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Brolyn (CREWE, Cheshire United Kingdom)

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Offshore
Offshore
by Penelope Fitzgerald
Edition: Paperback
Price: 5.51

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Rather watery, thin fare..., 28 Jan 2014
This review is from: Offshore (Paperback)
The book's blurb mentions that 'Offshore' is the '...novelistic equivalent of a Turner watercolour'; possibly so in that the characters are lightly sketched or appear thus in retrospect to this reviewer anyway. There is no plot to speak of, merely strands of certain issues facing the characters. I thought it would pick up in the last section but sadly ended rather abruptly. I'm puzzled as to why it won the Booker, although I can see that in a different author's hand, it might have made an interesting novella because of its setting. I shall now tackle 'The Bookshop' by the same author but on the evidence here, I'm not too hopeful!


Singing a Man to Death: & Other Short Stories
Singing a Man to Death: & Other Short Stories
by Matthew Francis
Edition: Paperback
Price: 7.19

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Boring a reader to death!, 15 Nov 2013
The book's title and lead story 'Singing A Man to Death' owes a lot to Robert Graves's 1929 short story 'The Shout' (later filmed by Jerzy Skolimowski in 1978). It concerns the power of a shout to kill but in Francis's story it is a song that carries the power. It sounds interesting but is so confusingly and obliquely written and intermittently quotes phrases from the song in an obscure (East European?) language that is not translated for the reader. I Googled the phrases (e.g. Mete uobik oo tanabu) to no avail. The author gives no explanation though even if he had, I doubt it would improve the story.
Another story 'American Fugue' infuriates the reader from the start (well, this one anyway). The first two sentences read: 'My name is not Samuel Taylor Coleridge. It is also not Silas Tomken cumberbatch.' A short story has so little time and words to make an impact; why not state what is rather than what isn't? The rest of the story again is obscure, wandering and contains three poems (the author's preferred metier perhaps?).
The only story that had potential in my view was 'Beehive', a dark take on Dahl's 'Royal Jelly' and 'Rosemary's Baby'. This could have and should have had a terrifying conclusion but fizzles out weakly, almost motivating the reader to rewrite it. I paid 7.99 for this book and for that price one doesn't expect a typo on the book's back cover: 'This is story telling at it's best...' I would hate to see the author's worst and I suggest he sticks to poetry in the future!


Alfred Hitchcock's Moviemaking Master Class: Learning about Film from the Master of Suspense
Alfred Hitchcock's Moviemaking Master Class: Learning about Film from the Master of Suspense
by Tony Lee Moral
Edition: Paperback
Price: 14.39

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Master Class from The Master, 10 Sep 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Tony Lee Moral's book is another well crafted tribute to The Master and deals with almost every aspect of film making: screenplay, pre-production, actors, editing, music, promotion and marketing. The book's target audience is perhaps a little difficult to judge; professional directors would be unlikely to consult the book for advice although they may read it for interest. Amateur film makers will probably find it both interesting and a valuable source of information.

A few minor carps however: as in his book on 'The Making of Hitchock's The Birds.' he sometimes refers to a production designer as an art designer. This is not really an official title, he has conflated the words art director and production designer. Some of the subheadings can seem a little odd, e.g. 'Work with a production designer'. Sensible advice no doubt but would any reasonable director not work with a production designer?

Overall the book is an interesting and workmanlike tribute and contains several quotes from Hitchcock, lists of directors who have been influenced by him and exercises to stimulate one's imagination.


Kneipp Herbal Bath - Orange & Linden Blossom Harmonising 100ml
Kneipp Herbal Bath - Orange & Linden Blossom Harmonising 100ml

5.0 out of 5 stars Orange liquid bliss!, 10 Aug 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I was given a bottle of this for Christmas and it has one of the most uplifting yet relaxing aromas of any bath product I've tried. It will colour the bath water bright orange and make you think you're bathing in Tango but no matter, it will be worth it. You only need a capful or so per bath and a bottle will last quite a while (unless you're tempted to take several baths/day if you like the smell so much!)


Rohto V. Arctic Cooling Lubricant/Redness Relieving Eye Drops, 0.4-Ounce Bottles
Rohto V. Arctic Cooling Lubricant/Redness Relieving Eye Drops, 0.4-Ounce Bottles

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Stings but cools and clears!, 12 Jun 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Yes, as many others have commented these eye drops do sting-but only for a minute or so. Afterwards you'll (hopefully) have cool clear eyes and I find that one drop in each eye lasts nearly all day. There may be some rebound redness as they wear off but not as much as with other eye drops I've tried. There does not seem to be any directive on the pack or bottle to discard it after one month of opening (as is usually the case with eye drops). However I think I will do this anyway to be on the safe side!


Making of Hitchcock's The Birds, The
Making of Hitchcock's The Birds, The
by Tony Lee Moral
Edition: Paperback
Price: 14.69

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, comprehensive, fascinating, 21 April 2013
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Much has been written about The Birds before and recently the TV play 'The Girl' has once again brought the film, Hitch and Hedren to our attention. Tony Lee Moral's book, written from extensive interviews with crew and cast members is a worthy addition to any film lover's shelf and is illustrated with many photographs and sketches of the stars, crew and storyboards.

A few minor carps: Robert Boyle, the film's production designer is referred to as the 'art designer' in several places (one gets the idea but it's not really a term used by the industry). Also, despite some discussion of the psychoanalytical aspects of the plot, I'm surprised that Camille Paglia's BFI monograph The Birds is not referenced or discussed in the text. This is another extremely detailed, critical analysis (including Freudian aspects) of the film and could have been included in the bibliography if not in the text.

Overall however Mr Moral can be congratulated on his riveting book on a film which is now 50 years old and which continues to generate interest.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Apr 26, 2013 3:25 PM BST


Deb Dettol Instant Foam Hand Sanitiser Pump 400ml
Deb Dettol Instant Foam Hand Sanitiser Pump 400ml
Offered by My Discounts Direct
Price: 4.13

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Liked it but puzzled by the name!, 25 Mar 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This arrived promptly and performed well and has a pleasant smell. However, I'm puzzled by the word Dettol in the name: Deb Dettol Instant Foam Hand Sanitiser Pump. The word Dettol does not appear on the pump despite being in the name on the Amazon site (and there is even a Dettol logo next to the picture of the pump). All the writing on the pump itself is in Danish or Swedish(?). The ingredients list does not include chloroxylenol which is the main active ingredient of Dettol. A mystery!


Oscar Wilde and the Murders at Reading Gaol (Oscar Wilde Mysteries 6)
Oscar Wilde and the Murders at Reading Gaol (Oscar Wilde Mysteries 6)
by Gyles Brandreth
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 14.16

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent and really clever, 26 Nov 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I have read all the books in the Oscar Wilde series and I believe Oscar Wilde and The Reading Gaol Murders is a contender for the accolade of the best one in the series. The plotting is superb and worthy of anything that Conan Doyle (a 'participant' in the other books) or Oscar Wilde could have written. The narrative is marbled with the emotional anguish of Wilde's incarceration and raises it above a merely plot-driven novel. Like the previous reviewer I don't want the series to end either and I hope Brandreth manages to squeeze a few more books out of this fascinating character. I also look forward to a possible TV adaptation which I believe is in development.


Beyond Black
Beyond Black
by Hilary Mantel
Edition: Paperback
Price: 6.20

0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Beyond boredom, 8 Nov 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Beyond Black (Paperback)
I enjoyed Hilary Mantel's Eight Months on Ghazzah Street and I'm surprised to be awarding a one star review to this author. The main character Alison is a medium who keeps seeing and hearing people from the spirit world; none of these characters are interesting or likeable and as only Alison can see them it detracts from any dramatic potential. Alison's assistant Colette is a rather colourless character and at the end of the novel neither of them has gone through a sufficiently interesting arc to make this an enjoyable read. There was potential here to make for an interesting novel, for example if Alison had turned out to be a fake medium and had asked Colette to collude with her on her 'readings', this would have been far more interesting. I'm surprised at Philip Pullman's comment on the front cover that it was one of the '...greatest ghost stories in the language.' Has he not read any M.R.James stories , or perhaps he has forgotten them? I felt a mixture of boredom and depression whilst reading this novel. If it's ever adapted for TV or film I think the screenwriter will have to do quite a bit of rewriting!


The Lollipop Shoes (Chocolat 2)
The Lollipop Shoes (Chocolat 2)
by Joanne Harris
Edition: Paperback
Price: 5.59

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Promises more than it delivers, 27 Sep 2011
I thoroughly enjoyed 'Chocolat' and was intrigued to see how Harris could continue the tale of Vianne Rocher, her children and Roux in this sequel. Based now in Paris and running a chocolaterie, Vianne (now called Yanne) and her two children seem reasonably settled. However the sinister and beguiling Zozie d'Alba comes into their lives and is certainly a match for Yanne and her 'powers'. A large middle portion of the book seems repetitive -boring may be too strong a word. Yet, endless mentions of hot chocolate with cinnamon and chilli, mendiants, truffles, couverture, winds, seeing people's 'colours' seem to dominate the text without moving the story forward very much. The climax of the book seems a little rushed and like a camera zooming away from Vianne and her family, made one more interested in the future fate of Zozie. (Incidentally, the mental image I had of Zozie whilst reading this book was of a Hilary Devey-like character from 'Dragons' Den'. I mean this in a complimentary way)!


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