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Profile for J. Marriage > Reviews

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Reviews Written by
J. Marriage (Devon, England)

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The Care of Time
The Care of Time
Price: £2.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent and classic writing, and superbly entertaining., 18 May 2016
This review is from: The Care of Time (Kindle Edition)
It was a pleasure to come back to Eric Ambler after a long break, excepting a chance to re-read The Mask of Demetrios as a result of a recent chance find. Whilst some readers may prefer the faster pace of some more modern authors, I find the slower build-up and deeper immersion into the characters' worlds to be something I really enjoy. The value it adds is partly one of building up the suspense and feeling of reality, partly of better inhabiting a milieu we don't know from personal experience, partly from a deepened view of the protagonists. In this case apart from the story itself, we learn something about life as a somewhat successful author, as a not-too-successful TV presenter, as well as the necessarily more nefarious natures of operators in the world of espionage & terrorism, which we have perhaps heard more about. The result of this slow burn is a very believable story, with a denouement which (unlike so many thrillers) is credible in the context of the world the author has developed, and his characters.
The other thing to point out is how much better-written the book is compared to so many fast-paced and spectacular recent productions. Ambler writes excellent, literate - not literary - English, and could profitably be used as a model by most of his successors in the genre. Particularly in these days of expanded self-publishing, it is such a relief to get back to really professional writing.


Fine mesh ultrasonic stainless steel basket 5" x 4" repair clean jewellers tools
Fine mesh ultrasonic stainless steel basket 5" x 4" repair clean jewellers tools
Offered by alfindings ltd
Price: £10.50

5.0 out of 5 stars Just the job., 10 May 2016
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Just the ticket for small items in my ultrasonic cleaner - or even just for dipping in a solvent for degreasing. The lugs are easily bent to suit your own tank.


Black Metal Single Wheel 0.6mm Pitch Straight Linear Knurling Tool
Black Metal Single Wheel 0.6mm Pitch Straight Linear Knurling Tool
Offered by sourcingmap
Price: £10.13

4.0 out of 5 stars Fine for occasional use, 10 May 2016
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Simple tool, strong, does the job. A classier one would not have the axle bolt sticking out so far each side - it forces you to work further from the chuck than ideal, never desirable with a knurler because of the strain it puts on the headstock bearing.


Time Heals No Wounds (A Baltic Sea Crime Novel Book 1)
Time Heals No Wounds (A Baltic Sea Crime Novel Book 1)
Price: £3.98

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Unconvincing, badly written, badly translated., 10 May 2016
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This book has two kinds of problems, those originating with the author, and those with the translator. The author we should blame for the unconvincing characters, the unbelievably unprofessional police force in which the main protagonists work, and the improbability of the plot, especially the denouement. The translator, I take it (I have only read the translation), is responsible for the generally clunky English and unnatural dialogue. I was surprised to find that the translator is apparently a native English speaker - it doesn't read like that.


Eye of the Beholder - Johannes Vermeer, Antoni van Leeuwenhoek, and the Reinvention of Seeing
Eye of the Beholder - Johannes Vermeer, Antoni van Leeuwenhoek, and the Reinvention of Seeing
by Laura J. Snyder
Edition: Hardcover

3.0 out of 5 stars Overlong and rather contrived, 22 April 2016
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The thesis of the book is a linkage between Vermeer and Leeuwenhoek, who were contemporaries and neighbours, and famous for apparently different things. It makes for a very interesting window into life in "interesting times" in Delft. The supposed connection between them ("seeing") is a somewhat artificial device which does not really work, so it turns out to be a kind of double biography of the two men. There seems to be no actual evidence that they ever met - though how could they not have? - nor that they had any interest in one another's activities. Snyder is rather dismissive of some of the views of David Hockney on Vermeer's use of optical aids - not for any clear reason - but there has been so much written on Vermeer that perhaps little is added here. To me Leeuwenhoek was the more interesting character, and just as influential (more influential?!) albeit in a very different field. The book could comfortably have been edited down to 2/3 the length.


Evoluent VerticalMouse 4 MAC Wireless Mouse White
Evoluent VerticalMouse 4 MAC Wireless Mouse White
Offered by Quantum Wireless
Price: £82.17

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not as good as an Anker!, 4 April 2016
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
The first one was DOA, promptly replaced by Amazon with a second that eventually and reluctantly paired with the Mac (El Capitan). From that point on it worked, though movement of the pointer on-screen is a bit jerky and uneven. Even more strangely, in a Bootcamp instance of Windows, the pointer moved but clicks were not recognised. I downloaded the Evoluent software, which appeared to install, but didn't really, so I couldn't program the buttons (if I wanted to). The other things to notice are:
- it is very big - comfortable to hold, but probably larger than necessary and rather easy to knock with an elbow, and looks quite strange.
- the buttons are hair-trigger sensitive, very light action. As the whole of the main finger-surface is covered with button, it is very tricky not to press buttons unintentionally. I'm sure you could train yourself to do better over time, but be prepared for some frustration.
- It lost the connection to the Mac from time to time, then came back.
So I sent the second one back to Amazon - again very helpful service - and replaced it with an Anker at 1/6th of the price. The Anker is a better size, set itself up instantly, has a more sensible button pressure, runs perfectly smoothly on the screen, and doesn't have any of these other issues. Score 0 for Evoluent, 1 for Anker.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jul 6, 2016 10:13 AM BST


SolarCentre Mini London Solar Post Lights, Set of 4
SolarCentre Mini London Solar Post Lights, Set of 4
Offered by SolarCentre®
Price: £29.99

4.0 out of 5 stars They actually work, 5 Feb. 2016
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Had these a month now, and remember this is the dead of winter. So I'm impressed that they come on at dusk, and last until somewhere between 9pm and after 11pm, depending on how bright a day it's been. I'm not looking for lots of light, so much as a trail of guide lights so I don't wander off the path in the dark. So they are set to the "P" position. I don't know how long they would last at full brightness, but obviously less. So for me they are ideal. Marked down a bit because they came with plastic spikes rather than metal ones.


In the Blood (Jefferson Tayte Genealogical Mystery Book 1)
In the Blood (Jefferson Tayte Genealogical Mystery Book 1)
Price: £0.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Pacey fun, holey plot, 3 Dec. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Others have summarised the plot, so I shan't do that. I tend to be fussy about the quality of writing and proofreading, but (for a piece of light entertainment) I didn't have cause for complaint on that score. There is a problem though. Being vague so as not to spoil the plot for you, it can be summarised like this. 200 years ago a criminal family did bad stuff, and finished up with both social position and riches they should not have. Fast forward to the present day, and several groups battle to discover or bury the truth about these historic events. The problem is that the moderns, both goodies and baddies, are operating on the assumption that if the 200-year-old truth comes out, not only would some folks perhaps lose some reputation but that the legal system would intervene to give the riches back to the descendants of the original victims. I just don't believe that would happen. Imagine if today's law courts were in the business of putting right all of history!


Daughter of Sand and Stone
Daughter of Sand and Stone
Price: £3.98

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Doesn't do her subject justice, 3 Nov. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Here is one straight out of the "creative writing" course. Take a poorly documented historical character, and add plenty of the author's rather lurid imaginings. The real Zenobia must have been a far more interesting character than what we get in this utterly conventional story plan. Stock characters support her (the scheming first wife, the hunk of a lover who is too lowly, ...) by doing stock things. Avoid.


Pretty Dead (Elise Sandburg Series Book 3)
Pretty Dead (Elise Sandburg Series Book 3)
Price: £3.98

2.0 out of 5 stars Incredible (that is, stretches credulity), 27 Oct. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
A Gothic concoction, with unbelievable characters and a rather obvious plot. I haven't read others in the series, and with a lot of references to the earlier ones it might have made a bit more sense if I had. However, I'm not motivated to do so now. Competently written, but nevertheless best avoided.


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