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MIJ6689 (Sunderland UK)

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Following the Comedy Trail: A Guide to Laurel and Hardy and Our Gang Film Locations
Following the Comedy Trail: A Guide to Laurel and Hardy and Our Gang Film Locations
Price: £7.72

2.0 out of 5 stars Great premise, poor photographs and well out of date, 22 Mar. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Very very disappointing. The content us so out of date - look at some of the cars on the pictures, many of the locations discussed may no longer be there. The photograph transfers to kindle are very poor too, as is the paging.

I only got this for Laurel and Hardy having been to Hollywood and Culver City recently, and have found that research on the internet is so much more rewarding and I strongly recommend you consider that first. There are a few addresses in here that I couldn't get on the web, but other than that.....
Surely a rewrite and reprint is due? Can any of the Sons of the Desert out there help?

The Sword Brothers (Crusader Chronicles Book 1)
The Sword Brothers (Crusader Chronicles Book 1)
Price: £3.72

4.0 out of 5 stars More of the same from Mr Darman!, 22 Mar. 2015
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With Darman you get detail. And I like that. His previous series - the Parthian Chronicles - was covered from start to finish with how the battles panned out, who had what, what they did with what they had, the strategies used by the various Warlords with their various types of fighting men, along with the logistical and engineering challenges they faced to try and achieve their objectives. This is not going to be everyone's cup of tea of course, but similar details are used in a whole new theatre with the Sword Brothers, and it is again, quite fascinating.

Mix this up with a good few likeable characters, some definitely not likeable (and one or two somewhere in the middle) and the recipe is there again for another great series. There are surprises that I really didn't see coming which is always a good thing in a book, though be warned, not all of these are happy surprises...

I am part way through the second book and am already as into it as the first, but I could do without the constant references to Hans' insatiable hunger despite these being varied and sometimes humorous - "... Can't go on campaign without any food", " I just hope you've left some for the women's and children..." Etc!

I've only given this four stars though because again, there are numerous grammatical errors, word issues and typos which presumably crept in during the kindle build. That said, don't let this minor detail put you off, it's an enthralling read and I heartily recommend it.

Note to Mr Darman, I really enjoy your style and am looking forward to more of Pacorus' hidden memoirs being unearthed, but while I might be a little pedantic, the mistakes are an irritation so please hire a better proof reader!

Companions (Parthian Chronicles Book 5)
Companions (Parthian Chronicles Book 5)
Price: £1.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Pacorus rides again!, 27 Dec. 2014
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This sets off in familiar ground - mithridates and his ilk causing trouble and the soldiers of Dura saving the day. However, once it becomes apparent that one of the companions may still be alive and forced to fight as a gladiator by the Romans, then a new line of storytelling takes hold.
I read all of the previous four Parthian Chronicles about a year ago and enjoyed them all, rating them between three and five stars. I also enjoyed this book which is an improvement on the fourth volume despite its premise being a little contrived - the discovery of pacorus's heretofore unknown memoirs, and would recommend any reader of the previous books to pick this one up too.
Whether it would stand alone is debatable, but I particularly like the detail darman goes into when the battles and gladiatorial fights are taking place.
A few missed typos here and there don't detract from an enjoyable read, and I rather hope that more memoirs are still to be found out there somewhere....

Emperor: The Blood of Gods (Emperor Series, Book 5)
Emperor: The Blood of Gods (Emperor Series, Book 5)
Price: £5.47

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The rise of Octavian, 21 Mar. 2014
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Having read all of both the Emperor and Conqueror series, I looked forward to reading this, billed as the fifth in the Emperor series. I was however disappointed.
This is a good read but it is not up to Conn's usual standard. I do think it would have been better as a 'stand alone' book - or perhaps the first instalment of an Octavian series - rather than part of the Emperor series primarily as the main protagonist of the latter is dead!
Like previous reviewers, I read this over a longer period than usual. Once started, I have always been unable to put down any of Conn's previous offerings. With this book though, I occasionally found my mind wandering whilst reading it!
I would still recommend this to anyone with an interest in Ancient Rome, though be aware it is historical fiction so the usual liberties with the facts are evident.
In conclusion have to say that in my opinion, this is the weakest offering by the author so far.

Pink Floyd Backstage
Pink Floyd Backstage
Price: £2.23

5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant read!, 1 Mar. 2014
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This is a fascinating look behind the scenes at what was the Pink Floyd touring juggernaut in 1988 from the perspective of a fan who was essentially taken under the wing of the road and backstage crew having originally crashed the party early on in Europe.

What is particularly endearing is the sense of awe that comes across and the fact that the author regularly can't believe his luck in being in a position any floydian would have parted with the family jewels for. His nerve in jumping the fence the first place is something I wouldn't contemplate, but the reward was so great, he went back and did it again, and again!

Considering the author is a fan not a writer - this is a brilliant read you won't want to put down, and there are several photographs in there too which I hadn't seen before. (Understandable as they are from the authors collection). The book is highly recommended to anyone with any interest in the Floyd, backstage activity or the sheer scale of a global touring production.

Live in San Diego 1974
Live in San Diego 1974
Price: £19.79

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars And just after the California Jam..., 30 Dec. 2013
This review is from: Live in San Diego 1974 (Audio CD)
This is very interesting in that it followed the oft heard and referred to California Jam concert. On hearing this (other than via a poor quality bootleg) it seems more than possible that the CalJam concert may have been 'adjusted' soundwise. If you are expecting a similar experience though, you will be disappointed. As is usual, Deep Purple never do a song the same way two shows running!

Most would agree that there are few mistakes in the CalJam recording, where there are a litany of errors here. I'm not complaining though, as this is probably a truer reflection of MK IV performance at the end of what was a lengthy tour. Despite an age spent tuning up before Burn, Ritchie was clearly still struggling early on, and Glenn Hughes voice at times seems frankly, knackered! Mind you, Ritchie was in the poop for smashing his strat into a camera a few days earlier, though I hardly think he would have even been slightly bothered by that!

Four stars only though as the tracks only represent about half of the full concert, though Lay Down Stay Down is here where it was cut from the CalJam video and CD. The sleeve notes also state that this version of Smoke on the Water is taken from CalJam where it certainly differs from the three versions I have, so I must assume that it does originate from this San Diego performance. Can anyone out there confirm?

One can only hope that there is a full recording out there somewhere, but after almost 40 years, that seems unlikely.

Parthian Vengeance (Parthian Chronicles Book 3)
Parthian Vengeance (Parthian Chronicles Book 3)
Price: £1.99

3.0 out of 5 stars A good read, but..., 22 Dec. 2013
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I've enjoyed all of the Parthian series - some more than most - but this one I did find a little frustrating. Without trying to spoil the plot, it is clear from very early on that the chief 'baddie' and his minions need sorting out, and I found myself just wishing that Pacorus would get on with it.

We do move from battle to battle, and then on to another and another one, and after a while, these tend to take over at the expense of any real story development in terms of what is going on elsewhere in the empire - away from Pacorus. The entire plot revolves around what is happening where he is at, and even though mention is made of other actions, we get very little detail of what went on during these. For example, Surena is sent off on his first campaign in authority, and is for a long time believed to be dead. We discover nothing of what happened on his ultimate return, and little of how and why he was delayed for so long.

The development of the main protagonists is a little predictable too, but I do like how the author arrives at and uses historical occurrences, and his storytelling around these.

Plenty of blood and guts for those of that persuasion, and detailed, compelling descriptions of how battles were conducted tactically, along with several subplots involving romances new and old, treachery, various alliances, and the ever present threat of a Roman incursion.

As I said, overall an enjoyable read, but the weakest in the series for me.

Little Tikes Classic Cozy Coupe Ride-on (Pink)
Little Tikes Classic Cozy Coupe Ride-on (Pink)
Price: £43.99

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, and much loved", 22 Dec. 2013
Bought this for my granddaughter having had two cozy coupes for both her mum and aunt when they were small, and this is as good if not better. Great 'little girl' colours, and really solid once built. The removable floor which wasn't available on the original car ( from memory) is a big and welcome improvement too.

Despite all the negative comments re building the car, I found it really easy. If you read the thorough instructions, have all the gear recommended in them and take your time, I can't see any problems. I actually had too many screws and bits and bobs, and while I could moan that one of these was poorly machined and therefore a little bit challenging, everything else was spot on! Great price too with free delivery.

An Adventure in Space and Time [DVD]
An Adventure in Space and Time [DVD]
Dvd ~ David Bradley
Price: £6.80

8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Fitting Tribute, 25 Nov. 2013
I should make it clear that this is a review of the programme screened on the BBC and not the DVD, though I am certain I will buy the latter, unless some kind soul gets me it for Christmas?

Being of an age to be around when the very first series was first screened though being too young to have seen it, I was really interested to see how the iconic series came about. I have always been a Dr Who fan, but knew very little about the background of the early years, and was surprised to learn that this was Verity Lamberts first real involvement at production level, and that William Hartnell was only 55 when the series started. I had always assumed he was much older than that.

I found the scenes which recreated actual footage especially fascinating, and having seen 'An Unearthly Child' again recently for the first time in many years, one can see that the attention to detail is startling. David Bradley's performance as Hartnell is excellent, moving easily from a cantankerous old granddad to a humble actor unsure of how to play the role, and back to an arrogant leading man (though much of the latter was down to his illness). I loved his homage to Tennant's doctor - "I don't want to go" which was superbly delivered through what were clearly portrayed as uncharacteristic tears.

The extensive use of the recently 'retired' BBC TV Centre was also interesting, though as it would have been only three or so years old at the time, it did understandably look a little tired!

The script by Mark Gattis is obviously lovingly written by an aficionado or a Whovian, and it contains lots of humour and a number of throwaway tributes and acknowledgements of classic episodes that would follow.

I only have two minor moans; while very moving, the cameo at the end just didn't feel quite right, and that the presentation wasn't long enough. Still five stars though!

This is the BBC at its best, and if you didn't see it when first screened, you won't be disappointed with a DVD purchase especially if it is packed with special features - here's hoping!

What a shame the overall rating for this brilliant piece of television has been skewed by those who choose to whinge about the (current) lack of BluRay rather than considering the quality of the production.

32 inch 12v HD LED TV with DVD and USB record (discontinued by manufacturer)
32 inch 12v HD LED TV with DVD and USB record (discontinued by manufacturer)

7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars You get what you pay for!, 10 Nov. 2013
If you are looking for a cheap LED TV with an integrated DVD player, this is excellent value, and it's not a bad product either.
I have seen other reviews that have criticised the picture and the sound quality etc, but what do you want for about £200?
The picture isn't bad at all, though it does degrade progressively the larger the angle of view; compare it to a high end LED picture and you will see the difference. The sound is a little weak - not unlike most LED TVs as they tend to be so thin there is nowhere to pack a decent speaker, and the DVD does make a whirring noise when starting up, but this goes away when normal operating speed is attained. The functionality including the ease of set up is as good as any alternative, including my 46inch samsung smart TV which is my basis for comparison
Overall for the cost, I am very pleased indeed.

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