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Reviews Written by
Glenn Reuben "Gluben" (Essex, UK)

Page: 1
50 Velvet Black Hangers
50 Velvet Black Hangers
Offered by worldofbargain888
Price: £22.59

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Nice hangers, shame about the company..., 23 Feb. 2012
These hangers are incredibly handy. The handle is not too weak that it'll fall off, but not too strong that it's impossible to move. The hangers feel quite felt-like and easily free up a lot of space in my wardrobe. It's also nice to have hangers which look the same as each other and fit all types of clothing so that you don't have to worry if a T-shirt hanger is too small for a bulky jacket.

However, this review is not 5 stars because of cybershop. It's partly my fault and I should've heeded others' warnings, but it ended up being a set of 45 hangers. Four of them had hooks loose in the plastic packaging which had broken off, and one didn't even have a hook at all. So my advice is to order them from another seller who will take more care with their packaging process. But the hangers I highly recommend.

The QI Annual 2010
The QI Annual 2010
by John Mitchinson
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £12.99

35 of 47 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A ginormous glut of G-ness!, 19 Nov. 2009
This review is from: The QI Annual 2010 (Hardcover)
G is for glee (and for Glenn and Gluben, rather pleasingly), and this is certainly what you will find, amongst other things, in the QI 'G' Annual, the third in the hopefully long-running series of annuals related to the rather excellent and, of course, quite interesting BBC television series QI.

For those of you that don't know (and by now, really, you should, you silly people), QI is a game show with a quest: to find, discover, root out and unravel the various peculiarities of the universe and prove that anything and everything is "quite interesting", if looked at in the right way. Not only that, but it can be pretty fun and, indeed, funny as well, especially in the capable hands of host Stephen Fry, regular panellist/stud-muffin Alan Davies and his gregarious gang. Points are awarded for interesting answers to a question nobody knows the answer to, and points deducted for an obvious-but-wrong answer accompanied by flashing words and an embarrassing klaxon. All this sounds rather complicated or erudite, but trust me, the show is easily accessible and hugely enjoyable.

This 96-page annual ties into the seventh series of the show, known as the 'G' series, with each episode related to something beginning with said letter. Appropriate, then, that the cover is a gorgeous green complete with gnome caricatures of many panellists. The artwork continues inside where the colour bursts forth gloriously, so even children will be entertained purely by the layout itself, much of which is helped by artists and writers like Jacqueline Bisset, Craig Brown, Mat Coward, Piers Fletcher (who took over producing duties on the panel show recently), Gray Jolliffe, Roger Law and Nick Newman. Each page is garish but not gaudy, complete with many g-words, geographical greats, galactical galleries, gods, gladiatorial grooming, generals, gardens, goons, gangsters, gin, growth, ghosts, gallivanting, gulls, golf, globetrotting, Geordies, gravel, giraffes, geese, greenery, gags, girls, guineas, gnus, gravity, gremlins, Gielgud, giants, genitals, Geoffs and, of course, the show's perennial final round, General Ignorance. To name a few. Whether you are looking for fascinating historical nuggets or crude toilet humour, you will not be bored by what there is to offer here.

For newbies, there is no better time to get into the show, as the episode count has increased from 12 to 16 and the panellists featured vary from regulars like Ronni Ancona, Clive Anderson, Bill Bailey, Danny Baker, Jo Brand, Rob Brydon, Jimmy Carr, Jeremy Clarkson, Hugh Dennis, Rich Hall, Andy Hamilton, Phill Jupitus, Sean Lock, David Mitchell, Dara Ó Briain, Liza Tarbuck and Johnny Vegas to newcomers like Jack Dee, John Hodgman, Barry Humphries, Lee Mack, Graham Norton, Sue Perkins, Jan Ravens, David Tennant and Sandi Toksvig. Indeed, many of them contribute to the annual - Clive Anderson researches Gordons, Bill Bailey teaches an air guitar masterclass, Phill Jupitus gives us historical mashups and a Radio 4 ideas machine, Sean Lock explores GILFS (Goats I'd Love to Farm), and Graham Norton, rather obviously, looks at Grahams. Others, too, offer their wisdom, with Rowan Atkinson, for example, showing us the many faces of a gambler. Plus, there's a new take on Sudoku, some cartoons ('Guerilla Gardeners' is particularly memorable), a quiz or 'Gee-Kwiz!', a crossword, a wordsearch, a Famous Five parody featuring the QI Elves (the researchers who contribute much of the show's output), a Glossoplegia (panels which basically contain memorable quotes from episodes alongside quaintly amusing pictures of the panellists) and a lovely introduction by The One They Call Stephen Fry. The contents page will also help keep things in gear.

Curiously, this is not, as you might expect, the seventh annual, as the letters A, B, C and D have not yet had annuals dedicated to them. Maybe in the future we shall see these delights. In the meantime, there are the 'E' (The QI Annual 2008) and 'F' (The QI Annual 2009) annuals to begin with. And, to add to your curiosity, might I also suggest listening to The Museum of Curiosity, a similarly-themed radio show presented by John Lloyd (the aforementioned producer on QI and the editor of the annual, who co-created the show and its concept with co-editor John Mitchinson) and assisted by Bill Bailey in the first series and Sean Lock in the second. If you like QI, you'll probably like this too. The first is available on CD (The Museum of Curiosity (BBC Audio)), the second will presumably follow, and a third series and spin-off book are also planned.

And if you're really interested, there are books relating to General Ignorance (QI: The Book of General Ignorance (The Noticeably Stouter Edition)), Animal Ignorance (QI: The Book of Animal Ignorance), the Dead (QI: The Book of the Dead) and Advanced Banter (QI: Advanced Banter); DVDs of the 'A' (QI : Complete BBC Series 1 [2003] [DVD]), 'B' (QI: The B Series [DVD]) and 'C' series (QI - The C Series [DVD]); not one, but two interactive games; and not one, not two, but three books by one of the elves, Justin Pollard.

An 'H' series is forthcoming, but will there be an 'H' annual? Who knows, but I hope there is, and hope that there are many more to come, because the QI Annual 2010 is a great stocking-filler for Christmas and grandly entertaining for the whole family. Witty from one page to the next, hilarious from the first word to the last, you will not want to put this down.

Overall, it's...erm...well...good!
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Nov 29, 2009 9:13 PM GMT

The QI Annual 2008
The QI Annual 2008
by John Lloyd
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £12.99

9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The sequel to the long-awaited A, B, C and D Annuals!, 8 Nov. 2007
This review is from: The QI Annual 2008 (Hardcover)
For a first go, the QI Annual is a wonderful 90 or so pages of interesting facts, charming and often grotesque drawings, delightful insights into items like the Elm tree, Elvis and Edinburgh, and generally childish writings that no university student could resist.

The cover is beautifully Beano-esque for a start, and Desperate Dan appears along the line as well. Particularly like the exploration of Jeremy Clarkson's animalistic eating habits, Escoffier vs. Mitchell, the 88 uses of a sausage, and Where's Johnny? is inspired.

I didn't spot Sean Lock's section anywhere though, but maybe I missed it. A shame we didn't have contributions from some panellists like Andy Hamilton or John Sessions, but this is a minor complaint. The layout is wonderfully vibrant and colourful, especially the little pearls of wisdom in the corner of some pages.

Roll on the F Annual!

Price: £6.98

12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Love is all you need, 8 Dec. 2006
This review is from: Love (Audio CD)
When people might have first heard about the idea of mixing Beatles songs, they probably would've shunned it with good cause. But musical mastermind George Martin, the producer of all the Beatles material, was behind this, and he definitely a safe pair of hands, along with his son Giles. They knew what they were doing, and thus have created this masterpiece.

It cleverly mixes tracks from the entire Beatles catalogue, from "Help!" to "Hey Jude" and from "Dear Prudence" to "Drive My Car". For longtime fans, this is a fun way to spot as many possible tracks and elements of other tracks. But what's more is the attempt to appeal to a new audience, bringing in surround sound and a constant flow from track to track without losing any energy.

Rather nicely, some tracks have almost the same tempo or rhythm, so they can play on top of one another. This is not as bad as it sounds, because it makes a lovely multi-layered experience, especially so with the perfect combination of "Tomorrow Never Knows" and "Within You Without You" (moving easily into "Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds". This is especially so on "Being For The Benefit of Mr. Kite!/I Want You (She's So Heavy)/Helter Skelter", which gives us a very noisy carnival, heavy guitar playing and Paul McCartney's angry vocals to create a very haunting, yet incredible sound. The "Yellow Submarine" enters Ringo Starr's "Octopus's Garden", "Eleanor Rigby" meets "Julia", "Blackbird" ties to "Yesterday" and "Dear Prudence" twinkles following "Come Together".

Other tracks are slightly different from their original counterparts, such as "Strawberry Fields Forever" and "While My Guitar Gently Weeps", the former cleverly building up from John Lennon's stirring vocals into a huge plethora of musical celebration (including parts of "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band", "In My Life", "Penny Lane", "Piggies" and "Hello Goodbye"), and the latter adding an extra verse to George Harrison's track, as well as containing the only new piece of music - a specially orchestrated strings piece, conducted by George Martin himself.

Also noteworthy is "Gnik Nus" ("Sun King" backwards - an obvious reference to all those fans who looked for hidden meanings in the band's songs), "Lady Madonna" with the added edge of "Hey Bulldog", "Something/Blue Jay Wray", "Revolution" flowing into "Back In The USSR" and "Drive My Car/The Word/What You're Doing".

It all climaxes with the final few tracks of emphatic Beatles pieces, namely "A Day In The Life", "Hey Jude", "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" and, eventually, the final track (and my favourite original song), perhaps encompassing the entire essence of the music - "All You Need Is Love".

My favourite part, however, is the beginning with "Get Back" segueing into "Glass Onion" effortlessly, whilst also containing parts the sudden guitar chords of "A Hard Day's Night", the jamming of "The End" and the whimsical chanting of "Hello Goodbye".

I would certainly recommend this to fans old and new of The Beatles, and anyone else who fancies it, as it is accessible to anyone really. Well done George Martin and Giles Martin, this can't be bettered!

Doctor Who Original Music from Series One & Two
Doctor Who Original Music from Series One & Two
Price: £12.64

7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant mix of music, though not quite perfect, 5 Dec. 2006
I have been an avid viewer of Doctor Who since it returned to our screens in 2005 and have been particularly fond of Murray Gold's music, which covers a whole range of emotions. Now to have it on CD is a lovely Christmas gift.

There are some very lively pieces like "Westminster Bridge", some thoughtful moments like "Clockwork TARDIS" and some real tearjerkers, particularly "Doomsday". It is all extremely rich and would be suitable for a major motion picture. However, this album is not as good as it could be. While Neil Hannon's jazzy "Love Don't Roam" is wonderful, his version of "Song For Ten", the song featured in the 2005 Christmas special "The Christmas Invasion" just doesn't suit Hannon's smooth voice. Personally, I would have preferred to hear a fuller version of Tim Phillips' version and the Phil Spector-like sound that accompanies him (fortunately, this can be found on the official Doctor Who website).

As well as this, the album version of the "Doctor Who" theme is a rather thrown together amalgamation of elements present in the 2005 and 2006 versions. The traditional sci-fi effects coupled with the huge orchestra in the middle eight don't seem to mix or compliment each other very well, and this is the one song which could have done with some extra touching-up and unification. Also, some fans will be disappointed that certain scores from episodes like "The Girl in the Fireplace" and "Army of Ghosts" are not present either.

Still, to get over 31 tracks for such a good price was well worth the wait, and both casual and longtime fans of the show won't be disappointed with the effort that has gone into making this CD. Highly recommended.

All You Need Is Love
All You Need Is Love

5.0 out of 5 stars Love is all you need, 17 July 2006
This review is from: All You Need Is Love (Audio CD)
Recorded in the summer of 1967, about the same time as "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" set a milestone as one of the most important and revolutionary albums in the history of rock music, this song perhaps captured the very essence of The Beatles - past, present and future - at the very pinnacle of their creativity.

Although it was included as part of the soundtrack album "Magical Mystery Tour" at the end of 1967 (which accompanied the ill-fated movie of the same name that aired on BBC1 on Boxing Day), it was as part of the international broadcast "Our World" that this song achieved a worldwide audience of 350 million people and became a number one single for 3 weeks. John Lennon, who wrote the song, was told by the BBC to write something that would be universal in its appeal and easily understood in meaning.

The band's ambition for more bombastic sounds and instruments and their desire to stay as a studio-based group (after the tiring nature of tours and the "Bigger than Jesus" controversy) is very much evident in this song. Beginning with the French national anthem "La Marseillaise" and ending with a combination of "2-part Invention #8 in F" by Johann Sebastian Bach, "Greensleeves" by Henry VIII, "In The Mood" by Glenn Miller and one of The Beatles' own hit songs, "She Loves You", it successfully accomplishes its universal goal. Despite this combination of tunes, the song never resorts to sentimentality or the boy/girl relationship theme of earlier Beatles song and many other American songs of the same era.

Sadly, this was the last song by the band before the death of their hugely influential manager Brian Epstein in August 1967. Although The Beatles continued to produce some excellent material in the following three years, this single event marked a decline in The Beatles as a unified group, and the music scene would never be the same again.

Nevertheless, it is perhaps testiment to the greatness of the song that it was voted the "nation's favourite" in 1999 and is still used widely today for many weddings and other happy occasions, with the 2003 film "Love Actually" one example of this.

I would certainly give this 5 stars out of 5 and would even go so far as to name it my favourite Beatles song of all. If you haven't heard this (which is practically impossible by now, to be totally honest) then I recommend it. A true great!

The League of Gentlemen -- Christmas Special [DVD] [1999]
The League of Gentlemen -- Christmas Special [DVD] [1999]
Dvd ~ Mark Gatiss
Price: £3.30

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Oh God, it's getting like bloody Jackanory in here!, 5 Aug. 2005
The League of Gentlemen depart from their two previous series for the first time. Gone is the sketch show crossed with soap opera, bringing us instead this wonderful seasonal special. Despite both these series providing viewers with enough comedy to merit Jeremy Dyson, Mark Gatiss, Steve Pemberton and Reece Shearsmith as brilliant writers who have created a cult classic, this Christmas Special shown in 2000 did enough to propel them to even greater heights. Here, they use an increased budget and several horror influences to deliver a genuinely unsettling, though strangely gripping experience.
Set on Christmas Eve in the dark and strange northern town of Royston Vasey, the unsympathetic Reverend Bernice (Shearsmith) is about to settle down to a quiet night in, until three unexpected visitors arrive and treat us to an hour of scary stories in a similar, though far more macabre way, to "A Christmas Carol".
Firstly, a depressed Charlie Hull (Pemberton) tells of a "cheese-dream" where his jealous wife Stella (Shearsmith) ruins his chances at a line-dancing competition through a strange group known as "Solutions"...
Next, an elderly man named Matthew tells of his terrifying experiences in the German town of Duisberg during Christmas 1975, at the hands of German exchange teacher Herr Lipp (Pemberton) and his wife Lotte (Gatiss), who may or may not be vampires...
Then, as the night closes in, hopeless veterinary Mr Chinnery (Gatiss) explains the reason behind his own misfortunes, dating back to Victorian London, a practice called Purblind, Boothby and Canker, and the mysterious curse of Karrit Poor...
All through this, Bernice has her own Christmas woes to worry about, as she relives a Christmas past where her mother was taken by an evil stranger at her front door posing as Santa Claus, and it is only at the very end that all is revealed...
Also, many familiar faces from the first two series are present in some form or another, such as the Dentons, Pauline, Ross and Mickey, Pam Doove, Barbara, Judee and Iris, Vinnie and Reenie, Mike King and Papa Lazarou.
Shown in 16:9 widescreen with stereo sound, there are also DVD extras, including, among other things, a cast commentary, an hour-long radio interview and, best of all, a Jackanory-style story by Mr Chinnery, about "The Curse of Karrit Poor".
Christmas will never be the same again - yule never leave!

League of Gentlemen Series 2 (2 disc set) [DVD] [1999]
League of Gentlemen Series 2 (2 disc set) [DVD] [1999]
Dvd ~ Steve Pemberton
Offered by best_value_entertainment
Price: £3.34

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Tell them the circus is coming to town!, 25 July 2005
As original and darkly funny the first series of The League of Gentlemen was back in 1999 (written by Jeremy Dyson, Mark Gatiss, Steve Pemberton and Reece Shearsmith and starring the latter three in all the main roles), there was a standard set for this weird comedy and its future series. Luckily, the second series made in 2000 not only matches this standard, it goes beyond it.

Whereas the first series had the ongoing plot of a new road being built through Royston Vasey, this time there is an even darker story of a sinister and deadly nosebleed epidemic claiming innocent lives, and Hilary Briss (Gatiss), the town's butcher, appears to be the main suspect. But, as ever, nothing is as it seems.....

Meanwhile, other continuing plots involve:
Tubbs (Pemberton) and Edward Tattsyrup (Shearsmith) trying to find a bride - or "no-tail" - for their son David.
Restart officer Pauline Campbell-Jones (Pemberton) and her attempts to get her job back by holding Ross (Shearsmith) hostage, aided by one of her "dole scum" Mickey (Gatiss).
Geoff (Shearsmith) and his friends Mike (Pemberton) and Brian (Gatiss) surviving in the woods en route to a work convention.
German exchange teacher Herr Lipp (Pemberton) and his disturbing advances on student Justin.
Benjamin Denton (Shearsmith) who, having escaped the Local Shop, must now endure yet more torture from his toad-obsessed relatives Aunt Val (Gatiss) and Uncle Harvey (Pemberton) as well as their twin daughters Chloe and Radcliffe.
The antics of accident-prone vet Mr Chinnery (Gatiss).
The reunion of 1970s glam rock band Creme Brulee, without rhythm guitarist Les McQueen (Gatiss).
The travelling circus the Pandemonium Carnival and its ringleader, Papa Lazarou (Shearsmith), who sells pegs and collects wives for a living.

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