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Lee Barker "leebarker6"

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The Malay Archipelago. The Land of the Orang-Utan and the Bird of Paradise. A Narrative of Travel with Studies of Man and Nature. (Elibron Classics)
The Malay Archipelago. The Land of the Orang-Utan and the Bird of Paradise. A Narrative of Travel with Studies of Man and Nature. (Elibron Classics)
Price: £4.28

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great book but so many typos and poor formatting of pages (Kindle edition), 26 Jun. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I'm 11% through the Kindle edition of this book and enjoying the narrative enormously, Wallace's prose is still highly enjoyable today (even with the odd wince at the descriptions of "natives" and other "races" ) but the enjoyment is marred but the sheer number of typos. If this was a print edition it would have been rejected. The other annoyance is some of the formatting, which puts footnotes in the middle of pages and in others pages are half blank for no discernable reason. The illustrations come out well and the ability to download PDFs of the oversize maps from the website is welcome. Overall I cannot give this book more than an "it's okay", which is mainly credit to Wallace.


Character Building Deadly 60 Deluxe Safari set
Character Building Deadly 60 Deluxe Safari set
Offered by Millsons Toys
Price: £22.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Great set for lovers of Deadly 60, 16 Jan. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Good value at the reduced price I got it for, would be better if these larger sets included more animals.


The Story of Writing: Alphabets, Hieroglyphs and Pictograms
The Story of Writing: Alphabets, Hieroglyphs and Pictograms
by Andrew Robinson
Edition: Paperback

31 of 31 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not the story of writing but still an immensely fascinating, 1 Sept. 2003
I bought this book in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York after visiting their exhibition ‘Art of The First Cities’, seduced by its lavish illustrations (over 350, 50 in colour!). Buying books in that kind of situation is usually a mistake and when I first started reading ‘The Story of Writing’ I thought this had been one of those occasions, as almost the first line explains that ‘it does not trace the development of writing … ‘
However, that initial disappointment was quickly dispelled as I became engrossed by Robinson’s brief but clear introduction to writing systems and the following fascinating section on ‘Extinct Writing’, which is divided into chapters each dedicated to the script of a major, ancient civilisation (cuneiform, hieroglyphs, Cretan Linear B, Mayan glyphs etc.).
As those familiar with Robinson’s other books may expect, he focuses significant attention on the people responsible for the decipherment of the extinct languages he discusses. As one myself, I was particularly pleased to learn that it was an (eccentric) architect who paved the way to the understanding of Cretan Linear B.
The methods and history of the translation of ancient or lost languages, simply and effectively explained, were a revelation to me. The few puzzles Robinson has included add significantly to the experience, allowing the reader to feel as if they are participating in the unfolding decipherment. The illustrations are all very well chosen to match the text.
After the rush of excitement produced by the first two thirds of the book, I found the section on ‘Living Writing’ a slight disappointment. Robinson is at his best when enthusing about decipherment past, present and future. I eagerly await the release of the paperback edition of Robinson’s book ‘Lost Languages’ in the confident expectation that it will be wholly as fascinating and well written as the best chapters in ‘The Story of Writing’.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Nov 24, 2012 12:56 PM GMT


Spaceflight revolution
Spaceflight revolution
by David Ashford
Edition: Paperback
Price: £21.25

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A dream about to come true?, 14 Aug. 2003
This review is from: Spaceflight revolution (Paperback)
The dream of travelling into space has come no closer for the ordinary person in the four decades that NASA has dominated space. David Ashcroft's lucid account of the history of spacecraft evolution and his arguments for why we are on the brink of a revolution in access to space left me both frustrated at the missed opportunities (that could have led to you and I having been into space already) and exhilarated by the thought of how tantalisingly close we are to realising that dream.
I recommend this book to anyone with more than the most casual interest in space tourism or the democratisation of space. I'm sure that I won't be the only one to be utterly convinced by the elegance of Ashcroft's arguments for the 'aeroplane approach' and inspired to play whatever small part I can in making the dream a reality.


Snow Crash
Snow Crash
by Neal Stephenson
Edition: Paperback

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If you only ever read one cyberpunk novel..., 14 Aug. 2003
This review is from: Snow Crash (Paperback)
If you only ever read one cyberpunk novel, read this one. The publishing of this book in 1993 was a defining moment in the evolution of cyberpunk with the book instantly becoming the genre's paradigm. It was the ultimate in computers, drugs and rock 'n' roll. It's vision of cyberspace connected intimately with the expectations of the 'Doom' playing computer generation and made William Gibson's cyberspace of raw date look as obsolete as the computers that had inspired it.
But Snow Crash is more than just a great cyberpunk story, it is a great novel. Here is a boisterous book that is endlessly inventive, with a fine cast of characters moving in lavishly described surroundings, with a plot that encompasses the world, with a great sense of humour and irony throughout. With its mix of technology and mythology, hard science and 'X-Files' fantasy, and humour and cynicism the novel was a great reflection of popular culture. In Neal Stephenson, cyberpunk and science fiction had found their Dickens.
However, to experience the real sensation that is Snow Crash, you shouldn't try to read it too deeply. To do so is to risk becoming roadkill under the thundering wheels juggernaut that is this book. Instead, like it heroine, 'poon a ride on the back of Stephenson's speeding narrative and thrash your way through his cyber-cityscapes. It's a trip worth taking.


Snow Crash
Snow Crash
by Neal Stephenson
Edition: Paperback

12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If you only ever read one cyberpunk novel..., 14 Aug. 2003
This review is from: Snow Crash (Paperback)
If you only ever read one cyberpunk novel, read this one. The publishing of this book in 1993 was a defining moment in the evolution of cyberpunk with the book instantly becoming the genre’s paradigm. It was the ultimate in computers, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll. It’s vision of cyberspace connected intimately with the expectations of the ‘Doom’ playing computer generation and made William Gibson’s cyberspace of raw date look as obsolete as the computers that had inspired it.
But Snow Crash is more than just a great cyberpunk story, it is a great novel. Here is a boisterous book that is endlessly inventive, with a fine cast of characters moving in lavishly described surroundings, with a plot that encompasses the world, with a great sense of humour and irony throughout. With its mix of technology and mythology, hard science and ‘X-Files’ fantasy, and humour and cynicism the novel was a great reflection of popular culture. In Neal Stephenson, cyberpunk and science fiction had found their Dickens.
However, to experience the real sensation that is Snow Crash, you shouldn’t try to read it too deeply. To do so is to risk becoming roadkill under the thundering wheels juggernaut that is this book. Instead, like it heroine, ‘poon a ride on the back of Stephenson’s speeding narrative and thrash your way through his cyber-cityscapes. It’s a trip worth taking.


Spaceflight Revolution
Spaceflight Revolution
by David Ashford
Edition: Hardcover

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A dream about to come true?, 14 Aug. 2003
This review is from: Spaceflight Revolution (Hardcover)
The dream of travelling into space has come no closer for the ordinary person in the four decades that NASA has dominated space. David Ashcroft’s lucid account of the history of spacecraft evolution and his arguments for why we are on the brink of a revolution in access to space left me both frustrated at the missed opportunities (that could have led to you and I having been into space already) and exhilarated by the thought of how tantalisingly close we are to realising that dream.
I recommend this book to anyone with more than the most casual interest in space tourism or the democratisation of space. I’m sure that I won’t be the only one to be utterly convinced by the elegance of Ashcroft’s arguments for the ‘aeroplane approach’ and inspired to play whatever small part I can in making the dream a reality.


Spaceflight Revolution
Spaceflight Revolution
by David Ashford
Edition: Hardcover

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A dream about to come true?, 14 Aug. 2003
This review is from: Spaceflight Revolution (Hardcover)
The dream of travelling into space has come no closer for the ordinary person in the four decades that NASA has dominated space. David Ashcroft’s lucid account of the history of spacecraft evolution and his arguments for why we are on the brink of a revolution in access to space left me both frustrated at the missed opportunities (that could have led to you and I having been into space already) and exhilarated by the thought of how tantalisingly close we are to realising that dream.
I recommend this book to anyone with more than the most casual interest in space tourism or the democratisation of space. I’m sure that I won’t be the only one to be utterly convinced by the elegance of Ashcroft’s arguments for the ‘aeroplane approach’ and inspired to play whatever small part I can in making the dream a reality.


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