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The God Delusion
The God Delusion
by Richard Dawkins
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.29

7 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Open Your Mind!, 20 Oct. 2010
This review is from: The God Delusion (Paperback)
Going into this book I'd have stated myself as an agnostic leaning heavily toward atheism.

Needless to say therefore I found myself agreeing with much of what Dawkins says. Repeatedly I found myself reading chapter after chapter nodding my heading and thinking things such as, "obviously," "of course," "that's right," occassionally something came up I hadn't thought before and instantly found myself just thinking, "Well yes that's true actually."

Dawkins used Evolution as his main explanation of how God does not fit into the explanations offered to us through science. Furthermore he explains how God, if anything, only goes to overcomplicate the matter and even makes the idea seem so unlikley as to become questionable beyond all doubt. True there is no proof here of God not existing, but then it is rather impossible to proove something that cannont be prooven either way to begin with, as Dawkins himself states.

Also discussed is the indoctrination we all go through as children. Dawkins is ruthless here above all other areas. Some have critisized him for being this way but as you read on you will find yourself understanding totally the reasons he gives for this being so wrong. Certainly this is one of the key areas of address in questioning reasons for faith all over the world.

If you are religious looking to see what Dawkins has to say here then I would say read this with an open mind. Imagine for 420 pages you are uncertain and willing to hear the other side without all your teachings and upbringing. If you are not religious then you will probably (like me) enjoy reading a book which not only confirms all you already thought but will also solidify your beliefs with a mix of hard facts and reasonable explanations. There is also some fantastic stuff on Evolution and the Universe. in general

I'd say prior to reading this book my atheism/faith was split 80/20. Now it is more 99/1. So not all doors closed, but then by definition I wont write anything off without proof entirely. I hope others will find this book as compelling and insightful as I did.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Nov 15, 2010 6:09 PM GMT

Under the Dome
Under the Dome
by Stephen King
Edition: Hardcover

1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bow down to the King!, 19 Dec. 2009
This review is from: Under the Dome (Hardcover)
Where did this come from?

After years of mediocrity ranging from Desperation to Cell, Black House to Insomnia, and even the latter 2 Dark Tower books, I think one could be forgiven for thinking that King had lost some that horrifying magic he weilded so well from the late 70's to early 90's.

Yet here is Under the Dome. In my opinion the best book King has written since The Stand. Big words you may say, but I'd go further, though that book is overall slightly better, there are moments when The Stand literally stands in the shadow of The Dome.

The concept is simple. In the opening pages the small town of Chester's Mill is cut off from the entire world by an invisible forcefield. Noone knows where it came from or how to get rid of it. King instantly goes to work slaying dozens of characters and even scores of animals.

Very quickly however the tone calms down. We are introduced to storys main goodies and baddies. The main villain, a man on the towns board of selectmen, quickly takes advantage of being cut off from the government and sets himself up as a dictator of sorts, even causing chaos that echoes the reichstag fires of 1930's Germany in his desperate bid for power.
All the while the stories main protagonists struggle to find a way of lifting the barrier that keeps them living in fear. As the story progresses other events conspire to bring about a catastophic finale.
The end is perhaps a little weak, with a strange sci fi twist that some may not be too fond of. But it is the journey toward that finale that really makes this story a masterpiece.

The Climb
The Climb
Price: £0.99

3 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Ignore the Rage hate fest!, 19 Dec. 2009
This review is from: The Climb (MP3 Download)
I'm going to be honest with this review, and acknowledge the hate tirade that came from those that came before.

Firstly, no, this isn't the best song that could have been chosen for the X Factor winner. However Joe sings it with heart in a way that makes it good, he hits the high notes so well and was a deserved winner. From all the newspaper accounts and links with Disney he will do very well, number one or not.

The whole campaign with RATM is uncalled for. The fact it only reached I think 25 in the charts when it was originally released says enough about how "great" the song is. There is also a cruel irony in those saying X Factor hijacks the number one spot, the only reason that record will even come close is due to a vicious campaign by crybaby rock fans buying many copies of a record that noone cared for before now.

Christmas is a time when feel good songs are what people want to hear, and whether you like X Factor or not it does produce modestly good stars singing decent songs. The words "**** you I wint do what you tell me" as can be heard by RATM aren't in any good spirit. Joes song is a song about trials and hope, a song that makes you feel good inside, it sounds brilliant and hopefully will reach 1.

Rage against the bandwagon, buy The Climb :)
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Dec 20, 2009 10:36 PM GMT

Batman Returns (Two-Disc Special Edition) [DVD]
Batman Returns (Two-Disc Special Edition) [DVD]
Dvd ~ Michael Keaton
Price: £9.96

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A brilliantly different movie!, 28 Oct. 2006
OK, if you want faithfulness to the Batman franchise your in the wrong place, go buy Batman Begins, its better sure but this film is in a way, a moving work of art.

Tim Burton has a very twisted personality, at least thats the impression he gives in almost all his films. He has put a dark slant on noth Chritmas and a Chocolate Factory. Here he takes a character who was once a mocked up business man and turned him into a grotesque, fat, slimy monster; yes I know that sounds like most business men, but I mean LITERALLY!

The character is The Penguin. And just as Batman 1989 was Jokers show, this one is really The Penguins, with a Bat/Cat love story to boot. Another great addition here is Max Shreck, brilliantly played by marvelous Christopher Walken. The way he uses Penguin is genius, and he is given some of the best lines ever! He and Penguin make this movie, and with Michelle Pfieffer in a tight leather suit it is made all the more worthwhile.

Don't expect much Batman here though, that is of course one of this films downfalls (as it was with both its predecessor and sequels), this an all villain show, with 3 of the best on scren baddies EVER! I prefer this to Batman 1989 simply for the cloud of tragedy which hangs over the characters and the music emphasizes their misfortunes.

Gotham is brillaintly decorated (its christmas) in a seriously dark mannar which brings new meaning to the name GOTHam.

Batman Begins is much better than this, but this a stand alone classic and not to be missed!

The Last Kingdom (The Last Kingdom Series, Book 1)
The Last Kingdom (The Last Kingdom Series, Book 1)
by Bernard Cornwell
Edition: Paperback

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Great account of History and Adventure!!, 23 May 2006
As my first Cornwell novel and my first frist-person novel I have to say that this story was deeply impressive.

The first-person prospective puts you constantly right up front in the action with main character Uhtred. Cornwells research shows in everything from his discriptions of the blend of old-Roman and saxon architecture to his brilliant account of Christiantiys attempts to phase out Paganism. But the authors skills really come through in his excellent ability to fully create epic battles in the readers mind. And battles really were not as fancy and flamboyant as hollywood would have you think.

The shield-walls are what this book is all about, Uhtreds own goal is to one day be in the shield-wall, and its not a pretty sight. Cornwell thrusts you up front as blades and shields collide and blood sprays. The tension in these moments is like nothing I'd ever read before.

This book is must have even if only for the mostly incredibly accurate accout of events that happened around this time- for with Uhtred you will meet many famous historical heroes and villains. But the story alone is a beatiful one- with romance, death, tragedy and grudges. Uhted is a brillaint character who you will come to love regardless of his reckless and cold attitude. A classic, a must have, you'll love it!

by Stephen King
Edition: Hardcover

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Still the King of Horror with this mediocre title..., 18 May 2006
This review is from: Cell (Hardcover)
Mixed feelings on this one people. The groundworks here follow two typically successful formulas.

1) This is, as many other reviews here will tell you, almost a complete rehash of The Stand, arguably Kings best work yet. This puts King in an immediatley unenviable position. The writer excelled himself with the Stand so surly something so similar is only going to compare unfavouably. It does. The opening establishment of a "2nd Dark Age" is done far to quickly, leaving the only character we really know as Clay. I feel that at a story like this should be epic- but at only 400 pages I guess it was obvious that was never going to happen, the Stand introduced a flock of great characters then thrust them into apocolypse, what this does is take one character and thrust him in and out of catastrophe in as few chapters as possible- not a terrible idea, but not the best either.

2) The other typically successful formula used here is the Zombie-story. This isn't so much Night of the Living Dead, but it certainly reminds of that kind of thing, which for King seems pretty preliminary, but then I guess after nearly 40 years of writing your resevoir of ideas is going to start running low.

Another con here is the end, it tells you nothing, you don't find out how the characters turned out, how it all truly began, or why, you just accept what little you are told and live with it.

Although this is not Kimg at his best you still can't help be absorbed by the King of Horrors ability to create truly frightening and gruesome moments and love them. The Raggedy Man whom you'll meet about half way through is one of Kings many great villains. Which is why this is still a definite must have for an fans of King and horror alike.

Black House
Black House
by Stephen King
Edition: Paperback

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars If you want more of The Talisman then look elsewhere., 15 May 2006
This review is from: Black House (Paperback)
I will perhaps unfairly base this review on the fact that it is regardless of all else, a sequel to the Talisman. If you have not read the Talisman then this book should be avoided until you have done so- although the two books are mostly dissimilar in terms of plot there are things in here which you wont understand unless you know Jack Sawyers back story.

My biggest problem with this book is that other than the main character (Sawyer) and the occassional (and ridiculously rare) delves into the place know as the Territories; are the only things linking this to the Talisman. There was no reason for Jack to have been part of this story at all and the only reason I feel he was is the fact that he is the joint creation of both King and Straub. The familiar Territories are religated mostly to becoming Jacks chill out zone for want of a better term, until the end that is. The end also leaves a lot of questions unanswered and without sounding like a spoilt fanboy here- demands another Talisman sequel.

The story itself however is a good thriller with likable characters, and it is always nice to be reunited with a character you got to like the first time round- that being Jack sawyer, although now a much different Jack than before.

I don't know if I've been entirley fair with my rating here, perhaps I expected to much having read and loved both The Talisman and the Dark Tower series, but this story just dosen't measure up to those at all! I would say read it if you liked the Talisman if only to be reaquainted with Sawyer, but otherwise don't bother, King himself has much better to offer.

PS: If you HAVEN'T read the Talisman then do so, buy it now and thank me later- it is one of the greatet books ever written FACT!!
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Mar 9, 2011 11:20 AM GMT

The Da Vinci Code (Robert Langdon)
The Da Vinci Code (Robert Langdon)
by Dan Brown
Edition: Paperback

12 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Scooby Doo for adults but Gripping to the Core, 8 May 2006
Easily one of the most compelling books I've ever read. I stayed up till around 2:00 am reading this before finally realizing I had to get some sleep. This book throws up riddles and puzzles almost ever other page and ends each chapter with a cliff hanger, the chapters are fairly short to (never more than ten pages) so its easy to take in. The facts in this book are mind blowing, as you've no doubt heard, the authors own additions are simply genius! However I only rate this book 4 stars why? Well the story here and the code itself are are brilliant and certainly they are the appeal of the book itself however, the main characters are simply not interesting enough. In the end we know little about our characters personalities other than what they do for a living. This is a minor set back however, its the mythos and conspiracy theories in this book that keep you hooked. Buy or borrow it, just make sure you read it!

The Dark Tower III: The Waste Lands: Waste Lands Bk. 3
The Dark Tower III: The Waste Lands: Waste Lands Bk. 3
by Stephen King
Edition: Paperback

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the greatest books ever written!!, 6 Jun. 2005
There is so much to say about this book, yet i'll try to say as little as possible. Firstly it is in two halves. The first concerntrates on the return of the boy Jake (from Gunslinger). This is perhaps the most interesting story of all those in the Dark Tower, as it solidifies his relationship with Roland, opens up the story making everything much more complex and the conclusion (to the first half) creates a new problem for our friends which wont be concluded until the final book, 'The Dark Tower). Its the mystery around the first half which drives the story forward, as well as developing the characters of Eddie and Sussanah (DOTT). The second half is based in and aroung the City of Lud, and sort of post-apocolyptic city locked in civil war. After all the puzzle solving of the first half it is almost a relief to see our friends do some real shooting again. Another King character makes his Dark Tower debut here as well although I will not say who, the conclusion is also very odd. As the Ka-Tet head out across the wastelands they find themselves in an impossible situation, one which will not be resolved until the fourth installment of the Dark Tower, Wizard and Glass.

The Dark Tower II: The Drawing Of The Three: Drawing of the Three Bk. 2
The Dark Tower II: The Drawing Of The Three: Drawing of the Three Bk. 2
by Stephen King
Edition: Paperback

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Possibly the best in the series, 6 Jun. 2005
It's the 1980's, Stephen King is at the peak of his career, we've already had The Stand, Salems Lot, Carrie and of course The Gunslinger. Now King turns his attention once more to the Dark Tower, and this time he's doing it in style. DOTT comes packed full of intense and hardcore action. From the beginning Roland comes under attack by beasts he calls 'lobstrosities'. But this book also introduces two new characters, who will in event join Roland on his epic quest. These are neurotic, class clown, heroin junkie Eddie Dean, and Schizophrenic, wheel-chair bound Oddeta Homes/ Detta Walker. Undoubtedly the greatest additon is that of Eddie, he is a perfectly well rounded character who offers laugh-out-loud comedy as well as heart wrenching drama. Yet Detta Walker, Oddetas dark-half will having you cursing in frustration as you watch the others struggle through there journey. Finally the conclusion to this book will have you feeling light-hearted and full of relief that is until you read the next, and arguably superior installment of the DT series, the Wastelands...
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jun 25, 2008 2:48 PM BST

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