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Reeds (England)

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Atlas: Year One
Atlas: Year One
Price: £7.99

5.0 out of 5 stars A hidden gem of an album: beautiful, captivating and haunting, 3 April 2016
This review is from: Atlas: Year One (MP3 Download)
This album is simply wonderful. I have heard nothing like it. The raw emotion of each song sends shivers down my spine.

I first heard of Sleeping At Last a couple of years ago after hearing the song "Light" on a TV show (I forget which). It was a haunting, beautiful tune that captivated me. I loved the way that the music took centre stage, with the vocals complementing the sounds rather than the other way round. It was certainly refreshing! I looked up the artist and came across his other work - all of which I recommend (Ghosts being the best of the rest; although I think Atlas cannot be beaten).

Each of the Eps that have been compiled as the "Year One" collection has its own themes and strengths - Atlas Darkness, Atlas Oceans, Atlas Light, Atlas Space 1 + 2. The variation is subtle - you could accuse Atlas Year One of sounding "samey" but it wouldn't be fair. The songs follow a pattern but each is unique. There are beautiful melodies (Atlas Oceans - Pacific, Atlantic, Indian and Southern) featuring classical arrangements and songs with real depth and heart felt, emotional lyrics. For me, the stand out tracks are Darkness (my favourite by far), Uneven Odds, Mercury, Saturn, North and Southern. I look forward to Atlas Year Two!


Quality Double Waffle Maker - Waffle Iron
Quality Double Waffle Maker - Waffle Iron
Offered by JM POSNER
Price: £32.95

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent product so far and super speedy delivery, 28 Sept. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Excellent product so far and super speedy delivery. Have now used this on a number of occasions and it's been brilliant each time. Quick (for me it takes 3-4 min), simple and easy to use. The key is finding a good waffle recipe - haven't bothered with the one that comes with it given the feedback I've read on here, but anyone that suggests separating eggs is likely to be a winner


Two Genuine Solid Sterling Silver 925 Plain Stopper Beads - to fit Pandora, Chamilia, Biagi and similar 3mm European Bracelets - Fabulana Charms
Two Genuine Solid Sterling Silver 925 Plain Stopper Beads - to fit Pandora, Chamilia, Biagi and similar 3mm European Bracelets - Fabulana Charms
Offered by Bibbys Online(UK based company)
Price: £4.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great value, 5 Feb. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Purchased these for my sister's trollbeads bracelet. At £7.50 for two, they are half the price of the branded stoppers - excellent value. They fit very easily onto the Trollbeads bracelet and look great. I liked them so much that I bought myself a pair too! Well worth it. Whether they are durable remains to be seen, but so far I am a very happy customer.


The Angel's Game
The Angel's Game
by Carlos Ruiz Zafon
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.99

4.0 out of 5 stars A could have been / should have been masterpiece..., 11 Aug. 2010
This review is from: The Angel's Game (Paperback)
It is inevitable that the Angel's Game will be compared to the Shadow of the Wind. Both are set in Barcelona, both feature the iconic "Cemetary of Books" and "Sempere and Sons" and both focus on a young male protagonist whose tale is one of agony, intrigue, murder and deep rooted love. However, it would be unfair to judge the Angel's Game solely on the basis of Ruiz Zafon's previous literary masterpiece. And Ruiz Zafon himself has said that both books offer a different narrative style - the Angel's Game is darkness, to the Shadow of the Wind's light. In my opinion both books deserve to be treated independently.

Anyway, that's enough of a precis!

There are many delightful aspects to the Angel's Game. Odd, considering the dark and twisted nature of this thriller. These lighter aspects sit well at the start of the narrative - Isabella (the protagonists assistant) is as much of a breath of fresh air to the storyline as she is to David Martin's life. Vidal (junior) is also a fun, boisterous chap who provides ample amusement to both the readers and David Martin. However, the dark and gothic undertones that underpin this narrative quickly take charge and for the most part transform this story for the better into a mystical and thrilling adventure... That is until the final quarter when the book completely changes pace, the timelines become unclear and things generally take a bit of a nose-dive into the ludicrous and over-the-top gothic horror franchise. Those aspects of the book that were light relief become disjointed / misplaced and simply no longer fit with the narrative. As Martin descends into madness (or is he becoming more lucid?) so does the narrative. Perhaps that was what Ruiz Zafon intended? I suppose a protagonist who is slowly losing the plot cannot be narrating in a clear and defined manner... But frankly speaking, the final quarter of the book is a let down. Otherwise (remember there is still 3/4 of the book that is not a let down!), this is a truly a fantastic and compelling read.

On the basis that most of this book is brilliant, I have decided against giving it 3 stars and sticking with 4.


Dead Like Me - Season 1 [DVD]
Dead Like Me - Season 1 [DVD]
Dvd ~ Britt McKillip
Offered by Side Two
Price: £9.00

4.0 out of 5 stars Dead Addictive, 17 May 2009
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Dead Like Me is a bizarre, surreal and morbid comedy. It follows a bunch of "grim reapers", including the recently departed (and central character) George, as they come to terms with their deaths, go about their job of collecting souls and try to 'live' amongst the living.

Unfortunately, having the privilege of working alongside death does not mean that the reapers reap (forgive the pun) any financial benefits. Instead, our characters have to earn their living which leads to some cracking comic moments - George's interactions with her boss Delores Herbig (as in her-big-brown-eyes *groan*) and of course my favourtite scene of Mason stealing money from a parking meter and later being mowed down by an angry Roxy, who just so happens to be parking meter officer...

Whilst this show has an interesting beginning, the rest of it is all 'middle' - hence 4/5 stars rather than 5/5. The show doesn't have much by way of story arc or that much character development. When you get to the final episode, you can't help but wonder "what was the point of that?". A bit harsh really seeing as Dead Like Me is brilliantly entertaining and has some fantastic characters: from the 60s drug/booze addicted Mason to gun-toting-hard-as-nails Roxy and blonde 50s screen-siren-wanabe Daisy. The writing is witty and sharp. However, I must admit that whilst I love all the ancillary characters (especially Mason and Rube), George sometimes leaves me feeling a bit cold. I'm not overwhelmed by her constant moaning. That, together with the lack of any real direction, lets Dead Like Me down...but only a bit.

Minor grumbles aside, Dead Like Me is a real gem. Bryan Fuller is a master when it comes to quirky and entertaining shows. After all, this is the guy who created Pushing Daisies (fantastic!) and wrote some of the best episodes of Heroes (Season 1).

You may not fall in love with Dead Like Me after watching the first episode, but give it time and it is a real grower (I am currently steaming through series 2 which is sadly the final one) and, as stated in the title of my review, it is completely and utterly addictive viewing.


The Great Gatsby (Wordsworth Classics)
The Great Gatsby (Wordsworth Classics)
by F. Scott Fitzgerald
Edition: Paperback
Price: £1.99

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Slow Moving Cautionary Tale, 17 April 2009
I will preface this review by admitting that I have not read much American Literature - The Glass Menagerie, To Kill a Mocking Bird and Catcher in the Rye being the only real "classics" I have read. I am also not so familiar with American culturalisms through the ages. Not that this is particularly relevant to reading The Great Gatsby, but perhaps my lack of contextual background knowledge is the reason why the style and content of the novel did not immediately "click" for me as much as it did others. Having said that, by the time you reach the end of The Great Gatsby and reflect on its contents you will appreciate the clever intricacies of the narrative and the slow build up to a powerful and moving ending.

Anyway, to get to the point:

The Great Gatsby (fantastic irony in the title of the novel, which you will not fully appreciate until you have read the book from cover to cover) is set in the "roaring 20s", a time of great cultural and social growth following the end of WW1. The book is narrated by Nick Carraway, the title character's neighbour. The story follows Nick as he moves to New York and inadvertantly gets caught up in the high society life of Jay Gatsby; a seemingly mysterious and elusive character. It turns out that Gatsby is very much living in the past and is struggling to move on with his life, despite his surrounding luxuries. The various social soirees Gatsby throws are mere facades, as is his whole persona. It is Gatsby's inability to let go that ultimately leads to his tragic downfall. As Nick gets more entwined in the glamourous lifestyle of Gatsby and his contemporaries, the reader and Nick both realise the truth of that age old adage: "all that glitters is not gold".

What is clever about The Great Gatsby is the way it intricately critiques 1920's high society life and explores what happens when people continue to live in the past rather than face up to their present reality. The story unwinds slowly (painfully so at times) but picks up momentum gradually and builds to a dramatic creshendo. Nick is the moral anchor of the novel - from the very start, the reader is introduced to Nick's ideals: He is a man of morals and the chaos that surrounds him throughout the course of the novel does not at times sit well with him. This feeling of unease is portrayed well in the writing and style of the narrative. The plot slowly meanders, with the final few chapters picking up the pace rapidly - the twists and turns are laid to rest in quite a dramatic finale.

Overall The Great Gatsby is stark and short but satisfying and well written, though admittedly very slow moving in parts.


Supernatural - Complete Season 1-3 [DVD]
Supernatural - Complete Season 1-3 [DVD]
Dvd ~ Jared Padalecki
Offered by lightningdvd
Price: £59.98

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Supernatural - Super Cool....., 6 April 2009
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Like another reviewer, when this show first aired on ITV the tagline of "Supernatural - Scary Gets Sexy" put me right off. However, due to a rather unfortunate bout of clumsiness which left me pretty much housebound for a couple of weeks, I decided to chance it with this boxset. Awesome price, but for a show I was skeptical of = Risky move? I am pleased to say not because Supernatural is absolutely fantastic.

The premis of the show is quite simple to start with - it focuses on Sam and Dean Winchester, whose mother was gruesomely killed by a demon when the pair were very young. Fast forward 22 years and the brothers, having drifted apart, are brought back together when their father disappears while hunting the demon that killed their mother. This boxset contains seasons 1-3 of the show which follows the Winchesters as they road trip it up and down the US on their quest for redemption... Along the way the brothers hunt down some pretty nasty demons/ghosts/vampires etc. All in a day's work.

Admittedly whilst seasons 1 and 2 are fantastic, season 3 is a weak link. It is clear that the show was rushed to a premature conclusion, but I suppose that was inevitable given the writers' strike in the US. However, I am pleased to report that Season 4 is shaping up to be the best season yet.

I cannot emphasise enough how entertaining Supernatural is. It manages to strike a balance of emotional drama, great humour and spine tingling chills (the episode "Asylum" in season one particularly springs to mind). Much of the shows' charm (I don't mean that in a sacchrine sweet sense) is down to the dynamic and very believable relationship between Sam and Dean. Not to over-egg it, but Supernatural will have you laughing, hiding behind a cushion and getting all teary eyed often in the same episode!

I note that some negative reviews mark down the show on the basis of it lacking originality. I think those individuals have missed the point. Part of the fun of the show is that the Winchesters track down and hunt a range of spooky ghosts/demons/vampires etc in a bid to seek out the truth behind the various myths, legends and stories we are familiar with.

Supernatural hasn't had the exposure here in the UK that it deserves. Do yourself a favour, believe the hype and check out the boxset.


It's Blitz!
It's Blitz!
Price: £3.99

9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It's Blitz: It's a Hit (and well worth the wait!), 31 Mar. 2009
This review is from: It's Blitz! (Audio CD)
Like most people buying this cd, I have played "Fever to Tell" and "Show Your Bones" - both of which are brilliant - to death and was eagerly anticipating the new release from YYYs.

So, was it worth the wait worth?

Yes, and undoubtedly so!

"It's Blitz" is a complete change from YYYs previous outings. The album is a much more mellow and consistent affair. Gone are the raucous vocals. Instead, the listener is treated to a range of songs exploiting Karen O's more 'mature' and 'gentle' turn of voice: from discoesque numbers like Zero, Dull Life and Heads Will Roll to slower ballads like Soft Shock, Hysteric, Little Shadow and Skeletons.

For me, Soft Shock and Hysteric have to be the stand out tracks on the album. They both radiate pure and genuine heart-felt emotion. And that is the general feel of the album. I imagine some fans will not be too pleased with the total departure from YYYs "Date With the Night" Guitar-heavy style, but I give this album a big thumbs up! It will be interesting to see where YYYs go from here...

However, if I was to have a criticism, it would be that the three tracks in the middle of the album (Shame and Fortune, Runaway and Dragon Queen) are a little forgettable - though by no means bad.

If you get the chance to purchase a download copy of the album (which is what I did, but not from Amazon, hence the early review!) it is well worth it. There is the option of getting some bonus tracks - acoustic versions of Soft Shock, Skeletons, Hysteric, Little Shadow and also a track called Faces.


A Thousand Splendid Suns
A Thousand Splendid Suns
by Khaled Hosseini
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.29

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Relentless, 27 Mar. 2009
Whilst I did enjoy reading "A Thousand Splendid Suns" I felt immense relief when I was finally done with it. I agree with previous reviews - the story is harrowing and the reader is subjected to a relentless and full on emotional assault, much like the main characters of the book.

However, this is not a criticism! Khalid Hosseini's depiction of life in Afghanistan, through the eyes of Mariam and Laila, during soviet occupation through to its 'liberation' following 9/11 is graphically explored and uninhibited. The stark 'reality' of the characters' lives is difficult to swallow, but that is because the reader is aware that although the book is a work of fiction, it is based on very real and factual events...

Unlike "The Kite Runner" (which I must say I preferred), "A Thousand Splendid Suns" focuses on the lives of two women who are brought together under tragic circumstances. The story explores the hardships faced by women in Afghanistan - from having to endure lives with abusive husbands to living as second class citizens under oprressive Taliban rule.

A difficult read but well worth it.


Blood Ties - Complete Season 1 [DVD][2006]
Blood Ties - Complete Season 1 [DVD][2006]
Dvd ~ Christina Cox
Offered by TastyMate
Price: £24.95

12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Decent Enough Show for a Bargain, 12 Mar. 2009
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Okay, first things first: I bought this dvd boxset based on Amazon recommendations and the very cheap price. Yes, I was dubious and yes, some of my fears were confirmed. But in all honesty, Blood Ties is fairly entertaining (for the most part) and the show probably deserves a little higher than 3 stars.

Anyway, to briefly give you some background: Blood Ties is an odd mash up of TV shows of yesteryear - it has the obvious vampire/horror elements of shows like Buffy and Angel, plus a bit of an X-Files feel. There is a Mulder/Scully type relationship between Vicki Nelson and her ex cop-partner Mike Celluci. And then there is Henry - a cenutries old, very hot (sorry, but it must be said!) and well informed vampire who gets Vicki's blood boiling.

The formula to this show is not particularly original - Vicki solves mysterious and supernatural cases with the help of Mike and Henry and gets all confused about her true feelings for both of them. This is all topped off by doses of questionable dialogue and some dodgy special effects. Whilst the series starts off horrendously, it does progress to a point of interest and along the way there are some pretty good episodes ("Gifted" and "5:55").

However, my main irritation with this show is Vicki: I just can't sympathise with her very wooden and one-dimensional, "I'm-a-strong-willed-feminist-female" character. While Mike is interesting, with his Scully-like troubles in accepting the supernatural and Henry's suprisingly witty and likeable tourtured soul routine, Vicki's character loses out in the likeable-personality stakes (*cough!*). Although the final episode goes some way to resolving the above issues, it's all too little and all too late.

In fairness, at less than £6.00 you're not exactly risking too much. Yes, some elements are cheesy and badly done but at the end of the day Blood Ties is decent enough, especially given how ridiculously cheap it is. But if you're willing to shell out a little more dosh, check out Supernatural or those age-old classics Buffy and X-Files.


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