Next Salon Discussion

First Tuesday current affairs discussion - Tuesday 1 May 7:00pm start

Tuesday 1st May: First Tuesday Current Affairs discussion

We'll discuss a couple of topical issues in the news

Manchester book reviews
PDF Print E-mail
Manchester book reviews

Technology and the Philosophy of Religion

Technology and the Philosophy of Religion

by David Lewin (Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2011)

Reviewed by Charles Brickdale January 2012

 
What matters is what works’  Tony Blair.

 

Blair’s aphorism was meant to justify such departures from socialist doctrine as the Private Finance Initiative and, perhaps, taking money from the likes of Bernie Ecclestone.

 

What it also does is encapsulate a mode of thinking about and experiencing the world which David Lewin describes in his thought-provoking book as ‘technological nihilism’, an orientation based upon a ‘false anthropology which arises out of the failure to see things primarily as given.’ In other words, Lewin’s concern is with the implications of living in a culture which dwells entirely in the kingdom of means and has lost sight of the kingdom of ends.

Read more...
 
PDF Print E-mail
Manchester book reviews

Baphomet's Agony by Marta Skadi

Baphomet's Agony by Marta Skadi

To be reviewed by Simon Belt July 2012

 

With a back cover pitch of:

 

"The mere fact you’re reading this means that it has all gone wrong and I’m probably dead so excuse all the blood.

 

This is a love story; my love story. Girl meets boy, she starts up a Norwegian black metal group, they have satanic orgies, everyone tries to murder them, people die and churches get burned. It’s just what you’d expect of a black metal love story. It’s going to be loud, outlandish and gruesome."

Read more...
 
PDF Print E-mail
Manchester book reviews

Nothing Matters by Ronald Green

Nothing Matters by Ronald Green

Published by Iff Books 2011

To be reviewed by Charles Brickdale July 2012

 

Is nothing everything? As strange as that question looks at first sight, it will definitely make sense after reading NOTHING MATTERS. Provocative and accessible, free of jargon, NOTHING MATTERS shows that there is more to nothing than meets the eye. History, the arts, philosophy, politics, religion, cosmology - all are touched by nothing. Who, for example, could have believed that nothing held back progress for 600 years, all because of mistaken translation, or that nothing is a way to tackle (and answer) the perennial question 'what is art'?

 

NOTHING MATTERS is a genuine attempt to look at the world in a different way, to give new angles to old problems and so to stimulate new thoughts. Sure-footedly, with flair and enthusiasm, Ronald Green takes the reader on a path through nothing to everything it touches, linking facts and information that lead to surprising conclusions.

Read more...
 
PDF Print E-mail
Manchester book reviews

On Tolerance

On Tolerance: A Defence of Moral Independence

by Frank Furedi

Continuum Publishing Corporation (ISBN-10: 1441120106)

Reviewed by Denis Joe August 2011

 

Eamonn was not the most enlightened person I ever knew. He was the epitome of today’s liberal caricatured working class white male. He was sexist, avowedly racist, hated ‘queers’ with a passion, and was the machine setter on the drills section, at Automotive Products, where I worked back in the late seventies. He was extremely witty and very intelligent and was quite a reserved man until he had a few pints down him. Then you found yourself in the presence of someone who was not entirely comfortable with the world he lived in.

 

I left AP in 1980 but I met up with Eamonn in 1987. It was a time when one of the biggest news stories concerned a group of men from Manchester, who were charged with assault, occasioning actual bodily harm, for their long held practice of sadomasochism, which was entirely consensual. They had videoed some of their sessions for distribution amongst themselves.

Read more...
 
PDF Print E-mail
Manchester book reviews

Kill All EnemiesKill All Enemies by Melvin Burgess

Reviewed by work experience school students Yasmin Redfearn, Kathrine Payne and Hannah Mason July 2011

 

Yasmin's view of the novel:

Yasmin RedfearnMelvin Burgess has been writing child fiction books for just over twenty years and continues to amaze his audience with the work he publishes. From writing his first book ‘The Cry of the Wolf’ in 1990 to preparing for the release of his new book ‘Kill All Enemies’, it is obvious that Melvin has a real passion for writing about very realistic things that are closer to home than you may think.

 

For someone who has never had more problems than just a little row between siblings at home, it is hard to imagine what having parents with drinking problems or an abusive step-dad is like, but for many teenagers it's just normal life.

Read more...
 
PDF Print E-mail
Manchester book reviews

The King's English

The King's English by Kingsley Amis

Penguin Modern Classics (ISBN-13: 978-0141194318)

Reviewed by Denis Joe June 2011


At once the 'lie' and the 'elite' of crowds;
Who pass like water filter'd in a tank,
All purged and pious from their native clouds;

(Don Juan By Lord Byron - Canto XIII)

 

This was the first use of the word ‘elite’ in the English language since the mid-15th Century, when it was used to described a Bishop-elect. It was itself a ‘borrowed’ term from the old French eslite (‘selected’ or ‘chosen ones’). Though Byron seems to be indulging in a bit of sarcasm in Don Juan, the term fell into common usage and generally came to describe a group of people who set themselves apart from society through their tastes in the ‘finer things in life’. The term was sometimes used interchangeably with ‘snobs’, but there is a vast difference between the pretentions of snobbery and the rigorous defence of values that was a characteristic of elitism.

Read more...
 
PDF Print E-mail
Manchester book reviews

The Cambridge Quintet

The Cambridge Quintet

by John L. Casti

Reviewed by Charles Brickdale April 2011

 

This review article was solicited to form part of some background readings for a discussion on Artificial Intelligence and Human Consciousness organised by the Manchester Salon to coincide with the Manchester Science Festival.

 

The Cambridge Quintet’ by John L. Casti is not about chamber music or yet another batch of undergraduates recruited by the KGB. It concerns one of those slow-burning science stories that has been smouldering quietly away, occasionally flaring up and generating some light and a fair amount of heat, in the backgrounds of our lives for many decades.

Read more...
 
PDF Print E-mail
Manchester book reviews

Dog Day Dimp by Peter Clayfield

Dog Day Dimp by Peter Clayfield

Reviewed by Yvonne Cawley April 2011


I’d just finished reading yet another ‘crime’ novel (my favourite genre) and was ready to play detective again, when I spotted a couple of interesting books by Peter Clayfield on Simon’s (my husband’s) desk. I picked up ‘Dog Day Dimp’ as I was intrigued by the cover, I know, I know don’t judge a book and all that, but the book itself looked smaller than a normal sized paperback – I only mention this because I said to Simon that the size felt great for me having small hands and the book felt really easy to handle. It was only then that I read the ‘sleeve/description/synopsis’ and realised that it was about a Dwarf and the thought crossed my mind that this was a deliberate ploy – you know a book for little people. However in fact it is the same size as normal paperbacks, just an optical illusion and one I’m not sure was intended. So basically I snatched this book, before it was passed on to one of the other reviewers around the Salon to do a proper formal review – but here are my ramblings and thoughts and hope you will forgive such an apolitical review!

Read more...
 
PDF Print E-mail
Manchester book reviews

Phantom of the Apple

Phantom of the Apple by John Kay

Reviewed by Denis Joe February 2011

One of the greatest challenges for any poet is finding a form which they are comfortable with; one in which they can compose freely and without a feeling of "sameness". It is also a challenge for the reader/listener who is faced with the prospect of becoming too familiar with a work too quickly and could easily get bored.

 

The history of poetry is full of collections in forms. Sonnets are usually the poem of choice. But there have been other forms used.

Read more...
 
PDF Print E-mail
Manchester book reviews

Democracy and other neoliberal fantasies

Democracy and other neoliberal fantasies

by Professor Jodi Dean

To be reviewed by Simon Belt April 2011

 

From the back cover:

 

Product Description
"Democracy and Other Neoliberal Fantasies" is an impassioned call for the realization of a progressive left politics in the United States. Through an assessment of the ideologies underlying contemporary political culture, Jodi Dean takes the left to task for its capitulations to conservatives and its failure to take responsibility for the extensive neo-liberalization implemented during the Clinton presidency. She argues that the left's ability to develop and defend a collective vision of equality and solidarity has been undermined by the ascendance of 'communicative capitalism,' a constellation of consumerism, the privileging of the individual self over group interests, and the embrace of the language of victimization. As Dean explains, communicative capitalism is enabled and exacerbated by the Web and other networked communications media, which reduce political energies to the registration of opinion and transmission of feelings.

Read more...
 
<< Start < Prev 1 2 3 4 5 Next > End >>

Page 3 of 5
Join the Salon Email List
Youtube Video of discussion on Energy
RSS Feed for discussions
Manchester Salon Facebook Group
Manchester Salon Facebook Page
Manchester Salon on Twitter