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D. M. Purkiss "Diane" (Oxford, England)
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The Fault in Our Stars
The Fault in Our Stars
Price: £3.49

3.0 out of 5 stars Grit in the eye, 8 July 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Ok, I know I'm in an old-age minority, but while I did finish this, I did so without enthusiasm. Hazel and Gus failed to overcome my built-in allergy to teens with cancer stories. I did not shed a tear or even mist up.

It wasn't so much their super-cool way of talking as the utter, grim banality of what they said. “Maybe 'okay' will be our 'always” “The weird thing about houses is that they almost always look like nothing is happening inside of them, even though they contain most of our lives. I wondered if that was sort of the point of architecture.” “Pain is like fabric: The stronger it is, the more it’s worth.”

If you like the sound of this voice, do read on. For me, it was like sand in my eye. The character and the author were trying too hard to impress me. Green wants to be David Foster Wallace, but comes across more like those boys at the back of the bus who keep staging little scuffles to impress the girls.

The end came when the Anne Frank House entered the story. So Gary and Mary Sue Abroad was it by then that the crowds actually cheered them as they made out. I ask you.. is this likely? If you say yes, of course, then you are in fact exactly the kind of dripping wet sentimentalist the kids in this book pretend to despise. If you say no, read Infinite Jest instead.


Friends (1971) Lewis Gilbert, Sean Bury, Anicee Alvina DVD
Friends (1971) Lewis Gilbert, Sean Bury, Anicee Alvina DVD
Dvd ~ Lewis Gilbert
Offered by Scorpion DVDs
Price: £8.99

5.0 out of 5 stars The past, 26 Feb 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Interesting.. I saw this when I was 14, and it made a profound impression on me. It was liberating, in the best sense. The opening is very dated, but once we are in the Camargue it's less so, more timeless, and very charming, frank, and truthful.

The reason this film wouldn't be made now is that it shows sex between minors, one of them only 14 (and a alf, as she keeps saying). Presumably this also explains the lack of a DVD release outside the Far East. This is of course honest, and realistic, but god help the producer who tried to show this now.


Tales of the German Imagination from the Brothers Grimm to Ingeborg Bachmann (Penguin Classics)
Tales of the German Imagination from the Brothers Grimm to Ingeborg Bachmann (Penguin Classics)
Price: £3.99

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant collection, 11 May 2013
I enjoyed every one of these stories. Sometimes macabre and even disturbing, and sometimes bursting with inventiveness, they were all richly rewarding, though for me the standouts were Kafka's harrowing - literally - In the Penal Colony, and Ingeborg Bachmann's astonishing fairytale, both of them elegantly translated. warmly recommended, especially for people who don't know German fiction writers well; this should introduce many wonderful writers to new audiences.


Argo (DVD + UV Copy) [2013]
Argo (DVD + UV Copy) [2013]
Dvd ~ Ben Affleck
Price: £5.00

8 of 17 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Not even a good thriller, 13 Mar 2013
This review is from: Argo (DVD + UV Copy) [2013] (DVD)
Many reviewers have noted the historical blunders and the phony nationalist tubthumping, so I want to take up the subject of the movie as a movie.

Faux-seriousness was lent it by the historical footage with which it was prefaced.

When the action proper began, it was utterly conventional. There was no suspense in the last third, because it was so clearly glossy that one just knew old Ben would get everyone out.

Characterisation was sketchy and also utterly conventional. Affleck strode around looking lantern-jawed. The hostages wept or were a pain, respectively, depending on gender.

It must have given some Academy viewers a huge patriotic buzz, because in all other ways it was dismal - timid, self-important, and dull. I was very disappointed. However, if you haven't seen Victory at Entebbe or any of the Die Hard franchise, it might strike you as novel (in which case you are less than 10 years old).

I'm snarky because I wish I'd binned my bucks instead.


No Title Available

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars They looked lovely - for a week, 5 Dec 2012
They looked lovely and felt warm - and then they got stained by mud - hey, it's England, and it rains - and it was impossible to rub or brush off the stains.

I contacted the manufacturer, and was told it wasn't advisable to wash them... beyond that, no suggestions were made. In the end, I did wash them, gently, and in warm water, and now they are very very stiff. Perhaps that's why the leather has cracked in three places, just two months from purchase.

Another minus is the sizing. I'm a woman, and quite small, and I had to choose the men's size because the ladies was much too tight. The palms are very narrow.

On the plus side, they ARE tough - I can pull on a bramble while wearing them and not feel a single thorn.


WMF Profi Plus Silicone Balloon Whisk
WMF Profi Plus Silicone Balloon Whisk
Price: £13.00

3.0 out of 5 stars TINY, 2 Nov 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
It isn't specified in the description, or not very prominently, but this product is really small, too small for making sauces.


Fifty Shades of Grey
Fifty Shades of Grey
Price: £3.32

12 of 16 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars You can still get the fanfic free, 23 April 2012
The fanfic on which this is based - which has been shown to be 85% the same as the book by being run through Turnitin, with most of the 15% being namechanges - Ana is Bella, Christian is Edward - for FREE by googling for snowqueens icedragon Master of the Universe. It's been taken down from the big fansites, but it's still around - and you can download it free to iBooks. Probably a good way to see if you can live with the prose style. I couldn't. Save your money and buy a latte I needed a G and T.

So... we obviously need publishers to act as gatekeepers to protect us from amateur stuff out there for free, and... Oh. Oh, I see.

Also check out the parody, 51 shades.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Apr 23, 2012 5:15 PM BST


Rules of Civility
Rules of Civility
by Amor Towles
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £12.11

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Charmed by details, 25 Feb 2012
This review is from: Rules of Civility (Hardcover)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I just loved the mise-en-scene - Manhattan, in the last years of the 1930s - and it's so full of charms and delights on the way to the plot that I wanted to throw up my hands and cry 'what plot?' I think this book is adorable, perfect holiday fare, and this also means taking time off from the urge to gripe about the lack of realism and poltical correctness. Manhattan here is the Manhattan of movies, not the real place - but who cares? When isn't it? Why shouldn't it be? The book's bittersweet taste is that of an old Warner Brothers movie. If you loved - say - Stage Door, you are already enrolled in the book's fan club. Enjoy, and perhaps skip the epilogue - but that might merely be me - I don't like prologues or afterwords either.


The Wave: In Pursuit of the Oceans' Greatest Furies
The Wave: In Pursuit of the Oceans' Greatest Furies
by Susan Casey
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.79

4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent stories, frightening themes, 5 Aug 2011
This is a beautiful piece of writing; the interweaving of global catastrophe and the surfers' pursuit of the ultimate ride (with the ultimate price) make for an intriguing mix. Individual stories are told with flair and brio - some of them comic and others terrifying. The only limitation is that there was a little too much Big Wave Riding; it got a tad repetitious for me, but others might have an appetite for this. It's hard to say whether the surfers or the theme of worsening waves were more terrifying.


Jonas Kaufmann: Puccini's Tosca [DVD] [2011]
Jonas Kaufmann: Puccini's Tosca [DVD] [2011]
Dvd ~ Jonas Kaufmann
Price: £15.55

17 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Kaufmann and Magee, 3 Aug 2011
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This is a remarkable treat, and worth it, especially if you like me couldn't get tickets for the ROH's latest Tosca with the star cast Kaufmann's performance finds new depths in Cavaradossi, who can seem brainless if sung less intelligently. He's vocally at the absolute top of his game, and I've never heard the big numbers managed better, but what also stands out is his subtle acting. It's clear that he doesn't think torture will bother him, but that's he's utterly broken by it; it's clear that he doesn't believe Tosca about the sham execution. I'm beginning to think that Kaufmann is not only a star for now, but one of those singers we'll all remember hearing for generations, like Caruso or Hans Hotter. He may not only be the best tenor of now, but one of the best of all time. Emily Magee is great as well, a refulgent stage presence, and vocally completely secure. Nothing wrong with Scarpia, but for once the opera doesn't belong to him. The staging is annoying, but not extremely so, and the fine detail of the direction is excellent. Warmly recommended.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Sep 25, 2012 3:14 PM BST


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