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Reviews Written by
Mrs. Heather Jones "Heather Jones" (London)
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Hotel Alpha
Hotel Alpha
Price: £5.99

5.0 out of 5 stars I loved this book, 5 Aug 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Hotel Alpha (Kindle Edition)
I loved this book. I have read all of Mark Watson's previous books and enjoyed them too, but this is my new favourite. It is beautifully written and totally convincing. I loved the two main characters, with their alternating perspectives. I found the delineation of their life stories - and the stoy of the Hotel itself - through changing times fascinating and I particularly liked the treatment of real historical events within the narrative.

Having finished the novel (I devoured it quite quickly, sitting in the sun in my back garden), I am only part way through the 100 additional stories accessible via the website, which I am also greatly enjoying (only wish they were downloadable to my kindle as I can't see my computer screen out in the sunshine!)


Ripper Street - Series 2 [DVD]
Ripper Street - Series 2 [DVD]
Dvd ~ Matthew Macfadyen
Price: £8.90

5.0 out of 5 stars Terrifc series, 8 Jun 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
A great continuation from Series 1. Loved the character developments, among the central cast, and the use of real historical details and characters.


Dark Fire (The Shardlake Series)
Dark Fire (The Shardlake Series)
by C. J. Sansom
Edition: Paperback
Price: £5.59

5.0 out of 5 stars So atmospheric - really evokes London of the time, 8 Jun 2014
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I loved this book. The whodunnit aspect was enjoyable, but more than anything I loved being immersed in the sounds, smells and sights of Tudor London,brought to life so vividly and convincingly.


Good Vibrations [DVD] [2012]
Good Vibrations [DVD] [2012]
Dvd ~ Jodie Whittaker
Offered by 101Trading
Price: £4.95

4.0 out of 5 stars Terrific, 8 Jun 2014
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This review is from: Good Vibrations [DVD] [2012] (DVD)
Really enjoyed this. Only knocked off one star because it had been slightly over-hyped, and my expectations had been raised just a bit too high.But I plan on watching it again, and I don't often do that with films.


The Guard [DVD]
The Guard [DVD]
Dvd ~ Brendan Gleeson
Price: £5.53

5.0 out of 5 stars An absolute gem of a film, 8 Jun 2014
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This review is from: The Guard [DVD] (DVD)
Loved this - brilliantly written and performed. A quirky and unusual film. Very funny and with lots of messing around with stereotypes.


Guide to Florence
Guide to Florence
Price: £1.02

1.0 out of 5 stars What a rip off!, 16 Feb 2013
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This review is from: Guide to Florence (Kindle Edition)
Having bought some great books on Kindle for as little as 98p, I was foolish enough to think that this was a proper 'Guide to Florence' and bought it only to discover it is just a brief leaflet. The previous 'review' must be by the author or a member of their family - save your pennies - this is pathetic. I am kicking myself because it does say on the description that the length is 3 PAGES. I may have only wasted 98p but I am very annoyed.

Update: I just discovered it is possible to return a kindle purchase and get a refund, so I have done that.


Evan Almighty [DVD] [2007]
Evan Almighty [DVD] [2007]
Dvd ~ Steve Carell
Offered by DVDBayFBA
Price: £2.74

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fun film with good extras on the DVD, 25 April 2009
This review is from: Evan Almighty [DVD] [2007] (DVD)
Enjoyed this film more than I'd expected (low expectations due to the negative reviews on its initial cinema release). Steve Carell is terrific!Main thing I wanted to add to what you can already read in other amazon reviews is to mention how interesting I found the DVD extras. It was fascinating to see how they filmed with so many highly trained animals, how they built a full-sized version of the ark, how they combined the use of CGI with the live action, particularly for the flood scenes at the end (and to prevent predators gulping down prey animals!) and - above all- how the film makers (including a director with a really strong drive and vision) attempted 'green' film status. This included planting 2,000 trees to balance their carbon footprint, donating the reuseable timber from the sets (especially the huge ark) to a home-building charity (along with the money generated by melting down and selling the steel frames used under the wood laminate for parts of the ark). It makes sense doesn't it? As someone mentioned in the mini-doc, making a set with a view to its future disassembly for reclamation and re-use is very different from making one designed just for demolition. The director even bought bicycles for members of the cast and crew who wanted one (I think he was surprised how many took up his offer - 400!) The bikes were used during the film shoot - to reduce car use for short journeys. Now I know some of this will seem suspect - part of the promotional budget you could say, but I'd never come across any such attempt in the film industry before.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Mar 20, 2011 10:35 PM GMT


The Shack
The Shack
by Wm Paul Young
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.19

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A bit of a parson's egg (ie good in parts), 24 Mar 2009
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This review is from: The Shack (Paperback)
Just finished reading 'The Shack'. Found it powerful and thought-provoking - in parts. Didn't agree with certain bits - but that's not the point surely (books can be at their most stimulating when you DON'T agree with them!) Certain bits were verging on the emotionally manipulative, but I couldn't - didn't want to - keep detached from its narrative hook, so inevitably shed quite a few tears at various points.

Don't like the hype surrounding this book; don't like the overly enthusiastic reviews, nor the prissy evangelical critiques of it as heretical (!), nor the slightly snotty superior reviews of it by some - the latter of which had somewhat put me off the book before I even started reading it.

So where does that leave me? nfortunately I'm inevitably going to fall into the category of 'slightly snotty superior reviews' I'm afraid, although I would hate to put off anyone from reading it.

The book engages with the problem of suffering and of evil, but its starting point is not God proving his existence to the protagonist (Makc never doubts this), but rather the nature of that existence and its relationship with (and to) humanity. So basically what I'm saying is - don't give this book to an atheist and expect it to persuade them that God really does exist! (But if you're an agnostic it might help.....)

The question of God intervening vs not intervening (including answering our prayers in miraculous ways...or not) leaves me with lots of hanging questions. While it gives narrative satisfaction, I am uneasy about the book's ending in this regard (don't want to say anything more specific to avoid plot spoiling).

I have read criticism of the book that this one (fictional) protagonist gets more from God (in terms of Him making himself fully and palpably available) than is the experience of lots of people who have suffered even more terribly (sort of 'what makes him so special, to get this special treatment'). That's a misunderstanding of how the story should be taken, I feel: it's more of a parable, once you get to the shack bit, with Mack as an 'everyman'. The 'faux' Forward, which understandably has led some readers to want to take the fiction as a 'true story' - and to lose faith in it when they discover it's not - is perhaps unfortunate in this regard. (The forward contains some important back-story about Mack, but in some ways I'm quite glad I skipped it and didn't go back and read it till after I'd finished the rest of the book!)

I recommend having a quick look at the author's blog site. Makes it easier to understand how he came to write the book as it is.

Anyone who puts words into God's mouth will inevitably seem to be rather bold - 'How dare he!' And by the same token, when reading it, it's perhaps a good corrective to remember that when 'God' says something in the book, you need not accept it as truly the word(s) of God. It's a human being using a device in a work of fiction. But by the same token, as some enthusiasts have claimed, the integrity of the author and the possibility that God is genuinely helping him, through this book, to reach people in an accessible form and to shake up some of our complacencies, should also be seriously considered. What is this book saying to me? What can I take from it that will help me to grow? These are questions to ponder further.


Jesus Of Montreal [1989] [DVD]
Jesus Of Montreal [1989] [DVD]
Dvd ~ Lothaire Bluteau
Offered by A2Z Entertains
Price: £9.99

8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Spiritual food, 28 Jan 2007
This is a wonderful film. One of my all time favourites. Thought provoking, funny, controversial and intelligent. The subtitling is good, but if you have any french you will gain all the more from it. I do recommend this film to those seeking an intelligent and modern interpretation of Christ's passion. You will get more from the film if you have a grounding in the bible version; but it's not for the fainthearted or straight-laced as it throws down many challenges to orthodox christian interpretation.


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