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Amazon Customer "Lund Theological Books" (Cambridge, England)

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The Sleeper Awakes (Penguin Classics)
The Sleeper Awakes (Penguin Classics)
Price: £3.99

0 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Not Wells at his best. Don't bother with it., 4 Oct. 2013
H G Wells could on occasion write a good story. This is not one.

He admits in the preface that the original 1899-1903 serial was badly written and says he has addressed some of the issues in this revision (1910). He hasn't. It is badly plotted, silly, racist and worst of all, BORING. Thank goodness it isn't any longer.

1912: The Year the World Discovered Antarctica
1912: The Year the World Discovered Antarctica
by Chris Turney
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £20.00

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A good read with minor flaws, 31 Dec. 2012
Though I wouldn't have gone out and bought such a book I happily read it when given it as a Christmas present. The fact that I finished it in a couple of days is testimony to its readability.

The author doesn't make too much of the Captain Scott story, which is fair enough since anyone interested in Antarctic exploration is going to know that anyway. What he does do is put that story into the context of previous Antarctic exploration attempts, and others at the same time, such as the Japanese and German expeditions. This is well done and contributes not just to a overview of polar exploration but serves to show aspects of the rivalry between various nations, and their colonies in the British case, in the run-up to the Great War.

Occasionally the sentences are a bit convoluted. A good editor would have queried what the author was trying to say and got him to rewrite passages. It is also rather disgraceful that the editor did not pick up on the use of the word flounder instead of what was meant, founder in at least two places in the book - page 84, second last sentence, "The British ship was seriously overloaded and there was a real risk it would flounder." And on page 45 he talks of the danger of a ship's "floundering". To flounder means to struggle in mud or when wading. To founder means for a ship to fill with water and sink.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Feb 27, 2013 3:41 PM GMT

Memoirs of a Gnostic Dwarf (Contemporary English language fiction)
Memoirs of a Gnostic Dwarf (Contemporary English language fiction)
by David Madsen
Edition: Paperback

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of my favourite reads, 26 Jan. 2012
I'm a bookseller, and my first introduction to this book was an order for it when it first came out from a nun in Rome who was a customer of mine. Intrigued by the title I ordered myself a copy at the same time as I got one for her.

It's a scatalogical romp with a bit of sex and some horrific violence, but such fun. I would recommend it to anyone openminded who wants a good read. The occasional bit of mawkish sentimentality is a shame, but then Dickens descends to that quite often and it doesn't detract from his greatness. However, if the author is trying to sell gnosticism as a creed then he doesn't succeed in that. It comes over as even sillier than most religions are.

It is one of those books I just have to reread every few years, and what could be a better recommendation?

Panasonic SD-256WXC Automatic Breadmaker with gluten free program
Panasonic SD-256WXC Automatic Breadmaker with gluten free program

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent machine let down by too quiet end alarm, 12 May 2011
A month is really too soon to review what one hopes will be a longterm acquisition, but I can't complain about the quality of the bread and dough this machine produces. My previous machine, a £40 Morphy Richards, lasted ten years and I only got rid of it when the bowl needed replacing for a second time. The Panasonic is a lot more sophisticated. The basic programme is quite long at five hours, but I guess that is why the finished product is better. If it lasts as well as the previous machine did I shall be well pleased.

My only complaint is about the pathetic little beeps that signal the end of the baking process. They can hardly be heard in the room the machine is kept in, let alone anywhere else in the house. I've been used to a good loud noise. Already I've had a couple of loaves made soggy by their not being removed from the machine promptly at the end of baking.

Cadmus & Hermione, tragédie lyrique de Lully et Quinault / Le Poème Harmonique, Dumestre, Lazar (Opéra Comique, Paris 2008) [DVD] [2009] [NTSC]
Cadmus & Hermione, tragédie lyrique de Lully et Quinault / Le Poème Harmonique, Dumestre, Lazar (Opéra Comique, Paris 2008) [DVD] [2009] [NTSC]
Dvd ~ Vincent Dumestre
Offered by skyvo-direct
Price: £25.21

9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Magical Opera, 28 Jan. 2011
We saw this production at the Opera Comique in Paris in December 2010. It was a wonderful experience despite the fact that sitting way up in the gods (or paradis as the French call the topmost tier of seats) we felt miles away from the singers. The all too authentic lighting (literally a row of candles on the floor at the front of the stage) made it hard for us to appreciate the fantastic costumes.

So we bought this DVD of a performance by the same cast and production, and now have access to viewing from the sort of position Louis XIV would have had when he saw the first production.

The sets are superb, the singing lovely, and the costumes, particularly the headgear, out of this world. Well actually they look vaguely Mayan - or is it Incan? And look out for a Michael Jackson lookalike amongst the main characters!

Heartily recommended, and if you like it I should mention another opera DVD, Stefano Landi's Il Sant'Alessio, which William Christie and his Les Arts Florissants were involved in, as they are in Cadmus and Hermione.

Through the Looking Glass and What Alice Found There (Junior Classics)
Through the Looking Glass and What Alice Found There (Junior Classics)
by Lewis Carroll
Edition: Audio CD
Price: £10.44

0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Is this really unabridged?, 23 July 2010
This isn't bad, having a quite good cast, though Alice herself is too shrill and babylike.

I do wonder though whether this really is unabridged. I got the distinct impression at least once (in the bit where Alice loses her memory and wonders which of her friends she might be) that not all the text I remember was actually in the recording. It is noticable that though Amazon declares the recording to be unabridged the packaging and accompanying bumph with the CDs does not appear to.

Bosch PKP 18 E Glue Gun
Bosch PKP 18 E Glue Gun
Offered by Campbell Miller Tools Ltd
Price: £19.40

33 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good value Glue Gun, 31 May 2010
I've only had this about a month, and usually deplore the idiots who rush to review a product when they've hardly got it out of the box, let alone used it over a period of time. However, this glue gun has worked consistently well and as long as it lasts (and Bosch products usually do) I shall be satisfied.

I'm a professional bookseller so I use a glue gun for an hour or more three or four times a week to pack my parcels of books. This model produces a thin consistent line of glue through a metal tube, ideal for my purposes. My last glue gun had a wider outlet, rubber tipped. The rubber soon perished and fell off, leaving an overlarge delivery hole. It also gave out after five years, having cost £100. At £16 or £17 the Bosch only has to last a bit more than a year and I will have had my money's worth.

The only downside with this gun, compared with the other, is that it is very light and easily knocked over. One solution, which Bosch could contemplate, would be to enlarge the wire stand in front to make it wider. This would give a bit more stability.

Overall the gun has a good feel. If I were using it for craftwork its ability to produce small dots of hot glue would be ideal, and for bigger projects it works well for me.

Athos: The Holy Mountain
Athos: The Holy Mountain
by Sydney Loch
Edition: Hardcover

5.0 out of 5 stars Unique dustjacket, 26 Feb. 2010
One of the nicest things about this is the dustjacket, which unfolds out to double size and has a map and useful information printed on the insides.

Landi: Sant' Alessio [DVD] [2008]
Landi: Sant' Alessio [DVD] [2008]
Dvd ~ Philippe Jaroussky
Price: £8.86

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Il Sant'Alessio - Wonderful interpretation of a fun opera, 4 July 2009
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Stefano Landi, a younger contemporary of Monteverdi, composed this opera for the household of a Roman cardinal in the 1630s. The DVD has been the highlight of our watching this year. The all male cast produces a stunning sound, and the sets are good.

The plot of course is ludicrous, though based on the legend of a saint very popular in his time. Alessio leaves home on his wedding night to go on pilgrimage to the Holy Land, then years later comes back and gets permission to live as a hermit under the stairs in his father's house. Of course, no-one recognises him (as if!). The opera starts at this point, with his wife and parents still lamenting him, the servants mocking him as a useless fool, and the devil tempting him to give it all up and reveal himself to his family. But of course he doesn't - heaven is his goal, and if he falters now, so near his death, he will lose it all. The devil has all the best lines.

If you want a treat, and you like early music, this is for you.

Syria (Bradt Travel Guides)
Syria (Bradt Travel Guides)
by Diana Darke
Edition: Paperback

15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Good guide spoilt by sloppy editing, 15 Aug. 2008
We used the Bradt guide to Lille to great effect last year, so were tempted to buy this, especially since it was published more recently than either the Lonely Planet or the Rough Guide books.

In some ways this was a perfectly good tool for the job. It seems to cover all one would want covered. I particularly liked the Arabic proverbs which accompany each chapter heading - such advice as Trust in God, but tie your camel, and He who takes a donkey up a minaret must take it down again (though I am not sure what that one means), and It is better to endure the wind of a camel than the prayers of a fish.

Where the guide falls down is in the really bad editing. Neither the author nor the copy editor (if there was such a person) properly read the finished text, so that there are several places where various recensions of the text are just printed one after the other, like the P and Q sources in the book of Genesis, so that you get the same description twice in slightly different words. An example comes in the last paragraph on page 185, at the end of the section on Ugarit.

"Look out near the two temples for a black basalt stone in a triangle shape with three holes, which was an anchor used for tying up ships. Ugarit's gigantic anchors were celebrated. They weighed up to half a tonne each, giving an idea of the size of the ocean-going vessels. There used to be lots of these stones, but most have now been stolen. The whole site has now been fenced to prevent theft which has become a bit of a problem. Look out for a black basalt stone in a triangle with three holes, which was an anchor used for tying up ships. There used to be lots of these stones, but most have now been stolen."

That repetition is annoying and unnecessary. There is another example three quarters of the way down page 229 where advice is given twice in two paragraphs about the necessity of arriving in Palmyra by sunset. There were others too, but I am not going to re-read the book just to find them.

Then there's the dodgy spelling. We are told on page 202 that there is a crenulated rampart walkway at Krak. The word is crenellated according to my Oxford dictionary. That's another one which is down to the editor.

However, the biggest howler in the book is the explanation given on page 263 of the meaning of the word Mesopotamia.

"The name Mesopotamia is thought to be made up of a conglomerate of meanings in the Sumerian language : 'me' means female, 'so' means ancestors, 'po' means crops, 'ta' means fields and 'mia' means temples."

I don't think so. In Greek meso is between, and potamos is a river. Mesopotamia is the land between the rivers, the Tigris and the Euphrates. Every schoolchild used to be taught that at an early age. I think we have to blame the author for that one, though a good editor would have picked it up.

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