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01 Wolf Brother (Chronicles of Ancient Darkness)
01 Wolf Brother (Chronicles of Ancient Darkness)
by Michelle Paver
Edition: Paperback
Price: £3.99

5.0 out of 5 stars My children recommended I read it, and I'm pleased I did., 17 Oct. 2012
My children enjoyed Wolf Brother; and they both, without hesitation, went on to read the 5 subsequent books in the series. I then read Wolf Brother for myself, and I understood why it had been appealing to the children: Whilst not great prose, it is a well constructed, easy to read story. It has good pace, and reasonably vivid descriptions of adventures in wild landscapes. Wolf Brother certainly isn't unoriginal, but I discerned elements of Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, and even Watership Down. Good for mature teenage readers and younger reluctant readers alike.


Exit ... Stage Left
Exit ... Stage Left
Price: £5.99

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely brilliant - without doubt one of the best rock live albums ever, 11 Jun. 2011
This review is from: Exit ... Stage Left (Audio CD)
Get it. Put it on a decent hifi, turn up the volume,and be blown away by the incomparable guitar, bass guitar and drumming talents of Lifeson, Lee & Peart. Every track represents the height of genius. Exit Stage Left's flawless YYZ drum solo has to be heard to be believed - does Peart only have two arms and two legs, or is this a drumming quartet at work?


Wolf Hall
Wolf Hall
by Hilary Mantel
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.49

0 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointed from around page 11 ..., 8 Jun. 2011
This review is from: Wolf Hall (Paperback)
By page 50 I was questioning whether I really wanted to wade through any more. Usually I don't look at Amazon reviews until I've reached the end of a book, but out of desperation I read what others had already written about Wolf Hall, and I was convinced enough to ditch it. Life's too short - move on.


The Rapture
The Rapture
by Liz Jensen
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.99

5 of 9 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Don't waste any of your life reading this dross., 29 Aug. 2010
This review is from: The Rapture (Paperback)
A completely pointless book: Lousy story and bizarre characters. As the `action' revved-up towards the end, I simply wondered if the writer had deliberately set-out to create a really bad screen play, in the misguided belief (or hope) that someone would want to make a 3rd rate disaster movie out of it. The literary style and prose was okay, I suppose, but otherwise this book had no merit whatsoever. Inexplicably, I actually read to the end!


Butcher and Bolt
Butcher and Bolt
by David Loyn
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.99

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Afghanistan - Butcher and Bolt - David Loyn, 29 Jan. 2010
This review is from: Butcher and Bolt (Paperback)
I like David Loyn's journalism on the BBC. In his clear-speaking style he gives interesting accounts of current events, along with convincing appraisals of the politics, cultural forces and histories that drive them.

Butcher and Bolt is a comprehensive and credible book. It certainly leaves one wondering whether today's political leaders, strategists and decision makers actually research other countries and their histories, prior to 'interfering' in foreign affairs.

Whilst the subject matter is compelling, the literary style, especially the punctuation, is poor in many places: I felt that I was having to 'wade through' much of the text, so I wouldn't describe it as 'a good read'.

This is an acceptable book for those who wish to be better informed about past and present circumstances in and around Afghanistan. It is very detailed, perhaps excessively so in some parts.

To sum-up, I would rather have read a summary of the main points.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Aug 21, 2011 11:58 AM BST


The Hobbit
The Hobbit
by J. R. R. Tolkien
Edition: Mass Market Paperback

1 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Hoppit Hobbit - you haven't aged well., 5 Sept. 2009
This review is from: The Hobbit (Mass Market Paperback)
Having fond memories of The Hobbit, which as I read as a young teen in the late 70's, I was eager to read it to my own children - ages 9 & 10. The kids enjoyed the story, but observed that it was all rather predictable. The Hobbit wasn't written well ... I found myself rearranging numerous sentences as I went along. The most positive aspects of the book are the imagery of the landscapes and the sense of adventure that Tolkien evokes. In his time Tolkien was certainly a pioneer and he produced something quite unique (in The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings). However, 21st Century children have exposure to much more richly crafted epic fairytales. Whilst it's good to read a story before watching the movie, The Hobbit might well be the exception: it's one book that would certainly benefit from a comprehensive rewrite.


MOT Atlas France 2009 (Michelin Tourist & Motoring Atlases) (Michelin Tourist and Motoring Atlases)
MOT Atlas France 2009 (Michelin Tourist & Motoring Atlases) (Michelin Tourist and Motoring Atlases)

3.0 out of 5 stars Detailed & accurate, but falls apart., 16 Aug. 2009
Despite careful handling, we too found that the pages all fell out within a couple of days of use (the spiral-bound version). We spent 18 days of our holiday shuffling loose leaves and retrieving them from the footwell of our car - very frustrating. In other respects it's a good atlas - accurate and detailed. Maybe Michelin design it to be barely usable for one trip, so that we'll have to buy the 2010 version next year. I'd thought that for 2010 we'd probably buy the French version when we reach France, in the hope that the editions made for their 'home' market are more robust: however those versions are 21Euros on amazon.fr!
Conclusion - just see the Michelin France road atlas as a use-once throw away item.


Alto Kew Active 2000 Pressure Washer (Old Version)
Alto Kew Active 2000 Pressure Washer (Old Version)

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Dire quality Alto Kew Pressure Washer, 24 May 2009
The first one of these I bought had to go straight back to the shop because the lance hose simply would not detach from the screw thread!
The replacement has only been used for approx an hour a year for 5 years to clean some paving slabs, so hardly heavy use. Now it's broken down totally ... the motor won't run when the water is on and at adequate pressure. Strangely the motor will run when there's no inlet hose attached at all (precisely when it shouldn't). Now this lance hose won't detach from the screw thread on the unit's inlet pipe (sound familiar?). There's no easy way to open the unit (tamper proof screws), so a reasonable cost DIY repair doesn't look like being as straight forward as it ought to be. A 'professional' repair will probably cost as much as a new washer, and I'm not inclined to throw good money after bad in any case.
Sadly this is just another of those poor quality pieces of throwaway consumable rubbish that will end-up at the tip. What a waste, and shame on Alto - I'd hoped for better.


Polarity
Polarity

3 of 6 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Over-hyped, 27 Jun. 2008
This review is from: Polarity (Toy)
The marketing was good and we bought Polarity in 2007. However, in practice it was disappointing. Sadly the rules and gameplay have some irritating ambiguities and conceptual flaws. It all seemed rather pointless and unstimulating. The game has fleeting educational value(demonstrates magnetism). After a couple of initial trials, no-one in my family has shown any enthusiasm for playing this game again.


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