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Reviews Written by
Andrew Ives (France)

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Dead Funny: Telling Jokes in Hitler's Germany
Dead Funny: Telling Jokes in Hitler's Germany
Price: £8.59

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Sample only - more dead than funny, 21 Oct 2011
I wasn't expecting a book about German comedy - of any nature - to be an absolute ribtickler, and sure enough, this wasn't. Dull? Yes. Funny? No. The examples given, such as the joke about Goring's medals, are so painfully unfunny, I thought I was missing something. The examples are scattered amongst page upon page of well-written but dry-as-dust analytical body text that (understandably) tiptoes around all the pitfalls such a sensitive subject inherently brings, and the translation is somehow rather too concentrated to read comfortably. By the end of the sample, there were comparisons with the Romans, which was ironically the only part that contained anything recognisable as a joke.


Dispatches From the Sofa: The Collected Wisdom of Frank Skinner
Dispatches From the Sofa: The Collected Wisdom of Frank Skinner
Price: £3.59

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sample only - short and expensive, but clever and funny too, 21 Oct 2011
I enjoyed what I've read of Frank's other two books and this one was much the same - very well-written, perfectly laid out on the Kindle, with some 'laugh out loud' moments. I've read a lot of samples of other comics' and celebrities' books, and Frank's works are a cut above.


Agencies
Agencies
Price: £2.01

4.0 out of 5 stars Sample only - very competent sci-fi set in the near(ish) future, 20 Oct 2011
This review is from: Agencies (Kindle Edition)
Very readable and quite prosaic sci-fi tale set about two centuries into the future. I found it very imaginative and detailed - perhaps, as someone else says here, slightly too detailed too early on, but not extraordinarily so. By the end of the (lengthy) sample, I was interested and intrigued as to what was to happen next. On the Kindle, the layout was impeccable too.


Driven to Distraction
Driven to Distraction
Price: £3.59

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Sample only - Kindle - This one has some cars in it, 17 Oct 2011
I've read two samples of Clarkson's books before and they've been ok - not quite as good as James May's but better than Hammond's. This is a tiny improvement over the earlier ones, being more car-related as one might expect and, heaven forfend, maybe even a bit less moany. Even so, it has a few proof-reading slip-ups and a few Kindle-ising slip-ups that I wouldn't expect to see at this price.


Frank Skinner Autobiography
Frank Skinner Autobiography
Price: £3.95

5.0 out of 5 stars Sample only - Extensive, down-to-earth, compelling and funny, 15 Oct 2011
Having enjoyed Frank's On The Road book - I put it at the top of my ListMania list of comedians' books - here is another contender for the top spot. A few parts, namely Yuri Gagarin, Bath Court, the messy lounge and Smashing Pumpkins, made me laugh out loud, which is fairly uncommon for me whilst reading. The main strengths of this book though are the honesty and the general thread and pace of it. Frank seems to try not to 'sound too grand' throughout the book, yet it was when he did and avoided the gutter talk he easily slips into, he really excels. This may be the best autobiography, comedian's or otherwise (apart perhaps from Catch Me If You Can), that I've ever read.


Or Is That Just Me?
Or Is That Just Me?
Price: £3.99

2.0 out of 5 stars Sample only - Kindle - Scattered and rather ho-hum, 15 Oct 2011
I usually like Top Gear and most of the presenters' spin-off programmes and books, but this was the worst of the lot. The Kindle version starts off with a bunch of captions for photos that are nowhere near them (if they are visible at all?) and after a few pages, the actual book starts. The sample is very short and consists only really of the tale with the Morgan/Golf and stuff about Mongolian short longbows. I suppose they're both mildly interesting and written well enough, but they don't really go together. Most annoyingly of all, the short sample contained about 7 or 8 mistakes, no spaces after a full stop and similar. It felt to me like the publishers fed some giant book file through an automated Kindle converter and never checked the resulting eBook, giving the overall impression of a "quick! Get this out in time for Xmas!" lash-up. 2*


Déjà Vu (The Saskia Brandt Series Book One)
Déjà Vu (The Saskia Brandt Series Book One)

5.0 out of 5 stars Sample only - Intelligent sci-fi time travel mystery, 14 Oct 2011
The graphical pages - the cover, the drawing of Saskia Brandt and photo of the author - are all very nice touches. Layout, spelling and pagination on the Kindle are perfect. Then comes the story itself - the first three chapters of which are written to a very high standard - both from a prose and a plot direction point of view. Absolutely recommended for anyone who is the slightest fan of this genre.


Dark Phase
Dark Phase
Price: £0.77

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Sample only - Extensive and atmospheric, 13 Oct 2011
This review is from: Dark Phase (Kindle Edition)
This is the first of Jonathan Davison's books that I have ever read, and I must say I was pleasantly surprised. For an indie writer, the style and vocabulary used are uncommonly professional. If you like Asimov's books or films such as AI, you would surely enjoy this. Recommended.


Good Times!
Good Times!
Price: £4.49

1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Sample only - Kindle version - Readable & interesting, 13 Oct 2011
This review is from: Good Times! (Kindle Edition)
I've liked most of JLC's television output, especially Bring Back Star Wars and that series in Japan. If you imagine reading this book with a Bristol accent, it's very down-to-earth, readable, with quite an esoteric/odd mix of subject matter which makes it interesting. The Kindle sample is fairly extensive, but I have only read the childhood chapters (and the Ewok soap introduction). As I'm only slightly older than JLC, all his reminiscences of the late 1970s ring a nostalgic bell and, although I didn't find it exactly 'laugh out loud' material, it did indeed conjure up a warm glow of "good times". Even though the Kindle layout meant that the margins were annoyingly squeezed, (this happens with so many professionally-published Kindle books!) I would give this about 3.5 stars.

*I've since heard that this was ghost-written by someone else, so whatever you may think of JLC's misdemeanours, the book itself is actually not bad.


Notes from the Hard Shoulder
Notes from the Hard Shoulder
Price: £3.59

4.0 out of 5 stars Sample only - Very nerdy, slightly moany, but fun, 8 Oct 2011
I generally like James May's non-Top Gear shows, and this is (at least the sample is) like one of those. It reads in his inimitable slightly nerdy, slightly irked moany kind of style without ever turning into a full-on Clarksonesque rant, and is all the better for it. I slightly preferred May's Car Fever, but this comes a close second.


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