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Peter Holdsworth (France)

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Land of My Neighbours
Land of My Neighbours
by Barry Pilton
Edition: Paperback

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Modern Milk Wood, 21 Oct. 2010
This review is from: Land of My Neighbours (Paperback)
Contradictory though it may sound on the one hand I found this a very original novel and on the other it reminded me strongly of Dylan Thomas' `Under Milk Wood' with overtones of an early Tom Sharpe novel. In turns comic and tragic, it was nevertheless an evocative picture of parts of Wales that have tried to avoid some of the worst incursions of modern life. The narrative presents some very identifiable villains and unsung heroes as well as all those in between. It accurately identifies some of the weaknesses of modern day `causes' as well as their strengths. Although I found the story gripping, this book is worth reading just for the cleverness of the writing, the poetry and rhyming language, and for me, the sheer enjoyment that it gave in reminding me of a Welsh countryside that I knew many years ago.

Notwithstanding: Stories from an English Village
Notwithstanding: Stories from an English Village
by Louis de Bernieres
Edition: Hardcover

65 of 66 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Notwithstanding an excellent book, 30 Oct. 2009
This is the first book by Louis de Bernieres that I have read since Captain Corelli's Mandolin, and I thought that that was so good that he would not be able to write another book as fine. This is a completely different sort of book but it is outstanding, beautifully written with sympathy, sensitivity and humour. Although it is about an English village, it is more than just that weaving together English village life with laugh out loud comedy, great sadness, wonderful characters, magic, and all sorts of other elements that go to making up the goodness and badness of life. I had not intended to read the book immediately, but I casually picked it up read the first few sentences of the first story and was hooked. Louis de Bernieres reveals great knowledge and acute observation on village life, on everything from gardening clubs to fishing. Through the whole book larger philosophical issues run. Excellent!
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Oct 13, 2012 9:33 PM BST

The Pleasures and Sorrows of Work
The Pleasures and Sorrows of Work
by Alain de Botton
Edition: Hardcover

5.0 out of 5 stars Work put in perspective., 8 May 2009
As always with books by Alain de Botton, this book was extremely readable (in fact, it is not such a long book as it might look, because there are a lot of photographs, and he does describe the book as a photographic essay). It is full of interesting insights into work, and how important and unimportant it is in our lives. Very relevant for those of us who don't earn zillions of dollars and who want to find justification, pleasure, and status in work beyond the need to bring in an income.

One extremely small tick which is that the author describes a visit to an airfield for derelict planes as spontaneous, a result of his own ineptitude, so it must have been quite a coincidence that he had the photographer along with him.

Nevertheless, an excellent book.

Squeezebox Wireless Network Music Player - All Black
Squeezebox Wireless Network Music Player - All Black

4 of 40 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Idea good, but poor service and support, 28 Jan. 2008
I am surprised that the squeezebox has received such good reviews, if one looks at it in a more holistic context. I have found the service and support for the item to be appalling with a complete lack of knowledge about the Squeezbox from those who tried to sell it to me, despite the fact that I took the precaution of looking at the Amazon reviews.

Because I was concerned that my network connections might have an effect on the operation of the Squeezebox I was careful to check as to whether the system would be compatible. I was assured that it would be and that I should have no fears. When I got back home I found that it would not connect to the broadband system that I use and nothing in the troubleshooting guide gave any indication as to why not, but then I find that the troubleshooting guides never seem to have the answers that one is looking for and the same with the web site 'frequently' asked questions. I have come to the conclusion that they are only 'frequently' asked because answers are never provided. Despite being promised a response within 24 hours, to date I have received nothing, and I suspect that when and if I do get a response it will be totally irrelevant.

Having said all that, the only reason why I felt that I could award one star was because the concept was good - but then what is the good of a good concept if you cannot put it into practice?

Some of these firms should face up to their responsibilities a bit more and provide a much more user friendly service system. I am now saddled with a useless item that I cannot get my money back for and which doesn't work!!
Comment Comments (7) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Mar 28, 2008 11:34 PM GMT

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