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The 100 Most Influential Books Ever Written…

The 100 Most Influential Books Ever Written (1998)

by Martin Seymour-Smith

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Stimulating, but questionable scholarship. I always grow suspicious of an author when their treatment of the Scriptures is filled with factual errors. Why should I trust their judgment of Plutarch, when they get the fundamental facts of Scripture wrong? We are all free to have an opinion, but skewing the text is another issue. I cannot say I dislike chocolate when what I am tasting is actually cheese. Seymour-Smith is a literary butter-fly.

However, I did enjoy his lancing of that boil known as Richard Dawkins. it is interesting to see one atheist go after another. There is clearly some history there, as S-S speaks of him a number of times in a very personal way. ( )
1 vote chriszodrow | Jul 21, 2010 |
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This book does not provide a list of the one hundred most famous, or the most exciting, or even the "best," books. (Introduction)
The I Ching (pronounced "Yee Jing," and usually translated as Book of Changes) is almost as old, or even as old, as China itself.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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100 "chapters" each a 2-3 page descriptive discourse about a book, or books, attributed to a particular author and contrasted with protagonists or supporters of the philosophy expressed by that author. It constitutes a "short course" in the humanities, but too heavily interspersed with Smith's personal prejudices. The factual content seems sound, however.
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"Dennis Brinkley is a warm-hearted, if slightly odd, fellow: he's a solicitor helping out with the business affairs and estates of some of Forbes Abbot's wealthiest villagers. But he's also a collector of vintage torture devices and brutal, ancient war weapons, the likes of which most of the tiny hamlet's residents would rather not know exist, gathering dust in Brinkley's museum-like home near the outskirts of town. Still, he's well liked, so when his bloody, pulverized body is found, quite dead, laying beneath the rustic timbers of an authentic torture device so vicious and complicated as to be blood-curdling, there is sufficient unrest in town to call in Chief Inspector Barnaby and his faithful, plodding partner Troy." "Barnaby and Troy are experts at uncovering the sordid details of the lives of the English countryside's most secretive residents, and they soon go to work at Forbes Abbot. Was Dennis Brinkley done in by crooked business partners, a teenage seductress, or a couple of would-be publishers who've just inherited - and then lost - millions? Or perhaps it was tired, timid little Benny Fraye, who wouldn't hurt a fly - would she? Barnaby and Troy will soon find out just who set in motion the gruesome machine that crushed the unfortunate victim."--BOOK JACKET.… (more)

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