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Possession: A Romance
Possession: A Romance
by A S Byatt
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.99

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars What separates this book from great literature? 511 pages., 20 Nov. 2013
This review is from: Possession: A Romance (Paperback)
What separates this book from great literature? 511 pages.

There are ways to show the human condition in its vainglorious, conceited and costive facets; there are ways to show human life in its grimy, morally-sordid, and deadened facets. The authors of great literature, however, know that there is something of the heart's reach even in the manifestations of the grubbiest of ambitions, something to honour even in the most constricted of lives. 'Possession' seems to express nothing of the heart, nothing of the spirit, and it is written as if it is not even aware that they exist. It is a heartless book that doesn't even know there is a heart. It is a spiritless book - and a dispiriting one. It is a dull book which, like the dullest speakers, has no idea of its own dullness. It is a profoundly stupefying book which seems to have no sense of its self-absorption. It is possessed by its self-obsession. 'Possession' is more a performance of third-rate academia than an expression of first-rate literature.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Aug 12, 2015 3:44 PM BST


HP 12A Black Original LaserJet Toner Cartridge (Q2612A)
HP 12A Black Original LaserJet Toner Cartridge (Q2612A)
Offered by Allday Officesupplies UK
Price: £49.81

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Is this just a recyclyed toner?, 24 Nov. 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I got the toner promptly, but the original cardboard box had already been pre-opened when I received it. Worryingly, so too had the vacuum-sealed inner sleeve. When I started printing, the print was paler than the old cartridge. It seems like it's a recycled cartridge, being sold as new, and I'm not thrilled about that. To put it mildly.


Autoportrait
Autoportrait
by Edouard Levé
Edition: Paperback
Price: £9.00

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars pixellated brilliance, 3 Jun. 2012
This review is from: Autoportrait (Paperback)
This is a self-portrait written as a series of self-observations, each a pixel, some apparently slight details, some more clearly significant. It builds and builds in its effect until you feel the character coming to life in your hands. It is written with such intelligence and honesty, such open-heartedness and unflinching admissions that it is hard not to feel you both know and love the protagonist-author. The tragedy of it also comes gently into view.


Do They Think You're Stupid?: 100 Ways of Spotting Spin and Nonsense from the Media, Celebrities and Politicians
Do They Think You're Stupid?: 100 Ways of Spotting Spin and Nonsense from the Media, Celebrities and Politicians
by Julian Baggini
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.99

51 of 65 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars a deceitful book in an ugly tradition, 6 Feb. 2012
I picked this book up because I'm fascinated and appalled by the misuse of logic, by the misrepresentation of opinions, by the way people in power (in the media as much as in politics) abuse their power through their astute and clever dishonesty.

`Do They Think You're Stupid?' is the title of the book, but its implied subtitle is Baggini asking `Do You Think I'm Clever?' Well, yes, I admit, I do think he is clever. He cleverly takes a series of texts which his reader is unlikely to know directly. He cunningly selects the slenderest of phrases. And then his book mocks and scorns the writers in question. Well, as it happens, some time ago, I had read `No Logo', one of the books he attacks, and his interpretation seemed peculiar, and wholly at odds with my memory. Puzzled, I took the book off my shelves and looked again. And I was disgusted at the way Baggini misrepresented it, in a way which is not only illogical but profoundly deceptive. I went on to look at a few other writers Baggini attacks: over and over again, Baggini twists their words, cherrypicks their arguments, to make flat-footed generalisations which the original text do not warrant. He also, incidentally, lambasts Thom Yorke's praise for George Monbiot. I doubt very much that the world would be a more intelligent place with a Baggini but without Radiohead, Monbiot and Klein. But the reasons for Baggini's disapproval of Yorke are interesting. Baggini says that Thom Yorke is a musician, and therefore has no authority whatsoever to comment on any political subject. The crassness of this view speaks for itself, but Baggini's hypocrisy is also striking, for Baggini offers us his opinion of Thom Yorke's musical skills. Baggini is rather hoist by his own petard, here, for (according to his own crude intellectual model) being a philosopher Baggini therefore has no authority whatsoever to comment on music.

I would suggest that if any reader wishes to buy this book, the real intellectual discovery lies in reading it alongside the actual texts: to see how the deceits lie not in those texts but in Baggini's work. People in the media often abuse the power that they have: Baggini here upholds that ugly tradition in book form.
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Sep 18, 2015 3:24 PM BST


A-Z London Street Atlas (Street Maps & Atlases)
A-Z London Street Atlas (Street Maps & Atlases)

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It's a spiral-binding-thing, 30 Jan. 2012
Spiral-binding is great for books and maps you don't use often. Looked at too frequently, the binding gives way. Surprisingly, with this A-Z, it doesn't. Living in London, with clients all over the metropolis, I have used this daily for months, and it is still holding together.


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