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Reviews Written by
Ian Ballantyne "Bal" (London)

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Juan in America (Capuchin Classics)
Juan in America (Capuchin Classics)
by Eric Linklater
Edition: Paperback

4.0 out of 5 stars A cartoon-like comic tale best read as "instalments", 21 Aug 2014
A joyful romp around 1930s America.

This book is a period piece. As we are reminded in the foreword, Linklater narrowly escaped death in WW1 and this amusing road trip around America with out 'hero' facing near death experiences and coincidental encounters galore is like a series in a cartoon strip. It starts off rather slowly but, after we've established the family tree, the roller coast journey begins.

Unlike the previous reviewer, I found the character of Juan very engaging - if a bit dim.

Having read Linklater's children's books as a child and to my own children this book has the same child-like enthusiasm and energy with the same humour in the absurd.

Personally I would have edited swathes out of the book for publication but its meandering and (far too) wordy descriptions are part of its charm.

One warning, the book's casual racism is shocking - but reflects a different age.


Madame Bovary
Madame Bovary
Price: £0.00

1.0 out of 5 stars Bad translation - to be avoided, 26 July 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Madame Bovary (Kindle Edition)
I had to give up after a few pages as the translation was so bad. I query whether the translator is an native English speaker. This book should not have been published.


Wanderlust
Wanderlust
Price: £6.00

1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Class, 30 May 2014
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This review is from: Wanderlust (Audio CD)
A great departure from her dance stuff and back to a more thoughtful and melodic style. Although there are no "standout" tracks - I love its atmospheric and stylist quality - great background music. However, I hate the "Russian peasant wedding"-look cover and Soviet lettering - really weird and off-putting.


The Art Of Doing Nothing
The Art Of Doing Nothing
Offered by davehopetrading
Price: £3.99

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Songs are good - voice is a bit wearing, 30 May 2014
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Mark Owen writes surprisingly good songs - the only problem here is that he sings them. While his singing works in a group - it simply is not good enough for a whole solo album - after a couple of tracks the voice starts to grate. With better vocals this album could have been great. Looking forward to the next Take That outing when I'm sure Mark will shine!


Swatch Mens Dark Phoenix Black Dial Brown Leather Strap Watch
Swatch Mens Dark Phoenix Black Dial Brown Leather Strap Watch

5.0 out of 5 stars Love this watch, 29 May 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This is my second one. I love this design - very practical, very useful. Would be boring and buy it again....


Pan's People: Our Story
Pan's People: Our Story
by Cherry Dickins
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £15.90

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good but not great, 29 May 2014
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Lots of photos. The story is told chronologically - but in snippets of interviews - so really lacked cohesion or any sense of character. The girls (women?) came across as lovely people - but totally bland and lacking personality - which is a shame. Perhaps one of them should write the real story of what it was like to be in Pan's People - like the great pop autoboigraphies by Tracey Thorn or Morrissey...... Even the bits about the Top of the Tops DJs make out they were all just "lovely blokes" - I'm sure there must be some more interesting stories to be told!


Summer Heights High [DVD]
Summer Heights High [DVD]
Dvd ~ Chris Lilley
Price: £5.90

5.0 out of 5 stars Surprisingly Good and Refreshingly Original, 29 May 2014
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This review is from: Summer Heights High [DVD] (DVD)
We watched this with our teenage kids and all loved it! Really sparked a spirited discussion of the characters and the issues surrounding them. The series started brilliantly and lost momentum a bit towards the end - but there are some truly amazing laugh out-loud scenes peppered throughout. My favourites were with Mr G - particularly his dancing class....
It makes you realise how much non-UK TV is from the US and how refreshing it is to have an Australian viewpoint for a change. We need more!


Ironside Series 1 [DVD]
Ironside Series 1 [DVD]
Dvd ~ Raymond Burr
Price: £16.57

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Hmmm... not as good as I remembered., 29 May 2014
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This review is from: Ironside Series 1 [DVD] (DVD)
This was gritty and ground-breaking at the time - but now seems unbelievably dated. TV has moved on. Only watch if you are nostalgic!
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jul 15, 2014 4:27 AM BST


Requiem Mass (DCI Andrew Fenwick Book 1)
Requiem Mass (DCI Andrew Fenwick Book 1)
Price: £1.79

5.0 out of 5 stars Great thriller, 29 May 2014
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I really enjoyed this book. It is clearly targeted at a female audience - which made it refreshingly different. The plot is well paced and the narrative structure works brilliantly - (somewhat surprisingly) it does not feel contrived. Some of the details in the writing are truly evocative which helps the book transcend its genre. I will certainly be recommending it to my wife!
My only problem with my Kindle edition of the book was with typos - why do Kindle books not get properly proof-read to avoid repeating parts of sentences or spelling mistakes not caught by spell-check? It is really sloppy - surely as the books are electronic you could correct mistakes for future readers?


From Time To Time - The Singles Collection
From Time To Time - The Singles Collection
Offered by DVD Overstocks
Price: £3.50

0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not as good as I remembered, 30 April 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Fantastic voice, song choices a bit iffy and arrangements stuck is a time warp... a period piece. Not as good as I remembered it.


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