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Graham Hedges (Ilford, Essex United Kingdom)

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Echoes of Heaven
Echoes of Heaven
Offered by MEDIAWORLD
Price: 8.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Full Circle, 19 Mar 2012
This review is from: Echoes of Heaven (Audio CD)
I first heard Gordon Giltrap perform, back in 1969, at a lunch time concert organised by the Rev. Jack Filby at St. Helen's Church, Bishopsgate, London. I have followed his career with great interest ever since. In those early days Gordon was a singer/songwriter as well as a master guitarist and his repertoire included several songs on spiritual themes, among them "Gospel Song", "Gethsemane" and "Miracle". Now, in a sense, his career has turned full circle with the release of the present album which adds Christian lyrics to some of Gordon's familiar instrumental compositions. Carol Lee Sampson provides the vocals and the Rev. Martin Green provides the lyrics. I think that the quieter and more reflective tracks are the most successful, among them "Under a Blue Sky" and "Walk Beside Me", though I also enjoyed the more up-tempo "Love Wins". My overall favourite is "A Christmas Carol", which some enterprising congregation might like to attempt as part of a carol service. Gordon's best known tune "Heartsong" turns up in a new guise as a song of praise and Martin Green provides two spoken word tracks based on New Testament passages. Christian music lovers should appreciate this collection of insightful spiritual songs while other Gordon Giltrap fans will, hopefully, enjoy hearing some familiar tunes in an unfamiliar setting. Recommended.


Tangled Up in the Bible: Bob Dylan and Scripture
Tangled Up in the Bible: Bob Dylan and Scripture
by Michael J. Gilmour
Edition: Paperback
Price: 16.99

15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "Messiah Burnout" - or "Spiritual Journey"?, 12 Jun 2004
Twenty-five years ago, Bob Dylan surprised many rock music fans by professing conversion to the Christian faith. Several albums of songs with strongly evangelical lyrics followed. For a time he stopped performing earlier songs from his extensive back catalogue and concentrated on his new gospel material and making verbal declarations of the Christian faith from the concert stage. Dylan's overtly "born again" phase was fairly short-lived, however, and within a few years his admirers were speculating that he had renounced Christianity and/or returned to his Jewish roots. "Tangled Up in the Bible" argues persuasively that religious concerns have always been a feature of Dylan's work and that themes and images from the Scriptures - especially the King James Version - have been a constant feature of his songs. The author illustrates his thesis by trawling through Dylan's output and identifying a number of prominent biblical themes. In particular, he demonstrates that many of Dylan's songs draw on the Sermon on the Mount, the Hebrew prophets, and biblical teachings about the end of the world. He rightly cautions against a simplistic reading of the songs, however, and shows the essential ambiguity of Dylan's use of biblical material on songs like "Jokerman" from the 1983 album "Infidels". The book makes fascinating reading, though I was not always convinced by the author's exegesis. For example, I am not persuaded that the songs on the "Love and Theft" album reflect ideas and images from the Old Testament story of Moses and the Exodus. Surprisingly, the book says little about 1968's "John Wesley Harding" album which, by common consent, does contain a great deal of biblical imagery. The song "All Along the Watchtower", for example, is known to have been inspired by a passage from Isaiah. "Tangled Up in the Bible" can be read alongside "Restless Pilgrim" by Scott M. Marshall and Marcia Ford which chronicles Dylan's "Christian period" and its aftermath. After examining Dylan's statements in interviews, and his occasional inclusion of gospel songs in his recent concert repertoire, these authors conclude that Dylan still retains a personal commitment to Jesus Christ. A contributor to the "Church of England Newspaper" recently suggested that the Dylan of 2004 is suffering from "Messiah burnout" and is "tired of preaching and tired of life". There is probably some truth in this - but these two books provide evidence that it may be premature to assume that Dylan has abandoned the spiritual journey that has characterised much of his musical career.
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Pictures in the Fire: On Fairy Tales (Fairy Tale Trilogy)
Pictures in the Fire: On Fairy Tales (Fairy Tale Trilogy)
by Le timide de Blanche-Neige
Edition: Paperback

5.0 out of 5 stars Scholarship and Pleasurable Reading, 23 Sep 2003
Le Timide de Blanche-neige begins the first of his two fore-words by recognising that "even in attempting to show the history and the value of fairy tales there is the danger of obscuring with scholarship what should be absorbed in pleasurable reading". The author has largely escaped this problem, despite clear evidence of his widespread reading in the literature of fairy tales and an impressive bibliography at the end. This slender booklet of forty-eight pages provides an excellent introduction to many of the leading themes in fairy stories and helps to illustrate the enduring value of this branch of literature. He also manages to avoid the "political correctness" that has often marred the critical study of fairy tales in the hands of Feminist, Marxist and Freudian scholars. The author quotes with approval J.R.R. Tolkien's suggestion that "the association of children and fairy-stories is an accident of our domestic history". Yet, at the same time his final chapter "Willingly Become Children Again" demonstrates the ability of fairy tale and fantasy literature to recall us all - young and old - to a childlike sense of wonder. "Pictures in the Fire" is not an 'easy read' but I would recommend it to all readers who are interested in exploring a major tradition in literature down through the centuries.


Jolly Green Giant
Jolly Green Giant
by David J. Bellamy
Edition: Hardcover

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great English Eccentric, 23 July 2003
This review is from: Jolly Green Giant (Hardcover)
David Bellamy is one of the great English eccentrics. As a television performer, he invites comparison with other eccentrics such as Patrick Moore, Magnus Pyke, and Lionel Fanthorpe, all of whom have popularised their particular fields of study for a mass audience. In this autobiography he provides a fascinating account of his varied career as botanist, environmentalist, and media performer. There is a detailed - tbough sometimes bewildering - description of the various environmental causes that he has supported during his long career. There is an equally interesting account of the author's large, multi-racial, adopted family. I was, personally, very interested in Bellamy's account of his early religious upbringing in a Baptist family and church. In this environment he aspired to - but never quite achieved - the same kind of "Damascus Road" experience that others described. His later discovery of botany, however, seems to have played a similar role as a turning point in his life. Nowadays, Bellamy still describes himself as a Christian. There is a fascinating transcript of a millennium sermon that he gave at Southwark Cathedral, though I think that he assumes too readily that a desire to convert others to a particular religious viewpoint can only be understood in terms of a wish to dominate and exercise power over others. As someone who enjoyed using the I-SPY books back in the 1950s and 1960s, I appreciated Bellamy's account of his own early experience of I-SPY and his later stint in the 1980s as "Chief I-SPY", charged with updating the books for a new generation. All in all, "Jolly Green Giant" is an entertaining and informative biography and the author has much to teach us on environmental and conservation issues.


Jolly Green Giant
Jolly Green Giant
by David J. Bellamy
Edition: Hardcover

4.0 out of 5 stars Great English Eccentric, 12 July 2003
This review is from: Jolly Green Giant (Hardcover)
David Bellamy is one of the great English eccentrics and as a television performer he invites comparison with such people as Patrick Moore, Magnus Pyke and Lionel Fanthorpe. He is well known as an environmental campaigner and his autobiography gives a fascinating - though sometimes bewildering - account of the many causes with which he has been involved. Equally interesting are the chapters describing his large multi-racial adopted family. I was, personally, very interested in the chapters describing his early religious upbringing in a Baptist family and church, where the young David aspired to - but never quite achieved - the same sort of "Damascus Road" conversion that others described. Nowadays, Bellamy still describes himself as a Christian, and there is a fascinating transcript of a sermon that he delivered in Southwark Cathedral, though I think he assumes too readily that a desire to convert others to a religious belief can only be explained in terms of a wish to dominate and exercise power. As someone who enjoyed using the I-SPY books as a child I was pleased to read of Bellamy's own fascination with the series, and his brief time as "Chief I-SPY" in the 1980s when he updated the books for a new generation. Bellamy has much to say to us on environmental and conservation issues and I hope this book will be widely read.


I-Spy History
I-Spy History
by unknown
Edition: Paperback

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Updating the I-SPY Concept, 6 Oct 2002
This review is from: I-Spy History (Paperback)
As a child I enjoyed using the original News Chronicle and Dickens Press I-SPY books. I-SPY History was once of my favourites, so I was pleased to find this new edition in the updated series of books now published by Michelin. Children and adults alike will find that this is a fascinating potted guide to UK history from pre-historic times to the early 20th Century. There are plenty of things to look out for on your travels and for which you can score points - prehistoric burial mounds and Roman remains are followed by Tudor castles, Victorian pillarboxes and Second World War bomber 'planes. As a twelve year old, the present writer carelessly spilled a bottle of ink in the museum at Carisbrooke Castle while filling in the 1960s version of I-SPY History. The present day version proved equally informative while re-visiting the Museum in 2002, though this time I avoided spilling any ink!


I-Spy London (Michelin I-Spy)
I-Spy London (Michelin I-Spy)
by Ian Skeet
Edition: Paperback

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Keeping up the I-Spy tradition, 5 May 2002
I seem to have spent my whole life trying to fill in the various editions of the "I-Spy London" book! Forty years after I started scoring points in the original "I-Spy The Sights of London" book here I am spotting London landmarks for the current edition from Michelin. This book does an excellent job of keeping up the I-Spy tradition established by the original Big Chief I-Spy Charles Warrell and his successor Arnold Cawthrow. Here you will find many of the sights of London likely to interest children and adults alike. The obvious places are included - St. Paul's Cathedral, Westminster Abbey, the Tower of London - but recent additions to London are also included such as the Millennium Bridge and Tate Modern. My only disappointment is that there is no I-Spy Tribe or Club to which present day children can belong. However, it occurs to me that the 21st Century equivalent to the old I-Spy Tribe might be an I-Spy web site - with news of new books, comments from readers, competitions and so on.


Glastonbury: The Novel of Christian England
Glastonbury: The Novel of Christian England
by Donna Fletcher Crow
Edition: Paperback

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Chronicles of Avalon, 3 Dec 2000
"Glastonbury" is an epic novel telling the story of the Christian faith in the British Isles from the legendary arrival of Joseph of Arimathea to the dissolution of the monasteries. The book consists of short segments recording the lives and spiritual struggles of key people at strategic times in the history of Glastonbury. The cast of thousands from Roman, Arthurian, Saxon, Norman and Tudor Britain includes such notables as St. George, St. Patrick, the Emperor Constantine, Merlin, Alfred the Great and Richard the Lionheart. The novel provides an interesting counterweight to other recent books stressing the 'new age' and neo-pagan associations of Glastonbury, the reputed Isle of Avalon of Arthurian romance. The author tells a good story and deserves a wide readership, perhaps a wider readership than her UK distributors have so far been able or willing to give her. Why, for example, were there no copies of the novel on sale at "Hearts on Fire", the Christian festival held among the ruins of Glastonbury Abbey back in July 2000? Graham Hedges - Secretary - Librarians' Christian Fellowship.


The Soulbane Stratagem
The Soulbane Stratagem
by Norman Jetmundsen
Edition: Hardcover

3.0 out of 5 stars Screwtape rides again in the 1990s, 30 Aug 2000
This review is from: The Soulbane Stratagem (Hardcover)
Despite the comparisons with John Grisham in the publisher's advertising material, the main influence is C.S. Lewis and his famous 1940s work "The Screwtape Letters", a collection of letters on the art of temptation from a senior to a junior devil. Jetmundsen updates the concept with a new selection of demonic reports setting out the ways in which the forces of Hell have undermined the tenets of the Christian faith in the 'secular' world and the Church alike. These reports are set in the context of the story of a post-graduate student who makes the transition from agnosticism to faith in the setting of Magdalen College, the Oxford college where C.S. Lewis lived and taught. I enjoyed this novel though I doubt if it will prove as enduring as Lewis's celebrated original.


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