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Reviews Written by
Mr. A. L. Johnson "ajo99"
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Asus HS-1000W Travelite Wireless Headset  - Black
Asus HS-1000W Travelite Wireless Headset - Black
Price: £32.56

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Superb wireless headset, but with one fault, 17 Oct 2011
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Update April'12: as other reviewers have mentioned, the headset is extremely fragile and the ear-cups are attached to the headset by a thin piece of plastic. Mine have broken, and despite the superb sond quality, I will be looking elsewhere for a replacement

I agree with all the other reviewers on the sound quality through the microphone and earphones. After using many different headsets, this one is significantly better. It is also one of the most comfortable headsets (I am frequently using for most the day).

There is one minor problem, which would not stop me recommending this product, but it is strangely out of place in such a well designed product. The issue is that the headset is charged using a cable that plugs in the transmitting USB dongle. This connection is either on the upper or lower edge of the dongle (depending on the orientation of your USB ports). If it is on the lower edge, then the laptop has to be perched on the edge of a table in order to make space for the downward facing cable. This could have been avoided by having charging connections on both upper and lower edges or on the end of the dongle.

Nonetheless this is a superior product offering excellent value for money


The Golden Age
The Golden Age
Price: £10.04

0 of 7 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Pleasant enough but ..., 16 Jan 2008
This review is from: The Golden Age (Audio CD)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This is all very agreeable; lots of acoustic guitar and gentle rhythms, but it didn't send shivers up and down my spine.

I would never have bought this kind of music (Vine product free from Amazon), and I'm more of a rock fan. This was a bit "easy-listening" for my taste.


Daewoo DPC7600 - 7inch Portable DVD player with card reader
Daewoo DPC7600 - 7inch Portable DVD player with card reader

3.0 out of 5 stars Cheap, and mainly cheerful, 9 Jan 2008
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Positives:
Price - at £70, one of the cheapest portable DVD players
Sound quality - very good for a cheap player
Better than average battery life (2.5 hours - other portable players struggle to reach 2 hours)
Comes with a useful carry case, which can also be used to mount the player in a car

Negatives:
Useless and confusing instructions
Picture quality not as good as other cheap players (e.g. Philips PET706)
Cannot change the volume using the remote control - what a ridiculous oversight!
I am unable to use the USB port (my USB adapter does not seem to fit in the hole).
Unable to view any images via SD card - not sure if this is my fault or not, but the instruction manual is of little assistance


De'Longhi Bar 14 Café Treviso espresso cappuccino maker (Discontinued by Manufacturer)
De'Longhi Bar 14 Café Treviso espresso cappuccino maker (Discontinued by Manufacturer)

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good value, 9 Jan 2008
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This is clearly a cheap option. It produces a reasonable espresso, although not frothy enough for my taste. There is a version available on the continent that has a creamer, and this produces significantly better espressos.

I would recommend this overall. I have had two espresso machines that cost £100+, and they lasted for a year each, so I reached the conclusion that I might as well buy the cheapest.


12 Gardens Live
12 Gardens Live
Offered by Books2anywhereUS
Price: £8.35

2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great live album, but a shame about the arrangements, 2 Jan 2008
This review is from: 12 Gardens Live (Audio CD)
In many respects this is a perfect live album - 30 songs, a mixture of hits and lesser-known tracks, a great singer-songwriter and musician performing in front of an enthusiastic audience.

I would recommend this to any Billy Joel fan, but I have one personal reservation (which actually applies to many of the studio original songs). Billy Joel writes fantastic songs, has a good voice, and is a superb piano player, yet sometimes this is masked/obscured by production and arrangements. I think this has partly led to his underdeserved reputation as an easy-listening star. It is a pity that (in some cases 30 years on from the original recordings) the arrangements were not updated. "Angry Young Man", the opening track, is a perfect example - everything about this song is brilliant, expect for an excruciatingly bad keyboard/synthesiser solo 2/3rds through the song, reproduced again here.

The Joel back-catalogue would really have benefited from some rearrangement, and preferably simplification, leaving us with the songs, piano-playing, and the voice. Personally I would be happy to listen to 2 hours of Billy Joel alone at the piano.


Ivy York
Ivy York
Offered by best_value_entertainment
Price: £12.99

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A slightly fed-up and forgetable Cyndi Lauper, 31 Dec 2007
This review is from: Ivy York (Audio CD)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
The more I hear of this CD, the more I dislike it.

Positives:
She has a nice voice, but even this will annoy you after a few tracks.
If you want something unobstrusive to put on in the background with the volume low, then this is certainly dull enough for the purpose.

Negatives:
About as dull and lifeless as you could possibly imagine.
Manufactured sound - no risks taken, no surprises, utterly boring


Gents
Gents
by Warwick Collins
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.94

4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent and minimal, 30 Dec 2007
This review is from: Gents (Paperback)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This short book tackles issues of homophobia and racism in a non-judgemental way, treating the reader as an observing adult.

I read it in under two hours and felt nourished by the experience. If only more novelists wrote so well - not a word wasted, and every word chosen carefully. The author conjures images, sounds, and smells from sparsely written descriptions. The characters are described by the actions and their reactions to each other, rather than by the author telling us what each character feels.

I would heartily recommend this book - it is set in a world we occasionally visit, but know little about.


Soul Catcher
Soul Catcher
by Michael C. White
Edition: Hardcover

3.0 out of 5 stars Not for everyone, 21 Dec 2007
This review is from: Soul Catcher (Hardcover)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Well researched and with an interesting plot. Historic novels are not for everyone, and I would not count myself as a fan, but the situation and slavery issues etc. added a spark of interest for me.

All in all, this is a well-told story, and a pleasant bit of escapism.

The principal fault is in the variable quality of the descriptive writing, some of which seems clumsy and cumbersome, and some is slightly bizarre e.g.

"The next morning, the rain had stopped, though the sky had remained overcast and gray as a pair of old socks".

In other instances, the author paints vivid pictures with a few well-chosen words, so my feeling is that the book would have benefited from further editing to leave a more concise and punchy end product.


Meltdown
Meltdown
by Martin Baker
Edition: Hardcover

3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Strangely uninvolving, 21 Dec 2007
This review is from: Meltdown (Hardcover)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I usually take a while to get into a book, labouring my way through the first 70 pages out of perserverence rather than enjoyment. This book however has proved to be different - I was gripped at the beginning, but my interest waned as I progressed.

I am not entirely sure of the reasons for this, but I suspect it is because the central character, Samuel is hard to empathise with. As a reader, you want him to be the hero, but I feel the writer has simply not drawn a substantial enough character - when I feel I know the central character, then I'll start rooting for him.

The sketchy characters and slightly superficial feel seems more suited to a TV drama (which occupies 2 hours) rather than a novel that requires more investment from the reader.


The Tin Roof Blowdown
The Tin Roof Blowdown
by James Lee Burke
Edition: Hardcover

2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing crime thriller, 4 Dec 2007
This review is from: The Tin Roof Blowdown (Hardcover)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
The devastating Katrina hurricane which hit New Orleans in 2005 provides the setting for this gritty and difficult read.

The idea of using this natural disaster as a plot device is good - these events change people's behaviour and their attitudes, and led them into situations that they would not normally encounter. The problem I had with this book lies in the execution of the idea.

The reader is introduced to numerous characters who are sketchily drawn. It is confusing and uninvolving, and it turns out that some are pretty peripheral to the story.

The second problem is the dialogue, much of which I am guessing is authentic to the region, however in many places it is incomprehensible to someone who is not acquainted with dialect which is 90% slang. I found myself re-reading exchanges in case I was missing important plot developments.

Despite the initial promise, these flaws undermined what is essentially a good story in an original setting.


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