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Jonathan A Hesford

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Notes on a Scandal
Notes on a Scandal
by ZoŽ Heller
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.99

5.0 out of 5 stars If You Enjoy Imaginative and Clever Prose,Coupled With An Original Story, Read This Book, 30 Jan. 2016
This review is from: Notes on a Scandal (Paperback)
I usually steer clear of books written by women; I'm not saying they are bad writers, but they do things in a different way. I made this book an exception after watching the film on DVD. The film is brilliant and so is this book. As a part-time writer of fiction, I am in awe of Zoe Heller's prose. Okay, she wanders around in the narrative at times, but the power of her vocabulary ensures that every word is eaten, digested and absorbed with absolute pleasure. There are numerous passages that I would love to quote as examples of Zoe Heller's writing style and ability, but to anyone reading this review I would say just one thing - buy this book. You won't be disappointed. One last comment - I love the pun of the narrator's surname - Covett! Priceless!


Darling [DVD] [1965]
Darling [DVD] [1965]
Dvd ~ Julie Christie
Price: £9.59

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Terribly dated and not a patch on its many peers of the 1960s, 30 Jan. 2016
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Darling [DVD] [1965] (DVD)
The word ‘disappointed’ appears to resonate in the reviews of Darling. To be frank, I too was, eh, disappointed with this film. I never saw it when it was first released, although I was a huge fan of other monochrome movies of the early 1960s, for example: A Kind of Loving, Saturday Night and Sunday Morning, Room at the Top, The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner, and a little gem starring Peter Sellers called Only Two Can Play, all of which were superior to this.

To me, the storyline to Darling is gossamer-thin, slung together from an ‘idea’ by the screenwriter, the director and the producer. Julie Christie starred in much better films, the best three being Far from the Madding Crowd, Dr Zhivago, and Don’t Look Now. But of course, all those had the benefit of being drawn from excellent source material (Thomas Hardy, Boris Pasternak, and Daphne Du Maurier respectively).. Having said that, all the three principals’ performances are true to the characters, but in my view the film seems to be nothing more than some kind of vanity project from the three gentlemen who developed the ‘idea’.

Julie Christie may be ravishing – is ravishing – but for me to buy a DVD because of the attractiveness of the leading lady might have been a purchase too far.


Man at the Top [DVD]
Man at the Top [DVD]
Dvd ~ Kenneth Haigh
Price: £6.00

2.0 out of 5 stars As a great fan of John Braine’s two books about Joe Lampton ..., 17 Jan. 2016
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This review is from: Man at the Top [DVD] (DVD)
As a great fan of John Braine’s two books about Joe Lampton – Room At The Top and Life At The Top – plus the corresponding monochrome films starring Laurence Harvey, I found the movie to be a lazy attempt to cash in on the character of this seminal working class hero. It appears to be nothing more than a vehicle for the leading man to jump into bed (or shower, or woodland copse) with as many women as possible. The acting is fine, with Kenneth Haigh (complete with Mexican bandit moustache) doing a reasonable job as the sardonic Joe, and the reliable Harry Andrews playing the part of the upper class boss with his usual flair. The gorgeous Nanette Newman also does her bit, despite surrendering herself to a blatant body-double in the requisite nude scenes.

The story is paper thin, set in the dubious world of pharmaceuticals, with a ludicrous irrelevant sub-plot concerning two hitch-hiking girls, one of whose father is played by ex-Doncaster Rovers footballer turned comedian, Charlie Williams, an affable chap whom I once met on The Generation Game (but that’s another story). Another well-known face pops up at the beginning – ex Light Heavyweight WBC boxing champion John Conteh. He takes the role of one half of a pair of pugilists who look as if they couldn’t fight their way out of a wet paper bag.

I am afraid that I shall have to park this film at the ‘do not watch again under any circumstances’ end of my shelves of DVDs. It’s no wonder John Braine ended his days in a one-room flat in Hampstead, and deeply in debt, if this is what they turned Joe Lampton into.


Super Economy Suction Grab Bar/Rail
Super Economy Suction Grab Bar/Rail
Offered by Bid Buy Direct
Price: £4.89

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars It came away very easily, both on dry and wet surfaces, 26 Nov. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I bought this for my disabled wife for use in the shower. It came away very easily, both on dry and wet surfaces. I wouldn't recommend this to anyone. However, I received a very quick and efficient refund from the seller - world of bargain888 - after sending back the product by Freepost


Betron HDMI to HDMI Cable, High Speed, 3D Support, Ethernet Function, 4K Support, HDMI Lead for TV, Laptops, PS3, PS4 , Xbox etc (1.2 Meter)
Betron HDMI to HDMI Cable, High Speed, 3D Support, Ethernet Function, 4K Support, HDMI Lead for TV, Laptops, PS3, PS4 , Xbox etc (1.2 Meter)
Offered by Betron Limited ( VAT Registered)
Price: £29.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Full satisfaction all round, 16 July 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Received this product in good time to complement a Panasonic hard drive recorder and it is working well. Can recommend the supplier and the product


The Hidden Man
The Hidden Man
by Charles Cumming
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.83

2.0 out of 5 stars ... reviewers have said - that this is probably the worst of Charles Cumming's books, 16 Feb. 2015
This review is from: The Hidden Man (Paperback)
I have to concur with what other reviewers have said - that this is probably the worst of Charles Cumming's books. I found it a struggle to read; I like his style and his narrative prose, but it was far to complicated and I began to despair of ever reaching the end with any semblance of interest. In other words, I lost the plot!


USB Floppy Disk , Esynic 3.5" USB External Floppy Disk Drive Portable 1.44 MB FDD for PC Windows 10/7/8, Windows XP/Vista/Mac(Black)
USB Floppy Disk , Esynic 3.5" USB External Floppy Disk Drive Portable 1.44 MB FDD for PC Windows 10/7/8, Windows XP/Vista/Mac(Black)
Offered by EsynicDirect
Price: £10.09

3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing given its good reviews by some, 10 Feb. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I don't know if I had a rogue drive - considering its favourable reviews on this site - but I was disappointed with this. A PC running Windows 8.1 didn't recognise it, although a little green light came on and then went off again very quickly. My second PC running W7 eventually announced that the device was ready but it never loaded. Again the green light came on and off again. My laptop running W7 eventually recognised it but then kept saying that disks that it had previously read okay needed formatting. The only thing I was pleased about was the ease by which I could send this back to Amazon and get a full refund. I am now not sure if I should try again with this drive or choose another.


Intex Deluxe Pillow Rest Raised Air Bed Single Size inc Pump #67732
Intex Deluxe Pillow Rest Raised Air Bed Single Size inc Pump #67732
Offered by activeleisure
Price: £42.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent so far, 27 Jan. 2015
I've had this product for only a few weeks and it's been used just twice, so it's obviously too early to comment on its robustness. However, it is so easy to inflate compared with a double blow-up bed I bought a few years ago, which needed two people to inflate it to stop the air escaping before the cap could be put in place.


All Neat in Black Stockings [DVD]
All Neat in Black Stockings [DVD]
Dvd ~ Victor Henry
Offered by NextDayEntertainment
Price: £4.95

17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Egregious and banal, 27 Jan. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I bought this DVD together with three others from Network that have now been released - Ring of Spies, Nothing But The Best, and This Is My Street. I enjoyed these three in different ways. As a teenager in the late fifties and sixties, I can't remember whether I saw this film or not, but having seen it now I shall not forget it. The reason - it is compellingly bad at nearly every level. Why? For a whole host of reasons. First, as pointed out in other reviews, this film didn't know what it wanted to be. Was it supposed to be a bawdy comedy? If so, The Confessions series did it far better. Or was it meant to be a gritty drama about unwanted pregnancy? If that were the case, it pales into insignificance against the great A Kind Of Loving. Second, I know one shouldn't speak ill of the dead, but Victor Henry (relatively unknown but evidently died tragically) was woefully miscast as the main male character, Ginger. Robin Askwith he wasn't - or even Barry Evans. And certainly not Alan Bates. We were asked to believe that girls would fall at Ginger's feet; the only person who would do that would be his chiropodist. It's not that Henry's acting was no good - it was adequate - but he was just not the right man for the job. And what Jack Shepherd was doing in there, God only knows. Maybe he had a burgeoning flock to feed. Considering that this movie was made in the sixties, arguably one of the most exciting decades in pop music, the soundtrack was abysmal. A mish-mash of bland forgettable wallpaper pseudo-jazz - not a Fender Strat in sight. And again, as was mentioned in other reviews, the only possible reason for any bloke to waste his money on this film is to feast his eyes on the gorgeous Susan George. She exhibited the kind of vulnerability that would augur well for her career, especially in the controversial Straw Dogs.
So appallingly awful was this dog's breakfast of a film that I nearly abandoned it after half an hour, but decided to hang on for the purpose of this review. But I deeply regret spending £4.50 of my pension on it. A trip to the charity shop is looming. . . . .


White Heat [DVD]
White Heat [DVD]
Dvd ~ Sam Claflin
Price: £6.00

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars There are not enough superlatives for this series, 14 Jan. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: White Heat [DVD] (DVD)
I think this is one of the most brilliant pieces of TV drama ever written. I've seen much of Paula Milne's work on TV, including The Politician's Wife and The Politician's Husband, and she never disappoints. The ending is particularly moving, especially the quote: 'Hindsight is knowing where you've been; foresight is knowing where you're going; insight is knowing you've gone too far'. The cast too was exceptional - many of my favourite actors were there. I can't recommend this enough. The most wonderful element of Paula Milne's writing is that she combines the emotion of women with the steel of men - or should that be the other way round?


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