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Doktor Futtocks
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Through The Looking-Glass (Illustrated)
Through The Looking-Glass (Illustrated)
Price: £0.77

3.0 out of 5 stars Not as illustrated as you might expect, 4 Oct 2014
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I have no criticism of the book itself, as it is a madcap tale which is as fun to read now as it was the first time.

However, the description of it as an 'illustrated' edition may end up disappointing buyers, at least of the Kindle edition. You get some simple, undistinguished sketches of the author at the beginning and end of the book, and not the illustrations of the characters you might reasonably expect by artists like Tenniel, Peake or Steadman.


Lee Hazlewood Industries: There's a Dream I've Been Saving (1966-1971)
Lee Hazlewood Industries: There's a Dream I've Been Saving (1966-1971)
Price: £15.98

4.0 out of 5 stars Download is good value, 2 Oct 2014
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I looked at the price of the box set, and plumped for the MP3 download instead. The Deluxe edition is even more scarily-priced. Until Amazon catch up with the 21st century and offer CD-quality downloads as an option, the MP3s are the way to go.

You get 107 tracks of interesting music, so bung it on shuffle play and discover all sorts of wonderment. Before purchasing, I was familiar with only a few of these tracks and/or artists, but I'm enjoying it a lot.

Light in the Attic is a reissue label that's definitely worth keeping an eye on.


Going Off Alarming: The Autobiography: Vol 2
Going Off Alarming: The Autobiography: Vol 2
by Danny Baker
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £9.00

19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Full on, 25 Sep 2014
After a start where Danny fills in a bit of past he forgot when writing Volume 1, this second book thunders along with the same irrepressible gumption and wide-eyed, reckless Panglossian positivity as 'Going to Sea in a Sieve'.

Where the first volume had many tales familiar to his listeners (although fleshed out), this book introduces new stories, including much material from the magnificently profane Baker clan as well as the accidental flourishing of his media career. It also sees the arrival in his life of Chris Evans and, in an excerpt from a previous publication, the apotheosis (and an attempted explanation) of the phenomenon that was Gazza in the Nineties.

The downside: readers will rattle through this book, love it, re-read it, regale friends with obscure and arcane facts, repeat some of the jokes... then have to twiddle thumbs while waiting for Vol.3. Get working, Dan!


Runt & The Ballad Of Todd Rundgren
Runt & The Ballad Of Todd Rundgren
Price: £9.92

4.0 out of 5 stars Good stuff, 23 Sep 2014
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The two 'Runt' albums are early solo Todd, but you can get a feel of his developing talent here. Like most Rundgren albums, the songs are a mixed bag of styles and sounds.

The booklet contains lyrics an extensive liner notes, although the CD box format means the text is quite small. The bonus tracks are nice to have, but not essential and the price is good for what you get.


No Kava for Johnny
No Kava for Johnny
by John O'Grady
Edition: Hardcover

3.0 out of 5 stars Non-essential O'Grady, but fun, 23 Sep 2014
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This review is from: No Kava for Johnny (Hardcover)
This is yet another work from the pen of John 'Nino Culotta' O'Grady, this time following the upbringing of a young Samoan with a gift for getting into trouble.

Ioane Papasito, or 'Johnny' is a diminutive but bright boy and the tale is humorous and affectionate, while also giving the reader a taste of how village life was in Samoa in the 1950s. It then follows Johnny's introduction to city life and the beginning of his adulthood.

Not one of O'Grady's best books, but worth getting if the price is right and you have enjoyed his other titles.


And God Created Cricket
And God Created Cricket
Price: £3.95

4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable and informative, 23 Sep 2014
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This is a entertaining and informative history of Cricket, which is packed full of facts and anecdotes. However, the humour is occasionally a little too forced and puerile. However, Hughes gets most of that out of his system as the book progresses and there is much to ponder in his condemnation of the backward-looking setup of the game in Britain.

Simon Hughes is a very readable author, just as in his autobiography 'A Lot of hard Yakka' and I'd recommend 'And God created Cricket' to anyone who wants to find out about the personalities, history and development of the game.


Stanley Gene: Daydream Believer
Stanley Gene: Daydream Believer
by Stanley Gene
Edition: Paperback

4.0 out of 5 stars Very entertaining, 22 Sep 2014
Stanley was a player of indeterminate age (he's been 33 a lot more often than most people), who earned a lot of affection from his fans and those of of teams other than his own

This book is the tale of an upbringing in Papua New Guinea, followed by his introduction to the various bafflements of British life as a professional Rugby League player.

A complicated childhood, one of the photographs is captioned "Me with my two Mums". He was on the verge of going off the rails as a young man when a Police initiative got him playing regular Rugby League, which took him to the 1995 World Cup. His performances for Papua New Guinea, attracted the attention of British clubs. He and a team-mate found themselves in Hull, coping with the cold and trying to make sense of a very different way of life. And a very different method of fishing!

Starting with Hull Kingston Rovers, he ended up having a long professional career and (at the time of writing), the coaching job for Gateshead RLFC.

Rather than polish this into a standard sports autobiography, Wilkin has left Stanley's recollections as colloquial and occasionally profane as the original anecdotes must have been.


Dreams Come True: +Book
Dreams Come True: +Book

4.0 out of 5 stars Complete your Judee Sill collection now!, 10 Sep 2014
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This review is from: Dreams Come True: +Book (Audio CD)
This is Judee Sill's unfinished third album, finally released with a disc of extras that also includes a short video of a live solo performance.

I'm giving it 4 stars only because the first two albums were so good and this, while a wonderful collection of songs, is not quite at that level. Had she been able to complete the album with her imaginative arrangements and we had the polished product that was intended, then what a piece of work this would have been!

The familiar elements are all present; spirituality, wry humour, that flexible and assured voice, the piano playing. No clichéd .'female singer-songwriter' introverted strumming here - this is someone with confidence in and mastery of her creativity.

The second disc is a mixed bag, but an insight to her songwriting. Being demos, the sound quality is variable and the performances are often a bit rough 'round the edges. The video is not of great quality either, but there's a charm to seeing her sitting on her own and performing songs that are more familiar with elaborate instrumental arrangements.

The worst thing about this is that if, like me, you bought this because you loved 'Judee Sill' and 'Heart Food', now you have this collection, there are no more new songs and never will be (barring some miraculous discovery). In a better world, she'd still be alive and captivating music lovers with more intimate and intricate marvels.


The Unstoppable Keeper
The Unstoppable Keeper
Price: £3.70

8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars If you only read one Football book in your life, this is the one., 26 Aug 2014
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Four days ago, if someone had suggested buying the autobiography of a footballer, I'd have been sceptical. If I had been told that the footballer in question was a German goalkeeper whose name I didn't recognise and who wasn't an international, I'd have dismissed the idea outright.

An interview with him on BBC Radio 5 changed my mind and the book was on my Kindle before he'd left the studio! Clapped in jail, dying on the pitch at Bradford, "borrowing" a penguin, catching a burglar, the Wimbledon initiation.

However Lutz is a man who seemingly said "yes" to every interesting opportunity that came his way and it took him all around the world and into situations that were often hilarious and sometimes appalling. Despite his erratic history, he seems to have settled down, but only a little.

The book rattles along with great pace and Pfannenstiel has a great store of anecdotes - maybe enough for a second book one day. Really, an unexpected pleasure.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Aug 28, 2014 9:25 AM BST


Squeezing the Orange
Squeezing the Orange
Price: £3.95

3.0 out of 5 stars The Blowers story, 17 Aug 2014
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A rambling, sprawling mixture of enjoyable reminiscences. Includes the origin of "my dear old thing". Fun, but maybe could have done with a firmer editorial hand.


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