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enthusiast (West Wales)

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The Highlights: The Best of Frank Keating
The Highlights: The Best of Frank Keating
by Frank Keating
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £14.39

5.0 out of 5 stars Happy memories of a great sports writer, 7 Aug 2014
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takes you back; pieces about a wide range of sporting events over a long period in that inimitable Keating style - why use one word when two will do!!?? I'm sure that there must be another collection or two lurking and hope that Matthew Engel is on the case - his editorial contributions were well judged.


Portrait Gallery
Portrait Gallery
by Edward Greenfield
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £13.59

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars a disappointment, 1 May 2014
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This review is from: Portrait Gallery (Hardcover)
I owe a great deal to Edward Greenfield for the development of my musical taste and my musical collection. I had hopes of this book but have been very disappointed. The literary style is pretty flat, the anecdotes mundane, and I'm afraid I was pretty bored by what came across as bit of a pot-boiler. I nearly gave it a two star rating but out of respect for Greenfield came up to a three.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Aug 6, 2014 9:25 AM BST


Verdi - The Great Operas
Verdi - The Great Operas
Price: £49.79

5.0 out of 5 stars what a bargain., 1 May 2014
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for the price this is great value with some splendid recordings of great artists from over the years. The sound is always pretty good and for listening in the car on long journeys - my frequent opportunity to listen to whole operas! - these are highly commendable. And if you are new to Verdi, or opera, these will be a great starting point. One or two annoying things eg the names of the artists are not given on the individual card sleeves but listed in the notes. But at this price who is complaining?!


Henri Matisse: A Second Life
Henri Matisse: A Second Life
Price: £2.99

1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Lacks vibrancy, 1 May 2014
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Sooke is a good communicator and I greatly enjoy his TV programmes. But this book is disappointing. If ever a book needed colour then this is it; the four greyscale photos inside the front cover may be all that can be afforded in a cheap production like this but they contributed nothing, and merely annoyed. But what an opportunity wasted to use the possibilities of the internet to complement the text - either a dedicated website or at the very least internet references to reproductions of the works discussed. So while I fully understand that this a short guide there was a serious lack of imagination on the part of Sooke and his editor in terms of access to appropriate illustration. If you are not familiar with Matisse's late work this will not inspire - an opportunity missed. I give it three stars, just.


Stephen Ward Was Innocent, OK: The Case for Overturning His Conviction
Stephen Ward Was Innocent, OK: The Case for Overturning His Conviction
Price: £5.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars At the dull and boring end of the spectrum, 6 Jan 2014
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Robertson certainly isn't writing a book for readers of the former News of the World but it really is rather dull and repetitious. Facts and arguments re-emerge repeatedly and the book has the sense of needing a good editor. Robertson presumably believes that his readers are not blessed with much of a memory in what is not a very long book. The case IS very odd and seems to have failed many of the tests of proper justice but I was close to yawning at times. Really can't give it more than OK I'm afraid.


Treasure Neverland: Real and Imaginary Pirates
Treasure Neverland: Real and Imaginary Pirates
by Neil Rennie
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £23.03

2 of 5 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Laboured prose style, 5 Dec 2013
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I quote from the first para:
'Piracy has been called by many names, but - by any name - it is basically and simply robbery at sea. Although, as such, it is probably as old as seafaring, its so-called 'golden age', the period of its flourishing - distantly, invisibly, at sea in ships, and also legibly, saleably, on land in print - is the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries.'

If this is the prose style for you, you may enjoy the book; but I'm afraid I became dragged down by its laboured pomposity. Swashbuckling it certainly isn't. And phrases like: 'we should attempt to observe him in the clearest transparency possible' really don't lift the spirits. It needed an editorial axe - OUP didn't wield it - or was it even worse originally?

A shame because there is something here of value but I can't commend it as a good read. Having struggled through to the end, I'm afraid I have to go down to one star. This really is a dog of a book despite getting a decent review in the Guardian.


Der Ring des Nibelungen / The Ring of the Nibelungen (The Rhinegold, The Valkyrie, Siegfried, Twilight of the Gods)
Der Ring des Nibelungen / The Ring of the Nibelungen (The Rhinegold, The Valkyrie, Siegfried, Twilight of the Gods)
Offered by Music-Shop
Price: £17.84

11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars what a bargain, 4 Jun 2013
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for the price this is a quite remarkable bargain. I must confess the singers are unknown to me but they carry the show, as do the orchestral musicians. So far I have listened to the recordings in my car on long journeys, where my critical faculties are no doubt dulled a little. But if you want to start listening to Wagner what a great starting point. The notes are limited but at this price you can buy a guide to supplement.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jan 28, 2014 10:35 PM GMT


The Garden in the Clouds
The Garden in the Clouds
by Antony Woodward
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £16.70

5.0 out of 5 stars not rib tickling but a delightful read, 17 Jan 2013
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One blurb describes the book as rib tickling - it isn't or the critic needs to get out more. But in fact it is a delightful read - anyone who has ever had a wild idea and tried to make it work will identify with the author who manges to pull together a complex tapestry of famil, place and people with great skill. Great literature it isn't but a good read it is. Just right for a cold winter's evening; and not just for 'gardening enthusiasts' which after all is the main point of the book.


Poet At The Piano
Poet At The Piano
Price: £13.29

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Proof Reading?, 25 Dec 2012
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This review is from: Poet At The Piano (Audio CD)
A splendid collection of fine playing by Kempff; my nine year old granddaughter has been blown over by the playing. Being nine she reads the labels carefully and points out that sleeve Six says Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart on front and back but is actually Beethoven's Fifth Concerto and the Appassionata! The very limited sleeve notes are actually correct.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Apr 19, 2013 8:29 PM BST


The Book of Barely Imagined Beings: A 21st Century Bestiary
The Book of Barely Imagined Beings: A 21st Century Bestiary
by Caspar Henderson
Edition: Hardcover

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wow, 20 Dec 2012
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My grandson aged four is mad keen on the Octonauts - so was delighted to see that this book included octopus, puffer fish and whale amongst many others. The conceit is such a clever one, leading from particular creatures in all directions; it is laid out beautifully and is a joy to read whether section by section or over a longer stretch. It has that nice old-fashioned sense of being a book to handle and treasure over the years. Friederike Huber, the text designer, deserves great credit too, as does Michael Salu, the designer. Certainly the most interesting and best produced book I have read this year. And at £11.25 for over 400 pages it must be a bargain too! The website [...].com will give you a good idea of the book and contains additional material to add to the package.


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