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Amazon Customer "auxbuss" (UK)

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Habibi
Habibi
by Craig Thompson
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £20.95

5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful, 8 Feb. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Habibi (Hardcover)
This is an astonishing work. It is beautifully illustrated, intelligently and sympathetically written, although it pulls no punches, and steeped in the culture of its story. It is a work of art that you can own for the price of a small grocery shop. Wonderful.


The Ask and the Answer (Chaos Walking)
The Ask and the Answer (Chaos Walking)
by Patrick Ness
Edition: Paperback

5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant., 12 Sept. 2010
For me, books one and three in the trilogy are imperfect, but The Ask and the Answer, is a perfect ten (or five Amazon stars).

It's a riveting read from start to finish and pulls no punches. It's quite raw in places, emotionally, and because Ness draws his characters so realistically, you ride the wave with each of them. The characters here are many and varied. When good they are less than perfect, and when bad there are often redeeming features, or at least hints at them. And there are plenty of characters whom you are not sure whether they are good or bad.

This is a 5*+ book. It's exceptional. But reading The Knife of Never Letting Go is required beforehand.


The Knife of Never Letting Go (Chaos Walking)
The Knife of Never Letting Go (Chaos Walking)
by Patrick Ness
Edition: Paperback

4.0 out of 5 stars Romping good fun, 12 Sept. 2010
There are plenty of reviews quite rightly praising this first book of the trilogy. It is a ripping tarn; an original plot; a very interesting world (better than a lot of similar adult fiction); brilliantly drawn characters, both the good guys and the bad guys -- you will love Manchee the dog, especially.

The book lost a star, for me, for two reasons. At one point the plot drags. I started skimming, which I rarely do, so I have to recognise that failing. I think the author was trying to create tension at this point, but it failed for me.

The other problem is the contrived way in which the protagonist does not attend to a certain item he gains very, very early in the story. This won't bother everyone, though, and it in no way detracts from everything else that is great about this book.

However, the best bit is your reward for reading for reading this book, which is to read the second book, The Ask and the Answer, which is an utterly brilliant 5*s.


CouchDB: The Definitive Guide
CouchDB: The Definitive Guide
by Noah Slater
Edition: Paperback
Price: £22.52

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Inadequate detail and very poor editing, 25 Aug. 2010
When needing a quick introduction to a new tool, O'Reilly has worked well for me over the years. Over the past few years, however, O'Reilly's quality has dropped -- not overall, but certainly more poor works are being published. The spelling and grammar errors here are inexcusable, particularly for a big tech publisher like O'Reilly. But that's not the only problem.

I echo Mp Van Iersel's review entirely, particularly Chapter 5 on Design Documents, which left me completely confused. It starts with:

"Design documents are a special type of CouchDB document that contains application code. Because it runs inside a database, the application API is highly structured. We've seen JavaScript views and other functions in the previous chapters. In this section, we'll take a look at the function APIs, and talk about how functions in a design document are related within applications."

Which is no introductory explanation at all, and then it immediately launches into "Design modelling".

It is also confusing, and frustrating, that MapReduce is mentioned early on, but only Map is demonstrated; there is no example of Reduce at all. Since this also ties in with Views -- all of these being central concepts to CouchDB -- this is baffling.

I gave up at this point, and resorted to learning from the web, which is the worst indictment I can make.

Buck up O'Reilly. I don't doubt the author's know their stuff, but they need guidance and assistance on how to write a book.


Behind The Scenes At The Museum
Behind The Scenes At The Museum
by Kate Atkinson
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
Price: £5.59

21 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I am Ruby Lennox, 24 April 2006
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
The life of Ruby Lennox is British irony at its best and a cracking good story to boot. Technically excellent, the prose flows effortlessly, immersing you in Ruby's world and her family's meandering, lively history.

In an earlier review, someone said "... it gave me the very real impression that Atkinson wants to write about women for women, giving us history from the point of view of women". What nonsense. This comment says more about the reviewer's understanding of men than about the novel or the author. There is nothing remotely women-only about this novel; after all, it contains sex, football and plenty of violent deaths, so is clearly ripe for male reading.

Those lacking irony - or are perhaps as delusional as the characters here - might find the tone "dark", but in fact it overflows with laugh out loud humour. If you are not laughing, then perhaps it is cutting too close to your bones. Chilling.

Anyone born in the UK from 1960-ish and before will likely recognise a world now disappeared - and good riddance, I say - and have forgotten memories rekindled of small moments that passed fleetingly in their past.

The introduction of myriad characters early on - although many are dead almost before they (seemingly) contribute - is a little overwhelming - but perhaps that says more about this reader. A family tree would help.

Fine, fine writing. I urge you to read it; there aren't many this good.

One point, however, where I seem to disagree with most of the reviews that I've read, is that the denouement of the P_ thread is hardly a surprise. And it's not supposed to be - it's signposted in flashing neon throughout the text. At every stage of her life, Ruby is aware that something is "not quite right"; it's the marvelous way that the author examines Ruby's changing (maturing?) feelings and how it affects her relationships that is surely at the heart of the book.

Now: why the heck haven't the BBC turned this into a drama?
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jun 4, 2010 4:25 PM BST


Warp 10+3 Remixes
Warp 10+3 Remixes
Price: £14.99

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Remarkable, 29 Jan. 2005
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Warp 10+3 Remixes (Audio CD)
Anyone who enjoys Warp music will captivated by this album, or perhaps pair of albums. With two CDs you - at least I - will find yourself choosing one or the other to play. Perhaps each for different reasons and different moods. Simply marvelous.


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