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Reviews Written by
H. Ashford "hashford" (Sheffield, UK)
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Dartington Crystal Glitz Wine Glasses
Dartington Crystal Glitz Wine Glasses
Price: 35.46

3.0 out of 5 stars beautiful but too delicate, 19 Mar 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
These are beautiful crystal glasses, but incredibly thin. I bought a set of two and broke both of them within a few weeks. I really expect good quality crystal glasses to be a little more robust, and will be looking round for something equally beautiful, but of better quality crystal.


Atkins 60g Advantage Chocolate Brownie Bars - Pack of 16
Atkins 60g Advantage Chocolate Brownie Bars - Pack of 16
Price: 26.56

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I love them!, 19 Mar 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I use these as a meal replacement in the early evening with a cup of tea (or sometimes 2 cups) - about 250 calories - and that gives me enough energy to go to the gym and keeps me going for a good 4 hours. At 1.50 a pop I think they represent great value.


Atkins Endulge Bar Caramel Nut Chew, Caramel Nut Chew 5 Pack
Atkins Endulge Bar Caramel Nut Chew, Caramel Nut Chew 5 Pack
Offered by detoxpeople
Price: 10.00

3.0 out of 5 stars light and fluffy, 19 Mar 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I buy a lot of Atkins bars (small and large), and I have to admit that I wasn't impressed with this one. It's not really like a Snickers bar, being much lighter and fluffier, and hence it feels disappointing (or at least it did to me). As other reviewers have said it's gone in a couple of bites!


Atkins Endulge Bar - Dark Chocolate Coconut Bar
Atkins Endulge Bar - Dark Chocolate Coconut Bar
Offered by Healthy Goodies
Price: 6.10

4.0 out of 5 stars very sweet, 19 Mar 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Very like a Bounty bar, these are tooth-achingly sweet - but without the negative impact on your blood sugar that you get with sugar-laden confectionery. Perfect as a treat if you are on a low carb diet but craving something sweet.


Atkins Advantage Dark Chocolate Crunch Bars - Pack of 12
Atkins Advantage Dark Chocolate Crunch Bars - Pack of 12
Price: 23.40

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful, 19 Mar 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I love these dark chocolate crunch bars, they have a satisfying crunch and are comfortingly solid. Probably my favourite flavour in this range - it's a pity they are more expensive than other Advantage bars.


The Professor of Truth
The Professor of Truth
by James Robertson
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 13.59

2.0 out of 5 stars Not for me, 19 Mar 2014
This review is from: The Professor of Truth (Hardcover)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I requested this book because I read The Testament of Gideon Mack some years ago and enjoyed it immensely, and so I approached this story with great interest.

Alan Tealing is an English Literature lecturer at an unnamed university. 21 years ago, his wife and daughter were killed in a plane crash over Scotland. Since then, he has been unable to pick up the pieces of his life, and spends all his spare time obsessively researching "the Case", convinced that the wrong man was convicted and that the "Truth" must be revealed before he can rest.

Alan Tealing, like Gideon Mack, is a tormented soul. Whereas Gideon Mack is a preacher who doubts the existence of God, Alan Tealing is a literature professor who believes that the teaching of literature is a pointless activity, and he has little interest in the minor author he is supposed to be researching. However, that is where the similarity ends. Tealing is boring, inward-looking, and ultimately self-serving; he doesn't care how much time and energy he wastes, or about the harm he does to other people, he is on "a mission" to uncover "the truth"

The book is described on the back cover as an "intense political thriller". But I didn't find it intense, and I certainly didn't find it thrilling. To me it read like a thesis on the Lockerbie plane crash, with a bit of personal colour about the main character (his on-off love affair with a colleague is pretty irrelevant to the story) thrown in to lighten it up. As an exposition about the possible role of the CIA in the crash, and by association on conspiracy theories generally, it puts forward an interesting idea in a credible way. But as a work of fiction it falls rather flat.

On the positive side, the minor characters are wonderfully drawn and Robertson leads the reader to see that people are multi-dimensional and have complex reasons for acting in the ways they do. But overall, this isn't a book I will be recommending to my friends.


Peppersmith tingz 100% xylitol sweets - Strawberry and Vanilla 15 g (Pack of 18, Total 450 Sweets)
Peppersmith tingz 100% xylitol sweets - Strawberry and Vanilla 15 g (Pack of 18, Total 450 Sweets)
Price: 12.99

2.0 out of 5 stars yuk!, 7 Mar 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Despite these being very clearly marketed at kids, I got them for myself. I try to follow a low carb diet generally, and therefore don’t eat sweets very often. But there are times when I really want some (eg when flying) and I do sometimes buy sugar free sweets (usually from Boots diabetic range). So I approached these with interest.

The first thing that struck me was that the little envelopes are impossible to open with your bare hands (I had to resort to the kitchen scissors) – which doesn’t really bode well for putting them in a kids lunchbox.

Secondly, I hate the chalky texture. Neither a boiled sweet nor a chewy one, these dissolve in your mouth (or you crunch them into your teeth). Which means they don’t last very long … which leads me to my third point …

At nearly 1 for a 15g packet they are incredibly expensive! There are cheaper alternatives round.

And lastly, and this is a very personal opinion of course … they are horrible! Like sucking on chalky icing sugar. I am going to donate the rest of the packets to my daughter’s next sleepover party.


Philips SHE3590BK/10 In-Ear Headphones - Black
Philips SHE3590BK/10 In-Ear Headphones - Black
Offered by Shop Radiance
Price: 6.98

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars They work for me!, 7 Mar 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
A marvellous product at the price.
Basic headphones - they stay in my ear and they give enough bass / breadth of sound for me.
And full marks to Phillips for providing packaging that you can open without risk of damage to (a) the product (b) yourself or (c) the kitchen scissors!


Peacock [DVD] [2010]
Peacock [DVD] [2010]
Dvd ~ Cillian Murphy
Price: 4.25

2.0 out of 5 stars disappointing, 5 Mar 2014
This review is from: Peacock [DVD] [2010] (DVD)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I enjoy a good psychological thriller, and so I looked forward to watching this film. But I’m afraid it really didn’t hit the spot for me.

It’s hard to describe the plot without giving away spoilers, suffice it to say that this is about a man who is managing to conceal his split personality. His male persona, John, goes to work each day at 8:30am; at night his female persona, Emma, emerges and looks after him (cooks meals which she leaves for him, etc); they communicate by written notes. Everything is more or less OK, until a train crashes into his backyard and people see him in his “Emma” persona. As the townspeople start to interact with Emma, this side of his personality comes forward more and starts making decisions that he, John, doesn’t like.

I thought the basic premise was interesting and that the plot developed nicely, gradually ramping up to a shocking event (as a psychological thriller should). I loved the thoughtful and atmospheric feel to it (no fast-paced action movie this). And above all, Cillian Murphy gives a brilliant performance as both John and Emma.

However, the whole thing just didn’t gel for me. The plot isn’t really credible and you are forever having to suspend belief, the development is so understated and subtle that you can easily miss important points, and the key event, the thing that the whole film ought to be building up towards, happens so quickly that you almost feel it is being glossed over!

It’s all very well having a pace that is slow and atmospheric, but the audience should be on the edge of their seats waiting to see what’s going to happen – not half falling asleep. And an inconclusive ending done well can be thought-provoking, but this hardly has an ending at all, it just stops! Overall, this film simply didn’t live up to my expectations.


Gingerbread
Gingerbread
by Robert Dinsdale
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 10.34

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars compelling and bleak, 5 Mar 2014
This review is from: Gingerbread (Hardcover)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
The beginning of the book sees a young boy and his mother going to a tenement block where an old man lives. The old man turns out to be the boy’s grandfather, who tells him tales of the forest and the trees. Soon the mother dies, having first extracted a promise from each of them that they will look after the other.

The boy loves the grandfather’s tales of the forest and the trees. But after a while the stories, and the trees, become more powerful and the boy’s promise to his mother becomes an intolerable burden for a child to bear.

I found the start of the book slow, and quite difficult to read – it has quite a dry style and characterisation is not rich – but I soon got into the story, and the folk tales, and then I was hooked.

This book is bleak. Although it’s not post-apocalyptic or dystopian fiction, it reads rather like a book from that genre in that it is about surviving in a very minimalist way in a harsh environment – in some ways it reminded me of The Road.

It’s hard to say much more without giving away spoilers. Suffice it to say, that after the slow start, I really enjoyed this book. Looking back, there were many places where it really isn’t credible, but at the time I was happy to suspend disbelief (as I suppose you often have to when reading fairy stories) and simply enjoy the story.

Not worth 5*s (for me), but a memorable book and one that I am happy to recommend.


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