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Gildor Inglorion (Dorset, England.)

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Les Revenants
Les Revenants
Price: £5.84

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Revelation, 6 Aug. 2013
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This review is from: Les Revenants (Audio CD)
I had no previous acquaintance with the work of Mogwai before I began watching "Les Revenants" on Channel 4 this summer. Their music absolutely made the story come alive (if that's not an inappropriate word) for me. It has haunted me now for two months. Since acquiring the CD I have been listening to it in the car on my commute to work and, frankly, it is affecting my perception of the world. (I write this in the aftermath of two recent significant bereavements.) This is spare and austere music in keeping with its solemn subject. The elements are simple. Repetitive motives suggest obsessive behaviour, e.g. of persistent grief as well as Serge's pathological actions as a serial killer. Distortion and feedback have the effect of fingernails on a chalk-board. Use of intervals such as compound augmented fourths (the infamous "diabola in musica") heighten the sense of encroaching anxiety. The cumulative effect is devastating - for example, on the first track, in which the glockenspiel suggests the vulnerability of "Victor" (his real name, we eventually discover, is Louis) and Camille, the two children among the "returned"; the lyrical 'cello speaks of the sadness of the bereaved, whilst the insistent drumming suggests the anger, bewilderment and frustration both of the untimely dead and those who mourn them.

The (presumably) ironic inclusion of a version of the early 20th Century free-church hymn "What are they doing in Heaven today?" poignantly highlights the dilemma faced by all the characters, living and dead, at the end of the first series, as the returned have patently not been existing in any kind of beatific afterlife during their absence - much as the bereaved people who miss them might have wished they had been - and its inclusion makes the double-suicide of the Koretzkys even more painful, even though this track was not included in the TV series (as far as I can remember).


Game of Thrones - Season 1 [DVD] [2012]
Game of Thrones - Season 1 [DVD] [2012]
Dvd ~ Sean Bean
Price: £14.00

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You win or you die., 3 May 2012
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Trying to turn a series of books of this genre, and of this breadth and scope, into a television series is an audacious undertaking. The natural home of fantasy of the calibre and ambition of "A Song of Ice and Fire" is the multiplex. To make it for the small screen is a huge gamble. Either it comes off brilliantly or it's a total flop. In other words, "you win or you die". There are of course many things about the tv adaptation of Martin's novels which could have been done differently/better, but one could say that about anything. In my opinion the tv adaptors have won.

Incidentally, I am a great fan of J R R Tolkien (books first and foremost although I also find Jackson's films enjoyable, notwithstanding the fact that there is much about them which irritates the hell out of me). As such, I am always sceptical when I read book blurbs which announce the discovery of the New Tolkien. I'm not convinced he has arrived in the shape of G R R Martin, but Martin's is at least a worthier claim to the mantle of the late Prof than most I've ever come across!


Looking for the King: An Inklings Novel
Looking for the King: An Inklings Novel
by David C. Downing
Edition: Hardcover

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Failing to find the King, 5 Sept. 2011
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I've just read "Looking for the King" by David C. Downing, an American CSL scholar. I have to say, I feel very let down by it. I thought, if you have the chutzpah to include the Inklings as secondary characters in a novel then you really really have to know your men and be sure you have the knack of making them live again in print before taking on anything so ambitious. But it was very disappointing. Downing (or rather his accredited assistants) had certainly done a lot of research, but it was all so flat, dull, two-dimensional, so absolutely bleeding obvious. Box-ticking, button-pushing.

And sub-Dan Brown. An American post-graduate student in England in 1940, researching for his book about sites connected with King Arthur, and his female side-kick. Has previously been in correspondence with CSL so gets invited along first to lunch with CSL in the Turf Inn and then to an Inklings gathering at the Eagle & Child. He finds himself caught up in a quest for the Holy Lance, but all the time they are being dogged by suspicious people, some of whom eventually turn out to be undercover cops searching for Nazi spies, and one who is actually a Nazi spy.

It could have been a great book but was a damp squib. Lip-service only given to the fact that there was a war on.

As for writing about a certain sort of English person in 1940, you have to be absolutely spot-on pitch-perfect to be convincing. He couldn't even be bothered to make sure he was using idiomatic general-purpose English English. A real let-down.


The Testament of Solomon, Edited From Manuscripts at Mount Athos, Bologna, Holkham Hall, Jerusalem, London, Milan, Paris and Vienna
The Testament of Solomon, Edited From Manuscripts at Mount Athos, Bologna, Holkham Hall, Jerusalem, London, Milan, Paris and Vienna
by Chester Charlton McCown
Edition: Paperback
Price: £3.34

5.0 out of 5 stars Testament of Solomon, 31 Aug. 2011
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This is a very worthwhile book, it filled in many blank areas in my previous understanding of this subject. I'm glad I bought it.


The Inheritance
The Inheritance
by Simon Tolkien
Edition: Hardcover

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Review, 24 July 2010
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This review is from: The Inheritance (Hardcover)
Whilst I was reading this book I could see very clearly in my mind's eye that it would make a moderately satisfying two-hour tv film of the sub-Morse variety (picturesque views of Oxford and Oxfordshire and rustic Normandy), but it would need a lot of input from an adaptor who could actually write realistic dialogue. I was disappointed by Simon Tolkien's tin-ear for conversation and his inability to render a "feel" for the 1950s English character of the story's setting. There were also some things which were factually wrong, a sign of laziness, as he could easily have verified these either by hiring a research assistant or just Googling! Basically it is a murder mystery and the historic religious artefact which is supposedly at the centre of the tale turns out to be neither here nor there, really, and ultimately I found it a disappointing read.


Land
Land

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent!, 4 Dec. 2009
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This review is from: Land (MP3 Download)
I love Sinklars Visa. But I am writing as a Sinclair. 8-)


In Elven Lands: Music on Ancient and Modern Instruments - Inspired By the Wrtitings of J.R.R. Tolkien
In Elven Lands: Music on Ancient and Modern Instruments - Inspired By the Wrtitings of J.R.R. Tolkien

4.0 out of 5 stars The sound of Middle-earth, 6 Mar. 2008
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Well, not sure if it is precisely what one thinks of when thinking of the "sound" of Middle-earth. But it is a pretty good effort. I was impressed by the sheer literacy of it - not just of the lyrics but of the historical musical/liturgical forms which it references. Have to say, a lot of it reminded me of the sound of early- to middle-period Mediaeval Baebes (which on my planet is a Good Thing, but not everyone would agree!).


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