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Reviews Written by
H. L. Mason "relyonme" (Spain)

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Eddingtons V-Shaped Roasting Rack, Non-Stick
Eddingtons V-Shaped Roasting Rack, Non-Stick
Price: £4.87

4.0 out of 5 stars DOES THE JOB, 3 Jun. 2013
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NO OUTSTANDING QUALITY HERE, BUT QUITE ADEQUATE FOR SUPPORTING A JOINT. I WOULD HAVE PREFERRED STAINLESS STEEL BUT COULDN'T FIND IT IN THE SAME SIZE.


Seki Edge Ss-202 Professional Nail Nipper, Stainless Steel
Seki Edge Ss-202 Professional Nail Nipper, Stainless Steel
Offered by Health and Beauty Emporium
Price: £23.49

5.0 out of 5 stars BEST EVER, 3 Jun. 2013
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THIS IS WITHOUT DOUBT THE BEST CLIPPER I HAVE EVER TRIED. IT IS SMALL, BEAUTIFULLY FINISHED AND SURPRISINGLY SHARP AND EFFECTIVE. IT DOES NOT REQUIRE ANY EFFORT, UNLIKE OTHER CLIPPERS I HAVE HAD, AND EASILY GETS INTO TIGHT CORNERS WHERE OTHER CLIPPER STRUGGLE TO CUT.
DEFINITELY A FIVE STAR JOB


Netgear N300 Wireless ADSL2+ Modem Router Mobile Broadband Edition
Netgear N300 Wireless ADSL2+ Modem Router Mobile Broadband Edition

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A FINE PEREFORMER, 3 Jun. 2013
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PROVIDES GOOD COVERAGE AND IS PRETTY STRAIGHTFORWARD TO SET UP. AS FAR AS PERFORMANCE GOES I CAN'T TELL MUCH DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THIS AND ANY OTHER MODEM ROUTERS I HAVE HAD. IT CERTAINLY COSTS MORE. THEREFORE, PROVIDED IT LASTS LONGER THAN THE BELKIN I HAD BEFORE (18 MONTHS), I WILL BE WELL SATISFIED.


Down the Shore [Blu-ray] [2011] [US Import]
Down the Shore [Blu-ray] [2011] [US Import]
Dvd ~ James Gandolfini
Offered by supermart_usa
Price: £9.02

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars FINE ART ON A SMALL CANVASS, 1 May 2013
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I have yet to see a bad film with James Gandolfini - and this is no exception. This is somewhat similar in style and feeling to "Welcome To The Rileys", another fine film with a super performance from Gandolfini, but even more sparse and downbeat than the latter.
This has the same indie low budget quality to it, which all goes to enhance its authenticity. We are all the sum of our genetics and environment, and as the film progresses this becomes gradually more evident. The protagonist, a no hope, run-down funfair operator is stuck in a rut of indifference/despair, as a result of his frustrated life in a one horse seaside village. Nothing could be more monotonous or dispiriting, until an unknown Frenchman arrives on his doorstep with bad news. From here the drama develops, and the forces of life's experiences begin to exert their effect on the four main characters.
Although slow, this is a well paced and very human drama, extremely well acted by all concerned. It's nice to know that these kind of films are still being made, when they have to fight for screen space against the mainstream big budget Hollywood heavy brigade.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Feb 22, 2014 7:39 AM GMT


Where Does Money Come From?: A Guide to the UK Monetary & Banking System
Where Does Money Come From?: A Guide to the UK Monetary & Banking System
by Josh Ryan-Collins
Edition: Hardcover

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars WORTH EVERY PENNY, 29 April 2013
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I can't really add anything of value to what has already been said about this excellent book. While it may be short on pages it is very long on content: a really clear and concise explanation of the mystery of money; its origin and workings. If you have any interest in the subject, as any responsible person should, it's a no brainer. Buy it, read it and revel in the mystery unraveled!


The Octopus: Series 2 [DVD] [Region 1] [NTSC]
The Octopus: Series 2 [DVD] [Region 1] [NTSC]
Dvd ~ Michele Placido
Offered by RAREWAVES USA
Price: £18.40

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars STORY:5 ACTING:0, 12 Mar. 2013
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Here's a fine series that goes back to the '80s, that's well written and very believable. What a pity I can't say the same for the acting. It may simply be that acting styles have changed since then on Italian TV, which can only be for the better!
This should be a 5-star series for all intents and purposes, where the local atmosphere in Sicily and the all pervasive Mafia are superbly captured. Considering its age, production is very good. Obviously the artifacts and picture quality reveal its many years in the can. But never mind, this is a absorbing series, which hardly flags. If it weren't for the acting it would rank among the best of its genre. I am being generous in awarding 4 stars, since it is impossible to rate the two elements separately. Hence I very much enjoyed the one while having to suffer the other.


Octopus
Octopus
Price: £5.10

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars TRUE OR FALSE?, 12 Mar. 2013
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This review is from: Octopus (Kindle Edition)
This is entertaining enough, but becomes a little repetitive when it come to all the rather far fetched shenanigans concerning the con man, Bob Nichols and his cohorts. The principal character of the book, Sam Israel, comes over very much larger than life, as indeed were many of the stock dealers of his ilk, but the breezy style of journalese in which this book is written tends to lend an overall lack of credibility to the whole enterprise.
It may be that much of what is described in the book is true, fantastical as it may seem, but there is also a lot that seems highly improbable, if not impossible to have happened. The trouble is knowing what is true and what is false. Sam Israel was certainly not the first high powered whiz kid in the hedge fund world, nor the biggest fraud. In hedge fund terms he was a minnow, but none the less spectacular for that. The first third or so of the book describes his "rise to power," which is interesting enough. His surprising incompetence as a trader was trouble enough. Big trouble then comes along in the shape of an even more outsized character than Sam himself, by the name of Bob Nichols. This is where the title of the book comes in, and where things get out of hand - for the reader as much as for the protagonists.
Mr. Nichols is the villain of the piece, since he manages to convince the gullible Sam of the existence of Octopus, being the secret organization which controls and even more secret "shadow market," where securities are traded secretly outside the regular markets, where immense profits are made by the few who have access to it. Baloney; real James Bond??? Who knows.
I remain unconvinced by most of what is related, and instead treated the book as a moderately entertaining journey through the world of make-believe.


Underboss Sammy the Bull
Underboss Sammy the Bull
by Peter Maas
Edition: Hardcover

5.0 out of 5 stars IN ITS CLASS HARD TO BEAT!, 14 Feb. 2013
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I found this to be highly engaging and a great complement to a lot of other mob books. It is very focused, and gives many vivid descriptions of the sort of activities a typical wiseguy would spend his life on.
Having read a number of books of the various characters that have gone to make up the history of organized crime , this was surprisingly fresh and informative.
Peter Maas has a very accomplished way of switching from general narrative to the very personalized language used by Sammy Gravano, through which you can almost hear him speak.
A most enjoyable read at the very top of its genre.
If, however, you are a Proust fan, however, I would strongly suggest you look elsewhere.


Rothstein: The Life, Times, and Murder of the Criminal Genius Who Fixed the 1919 World Series
Rothstein: The Life, Times, and Murder of the Criminal Genius Who Fixed the 1919 World Series
Price: £8.54

3.0 out of 5 stars GOOD IN PARTS, 9 Feb. 2013
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A rather mixed bag, this one. Parts are very interesting, while others are over long and unnecessarily detailed.
This is not a chronological biography in any way resembling the outstanding book by Leo Katcher: rather it picks up various details that appeared in Katcher's book which it then expands, clarifies or seeks to correct, as the case may be. As it is a relatively recent work, as opposed to Katcher's of 1959, one must assume that recent research has enabled Mr. Pietrusza to correct some earlier misconceptions. I am in no position to judge. What I can say, however, is that the earlier book was more comprehensive, and at the same time, concise. In fact, if I hadn't read the earlier work first, I would be somewhat confused by the selective approach that Pietrusza adopts towards his subject. He clearly prefers to deal with different aspects of Rothstein's life according to the subject matter rather than to timeline.
There are several nuggets of information to be found here that did not appear earlier, but you would really have to be familiar with the Rothstein story to appreciate them. The whole 1919 World Series episode is overworked, and becomes somewhat tiresome to read, without really adding anything of substance to what I already knew. It is stuffed full of shady characters, adding a lot of unnecessary detail, and I was relieved when I finally got to the end of this section.
The chapter dealing with the possible assassin was, on the other hand, most revealing and worthwhile.
As I have already said, this book is good in parts, and certainly worth reading if you want to know more than you would find in the average biography, but it is more in the nature of a complementary book than a biography in its own right.


Lucky Luciano: Mafia Murderer and Secret Agent
Lucky Luciano: Mafia Murderer and Secret Agent
Price: £5.03

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars AS GOOD AS THEY COME, 5 Jan. 2013
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Although I am no fanatic, I do enjoy the odd book about the Mafia/La Cosa Nostra, provided it is informative and doesn't stray into the realms of speculation where there is no supporting evidence.
I have read a good number over the years, and this biography seems to hit just the right balance in terms of readability and information. The author eschews the many myths that have grown up around Charley "Lucky" Luciano. Where other authors may have chosen to take a less rigorous approach to fact finding, Mr. Newark clearly refuses to accept unsupported evidence in several occasions, leaving the reader to come to his own conclusions. This is very refreshing, and is of particular merit when it comes to Luciano's so-called war effort, which was probably very much less than we have come to believe.
This is a compact and well written description of Luciano's life, and I can't imagine you could want for more. It, of course, will only really appeal to those with an interest in this kind of genre, so as far as I am concerned I would be mean if I didn't give it the maximum rating.


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