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Old 10-25-2008, 06:28 AM   #3
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buffalo began at the beginning.
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A very good mystery

Besides being a good adventure story, this book seems to stress the importance of breaking free of old, rigid ideas and producing new attitudes out of them. Roger, after "breaking" many a dish, sublimates dish-washing into a wonderful kitchen philosophy of his own. Even the blowing up of his bookshop becomes a good opportunity to reflect on his way of doing business and introduce something new to his routine life. He thinks highly of Samuel Butler's "The Way of All Flesh", presumably because it freed readers of rigid conventional Victorian set of values. Destruction or denial must not be merely something negative, but it must be a positive step to finding a new meaning of life. That is why Roger, thoroughly criticizing the war, has a "curious feeling, a kind of premonition that there are great books coming out of this welter of human hopes and anguishes, perhaps A book in which the tempest-shaken soul of the race will speak out as it never has before." I think this strong belief in the future gives this book a very positive note.
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