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Dr. V. Stewart (Somerton,, Somerset United Kingdom)
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The Children Act
The Children Act
by Ian McEwan
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £8.49

7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A beautifully crafted story of civilised people trying to do their best with stark and urgent moral and legal dilemmas., 6 Sep 2014
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This review is from: The Children Act (Hardcover)
I have problems with most fiction - I'd love to read more, but there's not much that grips and rings true. But with this book I read until way past my bedtime, then woke at four for some more; finished it over breakfast and I want the characters to stay around some more. The story is gripping, but an uncharitable reviewer would say that in the conflicts between the law, religion, morality, and character the author has found a rich seam ready to mine so what would you expect? But it's so very well done that it's difficult to imagine how it could be done better.

The people involved - all of them - are good people. Not an evil thought amongst them - which is one reason why the conflict is so interesting. They're also well-rounded, interesting people, and thank goodness the author isn't afraid to describe their intellectual and musical interests. I wanted to meet them at a dinner party. They're also open (mostly) to new experience, they're reflective, they have inner lives. And the writing is clear and beautiful, with not a word out of place.

There's even a couple of digs at some notorious miscarriages of justice de nos jours - the law of joint enterprise, and of course Sally Clark, but they don't come across as tub-thumping but as necessary parts of the narrative, just as issues that no civilised person should put out of mind. I'm going to go right back to find some more of Mr McEwan's writing, and I thank him for bringing these thought-provoking, unforgettable people to life.


Mrs Crimbles Pastry Mix 200 g (Pack of 10)
Mrs Crimbles Pastry Mix 200 g (Pack of 10)
Price: £16.99

5.0 out of 5 stars It's more than OK if you do it my way!, 28 Aug 2014
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Some other reviewers have said that it's difficult to work and maybe a bit stodgy. I found this too, but I found a way around it that I'd like to share ...

I make it up with butter, an egg, and 3 tablespoons water (the packet says four, but it doesn't mention an egg). This gets whizzed about in the processor until it's formed itself into a lump. The lump is indeed squishy and I wouldn't fancy trying to roll it out, not even between sheets of baking paper. At this point I take a tinfoil pie plate and slap the lump in the middle; then mould it so that it's fairly even and looks OK at the edges. Then I put it in the fridge for at least half an hour; then straight into the oven. Result - perfectly OK base for quiche, bakewell tart, or what you will. Also you don't waste any.

I haven't yet tried making a two-crust pie, but I hope this helps if you're struggling with a squidgy pastry base.


40 x Mixed Butterflies Edible Cake Toppers (Wedding, Birthday) Cupcake Topper Decorations
40 x Mixed Butterflies Edible Cake Toppers (Wedding, Birthday) Cupcake Topper Decorations
Offered by cakeshopdotcom
Price: £2.99

2.0 out of 5 stars because the paper tastes nice., 18 July 2014
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I'm with the others - you have to cut them out, it's difficult because they're small. Two stars, though, because the paper tastes nice.


Meri By Mura Collant 12 Pairs Multipack (promo) - 20 Den Nylon Tights, Elegant Everyday Use - Made In Italy, Size- XL, Color- Black
Meri By Mura Collant 12 Pairs Multipack (promo) - 20 Den Nylon Tights, Elegant Everyday Use - Made In Italy, Size- XL, Color- Black

4.0 out of 5 stars Really good and great value, though they took ages to arrive,, 9 July 2014
These are really good little socks - very light, pleasant texture, darned good value. The only quibble is that they took ages to arrive, but the seller's communication was good. I don't know how else to review a bunch of socks, but if you want some comfortable summer socks look no further.


Gunning for God: Why the New Atheists Are Missing the Target: A Critique of the New Atheism
Gunning for God: Why the New Atheists Are Missing the Target: A Critique of the New Atheism
by John C. Lennox
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.99

1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A disappointing presentation of a poorly-made argument, 9 July 2014
I don't think that this book would convert anybody - it certainly didn't move me, and I like to think that I'm open-minded about the religious hypothesis. It's not about 'God' as Muslims and Jews would understand him; it's the Christian God that the author is concerned with, and he spends most of his time writing about the supposed resurrection of Jesus. For the rest - well, the Old Testament gets let off the hook when it's especially nasty, but is taken as true when its god is smiling.

On the resurrection, his argument is mostly that it must have happened because lots of people said so. Hasn't he heard of cognitive dissonance? I mean the human tendency to compensate for your predictions going awry by finding some way of talking about them as if they really were fulfilled? It's been the life experience of every millennial cult there's ever been. And as for his witnesses - well, in my lifetime I've been assured by 'witnesses' that Timothy Evans was a murderer, as were Sally Clarke and Trupti Patel and Gerry Conlon; I've been assured that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction 45 minutes away from destroying British citizens, and we all know what happened to that.

I've given it two stars rather than one because he hasn't insisted on some of the wackier shores of belief, like creationism, but that's maybe over-fair. A disappointing presentation of a poorly-made argument.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Aug 28, 2014 2:42 PM BST


Brahms: Violin Concerto; Hungarian Dances;  Bartók: Rhapsodies
Brahms: Violin Concerto; Hungarian Dances; Bartók: Rhapsodies
Offered by mrtopseller
Price: £8.00

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Breathtaking - exquisite tone, played as if discovering something beautiful for the very first time, 6 Jun 2014
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Violin music isn't normally my thing, but I've looked for M. Kavakos for a long time - ever since getting his stunning performance of the Berg. And am I awestruck by this reading - am I ever. It flows by spinning a continuous thread of beautiful tone - the pianissimos make you want to hold your breath, the folk melodies are never very far away; the orchestral accompaniment glows. He knows exactly what he wants to say, and it's a privilege to let him take you there. You know that bit in The English Patient where Kip hoists Hanna into the church tower to gasp at the paintings? It had that effect on me.

Thank you, M Kavakos, and thanks to all the reviewers whose advice encouraged me to buy this.


Wagner 4-DVD Box Set
Wagner 4-DVD Box Set
Dvd ~ Richard Burton
Offered by MMRSALES
Price: £10.00

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Almost unwatchable - what a pity!, 27 May 2014
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This review is from: Wagner 4-DVD Box Set (DVD)
Oh dear. You'd think that with Richard Burton playing Wagner you'd be in for one of those weekends where you settle in front of the TV with a bottle of something friendly and the expectation of an exciting and informative time. But it's not like that. The music is great - conducted by Solti, what do you expect? - but when they start talking to one another the sound is dreadfully out of the synch with the pictures, although not enough to conceal the utter woodenness of the script. I got twenty minutes into thw first disc and couldn't stand it any more. I'm giving my copy away and I'm going to watch something nice and astringent to clean my mental palate.

It's two stars because of the music. Otherwise it would be generous to give it one.


The Harvest of a Quiet Eye, A Selection of Scientific Quotations
The Harvest of a Quiet Eye, A Selection of Scientific Quotations
by Alan L. Mackay
Edition: Hardcover

5.0 out of 5 stars The sixth time I've bought this - I keep giving it away. Nourishing, insightful, thought-provoking., 13 April 2014
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There is much richness here. It's only tangentially a book of scientific quotations - it's a lifetime's collection by a scientist, and it would be difficult to find anything else as wide-ranging, quirky, and nourishing in such a slim volume. I lost my first copy to someone who borrowed it and wouldn't give back (I forgave them - I do understand). Since then I've bought five more, one to keep and the rest to give away. People smile when they talk about it.

If you're half-way curious, need an injection of insight from an unexpected direction, feel as if you've been driving too long on the intellectual brakes, or simply want to spend some time in the company of someone with a huge field of vision - treat yourself. In the unlikely event of your not enjoying it, pass it on to me.


An Unexpected MP: Confessions of a Political Gossip
An Unexpected MP: Confessions of a Political Gossip
by Jerry Hayes
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £18.99

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Deliciously well-written parade of insider stories and indiscretions - by a very nice man. Highly recommended., 13 April 2014
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This is a wonderful bedside book - especially if you want to be detained in bed by the need for ;just one more chapter.' The reviews compare him with Alan Clark, but Mr Hayes's ego is far less intrusive (I suspect that comment applies to other parts of him too). He puts the boot in sometimes - to people who richly deserve it - but overall his indiscretions are generous and his asides nicely pointed. I laughed out loud in my solitary bed several times.

He's that rare thing - a pleasant, thoughtful, independent Tory, and one of the book's many merits is that he doesn't say a word about his political philosophy. I've no idea why he's a Tory, and I don't care. He's from the generation of people unafraid of self-examination, loyal to basic principles of decency; gregarious, forgiving, clubbable, with a huge talent for friendship. He's written a deliciously wicked book.

OK, its appeal is mainly to political junkies, but if you're a bona fide political junkie you get suffocated in the heaps of self-serving memoirs and quasi-objective biographies. This is the soya sauce/lime juice/nam pla/coriander leaf that cleans the palate and restores one's faith in the genre. Highly recommended.


4 Pack Flexi Bra(TM) - The Ultimate comfort Bra. Seamless Support Comfort Sport Stretch Action Leisure Black White Nude / Beige (3 Colour Set + Free Beige Bra (Same Size), XXLarge - Chest 43.5-45.5inches or Dress size UK 16-18)
4 Pack Flexi Bra(TM) - The Ultimate comfort Bra. Seamless Support Comfort Sport Stretch Action Leisure Black White Nude / Beige (3 Colour Set + Free Beige Bra (Same Size), XXLarge - Chest 43.5-45.5inches or Dress size UK 16-18)
Offered by Marielle®
Price: £7.24

5.0 out of 5 stars They do exactly what they promise - thank you, 13 April 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I wear these in bed to make sure that when I turn over everything stops moving at the same time and nothing gets trapped. (Larger ladies will know what I mean). They're great. Comfortable, wash well, look as if they'll last forever. What more is there to say?


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