Agent Palmer

Of all things Geek. I am…

A Perfect Pairing of Extraordinary Canadians, McLuhan and Coupland

A Perfect Pairing of Extraordinary Canadians, McLuhan and Coupland

On at least three different occasions, I have picked up my parents’ hand-me down paperback of Marshall McLuhan’s Understanding Media and I have not gotten past page nine or ten yet. So I was happy to get a biography of the man and a cliffnotes of his career from of one of my favorite contemporary authors, Douglas Coupland.

Coupland was selected to write about Marshall McLuhan for the series Extraordinary Canadians. Now that I know more about McLuhan, at least more than I knew from friend Professor Sara Netzley and my parents, I now see the wisdom of series editor John Ralston Saul in pairing him with Coupland.

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Spoiler Free Review

Caught Stealing Might Be the Most Violent Book I’ve Ever Read

Caught Stealing is Charlie Huston’s debut novel. It is a very graphic thriller that doesn’t skimp on the violence. In truth, it may be one of the most violent books I’ve ever read. The nature of the “wrong-man” story that unfolds in this novel is chaotic and changes directions in such divergent ways it singles itself out as a mysterious thriller in every sense of the phrase.

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Dishonesty and Daggers: Mitchell’s Column Collection is a Delight

Dishonest and Daggers David Mitchells Column Collection is a Delight

Dishonesty is the Second-Best Policy and other rules to live by is a collection of columns and essays written by comedian David Mitchell.

A lot of these columns take a satirical or humorous look at things that inspired the writing of the column in the first place, be it a news event in Great Britain or across the globe, from entertainment to science, politics to religion, or any number of things. So in my best attempt at a Mitchell-like column, I’m going to comment on the back cover paragraphs to explain more about what this book is about, why you may be interested in it, and what’s in it for you.

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Barker’s Brand of Horror Celebrates The Inhuman Condition

Clive Barker The Inhuman Condition Book Review

The Inhuman Condition is a collection of short stories by one of the modern masters of the macabre – Clive Barker. Published in 1986, these stories are some of the first published by Barker, and they set a tone of dark and delirious, sensuous and sentimental.

The five stories; The Inhuman Condition (of which the collection is also named after); The Body Politic; Revelations; Down, Satan!; and The Age of Desire, all focus on the nature of humanity.

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Don’t Copy Xerox’s Errors as Told in Fumbling the Future

Fumbling the Future Xerox

Fumbling the Future, is a book published in 1988 about “How Xerox invented, then ignored, the first personal computer.” It all starts with three questions: Name the companies responsible for the longest playing series of personal computer commercials? The most creative single commercial? The first personal computer commercial?

The answers, as you find out through the first page and the subtitle, are IBM’s Charlie Chaplin ads, Apple Computers’ 1984 Super Bowl commercial, and Xerox.

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