (of course Lewis did not know what was going to happen, yet it is still an interesting idea). In one of the best written books of all time, the land of Narnia comes alive with lovable and evil characters. The battle between good and evil is made abruptly apparent in this book as a small country goes through its history fighting for what is right. Light and darkness collide in the Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe as four kids explore the land which they will rule. For a time it appears as though the evil side emerges victorious; but it is found that the White Witch as not the ability to peer far enough back into the depths time. This book it one of the most important of the set, because contained in it is the most important message of all time. My father used to read the Chronicles of Narnia to me when I was younger, now I read them on my own. When he did this he stressed, Christianity is having the relationship with God, like the youths had with Aslan. I think these are very well written books and I would encourage any one to read. I uphold C.S. Lewis as a great writer of the centuries and I praise his books (all of them) as magnificant.

5-0 out of 5 stars The best fantasy series ever!
If I could I would give The Chronicles of Narnia 500 stars. The story is fresh and fascinating. The world of Narnia is how our world should be with humans and animals and other fantstical creatures joing together for the greater good.

The series starts with "The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe." Very accurate title because these are the important magical objects in this book. The shell of the story is set during WWII when the children of London are evacuated to the countryside in order to protect them from the air raids. Peter, Susan, Edmund and Lucy are sent to a country manor where they discover a wardrobe that transports them to the Magical world of Narnia where it is always winter, never Christmas, and even time flows different. We meet Mr. Tumnus the fawn and a kindly beaver couple who help the children escape the dreaded White Witch. Finally there is the incredible Aslan, the lion ruler of Narnia.

With seven books in the series it is impossible to sum up them all here, but they are all worth reading. My recommendation is to buy the series and read it to your children (that way you don't have to feel guilty that you are enjoying the books as much as they are). Or just buy it for the magical feeling of being young and full of imagnination.

5-0 out of 5 stars This boxed set is the BEST way to get this CLASSIC
Over the last century, C.S. Lewis' Narnia Chronicles have become among the most beloved works of children's literature ever published, and with good reason. The seven volumes of this series offer stories that are absolutely timeless, fairy tales mixing adventurous journeys, marvelous characters, mythical creatures, terrible evils, and moral lessons. That they are well told only helps them stand the test of time.

This boxed set is simply gorgeous, with attractive covers and nice layouts - plus you get the books individually, which is good for children who may not have the stamina to hold up that giant collected edition.

Each of the seven volumes can be read as an independent story, yet each are linked together by reoccurring themes and characters. Together the separate books form a unified whole, the grand and epic tale that is the Narnia Chronicles. Only "The Horse And His Boy" stands alone as a tale outside the core story arc, though there are cameos by core characters. Over the course of the six core volumes, the interwoven story of Narnia is told from that magical land's creation to its glorious end.

The books are not always of consistent quality, but a strong book always follows the weaker volumes. Such was the case when the Homeresque "The Voyage of the Dawn Treader" followed the forgettable "Prince Caspian," for instance.

Of course, calling the seven-book series a single epic brings into mind a long-running debate. In what order should the books be read; chronologically or in published order? In truth, either order will work because the stories are strong enough to withstand any amount of juggling.

The Narnia Chronicles are classics because they offer rich and rewarding stories, glimpses of far off and magical lands, and present entertaining characters to the reader. They stand the test of time because they contain age-old moral lessons, are written in an eminently readable way that just begs to be read aloud, and are simple enough for kids while deep enough for adults. The cliché holds true here: the books are great for young and old alike.

No fan of young adult or juvenile literature should pass up on the Narnia Chronicles. Neither should any fan of fantasy, either. And probably nor should any reader at all, period. Recommended classics and near essential reading.

5-0 out of 5 stars The second best fantasy series ever written...
...after Lord of the Rings, and easily the best children's series ever written. 'Nuff said!

If you are new to this series, especially if you are going to read it to a child, DO NOT READ THEM IN CHRONOLOGICAL ORDER! A child will lose interest after a few chapters. Few great stories are told strictly in chronological order and the hook for Narnia is "The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe".

Many of these other reviews done by people saying that they like reading these books in chronological order are adults who fell in love with the series years ago, and now see this new order as making better grown-up sense. Reading it this way for the first time will leave you with many details that shouldn't be discovered until after reading the first few books in the original order, and won't keep a child interested the way I and so many others were as kids.

So please, if you are an adult familiar and returning to this series, feel free to read it in any order you choose, (I certainly do) but if this is your first time, read it in the order below...cheers

1) The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe, 2) Prince Caspian, 3)The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, 4) The Silver Chair, 5) The Horse and His Boy, 6) The Magician's Nephew, and 7) The Last Battle ... Read more

list price: $75.00
our price: $47.25
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0739310119
Catlog: Book (2003-09-30)
Publisher: RH Audio
Sales Rank: 424698
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars J.R.R. Tolkien Gift Set
The J.R.R. Tolkien Gift Set is a must buy if you have not read 'The Hobbit' or 'The Lord of the Rings' book trilogy. This audio CD set includes both stories. 'The Lord of the Rings' trilogy is, of coarse, seperated into three parts: 'The Fellowship of the Ring', 'The Two Towers', and 'The Return of the King'. 'The Hobbit' audio CD is also included in this magnificent BBC Dramatization of author J.R.R. Tolkien's world. Both stories are great and, by superb voice acting, are told very well in this wonderful audio book gift set. I highly recommend that you buy the J.R.R. Tolkien Gift Set! ... Read more

20. The Fellowship of the Ring (The Lord of the Rings, Book 1)
by J. R. R. Tolkien, Rob Inglis
list price: $34.99
our price: $23.09
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0788789538
Catlog: Book (2000-12-01)
Publisher: Recorded Books
Sales Rank: 135533
Average Customer Review: 4.45 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

The first volume of The Lord of the Rings trilogy, revised and with a new foreword and an index by Professor Tolkien. The trilogy recounts the War of the Ring, in which the Third Age of Middle-earth came. This volume opens with the discovery of the Nature of the Ring. "Destined to outlast our time." -- New York Herald Tribune ... Read more

Reviews (714)

5-0 out of 5 stars Finally a "real" unabridged recording of LOTR
I am not one who usually buys books-on-tape (or CD as in this case) but I have long wanted to obtain the Lord of the Rings so as to hear this incredible story over and over. After having read it several times, my book is in tatters and so I searched for an unabridged audio recording. Many of those that I have seen claim to be "unabridged" but the fact is that they are not complete! They give parts of the books in full but leave out many sections or chapters. This set by Rob Inglis is COMPLETE!!! It is very well read with no drastic voicing of characters. Characters are easily distinguished and thoroughly enjoyable. This set is not full of sound effects and music, so if you are looking for that this is not for you. However, I personally prefer the fact that this is not an over-production and is rather quite focussed on what I wanted in the first place, the characters and the story. Inglis does a marvelous job and I am very happy with this set. Again, not to harp on it but, this is a "complete" package well worth the money!!!

5-0 out of 5 stars A grand beginning to the supreme fantasy of our time
There is, as Simon Cowell says, "no question or doubt" (or "no question a doubt", danged if I know from his accent) that this is one of the greatest works of Western literature the world has yet seen. That was beautifully proven with the movies. Now, after reading the tedious "The Hobbit" and witnessing Peter Jackson's timeless adaptation, I was finally ready to pick up Part One of LOTR. I'm glad I didn't wait another second. Tolkien's first brainchild is timeless, a flawless blend of rousing adventure, memorable (and often quirky) characters, hypnotic fantasy, good vs. evil, and social commentary. If you are willing enough to read the lenghtly introduction, don't be fooled by Tolkien's explanation that this is just a book for your basic reading pleasure. It can be read on so many thematic levels it's unbelievable. There is a chapter in the book that was cut from the movie. The chapter "In The House of Tom Bombadil" provides a pause in the increasing tension of the novel (the hobbits have had a close encounter with death from a terrible enemy) and introduces us to Tom Bombadil and his lovely wife. In the book, the pause works, but it was best left out of the movie, where the pace was much quicker. That brings me to another point of the book: the pace. Tolkien did not write this to satisfy children. This is fantasy for those with very long attention spans. He goes into long, at times tedious, detail of what the Fellowship had for breakfast, if one of them ate more than the other, etc. And the romance between Aragorn and Arwen is not present in the book as it is in the movie. No matter. Both the movie and book are excellent and stand as perfection in their genre. Buy both immediately.

5-0 out of 5 stars Brillance from the Grandmaster of Fantasy
The Fellowship of the Ring is beautiful and rich in texture, character development, and writing style, and in my opinion transcends the realm of "book" and "fantasy", becoming true literature and a classic. The book should not be confused with the movie, as the two are aimed at different audiences with different expectations. Fellowship is without a doubt dated. As some reviewers have pointed out, Tolkien may spend 80 pages walking down a road, or 2 pages in a song. He may spend pages developing a character's style, then mere paragraphs describing an action scene. Tolkien wrote to a British audience back in the 30s and 40s who didn't mind this and actually expected it. An audience who were not as rushed as we are today, who did not expect the instant gratification TV and computers bring and were used to pure imagination to visualize action scenes. An audience who had 2 or 3 hours a night to become absorbed in a book and who were willing to put forth the sustained effort to delve into complex character development. The movie in turn is geared towards maximum action and gratification in a short time period. There's nothing wrong with that; in fact I think the movie is brilliant, a visual feast. But that is not, nor can it be, the aim of the book. The point of this book is to close yourself off to the real world and lose yourself entirely in Tolkien's fantasy. If a sentence has to be reread a couple of times, or only 20 pages are read in an hour or two, than so be it. This is not a novel to be rushed.

3-0 out of 5 stars Not a fantasy fan
I am not a fantasy fan but wanted to read this anyways- I didn enjoy it but it was just a bit slow at points. It took sometime getting through it but made me appreciate the movies that much more. Probably wouldn't have gotten through the book if I hadn't watched the movie first.

5-0 out of 5 stars best book ever
"The Lord of the Rings" is the greatest piece of literature the world has ever seen and will ever see. Nothing can replace it.

Now I have a little something to say to someone named "alcar" who gave this wonderful book one star. You are an idiodic freak!!!!! No one can insult J.R.R. Tolkien. And yes, he wrote this. You must be pretty stupid not to know that the book came before the movie. The way you wrote your review, you made it seem like you thought the movie came before the book. WELL YOU COULDN'T BE MORE WRONG!!!!! The end credits of the movie clearly state "Based On The Book by J.R.R. Tolkien". You are an idiot. (please write another review so you can reply to me.) ... Read more

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