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Mr. R. I. Scarrow "riscarrow" (UK)
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All the Colours of Darkness: The 18th DCI Banks Mystery
All the Colours of Darkness: The 18th DCI Banks Mystery
by Peter Robinson
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £16.99

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars My first Banks- didn't like it., 25 Jan. 2010
As mentioned in the title, this is the first DCI Banks book I've read, and I wasn't impressed.

I found the skeleton of the plot reasonable enough; a seemingly straightforward domestic-related murder-suicide involving characters with some interesting facets to their lives and personalities.

Sadly, from there it goes downhill quickly. The Secret Service angle is unrealistic, and having heard about the supposed twists, I expected that part to be bottomed quite quickly, but it wasn't.

The interlinked story of a seperate crime (a stabbing) lacks any real depth, and the two plots do not gel together well enough. The characters are undeveloped and stereotyped, and I wasn't bothered how it turned out.

The terrorist incident was completely pointless, and seemingly thrown in at random. Perhaps it will be relevant in a later story, but I will not be finding out.

The issue over every piece of music being listened to being named has been well-trodden in previous reviews. It was pretentious, and annoyed me from an early stage.

Also, if you like police novels with a touch of realism about processes and procedures, this is definitely not for you. I could quote reams of examples, but I won't. If it bothers you, don't read it.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Apr 26, 2010 7:47 AM BST


Tokyo
Tokyo
by Mo Hayder
Edition: Paperback

5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic and not a little moving., 1 Feb. 2009
This review is from: Tokyo (Paperback)
I've just finished this book, after flying through it in a matter of days (not easy with kids/work demanding your attention too!)

I judge a book by how quickly I turn the pages, coupled with a lack of desire for it to be finished. This book has both things in spades.

Essentially two interlinked stories which are seperated in time, with chapters short enough for it to be classed as a 'page-turner'. Both stories hold up very well on their own, I agree with a previous reviewer that the historical part is better, as it is in diary form the characters automatically need (and get) less development.

In the 'modern' story, Grey's past isn't quite delved into enough for me. I understood Jason, but can understand why others won't. The 'baddies' are sufficiently developed to hold the interest right to the end.

All in all, a fantastic read. It is moving, even to a cold-hearted bloke like myself.


The Visitor: (Jack Reacher 4)
The Visitor: (Jack Reacher 4)
by Lee Child
Edition: Paperback

4.0 out of 5 stars Great page turner., 12 July 2008
This is the first Lee Child book I've read, and it won't be the last.

The plot is well-structured and well-paced, and the characters are likeable, believable and well-described. The end twist is quite well-done, and less predictable than other reviewers have made out (it may be more obvious for regular Child readers).

That said, this book is not without its faults. I found it quite difficult to get into at the start, and the female agent love interest is not particularly believable, nor is it neccessary (when are they I ask myself). It ends a little too quickly for me aswell.

That said, these are minor points really, the central story is very well-done. This is a definite page-turner, and keeps you coming back for more.


The Cell
The Cell
by Colin Forbes
Edition: Paperback

2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing., 23 Jun. 2008
This review is from: The Cell (Paperback)
I read this all the way through, without quite realising why.

Part of me was eager to find the next horrendous piece of editing. The book is full of typos, moreso than any other book I have read. Or maybe they just leapt out from the pages of turgid prose and musing.

Part of me wanted to read the author's idea of a modern police service, a vision which a long way wide of the mark. Detectives with guns? Please. The big boss going on action-packed jaunts? Whatever.

Part of me wanted to laugh at the author's next racist assumption, which sadly litter the book, and make me wonder how much research he did when writing.

The most frustrating part of the whole experience was the fact that the basic plot is a good one. A mysterious village in the countryside. An intelligent, fresh plan from the baddies, and there were some characters who were good at first glance. The characters are never really allowed to develop beyond that initial glance, and the whole thing is messed up by the writing style. One to avoid.


Mercury Meltdown Revolution (Wii)
Mercury Meltdown Revolution (Wii)
Offered by zoverstocks
Price: £5.24

4.0 out of 5 stars Lovely stuff!, 14 Jun. 2008
= Fun:4.0 out of 5 stars 
Really enjoying this game at the moment. A simple premise, coupled with well-executed controls and well-designed levels make this fun from the start. Taking those 3 in order:

Premise: The aim is to get your blob of mercury from the start of the 'maze' to the finish, overcoming various obstacles on the way. Sounds simple because it is, and the game is all the better for it.

Controls: Only played this with the Wiimote. You hold it in two hands like a traditional joypad, and tilt it forward, backward, left and right. This tilts the maze, and moves your blob (or blobs) around.

Levels: Some strokes of genius on show. Lots of obstacles, including crumbling blocks, repellers, attractors, ice, travelators etc etc. Levels are very very well designed, some of the best I've seen. Clearly a lot of thought went into them. There are no issues with longevity, there are many levels, and you can always replay them to try to improve your best score.

One of the best features of this game is the fact you can split your blob into two or more smaller blobs, then move them through the paintshops, before joining them back together in different colours (eg blue + green = turquoise).

The last game of this style I enjoyed as much was 'Kula World' on the PSone. High praise indeed!

It should be good for the kids aswell, although all the different objects on a level might confuse the younger ones. The way the Wiimote is used means there should be no issues with young hands being too small to control the game effectively.


Led Zeppelin [DVD](2003)
Led Zeppelin [DVD](2003)
Dvd ~ Led Zeppelin
Price: £16.06

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unbelievable., 1 Oct. 2004
This review is from: Led Zeppelin [DVD](2003) (DVD)
I bought this DVD having been a fan of the studio recordings for a good 5 years or so. I was a little apprehensive to be honest, thinking 'how good can footage from a 1970 gig really be?', in particular the sound quality.
However, I was blown away. The footage from every gig is excellent, the use of bootleg footage from Knebworth is very clever (how big is that big screen by the way!), and the sound quality is on the whole spot on.
Highlights for me are a 21-year-old Bonzo at the Albert Hall (amazing performance), a funky 'Whole Lotta Love' at Knebworth and 'The Ocean' at Earl's Court.
I was born in 1982, I wish it had been earlier so I could seen this amazing band in the flesh.


I Might Be Wrong (Live Recordings)
I Might Be Wrong (Live Recordings)
Offered by skyvo-direct
Price: £7.85

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars very very good., 29 April 2004
the culmination of the post-Ok Computer experiment proved to me it couldhave worked either as a live-only thing or an EP (Like How Am I Driving?).Personally, I hated Kid A and Amnesiac, save for the odd track (Idioteque,How To Disappear Completely) but I really like this album.
It seems tome to be much more accessible and musical than the studio releases. 'Likespinning Plates' acoustic is in my opinion the finest track from theexperiment, and up there with the top 5 Radiohead tracks of alltime.
Personally I think they only released two full-length albums dueto label pressures, ie spending so long on an EP would have been a wasteof time, like much of the early studio sessions. But that's another debateentirely.


OK Computer
OK Computer
Offered by FREETIME
Price: £3.91

1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Album of the 90's, 23 April 2004
This review is from: OK Computer (Audio CD)
With 'The Bends' at #2.
It's hard to sum up this album in words butI'll try.
The first 6 tracks are the best thing that came out of British music inthe 90's, harking back to the good old days where production values reallymattered. For me, 'Let Down' is the best thing Radiohead have ever done,with a truly unbelievable crescendo. How Thom thought that lot up baffledme.
Things go a bit odd with 'Fitter Happier', then a bit crap with'Electioneering', but if 'No Surprises' and 'Lucky' don't make you crywhen you're sad then you're a robot. The whole thing finishes on a rousinghigh with 'The Tourist'.
Overall, truly magnificent. Buy this now ifyou haven't got it already.
Your music collection will improve as a result.


Absolution
Absolution
Offered by DVD Overstocks
Price: £4.94

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars music for all ages., 8 Jan. 2004
This review is from: Absolution (Audio CD)
I've been a fan of Muse since Showbiz, and they get better with every release, and now truly seem to have settled into a fairly unique style. They are the leaders in piano/guitar rock now Radiohead have gone down the tubes. This album is great in my opinion. The vocals, guitar and piano of Bellamy are all excellent, however what makes Muse stand out for me is the bass/drums interaction, which is better than that of any other band around at the moment. I love this album, my Dad loves it and my sister does too, and we all have different tastes. Coldplay couldn't do something half as big as this with 5 people, Muse do it with 3. Buy it now.


Animals
Animals
Offered by westworld-
Price: £20.00

4 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Difficult, but definitely worth it., 25 Nov. 2002
This review is from: Animals (Audio CD)
Take a minute to picture this... An album around 45 minutes long with 5 tracks (nothng new to the Floyd I know, but carry on..)
Two of the tracks contribute 3 minutes between them. That leaves about 42 minutes for three tracks. Brave? Yes. Silly? Perhaps. Brilliant? Oh God yes.
Save for the bookended track 'Pigs on the Wing (1&2)', which is a comparatively 'happy' song, Roger Waters vents his spleen to a degree not seen on any other Floyd album (not even The Wall). Dogs is particularly hateful, written about the government and fat-cat directors. Pigs (3 Different Ones) and Sheep are more reflective (Sheep in the most humourous way).
The lyrics are dark yet brilliant, but the thing that holds the album together is the music. Gilmour's work is exquisite, from a trademark lead break (never pretentious) on Dogs, to a very choppy rhythm section on Sheep. Waters, Mason and Wright are excellent also. The troubles the band were going through are well-documented. The fact that this album gels so well despite those troubles is testament to the ability of all in the band.
I'll be honest, I didn't like this album when I first heard it. A dozen listens later, it's my second favourite (After WYWH).
Buy this album. Now. Listen, read the lyrics and let it grow on you. I promise it will.


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