Shop now Shop now Shop now  Up to 70% Off Fashion  Shop all Amazon Fashion Cloud Drive Photos Shop now Learn More Shop now Shop now Shop Fire Shop Kindle Shop now Shop now
Profile for Jane Aland > Reviews

Personal Profile

Content by Jane Aland
Top Reviewer Ranking: 2,846
Helpful Votes: 3511

Learn more about Your Profile.

Reviews Written by
Jane Aland (England)
(VINE VOICE)   

Show:  
Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11-20
pixel
Leifheit Tower 300 Clothes Airer, 30 m - Large
Leifheit Tower 300 Clothes Airer, 30 m - Large
Price: £42.53

3.0 out of 5 stars Reasonable product, terrible instructions, 22 Dec. 2012
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I'm in two minds about this clothes airer: once assembled it's a good size, 6 foot tall and with three wide shelves, and made of fairly sturdy plastic. It has a couple of clip on hangers for socks, has wheels and folds down flat: in short, it does the job.
However, the self assembly itself is a bit of a pain. Not only are the assembly instructions confusing, at one point they are flat out wrong (note how in the instruction pictures the upper two shelves magically reverse back to front in the final picture). The result is that having taken time to follow the instructions I was left with two shelves that folded down in the wrong direction, and had to take the thing to pieces and re-assemble in order to get it to close down flat. Totally assembly time was about 50 minutes, and you will need a medium size philips head screwdriver.
If you have the patience to persevere, this is a reasonable product, but at the current listed price of £58 I would also say this is very overpriced.


Auschwitz: A Doctor's Eyewitness Account (Penguin Modern Classics)
Auschwitz: A Doctor's Eyewitness Account (Penguin Modern Classics)
by Miklos Nyiszli
Edition: Paperback
Price: £9.48

4.0 out of 5 stars Auschwitz: A Doctor's Eyewitness Account, 19 Dec. 2012
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Rather than any fuller autobiographical account of the author and his family, this account focuses almost entirely on Miklos Nyiszli's time in Auschwitz, where his skills as a forensic doctor see him assigned to work performing autopsies as an assistant to infamous Nazi Dr Joseph Mengele. The sense of horror summed up in the narrative comes across not so much in the specific details of Nyiszli's medical work, but in the constant surrounding atmosphere of death. Mass murder is a constant, in every brief chapter, with Nyiszli's dissection room situated in one of the crematoria where countless thousands of bodies are disposed of. The oppressive spectre of death hangs over all: the Sonderkommandos who Nyiszli works alongside are Jews who have momentarilly escaped the fate of death by assisting in the extermination of their fellows, but fully aware that every four months they are themselves killed and replaced. Surrounded by death, Nyiszli's survival owes a lot to chance.

Inevitably this is a bleak and harrowing read, but it is also an important one. Nyiszli begins the narrative by insisting on his credentials as a doctor, and not a writer, yet despite this his prose is assured and effective. By no means a pleasant read, but a recommended one.


The Secret of Crickley Hall (BBC Audio)
The Secret of Crickley Hall (BBC Audio)

4.0 out of 5 stars The Secret of Crickley Hall, 9 Dec. 2012
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Complete unabridged audiobook of this James Herbert horror novel, on a whopping 14 CD set (total running time 18 hours). To begin with, the story itself seems a very predictable haunted house story: a creepy old house, strange noises in the night, a family who refuse to believe in hauntings, the dog who is terrified by something unseen, local yokels with thick West Country accents offering obscure hints of doom about the old house - at one point even the characters comment on the genre cliches as they pile up. It soon becomes clear however, that Herbert is trying to write the definitive haunted house story, and once he gets the necessary cliches out of the way this becomes an engrossing experience. One additional thread that keeps the reader engaged is the lingering uncertainty over the fate of the family's missing child, and though this story ultimately doesn't quite tie up to the main narrative as closely as one might like, it's a great continuing hook. More impressive is when Herbert starts to delve into the history of the house, and the reasons for the hauntings, and it's in these segments (which increasingly begin to dominate the novel as it progresses) that the novel really comes alive. David Rintoul's reading is a little melodramatic at times for my taste, but all in all this is a good solid ghost story.


A Christmas Carol
A Christmas Carol
by Charles Dickens
Edition: Audio CD

4.0 out of 5 stars A Christmas Carol, 21 Oct. 2012
This review is from: A Christmas Carol (Audio CD)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
One of the most well known and most adapted works of fiction, the main selling point of this latest audio version of 'A Christmas Carol' is undoubtedly Tom Baker, who not only gets his name in larger letters than Charles Dickens but a charming cover illustration to boot. The one-time Time Lord throws himself into the production, not merely reading the story but performing the various characters with great gusto, particularly in the latter stages on the tale. Again, for most people this will be a very familiar narrative - but the combination of Dicken's wonderfully rich prose and Baker's rich, fruity voice make this a winner.


Tomorrow in the Battle Think on Me (Penguin Modern Classics)
Tomorrow in the Battle Think on Me (Penguin Modern Classics)
by Javier Marías
Edition: Paperback
Price: £9.99

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not easy, but worth the effort., 21 Oct. 2012
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Very much a 'literary' novel, in that it is concerned primarily with style over a fairly minimalistic plot, and one's appreciation of the novel is going to depend entirely on how one feels about the author's distinctive prose style. It's certainly unique (to me, at least). Marias hates full stops: the novel consists almost entirely of extremely over-extended sentences that any other sane author would break into three or four. His use of paragraphs is similarly hesitant - a single paragraph can stretch over three or more pages, meaning that one can open the book to be confronted by a double page spread entirely devoid of indentations, just a solid block of text. His style is also long-winded, every action is examined in minute detail, with the characters every inner thought noted in a stream-of-consciousness style. Often, his sentences can suddenly change direction halfway through and, with a 'perhaps' or 'maybe', suddenly offer a completely different point of view, leaving the reader with no single clear statement, but a collection of two or more alternatives to ponder. Reading this novel is a bit like trying to navigate through a fog, or being regaled by a very long-winded drunk. Several times during reading I had the urge to grasp the author by his lapels and shout at him to 'just get on with it!'

However (and it's a big 'however'), if you can mentally adjust yourself to the author's unique style, the quality of the writing does gradually shine through. Marias uses repeated ideas, phrases, sentences and chunks of text, gradually building up to an almost hypnotic effect on the reader, highlighting the power of storytelling, the masks and lies that we tell each other, and the lingering hold of the dead. The climax, in which he neatly mirrors the experiences of the narrator with the windowed husband of the dead wife is also pulled off with aplomb.

This certainly isn't a book for everyone, but if you can put the effort in required of a 'diffult' book, then you should find yourself rewarded.


Doctor Who: The Nu-Humans
Doctor Who: The Nu-Humans
by Cavan Scott
Edition: Audio CD
Price: £10.20

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The Nu-Humans, 25 July 2012
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This latest BBC audiobook finds the 11th Doctor, Amy and Rory investigating murder, madness and conspiracy amongst a group of genetically re-engineered human colonists. It's a fairly straightforward, simple adventure, but perfectly paced for the single disc audiobook format, and it manages to avoid many of the more obvious cliches. A few plot points may not stand up to heavy scrutiny (such as the likelihood of a far-future society who seemingly cannot extract DNA without potentially fatal invasive surgery), but on the whole this is a decent runaround that gives each of the regulars a chance to shine. Reader Raquel Cassidy also does a spot-on impersonation of Amy Pond as well, which adds to the fun. (3.5 out of 5.)
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jul 26, 2012 8:48 PM BST


Doctor Who: Dark Horizons HC
Doctor Who: Dark Horizons HC
by J. T. Colgan
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £12.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Dark Horizons, 25 Jun. 2012
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This latest in a new ongoing series of books by established authors has the 11th Doctor (travelling without companions this time) trying to unite the naturally at odds parties of Vikings and Scottish islanders against a common foe - a deadly alien threat that manifests itself as an unstoppable fire. Whilst still obviously written with young readers in mind, J T Colgan uses the additional length of the format to craft a number of well-rounded supporting characters who breath life into the novel, with an obvious but well-portrayed romance between Princess Freydis (unhappily betrothed to a foreign King as part of an arranged marriage) and her one-time guard Henrik taking centre stage. In many ways this novel unfolds exacly as could be expected from modern Doctor Who, reading like a slick but perhaps slightly anonymous professional tie-in, though occasionally Colgan breaks away and startles with some nice turns of prose, particularly when she gets carried away in rambling flights of second person narrative (one of which amusingly even manages to squeeze in a cameo from the 4th Doctor, Leela and K-9). An extended mid-book sequence set beneath the sea also offers up some excellent imagery and drama. Enjoyable stuff.


Torchwood: Mr Invincible (BBC Audio)
Torchwood: Mr Invincible (BBC Audio)
by Mark Morris
Edition: Audio CD
Price: £13.25

4.0 out of 5 stars Mr Invincible, 25 Jun. 2012
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
The title of this latest Torchwood audiobook refers not to immortal Captain Jack (oddly depected on the cover weilding a huge gun which appears nowhere in the story), but local Cardiff resident Ross Chapman, who turns himself into a 'Kick Ass' style vigilante superhero after developing superpowers. Add some unstable time whirlpools and a premonition of Gwen's death into the mix, and it's up to Captain Jack and Sgt Andy Davidson to team up and save the day. For the most part this is inruiging stuff - despite the inevitable ultimate alien explanation for all the strange goings on, there is a refreshing lack of any outright villains, and the action is varied enough to keep things entertaining. It's not quite perfect: some of the material (such as the premonitions involving Gwen) seem rather pointlessly bolted onto the main narrative, and the threat itself is resolved (or rather turned off) in a rather underwhelming manner that doesn't seem to have required Torchwood's presence at all. But still, some engaging character and action moments make this a generally enjoyable ride, and Tom Price's reading is assured - even if he makes the curious decision to give Captain Jack a Welsh accent.


AmazonBasics Universal GPS Vehicle Power Cable with Mini USB Port with 1.3 m Cable
AmazonBasics Universal GPS Vehicle Power Cable with Mini USB Port with 1.3 m Cable

5.0 out of 5 stars Power Cable, 25 Jun. 2012
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Quite hard to give an in depth review for this product, as ultimately it's a power cable - and it does the job! Got this as a replacement for my sat-nav cable, as I was getting an intermittent connection. This sorted out the problem instantly. What more can I say?


Torchwood: Fallout
Torchwood: Fallout
by David Llewellyn
Edition: Audio CD
Price: £9.62

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Fallout, 29 April 2012
This review is from: Torchwood: Fallout (Audio CD)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Following the events of 'Miracle Day', Torchwood itself has been left in a state of limbo. The good news is that with the main cast members either dead or in America, when the latest batch of alien mayhem hits Cardiff, it's up to perennial supporting cast member Sgt Andy Davidson to step up into the lead role.
Aside from the briefest of cameos from Gwen, Andy is very much the star of this new audiobook, which gives it a nicely different feel. Instead of over the top action and gizmos from the Torchwood team, it's up to a regular policeman to step forward as the hero. Sadly however, the storyline isn't particularly novel, being a fairy standard tale of a dangerous piece of alien technology and an attempt to destroy humanity by colonising aliens. It's competently written by David Llewellyn, but never offers anything particularly original. It's also hampered by a rather limp ending and a Russian secret agent with entirely unbelievably motivations. Despite a nice performance from Tom Price this is ultimately a decent but average Torchwood runaround.


Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11-20