Profile for Mr. J. Hebron > Reviews

Personal Profile

Content by Mr. J. Hebron
Top Reviewer Ranking: 2,522,708
Helpful Votes: 21

Learn more about Your Profile.

Reviews Written by
Mr. J. Hebron
(REAL NAME)   

Show:  
Page: 1 | 2
pixel
Agency of Fear: Opiates and Political Power in America (REV)
Agency of Fear: Opiates and Political Power in America (REV)
by Edward Jay Epstein
Edition: Paperback
Price: 2.20

5.0 out of 5 stars Good book about the early days of the drugs war, 10 Jun 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Edward Jay Epstein's book is a journalistic retelling of the beginning of the American `War on Drugs' that was launched by President Nixon and got hot during Ronald Reagan's time at the White House. The book is also something more interesting than that, and recasts the drugs policy of the 1970s as an elaborate power grab within the Nixon administration to rest power from state organizations and into the hands of Nixon's cronies. The efforts of the White House to break federal power are also shown as part of the piratical attitude that led to the Watergate break-in.

Epstein seems to have done a good job of interviewing people relevant to the Nixon regime (some were obviously in jail at the time, so couldn't be interviewed); the author tells a very convincing story. The chapters of the book dealing with American foreign policy are amongst the best: France, Mexico, Turkey, all shown to be derailed in colourful ways by departmental in-fighting and Nixon's megalomania. The other best bits are to do with some of the principal `characters', particularly G. Gordon Liddy who comes across as some sort of `In the Loop' character cut out of the script for being too transparently evil. The creative use of government stats by various officials is also nice to see, as it's still going on.

Overall this is a good book, well worth the time. It illustrates a neglected piece of American history and is a good story in its own right, full of nuance and good characters. More `Edge of Darkness' than `French Connection'.


A Year at the Movies: One Man's Filmgoing Odyssey
A Year at the Movies: One Man's Filmgoing Odyssey
by Kevin Murphy
Edition: Paperback
Price: 8.90

5.0 out of 5 stars And another review (belch), 19 April 2010
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Kevin Murphy's come a short way from playing a legless robot on a tv show that was barely even aired in my country, all the way up to filling much the same role as a sarcastic commentator on cinematic dreck on Rifftrax: between these minor extremes he briefly travelled the world's cinemas to see a film each day, in everywhere from cinemas made of ice to tiny little places in the desert. What I expected of this book was a funny take on some awful movies (which there is, see Corky Romano; don't actually, you know what I mean) but what you get is so much more: a summary of the state of modern cinema and cinema-going.

Murphy writes a very personal account of his travels and encounters with regular cinema folk, projectionists and belligerent kung-fu fans: never before have I read a book where one man's love for a subject shines through so strong. It's inspiring is what it is; after reading this book I want to se more foreign films, more independent films, visit a film festival or to or a real cinema. There's a real sense of melancholy for cinemas of the writer's youth, and the general (but far from total) decline of small town family cinemas.


The Spiraling Worm: Call of Cthulhu Novel (Call of Cthulhu Fiction)
The Spiraling Worm: Call of Cthulhu Novel (Call of Cthulhu Fiction)
by David Conyers
Edition: Paperback

5.0 out of 5 stars Very good, very grim, 30 Jan 2010
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
The Spiraling Worm is a collection of linked stories written by David Conyers and John Sunseri which brings the Cthulhu Mythos into the modern day. An equal mix of science fiction and spy fiction (`spyence fiction' if any publishers are interested) set in the world of HP Lovecraft and his many followers and imitators, the story is gripping and feels heavily influenced by the likes of Spooks or Edge of Darkness. It is certainly a good thing to see the mythos brought into the modern world as Lovecraft intended, rather than kept forever in an early 20th century limbo of quaint college towns and crumbling basements. The book feels very filmic, and the action scenes (particularly the last chapter) feel particularly like a good movie, although sometimes the mood is broken by the occasionally overly Lovecraftian language or sometimes a bit of silliness where someone blows up a jeep by shooting its gas tank. Overall it's a good book and makes great use of the rich background of the mythos, plus adding new things in the process.


Miskatonic University: A Handbook to the Pride of Arkham (Call of Cthulhu)
Miskatonic University: A Handbook to the Pride of Arkham (Call of Cthulhu)
by Sam Johnson
Edition: Paperback
Price: 16.89

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Academia Cthuliana OR a tale of Templars and Ice Cream, 16 Aug 2009
Miskatonic University was written by Sam Johnson and published by Chaosium; it is drawn from several sources, such as Sandy Antunes' previous Miskatonic book, Arkham Unveiled and various stories and novels. This book melds historical information about '20s campus life, period education and the school's odd traditions. In addition the book integrates includes professor and student characters, sinister individuals and cults, plus sinister legends and the University's sprawling tunnel network (not to mention Armitage and the Orne Library). There is also the scenario 'A Little Knowledge', a fine adventure connected to HP Lovecraft's 'Herbert West - Reanimator'.

Miskatonic University is one of the best in Chaosium's Lovecraft country line and is a must for anyone wanting to run campaigns for students or professor characters. The sole adventures a good one, there's plenty of information on the technicalities of college life and playing student investigators. There's enough here to occupy a keeper and their group for quite a while.


H.P.Lovecraft's Dunwich (Call of Cthulhu)
H.P.Lovecraft's Dunwich (Call of Cthulhu)
by Herber
Edition: Paperback
Price: 12.71

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Deliverance, Lovecraft style, 5 Aug 2009
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
The Dunwich sourcebook is for use with the BRP and d20 game Call of Cthulhu and meticulously describes the town of Dunwich, a setting drawn straight from the pages of horror writer H.P. Lovecraft. Following on in the Lovecraft Country line of products, this book provides information and stats on the inhabitants of Dunwich, the surrounding countryside, the monsters, the cults and what lies beneath. There are enough ideas here for keepers to kick off their own Dunwich game or add to an existing campaign.

The book has descriptions of multiple characters (there are adversaries both human and inhuman), locations and advice on playing the atmosphere of decay and ruin the author brings to the description of the town. There are plenty of plot seeds here, and of course if there's an element the keeper dislikes they can drop it and still have things for players to do. The one downside is that there's only one proper scenario, so keepers should look to the other Lovecraft country collections or New Tales of the Miskatonic Valley for pre-written scenarios. But otherwise this is an excellent product and well worth buying.


The Wire : Complete HBO Season 1 [DVD] [2002] [2005]
The Wire : Complete HBO Season 1 [DVD] [2002] [2005]
Dvd ~ Dominic West
Price: 13.75

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What More Can You Say?, 15 July 2009
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
It's the best program I've ever seen, and that's that. In my highly subjective opinion it's the best show ever made and David Simon is someone with very important things to say that need to be heard by everybody.

There's one thing to point out and that's watch it through at least twice, because there are things that I didn't pick up until I had the director's commentary on to point out what I was missing.


Worlds of Cthulhu 4 (Cthulhu Magazine)
Worlds of Cthulhu 4 (Cthulhu Magazine)
by Christopher Smith Adair
Edition: Paperback

5.0 out of 5 stars Of Men, Cats, Chimps, Whales and Atomic Reptile Women, 15 July 2009
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This is the fourth issue of the fantastic Worlds of Cthulhu magazine, which supplements the equally excellent Call of Cthulhu role-playing game. There seems to be a focus here on animal themes, not that that's a bad thing; there are some of the game's best writers with articles in here.

To briefly sum up the issue's contents there is a Severn Valley/PICSES scenario related to animal testing, a profile of the cult of Bast, a scenario set in a lonely house in the Maine woods, a write-up for a Call of Cthulhu game where the investigators play as cats (it's surpisingly good), a cat-related scenario, an essay on magic in Call of Cthulhu by Dan Harms and lots more.

It's well worth the time of anyone wanting to add to their Call of Cthulhu collection or looking for new material to spring on their players.


Fragile Things
Fragile Things
by Neil Gaiman
Edition: Paperback
Price: 6.29

3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fragments of dreams and similar nonsense, 1 Jun 2009
This review is from: Fragile Things (Paperback)
"A Study in Emerald" is a story that mixes Lovecraft, Doyle and alternate reality into a really entertaining narrative that plays fair with both authors works, "The Day the Saucers Came" is one of the most charming poems I've ever read and "Sunbird" is a nice story as well. It's a really well done collection, although some stories didn't do it for me ("Pages From a Journal..."), but that might just be taste.


HP Lovecraft's Arkham (Call of Cthulhu Roleplaying Game)
HP Lovecraft's Arkham (Call of Cthulhu Roleplaying Game)
by Keith Herber
Edition: Paperback

5.0 out of 5 stars Cthuloid Cast of Characters for Lovecraft's Principal Town, 22 Feb 2009
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
HP Lovecraft's Arkham aims to describe the entire town (characters, locations, shops and cults) as it stood in the late 1920s, about the same time that Lovecraft's main stories (Dreams in the Witch House, Mountians of Madness and Shadow Out of Time) are occurring. Overall the writers do an excellent job of bringing the city alive and filling it with plot hooks for Keepers to flesh out into full adventures.

Arkham covers everything the Keeper could want, from the churches to the newspapers, to the doctors and the gangsters, and most importantly it covers the Cthulhu Mythos elements in town. There's the Arkham Witch Cult (could have done with more detail, like what they actually do over than sacrifice babies), local occultists the Eye of Amara and also the people in the know at Miskatonic University (who could probably do with reading their own library, the amount of tomes they've missed!). On top of this there are three scenario (all quite decent, especially the fun looking 'The Condemmed', although most of 'Hills Rise Wild' actually happens near Dunwich, it does demonstrate what can be done with the material) and conversions for the d20 system.

A criticism is the (in my opinion) horribly jarring 3d artwork for the portraits and drawings, giving the impression the book's full of screenshots from some Alone in the Dark clone, although in a few cases the art does portray a sense of creepiness. A shame considering books like 'Tatters of the King' or 'Kingsport' have fine artwork in them.

Overall a really great book that anyone with an interest in Call of Cthulhu or Lovecraft should consider buying, as it creates a truly detailed world for the Keeper to throw the investigators into.


Mansions of Madness: Six Classic Explorations of the Unknown, the Deserted, and the Insane (Call of Cthulhu)
Mansions of Madness: Six Classic Explorations of the Unknown, the Deserted, and the Insane (Call of Cthulhu)
by Michael DeWolfe
Edition: Perfect Paperback
Price: 12.27

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mansions of Madness, 5 Aug 2008
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Mansions of Madness is a supplement for the Call of Cthulhu RPG, which focuses on scenarios about houses. The 2007 reprint I have included "The Old Damned House," which brings the number of scenarios in the book from five up to six. The art is very good, and there are a pile of handouts.

Mr Corbitt
Dear old Bernard Corbitt, pillar of the community, neighbour and all around nice guy. Pity he keeps something distinctly nasty in his base. A challenging scenario, pitting the investigators against an enemy who lives next door and can't really be taken care of with fire power and explosives. A good scenario for a beginning group, with lots of investigation and mythos action.

The Plantation
A deadly encounter in the Deep South with Southern Genteel, insane Obeah worshippers, a sorcerer who is not what he seems, undercover cops, and a bloated magical monster who's become a problem for a Great Old One. This trip into the swamps of South Carolina is pretty fun, but an adventure the players will really have to work hard with to survive.

Crack'd and Crook'd Manse
A mansion in Massachusetts full of secrets, but all of the deaths associated with the mansion have nothing to do with the real threat, the spawn of an Outer God, who infests the house in a most abnormal way. Lots of room for gruesome deaths, good role playing and a truly unique monster.

The Sanatorium
A relaxing stay at a friend's asylum on an isolated island turns out to be very unrelaxing indeed. A madman with an axe, an otherworldly thing, and an Egyptian Princess, plus inmates, makes for a brilliant scenario with great npcs and a tight storyline. The inmates are a colourful bunch and can either end up helping or hindering the players.

Mansions of Madness
A hunt for a potent magical artefact, with a deranged sorceress, a being of the Dreamlands and a mobster with some sickening deformities. A very interesting scenario, with some great villains and more seedy characters than a waterfront bar during prohibition.

The Old Damned House
A missing jewellery thief and his treasure are the least of the players troubles, with a cursed family, their mutant offspring, and a abomination locked away for hundreds of years. Includes lots of investigation and good characters, and must be applauded for the use of a seldom seen Old One and his lair.


Page: 1 | 2