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J. Aitken (Glasgow Scotland)
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Ali and Ramazan
Ali and Ramazan
by Perihan Magden
Edition: Paperback
Price: 5.94

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fine novella of a tragic love story, 9 May 2012
This review is from: Ali and Ramazan (Paperback)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Perihan Magden's novella traces the lives of two turkish boys, both orphaned, who live at the very bottom of the pecking in order in contemporary Turkey. used an abused as orphans, Ramazan grows up to be a male prostitute. Ali, the quieter of the two loves Ramazan and Ramazan loves Ali. They don't question their relationship, they just know that it must be. Magden bases the tale on a newspaper story and writes with candour of this doomed love, but refuses to judge.

The characters are brought vividly to life in this engaging story which I enjoyed very much indeed. Although it is a "gay" love story, the homosexuality is central and incidental at the same time and should not put off other prospective readers. Highly recommended.


HHhH
HHhH
by Laurent Binet
Edition: Hardcover

3 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating book about the assisination of Heydrich, 7 May 2012
This review is from: HHhH (Hardcover)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Laurent Binet's book about the assination attempton Reinhardt Heydrich, the infamous Blond beast and Hangman of Prague is billed as a novel, which it really isn't. Binet believes that actual truth comes before all, but when little is known, a novelist can invent, where a historian may not. This book falls between two stools, neither a full scale novel or a plain history, and benefits from this quandary.

Binet gives the facts but imbues them with his personal feelings which make the doomed protagonists come vividly alive on the page. This is an exceptionally interesting approach which worked for me. The historical facts are there, but with a novelists emotional response he makes this tale a gripping and enthralling read.

Highly recommended


This is Life
This is Life
by Dan Rhodes
Edition: Paperback

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Delightful, joyous Parisian romp, 3 May 2012
This review is from: This is Life (Paperback)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
From the moment Aurelie Renard throws a stone, as the start of her art project, which unfortunately hits a baby on the head, an extraordinary series of events takes place. The world of contemporary art, politics and Life itself is gaily scrutinised and disected as the author, Dan Rhodes, sweeps along with a delightful array of quirky characters as this hugely enjoyable narrative unfolds. No point in giving away any more of the plot. Suffice to say that is one of the most amusing and enthralling novels I have read in ages. Very highly recommended indeed.


Lonely Planet Rome (Travel Guide)
Lonely Planet Rome (Travel Guide)
by Lonely Planet
Edition: Paperback
Price: 12.87

5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent comprehensive guide to the eternal city, 17 April 2012
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This lonely planet guide has much useful information, excellent maps, and an easy to read format which will appeal to many travellers.

Havin been to Rome several times over the years, I compared my experiences with what this excellent guide book contains and was very impressed by the thorough coverage this great city receives. Not too bulky to carry round, but packed with all you need to know, this guide is first rate.


Sipping From The Nile: My Exodus from Egypt
Sipping From The Nile: My Exodus from Egypt
by Jean Naggar
Edition: Paperback
Price: 8.90

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars 20th Century Jewish family life in Egypt recalled, 17 April 2012
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Jean Naggar writes eloquently about her life in Egypt as the daughter of a wealthy jewish family. The sites and sounds of Eqypt in its colonial guise, pre Nasser, is evocatively brought to life within the context of family life. The subsequent changes which forced most of her family out of Egypt are vividly described by a writer who is secure in her craft.

This was a very enjoyable biography which will appeal to those with an interest in Egypt and the jewish population therein. Recommended.


Lonely Planet Venice & the Veneto (Travel Guide)
Lonely Planet Venice & the Veneto (Travel Guide)
by Lonely Planet
Edition: Paperback
Price: 12.99

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent guide with useful maps, 6 April 2012
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
As a frequent visitor to Venice I tried finding my way around in my mind's eye using the information and maps provided. The information and maps are clearly presented and I found that, following the routes, was easy. Of course in Venice the inability of the visitor to see anything other than the direction of the street in which they are in, can be off putting, but following the pull-out map in my view should be easy enough.

Apart from Venice itself, the book contains details of may interesting places in the Veneto, all clearly described.

All in all this is an excellent book which covers every aspect that the ordinary visitor would require for a holiday in La Serenissima and the Veneto.

Recommended.


Noughties
Noughties
by Ben Masters
Edition: Paperback
Price: 12.99

2 of 8 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars University days depressingly laid bare, 6 April 2012
This review is from: Noughties (Paperback)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Ben Masters is clearly a linguistic dab hand in this tale of university days. Sadly the "aren't I clever" style of writing was very off putting and, as I found the characters portrayed depressingly uninteresting, I soon tired of this book.

Those recent graduates of Oxford or elsewhere may find something that strikes a chord with them, but for the general reader, I hardly think this will be the case.

Disappointing.


Thomas Becket: Warrior, Priest, Rebel, Victim: A 900-Year-Old Story Retold
Thomas Becket: Warrior, Priest, Rebel, Victim: A 900-Year-Old Story Retold
by John Guy
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 20.00

7 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent historical account of turbulent times, 5 April 2012
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
John Guy is to be congratulated in producing such a well researched and emminently readable account of the life and martyrdom of Thomas Becket.

Becket's early friendship with King Henry and the subsequent deterioration of their relationship is traced in detail from contemporary accounts and Guy is excellent in wheedling out the likely truth or not of each chronicler.

Historically only a hundred years after the battle of Hastings, the need for Henry to sustain his right of kingship over his domains in England and France, while at the same time steering a careful course with a schismatic papacy; never was there a more difficult time for church and state to exist as separate power bases within the same kingdom.

Becket finds himself in the middle of the dilemma and with his own character flaws as well as Henry's at loggerheads, tragedy was bound to ensue.

John Guy presents this in a highly readable account which is exemplary in placing the conflict in a clear historical context, while painstakingly revealing the competing disparate traits of the principal characters.

This was a fascinating book which I can readily recommend for those readers interested in the period.


Start German (Learn German with the Michel Thomas Method)
Start German (Learn German with the Michel Thomas Method)
by Michel Thomas
Edition: Audio CD
Price: 12.07

5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent german programme which works really well, 22 Mar 2012
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I have never been that good at languages so i was delighted to discover this programme which relies on repetition and acreful listening rather than any written exercises.

The words and phrases certainly began to stick and I have found that my German has much improved when I visit the country.

Highly recommended.


Cyberlink PowerDVD 11 Ultra (PC)
Cyberlink PowerDVD 11 Ultra (PC)

0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars useful programme but be aware of system limitations, 22 Mar 2012
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I have some other Cyberlink software which works very well, but unfortunately, my present computer operating system does not seem to have the necessary spec to make this programme work properly.

Ohter reviewers will be able to give a better run down on the actual programme itself, but I would caution would be purchasers that they should be aware that they need to check their computer spec carefully before purchase.


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