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John Lilburne "Revolutionary Socialist" (London, United Kingdom)

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Solaris
Solaris
by Stanislaw Lem
Edition: Paperback
Price: 6.29

5.0 out of 5 stars Sheer brilliance, 21 Aug 2010
This review is from: Solaris (Paperback)
This is intelligent science fiction at it's brightest, as much a work of philosophy as 'The Trial', 'Roads To Freedom', 'The Plague', or 'Metamorphosis'.


Michael Collins [DVD] [1996]
Michael Collins [DVD] [1996]
Dvd ~ Liam Neeson
Price: 5.39

0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars How it was (nearly), 20 May 2010
This review is from: Michael Collins [DVD] [1996] (DVD)
Ok, there are a few historical innacuracies, introduced for dramatic purposes. (The armoured car at Croke Park was outside the ground when it started firing at the escaping crowds, the firing inside was with rifles and pistols, carried out by the Irish Constabulary not the auxilaries. However, Michael Hogan, the player, WAS shot and killed, along with 14 others.) Nevertheless, this captures the spirit of the Irish War of Liberation, the uncertainties, the brutalities of both sides, the moral ambiguities that always will accompany warfare, regular and irregular, however just the cause. It portrays Michael Collins as a hero, because, to the Irish he is. The film has an Irish director, and the movie has to be appreciated as being from the Irish perspective. Once English chauvinism, and the red-top demonisation of the IRA is put to one side, this is a deeply moving account of a nation liberating itself from a foreign oppressor, well-acted, (generally, but even Julia Roberts fails to spoil the movie) sharply directed, and the few dramatic liberties taken with strict historical fact still convey the events and times in a way that only those who hanker after vicious British imperialism will cavil at. The main comment about accuracy is that, for once in the history of biopics, the subject of the movie was younger and better looking than the actor portraying him!


London 2010 Annual Guide (Michelin Guide)
London 2010 Annual Guide (Michelin Guide)
by Michelin
Edition: Paperback

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good eating, 15 May 2010
Ok. Not every good restaraunt appears in the Michelin guide, but every restaraunt in the guide is a good one. If you cannot go by personal recommendation, the guide will always provide an insight into where a good meal can be obtained. Also, with the "Bib Gourmand" awards, where a first-rate but inexpensive one can be got. Although the guide's reputation has suffered at the hands of inverted snobs, it is still a reliable guide to eating out. Thoroughly recommended.


This Is The Life (E Album)
This Is The Life (E Album)
Price: 7.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, 15 May 2010
Superb, and a debut album too. Add to collection immediately, or enternally live out a sad and essentially worthless existence.


A Curious Thing
A Curious Thing
Price: 5.99

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb, 15 May 2010
This review is from: A Curious Thing (MP3 Download)
A worthy second album (and how often can you say that). Beautiful voice, beautifully crafted songs. If "This Is The Life" appealed, do not hesitate to add this to your collection.


The Rubaiyyat of Omar Khayaam
The Rubaiyyat of Omar Khayaam
by Omar Khayyam
Edition: Paperback

5.0 out of 5 stars A new and fascinating take..., 15 May 2010
For those of us brought up on the "Omar Fitzgerald" transmogrification of the rubaiyyat, the Graves/Shah translation is a revelation. Turning this from a nineteenth century drunken atheists text into what it is, a mystical excercise by a first rate intellectual who happened also to be a religious man as well. Although I hold no brief for religion, (I think that Dawkins fellow is a niminy-piminy agnostic, who should come down off the fence and say what he really thinks about the god delusion)I also feel that spirituality is not dependent on belief in, or existence of, a trancendental entity. Therefore, these verses, being both fine poetry and also a sincere reflection on human relation with the infinite, should appeal to all. Especially, as in this translation, all the Victorian baggage has been jettisoned.


The Fat Duck Cookbook
The Fat Duck Cookbook
by Heston Blumenthal
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 26.00

11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Magnificent!, 11 Feb 2010
This review is from: The Fat Duck Cookbook (Hardcover)
Is this a practical cookbook for the aspiring home chef? Not even slightly, but there's plenty of those on the market. Is it a glorious celebration of one man's all-absorbing enthusiasm for food, yes, yes, yes. The autobiography that forms the first section of the book shows how, although self-taught, Heston's techniques are firmly rooted in the classics. He sees his ideas, not as cullinary iconoclasm, but taking the art a step forward, like all great cooks. The recipe section is not a practical set of cooking instructions, but a deep insight into what it takes to get 3 Michelin stars, and get voted the world's greatest restaraunt. The last section, cooking techniques and equipment, does provide some practical knowledge, especially on cooking meat. However, it's the insights, more than practicality that comes across. I cannot recommend this book too highly. You may not use anything in it directly, but I bet that if you want it to, it will make you a better cook. Apart from that, it is a cracking good read for anyone who eats food. Now, let's drop hints that a really cool Valentine's Day present would be a sous-vide machine and a precision waterbath...


Mouse Guard: Winter 1152
Mouse Guard: Winter 1152
by David Petersen
Edition: Hardcover

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars That difficult second album..., 14 Oct 2009
...characterised by production difficulties, delays in release, and ultimately unsatisfying. David Peterson may not be a rock band but "Mouseguard Winter" is flawed in much the same way as many bands follow up albums are. First, the good. The artwork is fantastic, well up to the standards of "Mouseguard Autumn", and that is the reason this gets three stars rather than a lesser number. David has not let his drawing or colouring standards slip one iota, and this is a visual treat. The Liaim/Celanawe storyline. Some might say that the denoument was telegraphed a bit obviously. I would state that, as with any storyline featuring mythic heroes, it is not a case of trite obviousness, but of historic inevitability. Some things just have to end that way, and all the efforts of you, me and the author are never going to prevent it.

Now, the other. Generally, the story lacks the verve and the pace of "Autumn", and this shows in the amount of drawing that is purely "padding", obviously filling pages with beautiful drawing rather than storyline, and I'm not sure about the romantic storylines, either, but maybe Americans insist on that kind of thing. Also, the "poetry" in the introduction to each chapter and the bloody awful "Ivory Lass". I know that it is a scientifically demonstrable fact that mice sing when they're in love, but I hope it's not this kind of trite doggerel. Great storytellers seldom make good poets, does anyone apart from the drippiest hippies bother to read any of the "songs" in Tolkien's "Lord of the Rings"? I thought not. David, leave poetry and songwriting to the professionals.

Would I recommend this? Well, only if you have already bought and read "Autumn", or intend buying this and "Autumn" as a pair. So buy it, despite its flaws, but not as a "stand-alone" purchase. It carries the story forward, it is a visual treat, and will be a necessary bridge to the next instalment.

Am I looking forward to that? Am I ever!


Psychedelia - The Anthology [2004] [DVD]
Psychedelia - The Anthology [2004] [DVD]
Dvd ~ Various Artists
Offered by best_value_entertainment
Price: 5.96

3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Not with a bargepole..., 15 Aug 2009
...should you touch this great gobbling turkey. First of all, the title, there are only two tracks on this that come even close to being psychedelia: The Bonzo's "Equestrian Statue", in a pedestrian, mostly mimed, extremely lacklustre bad black and white tv version, and Gong's "Radio Gnome" merely pointing up just how naff Daevid Allen could be when he put his mind to it. The rest is kraut rock, prog rock, proto heavy metal and jazz rock. Not in a good way, either. When there is a decent band, the track selected is far from their best offering, and a fair proportion of the bands are just dreadful. There is little point to this mess, historically there is nothing of importance, and artistically, it is a disaster. Can I have 72 minutes of my life back, please?


Radio Wars (Limited Edition)
Radio Wars (Limited Edition)
Price: 11.15

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good, very good but..., 1 July 2009
Good straightforward indypop, but lacking the gothic twist which made their eponymous debut album such a joy. Worth having, and enjoyable, but now the difficult second album is out of the way, maybe the third will be the stunner I hoped this would be.


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