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Joseph Porter "Son of the Rock" (Dumbarton, Scotland)

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DIGITAL PHOTO RETOUCHING: Beauty, fashion & portrait photography: Inspiration, Tips & Video Workshop by Julia Kuzmenko (MADARTISTPUBLISHING.COM MASTER SERIES COLLECTION)
DIGITAL PHOTO RETOUCHING: Beauty, fashion & portrait photography: Inspiration, Tips & Video Workshop by Julia Kuzmenko (MADARTISTPUBLISHING.COM MASTER SERIES COLLECTION)
by Mad Artist Publishing
Edition: Paperback
Price: 11.76

1.0 out of 5 stars Not Fit for Purpose, 1 Dec 2013
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This book was not fit for purpose. The content was misaligned on the page making the book totally unreadable. A massive disappointment!
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jan 6, 2014 4:58 PM GMT


Inspiration in Photography: Train Your Mind to Make Great Art a Habit
Inspiration in Photography: Train Your Mind to Make Great Art a Habit
by Brooke Shaden
Edition: Paperback
Price: 12.59

0 of 9 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing, 1 Dec 2013
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I didn't feel inspired by this book at all. The author could have spent her time more profitably learning to focus her camera.


The Post Office Girl
The Post Office Girl
by Stefan Zweig
Edition: Paperback
Price: 6.29

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 'The Post Office Girl' by Stefan Zweig, 27 May 2010
This review is from: The Post Office Girl (Paperback)
The year is 1926 and Christine Hoflehner is working as a postal clerk in a small village in Austria. One day the telegraph sparks to life, and as Christine writes down the message she realises it's for herself. It's from her Aunt Claire. A quarter of a century earlier her Aunt Claire had emigrated to the United States. She left Europe in disgrace after becoming embroiled with a married Viennese businessman. The affair ended in a shooting, and the businessman's family paid her to leave the country. She made a good marriage in New York, and became very wealthy. She is now inviting her niece to join her on a holiday in Switzerland.

Chistine dons her best clothes, packs her straw suitcase and heads to Switzerland to join her uncle and aunt, the wealthy van Boolens. When she arrives at the grand hotel she feels dreadfully out of place as her clothes and suitcase look shabby in comparison with the expensive attire and luggage of the other guests.

Her Aunt takes her to a beauty salon, gives her beautiful silk dresses and jewellery. Christine is tranformed into a beautiful young lady. She soon turns the head of all the eligible young men in the hotel. The other guests assume her surname is van Boolen like her aunt. Christine does nothing to correct this. On being asked her name, she now said she was called Christiane instead of Christine. Christiane van Boolen, the society lady, is now born.

Christine's popularity with the men causes the other young ladies to become jealous. One young lady's jealousy is so strong she decides to do something about it. She starts to probe into Christine's background. This causes great alarm to her aunt. If Christine's true circumstances are exposed, her aunt's humble origin is bound to be laid bare to all her influential friends. Aunt Claire panics and sends Christine back to her village. The van Boolens then move to a different hotel.

Christine returns to her life of poverty and drudgery.

In part two of the novel, she becomes romantically involved with Ferdinand, an ex-soldier who served in the army with her brother-in-law. The war has left Ferdinand with feelings of bitterness, hopeless and despair. He tells Christine the only course left to him is to take his own life. Christine enters into a suicide pact with him, but they change their minds when Ferdinand comes up with a plan to secure their futures.

'The Post Office Girl' is a sad and moving tale that is sure to haunt even the most stolid of readers.


Tamburlaine Must Die
Tamburlaine Must Die
by Louise Welsh
Edition: Paperback
Price: 6.99

1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 'Tamburlaine Must Die' by Louise Welsh, 25 May 2010
This review is from: Tamburlaine Must Die (Paperback)
Welsh's novella, 'Tamburlaine Must Die' is about the playwright Christopher Marlowe. Marlowe was, after Shakespeare, the best known playwright of the Elizabethan era. In 1587 Marlowe's play Tamburlaine was performed in London. The play was a great success. It was one of the first English plays to be written in blank verse.

In 1593 a libellous document is posted on the door of a Dutch church in London. The contents of the document are written in blank verse and contain references to Marlowe's plays and is signed 'Tamburlaine'. Marlowe is suspected of being the author of the document, and is summoned before the Privy Council. Marlowe is also accused of blasphemy and atheism. His literary colleague, Thomas Kyd, had been arrested when he was found in possession of a heretical tract, which he claimed belonged to Marlowe.

The Privy Council releases Marlowe under supervision. He is directed to report to their lordships on a daily basis until instructed to do otherwise. Marlowe realises in order to stay alive he must uncover the identity of the bogus Tamburlaine. A thoroughly engrossing read!
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Nov 17, 2010 10:43 PM GMT


Scoop: A Novel About Journalists (Twentieth Century Classics)
Scoop: A Novel About Journalists (Twentieth Century Classics)
by Evelyn Waugh
Edition: Paperback

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 'Scoop' by Evelyn Waugh, 25 May 2010
William Boot writes a nature coloumn for the Daily Beast. The Beast is owned by Lord Copper who sends the hapless Boot, mistaking him for an author with the same surname, to report on the war in the East African country of Ishmaelia. Boot is totally inexperienced and incompetent in his role as war correspondent, but by luck rather than judgement manages to get a sensational scoop for the Beast. He returns to England and is feted as hero and world-renowned journalist. Lord Copper asks the Prime Minister to award a knighthood to Boot. The award is conferred on the other Boot, who can't believe his good luck in becoming 'Sir John Boot'.

'Scoop' is a mordant satire on Fleet Street. Waugh uses his experience of reporting on the Italian-Abyssinian War for the Daily Mail to lampoon the devious ways journalists employ in trying to outwit each other to deliver the most sensational story.

In 1972 'Scoop' was serialised by the BBC, and in 1987 in was made into a film for TV starring Michael Maloney and Denholm Elliott.


The Remains of the Day
The Remains of the Day
by Kazuo Ishiguro
Edition: Paperback

5.0 out of 5 stars 'The Remains of the Day' by Kazuo Ishiguro, 25 May 2010
This review is from: The Remains of the Day (Paperback)
'The Remains of the Day' tells us the story of Stevens, an English butler who dedicates his working life to faithfully serving his employer, Lord Darlington. The story begins with Stevens receiving a letter from Miss Kenton, the former housekeeper of Darlington Hall. Stevens is still the Butler at Darlington Hall. He now serves the new owner, Mr Farraday. Stevens and Miss Kenton worked for Lord Darlington in the years leading up to the Second World War. They had a relationship that at all times remained professional, although it was obvious they had romantic feelings for each other. Miss Kenton, in her letter, says she is married and is now called Mrs Benn.

Mr Farraday encourges Stevens to borrow the car and take a well earned holiday. Stevens accepts Mr Farraday's offer and, under the pretext of offering her a job, decides to look up Mrs Benn. As Stevens embarks on his journey, he refects on his unswerving loyalty to Lord Darlington, his relationship with his father and ultimately he faces up to the feelings he held for Miss Kenton.

'The Remains of the Day' won the 1989 Man Booker Prize and was made into a film starring Anthony Hopkins and Emma Thompson.


When We Were Orphans
When We Were Orphans
by Kazuo Ishiguro
Edition: Paperback

2 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 'When We Were Orphans' by Kazuo Ishiguro, 25 May 2010
This review is from: When We Were Orphans (Paperback)
Christopher Banks has become the most famous private detective in England in the 1930s. Banks reminisces of growing up in the International Settlement in Shanghai in the early 1900s. Banks lived with his mother and father. The other main characters in Banks's childhood are his best friend and neighbour, a Japanese boy called Akira and his Uncle Philip, who is not his really his uncle, but was formerly a lodger in the Banks family home.

Christopher's parents go missing in separate incidents over a short space of time. They were both believed to have to been kidnapped. Christopher is sent to live with his aunt in London. The young Christopher decides he wants to be a detective when he grows up so he can investigate the disappearance of his parents.

Chistopher eventually returns to Shanghai, which by this time is a battleground in the war between China and Japan, to try to solve the mystery that has haunted him for most of his life, a mystery he must put to rest before he can achieve peace of mind.


North and South (Oxford World's Classics)
North and South (Oxford World's Classics)
by Elizabeth Cleghorn Gaskell
Edition: Paperback
Price: 6.46

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 'North and South' by Elizabeth Gaskell, 25 May 2010
Elizabeth Gaskell's 'North and South' highlights the differences in lifestyles in the mid-nineteenth century between the industrial north of England and the wealthy south. The protagonist of the novel, Margaret Hale, is the daughter of a clergyman who leaves the Church of England. The Hale family move from the hamlet of Helstone in the south of England to Milton, a town in the north. Margaret is shocked at the change in her lifestyle. She is attracted to a mill owner called John Thornton. Her relationship with Thornton is thrown into turmoil as she is appalled at the conditions and poverty endured by the mill workers.

Elizabeth Gaskell, for a time, lived in Manchester with her husband who was a minister. She worked among the poor in the city, and she uses her experience from this period in her life to portray, in North and South, the conflict between the ruling and the working classes, the sexes and authority and obedience.


Hunger
Hunger
by Knut Hamsun
Edition: Paperback

5.0 out of 5 stars 'Hunger' by Knut Hamsun, 25 May 2010
This review is from: Hunger (Paperback)
'Hunger' is loosely based on Hamsun's poverty-stricken existence before he became successful as an author. The novel is set in Kristiania (now called Oslo) at the end of the nineteenth century. The story is narrated in the first person by an unnamed man who tries to raise money by writing articles to sell to newspapers. He is constantly strapped for cash and has to endure vagrancy and starvation which leads to the steady decline in his social, physical and mental well-being. His behaviour becomes so irrational he starts to play strange tricks on passers-by in the streets of the Norwegian capital. Although he is in a state of mental degeneration, he always tries to maintain an outward appearance of respectability. At one of his low points he asks to spend the night in a police cell. He tells the police he is a journalist, and he has forgotten his keys so cannot get into his apartment. If he had told the police he was a vagrant he would have received breakfast. He prefers to go hungry than admit to his desperate situation.

The novel is set in four parts. In each part when the hero reaches a low point he is saved by the bell: on one occasion by the acceptance of an article by a newspaper editor, and on the last occasion by securing a job that will take him away from Kristiania.


Green Carnation
Green Carnation
by Robert Hichens
Edition: Paperback

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 'The Green Carnation' by Richard Hichens, 25 May 2010
This review is from: Green Carnation (Paperback)
'The Green Carnation' by Richard Hichens is a satire on Oscar Wilde and Lord Alfred Douglas. The latter was populary know by the nickname 'Bosie'. 'The Green Carnation' was originally published anonymously causing much speculation as to who had written it. The chief suspects were Wilde himself and Ada Leverson (to whom Wilde gave the soubriquet 'Sphinx'), the British novelist Marie Corelli and Alfed Austin, who later became Poet Laureate. Although no-one seriously considered that Wilde had written a calumny against himself, he, nevertheless, sent the following letter to the Editor of the Pall Mall Gazette. The letter appeared on October 2, 1894.

"Kindly allow me to contradict, in the most emphatic manner, the suggestion made in your issue of Thursday last, and since then copied into many other newspapers that I am the author of The Green Carnation. I invented that magnificent flower. But with the middle-class and mediocre book that usurps its strangely beautiful name I have, I need hardly say, nothing whatsoever to do. The flower is a work of art. The book is not."
Lord Alfred Douglas said 'The Green Carnation' did him a lot of harm; he described the book as something that 'constituted a piece of perfidy...'. On discovering Hichens was the author, he sent him a telegram advising him to make good his escape from the retribution that was about to follow.

The main characters in 'The Green Carnation' are Esmé Amarinth and Lord Reginald Hastings who are respectively parodies of Wilde and Douglas.

Hichens knew Douglas who introduced him to Wilde with whose work he was already familiar. He had seen Wilde's plays as they opened in London, and had attended one of his lectures. When Douglas was in Egypt he spent considerable time in the company of Reggie Turner, E.F. Benson and Hichens. Being in regular conversation with the members of this small exclusive coterie of Wilde's friends, Hichen gained much knowledge of Douglas and Wilde, which he put to good use in writing 'The Green Carnation'.

The dialogue in 'The Green Carnation' accurately mocks the paradoxical, epigrammatic wit for which Wilde was renowned. Hichens had studied his subjects well.

'The Green Carnation' was withdrawn in 1895, but not before it had damaged Wilde's reputation. The book was used against Wilde when he was tried for gross indecency.


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