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Reviews Written by
Charles "mrfreedom" (England)
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Smile For The Camera: The Double Life of Cyril Smith
Smile For The Camera: The Double Life of Cyril Smith
by Simon Danczuk
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £15.19

5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good but could be even better, 24 Jun 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Cyril Smith was a fascinating figure, a gargantuan plain-speaking northerner who was in many ways a dutiful constituency MP while at the same time being a predatory paedophile and apologist for the asbestos industry that led to early deaths for many of his voters. This biography fails to get under his skin but is still a pretty good read.

I wanted more biographical detail, more on the days and times of Smith. And although it might sound perverse, I wanted more details of what he did to the kids - often we're told he did terrible things but exactly WHAT would make the story more full-rounded, as distressing as some of these descriptions might be. There's no point in the authors being squeamish when they're writing about a subject like this. Incidentally, the word 'gay', in relation to Smith, is only mentioned twice, the first around page 250. Curious. Wonder why so little and late?

For three chapters of the book, victims tell their tales directly. It's fascinating but sometimes the language is far too florid for what are meant to be straight remembrances by simple folk; it makes the tales less genuine.

Well before the end the book has become very repetitive, as if the authors needed to hit a certain word count. I would have suggested doing so with the use of more anecdotes about the man monster. But I still enjoyed the book - if that's the word I want...


Case Logic BOGD115K Griffith Park Backpack for 15 inch Laptop - Black
Case Logic BOGD115K Griffith Park Backpack for 15 inch Laptop - Black
Price: £57.01

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good rucksack, 28 April 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Yes, you can put a laptop in here but I won't be (I haven't got one for starters), but I will use it for general stuff while camping. I like it: the material feels waterproof and there are a number of different compartments for all sorts of different things.

The straps at the back are easily adjustable and it's easy to carry. The green colouring is nice and suited to the outdoors.

Overall a very good quality product.


Finish Power and Pure Quantum (Pack of one, Total 40 Tablets)
Finish Power and Pure Quantum (Pack of one, Total 40 Tablets)
Price: £7.00

4.0 out of 5 stars Worked well for me, 28 April 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Liked these for a couple of reasons, one because you don't have to take the tablets out of their wrapper when you put them in the dishwasher - the material just dissolves in the wash. They also smell quite nice and I can't deny that all my stuff came out of the wash very clean.

Only other thing I'd say is that, amusingly, the word 'dishwasher' doesn't appear on the packet! I suppose the shiny glass on the packet's cover lets you know what they're for...


The Conquest of Happiness (Routledge Classics) by Russell, Bertrand New edition (2006)
The Conquest of Happiness (Routledge Classics) by Russell, Bertrand New edition (2006)
by Bertrand Russell
Edition: Paperback

5.0 out of 5 stars Words of wisdom for all time, 24 Mar 2014
I highly recommend this to anyone unsure of their path in life, or someone trying to make sense of existence.

Don’t bother with any of those rubbishy self-help books, instead read these words of wisdom from one of the most intelligent British people of the 20th century.

It’s pure and undiluted common sense, very easy to understand because it’s written so clearly. Russell’s vision of life and how it should be lived is delightfully pure, free of cant, modern political correctness and archaic attitudes. It’s actually remarkable that it was written in 1930, because it’s so fresh. But then that’s the mark of great writing: it outlives its era.

PS Be careful that Amazon send you the right item: they sent me the wrong one - twice.


Bang!: A History of Britain in the 1980s
Bang!: A History of Britain in the 1980s
by Graham Stewart
Edition: Paperback
Price: £10.39

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent popular history book, 14 Mar 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This book is around 75% politics and economics - fine for me, but others may be wary.

Written about as well as you feel it could be, Bang! is a great read. For someone who went from eight to 19 during the decade, I found it particularly fascinating in the way the events described at the start of the decade were a strange, dim memory for me, and then as clear as yesterday by the time of its close. In that sense it felt like a truly life-spanning, hugely meaningful book.

And what a great decade too, what an electric one, in which so much happened, good and bad: the good being that Britain was transformed into a nation ready to face the 21st century, rather than being one doomed to repeat the disastrous mistakes of the 20th century. The bad including the terrible threat of the IRA, the destructive militancy of the leader of the NUM and the possibility of nuclear war.

Margaret Thatcher certainly emerges as an incredible figure, full of extraordinary bravery, wisdom, vigour and foresight - that any person could have achieved what she did is remarkable: that it was a woman, particularly at that time, is doubly so.


Weetos Meteors 375 g (Pack of 4)
Weetos Meteors 375 g (Pack of 4)
Price: £8.76

3.0 out of 5 stars Sweet and light, 17 Feb 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
On the plus side these are quite sweet and tasty and easy to digest first thing in the morning.
On the minus side they're not terribly substantial, and unless you have them with some other cereal, you may well feel hungry again mid-morning. Their sweetness is also not necessarily a good thing, what with concerns about obesity etc.
Palatable then, but not among my favourite breakfast cereals - there are others I'd buy instead.


Weetabix Crunchy Bran 375 g (Pack of 9)
Weetabix Crunchy Bran 375 g (Pack of 9)
Price: £19.71

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Pleasant enough, 14 Jan 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Personally I prefer Bran Flakes, but maybe this has the edge over All Bran. It certainly takes less milk than All Bran - and is not surprisingly not quite as filling.

It's a pleasant cereal, a pleasant taste, and I might buy it occasionally, but definitely not as much as some others.


Oatibix Biscuits 24 (Pack of 4)
Oatibix Biscuits 24 (Pack of 4)
Price: £10.36

3.0 out of 5 stars Nice but I prefer Weetabix, 14 Jan 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Like Weetabix, but not Weetabix, a slightly different consistency - a little less flaky. Forced to decide I'd say I preferred Weetabix, but these are nice enough. I put them on top of other cereals and they're a decent accompaniment.

Not hugely flavourful but they feel like they're healthy, and may provide more long-lasting energy than many cereals.


Dettol Complete Clean Mould and Mildew 750 ml (Pack of Three)
Dettol Complete Clean Mould and Mildew 750 ml (Pack of Three)
Price: £10.44

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good for some bathrooms, 5 Jan 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Here in Bath we have very hard water which means that in no time at all your bathroom gets all sorts of mildew - which is annoying. This is the product I needed.

It's good; but it says there's no need to scrub, and I think you may have to on certain occasions. It certainly speeds things up.

The smell isn't all that pleasant but maybe that's a good thing - the germs get a good beating.


Finish All In One Lemon Sparkle 78 Dishwasher Tablets
Finish All In One Lemon Sparkle 78 Dishwasher Tablets
Price: £9.75

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Pretty good, 12 Dec 2013
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Did the job pretty well, although a tad expensive. Probably by coincidence my dishwasher's 'more salt needed' light started flashing after I used the tablet - but as I say, most likely just a coincidence.

If I was being really fussy I'd say that unlike another brand I use you can't just take these out of the packet and stick them in the dishwasher - you have to tear it out of its packet. Good final results though.


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