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Martynrb (Nottingham, England)

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The Other Hand
The Other Hand
by Chris Cleave
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.19

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Dull, 13 May 2012
This review is from: The Other Hand (Paperback)
The characters are flat, not particularly likable or believable and the story itself meanders along slowly and inconsequentially. I think it's supposed to be a 'literary' novel, but to me it's a more case of the Emperor's Clothes.


A Life of Emily Bronte
A Life of Emily Bronte
by Edward Chitham
Edition: Paperback

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting, 26 April 2012
This review is from: A Life of Emily Bronte (Paperback)
This is a worthy attempt to extract all that can be known about the enigmatic Emily Bronte from the little concrete biographical material available. At times I felt the writer tried to read too much of a biographical nature into some of the poems by Emily and her siblings, which to me seem to be largely based on the fantasy characters and worlds they created - but then I'm no expert. I certainly feel I know Emily much better now thanks to this book - perhaps as well as it is possible to know her given the paucity of solid information to go on. I strongly recommend this book, with a couple of provisos. I am a confirmed Bronte fan, and I think you might have to be to really enthuse over a book which necessarily scrutinises at length so much minutiae. And I agree with the previous comments about the production standards. On an editorial level there is a certain amount of repetition which should have been picked up; and the proofing is simply dire, with numerous glaring typos.


Empire of the Summer Moon: Quanah Parker and the Rise and Fall of the Comanches, the Most Powerful Indian Tribe in American History
Empire of the Summer Moon: Quanah Parker and the Rise and Fall of the Comanches, the Most Powerful Indian Tribe in American History
by S.C. Gwynne
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Get it!, 4 April 2012
This is just a great read, whether you are interested in the history of the American west, the Comanche or Indians in general, this is just such a terrific story and so well written that any general reader is almost sure to enjoy it.

In a subtly understated way, and without resorting to some of the tricks which seem to be creeping into some modern 'non-fiction' such as pretending to know what was in the minds of the principal characters etc in order to make the account read more like a novel, this account still brings the whole story to life. There aren't really any goodies or baddies - everything is put into context. It manages to be factually very thorough, but also, as times, extremely moving.

The best compliment I can pay it is that it is one of those rare books that you remember and think about long after you've finished reading it.


Last of the Summer Wine: The Inside Story of the World's Longest-Running Comedy Programme
Last of the Summer Wine: The Inside Story of the World's Longest-Running Comedy Programme
by Andrew Vine
Edition: Hardcover

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, 15 Feb 2012
Anyone who ever had any interest in this show would enjoy reading this excellent book.

The balance is perfect - he doesn't gloss over the conflicts between the actors, yet it's done in a sympathetic rather than sensationalist way. Reading the book is like watching the programme -it makes you smile and leaves you with a warm glow !
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jun 15, 2012 6:17 PM BST


Voices From the Battle of Trafalgar
Voices From the Battle of Trafalgar
by Peter Warwick
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £15.57

4.0 out of 5 stars New Take on an Old Story, 26 Nov 2011
I hesitated before getting this book because I've read so much about Nelson, Trafalgar and this whole era that I thought it would be just covering old ground. However, I'm really glad I overcame my doubts because it's a great read. The first-hand accounts (including French and Spanish) are fascinating. They are also often moving: Captain Duff's loving letters to his wife before he was killed in the battle, the detailed account of Nelson's last hours by his surgeon, and Collingwood's letters home telling of how much he missed the wife, children and beloved garden that he had been away from for several years and which he was destined never to return to.

A very worthy addition to the literature of the period.


In Search of Butch Cassidy
In Search of Butch Cassidy
by Larry Pointer
Edition: Hardcover

4.0 out of 5 stars Who were those guys?, 5 Nov 2011
Sometimes when an author comes up with a "true story" which contradicts the established one, it turns out to be little more than a wacky idea to drum up a bit of publicity. But in this case Larry Pointer's research is solid and his story of what became of Butch Cassidy will probably become the accepted version, if it hasn't already. This is a good read about an interesting man living in interesting times.


The Time Traveler's Wife
The Time Traveler's Wife
by Audrey Niffenegger
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.29

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars If I could travel back in time I wouldn't have bought it..., 30 Oct 2011
It seems that this book is like Marmite - you either love it or hate it. I thought it was dull and confusing from the start, and like other negative reviewers couldn't find much in the characters to like. I normally look forward to picking up the book I'm reading, but this one I didn't - till finally I stopped picking it up!


Parker Vector Black Medium Nib Fountain Pen - Gift Boxed
Parker Vector Black Medium Nib Fountain Pen - Gift Boxed
Price: £7.49

8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Value, 17 Oct 2011
After spending too many inky-fingered occasions turning the air blue trying to get the ink to flow properly through my cheapo fountain pen, I decided to invest in a new one. The Vector is still cheap, but there's a world of difference. The ink flowed smoothly straight out of the box. I'm a fast writer and pens can't always keep up with me - but this one can. A pleasure to write with, and it's hard to imagine a better pen at the price.


ARCHOS 70 8 GB Internet Tablet
ARCHOS 70 8 GB Internet Tablet
Offered by Express Box Limited
Price: £124.58

5.0 out of 5 stars Great Value, 12 Oct 2011
After a couple of disappointments with cheap but rubbish Chinese imports, I decided to go for a "real" tablet with a capacitive screen. I played with a few more expensive ones in shops before plumping for the Archos 70 - and I don't regret it. The screen quality is great and very responsive. It's plastic but the build quality feels good and it's a nice shape and weight for handling.

Considering the price, I doubt whether I could have done better.


The Real Deadwood: True Life Histories of Wild Bill Hickok, Calamity Jane, Outlaw Towns, and Other Characters of the Lawless West
The Real Deadwood: True Life Histories of Wild Bill Hickok, Calamity Jane, Outlaw Towns, and Other Characters of the Lawless West

2.0 out of 5 stars Dead Wood, 5 Sep 2011
The ironic thing about this book is that it almost refers more to the TV series than "real" Deadwood. This is a hack job which is very short, yet is really more like an overblown magazine article which needs editing down that a book which is too short. There is a whole chapter on the history of 19th century medicine which barely even refers to Deadwood. It's far too sketchy and simply doesn't bring Deadwood nor the characters who lived there to life at all. There are constant references to Wild Bill Hickock, but very little information on him till quite late in the book, and it was very anti-climactic. I was extremely disappointed with this book.


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