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Rf And Tm Walters "rtwalters" (London)
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Generation X: Tales for an Accelerated Culture
Generation X: Tales for an Accelerated Culture
by Douglas Coupland
Edition: Paperback
Price: 6.29

4.0 out of 5 stars The book of the IT age, 3 Dec 2012
This is one of the key books of the1990's in which he gets characters to act and tell stories about their life and so reveal their attitudes. These Americans are a post Vietnam /Reagan generation on the edge of the digital age. From the viewpoint of the 2010s this looks rather dated but the book has its charms and I enjoyed it. The characters are fairly amiable and their problems are not life threatening. It reminded me of Scott Fitzgerald who gave a similar type of portrait to the Jazz Age. It is also thankfully a short book.


Einstein's Dreams
Einstein's Dreams
Price: 4.79

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An oddity, 21 Nov 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Einstein's Dreams (Kindle Edition)
This is a strange book. It imagines Bern but with different conceptions of time. It is odd but gets one thinking about time and what we do if time came to a stop and other variations. Although I read it a fortnight ago I still think of the situations which are described. Worth trying.


Brahms: String Quartets & Piano Quintet
Brahms: String Quartets & Piano Quintet
Price: 7.38

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great CD, 21 Nov 2012
I must say that this is one of my favourite cd sets. Brahms chamber music can be difficult to approach, and these pieces do need more than one listening. After a time one begins to marvel. These musicians play the music well and have captured me.for this repertory. Some other versions leave me disinterested. Highly recommended.


The Diaries of Sir Alexander Cadogan, OM, 1938-1945
The Diaries of Sir Alexander Cadogan, OM, 1938-1945
by David Dilks
Edition: Paperback
Price: 30.00

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential Diaries, 13 Nov 2012
Cadogan was the senior civil servant in charge of the British Foreign Office from 1938 until 1945. He dealt with Chamberlain , Churchill , Eden, Roosevelt Stalin and countless other figures. A typical entry would be of say 200 and 300 words in which Cadogan write about his frustrations with the events of the day.
The highlight is 1940 where he is good on the change of government. He sees that Halifax is not PM material
even though he fears Churchill as PM.
Cadogan dislikes politicians and this shows through.
The diaries are invaluable and are often quoted in biographies and studies of the diplomacy of the era. Very highly recommended.


D-Day: D-Day and the Battle for Normandy
D-Day: D-Day and the Battle for Normandy
by Antony Beevor
Edition: Paperback

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars D Day and beyond, 28 Oct 2012
D Day was the start of a series of complex battles in Northern France. Even a book of over 500 pages, such as this, can only give an outline of the various battles and tragedies that occurred in this short space of time between June and August 1944. Beevor does very well at bringing out the human tragedies that occur. He has great sympathy for the Normans.

He contrasts the intensity of fighting with that in the Easter Front and finds it as intense and desparate as there.
He also finds that the British fought well against stronger formations than the Americans but that Montgomery was a good leader but vainglorious and self seeking when he only had to point to his real achievments.He is right to point out the inaccuracy of the bombers and artillary and the help the Navy gave the inland forces.He is also right to point out that this was a victory for the Allies, however much they argued.

This is very readable, but I feel, not the whole story. For instance I would have expected more reflection on the destruction of the German troops in the Falaise pocket. I felt the author was running out of steam by this stage. The chapter on the liberation of Paris seems to come from another book. So worth reading but not the last word.

It also occurs that we have become more sqeamish and would never stand for this level of casualties again. This is probably not a bad thing.

I would recommend Keegan's Six Armies in Normandy as a more concise guide to the battles themselves and on strategy.


Psmith in the City
Psmith in the City
by P. G. Wodehouse
Edition: Paperback

3.0 out of 5 stars A valuable glimpse of city life!, 26 Sep 2012
This review is from: Psmith in the City (Paperback)
This early work is rather a transitional piece and it has its longeurs. It is interesting however as a portrait of a city bank and its workings at the turn of the century and ,in particular, how boring the work was for the bankers. The author after leaving school did in fact work in such a bank so there is an autobiographical subtext here which gives the book interest. So one wonders how often the author bored in his job must have dreamed he was so good a cricketer as to receive the call to go to Lords to play for his County. Fantasy stuff which he put into this story.

In the end of more biographical and sociological interest than of entertainment.


Revenge of the Lawn: Stories, 1962-70 (Picador Books)
Revenge of the Lawn: Stories, 1962-70 (Picador Books)
by Richard Brautigan
Edition: Paperback

5.0 out of 5 stars Unique, 14 Sep 2012
This is an unusual collection of stories though I like to think of them as poems. Since reading them in the early seventies they have been a crazy good humoured companion. A few of the stories don't resonate but most do and are original. I cannot be in a bank queue or listen to the Beach Boys California Girls without remembering this book.


The Brass Verdict
The Brass Verdict
by Michael Connelly
Edition: Paperback
Price: 5.59

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gripping, 5 Sep 2012
This review is from: The Brass Verdict (Paperback)
I very much enjoyed this literate legal thriller set in LA.Haller the hero of Lincoln Lawyer is back and is forced to deal with a dead colleague's case.Problems ensue and after some ups,downs and surprises, there is a satisfying conclusion, though I worry that it is too neat. So recommended.
Apart from the neatness aspect two points concern me. Firstly, everything moves very fast, which is a notable fiction in regard to legal matters.Haller is appointed the morning after the lawyers body was found. Secondly, voir dire hearings are not primarily about truth but about a court seeing whether putative evidence should be admitted in evidence. Connelly seems to get this wrong.


The Quantum Universe: Everything that can happen does happen
The Quantum Universe: Everything that can happen does happen
Price: 5.98

3.0 out of 5 stars Quantum fog, 13 Aug 2012
I like the idea of a book explaining quantum theory which does not one the one hand descend into simplicity or the other hide behind a fog of maths. This is a good try but it ultimately failed. The authors use the concept of clocks in preference to dealing with complex numbers. I think that it would have better to face up to some these numbers. I would also like more emphasis on the fact that quantum theory works and about the physical model that quantum explanation reveals. I suspect that more about this would have helped me. I think less about everything that can happen and more about what is going on in atoms would have been helpful.

The book did however pronpt a few musings on quantum theory. Normally a theory that threw up infinite possibilities would be regarded as absurd and as being wrong.The fact that quantum theory is so accurate seems to give credence to these infinite possibilities.I wonder whether this is a distraction.These infinite possibilities remind me of the Newtonian supposition that if you knew the position of everything you would be able to predict everything.I am also concerned with the conflict with relativity theory.

I appreciate that the authors are scientists not given to speculation but some consideration of what quantum gravity would entail would be helpful.

So a good try.


The Harold Nicolson Diaries: 1907-1963
The Harold Nicolson Diaries: 1907-1963
by Harold Nicolson
Edition: Hardcover

7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Diaries of semi successful politician, 12 Aug 2012
This is a one volume version of Nicolson's diaries which include for the first time some pre 1930 material but excludes some of the material in the Olsen condensation. This leaves one in a position where one needs the original three volumes, the Olsen condensation which includes new material and this volume which includes yet more new material to have all the published material. A definitive edition would be helpful but that raises the question whether the material justifies such treatment.

Harold Nicolson was born into a family of diplomats and worked in the Foreign Office particularly during the Paris Peace negotiations. He also wrote books and resigned the official life in 1930 to write more. He became an MP in 1935 and witnessed the historical events of the next ten years, after which he lost his seat which he never regained. Nor did he gain a seat in the House of Lords which he coveted.

The diaries are very well written and easy to read and give an insight into politics ,literary life and the establishment during the period. A way of life that is long gone. I am reminded of the old style BBC which Harry Enfield used to to send up so well.It is however quite good natured and humorous partly as Nicholson does not see his own absurdity or his snobbishness.

There is no great analysis here and sometimes there is nothing on what were momentous events. One only has to compare Nicolson on the Norwegian debate and its consequences with Channon or Cadogan to see the differences. Some parts, however, are essential reading such as his meeting with Proust in 1919, or lunching with De Gaulle. There are also pertinent comments on the political scene which helps our understanding. He basically takes the Churchill view so his views do not shock (compare Channon's diary)

I agree that a definitive edition would be useful but more editing may be required to explain who is who. I would recommend the Olsen edition if interested in political history. It would also be helpful to have Nicolson's date of birth somewhere convenient in the volume.I would also like to know how he avoided service in 1917, when others, such as Duff Cooper, at the Foreign Office were allowed to join the army.Probably because he was already too valuable at that stage.I would nonetheless like to know.

Recommended but with some caution.


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