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Profile for Mr. Jonathan Pratt > Reviews

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Reviews Written by
Mr. Jonathan Pratt "japratt2" (Cambridgeshire UK)
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Denon CEOL RCDN8 Networked Mini System With iPod Dock (Black)
Denon CEOL RCDN8 Networked Mini System With iPod Dock (Black)

5.0 out of 5 stars This kit is just as good as the majority of reviews, 24 Jan. 2015
This kit is just as good as the majority of reviews. One issue to watch out for is the possible reluctance to connect via airplay or to recognise the CEOL IOS or android apps. This is not a fault in the Denon but almost certainly a problem caused by the router/modems provided by the major ISPs such as BT. These often lack essential firmware to ensure efficient and reliable connection. Changing my BT supplied router for a £60 TP Link router modem solved any airplay and remote app problems and, at the same time, improved all internet speeds!


He Wants
He Wants
Price: £6.47

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "You can't always get what you want", 6 Jan. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: He Wants (Kindle Edition)
This is an extraordinary book. If Phillip Larkin had written Mr Bleany as a novel, this would be it. Sparse, crafted and precise it exactly offers us the reality of failed ambition and resilient longing - "That how we live measures our own nature".

Reading this after Jane Smiley's "Some Luck" I realise that in totally different ways both novels move from the particular of individual lives to a greater understanding of our shared humanity. This could be, if such a thing existed, "the great English novel".

I found myself humming the Rolling Stones "You can't always get what you want" but the novel ends with a moment of exquisite tenderness and love.

Everybody should read this.


Hot Wheels A Basic Car (Pack of 20)
Hot Wheels A Basic Car (Pack of 20)
Price: £28.68

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The cars are fine but be alert to the fact that the box ..., 11 Dec. 2014
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The cars are fine but be alert to the fact that the box set illustrated is not what you get. You get a box of individually blister packed cars. If that is not important, no problem But what is illustrated is what should be delivered!


Olympus Pen E-PM2 Compact System Camera - Black (inc. M.ZUIKO Digital 14 -42mm II R Lens & 8GB FlashAir Card)
Olympus Pen E-PM2 Compact System Camera - Black (inc. M.ZUIKO Digital 14 -42mm II R Lens & 8GB FlashAir Card)

10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Dilemma, 13 July 2013
This camera has presented me with a real dilemma. I bought the camera body only but with the free pancake lens to compliment my Olympus E620 as a light easy to carry alternative to share lenses through the Olympus adaptor.
But the image quality blows the E620 away and I was really pleased before.

Comparing a like for like image using my superb Zuiko 11-22 lens on Photoshop Actual Pixels view, the difference in resolution and sharpness is outstanding.

I love the optical viewfinder on the E620 and it is the only camera to use with my 70-300 lens, the auto focus on the Pen is a little slower, but the quality . . . .

One thing is for sure, this is a superb camera that has far exceeded my expectations.


Olympus MMF-3 Micro Four Thirds Adapter for Four Thirds Lenses
Olympus MMF-3 Micro Four Thirds Adapter for Four Thirds Lenses
Price: £149.00

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Don't Believe the Criticism, 10 July 2013
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This may seem very expensive for a plastic and metal "spacer" and it probably is but the precision is very important if you are sharing four thirds lenses between an Olympus DSLR and a Pen Micro Four Thirds camera. I bought this to use 11-22, 14-42, 35mm macro and 70-300 lenses on my E620 and E-PM2 and it works with the precise feel that good engineering and tight tolerances give you - that costs.

Don't be alarmed by reports that auto focus is "painfully slow" when using four thirds lenses on a micro four thirds. My lenses perform better on my PM2 than they did in "live mode" on the E620, although native lenses may be quicker. Unless you are into really high speed shooting, you won't notice.

However, it is critical to update the firmware on your lenses if necessary - through the Olympus site. Makes a big difference.

With updated firmware a lens that works well in live view mode on your DSLR will be fine on micro four-thirds - and what wonderful lenses they are too!


Life After Life
Life After Life
by Kate Atkinson
Edition: Hardcover

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Time is a Construct, 19 April 2013
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This review is from: Life After Life (Hardcover)
"Time is a construct" and it takes a remarkable imagination, ambition and skill to deconstruct it as Kate Atkinson does in this wonderful, wonderful novel. Stylistically and structurally this book is a huge risk but works triumphantly because the author writes so well. It is easy to feel that all her other novels have been leading to this masterpiece.

As well as all the themes described in the other reviews, this book is about narrative and narratives and explores the power of fiction to re-articulate the world and build a composite story from many stories. It is the writer immersing in the luxury of literary narrative as an artist might with paint or clay.

It demands much of the reader. You can't answer usual questions like: "How does the novel end?" because, in a sense, it doesn't. I feared being irritated by the narrative structure but I was enraptured by it.

If this book doesn't win every prize going then Exeter City deserve to win the FC Cup (sorry Greacians!)

The only fear is that this book is so good, Kate Atkinson will never write one as good again.


Arcam rLink DAC Converter Black
Arcam rLink DAC Converter Black

5.0 out of 5 stars Little Box - Big Value, 15 April 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
You may be wondering if it is worth paying £145 for a little box when you can buy similar little box DACs for £20. The answer is a resounding yes. Far better control of low and middle frequencies and a smooth. clear treble with none of the distortion I have heard from other boxes. Equally important: no sign of the annoying high frequency hiss other cheaper solutions are guilty of.

I play this from an Apple TV (delightfully almost the same shape) through a Denon amp to QA 20201 speakers - amazing quality. Don't hesitate!


Death's Door (DI Peter Shaw & DS George Valentine series Book 4)
Death's Door (DI Peter Shaw & DS George Valentine series Book 4)
Price: £5.29

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book - sham about the pruf reeding, 9 Dec. 2012
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If you analyse all Jim Kelley's books in this series you will find the same elements: the intensity of family relationships, the impact of the past on the present, the beautiful yet menacing landscape of north Norfolk, the closeness of small communities and the ambiguous relationship between the two main characters. Yet each book does not fail to deliver because of the sheer quality of the writing and plotting. I think this is a great addition to a wonderful series.

But the proofreading! Was it a monkey?


Resistance
Resistance
by Owen Sheers
Edition: Paperback

4.0 out of 5 stars An idea that almost works, 19 Nov. 2012
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This review is from: Resistance (Paperback)
Forget the historian pedants who question the accuracy of events; the concept of this novel, the invasion of the UK by Nazi forces, is chillingly realised through the fragments of information that we are offered just like the Welsh and German inhabitants of the Black Mountains valley. I found this very difficult to deal with an emotion hugely increased by the intense "cameos" of violence such as the killing and disembowelling of the German guards at Pandy station.

The problem is that the author, who writes beautifully, can not resist an over elaboration of the details of the lives of the valley's farmers and it is this descriptive lyricism that blocks the plot rather than enriches it. I guiltily admit to skipping sections of prose with impatience; something I rarely do.

Then there are elements of the plot that simply don't work. Why, given such an important mission, is the German patrol forgotten? Why is their successful mission only revealed so late in the story? There are many other unsettling elements of a good story idea.

Yet, despite all this, I would urge people to read this. The idea is important and there is great richness (if too much) in the writing.


Tony Hogan Bought Me an Ice-cream Float Before He Stole My Ma
Tony Hogan Bought Me an Ice-cream Float Before He Stole My Ma
Price: £4.99

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Some great writing . . . but, 15 Aug. 2012
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There is so much good writing in this debut novel. The first person description of teenage life in Yarmouth is direct, harsh and honest in its approach to describe Janie's life without moral judgement and without a patronising sentimentality drawn on a sense of "nobility through struggle". This hurts those of us with more liberal sensitivities and it is meant to. What strikes is the apparent inevitability of what life offers to and means for Janie, her peers and her family. They don't want our blame and they don't want our tears and sympathy.

But these are the best parts of the book. The narrative technique of using a new born baby's "voice" to describe Janie's birth and early life simply doesn't work for me and the subsequent first person narrative up to her early teens doesn't seem to be sure if it is a wholly naive contemporary description or a more knowing history based upon reflection backward.

I assume that the novel is based upon personal experience and I think there is more practice to be gathered to turn this richness of material into a wholly satisfying plot structure and narrative. The ending, to be cruel, has the feel of "I woke up and it was all a dream" and, reading on Kindle, where you don't have any physical sense of nearing the end of a novel, I was surprised and disappointed by the sense of a story just "stopping".

Interesting threads about Janie such as her love of books and story and her imagination - her sensitivity towards the emotional pain of Sylvia Plath, for example, are raised but then abandoned.

Heather O'Neill's wonderful Lullabies for Little Angels is a similar book but I think much more assured when judged as a novel rather than an (auto)biography which is what this book still, essentially is.

But a tremendous talent, worth watching out for.


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