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Charles Vasey (London, England)
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Field of Glory 5: Legions Triumphant: Imperial Rome at War (Field of Glory)
Field of Glory 5: Legions Triumphant: Imperial Rome at War (Field of Glory)
by Richard Bodley-Scott
Edition: Paperback
Price: 12.99

4.0 out of 5 stars SPQR, 31 July 2014
Good survey of the armies of the period for those who play Fields Of Glory: in each case with army lists, a brief commentary and some photos/illustrations. This is of great value to those who own the rules but correspondingly not of great use to the general reader.


Roman Battle Tactics, 390-110 BC
Roman Battle Tactics, 390-110 BC
by Nic Fields
Edition: Paperback
Price: 10.29

4.0 out of 5 stars Useful Summary, 31 July 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Osprey have always been a mixed bag when it comes to historical quality, but this volume is of good quality and nicely juxtaposed with the excellent illustrations to allow even a noob like myself to grasp the changes from warband to Polybian legion. This use of the "Show don't tell" technique is an important part of this series: one moves from text, to illustration, to (for many) wargame figures. One can also move in the other direction to cement the key links between historical text and hobby.


The Trouble with Europe: Why the EU isn't working - How it can be reformed - What could take its place
The Trouble with Europe: Why the EU isn't working - How it can be reformed - What could take its place
by Roger Bootle
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 12.91

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Muscles From Brussels, 27 July 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Roger Bootle of Capital Economics is a regular on the Jeff Randall Show and in the Torygraph: always explaining clearly the issues behind a piece of economics. Here he moves to whether the EU works and if not (and he concludes not eventually) what could be done about it. I found his exposition of the various scenarios very useful though for various non-economic reasons can see that the result will be non-optimal. This is not the "hatred of foreigners" text that often, for me anyway, blights the discussion. One can but believe there is a deal to be done here, but negotiations are not easy for politicians at the best of times.I thought it admirably fair (I am weak pro-EU by inclination - this may colour my judgement)


The Spartans: An Epic History
The Spartans: An Epic History
Price: 4.49

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Here, obedient to Spartan law, they lie, 26 July 2014
This is a robust plain spoken, one might say laconic, account of the history of Sparta through the lives of prominent Spartans. For so undramatic a people the lives of their kings read like an ancient country & western song (illegitimacy, exile, self-mutilation, rogue oracles). There is a bit of academic sniffery: can any of us tell at this remove whether Spartan religious sensibilities were, shall be say, situation specific? Recommended.


Clochemerle
Clochemerle
by Gabriel Chevallier
Edition: Paperback
Price: 6.29

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bonjour Ivresse, 25 July 2014
This review is from: Clochemerle (Paperback)
The massively successful product of a novelist famed for a Great War shocker ("Peur") Clochemerle is a beautifully observed account of a Beaujolais village at the community-level with some interesting observations on the sex lives of married couples. The events that cause the scandal are lovingly placed in the setting. In its observation I am reminded of the Croft and Perry TV series (like Dad's Army) where a distinct type is skewered exactly but always with the humanity to recognise their strengths as well as weaknesses. The 1972 BBC series was more Talbot Rothwell than Gabriel Chevallier with its Seventies Smut antenna working overtime; the text is much more nuanced however the casting of the series very much hit the target. I very much prefer the novel with its strong grip on village France. As Trenet wrote

Un petit village, un vieux clocher
Un paysage si bien caché
Et dans un nuage le cher visage
De mon passé


The Spartans: An Epic History
The Spartans: An Epic History
by Paul Cartledge
Edition: Paperback
Price: 7.69

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Here, obedient to Spartan law, they lie, 22 July 2014
This is a robust plain spoken, one might say laconic, account of the history of Sparta through the lives of prominent Spartans. For so undramatic a people the lives of their kings read like an ancient country & western song (illegitimacy, exile, self-mutilation, rogue oracles). There is a bit of academic sniffery: can any of us tell at this remove whether Spartan religious sensibilities were, shall be say, situation specific? Recommended.


Rust and Bone [DVD]
Rust and Bone [DVD]
Dvd ~ Marion Cotillard
Price: 8.89

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Hank Williams You Wrote My Life, 19 July 2014
This review is from: Rust and Bone [DVD] (DVD)
It may be grim oop north, but absent the heat it seems to be that way down south too. A boxer (Matthias Schoenaerts playing the unlikely named Ali - for Alain it transpires) turns up at his sisters in Antibes with his young son and tries to get started again, in the story that follows there is more bad luck than one could shake a stick at as he meets Marion Cotillard's character, gets involved in bare knuckle fighting, and the secret world of industrial spying. The ending may be a little sentimental for a British audience but the story pulls no punches until then.


The Alamo [DVD]
The Alamo [DVD]
Dvd ~ Dennis Quaid
Price: 8.99

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Adelante mio muchachos, 6 July 2014
This review is from: The Alamo [DVD] (DVD)
Americans love to dwell on their martial episodes and this is a fine example of the modern genre. Everyone looks satisfyingly dirty, there is a fearful deal of prosing, and a lot of bloody action. Given the number of famous historical names that even I could spot I am guessing the average American filmgoer must have been in histo-heaven; even Juan Sequin gets his day in the sun. The technical side of the attack is carefully considered (the zapadores are a fine sight) and little is left to chance - I am reminded of The Last Of The Mohicans here. The cast give their all with Davy Crockett (Billy Bob T) being satisfyingly nuanced; the evil Darth Santa Anna - on the other hand - is a dreadful rotter. An epic tale told at length.

The rip-snorting fiddle tune at the Ball is "Listen to The Mockingbird" composed some years later but just as welcome.


The Mighty Dead: Why Homer Matters
The Mighty Dead: Why Homer Matters
by Adam Nicolson
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 17.00

7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brave Attempt, Great Vision, 1 July 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
The author is a great enthusiast for the works of Homer; though I suspect more of an Odyssey man than an Iliadista (I belong to the latter school). This book represents an attempt to explain that enthusiasm, to put it in a historical context and to reflect on its power. If writing or reading poetry has its difficulties, how much more difficult to communicate one's own love of a piece to others; a task requiring Proustian skills. I never felt I fully grasped what Adam Nicolson saw in the works (as against what I see), though his extended section on Odysseus in the grip of Poseidon probably took me as near to that madeleine as I will reach without going to sea.

Fortunately the book succeeded very well in so many other areas. The use of language to place the original events in realms of a steppe-people (red meat and raiding) was very persuasive, moving back the events behind the poem to 1800 BC rather than 1250 BC. The discussion of bardic tradition (is it constantly changing - the Kriepiad, or astonishingly regular - Scottish Islesmen) and the comparison with contemporary tales (The Story of Sinuhe)are all very valuable. If Nicolson never quite got his love of the Odyssey into my fat head he succeeded with his description of place - the gates of Hades in Spain, and the megaron of Emporio in Chios could almost be sniffed. All in all he continues in the tradition of singing this most ancient of songs: many-voiced lord of windy Carnock.


Outlaw [DVD]
Outlaw [DVD]
Dvd ~ Sean Bean
Offered by Quality Media Supplies Ltd.
Price: 2.70

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I Fought The Law And The Law Won, 28 Jun 2014
This review is from: Outlaw [DVD] (DVD)
This is a film that swings from a Michael Winner Death Wish parody into something more realistic and then off into a bit of Red Riding. With lots of unfinished plot lines, and lots of coincidences and plots within plots it really needs a script shake-up, it still manages to avoid the worst excesses of revenge films where the hero (facing the League of Rotten Evil Marksmen) cuts his way through to triumph. Some very good actors (Sean Harris being especially good) are slightly adrift in all this but they really need the script to decide where it is going and what is its message; at times it feels like two script teams are in action.


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