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D. M. York (Manchester, UK)
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adidas Samba Suede Mens Navy/Running White 11 UK UK
adidas Samba Suede Mens Navy/Running White 11 UK UK

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic, just a bit small!, 6 May 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
These are a fantastic pair of trainers and look very trendy indeed. One word of advice that I can offer is that if you are buying these shoes for yourself, buy a half size bigger than you normally would do.

I have bought many shoes online previously and have always used the same shoe size without any problems whatsoever. However these shoes are quite tight around the toes and I realise that I should have taken heed from other reviews and gotten a size slightly larger. I can still wear them, though after a full day of walking around my toes are a little bit sore!


Solitude: Seeking Wisdom in Extremes - A Year Alone in the Patagonia Wilderness
Solitude: Seeking Wisdom in Extremes - A Year Alone in the Patagonia Wilderness
by Robert Kull
Edition: Paperback
Price: 13.46

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Wisdom in extremes, 6 May 2012
Around a decade ago (at least at the time of writing this review) Robert Kull undertook an adventure that took him to the remote Patagonian wilderness where he sought to spend a year living away from civilisation to record the effects of extreme wilderness solitude. This book is the account of his time in solitude, a transcription of his journal that he kept inveterately during the year.

What gives this account a great deal of poignancy is that Robert Kull is an older man and an amputee. These two things are of course no barrier to undertaking such a challenge, though far too often stories of outdoor adventures seem to be reigned over by younger and fitter specimens who have dedicated themselves towards survival activities, Bear Grylls being one example. Instead Kull is rather like the everyman and one can empathise greatly with the challenges that he faces, both physically and mentally.

The first half of the book concentrates greatly on the physical aspects of solitude. For Kull this initially consists of a battle against the elements as he tries to construct a sturdy camp, such efforts are constantly interdicted by health problems and severe weather. Though as time goes on Kull's recordings become more philosophical and spiritual in their content as he remarks on all manner of issues. Spirituality forms the core to this book, which was something I was not entirely expecting, one clearly learns that Kull is an intensely spiritual man and many of his entries do comment extensively on such issues. In some instances I found this to be hard to stomach, though in others I could understand so very clearly why his connection with spirituality was so profound in isolation.

My one criticism of this book is that it can frequently become quite repetitive and many of the journal entries get caught up in seemingly irrelevant details. Moreover if one is not inclined towards spiritualistic thinking (such as myself) there are numerous sections in the book that are hard to relate to and can come across as being rather daft. I was also surprised by the lack of comment in some areas of the book, specifically regarding Kull's exact experience of living separately to other people. Whilst this is discussed in brief detail towards the end of the book, one never gets a clear picture of whether Kull misses seeing people or actually holding a conversation.

Otherwise this is a fine account written by a tremendously intelligent and wise man.


Tyrannosaur [DVD]
Tyrannosaur [DVD]
Dvd ~ Peter Mullan
Price: 7.05

4.0 out of 5 stars A fantastic film dealing with difficult people, 29 Feb 2012
This review is from: Tyrannosaur [DVD] (DVD)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This is a difficult film to watch. Not that it is a bad film, far from it. This is a standard to which other films should judge themselves, as this is an excellently acted and constructed film that leaves you unable to turn away. What is difficult about this film is the subject matter; two characters that are both deeply complicated and injured, and how in spite of their obvious differences that they connect with each other. Tyrannosaur is a very dark film, largely set in what would appear to be a council estate in Leeds it deals with the elements of society that we generally prefer to ignore.

One thing to be assured of is that this is not a film that is easy to be watched over and over again. It fits into the category of film that you watch when you are in a thoughtful mood and want to watch something that deals with difficult subjects in an intelligent and emotional way. In the same way that The Wrestler is not a film that can be watched with a bag of popcorn and a bottle of coke, nor is Tyrannosaur. Though just like The Wrestler it is a film that is magnificent in all of its darkness.


One Day
One Day
by David Nicholls
Edition: Paperback
Price: 6.95

5.0 out of 5 stars Read past the hype, 11 Jan 2012
This review is from: One Day (Paperback)
I am not the sort of reader who in any way is enticed by the statement of "international bestseller" on the cover of a book, years later I still avoid the novels of Dan Browne as though I may be contaminated by some mass hysteria. Though after some thought and feeling decidedly in the mood for something different, I took a chance with this novel, and it was one of the best decisions I have made - at least in the world of books!

There is a great realism to this story; such is the reason for its appeal. We all lean in closer to conversations to hear the innermost details of the lives of others - as social creatures we find these things inveterately fascinating. So the concept of revisiting the lives of two friends every day over twenty years taps into that interest. One might argue that the events of the story are not revolutionary; you might hear something similar if you quizzed enough people in your local pub. Though the story itself is of the complete lives of two people: characters that become so entirely real that one might feel that they actually know them. To see their lives unfold over twenty years in annual segments is like watching a flower grow in time-lapse.

At it's heart One Day is a story about what happens as we get older, from the raw days of youth where decisions are made hastily and nothing seems to have any consequence, to the years that follow and when life suddenly becomes much more serious. There were many sections of the novel that really struck a chord with me in that respect, and if there is one book that made me think more about my own life and my own relationships than One Day, I cannot recall it. Life affirming.


Nightwoods
Nightwoods
by Charles Frazier
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 14.46

3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Fails to deliver, 1 Jan 2012
This review is from: Nightwoods (Hardcover)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Nightwoods is a hugely atmospheric novel, though in many places I felt that the novel placed a greater priority in its descriptions to actually telling a story. In short, the novel focuses upon three characters: Luce - a loner who has recently taken care of her murdered sister's children, Bud - ex-husband and murderer of Luce's sister, and Stubblefield who has recently inherited property in the town in which the novel is set.

I was greatly enticed by the premise of "an atmospheric novel of love and suspense" however in each case I found these to be in disappointingly short supply. There is some element of suspense to the story, though not enough to keep you turning pages, and as for there being an element of love, I cannot conceive of where this featured since whilst there is the insinuation of there being a romantic interest in the story, it is glossed over quickly and only the most imaginative of readers would call this a story about love. I feel that this novel is betrayed by the author's need to make the setting of the mountain environment seem as real as possible. In this he succeeds brilliantly, as at every stage I could clearly picture where the characters were and what they were doing.

In the end I did not feel that this was a rewarding book to read since in the end so very little seemed to happen in it.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Oct 3, 2012 1:55 PM BST


The Sims 3: Late Night (PC/Mac DVD)
The Sims 3: Late Night (PC/Mac DVD)
Price: 12.85

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Another addition to a horrendously vicarious game, 9 Nov 2011
= Fun:3.0 out of 5 stars 
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
As far as expansion packs go for the Sims 3, this is pretty good. It adds many new clothes, items, actions and wishes to the game. There is also a new town which can be used which is a city-style metropolis, however I personally have found that this town is quite resource-demanding on my computer and can be rather jumpy at times. Though the additions have greatly added to my enjoyment of the game and as far as add-on packs have gone so far in Sims 3 this is the best.

Sadly there are still some issues with the game that do not allow it to be awarded a high score. Compared to the equivalent add-on pack for Sims 2 this pack does not offer quite as much. The game is still entirely devoid of an "attraction" option for one to determine who your sim is most attracted to, as such forming relationships with other sims does feel somewhat forced.


Everlast Slimmer Belt
Everlast Slimmer Belt
Price: 7.26

4.0 out of 5 stars Good for training, 9 Nov 2011
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Everlast Slimmer Belt (Sports)
This product has two excellent uses:

1. It greatly increases the amount you sweat during a workout which is great for specifically targeting a loss of water-weight and increasing the number of calories that burn during a workout.

2. It is very useful for holding a larger stomach in place when undertaking cardiovascular exercise. As a rounded chap (being 6'4" and weighing around 16 stone) I do have a rounded stomach which has the unfortunate habit of jigging a bit when going for a run. This belt holds one's tummy firmly in place and allows for a more comfortable and effective run.

I have already noticed a difference using this belt and my stomach has been slowly getting smaller. This belt has to be combined with a good fitness regime with a good amount of attention paid towards cardio-work, though providing you put this effort in you will see the rewards.


No Title Available

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent entry-level running shoes, 9 Nov 2011
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
These are the first set of running shoes that I have ever owned, having spent the first nine months of a fitness regime using standard trainers. The difference I can feel in my run is huge. The cushioning sole absorbs a massive amount of impact and has made running infinitely more comfortable. The shoes provide a lot of support to your feet and prevent them from sliding around inside which can be a cause of blistering. The result has been that I can run for longer and more comfortably and afterwards my feet do not suffer in the way that they did beforehand.

Since these are my first running shoes I cannot compare them to others on the market. Though I can say that Air Pegasus have a long-standing reputation for being excellent running shoes, I was recommended that they were the best place to start out for runners who tend to land on their heel rather than their forefoot, and generally these are the best place to start when buying running shoes. I can easily see why.


Philips SHS4800/10 Headphones Active Fit Ear Hook
Philips SHS4800/10 Headphones Active Fit Ear Hook
Price: 17.34

5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent and fabulously well-priced, 9 Nov 2011
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
These are my first set of headphones designed specifically for running, having struggled with many other headphones which eventually fall out or are uncomfortable. I generally use headphones for the gym which involves a lot of bouncing around and sweating, previous headphones have inevitably fallen out of my ears or have become quite uncomfortable as a reservoir of sweat builds up around them.

These headphones have an adjustable fitting which means that they can fit very comfortably around your ears and in spite of deliberately trying to get them to fall out with some Wayne's World style head-banging they remained comfortably in place. Since they are not inner-ear headphones they do not form a bung for sweat to collect behind, but most crucially they let a little bit of the outside world in which is of great importance to outdoor joggers so you can hear cars approaching. In spite of this, the music quality is hardly affected and plays as well as other inner-ear headphones.

Given the choice again I would not hesitate to buy them.


You Deserve Nothing
You Deserve Nothing
by Alexander Maksik
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 13.41

4 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This book deserves a sixth star, 4 July 2011
This review is from: You Deserve Nothing (Hardcover)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
It's not often that I will come across a book that I will enjoy reading so entirely that I would prefer to lose sleep rather than to stop reading. The sort of book that as soon as you have finished it you are instantly planning to read it again. Such books are a rare treasure and something I didn't expect of You Deserve Nothing.

The story focuses predominantly upon Will, an eccentric and beloved teacher (very much alike the role of Robin Williams in Dead Poets Society) who is seen very much as an academic hero to his students. As a teacher he is everything the student might idealise, he is open minded and most importantly he treats his students as adults. It is therefore not an unusual point for the book to focus on two protagonists who become completely besotted with him: Gilad and Marie. To both of them he represents something new and both his teaching and his personality open up to them a life that they previously were unaware of. Though beyond the surface details there is a dark core to this book, from the outset one realises that each of the characters are recalling events that transpired some years ago, which throughout the novel adds to a sense of foreboding.

It is easy to become wrapped up in the many existential elements to this novel and many of my learned co-reviewers have already picked up on these points, though rather obviously this novel does deal with existentialism and idealism to a great extent. The fact that it is set in a school often means that this is rather unavoidable, though for the purpose of the novel the setting could not have been better chosen.

If I could award additional stars for the sheer standard of writing I would do so, this book has been a pleasure to read and whilst it is a phrase far too commonly applied in literature reviews, I was quite unable to put this book down. The story is beautifully told in the sort of way that gets stuck inside of you, and even after I have finished and put the book away, I ache for more.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Sep 8, 2011 1:36 PM BST


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