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The Divine Comedy
The Divine Comedy
by Dante Alighieri
Edition: Leather Bound
Price: 11.71

5.0 out of 5 stars A beautiful edition, 24 April 2014
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This review is from: The Divine Comedy (Leather Bound)
I'd highly recommend this edition of The Divine Comedy to any fan of poetry and even if you've read it before or own a different version (as I do), it certainly makes a great addition to any book collection. It is a beautifully produced book that really stands out on the shelf, with golden edged pages and a spine that grants it an age old and dignified feel.

It's quite striking when you open it up for the first time, I was studying the front and back cover for some time before I even began reading and it instantly felt precious; it's something that should be looked after with great care. These features certainly enhance the words on the page too and truly make the work feel that much more epic. There are illustrations throughout the book that are quite spectacular too and, as the poem itself can be a little tricky to navigate at times, the images certainly help to clarify some of the more convoluted parts of the poem, at least for me, and make it clear what is going on. In many ways the images strengthen the work, helping you to visualise what's going on and also adding to the shock value, particularly in the Inferno.

There's a neat introduction preceding the poem which is very informative, with a bit of background information on Dante and an outline of each of the three sections, which is also helpful. I'd have liked more in way of analysis, but that's probably best left for the Oxford Classics Edition. At any rate, the information given here is made very accessible, and it's a nice little addition to the rest of the book. The layout is clean and tidy too, with the cantos neatly divided up and line numbers to help clarify where you're at.

Buy it, you won't regret it.

The Road
The Road
by Cormac McCarthy
Edition: Paperback
Price: 6.29

4.0 out of 5 stars A surprising story, 26 Dec 2012
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This review is from: The Road (Paperback)
I finished reading this in about three or four hours from start to finish without even realising. Once you get into the story it just flows on - albeit oddly. That is to say that this is not a straightforward book, it's weirdly structured with unusual punctuation, sentence structures and a lack of speech markers. I found these irritating at first and it certainly put off many of my coursemates for good, BUT I know I'm not the only one who eventually came to like the style and find it works brilliantly in conjunction with the post-apocalyptic setting. It reinforces what the story is all about. It's brutal and unforgiving in places which makes the story all the more emotionally engaging (particularly because of the young boy) and exciting (when it needs to be.) This is certainly a story I'd recommend to others though I would urge you to read it in a single sitting.

The Monsters and the Critics and Other Essays
The Monsters and the Critics and Other Essays
by J. R. R. Tolkien
Edition: Paperback
Price: 7.69

4.0 out of 5 stars Insightful, 26 Dec 2012
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It's really great to be able to read a selection of Tolkien's essays in one neat book. Getting a personal insight into his own opinions about his work - rather than from a biographer or critic - is something I found particularly interesting (it's the first time I've read a text of his that wasn't fiction), and the topics he discusses are made all the more interesting thanks to his distinctive voice which, as ever is methodical, engaging and thoughtful. I've really enjoyed reading what he's had to say. The presentation of the book is particularly good, although the print is rather small it's not difficult to read and the essay's are divided up so it doesn't feel like a slog getting through them all. As they're all about different topics you can skip to one or another without hindering what you're reading. For fans of Tolkien and of Literary/Fiction Theory I'd recommend this book.

Dissidia 012 : Final Fantasy - Legacy Edition (PSP)
Dissidia 012 : Final Fantasy - Legacy Edition (PSP)
Price: 25.41

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An amazing game with a wealth of content, 30 May 2012
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
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I've clocked perhaps 35-40 hours in the game so far which has been enough to comfortably beat the Duodecim prologue story and get deep into the original story from the first Dissidia which you unlock upon completing the Duoddecim portion. I'd have done it faster if only I hadn't been distracted by the other content available in the game, but let me stress that it's a distraction in the best possible way.

The extra content is amazing and I'd argue that it makes for a better experience if you leisurely play through the story whilst checking out the Battle Mode from time to time. Please don't mistake me though, the story IS engaging and interesting in its own right - although sometimes it did seem a bit lackluster in certain scenes - but to be honest the real appeal is just seeing a heap of your favourite heroes and villains interacting (verbally or in fights) with each other. (Laguna and Lightning were particular favourites of mine and Kefka is brilliant!) The story modes were surprisingly challenging, too (though with adjustable difficulty in a number of ways) but that's a good thing, you hardly want to waltz through all of your fights, otherwise what's the point? It can become addictive when you attempt to beat some of the stronger enemies with an under levelled character - though it is possible to win (and the satisfaction of doing so is awesome) it often recquires you to be more tactical than you might expect from a fighting game. This is NOT a button masher - not overly at least - but it is better off for it.

The Battle Mode (especially when you unlock more characters, abilities, arenas, rule-sets and items) can keep you occupied for hours - after the story is done you'll be playing these modes alot - and playing the various modes makes the game more challenging, varied and just generally a lot more fun. Every character has a different play-style and set of moves so no one fight is quite the same though I've discovered that once I found my favourites (Kain, Squall, Cloud, Warrior of Light in particular) I've stuck to them BUT that's not to say the other's aren't fun; the story mode gives you a nice selection of warriors to play from too so you can test many out for yourself whilst progressing through the story or select them for yourself in the Battle Modes.

The musical score is great with a variety of tracks from the FFI through to XIII with a few tracks made for Dissidia, I believe, and it really adds something to the battles when you can select your favourite tracks to fight to. The games Help is useful too, moving you along at a steady pace to integrate you into the system with ease and great guidance that's simple to get to grips with.

The Legacy Edition is definitely worth getting over the normal one (it's not exactly pricey anymore) and the cards and boxing look great as well as the extra costumes you can download from the PSN Store; you'd be surprised how appealing it can be to change costumes from time to time.

Overall, an amazing game and my favourite purchase for my PSP so far. I still feel like I've barely scratched the surface but I find that works to the games advantage; I've definitely got my money's worth.
I'd recommend this to any fan of Final Fantasy as well as any fan of fighting games; the story is interesting and battles are intense, dramatic, beautiful and, on the whole, just a great deal of fun to play.

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