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Sony DVPSR160 DVD Player
Sony DVPSR160 DVD Player

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely Useless, 16 Jan. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
OK it was cheap, but I didn't expect it to give up the ghost after two months. The eject action stopped working. Can't get it to do anything. I thought I'd be safe with Sony. Not so. Avoid like the plague.


The Scent of Cinnamon: and Other Stories (Salt Modern Fiction)
The Scent of Cinnamon: and Other Stories (Salt Modern Fiction)
by Charles Lambert
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £14.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars other scents too, 22 July 2009
although the title `The Scent of Cinnamon' may suggest something light and pleasant, and indeed the title story about a mail order bride set at the turn of last century begins that way, you will find the stories here are far from being so. They're mostly tough and punchy, contain hidden meanings and ideas, peopled by complex, believable and not always likeable characters. So wide ranging: from historical (two set in WW2) to bang up to date, gay to hetero- to bi-sexual, realism to supernatural themes, academic to council estate to middle class dinner settings, England to Italy via (possibly) Australia. You never quite know what you're going to get from one story to the next. One thing though - you're in safe hands. Lambert is an expert writer, his work telling and beautiful, a great eye for detail, great on childhood (All Gone, Girlie etc) even better on adults and their mixed desires and morals (desire usually winning out over morals) (Entertaining Friends, The Crack).

A couple of quotes from one story (All Gone) might illustrate his skill and power:

(after crapping himself running from bullies): My mother swept out from behind the counter. She picked me up round the chest, then immediately put me down again with a squeal of distatse. I stood in the centre of the shop, the legs of my flannel shorts glued to my innerthighs, their seat to mine. We could all smell it. I knew we could. It was hot and bitter, like tea from the pot.

(a fire): The air above Princess Rd looked like watered silk that night, but hot. As we drove in silence.. we noticed the smell, and then the air itself. My father parked the Humber, and we walked from the shop to the burning paint factory, holding hands as the hot sour wind enveloped us. The sky was fringed with red that licked up into the darkness, chased by a blue that seemed warmer than the yellow of flames, blue as the daytime sky. We could hardly breathe. The evening air smelt like the acetone my mother used to clean her nails, like mechanics' yards, like the boys who lived in the slums; a smell that skinned the eyes and took the words out of our mouths.

A cracking collection, or should that be craic-ing? Very nearly a 5 starrer.


Living (Vintage classics)
Living (Vintage classics)
by Henry Green
Edition: Paperback

24 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars the most beautiful book in the world, 5 Feb. 2008
I love this book. I'm awed by the love in it and the strange description and the dialogue caught so faithfully. It's set in Birmingham among factory workers in the late 1920s. This is a passage from it:

'Then, one morning in iron foundry, Arthur Jones began singing. He did not often sing. When he began the men looked up from work and at each other and stayed quiet. In machine shop, which was next iron foundry, they said it was Arthur singing and stayed quiet also. He sang all morning.

He was Welsh and he sang in Welsh. His voice had a great soft yell in it. It rose and fell and then rose again and, when the crane was quiet for a moment, then his voice came out from behind noise of crane in passionate singing. Soon each one in this factory heard that Arthur had begun and, if he had 2 moments, came by iron foundry shop to listen. So all through that morning, as he went on, was a little group of men standing by door in the machine shop, always different men. His singing made them all sad. Everything in iron foundries is black with burnt sand and here was his silver voice yelling like bells. The black grimed men bent over their black boxes....

Everyone looked forward to Arthur's singing, each one was glad when he sang, only, this morning, Jim Dale had bitterness inside him like girders and when Arthur began singing his music was like acid to that man and it was like that girder was being melted and bitterness and anger decrystallised, up rising in him till he was full and would have broken out - when he put on his coat and walked off and went into town and drank....

Still Arthur sang and it might be months before he sang again. And no one else sang that day, but all listened to his singing. That night son had been born to him.'

Weird but beautiful I think and I could quote passage after passage. I can't understand why everyone doesn't feel the same.


Had I a Hundred Mouths: Short Stories 1947-1983: Short Stories, 1947-83
Had I a Hundred Mouths: Short Stories 1947-1983: Short Stories, 1947-83
by William Goyen
Edition: Paperback

5.0 out of 5 stars brilliant, 17 Oct. 2007
Very strong stories of blood, kinship, sex and nature, oh and some about gossips. Most are set in Texas or the American south and are politically incorrect (the n word everywhere), feature angels with black wings and curled tongues inciting people to murder, or strange suicides and madness. To pick out one at random 'Precious Door' will have you gasping at its violence, stunned by its description of flood and hurricane, and also moved by its theme of forgiveness, and the tenderness shown. All in 5 or so pages. Throughout there is a strong religious/spiritual undertone, or overtone in some cases, and the amazing flowing use of biblical language. Some of the most searing prose (and some of the most poetic)I've read in ages.


Had I A Hundred Mouths: New & Selected Stories, 1947-1983
Had I A Hundred Mouths: New & Selected Stories, 1947-1983
by William Goyen
Edition: Paperback

5.0 out of 5 stars brilliant, 3 Oct. 2007
Very strong stories of blood, kinship, sex and nature, oh and some about gossips. Most are set in Texas or the American south and are politically incorrect (the n word everywhere), feature angels with black wings and curled tongues inciting people to murder, or strange suicides and madness. To pick out one at random 'Precious Door' will have you gasping at its violence, stunned by its description of flood and hurricane, and also moved by its theme of forgiveness, and the tenderness shown. All in 5 or so pages. Throughout there is a strong religious/spiritual undertone, or overtone in some cases, and the amazing flowing use of biblical language. Some of the most searing prose (and some of the most poetic)I've read in ages.


Under the Dam
Under the Dam
by David Constantine
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.95

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sad, beautiful, edgy, 3 Sept. 2007
This review is from: Under the Dam (Paperback)
Have to agree with the other reviewers here - these stories are so good you want to start re-reading them immediately. Although set in the present they have a timeless quality, and dig deep into character's motivations and self justifications. The writing is always brilliant. Stories like The Red Balloon and The Necessary Strength will have you wondering about them for days. I'm a fan now and will seek out his earlier collection.


Matters Of Life & Death
Matters Of Life & Death
by Bernard MacLaverty
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.99

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars pretty near perfect, 30 July 2007
There are 2 great stories here: 'Up the Coast' and 'A Trusted Neighbour', which as well as being beautifully written are also complex and thought provoking. The characters are flawed, alive, rendered exquisitely and the reader is drawn into a deep engagement with them. At least I was. Maybe the other stories do not quite hit these heights but two or three of them are expertly done and nearly as good - On the Roundabout, A Trojan Sofa, Learning to Dance - the others are maybe weaker in terms of plot but not in terms of the writing which remains perfect throughout. I'd have given it 4 and a half stars if that was allowed.


Shawnie
Shawnie
by Matt Stephens
Edition: Paperback

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars you'll need a strong stomach, 4 May 2006
This review is from: Shawnie (Paperback)
I've given this book 5 stars because it is a tour-de-force, written in the Bristolian vernacular, about a violent, abusive family living on the Knowle West estate. It is a spectacular achievement but it is not for everyone - reading it is like having your skin ripped off and several times I had to put it down and walk away. And I'm used to reading strong fiction. In the end though it's impressive and haunting and the writer and Tindal Street Press have to be congratulated on such a hard hitting, brilliantly done book.


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