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Reviews Written by
stogpan@easynet.co.uk "Barry" (London, England)

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Woodcock Flight (Seville Trilogy / Orange Bitter Series Book 3)
Woodcock Flight (Seville Trilogy / Orange Bitter Series Book 3)
Price: £3.68

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars ... to the bitter end, 13 Jan 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Woodcock Flight is the third and (we assume - although nothing is set in stone) final volume of Anthony McDonald's Seville Trilogy, which began with the story of a group of young people in just-post-Franco Seville (Orange Bitter, Orange Sweet), and described their lives unfolding as thirty-somethings in 1990s England (Along the Stars). Woodcock Flight (the reference is to the zig-zag path that these birds take to avoid being preyed upon) sees many of the original characters now in their 50s, and embarking on middle age. Although all the parts of the trilogy deal with loss in one way another, somehow the emotional ups and downs that result from the transience of relationships (be they with lovers, friends or casual acquaintances) that are skilfully outlined in the earlier two parts of the trilogy fade into insignificance in comparison to the genuine losses emotionally and accurately described in Woodcock Flight; indeed, one wonders whether the titles of the first and last books might almost be exchanged.

I have always praised Anthony McDonald for his talent of summoning genius loci - spirit of place. There is a lot less of this in Woodcock Flight - we're dealing mostly with territory lovingly mapped out in the previous two parts; instead, in this volume, he concentrates on summoning the internal landscape of the characters - exploring also much more the way the move against each other - and does so most effectively. Although it is a harrowing read in parts (it had me in tears more than once), it provides some measure of final benediction as at least a couple of the woodcocks fly home to a degree of security and tranquillity.


The Gas-Man Cometh
The Gas-Man Cometh
Price: £0.77

4.0 out of 5 stars Another tingling tale, 4 Mar 2013
Another great hot little short gay story from Tony Pike. Given the names of the protagonists, I'm assuming this follows on from 'Surrise for Narcissus', but adds a third to the spicy mix.


Surprise For Narcissus
Surprise For Narcissus
Price: £0.77

4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable spicy reading, 4 Mar 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
It's a great little short story - full of spice, entertaining, decidedly erotic, and finishing with a pleasantly unexpected twist. Definitely one for the boyz!


Fleagle: World Bliss
Fleagle: World Bliss
Offered by booklore
Price: £25.28

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A CD of folk music for those who don't like folk music!, 8 Dec 2000
This review is from: Fleagle: World Bliss (Audio CD)
World's Bliss (Medieval Songs of Love and Death): John Fleagle
The great disappointment for lovers of Early Music is that most of the notated music to survive from the mediĉval period is from those areas of life with a written tradition - the church and the court. Popular songs of the common people survive only as words with occasional small hints as to how they might have been performed. In his album 'World's Bliss', John Fleagle seeks to redress this. Most of the music on the album is composed or arranged by Fleagle (with some additions by Shira Kammen and Pierre Bensusan), but his background as an Early Music performer (Ars Nova, Sequentia, Ensemble Alcatraz) has clearly given him a strong feel for the idiom. He accompanies himself throughout on period instruments (gothic harp, lute, fiddle, sinfonia, bodhran) - with occasional help from Shira Kammen.
The songs themselves are mostly taken from the Harley 2253 manuscripts in the British Museum and include such Middle English 'popular favourites' as 'Blow Northerne Wynd', 'Twa Corbies', 'Maiden in the Moor', 'Winter Wakeneth', 'Death and the Lady' and the title track 'Worldes Blis'. As the subtitle of the disk suggests, they are all on the themes of love and death; Fleagle's mastery of Middle English pronunciation adds to the period feel of the whole.
Fleagle is an excellent performer and his focussed but characterful voice manages to convey a folky edge to the songs which makes a change from the rather distant performances of music of the period by more academic-based groups; this having been said, it is certainly far from the full-on 'hand-up-against-the-ear' folk sound. If Fleagle's interpretation strays a little into a more modern idiom from time to time (some of the accompaniment to The Hern seems to owe more to the 20th century than to the 15th), it is to be forgiven for the delight of such tracks as 'I Have a Yong Suster', whose simple, repetitive tune gets into your head so indelibly on first listening that you have to rush out and buy the disk - I did.
Barry Creasy


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