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The Rose Of Sebastopol
The Rose Of Sebastopol
by Katharine McMahon
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.39

1.0 out of 5 stars Mere word-spinning. The Crimean War researched and then clumsily ..., 5 Dec 2014
This review is from: The Rose Of Sebastopol (Paperback)
Mere word-spinning. The Crimean War researched and then clumsily blocked in to fill out a trashy romantic bit of nothing. Inconsistent and flimsy narrative.

Mozart: Requiem
Mozart: Requiem
Price: £12.00

20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mozart Requiem / New College Oxford / Higginbottom, 28 Jun 2011
This review is from: Mozart: Requiem (Audio CD)
Focused clarity of texture, good bright sound and brisk tempi make this an exhilerating listen, but the chief excellence is that this is an expert, committed choir who sing liturgically as a matter of daily course, giving the performance carefully honed balance and thrilling authenticity. All solo parts are sung by two highly accomplished boys - Jonty Ward and James Swash - and men from the choir - Guy Cutting and Jonathan Howard, who all sing with clean articulation, totally secure technique and beautiful sense of line, plus bags of drama. Edward Higginbottom does not see the Requiem in any sense as an opera manque, or a vehicle for big name soloists to strut their stuff. From fastidious attention to detail in the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenemnt's playing to the New College Choir's confident attack, this is above all a Mozart Requiem for the cognoscenti.

by Ian McEwan
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £17.46

1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Intriguingly awful, 1 Sep 2010
This review is from: Solar (Hardcover)
What a strange book? Paragraphs of funny, well-written black humour at its best if taken out of context, BUT structurally the book was a total mess. IMcE had to keep in-filling improbable back story to justify going forward and, crumbs, talk about structural rabbits out of hats at the end in Tarpin's revelations!

Had the material of a very serious novel almost mini-Dickensian in scale and in terms of grotesque caricatures. Issues of climate change etc, the flawed Nobel Prize winner traducing his integrity in a terribly sad, sort of Falstaffian way but a book which turned into just another whodunnit made indigestible with artfully baffling science that McEwan will know very few of his readers would get and all underpinned by a way OTT fate motif stalking ever closer as Michael Beard's serial relationships get sillier and sillier by the page. It really is as if McEwan was daring the publisher / his audience to tell him it's total tripe by plotting that got ever closer to farce piled on farce.

And very daring to have a central character as deeply, physically repellent and morally unpleasant as Michael Beard. Not fun enough to be picaresque, over-eating in a spectacularly American way as his efforts to be both epic green climate changer, epic food and drink consumer - Gargantua for our time - and epic con man, while not being clever enough to be a machiavellian genius, and surrounded by figures out of a modern panto. Loved Toby Hammer.

I thought it was intriguingly awful.

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