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Kitty "violetkitty"

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The Rental Heart and Other Fairytales (Salt Modern Fiction)
The Rental Heart and Other Fairytales (Salt Modern Fiction)
Price: 3.59

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beguiling, clever and brilliantly strange, 18 Jun 2014
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This is a beautiful and thoughtful collection of modern fairy-tales from the pen of a writer who's sure to be a future star. Variety is a key ingredient for a successful short story collection, and the style and tone vary from wistful to funny to erotic to frightening. Like other reviewers, I loved "Una And Coll Are Not Friends", but there are plenty of other beautiful highlights (I particularly recommend "Coin Operated Boys" and the title story, "The Rental Heart").

If you like fairy-tales as told by Walt Disney, this is probably not the collection for you. If you like fairy-tales and told by Angela Carter, get on and buy this right now.


The Reluctant Cannibals
The Reluctant Cannibals
by Ian Flitcroft
Edition: Paperback
Price: 4.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars All delicious and disturbing and just a little bit rotten, like a really good Stilton, 11 Oct 2013
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When an Oxford professor discovers he has a serious medical condition, the university's secret dining society have the chance to enjoy the gastronomic experience of a lifetime...

This book had me absolutely hooked from its opening chapter, which begins in appropriately gastro-horror style with the death of a senior Japanese diplomat after eating a dish of ineptly self-prepared fugu. From this attention-grabbing opening, we're taken into a beautifully shadowy world of rare wines, unusual foods, bizarre dining practices and moderately insane academics - all utterly focused on their stomachs.

The writing is elaborate and evocative, with foodie descriptions that are almost disturbingly luscious. The characters are definitely more stereotypes than well-rounded personalities, but that's absolutely right for the style of the book; an elaborate Porterhouse-ish satire on the insular world of Oxford colleges. I don't want to spoil a narrative that's heavily plot-driven so it's hard to say much more about this book other than that I loved it...but if you, like me, enjoy novels that are right on the borderline between black comedy and horror, this is a definite recommendation.


Dr Martens 3a63 Authentic Wedge Black - Womens 7 uk
Dr Martens 3a63 Authentic Wedge Black - Womens 7 uk
Offered by KBK Shoes
Price: 129.99

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars So gorgeous they were worth the initial discomfort, 11 Oct 2013
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Like all Doc Martens, these boots are beautifully made, sturdy and waterproof. The elastic insets at the top of the boot make them close-fitting but comfortable.

As lots of other reviewers have mentioned, they are initially quite tight over the top of the foot. I've bought DMs in many styles but never had this problem before, so it's definitely specific to this style and not just a symptom of my wider-than-average feet! However, I found this problem wore off within three or four wears as the boots stretch a little with wearing.

And now I have beautiful, tough, stylish and super-comfortable boots to stamp around in for the whole of the winter. Bring it on.


High Quality Uk Wall/Mains Charger For The New Apple Iphone 5, Ipod Touch 5, Ipod Nano 7, Ipad Mini-Latest Generation 2012 (WHITE)
High Quality Uk Wall/Mains Charger For The New Apple Iphone 5, Ipod Touch 5, Ipod Nano 7, Ipad Mini-Latest Generation 2012 (WHITE)

5.0 out of 5 stars Other reviews report quality issues, but FWIW mine has been fine, 7 Aug 2013
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I was quite hesitant about buying this charger as there are a number of reviews reporting problems with it. However, I then visited the Apple store and saw that the official Apple chargers also seem to have some quality issues!

So I ordered this budget option, and it's been absolutely fine. Arrived on time, works perfectly, no problems at all. From the other reviews there are clearly some duff ones, but mine definitely isn't one of them. Pleased I bought it. I guess I got lucky.


Sweet Home
Sweet Home
Price: 6.64

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sweet, beautiful, moving, 18 Dec 2012
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This review is from: Sweet Home (Kindle Edition)
"Sweet Home" was the winner of Salt Publishing's 2012 Scott Prize and it's easy to see why. The stories are beautiful, honest and moving meditations on the theme of family life - what it means to be a parent, what it means to be a child, what it feels like to love someone so much you'd die for them, and how it is to lose them.

Many of the stories Carys Bray shares with us are deceptively simple. A woman whose own baby was still-born takes care of her neighbour's baby. An expectant father struggles with obsessive-compulsive thoughts of the dangers that will await his baby once she's born. Two girls watch as an older woman's washing blows away into her hedge. A mother of a son with autism struggles to get her son to school. In language that's precise and accurate without ever being cold or clinical, the author lets us inside these small, intimate worlds and invites us to walk in her characters' shoes.

The collection also contains more fantastical tales - a personal favourite for me was "The Ice Baby", a fairy-tale about infertility and the price of overcoming it. There's also a sly little story about buying babies at the supermarket (surely a fantasy that every pregnant woman briefly entertains in the last month), and a disturbing modern take on Hansel and Gretel.

The stories are beautifully written and perfectly crafted, but that's not what stayed with me when I'd finished. What I loved about this collection was its warmth and its wisdom. It made me glad for the lovely family I have (as well as reminding me it's okay that sometimes we drive each other insane).

If you have any last-minute gifts to buy for any member of your family, this collection would be a wonderful choice.


Somewhere Else, or Even Here
Somewhere Else, or Even Here
by A.J. Ashworth
Edition: Paperback
Price: 8.27

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dark, beautiful, brilliant., 16 Dec 2011
"Somewhere Else, Or Even Here" was awarded the prestigious Scott Prize for short stories by Salt Publishing, and within the first page, you'll see why. This book had me hooked from the opening story, "Sometimes Gulls Kill Other Gulls", which recounts a chilling encounter between two children on a beach. From this brilliant opener, AJ Ashworth leads her readers through a whole series of perfectly-realised worlds, capturing brief but critical moments in the lives of her characters.

There's a lovely contrast between the lyricism of Ashworth's writing style, and the darkness and even tragedy that haunts a lot of the stories she tells. "The Rings of Saturn", where the narrator is slowly losing her husband to Alzheimer's disease, tells the story of slow decline and incremental loss with vividness and even beauty. One of the great delights of this collection is the realisation that these beguilingly lovely stories have actually drawn you into some of the darkest experiences of human existence - the death of children, the imprisonment of parents, the threat of murder.

Ashworth has the gift of sharing the inner worlds of her characters, compelling us to empathise with even the most unlikeable characters, from the angry hormonal teenage boy of "Bone Fire" to the nightmare train passenger of "Bananas". The characters will live in your head long after you've put the book down.


The Best British Poetry 2011
The Best British Poetry 2011
by Roddy Lumsden
Edition: Paperback
Price: 8.60

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A beautiful and accessible way in to the world of modern poetry, 28 Sep 2011
If you, like me, know very little about modern poetry, then you (like me) will love this book. It's a beautiful snapshot into the very best of the freshest, newest poets; a delicious selection from a wide world of poets, giving you the confidence to know where to go next if you want to know more.

One of the joys of anthologies is that you can just dive in whenever you have a spare moment, at whatever place happens to take your fancy. Using the "open-at-random" technique, I've found myself in downtown India, in muddy Norfolk fields, in dusty museums, in other people's kitchens and in other people's beds. The selection is wide and varied, from sparse and pared-down fragments to vast, dense narrative pieces. What they have in common, however, is quality. You'll quickly find your favourites (I'm deeply smitten with "The Retired Eunuch" and "Some Sayings about the Snake"), but none of them will disappoint you. Everything in this book is worth reading.

It's also a very approachable book. Being an anthology, it doesn't demand your sustained and monogamous attention for hours and hours on end. You can put it down and then pick it up again. It fits neatly into spare odds and ends of time.

Lastly, in these times of austerity, I think it's also worth pointing out how generous a selection your money buys you here. For less than 10, you can sample the work of seventy different poets. So go on! Do it! Dive in!


Proporta
Proporta

25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Also works for Mammoths, 20 Aug 2010
This review is from: Proporta (Electronics)
I have been successfully using this product to hide the world's large and growing population of Woolly Mammoths for the last thirty thousand years, and it has never once let me down.

Highly recommended.


The Magpie Trap
The Magpie Trap
by A. J. Kirby
Edition: Paperback
Price: 8.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A dark journey into the heart of the get-rich dream, 5 July 2010
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This review is from: The Magpie Trap (Paperback)
Three men, all involved in the security industry, are manipulated by a sinister and secretive figure into undertaking a high-tech heist on a printing works. Their prize - a printer which can produce legal tender for any country in the world - seems to represent everything they've ever dreamed of. But the group is gradually torn apart by the failings and insecurities of its members.

"The Magpie Trap" is a great piece of contemporary British Noir, set in the urban jungle of the partly-regenerated centre of Leeds. The "magpie trap" of the title refers both to an exceptionally nasty piece of gamekeeping, and the fatal attraction that society's shiny things have for the book's three central characters. As we watch the three flawed but likeable men losing everything they value in their quest for riches, we're drawn deeper into the hollowness at the heart of their dreams of success.

This could have been an incredibly bleak story, and its ending is certainly very dark, but there's also a lot of humour along the way - including some great cameos from hideous bosses, embarrassing parents and irritating clients. The dialogue is sharp and funny (think Shallow Grave andTrainspotting) and the sense of place is fantastic (if you know Leeds, you'll recognise it; if you don't, you'll feel as if you've been there). Like all good thrillers, it's driven by character rather than events. The downfall of the three thieves is inevitable not because of what they do, but because of who they are. The final revelation is highly satisfying, and wraps up a fast-paced story with a suitably high-concept thought that leaves the reader wondering whether they'd behave any differently.

An excellent and thought-provoking heist story that's well above the average.


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