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Reviews Written by
Charles "mrfreedom" (England)
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Belle's Best Bits: A London Call Girl Reveals Her Favourite Adventures
Belle's Best Bits: A London Call Girl Reveals Her Favourite Adventures
by Belle de Jour
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.99

7 of 12 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Simply the worst, 14 Mar. 2010
I'd heard a lot about Belle de Jour but never read any of her so I thought I'd give this (highly cynical) new compilation a try. What a massive disappointment.
One of my reasons for wanting to read it was to find out honest, no-holds-barred descriptions of what it's like to be a call girl in modern-day London. I hoped for an unflinching, non-puritanical look into that curious netherworld. And for the first 100 pages or so there are indeed some fascinating descriptions of clients and their requests. But there's not that many of them - there's also lots about her personal life with her rather vile friends and boyfriends.
The second half of the book (effectively a reprint of the second Belle books she wrote) is increasingly in this vein and increasingly unbearable. She hedonistically goes on a never-ending holiday abroad where she doesn't actually do anything. Alright for some. I started thinking: WHY THE HECK AM I READING THIS? Honestly, it's like when you see ghastly celebrities like Jordan and Peter Andre and Cheryl and Ashley Cole on the front of the Daily Star and you think: I am so glad I am not reading in detail about these awful people.
This is a shallow book of almost no literary worth. Yes she has the odd clever turn of phrase but in general her foul-mouthed arrogance and unpleasantness negates any value.
She keeps talking about 'the Boy', a literary tick I found to be on the same infuriating level as Catch 22 and its teeth-grinding Major Major and that General with the ridiculously long dash in his name. And 'the Boy' is a loathsome character. But then she is horrible too - they deserve each other! Even though he has affair after affair with other women she still goes out with him and hardly mentions it to him. What an amoral, cold strumpet she comes across as, a woman who only loves herself and money.
But why should I care? I kept thinking this as I carried on reading, increasingly furious at my time being wasted. I mean, what should you feel about a woman who says she likes it when men handle her breasts so roughly they leave marks? Weird.
I am giving this book away because I don't want it soiling my collection.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Dec 13, 2011 10:59 PM GMT


Lonely Planet's Best in Travel 2010: 850 Trends, Destinations, Journeys and Experiences for the Upcoming Year (Lonely Planet General Reference)
Lonely Planet's Best in Travel 2010: 850 Trends, Destinations, Journeys and Experiences for the Upcoming Year (Lonely Planet General Reference)
by Lonely Planet Publications Ltd
Edition: Paperback

1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good for young lefties, 1 Feb. 2010
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Lonely Planet produce decent guidebooks although they're uniformly left wing, so particularly suitable for people under 30 who have been brainwashed into thinking things like capitalism = bad, foreigners = good, the English = bad, gay massage parlours = good, and so on.
This book is a bumper edition of that sort of thing and it certainly looks nice; the paper is glossy and the photos fab.
But you would have thought that people who went round the world a bit would know more about human nature, and know that socialism and multiculturalism and all the other ghastly isms may be nice in theory, but they don't actually work and end up causing much more misery than they set out to eradicate.


Rock My Socks Off
Rock My Socks Off
by Jeremy Edwards
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.99

1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Lightweight titillation, 1 Feb. 2010
This review is from: Rock My Socks Off (Paperback)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Eminently forgetable sauce with reasonably witty dialogue and a few nicely steamy scenes.
Don't worry, there's no characterisation or heavy stuff, this is just sexy froth that both sexes might enjoy, women more perhaps.
You can't analyse a book like this too much, but I would say it sometimes falls between two stools - it's not a great narrative, because sex is so much part of it, but it isn't, well, dirty enough. There are quite a few sequences that begin to get rude... and then just stop. You're wanting more rudeness and what you get is some chuntering about dodgy science.
But it's a naughty little escape from the grey real world that will cause things to happen between your legs whether you're a fella or a lady.


The Cities Book: A Journey Through the Best Cities in the World (Lonely Planet General Pictorial)
The Cities Book: A Journey Through the Best Cities in the World (Lonely Planet General Pictorial)
by Lonely Planet
Edition: Paperback

0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Hey good looking, 22 Jan. 2010
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This is a beautiful looking book that will sit nicely on your coffee table. It is lavishly illustrated with scores of great full colour photos of the most exotic places from this planet of ours.
Text is not without interest either, descriptions of these places you will probably never go to.
The book may not be cheap, and it may not be hardback, but it is likely to last for many years. The quality of the paper it is printed on is of good quality.
Get this at a slightly reduced rate and you've got a decent, attractive book for your coffee table.


Quotable Atheist: Ammunition for Nonbelievers, Political Junkies, Gadflies and Those Generally Hell-bound
Quotable Atheist: Ammunition for Nonbelievers, Political Junkies, Gadflies and Those Generally Hell-bound
by Jack Huberman
Edition: Paperback
Price: £9.99

14 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, 20 Dec. 2009
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
An addition to my library that I will keep forever, here is a book that is both accessible and stimulating, that can either be read in a few [long] sittings or dipped into when you choose.
The breadth of contributors is immense and that they're so varied is what keeps the book fresh and vital. And there is real wisdom here, words from the wisest people who ever lived, you could say (but it's not all atheists speaking, it's sometimes the 'godly', hoisting themselves by their own petards, like the popes delicately sprinkled throughout the volume, revealing the tyranny of the Catholic Church).
My criticism would be that the author is too much of a lefty and assumes that leftyism equeals No God and right equals God. Well, speaking as someone from the [libertarian] right I am living proof that this is not always so. However, I do concede that in general, in history and in the USA especially, a good deal of freethinkers and secularlists have come from liberal backgrounds. So I do find myself increasingly at odds with fellow members of the right like Charles Moore, Quentin Letts and Peter Hitchens, who seem to support that bizarre fable called Christianity.
Anyway, this book is brilliant - order it now.


The Complete Hitchcock
The Complete Hitchcock
by Paul Condon
Edition: Paperback

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Golden Turkey, 3 Dec. 2009
This review is from: The Complete Hitchcock (Paperback)
I have read many, many books on Alfred Hitchcock and this has to be the worst. Gawd it's dreadful, and most of the comments here are utterly inane.
The alarm bells started ringing when I noticed the word 'dodgy' being used. Uh-oh. You don't use the word 'dodgy' in a book about Hitchcock. Then I noticed the authors had decided to rate all the films out of ten (which is a tad vulgar I feel). Well, that's the ones they've seen, because in a totally unprofessional manner, they haven't even seen all his films so can't rate all of them. Pitiful. And as for the marks themselves, they are a joke. The remake of The Man Who Knew Too Much scores more highly than Psycho. Stage Fright gets more than Rebecca. The likes of Shadow Of A Doubt, Suspicion, The Trouble With Harry, I Confess and Foreign Correspondent are laughably underrated. A few films get 3 and 2/10. I mean, please.
Most movies get a long, detailed synopsis - what a waste of paper! A plot summary would have been much better. Who wants to read the entire story?
Each film has little sections under titles like 'There He Is!' (on Hitch cameos) and 'Themes and Motifs'. The themes and motifs bits are a Diet Coke version of the sort of thing Donald Spoto talks about in his far superior books. There's also one on 'Taboos' which lets you know what sensitive little flowers the authors are.
But the book's worst sin is that throughout it regurgitates stories that may or may not be true. Keep a log of how many times the words 'allegedly' and 'apparently' creep up. There is no validity in a book that has not been researched properly and relies on second-hand tales which have at various times been both denied and 'confirmed'.
A shocking book, scarier than any of the master's films.


Mr Stink
Mr Stink
by David Walliams
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £11.74

4.0 out of 5 stars A pleasant stink, 2 Dec. 2009
This review is from: Mr Stink (Hardcover)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Mr Stink is an enjoyable book with most appeal to girl readers from the ages of nine to twelve, I would imagine.
It is written with a fair bit of wit and is sometimes Roald Dahl-ish, with the sort of descriptions of the disgusting that make the child reader go "eeeurgh!" with pleasure. It is a story with a sad, melancholic heart about families and what it means to lose family members, literally and metaphorically.
One slight disappointment is that there aren't all that many illustrations by Quentin Blake, only about eight. One would have hoped for more.
But this is a likeable book that should please its intended readers.


The Theory of Evolution - Simple Guides
The Theory of Evolution - Simple Guides
by John Scotney
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.95

5.0 out of 5 stars Accessible introduction; sound science, 29 Nov. 2009
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I was a bit worried when I saw the cover of this book, with the word 'Theory' in such large type. Was this going to be some nutty creatonist 'only a theory' book, centring on their deliberate misunderstanding of the word 'theory'? I need not have worried.
This is an excellent introduction to evolution, and I'd highly recommend it to intelligent teenagers keen on discovering information about Charles Darwin, the world's greatest ever biologist, and his conclusions that were based on painstaking research and empirical evidence.
The author discusses the life of Darwin, his writings, and then all the science since that has confirmed Darwin's findings. His writing style is clear, lucid, not flowery, and he uses less exclamation marks than Dawkins sometimes does!
My only quibble would be the very last page, where he quotes Darwin's use of the word 'creator' in Origin of Species. As Dawkins pointed out in The Greatest Show On Earth, Darwin did not have this word in the all important first edition of the book, and only put it in the second edition because of pressure from religious types. Dawkins also exposes the silly idea of anything 'breathing life' into anything else.
Sorry, that was a digression. The Theory Of Evolution is a very sound book, the kind of which should be on every teenager's book shelf. Especially Muslims' book shelves.


Whose Side are They On? How Britain's Bonkers Government Is Coming After You
Whose Side are They On? How Britain's Bonkers Government Is Coming After You
by Alan Pearce
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £9.98

3 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Needed more effort, 24 Nov. 2009
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Curious little book this, essentially a cut and paste job of tales of PC gone crazy. They are stories, mostly true I'm sure, that probably appeared in the Mail and the Express and the like.
What's missing is context: the author doesn't pass any comment on these stories, he just presents them. There are no ideas on how to make this country better so it becomes a very depressing read. There is also little reference to WHY we have these absurd laws; one of the main reasons is that most of them are foisted on us by the undemocratic, unelected, corrupt European Union.
The book's an interesting barometer of our times, one of many similar ones out at the moment. It's not a bad book but there are many better. Great Matt cartoon on the back, though.


How To Be Right
How To Be Right
by James Delingpole
Edition: Paperback

3 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable read, 22 Nov. 2009
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: How To Be Right (Paperback)
An entertaining book that can be read quickly.
It suffers a little from the reader never quite being sure how serious the author is. A lot of the points he makes are serious and genuine grievances, but the humorous style sometimes detracts from that. You want to say: get more angry!
It avoids being Blimpish by the use of the odd rude word and the author's curious liking for hard drugs. While I agree with a lot of what he says I don't agree with it all: I think the best thing this government ever did, perhaps the only good thing it ever did, was to ban smoking in confined public places. Some of the things Dellingpole says about vegetarians and cars make me feel slightly queasy too - it's sometimes a bit Clarkson.
But hey, we can't always agree, and we on the right are so much better at accepting differences than those on the left. The most intolerant people I've ever met have all been from the left. You know what they say - scratch a liberal, find a dictator!
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jun 9, 2013 9:10 AM BST


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