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S. Smith "satsuma_spatula" (UK)
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Total Recall
Total Recall
by Arnold Schwarzenegger
Edition: Paperback
Price: £3.85

4.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating, inspiring, flawed, like the man himself, 18 Mar. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Total Recall (Paperback)
From such humble beginnings, and with a lot of help along the way, it is amazing to see what one man can achieve. This book explains how Arnie managed to become the greatest body-builder of all time, a box-office topping mega-star and Governor of one of the largest economies in the world. Along the way he helped to elevate body-building to the world stage and changed the face of Hollywood action films, perhaps forever.

It is an incredible story, written in a down-to-earth style and containing numerous inspiring stories and philosophies. Arnold is clearly a hugely intelligent person and it is amazing to see just how clever his approach has been towards all of the goals in his life. This could almost be a self help book, with a simple philosophy behind it: work hard (put in the reps), surround yourself with experts, always be prepared to learn and be a person that others want to be around.

The autobiography itself starts with a brief intro his childhood but gets into the swing of things when we get to his body-building days. This is by far the best part of the book, you really get a sense of the excitement that he had during those early days, his boundless energy and his openness to meeting new people and taking on new opportunities. It is beyond inspiring, when you read those chapters it makes you want to leap up and start building something. As the book goes on though, and moves into the movie phase of his career, it becomes more diffuse, and it becomes apparent that the latter part of the book is tackling events that are perhaps too recent in history to allow Arnold to give the full story. Or perhaps it is the case that they involve people who may still be useful to Arnold and he doesn't want to annoy them!

At the very end, it becomes increasing clear that this book, just like other parts of Arnold's life, is being carefully managed to dodge the issues that he doesn't want to talk about (steroid abuse and womanising have but fleeting mentions in these pages). That is of course fine, it is his autobiography as all, but don't come into this book expecting a warts and all tale. This is a heavily edited life story, written by someone who doubtlessly still has major life goals to achieve and an agenda to push. The body building section covers a period in his life that is perhaps far enough away that he can talk about people who are long gone, be more candid, and blame the younger, more silly Arnold, but the later we get into his life the more careful the autobiography becomes. The political section reads as a run-down of every measure passed, with credit given to every single person who helped and as a result the last 1/8 of the book becomes very dull very quickly. I understand that Arnold is probably talking about people who still have a large bearing on his current life and future aims, but it doesn't make for a good read. Similarly his affairs and the situation with his secret son are mentioned, but they are written so delicately, as if the whole section is written with the knowledge that his ex-wife may be reading. Again this is totally understandable as Arnold clearly wanted to get back together with her at the time of the book being written, however just be aware that the further you get into this book, the less it is an autobiography and the more it becomes a tool for Arnold.

All of this said though, these are issues which blight any auto-biography and the first half of the book more than makes up for the eventual descent into self-service. The important thing here is whether it is any good as a whole and whether it is worth a read. To both of those questions I can give an emphatic yes, the first half of this book is perhaps the most engaging and inspiring autobiography I have ever read and the second half is entertaining enough!


Audio Dynamix Atom V2 - Rechargeable Bluetooth V4.0 Stereo Speaker with free Carry Case. 20hrs playtime and 40 metre BT range- Silver
Audio Dynamix Atom V2 - Rechargeable Bluetooth V4.0 Stereo Speaker with free Carry Case. 20hrs playtime and 40 metre BT range- Silver
Offered by Audio Dynamix Ltd
Price: £89.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Great sound, couple of minor niggles, 2 Jan. 2015
Pros
- Great, balanced sound
- Surprisingly good bass (though only at higher volumes)
- Long battery life
- Easy to connect to devices via Bluetooth, just one button and it's done
- Aux in port and charging via USB are very handy

Cons
- Annoying full volume tones when turning the device on and off
- Surprisingly bright blinking light makes it annoying to use in dark rooms!
- Fiddly on-device controls for skipping tracks or adjusting volume

First off, and most importantly, this speaker sounds great. It has really balanced sound and surprisingly good bass, it seems to kick out more bass at higher volumes, but it definitely isn't lacking at lower volumes.

The unit is well made and feels very sturdy, it comes with a handy leather carrying strap and case, both are of good quality and feel like they are going to last. The addition of an aux in port means you can plug your phone, tablet, laptop etc. in and boost their sound. The device charges via micro USB, which means you can use your phone charger to charge it, or plug it into a laptop to use its power.

The battery life is really good, I am a light user but my first charge lasted me for three months!

The only negatives for me involve the electronics, whenever you switch the device on or off you are treated to 4 bloops at full volume, and while the device is on a bright blue light constantly blinks at you. Both of these features are niggles, but as someone who likes to listen to music to get to sleep, these two issues annoy me to the extent that I use a different device at night!

All in all though, this is the best portable speaker I have ever owned, by some margin.


Ayoade on Ayoade
Ayoade on Ayoade
by Richard Ayoade
Edition: Paperback

24 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The most important thing, is to stay hydrated, 30 Oct. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Ayoade on Ayoade (Paperback)
I am a massive fan of Ayoade's TV work, particularly the character Dean Learner from Garth Marenghi's Darkplace and Man to Man with Dean Learner. I knew that when I picked this book up I would be getting an odd take on an autobiography and I wasn't disappointed, I was in stitches just reading Ayoade's legal disclaimers, before the book even began in earnest.

To describe this book as an autobiography is completely false, in fact the book doesn't claim to be an autobiography, the best way I can think of describing it is as an attempt by Ayoade to use a fictionalised version of himself to dissect and understand a more extreme fictional version of himself via a series of interviews and "found articles".

The result is a book that has you leaping from the page, to the footnotes, to the appendices and back as the Ayoade interviews, himself, corrects himself and points you towards evidence that completely contradicts and invalidates himself. It explains almost nothing about his real TV work, or directing roles and instead focuses in on his process for creating art.

SPOILER ALERT: The key elements of the artistic process are: staying hydrated (preferably using isotonic sports drinks), frequent crying and never, ever doing re-writes.

Via exciting chase scenes where Ayoade pursues Ayoade through crowded streets and thankfully short sex scenes where Ayoade makes love to Ayoade in secluded woodlands you will manage to learn almost nothing about the real Ayoade, yet you will be laughing the whole time, so it won't matter...


Networked
Networked
by LK Chapman
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great read, entertaining and thought provoking, 30 Oct. 2014
This review is from: Networked (Paperback)
I have always been quite specific in the kind of sci-fi book I like to read. For me good sci-fi stories are not about detailed, imaginative visions of the future or fancy technology, but are instead about taking an interesting concept and using that to test and examine interesting characters. This allows us as readers to test out what our own reactions would be to new situations... what would we do in this strange, previously unimaginable, scenario? What would be right, what would be wrong?

Given how broad the sci-fi category is, it can be really hard to find this so I am always really pleased when I find a book like Networked! It is (mostly) set in the present day, with the only sci-fi element really being the titular concept of the Network, an idea which allows us to really get involved with and understand the three main characters of this book.

I don't want to give too much away as the story unfold quite beautifully, all I will say is that what starts off as quite a mundane and grounded scenario (game developers making a game) quickly expands to a place where the author explores concepts such as trust, openness, depression, and ultimately how connected do we want to be with our friends and with the world. It makes for a great, immersive read, so I can't recommend it enough to fans of the more thoughtful brand of sci-fi.


Logitech M175 Wireless Mouse
Logitech M175 Wireless Mouse
Price: £9.99

28 of 30 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars This is a small mouse!, 15 Feb. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I don't think this is mentioned anywhere in the product description, but having just received it, it is a small mouse, not normal sized! This is neither a good nor a bad thing, but just so you know.

Other than that the mouse is good for the job, setting it up was as easy as putting the receiver into a USB slot and turning the mouse on, worked instantly.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: May 11, 2014 10:38 PM BST


Tiger Adjustable Double Braced X Frame Keyboard Stand
Tiger Adjustable Double Braced X Frame Keyboard Stand
Price: £21.98

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Really sturdy and a great locking mechanism, 9 Dec. 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
For the price this is a good solid stand, though at this point I must admit that I don't actually use this as a keyboard stand, I place a piece of wood on top and put my live set up on top of this... However since I know a number of musicians will be using this stand for things other than purely keyboard holding I think it's important to know that the rubber pads on this stand seem to grip anything that you care to place on top of it securely enough for you to play confidently!

The locking mechanism isn't really explained on this page and I was a little concerned that it would be tricky or fiddly, however it is not. To unlock the stand you simply pull a lever, set the keyboard to your height and push the lever back down, the system basically uses a set of interlocking teeth which allows you many more possible height options than the pin and hole systems that are common on other stands. Once locked down the stand is sturdy and does not feel as it is going to collapse (it has never collapsed on me)


Alpine MusicSafe Pro Filter Ear Plugs for Musicians - White
Alpine MusicSafe Pro Filter Ear Plugs for Musicians - White
Price: £17.00

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great for live music, watching and playing, 9 Dec. 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I have owned a pair of these earplugs for about 3 years now (so they definitely last assuming you don't lose them!) but more importantly these do a great job at cutting down sound levels without removing your enjoyment of live music. I probably bought these a bit too late, as a reaction to the tinitis that I was starting to develop from playing live music, but can say that since I have used these my tinitis has not worsened and I do not have any extra ringing in the ears the day after a gig! Also, these earplugs mean that when I'm playing I can talk to my other bandmates much easier if needed, sound remains really clear which you don't get with cheapy foam blockers. Caring for the plugs is easy, they come in a very handy travel case to keep them hygienic and cleaning just involves putting them under a hot tap...


This Book Is Full Of Spiders: Seriously Dude Dont Touch It
This Book Is Full Of Spiders: Seriously Dude Dont Touch It
by David Wong
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.99

11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Better than the first, 18 Nov. 2012
I rank John Dies at the End (JDATE) as one of my favourite books, but it has flaws. Due to the way that it was written, in parts over time, the story becomes a bit too random and piecemeal. It's as if the author didn't have an end point and was having to stick together interesting story ideas while somehow finding a driving narrative between them.

This second book solves this issue and offers a fully fleshed out, coherent story from start to finish while maintaining the humour that made JDATE such an enjoyable read. On the humour front I have to say that this book isn't quite as funny as JDATE and there are long periods of the book where humour isn't used but this is actually part of some excellent pacing and made the book scarier. Breathless horror sequences and chases are broken up by ridiculous encounters and well placed humour which keeps you turning page after page.

All-in-all an excellent read!

A couple of notes:
If you are new to this series I would recommend reading JDATE first as it is great, but it is not essential. You can read this book as a stand alone and you will not be lost.
My version of the book (paperback version) had a printing error on page 397 where a couple of pages were out of sequence, I am not marking down for this as it may have just been my copy and it didn't affect my enjoyment of the story, but just so you know!


Legend of the Black Shawarma
Legend of the Black Shawarma
Offered by MUSIC4SURE
Price: £17.00

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The sound from Vicious Delicious expanded and hardened, 22 Sept. 2009
This album is stunning, it follows on from the sounds created in the Vicious Delicious album, adding layers (Vicious Delicious was surprising simple for an Infected Mushroom release) and a rockier edge. This really is an expansion on the previous release and if you like Vicious Delicious you will love this album! If you preferred the more intricate/psychedelic and non-vocal releases I'm afraid it's back to BP Empire for you!


gitaroo-man
gitaroo-man

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is actually the soundtrack, 31 Jan. 2009
This review is from: gitaroo-man (Audio CD)
I thought that I'd comment on here to clear this situation up!
This is actually the soundtrack to the game, it has the 14 tracks from the game plus 4 bonus acoustic versions... the previous reviewer must be mistaken and is in fact referring to this item Gitaroo-Man which is the spoken word version!

The Track Listing Is As Follows

Soft Machine
Boogie For An Afternoon
Twisted Reality
Flyin' To Your Heart
'Bee' Jam Blues
Void
Nuff Respect Featuring "Nahki"
The Legendary Theme (Acoustic Version)
Born To Be Bone
Tainted Lovers
Overpass
The Legendary Theme (Album Version)
Resurrection
21st Century Boy
Twisted Reality (Ropeland Mix)
The Legendary Theme (Acoustic Version~Ropeland Mix)
The Legendary Theme (Album Version~Ropeland Mix)
Resurrection (Ropeland Mix)
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