Profile for cider glider > Reviews

Personal Profile

Content by cider glider
Top Reviewer Ranking: 393,349
Helpful Votes: 48

Learn more about Your Profile.

Reviews Written by
cider glider (Wiltshire, England)

Show:  
Page: 1
pixel
Love Undercover
Love Undercover
Offered by Fulfillment Express
Price: £16.29

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars So so, 30 Aug. 2013
This review is from: Love Undercover (Audio CD)
A competent but fairly anonymous solo outing by James Skelly. Doesn't have the character of The Coral or of his brother's recent solo album.


The Baghdad Railway Club (Jim Stringer)
The Baghdad Railway Club (Jim Stringer)
by Andrew Martin
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £12.99

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars One of Stringer's weaker excursions, 18 July 2012
I've read and enjoyed all of the Jim Stringer stories, some of which are better than others; the two books preceding this are particuarly good. Unfortunately this is one of Stringer's less convincing investigations.

The story starts promisingly, but once Stringer arrives in Baghdad, he seems overcome by the heat and the alien culture. This is an effective device for conveying to the reader what it would have felt like to be in Baghdad then. However, as Stringer is the narrator, this leaves the reader in the lurch, and the plot doesn't progress much, until the regulator is opened wide in the final few pages, and plot makes up lost time to arrives at its destination.

I hope that Stringer's next case is more engaging.


Secondhand Daylight
Secondhand Daylight
by D. J. Taylor
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £14.94

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Thirties-something, 11 May 2012
This review is from: Secondhand Daylight (Hardcover)
I bought this hot on the heels of having read its predecessor, At The Chime Of A City Clock. Secondhand Daylight is very much in the same vein as At The Chime Of A City Clock, indeed it even features another co-respondent episode. Our hero James Ross is still picking at the fleas of London's underbelly, and his observations about London society are what gives the book its appeal. The plot is not really a feature, and although the book is billed as a "mystery", the reveal is somewhat insubstantial.

The author tries hard to maintain an authentic period feel to the book, (e.g. expletives are rendered with dashes), so I'm puzzled why this book and its predecessor take their titles from songs written well after the period in which the books are set. Maybe there's a subtle literary point being made that I'm missing.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: May 24, 2012 12:07 PM BST


The Excursion Train  (The Railway Detective Series)
The Excursion Train (The Railway Detective Series)
by Edward Marston
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.39

3.0 out of 5 stars A good honest whodunnit, 27 Sept. 2011
The characters come from Central Casting, and the dialogue is what you would expect a taxidermist rather than a novelist to produce. But these shortcomings didn't detract too much from my enjoyment. The plot and the unmasking of the culprit are compelling. and kept me turning pages at a steady clip.

So if Midsomer Murders set in the 1850s sounds appealing to you, this book (and others in the series) may be right up your siding.


La Vie en bleu: France and the French since 1900
La Vie en bleu: France and the French since 1900
by Rod Kedward
Edition: Paperback
Price: £14.39

2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Sec, 12 Sept. 2011
I was looking for a book that would give me an insight into French society, and this book failed to deliver, not least because the author assumes a fair amount of prior knowledge about France. Also, the book is written in a dry and academic manner, which makes reading it more of a chore than a pleasure. The author is a professor at Sussex University, so I shouldn't be too surprised on that score.

The section which describes France's post War adventures in Vietnam and Algeria is very good, and quite an eye-opener.

I'd hoped that the book would explain why French political parties are more fluid than the static entities of UK politics, but the author didn't explore that question. I would have got more from the book if there had been more comparison with other European countries, e.g. how did the success of the French Front National compare with that of other far right parties in Europe?.


Workout: The Music of Hank Mobley
Workout: The Music of Hank Mobley
by Derek Ansell
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £16.74

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Hanktastic!, 17 April 2011
This is a good and enthusiastic account of Mobley's music. Maybe a little partisan - Ansell would have us believe that Mobley never recorded a duff track. Little information is provided about Mobley's life beyond music, but the book is entitled "The Music Of hank Mobley", so it isn't claiming to be a fully fledged biography. There isn't much sign of original research carried out for the book, which is a shame; I suppose it's a reflection of the economics of writing a book about a jazz musician who wasn't one of the big names.The discography is a disappointment, neither exhaustive nor detailed. The lack of photos is also a pity. The book contains just one photo, of the author himself!

I don't want to end this review on a low note, so will end by saying that since reading the book I know a lot more about Mobley's music, and own more of it than I did before.


Bulleid: Man, Myth and Machines
Bulleid: Man, Myth and Machines
by Kevin Robertson
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £19.99

19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Unsatisfactory, 4 Oct. 2010
Although several books about Bulleid's designs have appeared in recent years, this is the first biography of him since that written by his son in 1977. So I approached this book with great anticipation. The blurb on the dust jacket promises "a significant amount of new information about Bulleid's life", but I didn't discover much I hadn't read elsewhere. The author does not make the most of the information that he does present, flitting from one theme to another, often failing to make a point. The author's uncertain grasp of his material is apparent where he claims that Bulleid had little interest in politics. This claim doesn't sit easily with the fact that Bulleid joined the Junior Carlton Club.

Describing Bulleid's lack of tact, the author goes on to say "this behavioural trait displayed by Bulleid may well be analysed more accurately by those with knowledge of human behaviour, but that is certainly not the intention here". It is surprising and disappointing to hear this disclaimer from someone attempting to write a biography.

The quality of the photographs used to illustrate the book is very good. However, there are more pictures than is necessary to illustrate the points being made, and I did get the feeling that the photos were padding out what would otherwise be a slim volume. Furthermore, many of the captions to the photos are quite prolix, and repeat what has been said in the main text. (In the case of the photo that illustrates a comment about cab temperatures, the caption contradicts the text.)


On Some Faraway Beach: The Life and Times of Brian Eno
On Some Faraway Beach: The Life and Times of Brian Eno
by David Sheppard
Edition: Hardcover

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Enotastic..., 26 Jun. 2009
Good to see that Fabers have binned that pastel hued dust jacket in favour of something a little more in tune with the subject of the book.

The book is excellent up until Eno starts working with U2, whereupon it speeds up, and we race through Eno's career to the present day. The book doesn't go into much detail about Eno's projects in this period; it reads like "Eno did x, then he did y, and then spent some time doing z". As other reviewers here have noted, this may be because the author doesn't think Eno's later work is worthy of the same attention as his earlier output.

I'd have liked a bit more coverage of Eno's work in the visual arts. This is dealt with in the book, but only superficially.

To end on a positive note, I'd add that while I've followed the Enomeister's activities fairly closely over the past 30 odd years, there were plenty of things about the great man that I learnt in this book.


Notes from an Exhibition
Notes from an Exhibition
by Patrick Gale
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.29

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Must try harder, 12 Mar. 2008
Having enjoyed Mr Gale's Rough Music, my expectations for this book were high, but ill-founded. As other reviewers here have pointed out, the book doesn't have much of a plot, which would be forgivable if the characters developed, but they don't. As its title suggests, the book flits from one scene to another, with very little thematic glue. It feels like a bunch of short stories stapled together.

The chapters which take place outside Cornwall (in Oxford and Canada) are more engaging, I don't know why. The Quaker ingredient is interesting, but doesn't actually add much to the story. The plotline involving the brother who lives in London and a Dutch woman did start to intrigue me, but it fizzles out unsatisfactorily.

I should add that the notes which precede each chapter are well observed pastiches.


Page: 1