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Iivex Elucid (UK)

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Cyclone Bagless Cyclonic Cylinder Vacuum Cleaner, 2500 Watt 5 Litre, Red
Cyclone Bagless Cyclonic Cylinder Vacuum Cleaner, 2500 Watt 5 Litre, Red

3.0 out of 5 stars Powerful but infuriating, 24 Mar 2012
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For the price this vacuum cleaner is relatively sleek, easy to use and powerful enough to lift a lot out of carpets. The lead's a bit short and the the attachments feel cheap and flimsy, but they do the job well enough.

Emptying the dust out can be somewhat of a herculean effort. It's really easy if you've only vacuumed up dust, the filter gathers loads of dust in it and easily slots out the bottom of the cyclone. However if you happen to clean up stuff like hair, little scraps of paper or sweet wrappers things become a lot more difficult. They all get wedged in an inaccessible part of the cyclone and build up into big balls. You can wriggle them out with BBQ skewers and a fork, but by that time you're covered in dust and coughing a lot.

In short, a great vacuum if you only need it for dust. If you have hair, especially long, give this vacuum a wide berth.

Megatokyo: v. 5
Megatokyo: v. 5
by Fred Gallagher
Edition: Paperback

4.0 out of 5 stars More than before!, 26 May 2008
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This review is from: Megatokyo: v. 5 (Paperback)
Number 5 is even thicker than previous volumes, which can only be a good thing. Much the same format as previous volumes. This book includes chapters 7 and 8, complete with a host of Dead Piro Art Days, and a Megatokyo reader's guide, and character guide at the back.
Sadly there's no side-story (like Circuity in volume 4) this time. This volume is just Megatokyo with a few bells and whistles attached.

Paper's good quality, spine doesn't fall apart and the front cover's in colour.

Hard-Boiled Wonderland And The End Of The World
Hard-Boiled Wonderland And The End Of The World
by Haruki Murakami
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.29

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Forced, 25 Feb 2008
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Having read, and enjoyed The Wind-up Bird Chronicle by Murakami, I was expecting something equally as good from this book, but I was rather disappointed.

Simply put, the book feels forced and pretentious. Not necessarily the storyline, but the flow of ideas. It feels as if Murakami has found an idea he wants to put across, then works backwards, constructing a story that leads to this final idea of accepting the end of the world. However, this story is like a cut-and-paste. Characters come in, concepts are thought up, and places made just to channel the character towards the final end. It's almost as if most of the pieces of the story have been put in place just because the writer CAN put them in. The pages are cluttered with unnecessary detours, leeches, climbing ladders and "information wars".

All this detracted from the book. Much like the unnecessary detour in The Wind-up Bird Chronicle where Manchuria is mentioned. That felt like it was put in just to make the book controversial in Japan. With Hard-Boiled Wonderland, it feels like the whole book was an unnecessary detour from the meaning, which was itself clearly evident at the end of the book, but came about with such lack of subtlety that any impact was lost.

In this book Murakami is about as subtle as a hammer. It's almost painful to read the way he tries to force the two worlds to come into some sort of contact with one another (i.e. through skulls) throughout the book. It's a shame really because I had high hopes for this book, but it may have tarnished my view of Murakami.

This book needs a May Kasahara.

The Republic (Penguin Classics)
The Republic (Penguin Classics)
by Plato
Edition: Paperback

29 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good edition, 4 April 2007
Certainly a must read for anyone interested in politics or philosophy. This is a cornerstone of western philosophy and deserves to be read far into the future. Relatively clear, easy to understand and a joy to read.

This Penguin Classics edition also has an excellent introduction (spanning more than 50 pages), and very useful translation notes. Each new chapter has a brief introduction explaning the main points and ideas running through the chapter. Given the price, this edition is a bargain.

BBC Spanish Phrase Book & Dictionary
BBC Spanish Phrase Book & Dictionary
by Ms Carol Stanley
Edition: Paperback
Price: £4.99

54 of 54 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Small and practical, 1 Aug 2006
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This book fits nicely into a pocket, which is handy because you'll be wanting to take it everywhere with you.

This phrase book contains pre-assembled sentances and words ready to use, all organised in the most logical and useful manner I've ever seen. Pronunciation is shown next to every word or sentance.

The book is colour coded for quick reference, and includes a useful dictionary in the back.

This phrase book saved me from many embarrassing moments in Spain.

Teach Yourself Spanish Starter Kit  [CD + BOOK} (TY Starter Kits)
Teach Yourself Spanish Starter Kit [CD + BOOK} (TY Starter Kits)
by Elisabeth Smith
Edition: Paperback

23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, 1 Aug 2006
This is a true dream for anyone new to Spanish. This kit guides you through the absolute basics of the language, yet also gives you a workable knowledge of the language - enough to put into use on holiday even!

The CDs guide you through the book without leaving a doubt in your mind. The small 'travellers companion' book also provides a quick and usable reference for use within the course, as well as when putting the language into practice.

If you've tried before and floundered, or are having any doubts about your ability to learn Spanish, be sure that this course grabs you by the hand and doesn't let you go the whole time. At very few points, if at all, did I feel as if things could have been explained better.

The Palestine-Israeli Conflict: A Beginner's Guide (Beginner's Guides)
The Palestine-Israeli Conflict: A Beginner's Guide (Beginner's Guides)
by Dan Cohn-Sherbok
Edition: Paperback

6 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Mixed feelings, 28 Jun 2006
This book appeared to be just what I was looking for - where an educated person from either side of the conflict gives their perspective on the events which led to what we have today.

It all started well, with a reasonably balanced (albeit, slightly biased) view from the Israeli side which includes many facts, figures and well researched (with plenty of citations) information. The Palestinian perspective, sadly, was much more of a self-righteous stance, relying less on fact and more on opinion.

This book could have been much better, but it's still worth a read - if only for half it.

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