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Night Heron
Night Heron
Price: £6.68

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is a cracker!, 8 Aug 2014
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This review is from: Night Heron (Kindle Edition)
I consume books by the hundredweight, and consequently often can't be bothered to submit reviews, so the fact that I am doing so for this rightly suggests that it was either very bad or - obviously from the stars! - very good.

There are perhaps more media correspondents who think they can work their knowledge and skills into good fiction than actually can, but Adam Brookes is a shining exception. I know little of China, but his picture of the country convinced from the first page, and I was inexorably drawn into the Le Carre-esque world of hidden motivation, secrecies and betrayals. In fact my only reservation about the book concerns one of the pivotal instances of the last of these. I won't say which one for fear of spoiling things, but the example I have in mind suddenly appeared from nowhere much, and without any established causation.

That was a pity, but I still give the full five stars because I was gripped throughout. I look forward to Brookes' next one with enthusiasm.


At Newport
At Newport
Price: £7.99

4.0 out of 5 stars When you're in that mood......., 7 Aug 2014
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This review is from: At Newport (Audio CD)
My trumpeter of choice is Buck Clayton, for his elegance, drive and endlessly melodic improvisation. Sometimes, though, you just feel the need for something, well, dirtier, and boy, does this CD fill the bill!

Several numbers from the Peterson Trio precede the arrival of Jones. Stitt and Eldridge and the whole place, already glowing nicely, goes up in flames. The two front-liners can't help swinging, and when they are supported by the furious incandescent drive of Peterson, no-one snoozes.

This is lovely stuff when you're in that particular mood, enhanced by some manic introductions from Stitt, who may well have been under the influence at the time. At this price, it's a steal, and I'm really grateful to the previous reviewer who brought it to my notice.

Incidentally, if you like this, then on no account fail to buy the studio album called Only The Blues,with the same line-up except for Stan Levey on drums. It's fabulous!


Saxploitation
Saxploitation
Price: £7.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Best of British?, 7 Aug 2014
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This review is from: Saxploitation (Audio CD)
I've always loved the rich meaty sound of Temperley's baritone sax, which added so much to Humph's band of the time.

Here he teams up with other Humph alumni, in particular the splendid (though sadly recently deceased) Kathy Stobart. Together they romp through a fine series of songs fast and slow, solo and duet, on soprano (Kathy) and tenor (Joe) as well as their more usual instruments.

They all swing like mad and sound as if they're having a great time; I did too when I listened to it, and strongly recommend that you give it a go. If you wonder why I haven't given it five stars, that's only because I reserve five for truly galactic performances or products! Enjoy.


The Proud Tower: A Portrait of the World Before the War, 1890-1914
The Proud Tower: A Portrait of the World Before the War, 1890-1914
Price: £6.02

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is, of course, one of the seminal ..., 5 Aug 2014
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This is, of course, one of the seminal works of history, and one that laid the foundations for much modern treatment of the conflict whose centenary we are interminably marking this year.

It stands, in my view, as one of the most accessible treatments of a complex subject and, even though all of us in some sense know 'what happened next', it manages nevertheless to be a page-turner.

Tuchman skewers the principal players with a telling phrase and is, as other reviewers have noted, understanding of human failures (von Moltke the Younger, Sir John French) as, formed in the latter case by a Victorian background, they tried to grapple with the unprecedented potential of early twentieth-century warfare.

I suppose that the causes of WW1 will always be a matter for debate, complex as they undoubtedly are, and it may be difficult to arrive at a neutral view of the extent to which Tuchman gets it right. But, right or wrong, this is a tremendous and moving read.


God's Dog (Dedalus Europe 2014)
God's Dog (Dedalus Europe 2014)
Price: £6.64

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Tripe, 4 July 2014
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Well, I arrived full of hopeful expectation given, as another reviewer has said, that the basic premise of the book is full of potential. What a huge letdown - this is abysmally written,or possibly abysmally translated, but the end result is just the same - absolute rubbish and not worth 1p of anyone's money. In fact, if it had been a free download I would probably still have wanted a refund!
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jul 6, 2014 3:43 PM BST


Artis 120m Twin Mains Plug-in Wireless Cordless Doorbell Door Chime
Artis 120m Twin Mains Plug-in Wireless Cordless Doorbell Door Chime
Offered by Safield Dist. Ltd
Price: £39.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Does a good job, 20 May 2014
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It's really difficult to find a GOOD twin plugin doorbell, and the first Artis we bought had to go back with a defect. However, we persevered, and the replacement seems to be OK.

It's easy to install, has far more 'tunes' than one could ever need and is, importantly for us, LOUD!

My only reservation is that the actual bell push unit that goes on the front door seems slightly flimsy. The cover appears to be less securely attached than it might be. Because the weather has been fine since I installed it, I cannot say anything about the degree to which it is rainproof.


Farthing (Small Change Trilogy 1)
Farthing (Small Change Trilogy 1)
Price: £4.79

3.0 out of 5 stars Small change, 28 April 2014
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High hopes were not fulfilled. The writing is soapy, the characters cardboard and the story - full of potential - limply realised.

I know that many people loved this, which was what moved me to buy it in the first place, but I'm afraid it entirely failed to engage me and I won't be bothering with the other two in the trilogy


Jazz Me Blues: The Autobiography of Chris Barber (Popular Music History)
Jazz Me Blues: The Autobiography of Chris Barber (Popular Music History)
by Chris Barber
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £19.99

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Rather disappointing, 28 April 2014
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I love Chris's music, but have usually struggled to find him an engaging personality - maybe that's because almost anyone would suffer by comparison with Humph or Ronnie Scott, for example.

This book could have been so much more interesting than it was - considerable sections are little more than a catalogue touring dates in the USA, for example. Chris has been at the heart of British jazz for longer than he probably wants to think about, and I can't help feeling that there must be so much more that he could tell us than he does in this unexpectedly short offering.

Maybe a better editor/associate writer would have served him better. Such a shame, because before all that long it may well be too late.

By contrast, why not try Dick Pearce's 'Dizzy Gillespie was at my Wedding'? Obviously about a different jazz tradition, and Dick is no great writer, but this honest, awkward, passionate memoir says far more about the man and his music that Jazz Me Blueswhich is, for me, a desperately wasted opportunity


B+W 82mm S03 MRC Nano Coated Kaeseman Circular Polarizer Filter - XSDP Mount
B+W 82mm S03 MRC Nano Coated Kaeseman Circular Polarizer Filter - XSDP Mount
Price: £180.38

5.0 out of 5 stars B+W - quality product, 28 April 2014
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I recently decided that I wasn't happy with the effects of my relatively cheap filters, so I did what I should probably have done in the first place, and bought a completely new lot, a mixture of Tiffen and B+Ws.

They are all superb - no need to say more, I think


Venice tci (r) wp
Venice tci (r) wp
by TCI
Edition: Map
Price: £6.40

5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect, 28 April 2014
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This review is from: Venice tci (r) wp (Map)
It's difficult to find a map of Venice that has even almost all the alleyways, but this seems to fit the bill, and I found it invaluable on a recent visit.

Mind you, they say that getting lost in Venice is part of the fun, and I absolutely agree with that, but I found this map ideal when needing to navigate to an obscure restaurant for a booked time


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