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In the case at hand, Schramm -- former president of the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation -- pointed out Syracuse's storied past, and how its former grandeur has largely given way to urban blight. And in doing so, precipitated a veritable deluge of responses, many distinctly noncomplementary. As an outsider to the region I've only been 5 years in Rochester , Schramm's comments don't strike me as particularly controversial, especially since urban blight's hardly unique to Syracuse; it afflicts the Northeast, the Nation's center, most of the country's former industrial centers really.

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Some cities may have suffered less, others may have pulled through more quickly, but given the sea-change from old-style industrial manufacturing to manufacturing offshore, and, in the US, a rise in financial sector and service-industry jobs, no one can be surprised that many cities have been hit hard; that their recovery is excruciatingly slow; and that, too often, there's still a long way to go. Jun 21, Rebecca McNutt rated it liked it Shelves: fiction , short-story-collections , science-fiction , fantasy , middle-grade.

It was a very imaginative story, reminiscent of Eerie, Indiana. Apr 02, scarlettraces rated it it was amazing Shelves: fiction , for-the-kids , the-toppling-piles.

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This is the former - it's a comedy in the sense both that it's wildly funny and that life lessons are learned in relatively painless ways. I just wish I'd been as inventive at these characters' age. It's fairly misleading. The book has a plot, for one thing.

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Another fantastic book by Jan Mark. She has a way of bringing her stories to a point where I have no idea what is going to happen next, but I look forward to finding out.


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I appreciate how much intelligence and art she packs into her young adult novels. If you don't get the literary references, you'll enjoy the book; if you do, you'll appreciate it that much more. Liza rated it liked it Aug 30, Robina Fox rated it really liked it Jun 10, Polly rated it it was amazing Apr 08, Natasha Scott rated it liked it Jul 03, Irene Burazer rated it liked it Dec 26, Alex English rated it it was amazing Sep 18, Noel Fiems rated it liked it Mar 26, Lauren Rose rated it really liked it Mar 08, Kevin Rattan rated it it was amazing Mar 13, Tina Breckwoldt rated it it was amazing Sep 20, Joyce rated it it was ok Nov 20, Kassie rated it it was amazing Feb 16, Tobyleaf rated it it was amazing Oct 10, Gill rated it really liked it Nov 01, Lark rated it really liked it Sep 06, Edith rated it really liked it May 04, Stef rated it liked it Jan 18, Tmomas rated it liked it Mar 06, Sandie Elsom rated it liked it Jul 16, Erin marked it as to-read Dec 09, Jonathan added it Jan 17, One felt another person, one was another person.

He also happens to be a lesser person at Brandham Hall, a mere mortal among its rich gods and goddesses.

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Marcus's older sister, Marian, is Leo's first encounter with beauty — as if he has met not a person but a concept. She is positioned to marry the local Viscount Winlove, Hugh Trimingham, back from the Boer war with half his face scarred so badly that he looks like the god Janus, Leo thinks; one side an end and the other a beginning.

Trimingham goes about his business wounded and elegant at once, with a great deal more knowledge of what's happening than he lets on. What's happening is this: the facts of life are about to be taught to Leo, a boy so naive that at first it's comic, then it hurts the heart.

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As the mercury rises, Leo becomes a kind of Mercury himself, a deliverer of messages between Marian and her lower-class lover, the tenant farmer and local "ladykiller", Ted Burgess, who promises to teach Leo what's what when it comes to "spooning". Much of the novel's humour lies in Leo's sweet literalness, and in the interlocked layers of knowing and unknowing viewed by Colston 50 years on, then by us, far off in our so-knowing future.

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His prepubescent blankness, when it comes to what "spooning" might be, makes for both funniness and discomfort. Do lady killers really kill ladies? Meanwhile, he can't say the name Hugh without it sounding, to Marian, like the word "who" or the word "you" — this in a book very much about identity, about who we are in the personal, the social, the historical and the natural senses. Leo is a boy who loves words, was bullied in the first place for using the long word vanquished in his diary for a football match victory; when his curses, astonishingly, seem to have taken effect he ponders what the action of putting words on paper might mean.

As much as it is a revelation of the childishness of social hierarchy, of human delusions of power, and of the tragedy inevitable where war or history and innocence meet, Hartley's novel is a fine disquisition on appearance versus naked truth. A beautifully poised bathing scene "the word denoted an intenser experience than it does now" highlights the apartness of men and women and the frissons of the body. Leo observes the beautiful cornfield-coloured body of Ted Burgess for the first time; it "spoke to me of something I did not know.


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The more clothes Ted had on, "the less he looked himself". This is a novel of memorably dressed-up theatrical set-pieces: a cricket match that is a little class-war in itself; a concert at which the tension between tenants and landlords, village and Hall, is overshone by a moment that's half real innocence, half hopeless sentimentality; a fierce earthy battle between Leo and a Freudianly insidious Atropa Belladonna deadly nightshade.


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  6. The novel signals itself and its seeming concerns almost too clearly — the beautiful doomed farmer cleaning his gun so assiduously. In fact its self-conscious narrative quality, at a glance, can seem a little crude, like a too-obvious jigsaw.

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    But to think this is — yes — naive: The Go-Between is a work winged at the heel and rises above its earthy self in a voice that's expansive. It is a masterpiece of double-speak and secrecy, somehow both ambiguous and direct.