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Reviews Written by
El Loro "El Pinarillo Books" (London, England)

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Dettol Antibacterial Surface Cleanser Spray 750 ml (Pack of 3)
Dettol Antibacterial Surface Cleanser Spray 750 ml (Pack of 3)

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Five stars as a cleaning product, zero stars as a concept, 25 Jan. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
It comes in a well designed, chunky bottle and cleans effectively. Five stars for that.

However, the "antibacterial" bit more than outweighs the good. There's is a lot of antibacterial pony marketed as essential for protecting your family.

Take the hands free soap dispenser. You don't share germs on the dispenser, great. What about the towel? The door handle?

Ditto this kind of surface cleaner. You cut some chicken, you wipe down the board with this stuff. What about the cloth or sponge you used? your hands?

You wipe down the entire house because someone has the 'flu...and I mean the ENTIRE house. Does an antibacterial agent work on viruses?

Add research like Richard Lenski's research on e-coli, which shows the astoundingly fast rate of adaptation in bacteria, and you're left with little more than a pointless, potentially dangerous, marketing device.

A splosh of bleach in soapy water might do just as well...


Dettol Power and Fresh Citrus Zest Spray 750 ml (Pack of 3)
Dettol Power and Fresh Citrus Zest Spray 750 ml (Pack of 3)
Price: £10.47

5.0 out of 5 stars Good stuff, 25 Jan. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Comes in a nice chunky bottle, just right for a man's hand.

Cuts through grot, smells pleasantly enough.

What's not to like?


Life in the UK Test - Study and Practice
Life in the UK Test - Study and Practice
by CGP Books
Edition: Paperback
Price: £10.00

1.0 out of 5 stars It's 2015., 11 Jan. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
The description forgot to mention it's the 2013 edition.


Rendez-vous with Art
Rendez-vous with Art
by Philippe de Montebello
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £15.99

4.0 out of 5 stars A lovely book from the twentieth century., 11 Jan. 2015
This review is from: Rendez-vous with Art (Hardcover)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This is an unusual and engaging book that has one big flaw and one huge wasted opportunity.

It largely takes the form of a discussion between the two art critics (? experts?) of canonical works of art from some of the world's greatest galleries. I'm about half an hour away from central London and some of the works discussed but, even then, I would have liked more illustrations, as you get with some editions of "Ways of Seeing" or "The Shock of the New" so I could consider them for myself without getting my Oyster card out or looking them up online. Perhaps the editor thought it would make the works, rather than the discussion, central to the book.

And there lies the huge, wasted opportunity of every art book published today. Some of us are old enough to remember how multimedia and hypertext were going to change the world but here we are, twenty five years later, still reading art books with not enough pictures. Where are the fully interactive art books, which link to zoomable images of paintings and images of buildings and sculpture that can be rotated in 3d, maybe with suitable contemporaneous music? Maybe in a cupboard with Raymond Baxter's jetpack, eh?

So, a very good book that could have been so much more.


Socerer's Stone: A Beginner's Guide to Alchemy
Socerer's Stone: A Beginner's Guide to Alchemy
by Mr. Dennis William Hauck
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.77

1.0 out of 5 stars Two reasons why I'm not buying this book tonight., 2 Jan. 2015
First, what is a Socerer's Stone? I can only think it's a typo but it says bad things about quality control.

Second, the Sorcerer's Stone is a device invented by Scholastic to make Harry Potter and the Philospher's Stone sound "less boring" for the US market. The real deal is and always has been the Philosopher's Stone. Strike two for quality control.

I might be back.


Charles I (Penguin Monarchs): An Abbreviated Life
Charles I (Penguin Monarchs): An Abbreviated Life
by Mark Kishlansky
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £9.69

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Marvellous, 2 Jan. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Charles I is a divisive figure, even now, but Mark Kishlansky manages to put across his life and reign succinctly and in a fairly balanced way. There are times where he touches on Charles's hubris without following through and, in a couple of places, I got the sense that he was playing fast and loose with secondary sources, but it's still a top notch biography.

The book itself is almost too good to read. Pure white cloth with Charles's portrait on a belly band, it feels like a book to lay up and admire, not something to put in your pocket and read on the bus. It even has a new Pelican logo. However, the binding is glued, not stitched. Given British publishers' propensity to use cheap glues in our books, there's a chance it may not last as long as Penguin library binding from the 70s or even the DIY bindings using the 1940s kit. A shame, but the only grit in a tasty oyster.


Sage 50 Accounts - Single User - 1 Company (PC)
Sage 50 Accounts - Single User - 1 Company (PC)
Offered by Dino96Dino
Price: £419.00

3.0 out of 5 stars Not for me...., 27 Dec. 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
As a one-man operation, this is not for me.

Having worked in a company of five people, this is not really for them.

This is for a finance director of company with staff in triple figures to track much more than I can ever dream of fitting into one lifetime working as a sole trader or part of a smal­l team.

Despite its turbocharged features, however, I hesitate to recommend it for two reasons.

First, it won't work on some corporate systems. It works on Windows 7 (meh) and Windows 8 (yuck yuck yuck) so anyone using a system with, say, XP, can't use it.

Second, the terms and conditions (hat tip to a previous reviewer...) can best be described as Henry VIII on Facebook. Probably nothing to worry about but, still, too much legal power on the side of what is, after all, a service provider.

Not for my set up and, even if it was, I don't know that I would use it.


Sage 50 Accounts Plus - Single User - 1 Company (PC)
Sage 50 Accounts Plus - Single User - 1 Company (PC)
Price: £757.82

3.0 out of 5 stars Yes but..., 27 Dec. 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
As a one-man operation, this is not for me.

Having worked in a company of five people, this is not really for them.

This is for a finance director of company with staff in triple figures to track much more than I can ever dream of fitting into one lifetime working as a sole trader or part of a smal­l team.

Despite its turbocharged features, however, I hesitate to recommend it for two reasons.

First, it won't work on some corporate systems. It works on Windows 7 (meh) and Windows 8 (yuck yuck yuck) so anyone using a system with, say, XP, can't use it.

Second, the terms and conditions (hat tip to a previous reviewer...) can best be described as Henry VIII on Facebook. Probably nothing to worry about but, still, too much legal power on the side of what is, after all, a service provider.

Not for my set up and, even if it was, I don't know that I would use it.


Mobile Library
Mobile Library
by David Whitehouse
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £10.49

2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Me and Bobby McGee, 27 Dec. 2014
This review is from: Mobile Library (Hardcover)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This is not a quirky feel-good book but a powerful, sometimes challenging, sometimes disturbing, story of belonging and escape. It's also a political novel that questions the way we are bringing up our kids.

It reminded me of Skellig, it reminded me of Janis Joplin's Me and Bobby McGee, it reminded me of Borges. It reminded me of children's books in the late 70s, when we still had a sense of society, before we lost our kids in a world of syndicated middle class escapism. It reminded me of growing up.

If you like to hide instead of escape, this is not for you.


The Evolutionist; The Strange Tale of Alfred Russel Wallace
The Evolutionist; The Strange Tale of Alfred Russel Wallace
by Avi Sirlin
Edition: Paperback
Price: £9.99

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars It's a novel, 27 Dec. 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
It's not a bad book but I only ordered it because Amazon had it listed as a biography.

Let's face it, most historical novels written nowadays are tripe.

There's really ropy tripe, where anywhere at any time is just small town USA in different clothes.

There's preposterous, good fun tripe, like Alex Grecian's Scotland Yard series, where the writer chooses to ignore any kind of verisimilitude in the interests of a rocking good yarn.

There's disingenuous tripe, like Kate Williams's The Pleasures of Men, where scholarship seems like ballast.

There's grindingly dull and badly edited tripe, like Kate Summerscale's The Suspicions of Mr Whicher, where minutae are a poor substitute for evocative detail.

That's not to say that there isn't some truly great historical fiction, like Alan Moore's "From Hell", where the well researched and beautifully articulated past is consciously filtered through the present.

But most of it is poo.

This isn't poo, to it's credit, but I still felt somewhat uncomfortable.

I see from Amazon's page that it's now down as historical fiction. If that's your thing, I can recommend it.


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