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Reviews Written by
Chopper (Brunei)

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The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared
The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Amusing but not hilarious, 16 Jan. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
There are over 900 reviews on this book so I will make mine short.

The plot is as per the book description.Old guy disappears from the old folks home and steals a suitcase with valuable contents, falls in with some
strange characters etc. Threaded through the present narrative are chapters from Allan's amazing unbelievable life.

Once I started reading,I thought i had bought a kids book in error.
The writing style is unusual and rambles along with florid descriptions of irrelevant things.
i love black humour, and some of the content is dark, but not particularly funny.
The idea is interesting and it almost works.Almost. Towards the end I found myself wanting to finish it so I could read something else.

If you suspend the rational side of your brain and just jump into the book and go with the story it is an OK read.

Thanks for reading this.
Tick the box if it was helpful.


Hornet Flight
Hornet Flight
by Ken Follett
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.83

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars predictable, 9 Jan. 2013
This review is from: Hornet Flight (Paperback)
Set in June 1941 in occupied Denmark.
The book covers the discovery of a new German radar installation on an isolated Danish island by a patriotic Danish schoolboy..
This radar is responsible for causing disproportionate losses to RAF bombers on their raids en-route to Germany.
The hero's & heroine then try to get the details of this installation to the UK by renovating and prparing a light aircraft under the noses of the German military and flying it to England so the "boffins" can come up with a solution to reduce the losses. Phew!

i found the idea and plot was good. It moves at a fair pace, but as i got further into it i started to lose interest with some of the steroptypical characters, and the improbable events e.g a man with a handgun winning a shootout with an aircraft rushing at him.
I finished it Ok and then immediately dismissed it.
The mark of a good book for me is: does it leave an impression? Does it cause me to go off and read related material? To find out more about some aspect of the subject of the book?
This one did not, hence the 3 stars,

If this review has been helpful please click the "Yes" button. Thanks for reading this.


The Miscellany of Britain
The Miscellany of Britain
by Tom O'Meara
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £6.99

3.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable, 9 Jan. 2013
This is a mini coffee table book you can pick up when you have a moment and have a chuckle at over a beer ( or whatever your poison is).

It covers People, some illustrious such as Nelson & Wellington and some who will (hopefully) be forgotten in a few years.
Places and landmarks, Historical tid-bits, and the ubiquious British culture.
Sports & customs are also up for scrutiny.

All in all a light hearted look at the British and the mark we have made on the world.
An excellent gift for an homesick ex-pat. thanks Sis!

If this review has been helpful please click the "Yes" button. Thanks for reading this.


Sharpe's Trafalgar: The Battle of Trafalgar, 21 October 1805 (The Sharpe Series, Book 4)
Sharpe's Trafalgar: The Battle of Trafalgar, 21 October 1805 (The Sharpe Series, Book 4)
by Bernard Cornwell
Edition: Paperback

3.0 out of 5 stars OK, 9 Jan. 2013
Set in 1805 this book finds Sharpe in India preparing to return to England.
On the way back Sharpe lends a helping hand at the battle of Trafalgar.

I wondered how Mr Cornwell was going to get the landlubber Sharpe his sea-legs, and he does this in a very slick, well thought out plot.
The story unfolds at a fair old pace and appears plausible.

I enjoyed this book but feel that this is a different Sharpe to the ones I read & loved all those years ago.
I have read most, if not all, of the earlier Sharpe series and was surprised to find this one. Then i realised it was written
later than the others I had previously read but covered an earlier part of Shape's career.
So, it is the TV "Sean Bean" Sharpe not the print version of Sharpe.

Never mind, a good read none-the-less.

If this review has been helpful please click the "Yes" button. Thanks for reading this.


Black Cross
Black Cross
by Greg Iles
Edition: Paperback

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Poor attempt at a thriller., 9 Jan. 2013
This review is from: Black Cross (Paperback)
Set in January 1944 Churchill decides on a desperate mission to ensure the Nazi's do not use Poison gas on the D-day beaches and stop the liberation of Western Europe.
A plausable setting given the Nazi's love of gassing human beings.

However, after a few chapters I found this book heavy going. I could only read it in small sessions and struggled to finish it.
The main characters were wooden or just sterotypes.( Has the author ever met a Highlander?)
Later I did not care what happened to them, and just kept going to find out about the mechanics of the raid and how it all ends.
The twists and turns and mission changes were unbelievable.

Without spoiling the plot, some of the more unusual things to believe were....
The Camp Commandant and the jewish prisoner in a long term relationship.
The Jewish agent who just shrugged off interrogation and could run around afterwards.
The pacifist sharp-shooting scientist.
Winston's "loose lips" at the agents personal briefing from him.
The chaotic final scenes.

i have read a lot of non-fiction about WW2 in general & the Holocaust in particular. I have visited 5 concentration camps over the years.
I have also devoured a lot of fiction about WW2.None of this prepared me for this book.
This just left me wondering what the author was trying to deliver. A satire?

This could have been very good, but was a dissapoinment. No more from this author for me.

[...] Thanks for reading this.


The 900 Days: The Siege Of Leningrad
The 900 Days: The Siege Of Leningrad
by Harrison E. Salisbury
Edition: Paperback
Price: £17.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Ice apocalypse, 9 Jan. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This excellent book covers the agonies of the City of Leningrad from Spring 1941 until the late 1950's
It is well paced and very readable.

The author opens by setting the scene on the build up to a war, and the approach of operation Barbarossa, and takes you through the horrors of the Nazi invasion & subjugation of the populac, the disatrous and bloody evacuation of Tallinn, and on into the initial encirclement of the city.
He documents the mind-boggling days of the first winter of 41/42 when the inhabiatnts are reduced to starvation in a frozen, unlit, shell of a city.
then he moves onto the preparations to break the Iron ring around the city and the eventual lifting of the siege or blockade.
The final chapters cover the Leningrad "affair" after the war when Stalin sought to erase the significance of the siege and many hundreds of notable persons involved in the battles, administration or documentation disappeared.

The book is wholly drawn from Soviet sources which the author fully documents, plus his own visits to Leningrad after the war.

I would have liked to read more from the Red Army soldiers point of view, and for some balance the German perspective on the vicious fighting involved.
The maps were poorly reproduced and insufficient for a detailed understanding of the campaigns without resorting to other
map material.

[...] Thanks for reading this.


Andrew James Precision Oven Thermometer With Large Display, Suitable for Hanging Or Standing On Oven Shelves
Andrew James Precision Oven Thermometer With Large Display, Suitable for Hanging Or Standing On Oven Shelves
Offered by Andrew James UK LTD
Price: £3.50

4.0 out of 5 stars Useful, 6 Jan. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I bought two of these thermometers.
They arrived without any hassle, and I used one for the oven, which verified that my main oven
is about40 Deg C cooler than the thermostat is set at.
The other I switch between my smoker and roaster-smoker. Home made efforts so without a thermostat.
these little beauties definitely take the guesswork out of cooking & smoking meat.

Recommended. Good value.


The Serjeant-Major - a Biography of R.S.M. Ronald Brittain MBE Coldstream Guards
The Serjeant-Major - a Biography of R.S.M. Ronald Brittain MBE Coldstream Guards
by James Leasor
Edition: Hardcover

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Larger than life character, 19 Nov. 2012
The book is the auto-biography of Ronald Brittain.
A legendary R.S.M. of the 1st Bn Coldstream Guards.
It covers his life as a young lad in liverpool at the turn of the last century, and then follows his service all the way to his retirement from the British Army after 37 years service.
He served in 2 world wars and over 40,000 officer cadets passed their training under his beady eyes.

I enjoyed the subject of the book, and found him an interesting character.
It takes a special kind of man to stay that long in a Guards Regiment.

It was also an interesting look at the British Army of nearly a century ago.
I also enjoyed the gentle humour, which had me chuckling several times.
The down side was the manner in which the author presented the story. it was not totally chronological and jumped about a bit.

That aside, an enjoyable read. A life in 190 pages.


Stairlift to Heaven: Growing Old Disgracefully
Stairlift to Heaven: Growing Old Disgracefully
Price: £2.99

5.0 out of 5 stars A good chuckle., 6 Nov. 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I have read several of Terry's other books and found them all amusing. This keeps the standard as high.

Terry highlights events in his life over a five year period between his 65th & 70th birthday in the form of several small "sketches".

Some of his humour is non-p.c. Good! i am sick of P.C.
His rich description and set up for punchlines are good, and the punchlines better.
i could easily picture some of the "sketches" as a sit-com.

I loved the line "the Scots traditionally being very big on throwing things, hammers, cabers, tantrums,uppercuts, sickies and so on................."
Also describing a sky as "murky & grey as an Afghans underpants....................."

Or his philosophy on purchasing trousers. "......considering the purchase of new trousers I always ask myself which would i rather have, a brand new pair of trousers or a second hand pair of trousers with lots of wear left in them, plus a couple of bottles of decent wine. The second hand trousers & wine win every time". Absolutely Sir.

Good value read that will have you chortling into your coffee and guffawing into your "sundowners".


The Submarine Hunters A Story of the Naval Patrol Work in the Great War
The Submarine Hunters A Story of the Naval Patrol Work in the Great War

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The comic strip presents........., 5 Nov. 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I bought this expecting an historical account of the Naval side of WW1.
On that account I was disappointed. I certainly don't remember seeing any reviews to the contrary..

It is a "Boys own" "Wizard prang" type of story published in 1918 and very-very loosely based on factual actions.
Our 2 pubescent heroes get mixed up in all sorts of jolly japes & wheezes including assisting in sinking 3 U-Boats, capturing another U-boat, dealing with 2 Beastly Bosch spies, plus getting cast adrift in a small vessel,and interned in a Dutch military camp then lots more.
These two testosterone filled adolescents could have won the war single-handed.

I loved the peep into the past,rich with phrases like "I suggest we adjourn to the cave & partake of refreshments". Makes a change from the "Yoof" of today with the catch-all of "Innit".
Both lads were "well accomplished in the art of natation". It was a good job they could swim as well, these two were a right pair of Jonas's or Uncle Alberts for any vessel they were drafted to.
Full of "Modern Pirates" for U-boat crews & "German frightfullness".

But set into context as a read for budding war heros, some of whom were probably called up, and also propaganda tool for the war effort it made passable reading.

It actually reminded me of the BBC/Channel 4 TV series "The comic strip presents" so much that I could imagine Rik & Ade taking the lead roles.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jan 9, 2013 1:24 PM GMT


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