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Reviews Written by
G. Wake "gregwake" (Newcastle, UK)
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A Short Book About Drawing
A Short Book About Drawing
by Andrew Marr
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £7.94

4.0 out of 5 stars Not just about drawing, a cheerful book on Andrew Marr's view of the world through drawing, 3 April 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I expected something of a lesson in how to draw but the book is really about Andrew Marr, his view of drawing, painting, art in general, a little on modern culture and then some more about Andrew Marr. He makes some thought provoking points about the importance of creativity, references some key figures in the art world and has produced a nice little book which you can read in a few hours. His own drawings and digital paintings take up roughly every other page and they add a pleasant, personal, touch and bring you a little more of the author. It's a shame he has not shown any of the art or other artists he mentions in the text, but you can look most of these up online if you need to.

The book is Chinese printed on a fairly heavy grade of paper, the boards do not flex, it is a handy size, text is well printed, not too big or small, and the art looks right. It gave me two nice afternoons of gentle, light reading on my holidays.


Almo Nature Daily Menu in Tetra Chicken & Turkey
Almo Nature Daily Menu in Tetra Chicken & Turkey
Offered by Toy and Gift Shop
Price: £15.60

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Real food for your dog - our Westie loves this, 3 April 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
No objectionable smell or wondering what weird ingredients were used, this is food you can look at and know what you’re feeding your dog and it’s about the only dog food I’m happy to put in the fridge. Robbie, our Westie, does not eat this under sufferance: he really, really likes it and the only drawback I can think of is it looks rather too much like some kind of stew fit for people.


The Broken Circle Breakdown [DVD]
The Broken Circle Breakdown [DVD]
Dvd ~ Veerle Baetens
Price: £13.50

5.0 out of 5 stars You’ll cry, but it’s beautiful, 3 April 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
A story told out of sequence, it’s the wrong order but it feels right, it changes the suspense it’s not hard to work out the actual order of events and the story plays out well. The subject matter is emotional; it is very sad in parts but playful and happy in others, with scenes of naked bodies and sex mingling with hospitals and illness. It embodies the phrase in the midst of life we are in death and it does so with great, bluegrass, music and beautiful photography: the lighting and colours telling as much of the story as the acting.

There is some bad language (that does not need translating,) a little politics and religion, scenes in hospital though nothing too detailed, nudity and sex.


Milius [DVD]
Milius [DVD]
Dvd ~ Joey Figueroa
Price: £11.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Good documentary about a great maker of films, 3 April 2014
This review is from: Milius [DVD] (DVD)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
An excellent mix of interviews with the great and good of Hollywood who worked with Milius, backed up by excerpts from Milius’ films and even archive footage from his student days. The variety of sources from student films, old interviews and B movies to film greats like Apocalypse Now mean quality is mixed but it all adds to the detail of his story. Milius is more interesting than enthralling but it is worth watching, even if you don’t know of Milius you’ll likely have seen some of his films and the breadth of his work is surprising.


Vanishing
Vanishing
by Gerard Woodward
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £12.99

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A series of modern fears played out through an jumbled story set in the early 20th century, 3 April 2014
This review is from: Vanishing (Hardcover)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
For a book set some seventy years ago, Vanishing addresses a number of modern fears: airport expansion, child sexualisation, loss of the old ways and countryside, anti-terror legislation, private medicine, planning and compulsory purchase all make an appearance and its interesting to see how these 'new' fears sit equally well in the 1930s and 40s as they do in the modern world. It couldn't happen today doesn't really reassure the reader, as you can see it nearly, probably, could.

This mix of old and new works well. Told out of sequence Vanishing leaves you wondering not only what happens next, but what happened before all this to set it up. There are hints dropped here and there, of events past and possible futures, but you have to keep turning the pages to find out.

I found this desire to unpick the events from the story drew me on at first but, eventually, the threat of looming disaster, of yet another silly thing this man was going to do to get himself into trouble killed off my desire to read on and it became something of a trudge. Vanishing would be a better book if it were not saddled with such cumbersome and unlikeable lead.


Consumed: How Shopping Fed the Class System
Consumed: How Shopping Fed the Class System
by Harry Wallop
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £16.99

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Smug, tabloid style, assessment of class in the early 21st Century – incomplete, opinion based and disposable, 3 April 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I had high hopes for 'Consumed' but I feel rather let down by the unsupported conclusions, errors, occasional references and author's incorrect assumption that I really care about his social class.

It is not a dry academic, sociological text, stuffed with references and tables; 'Consumed' is more like the opinion column in a tabloid newspaper: big on judgement but with limited facts or reasoned argument to support it. There is a lot of (brand) name dropping, of the author giving less than complimentary names to the classes he defines and of him trying to sound like he has the inside track when, what he's really got is a list of brands and shopping habits that happen to be popular right now. Where statistics are used, they are sparse and often entirely unhelpful, such as comparisons where a figure is produced for one year as a percentage and another year as an absolute number. Such laxness means, while it's quite an entertaining read you certainly couldn't class it as reliable.

It's a book for the moment, for in eighteen months time it could be very out of date. Not that it's entirely up to the mark now: a book on branded shopping trends that fails to mention ebay and similar marketplaces can't really be considered up to the minute.

I quite enjoyed 'Consumed' but I can't really recommend it. The nature of any such book on current brands is they will almost certainly be out of date by the time you get to read them. Things change, quickly, and while the text claims Newcastle does not have a Jack Wills shop it does have one now. There isn't enough here data to make this worth reading in a few years time as a history of brands around 2013/14 either.


Golla Vincent Cover, White  [will only fit Kindle Paperwhite, Kindle (5th Generation) and Kindle (7th Generation)]
Golla Vincent Cover, White [will only fit Kindle Paperwhite, Kindle (5th Generation) and Kindle (7th Generation)]
Price: £24.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Pretty cover for a kindle but makes it three times thicker than without, 3 April 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I’ve been carrying my kindle in my coat pocket for the past few months and, worrying about damaging it, I thought this could be a good means of protecting it. It’s a beautiful cover but its too thick, makes my kindle around three times thicker than it is alone and means it no longer fits in my coat pocket. I can see it working if you keep your kindle in a large bag or box but then, why would you need a case?


My Husband Next Door (Audiogo)
My Husband Next Door (Audiogo)
by Catherine Alliott
Edition: Audio CD
Price: £15.00

3.0 out of 5 stars Long winded, mildly entertaining take on the imperfections in the perfect middle class lives folk try to lead., 3 April 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
If you imagine a kind of Kirsty Allsop programme gone wrong, a country idyl gone manky, the rural dream shown to not be the answer to trouble with town life then you'll have a good idea about 'my husband next door.' There is some, relatively, bad behaviour, bad language and dishonesty, but nothing terrible, abusive or explicit; on the flip side there is some joy, excitement and love too but it's all terribly mixed up. We begin near the end, with the early parts disorderly filled in through reminiscences and fragments so by the tale's end you are also at the root of the problem.

There is a lot of audiobook here and it's all told by one reader who, without wishing to be unkind, isn't very good at doing any other voice than a upper middle class home counties woman: the male voices are mostly appalling but are not rendered quite so badly as the working class women. This turning of characters into caricatures is probably encouraged by the writing as the characters sound less like real people and more like parts in a bad soap opera. The soap opera theme is further developed in the episodic nature of the tale, which is composed of numerous mountains that turn out to be molehills and are built up to be the end of the world before being revealed as a mere distraction from the real problems ahead.

It's not really a bad story but it's not one I'd suggest you should take a lot of effort to listen to.


Amazing Spaces
Amazing Spaces
by George Clarke
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £9.49

4.0 out of 5 stars More an inspiration than a DIY guide a great book of other people’s ideas - browse and be inspired, jealous or both, 3 April 2014
This review is from: Amazing Spaces (Hardcover)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I’ve found this is one of those books that people see you reading and want to borrow. The bright colours are attractive, the photographs alluring and the text interesting; I’ve found I can happily read the book or just flick through looking at the photographs. The photos often aren’t brilliant, many being technically poor or too small but what they show you is usually worth looking at so you forgive it. Equally some of the descriptions of the properties are lacking so it’s not always easy to see what has been done and why it was needed, but while that makes the book rather less useful it remains interesting.

If you’re looking for a guide to making your own ‘Amazing Space’ then this is not going to be very helpful beyond giving you a little inspiration. Practical advice and plans are limited and what advice there is, is quite generic. That said if you’re looking for something to help you dream your dream rather than build it then this is a good place to begin.


Amazon Kindle Fire HD 7" Standing Polyurethane Origami Case, Royal  [will only fit Kindle Fire HD 7" (3rd Generation)]
Amazon Kindle Fire HD 7" Standing Polyurethane Origami Case, Royal [will only fit Kindle Fire HD 7" (3rd Generation)]

5.0 out of 5 stars Great extra for the kindle fire HD - get a colour you’ll love, 3 April 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
* Good fit on the Kindle Fire HD and easy to fit - no tools or scissors needed
* Volume, power, USB and headphones sockets still easily accessible
* Stands up portrait or landscape, but only on a flat surface and it’s not stable if, say, balanced on your knee
* Great colours that don’t fade or rub off
* Comfortable to hold
* Lift the cover and it awakens!


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