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The bookloving Norman (Italy)

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New! Dizolve Lavender Non-bio washing sheet x20 Laundry Detergent, not powder a sheet! less packaging for a greener world!
New! Dizolve Lavender Non-bio washing sheet x20 Laundry Detergent, not powder a sheet! less packaging for a greener world!

5.0 out of 5 stars This is magic!, 7 Nov 2013
I first bought a packet of Dizolve on holiday in France - here in Italy I haven't yet found it. I think it's really good: one small rectangular sheet washes a full 5-kilograms wash load, and -faithful to its name - it dissolves perfectly, no traces left. Plus the advantage of getting rid of the large detergent box permanently parked near your washing machine. There are 36 sheets in every packet.


Looking for the Lost God of England
Looking for the Lost God of England
by Kathleen Herbert
Edition: Paperback
Price: 5.95

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fascinating world in a rich, though brief, depiction, 27 Oct 2013
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I found this short book (whose title actually is Looking for the lost GODS of England) very good. It explains how Anglo-Saxon politheistic religion, while being essentially that of all germanic peoples including the Vikings, it had its own peculiar aspects, especially in the worship of Nature, embodied in Nerthus, a uniquely English deity. It also tells us how paganism survived long after the official conversion to Christianity of the Anglo-Saxon kings and how even after the Norman conquest the rituals connected to the yearly rebirth of nature survived. The texts of charms and prayers are given in Old English and in translation. I certainly recommend it to readers who are interested in the archaic stages of English culture, especially if, like me, they have been foisted a rather vague and confused idea of "barbarians" and their world.


World Without End [DVD] [2012]
World Without End [DVD] [2012]
Dvd ~ Ben Chaplin
Price: 10.00

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A good show, a very poor adaptation, 8 Sep 2013
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I suppose if one watches World without end without having read the book it can be saisfactory. If you are a fan of the book, though, be prepared to be disappointed, because the simplifications and changes are much worse than those in "The pillars of the Earth". Not that it is a bad show: the acting is good, the filming and costumes are great, but the plot tends to be repetitive at times, substituting the subtle steps the characters take, their evolution, with some gruesome act of vilence; every time the horrid Godwin finds an obstacle on his path, his mother Petranilla poisons, drawns or murders someone in some other gruesome way in a feat of motherly dedication, and around the third or fourth murder this tends to be slightly ridiculous. Some of the changes in the plot are understandable, even necessary considering the novel's length, others are just gratuitous. Sometimes the cuts make it difficult to understand who is who: who is Lady Philippa? If you haven't read the book you can't make it out, and anyway, why should she kill herself not to marry Ralph is a mystery.
Bigger problems arise if you are even vaguely familiar with medieval English history. I suppose the show was writtenwith American viewers in mind, and for them I suppose the intricacies of Plantagenet family ties can be even more trying than the plot of "Game of Thrones". Anyway, King Edward III may not be your ideal ruler by modern standards, as he was certainly fond of war as a way of settling international controversy, but he was a great monarch whose reforms had profound effect on his realm, and he grew very popular over his long reign. Here he looks like Disney's King John, subjugated by his mother Isabelle whom, in reality, he got rid of when he was 17. I really find it difficult to understand why the authors thought keeping wicked Isabelle around the show would work better. The trick of turning sir Thomas into Edward II instead isn't so terrible, after all: that the king survived, possibly in some Italian monastery, is a long-lived legend, and it was an opportunity to give Ben Chaplin more space.
Although I am aware that Ken Follett gave his blessing to this adatpation, which I am afraid anyone who liked the novel will find infuriating, or comical - I do advise anyone who watched the series without having read it to do so: they are bound to enjoy it greatly.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jun 20, 2014 9:37 PM BST


Game of Thrones - Season 2 [DVD] [2013]
Game of Thrones - Season 2 [DVD] [2013]
Dvd ~ Lena Headey
Price: 19.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Some of the depth is lost, but it still carries you away., 22 Jun 2013
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I have seen this series as I was still reading the book - and sometimes I had to stop watching, to avoid inflicting myself spoilers. it is certainly a good show: the acting, the costumes and scenes are really good, absolutely above standard (and if you happen to be Italian, lime me, it is stellar compared to the pitiful products we have here).
Yet.
Changes are to be expected when you adapt from a book: even in a long series such as this, you'll have to cut, so there'll be episeodes one loved in the book which are lost (to me, Meera and Jojen are the sorest cut), and characters or situations will be overlapped to avoid confusion. maybe it is even to be expected that someaspects will be simplified, but there I am not so happy with it: already in series one, some interesting elements in the book had been reversed in the tv show, so if the book Lady Catelyn insisted that Lord Stark should accept to be hand of the king, and therefore is responsible of all the disasters that will befall her family, in the seres, she is against it and he if in favour. And Drogo doesn't start his marriage raping his young wife, in the book. Maybe tv audiences are lazier than readers and what simplified situations and predictable characters, Anyway, the level of changes in series one was, I think, overall acceptable. In series 2 I do believe it goes too far. There are entirely made up characters, like the young lady-doctor that Robb Stark marries, and generally speaking, the simplification of situations and motive of the characters' action is much more evident than in series one. What's worse, it seems to me that while what may be shocking but obvious increases ( like the number of unnecessary sex scenes) so that both the witch Melisandre and poor virginal Margery Tyrrell become hungry sex machines, anything that may be disturbing to the average American viewer is tamed: Queen Cercei has "moments of doubt" on her incestuous relationship with Jaime, while in the book he is all she wants and needs. The warrior princess Asha, who obviously despises her brother Theon, here has a sudden tender memory of when he was a small baby (and why did they have to change her name?), and so on. Thankfully they didn't tame the Hound into a sweet Golden retriever. Anyway, it's still worth watching, and the amount of work in the filming, the effects, the recreation of this fictional world is admirable per se. Only, it made me want to read the book all over again, and i really can't afford that, there's still three I haven't read.


Game of Thrones - Season 1 [DVD] [2012]
Game of Thrones - Season 1 [DVD] [2012]
Dvd ~ Sean Bean
Price: 16.00

5.0 out of 5 stars What a book -But beware, it's addictive!, 27 April 2013
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I suppose Game of Thrones has been greatly praised already - the wonderful adventurous plot combined with credible characters , the way epic is combined with an exploration of the protagonists motivations and feelings. The accessibility for readers without a literary background and at the same time, the way it satisfies those who do know of Beowulf or Sigfried by bringing the Dark Ages and Northern European lore alive, but in a different version. Of course there'll be those who'll call all this imaginary world escapism, but I can only answer what Tolkien had to say to this objection: what is wrong in dreaming of a different, less grey world? (Of course the professor phrased it much better, in his essay On Fairy stories). I think the point is, some can only see the world as it is, a world of small steps and very practical problems, and even in literature and films they want THAT. Others have an alternative version of themselves somewhere in their minds - an adventurer, or witch, or a dragon, and they need the world of fantasy fiction (sword and sorcery, if you like) to live in from time to time. The only trouble is, Martin's books being much less difficult and a faster read than Tolkien's I already know that I'll have to read all of them and then read them again and again. Maybe readers should be warned - this series is addictive.


Nature Of Britain : Complete BBC Series (3 Disc Set) [DVD]
Nature Of Britain : Complete BBC Series (3 Disc Set) [DVD]
Dvd ~ Alan Titchmarsh
Price: 10.10

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The sceprted isle, 3 Nov 2012
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I discovered about this fantastic series on holiday, four years ago: not living in Britain I did not know Alan Titchmarsh for his gardening programs, I saw the book "The Nature of Britain", I found the pictures wonderful and when I looked it up on Amazon I discovered there was a tv program and ordered it. It has several remarkable qualities: that the different episodes are about different ecosystems (Freshwater, the coast, but also, the areas that people leave after having exploited them...)which are explored in their various aspects: animal life, vegetation, man's presence. That the images are absolutely stunning, but never just aimed at the "wow effect". That every episode is drenched in love for the British countryside and wildlife, without becoming sugary, there is actually a little humorous touch here and there. As a teacher of English in Italy, I will add that Mr Tichmarsh pronunciation and relaxed style of utterance makes him very accessible to students of English. I have just purchased it again because I lent the box set I had originally bought to someone I can't recall and who must have liked it, because I never got it back.


Wallander - Series 3 [DVD]
Wallander - Series 3 [DVD]
Dvd ~ Kenneth Branagh
Price: 7.50

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Branagh in the Great North, 16 Sep 2012
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This review is from: Wallander - Series 3 [DVD] (DVD)
The third Wallander series is as good as the previous two: the three episodes have good plots, interweaving the investigations with the protagonist's personal relationships; the acting is consistently good and Branagh is wonderful. The style of shooting is maybe gloomier than in the first two series which had some brilliant blue skies sometimes, and the themes are interesting (one example, the presence of religious fanatism in a completely secular society). The only aspect in which maybe this series is less good is that it has less space for the other police characters, most of them are new and we don't get to know them at all. Unfortunately Tom Hiddleston/Magnus has moved to Asgard...
It's a very good series, and I do advise to buy it.


Ghost Dog - The Way Of The Samurai [DVD]
Ghost Dog - The Way Of The Samurai [DVD]
Dvd ~ Forest Whitaker
Price: 3.80

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of Jarmush's best, 18 April 2012
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You never know what a Jum Jarmush film will be like - since the crazy years of Daunbailò with Roberto Benigni, every film cen be totally new,always unusual, though not necessarily always good. After the amazing Dead man, an allucinatory black and white western with Johnny Depp so pale you'd think he is going to dissolve on the screen, there came Ghost Dog, with a very solid-looking professional Killer, Forest Whittaker, in a highly unusual version of an action movie. The best characteristic is probably the surprising mixture of lyricism and grotesque comedy. A very good narrative pace, which goes very well with the musical score and the livid, bleak colours.


DIGIFLEX Black Hard Case Cover & Screen Protector for Amazon Kindle 3
DIGIFLEX Black Hard Case Cover & Screen Protector for Amazon Kindle 3
Offered by Digiflex
Price: 16.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Undercover, 10 Sep 2011
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I chose this corduroy cover for my Kindle because, as a vegetarian, I didn't want the better-looking leather one. It looks alright, not smart, but not ugly or cheap. I would have liked it to have a thin strap to be able to carry it on my shoulder like a handbag, but I knew it didn't have one when I purchased it. Personally I don't like to leave the Knindle in the cover when I use it, although the screen remains visible. One difect: when I placed the transparent film protector on the screen, some of the glue remained on the surface. No big deal, but it shouldn't have. That's all - I'm afraid this one review will only be informative, not entertaining, I couldn't find anything funny to say about it...


Beowulf
Beowulf
by Michael Morpurgo
Edition: Paperback
Price: 7.19

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A wilderness of dragons, 17 Jun 2011
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This review is from: Beowulf (Paperback)
I first bought this book to see if it could be a summer reading for my first year students - 14 year-old Italian kids. I won't know how they'll like it till September, but I must say I did. The illustrations are really fine, especially the pictures of the Death Dragon, the language is rich and tries to retain at least echoes of the original alliterative technique. It is much better than the films that have been made from the poem. I suppose for native speakers it could be good at a younger age, anyway it is surely going to be involving - the adventures, the creatures prowling the night, the great hero - epic appeals to kids, and not necessarily only boys. And who knows, some could go all the way from reading this prose version, to reading the poem in some years time - it is so beautiful. Some ( very few,slightly crazy, but happy) could even become so enthralled by this archaic world as to end up as students of Old English and read the original. Whaet!


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