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John Ault (Edinburgh, Scotland)
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Acer AL1916WS 19" Widescreen LCD Monitor
Acer AL1916WS 19" Widescreen LCD Monitor

13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing value and amazing service, 21 April 2006
A fantastic screen for the price. We are a tv-less household, and this is absolutely fantastic for watching DVDs.

Also a word of praise for Amazon customer service. The first screen we had went fut, and simply by reporting the problem on-line, Amazon imediately ordered another one and dispatched it the next day, and paid for a courier to come and pick up the one that did not work. Very smooth and hassle free.


The Best of Don McLean
The Best of Don McLean
Price: £2.99

17 of 20 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Who ate all the pies?, 26 Mar. 2006
This review is from: The Best of Don McLean (Audio CD)
American Pie is a well known and loved clasic. What we do not have here is a collection of similar tracks. Indeed, from the evidence here, you'd have to assume that American Pie was some sort of aberation.
This is not to say that the other tracks are not good, they are just more soulful and spiritual than you might expect.
My very favourite is Castles in the Air, which for me is a more satisfying song than American Pie.
So, why not buy it for what it is - a collection of soulful light rock with american pie too. But don't buy it for what it isn't.


The Eyre Affair (Thursday Next)
The Eyre Affair (Thursday Next)
by Jasper Fforde
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.74

12 of 33 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining, but no thinking allowed, 26 Mar. 2006
This book is very entertaining, well paced, and good value as a jolly romp. One to read on a plane, or in an endless wait to get on a plane.
However, if you stop to think about any aspect of it, you swiftly regret it. After all, we do live in a physical universe (or, at least, I do). Even science fiction lite, like the wonderful Harry Harrison, makes an effort to fit the plot and events into some sort of framework of cause and effect. Not here though, where even follows (and sometimes preceeds) event with merry abandon of any contstraint, even one defined within the bounds of the book itself.
So although its entertaining, it is ultimately unfullfilling. A plot developed without constraint can go anywhere, as the characters are not bound by any restrictions (either from the real world, or only existing in the world of the book). So it just rather flops about like a beached fish, albeit in an entertaining way.
For me, the child falls into book world fantasies of Lauren Childs are much better. This sort of abandonment of reason makes more sense in a children's book, plus you get excellent pictures and save hours of reading time for someting better.


Bob Dylan: MTV Unplugged [DVD] [2004]
Bob Dylan: MTV Unplugged [DVD] [2004]
Dvd ~ Bob Dylan
Price: £7.50

22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Forgive me Bob, 13 Mar. 2006
It hardly needs saying that Bob Dylan is an absolute genius, and has more talent than most of us can even imagine.
So it is with a certain hesitency that I criticise this DVD. But I have to. My theory is he was having a bit of an off night. And he was definitely not happy with that mike stand. So his mind, and his playing, and most of all his phrasing, starts to go all over the place.
The other guy playing guitar is doing a display of perfect chord foramation and rhythm, and Bobs just plucking around here and there way down the fretboard (with his guitar way down in the mix). The phrasing goes really awray in "All along the watchtower", which is unfortunate as the essence of this song its its tight rhythmic structure. First Bob fiddles with that mike, and then two lines come tumbling out all at once. And while the other guitarist ticks over the familiar chord sequence, Bob is fiddlng about.
So, who am I to critise genius. After all, its Bob's own amazing songs to which he's not quite doing justice. But this could have been better.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: May 28, 2011 1:41 AM BST


12 Songs
12 Songs
Offered by Shop4World
Price: £4.02

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Just the songs, no cheese, 13 Mar. 2006
This review is from: 12 Songs (Audio CD)
Some of what I read rather exagerated how stripped down this album would be. This is not one man and his guitar, there are still many instruments, and some strings. However, the strings are used in moderation, and down the mix, and there are no backing singers (except for Brian Wilson!) and no blooming Barbara Streisand (thank goodness).
What you get firstly is a purety of sound, that allows the great strong mellow dark roast of a voice through in all its glory. You also hear lovely acoustic instruments beautifully played.
What you get secondly is a mix like the first verse of some of Diamond's past work, without all the horrible fiddly bits of strings and backing at the end. Also, each song ends, rather than fading away.
The problem with listening to Diamond was always that someone might come in during the last third of a song, and then you'd look an idiot listening to some really cheesy record. Here, you just look like you've overcome any inhibitions to listen to something really good.


I Am Charlotte Simmons
I Am Charlotte Simmons
by Tom Wolfe
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.99

9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars In the end, Tom Wolfe is as cruel as Hoyt Thorpe, 23 Feb. 2006
This review is from: I Am Charlotte Simmons (Paperback)
There are some great passages in this book, but Woolfe is just too unrealistically cruel to his central character for this to be a really satisfying read. No one is that isolated, even it they are from hicksville at a great university. Out of interest, I check out the list of student societies at Yale via Google. A long and varied list it is too. Why did Charlotte not find a "Women in Science" group, a "Student Environmental Coalition" or even a Christian Union, for goodness sake? To leave her so isolated, even to the end when things are ostensibly looking up, and so stupid when she is so clever, just loses the reader in the end. Wolfe moves from satire to cruelty, at some point.
I once met the only former state school pupil in her year at Merton College, Oxford, and a very happy and well adjusted young women she was. And at Oxford, while there were rowdy "dining societies" acting like frat boys, there were also green groups, charity groups, lefty groups.
So, while it is fun to read a book bursting with wit and vengeful humour, at the end I felt let down by Wolfe's disregard for a bit of balance in the woes of Ms Simmons.
I am not Charlotte Simmons.


Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit (2 Disc Special Edition) [DVD] [2005]
Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit (2 Disc Special Edition) [DVD] [2005]
Dvd ~ Peter Sallis
Offered by Jasuli
Price: £3.95

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars We need more stars, Gromit, 23 Feb. 2006
Five stars are just not enough for this brilliant film. It captures all the charm of the simpler short films, and builds on a feature length plot and a multitude of wonderful creatures and characters. The bunnies are cute, the Ralf Fiennes character just made me weep with laughter. The vicar and the townsfolk are all little gems of their own.
The detail of this film is just incredible. Walace’s wacky inventions, the hall and its roof-top conservatory, and so on throughout the film. There is always something to catch the eye, and something to make you laugh. Gromit is one of the great comic characters of any age of movies. Simple humour, of gesture and timing.
My four year old loved it, my six year old loved it. I’m going to watch this DVD over and over and still get real pleasure for years to come


The Time Traveler's Wife
The Time Traveler's Wife
by Audrey Niffenegger
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.29

4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Memoirs of a timetravelling man, 23 Feb. 2006
The great thing about this book is that it takes a science fiction-type idea, time travelling, but virtually ignores the technical aspects. Instead, the book is about the emotional and practical consequences of being a time-traveller, or of having one in the family. A facinating read, occasionally flawed, but full of rich ideas and characters. If only real science fiction writers could learn to colour their characters with a bit of motivation and emotion, too.
The book this most reminded me of was H F Saint's Memoirs of an Invisible Man. Similarly, the invisibility was a freak occurance, and the book is about practical and emotional consequences of that happening. Interestingly, some of these consequences involve dodging the secret services who want to recruit the invisible man. A strange thing about the time-travellers wife is that the CIA never come after Henry.
Memoirs of an Invisible Man was quite a splash at the time, but now seems to be out of print. Worth hunting down a copy, though. Memoirs was also a first novel, and never followed up. Where next for Niffenefegger, I wonder?


Gaia: medicine for an ailing planet
Gaia: medicine for an ailing planet
by James Lovelock
Edition: Paperback

22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not a perfect book, but a very important idea, 21 Feb. 2006
It is perhaps now hard to remember the impact of the ideas in this book when they were first published. These ideas were so influential on people's thinking that they have been absorbed into the discussion of the global environment. True, they are not universally accepted, indeed there are some who reject much of the thinking in the book. However, the core idea - of regarding the Earth as a single living organism, is so simple yet huge in scope that it touches all subsequent thinking. You can see this idea as a hard fact - a minority view, sometimes almost religious in intensity. Or you can see this idea as a useful metaphor for thinking about how the Earth responds to the good and bad of human actions - probably the more common view.
So the Gaia theory, for all its flaws, should be read by serious folk as a key step in the development of thinking on the global environment. And, lets face it, no subject is more important.


The Time Traveler's Wife
The Time Traveler's Wife
by Audrey Niffenegger
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.29

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Memoirs of a timetravelling man, 11 Feb. 2006
The great thing about this book is that it takes a science fiction-type idea, time travelling, but virtually ignores the technical aspects. Instead, the book is about the emotional and practical consequences of being a time-traveller, or of having one in the family. A facinating read, occasionally flawed, but full of rich ideas and characters. If only real science fiction writers could learn to colour their characters with a bit of motivation and emotion, too.
The book this most reminded me of was H F Saint's Memoirs of an Invisible Man. Similarly, the invisibility was a freak occurance, and the book is about practical and emotional consequences of that happening. Interestingly, some of these consequences involve dodging the secret services who want to recruit the invisible man. A strange thing about the time-travellers wife is that the CIA never come after Henry.
Memoirs of an Invisible Man was quite a splash at the time, but now seems to be out of print. Worth hunting down a copy, though. Memoirs was also a first novel, and never followed up. Where next for Niffenefegger, I wonder?


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