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Amazon Customer "John in Gateshead" (Tyne and Wear, UK)

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Kenneth Williams: Born Brilliant: The Life of Kenneth Williams
Kenneth Williams: Born Brilliant: The Life of Kenneth Williams
by Christopher Stevens
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £20.81

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An insightful biography, 20 Jan 2011
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This is a "better class" of biography in that, rather than simply running through all of its subject's credits, it tries to get inside the person and give the reader new insights. So much has been written about Kenneth Williams - who was certainly a fascinating character - that it's hard to say anything new, but the author succeeds in telling us things we didn't know.

While it's much more sympathetic than the depressing TV depiction "Fantabulosa" (which Mr Stevens rightly criticises), the book tends to confirm that Kenneth Williams had a life of wasted opportunities: that he could have been wealthy and internationally famous, but was held back by his character flaws and inability to grasp new opportunities.

A well-illustrated, engrossing read.


Sunoptic OR10A Gunmetal Reading Glasses - Strength +1.50 Incl. Case
Sunoptic OR10A Gunmetal Reading Glasses - Strength +1.50 Incl. Case
Price: £4.85

3.0 out of 5 stars Good value but fragile, 31 Dec 2010
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I thought these were good for the price. One pair lasted me more than a year in regular use, when handled with care. However, I accidentally put a book down on a leg and it bent, and then broke within an hour. At the price, this is probably only to be expected.


Brilliant HTML and CSS
Brilliant HTML and CSS
by Mr James A Brannan
Edition: Paperback
Price: £15.67

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Very disappointing, 29 Nov 2010
This review is from: Brilliant HTML and CSS (Paperback)
This is not the book for a beginner or, perhaps, for *anyone* wanting to learn about HTML and CSS. It's written like a poor school textbook, with the author apparently expecting the reader to read the whole thing in a fairly short period and then learn its contents. The concepts and principles are not explained in sufficient detail, and many of the examples are unhelpful. The book is part of a series where the editors seem to have failed to grasp the basic requirements of IT tutorials.

It's essential for books of this kind to act as a reference, into which the reader can dip and, particularly, look things up. The contents list is not adequate as a guide to the book's (limited) contents and, unforgivably, there is no index. I was given this as a source of information on CSS, from which I had to get results in a short period of time. It failed me completely and, instead, I was forced to go and buy a much better book, David Powers' "Getting started with CSS".


Canon EF 50 mm f/1.8 II Lens
Canon EF 50 mm f/1.8 II Lens
Offered by GRAND DEALS ======= FOR LESS
Price: £73.50

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Sharpest lens I've got, 24 Nov 2010
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I'm a little bit uncertain of the build quality of this lens - it's very light and feels flimsy - but I've had it for some time now and it's easily the sharpest lens I have. Contrast and geometry are also excellent. I know that "prime" (that is, non-zoom) lenses are almost always higher quality than zooms, but I didn't expect to see such a leap in quality over the one of my zoom lenses that cost over £300! When used on Canon APS-C digital cameras (mine is the EOS 40D) the Canon 50mm 1.8 is a great lens for portraits.


Vikuiti DQC-160 Screen Protector for HTC Desire, Protective Film, 100% fits, Display Protection Film
Vikuiti DQC-160 Screen Protector for HTC Desire, Protective Film, 100% fits, Display Protection Film

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not very happy with this, 21 May 2010
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
On the plus side, this is the correct size for the screen, is a sturdy piece of plastic film and probably will protect the screen from most scratches and dents.

On the minus side, the instructions are of very little help in getting the film properly centred on the screen. I applied it very carefully but managed to get it slightly off-centre, which made the phone look like a badly made product with a peeling screen. I removed and reattached it the next day and got it centred on the second attempt. However, there are bubbles all around the edges which I cannot smooth out, even with a credit card as advised: the adhesive in those small strips has probably dried out. The film also shows the slightest fingermark as a prominent grease spot, seemingly to a greater extent than the screen alone did. I am probably going to peel off the protector, throw it away and just risk the odd scratch on the screen.

I was disappointed that the product was delivered to me in a flimsy paper envelope with no card or padding of any kind and no instruction not to bend it: the postman bent it in two to get it through the letter box and could easily have destroyed it. Finally, the price I paid here, even allowing for postage, is at least twice what I would have expected to pay for a single small sheet of plastic film, even one that is precision cut.


Sennheiser CX 550 Style II - Premium Metal-crafted Ear-canal Phones For Natural, Balanced Sound and High Noise Isolation
Sennheiser CX 550 Style II - Premium Metal-crafted Ear-canal Phones For Natural, Balanced Sound and High Noise Isolation

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Very disappointing, 11 Feb 2010
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I'm a big fan of the Sennheiser brand, so it pains me to write a negative review, but my experience with these headphones has been a major disappointment. The sound quality is basically great and the construction quality seems good, but the headphones are not suitable for the purpose for which I bought them and, presumably, for which they're intended. The reason: they just will not stay in my ears while on the move.

I've tried them for two days and, on each occasion that I've used them, one or both of the earpieces has fallen out of my ear within *seconds* of starting to walk. I changed the medium size cups for the larger ones, with no noticeable difference. I don't think my ear canals are particularly large or unusual and I have few problems with cheaper headphones that have fabric "socks" over the earpieces, so I can only put this down to bad design. The cable extension cord seems a poorly thought-out feature - why not just make the cable of a suitable length to start with? As one or two others have commented, the cable is too short for any credible purpose without it and, with it, it's much heavier because of the extra socket, making the earpieces more prone to pull out of the wearer's ears.

These headphones may be ok for use on public transport, but only if you sit completely still. I've noticed that, even when seated, the slightest head movement affects the seal between the headphone and the ear, causing a disconcerting fluctuation in the bass. Next time I'm on a plane or train I'll give the headphones another try but, for now, I'm afraid they're going to spend their time sitting in a cupboard, unused.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Feb 21, 2010 7:55 PM GMT


Olivier: The Authorised Biography
Olivier: The Authorised Biography
by Terry Coleman
Edition: Paperback

9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant and insightful, 28 July 2009
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There are at least two other books about Olivier currently in print, including his autobiography: both hold claims to being the "definitive work". Meticulously researched, thoughtful and insightful, Coleman's is easily the best of the three. I would put the autobiographical CONFESSIONS OF AN ACTOR in second place and the recently reissued Holden biography (which, sadly, seems to have had the most press coverage) in third, as it seems to me redundant.

The genius of this book is that the reader really feels an insight into the personality of its subject: Coleman avoids almost completely the "Olivier did this; then he did that" style that, sadly, many biographers fall into.

Considered in its treatment of the controversial aspects of Olivier's personality such as his sexuality, and yet forthright about his character flaws, Coleman's is probably the best biography I have ever read.


Company of Wolves [Blu-ray]
Company of Wolves [Blu-ray]
Dvd ~ David Warner
Price: £6.00

30 of 32 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Good film but not worth the extra, 6 July 2009
I'm a fan of this film (wonderful atmosphere, riveting special effects, lots of dry humour) but I was disappointed with the Blu-ray. It's not a film that boasts stunning image quality, and it was difficult to see the difference between this and the average standard definition DVD.

As the extras are limited to a director's commentary, I would advise saving some money by purchasing the much cheaper standard DVD.


Hattie Jacques: The Authorised Biography of Hattie Jacques
Hattie Jacques: The Authorised Biography of Hattie Jacques
by Andrew Merriman
Edition: Hardcover

1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Rather superficial, 21 Sep 2008
As one or two other reviewers have hinted, this is a competent rundown of Miss Jacques' life, but the author never really gets inside his subject, or offers us much insight into what she was really like. We hear that she got on well with everyone in the business (except Norman Wisdom) and that she was a very warm and helpful woman, but we never quite get to understand her. A lot of the book is very much "Hattie did this and enjoyed it a lot, and then Hattie did that and didn't have so much fun". It's well researched in that Mr Merriman seems to provide a comprehensive list of Hattie Jacques' stage and screen credits, and it was nice to see a mention of the stage show she did with Eric Sykes in Torquay in 1976 that I remember seeing.

However, the selection of photos is really rather poor - mainly publicity shots, and very few of her friends or family. Surely Merriman could have tracked down photos of Hattie's lover John Schofield and her long term friend Bruce Copp? At only 232 pages, the book is finally rather insubstantial and unsatisfying.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jan 20, 2011 11:15 AM GMT


Dracula [DVD]
Dracula [DVD]
Dvd ~ Frank Langella
Price: £5.00

6 of 15 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Not the way it should be done, 14 Jun 2008
This review is from: Dracula [DVD] (DVD)
In its favour, this film is visually sumptuous, and looks as if it was shot on a high budget. However, I can't think of anything else good to say about it.

Frank Langella's Dracula is feeble, with an unconvincing (meant to be English?) accent and absolutely no menace. Compared with Christopher Lee's portrayal, Langella's Count is laughable. Laurence Olivier, a genuinely great actor in some roles, gives a performance that must be amongst his worst, with a ridiculous accent. John Williams' music has a wince-inducing "cod romantic" style that robs the film of any atmosphere.

It could well be claimed that the Dracula story is now "played out" and impossible to film convincingly, but all of the Hammer Draculas up to 1969 and even Coppola's 1992 version are vastly superior to this tedious effort.


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