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Ivan Proctor (Gloucestershire, UK)

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A Collection of Ballads
A Collection of Ballads

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A very good collection of border ballads, 13 Feb 2011
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At no cost this has to be one of the better poetry ebooks available. It contains many of the well known border ballads: Thomas the Rhymer, Tam Lin, The Wife of Usher's Well, The Queen's Mairie and a Lyke Wake Dirge among the collection of over fifty. The only drawback is that there is no navigation available to individual ballads so you have to use the Kindle book search system to get to where you want to go. But the poems are well set out and there is both a scholarly introduction and (not obvious from the contents listed) a series of notes on individual ballads which follows the last of the Robin Hood ballads at the end. The book was published over a hundred years ago but that was at a time when interest and research into folk lore and mythology was at a peak and this edition reflects that. All in all a poetry ebook you can't go wrong with.


Classic British Fiction: Thomas Hardy's complete fiction
Classic British Fiction: Thomas Hardy's complete fiction

78 of 78 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, navigable collection of Hardy's fiction., 8 Feb 2011
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This is a very good collection. The product description scarcely does it justice. Here are all Hardy's novels and short stories plus The Dynasts. From the main index, where the works are set out in chronological publication order, you can navigate to any individual novel or story collection and from the individual work's title page you can go to any chapter or short story within the work. The only exception I could find was with Tess and Jude where the internal navigation was to parts within the books rather than to chapters. For lovers of Thomas Hardy or for students reading him at school or college it is hard to see how this collection could be bettered. All his prose works, formatted so that it is easy to get round to any place you want, for less than a pound! It just makes you want to start rereading one of our greatest novelists.


The Aran Islands, and Other Works [ILLUSTRATED]
The Aran Islands, and Other Works [ILLUSTRATED]
Price: £0.77

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Shoddy conversion to e-format, 2 Feb 2011
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J.M.Synge's books The Aran Islands and In Wicklow and West Kerry give a vivid and enjoyable picture of rural life in the west of Ireland a century ago but I would not advise anyone to buy this copy of them. Little care has been taken in converting the works to e-format. There is a navigable index but it only takes you to the start of each work and does not go any further. In the plays you cannot navigate between acts and scenes and in the two prose works you cannot go to individual parts or essays. In addition to this fault two of the plays, Deirdre of the Sorrows and The Tinker's Wedding have been formatted with a total lack of care. They are written out as continuous prose with no break for change of speaker and the stage directions are enclosed not just in brackets but within some unintelligable typographic nonsense. In effect those two plays are rendered unreadable. Does anyone proof read these things before they are offered for sale? If you are looking for J.M.Synge in ebooks give this edition a miss.


The Poetical Works of William Wordsworth. volumes 1-3. (mobi)
The Poetical Works of William Wordsworth. volumes 1-3. (mobi)

19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good and useable collection, 28 Jan 2011
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This is a well formatted and easily navigable collection of Wordworth's poetry, up to MobileReference's usual high standards. It is a scholarly edition with a lot of editorial material and notes on the poems. Buyers should be aware though that it is not a complete edition of Wordworth's poetry. The multi-volume edition from which it is taken printed all his poems in the date order of their composition and the first three volumes contained in this ebook include his poems written up to and including 1805. In other words it contains all the Lyrical Ballads and the complete text of The Prelude but nothing written between 1806 and his death in 1850. For someone studying Wordsworth at college or for other serious students the incomplete nature of the ebook could be a problem but for most readers this edition, containing the vast majority of Wordsworth's better and best known poems, is a bargain at less than the price of a Sunday newspaper.


The Voyage of the Beagle (mobi)
The Voyage of the Beagle (mobi)

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What you hoped a Kindle would be like, 25 Jan 2011
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This is a note about the Mobilereference edition of Darwin's Voyage of the Beagle. It goes without saying that the book itself is one of the greatest books of travel that you could possibly read. The mobilereference edition of the book is just what I hoped books would be like on Kindle. There are books out there, as Kindle owners will know, that are badly formatted and almost impossible to find your way around. This is not one of them. Not only are you able to go directly to any chapter from the table of contents but there is also a fully useable index that allows you to look up references to people, places and other subject matter and go from that directly to the page concerned. If I had a quibble it would be that the illustrations do not seem to be indexed but that is a small matter and I would recommend this edition wholeheartedly.


The Open Air
The Open Air

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A good way to sample Richard Jefferies, 24 Jan 2011
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This review is from: The Open Air (Kindle Edition)
This is a collection of 21 essays about natural history and the countryside first published in 1885. For anyone unfamiliar with this Victorian writer it is an excellent way to sample his work. Jefferies style is inevitably dated but he paints vivid pictures of the countryside and the agricultural way of life in mid-Victorian England.
Unlike many free ebooks this has a table of contents that enables you to navigate directly to any individual essay (even though the 'table of contents' is greyed out on Kindle's 'Go To' page). Well worth a look.


The Complete Sherlock Holmes
The Complete Sherlock Holmes
Price: £0.77

63 of 68 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Comments for Kindle users, 22 Jan 2011
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This is excellent. All four long stories and all five collections of short stories are here. Importantly for a Kindle edition, from the contents page you can go directly to any story long or short and even to any chapter of each of the four long stories. In effect the whole canon of Holmes stories at your finger tips.


Sky & Telescope's Pocket Sky Atlas
Sky & Telescope's Pocket Sky Atlas
by Roger W. Sinnott
Edition: Spiral-bound
Price: £12.24

11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An astronomical bargain, 5 Oct 2010
I can't fault this star atlas. It's a convenient size; the maps are beautifully clear and have a generous overlap with adjacent areas of sky; the spiral binding means the atlas always lies flat and doesn't have to be held open. Double and variable stars are differentiated and star clusters, nebulae and galaxies are all mapped.
Since I got my copy I find I use it all the time and not just to find the objects shown on the maps. It is also hugely useful for locating the fainter planets Uranus and Neptune, and other faint solar system objects moving against the stellar background. I'm just a hobby astronomer using my telescope in the back garden but this is an immensely useful book and I wouldn't want to be without it. At the Amazon price it has to be an astronomical bargain.


African Trilogy: The North African Campaign, 1940-43
African Trilogy: The North African Campaign, 1940-43
by Alan Moorehead
Edition: Paperback

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A vivid account of the North African campaign, 28 Sep 2010
I am not usually a reader of military history but came to this from noticing some extracts in an anthology of writing about the land campaigns of the second world war. Alan Moorehead's pieces stood out in that book and reading the whole of his trilogy has lived up to the expectations. It is about much more than just the desert campaign, more like a diary of Moorehead's travels during the years 1940-43. His visits to the Sudan, the Middle East, India, America, London and Gibraltar all help the reader, sixty years on, to see the events of the day 'in the round.' Even events that he did not take part in such as the fall of Crete are described vividly with all the skill of an experienced war correspondent.
The meat of the book, the ebb and flow of the battles in the North African desert, were originally three books published during the war and this book brings them all together. Doubtless there are things that could not be published at the time and details of decision making that were not known outside the army command at the time but certainly to me as a general reader the account had all the immediacy that could be asked for. Moorehead takes no jingoistic view of the events. His account is full of harrowing details but at the same time filled with humanity.
I am surprised, having read it from cover to cover, that it is not better known. It reads as a classic that goes beyond military journalism.


My Family and Other Animals
My Family and Other Animals
by Gerald Durrell
Edition: Paperback
Price: £5.59

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An idyllic childhood in Corfu, 26 Aug 2010
Here's a book guaranteed to keep you smiling. First published in 1956 this account of Gerald Durrell's childhood in Corfu has never been out of print since and that tells its own story. In 1935 Gerald, his mother, his brothers Larry (the author Lawrence Durrell) and Leslie and his sister Margo moved to live in Corfu where they remained until 1939. The book tells of the hilarious activities of his eccentric family and the island friends they made, but more particularly it tells of how Gerald fuelled his growing boyhood passion for natural history and wildlife by roaming the island watching, studying and collecting the birds, reptiles insects and other creatures he encountered. The book is written in an easy, colloquial style that keeps you turning the pages engrossed in the doings of the author and his family. Perhaps today, seventy years on, we would not be so ready to remove creatures from the wild and turn them into reluctant pets but that is a quibble. The book is a product of its time and it is a hugely enjoyable read. Gerald's brother Lawrence wrote his own greatly contrasting account of these years in the much more self-consciously literary book focussing on the island's culture and history; Prospero's Cell first published in 1945.


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