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Reviews Written by
J. H. Mccarthy "Rex Glevi" (Gloucester, UK)
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Once Upon a Time: The Lives of Bob Dylan
Once Upon a Time: The Lives of Bob Dylan
Price: 3.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Verbose but nevertheless full of "Factoids", 29 Oct 2013
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I really enjoyed this book although it is definitely for those who are into minutiae! It is also "poetically" verbose so if you are just after facts then this is not for you. It moves along quite slowly yet doesn't become boring. There are a lot of background filling details which although interesting in themselves do make the book much longer than it could otherwise have been. I think this is definitely for the "Bobcats" and not for the general reader...... Me? I'm a Bobcat. He made my youth in the 1960s so enjoyable: and "No"...I was not one of those who disliked "Electric Bob". As a Brit I loved everything that Bob did in the 1960s, 1970s, 1980s and so on.


Stealing Beauty
Stealing Beauty
Offered by Fulfillment Express
Price: 13.67

4.0 out of 5 stars Diverse and enjoyable, 29 Oct 2013
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This review is from: Stealing Beauty (Audio CD)
I found this while looking for one of the songs on this compilation and so decided to try out the full album. Well worth it. I think that almost every track has merit and as a diverse compilation cannot bore. It is not "Now that is......music" or "Hits 1996" type of album but is crafted to follow and give backdrop to a movie. I haven't seen the film but the album is a definite hit.


The SHE Series by H. Rider Haggard (Halcyon Classics)
The SHE Series by H. Rider Haggard (Halcyon Classics)
Price: 1.28

5.0 out of 5 stars Missed these first time round!, 10 Aug 2013
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I have no idea quite how I missed these books/this author when I was a young lad but now at 62 years I have discovered them. Thanks to the suggestions sent by Amazon and based on my shopping these books were suggested to me....and boy am I please. I have spent many an evening since reading the works of this author and thoroughly enjoy the style. They are very dated and would not attract young readers (my sons and grandsons) but for us "oldies" they have a flavour which is very attractive and satisfying. I bought the series for my Kindle and it is excellent value - as are all the "compendiums" in these series. I think some would find the pace of the book somewhat slow and the rather long passages of prose rather tiresome. Also, there is a vocabulary which requires a chair side dictionary (the Kindle mainly but not always) as some words are now decidedly obsolete. Even so you will not be disappointed with this book and it will provide you with quite a few hours of decent entertainment. It is "Boys Own" type reading!


Grace and Mary
Grace and Mary
Price: 4.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Hits the spot - as always, 8 July 2013
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This review is from: Grace and Mary (Kindle Edition)
It helps if you know the geography - which I do - as it is more poignant if you do. This story - yes story - is vivid and emotional and ends as one would expect but the prose is as always lovely and takes no effort to read. A two night read for me. I enjoy Melvyn Bragg's books - in small doses - and this is one of his best of recent times. It sits well with my age group - 60 to 65. Go buy and have a couple of nights enjoyment.


ANIMAL TRACKS - UPDATED AND EXPANDED: The Story of The Animals, Newcastle's Rising Sons
ANIMAL TRACKS - UPDATED AND EXPANDED: The Story of The Animals, Newcastle's Rising Sons
Price: 5.15

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An easy read and very informative, 8 July 2013
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I loved this book. Whether it is 100% accurate is debatable and I'm sure that Alan Price would not find it comfortable reading! As a Newcastle lad (but at school in the West End rather than the East End) it was all very familiar. For me "House of the Rising Sun" was the song that was played over and over at The Spanish City in Whitley Bay - esp if you were on the Waltzer. The other songs of the 1960s are familiar to anyone who lived in the North East and it is undoubtedly true that they were the pop group equivalent of the Rolling Stones but failed in one major respect - they couldn't write new songs. Such a shame. Also such a shame that they broke up so soon after such success and according to this book mainly because Alan Price didn't like flying! Anyway, it is a great read and will only take a night or two to finish.


Common Words and the Wandering Star: A Biographical Study of Culture and Social Change in the Life and Work of Writer Jack Common (1903-1968)
Common Words and the Wandering Star: A Biographical Study of Culture and Social Change in the Life and Work of Writer Jack Common (1903-1968)
by Keith Armstrong
Edition: Paperback

5.0 out of 5 stars A lovely and well written book, 27 May 2013
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I am fascinated by Jack Common and having lived in Heaton can equate with how he felt, how he thought and the contents of his novels. This book is well worth having to get a comprehensive background of his life and times.


Next of Kin
Next of Kin
by Stan Barstow
Edition: Hardcover

5.0 out of 5 stars This is an excellent read, 17 Feb 2013
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This review is from: Next of Kin (Hardcover)
I love the books of Stan Barstow but it is such a shame that so many of them are difficult to find as new copies. Never mind, the second hand/used book market is kept alive by books such as this and what a joy they are. You could be tempted to think that some are written for male readers and some for female readers but I think the writer has written them in such a way that they are equally cherished and poignant for both genders. I have never lived in the areas that he writes about but his descriptive writing is such that one can easily picture the scene and the life style of his characters.

This book is part of a trilogy and therefore it is best to read them in order if you can.


The Right True End (Black Swan)
The Right True End (Black Swan)
by Stan Barstow
Edition: Paperback

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Finishing the story but just a little predictable., 3 Jan 2013
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I have thoroughly enjoyed the trilogy and this is a very fitting end. The relationship of Donna's boy to Vic was probably clear from book two but even so the story builds in a wholly entertaining and suspenceful way. There books are brilliantly written and without doubt will harmonise with those readers in the 60 to 70 years age group; indicative of life and living from the mid 50s to the mid 70s. Stan barstow brings so much of my life (and probably of most readers) into a vivid memory and he factually portrays the relationships that are present in most families in those days both in Yorkshire and elsewhere in the North of England.
This trio of books is wonderful observation, escapism and to top it all has a happy ending! Go read them.


Coal: A Poetry Anthology
Coal: A Poetry Anthology
by Chris Green
Edition: Paperback

5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful and engrossing, 28 Dec 2012
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What a wonderful book of poetry. Varied yet all enjoyable and on a topic which is somewhat off the usual topics for poetry. If you know anything about the coal industry and mining this book of poems is for you. Also, it is good value; well bound and presented and gives a heads up to other reading material. Well done the editor.


Fallam's Secret: A Novel
Fallam's Secret: A Novel
by Denise Giardina
Edition: Paperback
Price: 13.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Certainly rather different, 28 Dec 2012
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I was sent two books by this author by a colleague who works in West Virginia (location of the author) and found them fascinating. They focussed on the coal industry in that state and trades union organisations. This book, however, is quite different and is a semi-historical romance fantasy story based just after the English civil war. In essence it is about time travel and finding worm-holes to pass from one time period to another.

The writing style is good, as in her other books; easy to read; grammatically concise yet descriptive and the story line moves on at a good and interesting pace. As with most good romance novels the ending is happy....why would it be otherwise? I think I simply like the writing style of this author and would probably read any book by her on any topic. I have another book by her to read which I had to buy used from the USA. I am looking forward to it.

Hopefully with Kindle there will be more availability to authors such as this (one of her books is available on Kindle currently and I strongly recommend it).


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