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R. A. Fallows "Radio Man" (East Sussex, UK)
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The Little Prince
The Little Prince
by Antoine De Saint-Exupery
Edition: Paperback
Price: £5.99

5.0 out of 5 stars I started here, but found more later on., 15 April 2015
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This review is from: The Little Prince (Paperback)
A classic 'fairy tale' of the 20th Century, for young and old. When I learned that Antoine de Saint-Exupery was a pioneer aviator and that he really had crashed in the North African desert, then later lost in WW2, I wanted to read more of his works If you enjoy this book, then I suggest that you also read some of De Saint-Exupery's factual writings, such as Wind, Sand & Stars, Southern Mail/ Night Flight and Flight Over Arras to gain a better understanding of the man. Furthermore, the rose that features in the story represented his (long-suffering) wife, Consuelo, who wrote an engrossing and revealing book about her life with the author, titled 'The Tale of The Rose'.


Alchemical Marriage of Alistair Crompton
Alchemical Marriage of Alistair Crompton
by Robert Sheckley
Edition: Hardcover

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Far-reaching fantasy that disappears into the ether, 28 Mar. 2015
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I love Sheckley's works. This is a book that proceeds well, but the ending is a series of dwindling drivel that seems to me to signify that Sheckley had gotten either lost or bored with his creation; and how he creates! It's another great intergalactic adventure, but, as I say, I found the ending a great disappointment.


The Universe In A Single Atom: How science and spirituality can serve our world
The Universe In A Single Atom: How science and spirituality can serve our world
by Dalai Lama
Edition: Paperback
Price: £9.99

3.0 out of 5 stars I'm hooked on the title - the book, unfortunately ..., 28 Mar. 2015
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I'm hooked on the title - the book, unfortunately, doesn't present any more ideas with the same clarity or precision.


The Mote in God's Eye
The Mote in God's Eye
by Larry Niven
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.99

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Pulp this Fiction, 28 Mar. 2015
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This review is from: The Mote in God's Eye (Paperback)
The science fiction book for people who don't really want to explore what it has to offer.
If you think that Star Trek is the height of science fiction, then this book is for YOU. Ponderous, plodding, bogged-down in excessive detail, drawing heavily on Star Trek for its characters and long-winded and turgid description of Star Fleet Command or the like, etc. etc., it is almost a third of the way through the book before the aliens show up. Then, in next to no time, they're talking fluent English but their characters and potential seem wafer thin - at least in the hands of the Niven/Pournelle writing committee. As a keen reader of SF in my teens and twenties, I tried this book but dropped it (with a yawn) after a quarter way through (and that was an effort). Roughly forty years later (yes!) I tried reading it again. I forced myself to get to a third of the way, then realised that I was right the first time. If you want aliens, I suggest the works of Robert Sheckley - or anyone!


Day Dreams
Day Dreams
Offered by best_value_entertainment
Price: £8.56

5.0 out of 5 stars Great album (shame about the cover), 28 Mar. 2015
This review is from: Day Dreams (Audio CD)
An album I love to listen to in the evening; I think it should have been named Nightwalkers (track 11), as, to my mind it conjures images of a city at night.
Great saxophone playing which is not credited. The cover is the worst thing about this album - (I've hidden it and designed my own).


A Willingness to Die: Memories from Fighter Command
A Willingness to Die: Memories from Fighter Command
by Brian Kingcome
Edition: Paperback
Price: £9.99

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Top of the lot, 18 Aug. 2014
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I have read a great many books of fighter pilots' exploits; of those a very few I rate as standing out well beyond the rest. When I first saw this book, I was captivated by its cover and title, but was not expecting it would offer such compelling reading. I couldn't put it down, yet read it in small amounts as I didn't want to finish it so quickly. I love the author's approach, which is rather like listening to one's father or granddad reminisce over a cup of tea; the story teller can digress at any moment, either forward or back in time. This is one of the reasons I enjoyed his stories. Another is that Kingcome gives as many facts and facets of a story as he can, so you are not left wondering what became of so-and-so, or pondering about any other details. There is near the end of the book an emotional passage where he reflects on the excitement of being a fighter pilot during 1940 which could be some author's over sentimental view, except that it isn't; it's the real view of a man who risked his life willingly and saw the deaths of others who did the same. It leaves the reader feeling somewhat as Shakespeare said in Henry We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;
For he to-day that sheds his blood with me
Shall be my brother; be he ne'er so vile,
This day shall gentle his condition:
And gentlemen in England now a-bed
Shall think themselves accursed they were not here,
And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks
That fought with us upon Saint Crispin's day.
...and you are left feeling rather flat and dull and somewhat envious, but nevertheless inspired by such a great man's story.


Life's Too Short to Cry: The Compelling Memoir of a Battle of Britain Ace
Life's Too Short to Cry: The Compelling Memoir of a Battle of Britain Ace
by Tim Vigors
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.99

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Remarkable story, remarkable man, 26 July 2014
I have read so many fighter pilot stories that I doubted whether this one would be unusual. I'm glad I doubted because it made the surprise all the better; this is an outstanding story, perfectly written. Ignore any of the derogatory comments of others on this site. Far from glorifying himself, the author openly writes of his own dreadful failures.
Like any captivating read, I was sorry that this one came to an end, but I was left continually thinking how the events in this book, the turbulent and dangerous action, his achievements in flying and promotion to positions of great responsibility, unbelievable luck in escaping certain death, and his general living life to the full, all occurred BEFORE he was twenty years old.
Tim Vigors was a good writer and an interesting, friendly character who like so many of that age and time had to adapt themselves to living in the midst of death as best they could. It is quite plain that he was a sensitive man who had to deal with grief and hardship and yet carry on.


Twelve Years a Slave
Twelve Years a Slave
by Eric Ashley Hairston
Edition: Paperback
Price: £4.99

5.0 out of 5 stars If you have seen the film, 2 Mar. 2014
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This review is from: Twelve Years a Slave (Paperback)
or if you intend seeing it - read the book. It is interesting to learn the greater complexity of the story. Most films based on books have to edit out various events. The film stays very close to the original story, but if you are interested in this history, then reading the book gives you all the missing parts. A great read - I particularly enjoy the (now) old-fashioned style of speech and expression. However, just how Solomon Northup wrote is a matter of contention as I have heard that his story was written, even then, by a 'ghost writer'.


Twelve Years a Slave
Twelve Years a Slave
by Eric Ashley Hairston
Edition: Paperback
Price: £4.53

5.0 out of 5 stars A vital history, 7 Feb. 2014
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This review is from: Twelve Years a Slave (Paperback)
If you intend to see the film, I suggest you see it before reading the book. Films are usually condensed versions of books. They also have episodes strictly edited and re-modelled; all necessary to speed the narrative. This book/film is no different. You can read at leisure the fuller facts of each episode and also learn many which were omitted.
I don't know why this book seems to have been largely unknown until its screen dramatization. If the film moves you, then you will find the book absorbing.


Hiroshima (Penguin Modern Classics)
Hiroshima (Penguin Modern Classics)
by John Hersey
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.99

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hersey - The man who showed the world the truth of the atomic bomb, 14 Dec. 2013
I won't write my own revue, but after reading the reviews of many on this site, I thought it best to clip some parts from Wikipedia which reiterate opinions stated after its publishing in August 1946 because I thought that the passage of time has understandably dulled and distanced us from the emotions in the aftermath of world war.
One reviewer had derided it somewhat for its novel-like approach.

John Hersey was a journalist ahead of his time or at the head of his time, but he wrote like no other - and he was the first to interview survivors and write a book solely about the aftermath of this horrific and uniquely brutal event that was the dawn of a terrible new age.

Furthermore, (quote) - "Hersey's account of the aftermath of the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima, Japan, was adjudged the finest piece of American journalism of the 20th century by a 36-member panel associated with New York University's journalism department."

Time magazine said about Hiroshima:

"Every American who has permitted himself to make jokes about atom bombs, or who has come to regard them as just one sensational phenomenon that can now be accepted as part of civilization, like the airplane and the gasoline engine, or who has allowed himself to speculate as to what we might do with them if we were forced into another war, ought to read Mr. Hersey. When this magazine article appears in book form the critics will say that it is in its fashion a classic. But it is rather more than that".[9]

The magazine later termed Hersey's account of the bombing "the most celebrated piece of journalism to come out of World War II."
It was quickly a book in the Book-of-the-Month Club and distributed for free because of its impact on the humanity of the human race.[16] Hiroshima was also read word for word on the radio by the American Broadcasting Company, amplifying its effects.
Published a little more than a year after the atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima, the American public was shown a different interpretation of the Japanese that had been in the media previous to this.[9] The Americans could let go of some of the guilt knowing that the Japanese did not blame them for this terrible act of war.[9] After reading Hiroshima a Manhattan Project Scientist wrote that he wept as he remembered how he celebrated the dropping of the atomic bomb.[9] Scientists along with the American public felt shame and guilt at the suffering of the people of Hiroshima


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