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Duncan Light (Glasgow, UK)
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Lochs & Glens South - Sustrans Cycle Route Map: Sustrans Official Cycle Route Map and Information Covering the 214 Miles of National Cycle Network from Carlisle to Glasgow
Lochs & Glens South - Sustrans Cycle Route Map: Sustrans Official Cycle Route Map and Information Covering the 214 Miles of National Cycle Network from Carlisle to Glasgow
by Sustrans
Edition: Map
Price: £7.99

4.0 out of 5 stars This is one of Sustrans better Cycle Maps with plenty of detail so that one ..., 15 Jan. 2015
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This is one of Sustrans better Cycle Maps with plenty of detail so that one can easily follow the (very interesting) route or make alternative paths as desired. Good quality material. Well worth buying.


Forty Lashes Less One
Forty Lashes Less One
by Elmore Leonard
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
Price: £4.95

4.0 out of 5 stars Cracking Story, 14 Jan. 2015
By no means a traditional Western, this is a great read from Elmore Leonard full of cracking dialogue and memorable characters. Although set in a soon to close prison in Yuma in the early 1900's this novel is very much part of (and about) the late 60's and early 70's and the rise of black consciousness in a white male dominated world. However, this is not the dry, politically correct novel that it could have been (and surely would have been if written today). Rather, this is gritty and dirty, and has plenty of humour albeit of the dark kind.
As usual with Leonard novels, things happens seemingly at random with unexpected results so that the reader is never sure of the final outcome. Unlike others, I am unconvinced by the ending but its tremendous entertainment and well worth reading.


A Spy Among Friends: Kim Philby and the Great Betrayal
A Spy Among Friends: Kim Philby and the Great Betrayal
Price: £5.66

5.0 out of 5 stars Tremendous Spy Story, 2 Sept. 2014
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Tremendous spy story relating the rise and fall of Kim Philby (part of the Cambridge spy network working for the Soviet Union during the second world war and the post war period). Very well written and (on kindle) available for an incredibly low price of 51 pence.
I'm unconvinced that Philby was actually allowed to escape to Russia by MI6 but am fully persuaded that it was (primarily) the old boy network of ex public schoolboys that allowed him to operate so long and so successfully.
This book doesn't tell the whole story of Cambridge spies but for anyone interested in the subject it is absolutely essential.


Saddle Sore
Saddle Sore
Price: £2.17

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Mildly Amusing, 9 Jun. 2014
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This review is from: Saddle Sore (Kindle Edition)
In theory this book is a description of the author's cycle ride across the USA. However, the cycle ride is mostly irrelevant and at its heart this book is really just a selection of (sometimes) amusing anecdotes about the "real" America.
The trouble is, unless you know nothing about the US this book won't provide you with any new information (Americans are fat, insular but also generous) and doesn't have any particular insights worth sharing. So, your enjoyment (or otherwise) of this book will depend, to a large extent, on whether you share the author's sense of humour.
Personally I got fed up with the book well before the end and can't honestly recommend it to anyone despite its low price on kindle.


The Great Divide
The Great Divide
Price: £2.39

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Great read. A Great Walk., 7 Jun. 2014
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This review is from: The Great Divide (Kindle Edition)
Back in the early 80's there was no set trail along the Great Divide through North America so the author made his own way through using maps and a compass.
The book details the most important segments of the walk (although I would gladly have read through an expanded version as some parts are genuinely engrossing) and also introduces us to a number of the characters the author meets on the way. Rather than adopting the usual mocking tone employed by Britons travelling through America the author appears to like place and its inhabitants (in the main) and, for me, that only makes the book more interesting and enjoyable to read.
Also very funny in sections, this book is a great read and is highly recommended.
Two other books on the Divide well worth reading are Dividing the Great by John Metcalfe and Be Brave, Be Strong: A Journey Across the Great Divide by Jill Homer.


Ghost Trails: Journeys Through a Lifetime
Ghost Trails: Journeys Through a Lifetime
Price: £3.23

4.0 out of 5 stars Endurance Cycle through Alaska, 5 April 2014
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Very good first book by endurance athlete and journalist Jill Homer detailing her transformation from a youthful Mormon girl to a young woman capable of taking part in one of the world's great endurance challenges.the Iditarod Invitational (billed by its promoters as The Last Great Race on Earth).
The race is described as a raw roller-coaster of a ride through the deep winter of Alaska and, in many ways, resembles an account of a mountain based adventure rather than a cycle ride. It is thoroughly entertaining throughout.
As well as the race Jill describes some of the experiences and influences that enabled to get to the start line of the Iditarod in the first place, albeit there appear to be one or two omissions.
The book is written in a very personal way and engaging way (although she can be melodramatic at times) and is highly recommended, especially as the cost is so low.
If you enjoy the book also look out for the film documentary "A Thin White Line" available for free (legally) on the internet. This details Andy Heading's victory in the longer version of this race (then known as the Iditarod Impossible). If anything his story eclipses Jills.


Be Brave, Be Strong: A Journey Across the Great Divide
Be Brave, Be Strong: A Journey Across the Great Divide
Price: £3.18

5.0 out of 5 stars An American Classic, 2 April 2014
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Well written and genuinely engaging narrative non fiction account of Jill Homer's cycle ride on the Great Divide, starting in Canada and finishing at the border with Mexico 2700 miles later.
Best read after Jill's first book (Ghost Trails) which ends one year before this book starts this is a highly personalised account of an epic mountain bike journey through North America, detailing all the highs and lows of endurance cycling.
John Metcalfe has written a excellent book on the same subject (although Jill Homer is taking part in a race) but his is written from an English point of view whereas Jill is a native American. She provides a raw and real account of her journey along the Great Divide detailing all her emotions, pains and injuries throughout in a way that would be unusual for a British writer.
This book is better edited than her first (albeit she still calls her speedometer an odometer and seems to think a stallion is a female horse) and better written, and I read through the book quickly.
For anybody interested in non fiction adventure this is pretty much essential and the cost of a kindle purchase is only slightly more than that of a quality newspaper. Highly recommended.


Land's End to John O'Groats Self Help Cycle Guide
Land's End to John O'Groats Self Help Cycle Guide
Price: £2.80

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars For £1.93 on Kindle well worth it, 1 Feb. 2014
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This book covers the planning, preparation (inc training and nutrition) and execution of a fast, head down all the way, end to end cycle ride from the top of Scotland to the bottom of England. And if you buy it on Kindle its well worth buying and reading.
The book is strongest on the planning and preparation for the long distance ride and weakest on the ride itself (much of which the author cannot remember). The training and nutrition advice is way over the top for most long distance cyclists (because they don't plan to ride 150 miles a day) but can be scaled down to meet an individual's needs.
For most people the description of the ride and the sketchy blog and text messages are pretty useless but for less than £2 this is still an enjoyable read.


Shock Labyrinth 3D [DVD]
Shock Labyrinth 3D [DVD]
Dvd ~ YŻya Yagira
Price: £4.29

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Atmospheric, 22 Dec. 2013
This review is from: Shock Labyrinth 3D [DVD] (DVD)
This is a very creepy and atmospheric film based on a childhood incident and its repercussions on those involved as young adults. Like many of the best of its genre it doesn't quite make sense and questions remain hanging at the end (rather like a girl hanging onto the top of a stairwell).
The key thing is that the film delivers in all the important areas: a chilling atmosphere, a simple but effective storyline and a spine chilling soundtrack.
Well worth buying if available at a budget price.


Rust Never Sleeps
Rust Never Sleeps
Price: £5.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Thrasher, 9 July 2013
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This review is from: Rust Never Sleeps (Audio CD)
One of my all time favourite albums (this is the fourth time I've bought it). The first half is intelligent, sometimes playful, rustic while the second half is full on electric rock.
Without going into all the songs, a special mention has to be made for Thrasher. On one level it details Young's breakup up with CSN&Y but on another describes the feelings of all many people who have walked away from one form of life to start another. In many ways it is as much a poem as a song. When listening to Thrasher I always want to dig out some road films, such as Vanishing Point, or watch again Five Easy Pieces with Jack Nicholson.
It's difficult to describe just how good this album is (the playing, the singing and the production are great) but I can say, Rust Never Sleeps together with Live Rust, represent some of the bet rock music you will ever hear.


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