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Shogi Problems in Japanese and English
Shogi Problems in Japanese and English
by translated by John Fairbairn Aono Teruichi
Edition: Tankobon Hardcover

5.0 out of 5 stars At last..., 17 April 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I've been looking for a copy of this for years!!!

The 'correct' title of this book is 'A Guide to Shogi Openings' though one could be forgiven for
thinking it is 'Shogi Problems in Japanese and English'. This is one of the best books about
Shogi ever written in English and it s now out of print and very hard to find.

The slightly unconventional layout(*) does not detract from the fact that this is a brilliant
study of Shogi joseki and openings presented as a series of problems. Many major
openings are covered -Climbing Silver, Side Pawn, King's Head Vanguard Pawn, Fortress,
etc.

If you find a copy of this book, don't ask too many questions - buy it!

(*) You start at the back and work forward (fair enough - it's a Japanese book and that's
the way they do it). Then, you turn the book over and start at the back again. Wierdly
entertaining, (or entertainingly wierd if you prefer).


Sut Lovingood: Yarns Spun
Sut Lovingood: Yarns Spun
by George Washington Harris
Edition: Paperback
Price: £13.95

5.0 out of 5 stars South-Western Humour does it for me!, 17 April 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I first read this book 30(?) years ago - the copy from the American Literature shelves of
the University of Edinburgh Library.

Over the years, I returned and re-read the book on more than one occasion.

Now, I have finally bought a copy.

The dialect in which the book is written is a little difficult for a Brit like me, but this is
quite simply the funniest book I have ever read. Run (do not walk!) to your nearest
bookseller and buy a copy today.

A sadly-neglected classic!


The Tom Swift Megapack: 25 Complete Novels
The Tom Swift Megapack: 25 Complete Novels
Price: £0.37

0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Outdated, racist, imperialist and scientifically naive., 14 Oct 2013
These books are available free from Project Gutenberg, and also from Feedbooks ([...] with the orginal cover illustrations.

The casual racism pervading these stories is hardly surprising, emanating as they do from a country which was still prejudiced and segregated as late as the 1960s. The unpleasant imperialism which features in some of the stories is perhaps a little less familiar to readers outwith North America, but it is none the less real - the eponymous 'hero' is as two-faced, amoral and unprincipled a young imperialist scallywag as ever graced any of Henty's pages. Anyone who thinks the U.S.A. is not an imperial/colonial power should consider the Virgin Isles, Puerto Rico, etc.

The science is flaky at best. The writers clearly have only the vaguest understanding of science and of scientific principles, and the notions of 'powerful' gases being generated and then used to provide lift for airships 'on the fly' are wonderfully naive. In one story, the interesting concept of a hexagonal cube is introduced. You would not want your house rewired by young Tom - his approach to electricity is shocking!

Some reviewers of books in this series seem to think that Tom is a good role model for young people. May I therefore suggest some other role models? Jack the Ripper, Crippen, Torquemada, Rasputin, George Bush spring to mind as equally 'suitable'!

If it's science/technology you want in your juvenile fiction, stick with Mr. Wells or Mr. Verne (who had some pretty wacky ideas of his own).


TANGLED WEB
TANGLED WEB
Price: £3.06

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Slipshod and shoddy proofreading..., 7 Sep 2013
This review is from: TANGLED WEB (Kindle Edition)
There's really no excuse for poor proofreading - I've seen two instances of 'discrete' for 'discreet' and an error in the gender of the missing child already, and I'm probably only on about page 20!

I can only assume that either the author or the proofreader is illiterate, or that the text has been checked with a spell-checker rather than being properly proofread - which is the same as being illiterate in my book.

Also, I simply do not believe that police officers would behave in the way they do in this book. The story is quite literally incredible.


Let's Play Shogi
Let's Play Shogi
Price: £6.67

1.0 out of 5 stars Unusable!, 24 Aug 2013
This review is from: Let's Play Shogi (Kindle Edition)
This review ls based on a reading of the Kindle free sample only.

This appears to be an introductory book for children. Unfortunately the translation is so extremely poor that the text is more or less incomprehensible, rendering the book unusable. The Nihon Shogi Renmei should be able to do a better job of promoting Shogi in the West than this!


Round Ireland With A Fridge
Round Ireland With A Fridge
Price: £4.49

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Why, oh why can't I award 0 stars?, 23 Aug 2013
Self-indulgent, repetitive, superficial, trivial, boring, unfunny, repetitive and unoriginal.

Thank goodness there are still free libraries where one can borrow books like this, rather than waste money buying them - still begrudge the pittance paid to this man via author's lending rights though!

For the benefit of purchasers outwith the UK who may not be familiar with this man, Hawks is one of the Z-list comedians (so-called) who are regularly wheeled out by the BBC for their rather unfortunate 'comedy' panel games. I have always been deeply impressed (but not favourably) by how seriously unfunny he is on these shows. It's a relief to find that my impressions are correct - the man is as lousy a writer as he is a comedian.


The Crusades: The War for the Holy Land
The Crusades: The War for the Holy Land
by Thomas Asbridge
Edition: Paperback
Price: £9.09

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nice balance of academic rigour and anecdote!, 29 Mar 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I have been interested in 'The Crusades' since I did a general studies course on the subject 40+ years ago (during my Physics degree, of all things!).

I don't propose saying anything more about the excellence of this book - the other 29 reviewers (so far) have said it all - absolutely excellent book about the Crusades!

What I would like to draw out is the fact that this book falls very neatly (and nicely!) between such relatively short introductory texts such as 'The Cross and the Crescent' by Malcolm Billings(*), and 'The Crusades' by Anthony Bridge(*) and more academic studies such as 'A History of the Crusades' by Steven Runcieman. It's a perfect general, but detailed introduction to the Crusades with a nice balance between academic rigour and entertaining anecdote. Wonderful!

(*) Both of these books are excellent in their own right.


Wulf the Saxon A Story of the Norman Conquest
Wulf the Saxon A Story of the Norman Conquest
Price: £0.00

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars High fashion for the discerning gent at the Saxon and Norman courts!, 9 Feb 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
An earlier reviewer described this book as hilarious - what can I say - a perfect one word review!

Certainly, it's very funny (unintentionally, I guess). For me, the high point was the serious, if short, discussion of the relative merits of Saxon and Norman gents fashion wear for use in the courts of Duke William (Norman) and Earl Godwin (Saxon). Priceless! Otherwise, the story is typical Henty - two young boys and their unlikely adventures in a (more or less accurate) historical setting. As always, the two young boys are jolly good chaps - their upper lips are so stiff that they must have come freshly starched from the laundry.

I'm afraid that for me, the frequently expressed opinion that Henty's fiction has merit because it is larded with accurate historical fact is more than offset by the fact that the history is only military history, and that it is presented in a totally undigestible, turgid format - lists of regiments, numbers of men, cannons, etc. Awful!

One should also bear in mind the fact that his writings seem to indicate that the man was a Jingo, not to say a proto-fascist. Casual brutality runs like a thread through many of these books - which is OK when perpetrated by the (usually) English/British heroes, but not when perpetrated by Johnny Foreigner (particularly the darker-skinned varieties). This is not unexpected in books from this era - it's simply a reflection of the attitudes of the time, but Henty's attempts are simply so badly written...

I've set myself the task of wading through as many of his books as I can - I'm up to about 60-70 at the moment, and I'm beginning to fade...


Shogi for Beginners
Shogi for Beginners
by John Fairbairn
Edition: Paperback

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If you're going to play Shogi, buy this book!, 25 Nov 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Shogi for Beginners (Paperback)
I think I'm right when I say that "Shogi for Beginners" (SFB) was the first book in English about Shogi after Trevor Legget's "Shogi: Japan's Game of Strategy" (1966). SFB was (I think), based on Fairbairns pamphlet (brochure?) "Shogi, How to Play", published in 1979 by The Shogi Association.

SFB is an excellent (not to say, essential) introduction to Shogi for English speaking Shogi 'novices' like me (even though I've been playing the game since 1968!).

The book includes sections discussing castles, openings, strategy and tactics, middle game, end games and tsume (mating problems). Also, there is a selection of fully described sample games for the interested student to play through with their own board and set of pieces!

This book is one of the four(?) essential books which every serious English speaking student of Shogi should have in their library. I have two copies of this book. I used to have three, but I lost one in Oslo airport a couple of years ago damn! - I'm still pretty hacked off about that!

The other four 'essential' books are:

The Art of Shogi by Tony Hosking (TAOS)
4 Great Games - also by Tony Hosking (4GG)
Better Moves for Better Shogi by Aono Teruichi (trans. Fairbairn) (BMFBS)
A Guide to Shogi Openings by Aono Teruichi (GTSO)

TAOS is another comprehensive description of Shogi covering the same material as in SFB but in more detail.
4GG is a survey of Shogi, Chess, Go (Wei-Chi) and Chinese Chess (Xiang-Chi), a fascinating book for board game saddos like me!
BMFBS is a parallel-text version of a series of lectures (in Japanese) on Shogi - the English translation of the accompanying Japanese is first-rate (it needs to be, I do not speak or read Japanese). The book is now out of print and difficult to find - it is a seriously good book about Shogi.
GTSO is a parallel-text study of Shogi joseki and openings presented as a series of problems. Major
openings covered include Climbing Silver, Side Pawn, King's Head Vanguard Pawn, Fortress,
etc. The book is now out of print and difficult to find - it is a seriously good book about Shogi.


Better Moves for Better Shogi
Better Moves for Better Shogi
by Sam Sloan
Edition: Paperback
Price: £12.96

5.0 out of 5 stars Better Moves for Better Shogi by Teruichi Aono, 24 Nov 2012
Note the title of this review. This book is by Teruichi Aono and translated by John Fairbairn, despite the slightly confusing information you might see on your screen. I presume that this is a re-issue of the original book with a foreword by a third person.

Having got that out of the way, I largely agree with the previous reviewer. I have had a copy of this book on my shelf since 1992 and refer to it frequently - it is without doubt one of the best books on Shogi in English, if this is a re-issue, it is long overdue - I wonder if it is printed 'back-to-front' like the original?

To be specific, I think this is one of the 5 best books in English about Shogi. The other four are:

Shogi for Beginners by John Fairbairn (SFB)
The Art of Shogi by Tony Hosking (TAOS)
4 Great Games - also by Tony Hosking (4GG)
Guide to Shogi Openings - Teruichi Aono (GTSO)

SFB does exactly what it says on the tin - introduces Shogi to beginners. I have two copies of this excellent book, one to take away on holiday, and one for my bookshelf. I did have three copies but I lost one in Oslo airport a few years ago! SFB is available in paper on Amazon. John Fairbairn has also written books about Go, some of which are available for the Kindle.
TAOS is another comprehensive description of Shogi covering the same material as in SFB but in more detail.
4GG is a survey of Shogi, Chess, Go (Wei-Chi) and Chinese Chess (Xiang-Chi), a fascinating book for board game saddos like me!
GTSO is a parallel-text study of Shogi joseki and openings presented as a series of problems. Major
openings covered include Climbing Silver, Side Pawn, King's Head Vanguard Pawn, Fortress,
etc. The book is now out of print and difficult to find - it is a seriously good book about Shogi.

I have finally acquired a pristine original copy of the out-of-print Guide to Shogi Openings! Time for this to be republished too, I think, though I have recently become aware of a CD and loose-leaf version which I believe are available from a supplier in the UK.


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