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Lawrence Sutcliffe (Inverness, Scotland)
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Franklin Pierce (American Presidents (Times))
Franklin Pierce (American Presidents (Times))
by Michael F. Holt
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £14.43

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An introduction to the 14th President, 19 April 2010
The latest edition in the excellent Times Books series on the American Presidents continues the high standard set by previous volumes. Focusing on the relatively unknown (to this reader) Franklin Pierce, the 14th President, author Michael Holt follows he standard pattern of relating Pierce's whole life: background, education, early political life, nomination, election, presidency and later life. Holt's prose is clear and concise and while a general knowledge of American history is assumed the writer does not fall into the trap of some previous volumes of assuming too much familiarity with the time period in question. Pierce remains something of a shadowy figure at the book's end but this is explained by a lack of personal writing by Pierce about his time in office, however Michael Holt's judgements and guesses feel well thought out and are backed with historical precedent where possible. As with all the books in this series it is not an exhaustive biography of its subject but it is an excellent introduction to their life and the history of their terms in office. I would strongly recommend this book to anyone looking for an introduction to President Pierce's time in office.


Mark Thomas Presents the People's Manifesto
Mark Thomas Presents the People's Manifesto
by Mark Thomas
Edition: Paperback
Price: £4.99

26 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Seriously funny, 19 Feb 2010
I bought this book on a whim (not from Amazon I should confess) as I very much enjoyed the Radio 4 comedy show that inspired it. I expected it to be funny (which it is, very!) but it is also an important call for us, the electorate to get off our backsides and start taking an interest in what our elected officials are doing. We elected them, they work of us! It's is a mandate from us to improve the lot of all the people in this country and not an opportunity for MPs (and others) to feather their own nests or climb in bed with big business. Hopefully this little book will make people think a bit more about how we use our votes come the next election but if not it will certainly make you laugh.


Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2 (PS2)
Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2 (PS2)
Offered by Quality Media Supplies Ltd.
Price: £26.99

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing Sequel, 12 Oct 2009
= Fun:3.0 out of 5 stars 
Review of PS2 version of Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2

Although it didn't really add anything to the world of gaming the first Marvel Ultimate Alliance game was plain good fun. Therefore it was with fairly high levels of entertainment expectation that I have been waiting for the release of MUA2; what a disappointment it turned out to be!

I'm no great game player but I could be playing this with my eyes shut. Essentially you just walk/fight through sequences between cut-scenes much like the last game; but where is the fun? The challenge? The need to think about what you're doing?

The levels for the PS2 version are markedly different from the PS3 (which I've played a few levels of) but it's ugly and feels rushed. Character control is much like the first game but the AI for none playing characters is too high and takes you out of really driving he story forward. Bosses are too easy to defeat and when the screen getting too crowded the graphics struggle.

Power fusion, the game's major selling point, is clumsy and the novelty soon wears off. It's not even needed to complete the game. The selection of characters is an improvement and it's nice to play villains but while some characters are now worth playing (most notably Gambit) others have taken a step backward (Luke Cage) or not been developed at all (Thor). This could have been a very nice sequel to a fun original game but in the end, on the PS2 it's a bit of a mess.

This will be best appreciated by die hard comic book fans only I think. 3 Stars if you like comics, only 1 star if you don't.


Vera Cruz [DVD]
Vera Cruz [DVD]
Dvd ~ Gary Cooper
Offered by filmrollen
Price: £4.74

17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Good film but..., 12 Aug 2009
This review is from: Vera Cruz [DVD] (DVD)
Vera Cruz is a very good western but this is an awful DVD transfer. The film has been transferred at the wrong ratio (losing a good 20% of the image) and the image itself is dull and hazy, with colours blurring outside their lines. A film of this quality (just as a film I'd give it four stars) deserves a much better DVD release. I'd say only buy this if you are desperate to watch the film.


Ulysses S. Grant: 1869-1877 (American Presidents)
Ulysses S. Grant: 1869-1877 (American Presidents)
by Josiah Bunting
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £14.81

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ulysses S. Grant assessed, 5 Aug 2008
Another entry in Times' splendid American Presidents series and follows the format of other volumes (general introduction, biography, notes, milestones, reference material and index). Bunting's slim volume on Grant was the first of this series to come to my attention and unlike the previous reviewer of this book it is the only biography of Grant that I have read. That said I feel that I have received a well balanced assessment of Grant the man, the soldier and the President. As with all volumes that I have read in this series I would have liked, as a non-USA based reader, to have been provided a little more contextual information on the general history of American at the period under discussion. That said I found Bunting's writing clear and concise and despite his taking a distinct position on Grant's presidency I found this a well balanced and engaging introduction to the life and times of America's 18th President.


Gerald R. Ford: The 38th President, 1974-1977 (American Presidents (Times))
Gerald R. Ford: The 38th President, 1974-1977 (American Presidents (Times))
by Douglas G Brinkley
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £16.69

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Gerald Ford's presidency assessed, 5 Aug 2008
Another entry in Times' splendid American Presidents series and follows the format of other volumes (general introduction, biography, notes, milestones, reference material and index). Brinkley's assessment of Ford and his period in office is fair and even handed, although sometimes it assumes more knowledge of American history than a reader outside the USA might possess. Otherwise this is a fine introduction to the major evens in Ford's life and an interesting view of a President who reputation has grown considerably since leaving office. I highly recommended this introduction to the life and times of the 38th American President.


The Zombie Survival Guide: Complete Protection from the Living Dead
The Zombie Survival Guide: Complete Protection from the Living Dead
by Max Brooks
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.99

15 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This book can save your life!, 22 Sep 2006
George Romero knows it; Simon Pegg and Edgar Wright know it and now thanks to Max Brooks you too can know it: The dead are rising and only your forethought and preparedness can save you and your loved ones! Often found in the humour section, misplaced by booksellers, Brooks' invaluable survival guide takes you through the early indicators and the possible solutions to the full range of Zombie encounters; from a minor Class 1 outbreak to the potential nightmare of a Class 4 global domination. He offers sage advice on suitable defensive/offensive tactics, the pros and cons of a wide range of terrains and weaponry and perhaps most importantly, historical case studies which illustrates some of humanity's greatest triumphs but also the deadly folly of underestimating the risen dead. Brooks' clear to the point prose is both instructive and darkly entertaining. You will never look at your home security, local environment and shuffling neighbours in quite the same way again!


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