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Furio (Genova - Italy)

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Caleo (Leech)
Caleo (Leech)
Price: 2.67

1.0 out of 5 stars no, 9 Mar 2014
This review is from: Caleo (Leech) (Kindle Edition)
Despite the number of favourable reviews, this novel, the first instalment in a serial, has little to recommend itself beside its nice cover and an interesting premise.

Plot twists are contrived, and disbelief is never suspended.
Characters are monodimensional, stiff and unlikeable. Not to mention stupid. Caleo is not an immature young adult, he is an idiot. Just take the school scene at the beginning, when instead of joining his classmate he tries to join his cousin Jake. Why does he not join his classmates? Everything that happens in those pages is absurd but only a harbinger of absurdities to come later on.

Writing is not particularly fluid and there are several mistakes.

La signora di Omota (Italian Edition)
La signora di Omota (Italian Edition)
Price: 1.87

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars unfulfilled, 3 Mar 2014
This short erotic story is in Italian and requires an excellent grasp of the language.

The basic idea is interesting but fails in two relevant aspects:
- the character remains a female even when she is "wearing" a male body: she wears it like she would a lace bra and the theme of the androgynous is entirely lost.
- writing is fluid but stylistically uneven.

The author also chooses to hint at a complex political intrigue which is not developed. This distracts from the erotic musings the story is essentially made of and does not add anything to the story.

Rossini - Adelaide di Borgogna
Rossini - Adelaide di Borgogna

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars morcel for connoisseurs, 11 Feb 2014
This recording of Adelaide di Borgogna should be available again thanks to the execution given.
It is a live performance, unfortunately: sound is always good but one needs to adjust volume to compensate for the singers changing distances from the microphones.
Cuts are merciless and cancel three arias: one for Iroldo and two for Eurice, thus confining them to a couple of recitatives. The opera is certainly not long and even if those three arias were uninspired it makes no sense to cut them: giving two arias back to the character of Eurice would mean to have a "terza donna" (third female lead) which is quite uncommon in Rossini's operas.
Recitatives are also cut and, again, it makes no sense as dialogues are short and fluid: the libretto may not be outstanding from a poetical point of view but it is very well plotted without a moment of pause. This helps the music, which is not ugly but certainly not as rich as in the masterpieces, no end.

Zedda is competent as usual and directs an adequate orchestra and a chorus which is probably too small but sings fairly well and has a good Italian diction, not a small feat.
The two leads have small and light voices but their technique and style are flawless.
Should one be willing to be pedantic one might point out that Martine Dupuy is sometimes harsh in her upper notes while Mariella Devia has not got a powerful lower register but this is a live recording after all and these less-than-perfect notes are no more than a handful.
Bertolo has not what one would call a beautiful, homogeneous voice nor is his role a very gratifying one but he sings well enough.
The other four, only engaged in a few lines each, sing competently.

Bosch TWK8633 Styline Collection  1.5 Litre Cordless Jug Kettle, Black
Bosch TWK8633 Styline Collection 1.5 Litre Cordless Jug Kettle, Black
Price: 49.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars NEARLY perfect, 14 Jan 2014
This kettle is beautiful and easy to use:
- its design is simple but it will really look great on your kitchen counter;
- the offered temperature settings (70/80/90/100 C) make it fairly versatile;
- the instruction manual is hardly needed.

On the downside:
- it is made in China. I thought I was buying German quality and I surely paid a "made-in-Germany" price;
- for such a price then a wider temperature range (40 to 100 C) with 5 steps could have been offered to make the kettle fit for ALL kinds of exotic teas;
- the heating element is separated from the water but there is a small item (I suppose it is a termometer) that makes cleaning the bottom of the kettle more complicated;
- the kettle is definitely too heavy for seniors or fragile people;
- it is generally very quiet but it emits a loud, obnoxious beep when it has reached the temperature.

The Lost Temple of Karttikeya
The Lost Temple of Karttikeya
Price: 4.40

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars lacking, 22 Dec 2013
This M/M romantic novella with a supernatural twist flows and -no question asked- can be entertaining.
If you fail to switch off your critical self though, some flaws will come to the fore and disrupt a.m. enjoyment. To sum them up, this story is lacking good characterization and plot.

Phil is the best rounded character; he is also kind of a stereotype: the cheater who in the end always chooses his own selfish needs. As this kind of person really exists, it is logical to find one sprouting up here and there in romances.
Christian never really comes alive, the author much too engaged in making him the perfect embodiment of the perfect knight in a perfect shining armour. He is gorgeous and likeable but superficially so.
Audra has a tragic potential that is left untouched.
The main problem, though, lies with Brandon.
The author does not manage to make his relationship with Phil (and later with Christian) believable. People have weaknesses in real life but Ms Baumbach fails to make us feel for him; I just kept on thinking: "Come on, how stupid can you be?".
Besides, his caffeine and sugar needs never become the funny quirk they were probably meant to be, but remain what they blatantly are: an ugly addiction that is no better for being "legal".

While general plotting is interesting and makes sense, the author omits to flesh it out. Whole -interesting- pages have remained in her pen and they are sorely missed. Very detailed sex scenes hardly make up for the missing transitions and adventures.

Writing is generally fluid but there are quite a few grammar mistakes.

The Magpie Lord (A Charm of Magpies)
The Magpie Lord (A Charm of Magpies)
Price: 2.01

1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars expensive, 30 Nov 2013
The first thing I would like to mention about this book will make me look stingy but I really think that at 2578 kindle locations (the rest is made up of previews) the current Am. price of $3,24 is TOO EXPENSIVE. Sorry to mention this, but it is true. It takes about two hours to read this M/M short novella.

The second thing I have to mention is unfortunately a great classic in my reviews:
"this book as it is is enjoyable but it could have been so much, much better with just a little more effort".
The raving reviews catch part of its merit but fail to remark on the many elements that could be improved.
Here they are in random order:

- While writing and style are good in a general way, they are inconsistent with the alternate Victorian England the story is set in and inconsistent in themselves. By this I mean that if an author chooses to use modern language in a period romance he should do it throughout, not mixing modern and archaic.
- The POV shifts uncertainly for a while until the author seems to settle for an omniscient narrator. It does not disrupt but it is noticeable.
- The author seems to lack the taste for lengthy descriptions and brilliant dialogues that is essential in period romances. It is a question of length, surely, but also of depth of characterization and accuracy of setting.
- The missing dialogue also explains a complaint by othere reviewers that this work is lacking in the romance department. The growing attraction between Crane and Day could have used more dialogue. It could also have used a less rigidly codified division of sexual roles -manga style-. It was also probably unnecessary to make Day as small as less than five feet to make him unremarkable in appearance at first sight.
- In a mystery the villains, at least some of them, should not appear so late in the plot.

On the whole this is a pleasant read, but, once again, it feels like a wasted opportunity. I could read its sequel, but not for the price and at this quality level.

The Taming of Lucifer
The Taming of Lucifer
Price: 2.16

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars self reliance, 16 Nov 2013
Despite the typos and the random grammar mistake, this M/M short story is well thought of, fairly well written and, in part, even well plotted.
My general disquiet about it was counterbalanced at first by the sweetness of its central love story.

The context is what makes it hard to stomach in the end, even though at first it makes narrative sense.
Lucifer is fallen from grace and finds himself naive in the ways of men, an obvious prey to their abominations. That was sort of a nice -if sad- touch, to make a creature as powerful completely helpless.
The author seems to relish those rough scenes a bit to much for comfort, too much even for character development, but they sort of make sense if seen as the premise for something more.
Only "more" never happens.
Lucifer is and remains weak in his mind even when once again he is no longer such in his body. He does not learn, he does not gain indipendence. He is just an overgrown puppy, incapable of living indipendently. He only looks for acceptance among his new "pack", no matter how repulsive this pack is, and after the inevitable -for reasons I cannot spoil- end of his love affair he again chooses the easy way of the willing pleasure toy, the author clearly complacent about it.

Not good.

The Top 50 Most Influential Gay Movies Of All Time
The Top 50 Most Influential Gay Movies Of All Time
Price: 4.11

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars useful, 10 Nov 2013
The author is English and it shows, not only in the sometimes annoying idioms (some of which were not to be found in the Oxford dictionary which is usually quite comprehensive as far as slang goes) but also in his attention to British and European output. Said attention was not as thorough as it could have been but it is there.

The premise, where he explains his method for selecting the top fifty, is clear but a little dull and could use a revision.
A thorough revision could also take care of the many typos that pepper the whole book and are sometimes disrupting.
The author mentions that his PERSONAL top 50 would be different: as one buys a critical essay to experience someone's opinions it would have been good (and feasible) to put within brackets the "personal" ranking, giving the reader a further element to evaluate the films.

The film reviews vary in conciseness and effectiveness but are all useful.
I think cinema aficionados will probably profit to a somewhat limited extent from them, but the collection still has its use for young persons willing to explore gay cinema or for older people such as myself who are no film experts but wish to do the same.
As e-books do not bear the brunt of printing expenses I would take the top 50 to a top 100 in a second edition.

Cats and Dogs
Cats and Dogs
Price: 1.87

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars unripe, 6 Nov 2013
This review is from: Cats and Dogs (Kindle Edition)
As the blurb only covers the very first part of this M/M SF novella, it is difficult to give a comprehensive review without spoiling its plot. I shall limit myself to general comments.

The story is set in the near future on an Earth peopled by hybrids: not shifters who transition from man to beast but creatures with mixed genes.
While this very general premise is interesting and the background story that leads to it is believable, the details sounds wrong. Just a small hint: cats do NOT have prehensile tails.
Besides events just happen too quickly and or feel contrived, transitions are neglected and characterization is well outlined but badly developed.

Writing is simple and it could be considered neat but for a small grammatical problem: the author seems to have a rather bizarre notion of tense harmony, especially in her use of past tenses. It is rather curious as the rest of her grammar appears to be in order.
There is also a remarkable tendency to overdescribe.

Bitten (Jack and Jim series)
Bitten (Jack and Jim series)
Price: 1.85

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars awfully expensive, 26 Oct 2013
This is an enjoyable if very short read, about a long short story in length.

The idea behind the plot is good and interesting, plot is tight and consistent, writing is proficient in a rather rough and tough way with some probably unintended shifts in style beside attempts at puns (not bad in themselves) mixed with horrific atmosphere.
Action scenes could be clearer and longer but are not bad.

There are two problems though:

- the book is horribly edited with missing words, random capital letters (especially 'A's and 'B's) peering out where something else was probably meant to appear.
Lay out in general could hardly be worse.
This seems to be like a publisher's fault: the actual content of the book appears to be reasonably edited.

- the PRICE IS ASTONISHING and not in a good way:
$ 5,39 (current price - the price for homeland US is slightly lower) is really much for about 1500 kindle locations, no matter how compelling and entertaining the plot.
Moreover this is a serial (more like a single book cut in parts, presumably four):
next instalment, just as short if not shorter, is available for $ 4,12
I do not wish to sound stingy but how much of my hard-won money is this serial going to cost me? Every author deserves to see the fruit of his work but this is more like a giant pumpkin on Halloween Eve.

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