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Dymphna (England)

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1985
1985
by Anthony Burgess
Edition: Paperback
Price: 6.29

4.0 out of 5 stars Incisive political gem written at a pivotal moment in British history, 22 July 2014
This review is from: 1985 (Paperback)
Sharp Orwellian analysis - and a dark vision of what might have been. Burgess is never less than searingly intelligent and utterly original, and no less so in this book. However, as pointed out by Charlie (below) it is absolutely essential to remember the situation when the book was written.
In the 60s and 70s the Labour party was totally in thrall to the unions - that isnt a partisan view, its a fact: First Kinnock, through to Blair, that power had painfully and publicly to be wrested from the Scargills of the union leadership who absolutely beleived in 100% unionisation. The 3-day week, the Winter of Discontent were absolute reality and caused chaos for ordinary people who the Labour party were supposed to represent. So Burgess was issuing a warning about the logical result of continuing to blindly endorse radical unionist policies.
He was also issuing a clarion call to those within the Labour movement (myself, in the 80s) who were uneasy at supporting radical socialism and postmodern philosophy - what today is sometimes tagged 'PC gone mad'. Labour were losing election after election through the 1980's and early 90's for exactly that reason! So - again, burgess was proved absolutely spot on.

He is pointing out that when a party prioritisies Ideology over reality, firstly the people lose out - then, the party loses.

A fascinating read for anyone who lived through the transformation of the Labour party during the 1970s - 1990s, for anyone who is interested in politics generally. My son is now reading Politics at Uni and I had forgotten about this little gem so will be ordering it for him!

Its also, of course, a good read for anyone at all, because the clear-sighted, viciously sharp wit, intelligence and all-round excellence of anything written by Burgess is a tonic, full-stop. Just think, when you had panel shows like Question Time in the 70s and 80s, you got people like Burgess, Waugh, Amis pater, et al ... Now who do we get. Some chick-lit harebrain spouting platitudes. Or people issuing vileness on twit-ter to dons like Mary Beard. The victory of liberalism and empiricism isnt won yet!


World War II: Behind Closed Doors [DVD]
World War II: Behind Closed Doors [DVD]
Dvd ~ Laurence Rees
Price: 13.14

5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely excellent, 18 July 2014
Bought for my son who was doing a module on WW2 for his politics degree - I find that a good documentary stimulates his interest to go do more reading, and this was certainly the case here. This is an excellent film, imaginatively done, brings the period setting immediately and urgently to life. Theres lots to prompt discussion and further study, and it gives serious insight into the realpolitik necessary at the time. A very good purchase that I am sure we will both watch time and time again.


The Haunted Book
The Haunted Book
by Jeremy Dyson
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 14.19

3.0 out of 5 stars Unusual kind of haunting, 18 July 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Haunted Book (Hardcover)
I really, really wanted to love this book. I saved it to read while my son was on hols and the house was empty, so i could curl up and devour this book in one sitting. And there is a lot to really admire here: the characterisation is good throughout, the characters are easy to care about, the settings utterly believable, the slow, creeping sense of the unheimlich and uncanny very well done in many of the chapters. I particularly loved the echoes of M.R James - there's never any cheesy vampire or zombie turning up, nor any attempt to describe scary monsters or ghosts in execrable, overdone descriptions such as ruin most horror novels. However.... without spoilers, there is a sort of 'whodunnit/whoisit' mystery thread running through the book that builds up so that you really expect something very chilling as a final denouement ... but what comes at the end, whilst utterly unexpected, and clever, and though-provoking - a moral of the story, actually (especially for me, having saved the book til the house was empty...) - was nevertheless disappointing, im afraid. Well, I wasn't afraid - that's the problem. MR James' stories are often homilies on the value of morality, family, friendship;so there is certainly no crime in Mr Dyson doing so - but coming from one of the League of Gentlemen writing team, I had expected something more nerve-jangling. Having said that, I'm sure I will read it again and see a lot more in it next time round, so I'm still glad I got it. Just don't expect the sort of book that you have to read in the daytime only - its more subtle, more adult, more literary even, than that.


Party: Complete Series 2 (BBC Radio 4: Comedy)
Party: Complete Series 2 (BBC Radio 4: Comedy)
Offered by Audible Ltd
Price: 7.95

5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant and charming radio comedy, 18 July 2014
This is a brilliantly funny radio comedy, charmingly accurate representative of the political passions of students, alongside their foibles, mannerisms and interpersonal back-and-forth. Very very funny and bears many repeated listens - and all done without recourse to strident right-on political posturing, bad language or trendy flavour-of-the-week catchphrases. Thoroughly admirable.


Ladies Womens Flip Flop Slippers Comfy Fluffy Faux Fur Perfect Gift for Her
Ladies Womens Flip Flop Slippers Comfy Fluffy Faux Fur Perfect Gift for Her
Offered by Metzuyan Ltd
Price: 6.99

2.0 out of 5 stars Poorly designed, badly stitched, 8 July 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Disappointed, as I bought another pair from Metzuyan ltd (animal print fluffy toe post slippers) and they were great.. but these are a very different design. The sole is too thick and totally flat with no flexibility so your feet just slide all over the place making them difficult to walk in. The plush fabric is lovely and soft and fluffy, but poorly stitched - both left and right have come apart at the seams (left on the toepost, right on the sole covering). I know theyre only cheap, but I personally would rather pay a little bit more to have a pair of slippers that fit comfortably and dont fall apart.. However I would buy other designs from this company, just this particular design that needs looking at.


Koba The Dread: Laughter and the Twenty Million
Koba The Dread: Laughter and the Twenty Million
by Martin Amis
Edition: Paperback
Price: 6.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Everyone should read this book, 8 July 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This book should be on the National Curriculum.
(For several reasons: to expose the intellectual bankruptcy of the Left in its apologetics (and worse) for Russia; to highlight that Stalin was every bit as evil and tyrannical as Hitler; and to demonstrate the value of our democracy, for all its faults, and what future generations stand to risk by political ignorance and apathy.)
God knows what it cost Amis in researching for this book. The final product is an immensely painful and difficult read. (in terms of content: the style, the writing, and the message are impeccable.) I cannot imagine how haunted he must be by the mass of material he must have read. The torture, cruelty and inhumanity of the regime almost defy description. In a lesser writers hands it would have become an unreadable litany of unendurable pain. But Martin Amis is a great writer and I would argue this is his magnum opus. It starts with the premise; why is it okay to tell jokes about Communist Russia, but not Nazi Germany? and goes on to explain the reasons why with personal honesty, searing insight and absolute humanity. As well as, of course, rigorous and thorough research. (dear God - the research.) You will not forget this book - and that is the intention.
An absolute must-read - of how theories become tyranny, and 20 million people are murdered as a result.


Set of 2 1 Litre Clear Plastic Measuring Jug Recommended by BBC Fusion Chef
Set of 2 1 Litre Clear Plastic Measuring Jug Recommended by BBC Fusion Chef
Offered by dreamlandvalue
Price: 3.19

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Cheap Bargain - Probably not celebrity chef endorsed!, 8 July 2014
Not sure about the 'Recommended by BBC Fusion Chef' bit!.... these are just really basic cheap plastic jugs, i cannot see why any chef would 'recommend' them particularly! However, as I only needed them as spares, and for washing my hair in the bath (cant get any shower spray to fit my weird old taps!) - they'll do just fine at the fantastically cheap price! But I dont like companies trying it on with these 'celebrity endorsement' lines... no need for it, we're not stupid, its just irritating. Hence the 3 stars rating.


Pampers Fresh Clean Wipes - (Pack of 12) (768 Wipes)
Pampers Fresh Clean Wipes - (Pack of 12) (768 Wipes)
Price: 10.50

5.0 out of 5 stars Lovely fresh clean feeling!, 8 July 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
These are really different to the usual baby wipes - they really do actually leave a clean, fresh, 'bath-like' feeling...as I am disabled i use wipes through the day to freshen up and usually they leave a sticky, greasy feeling. But these leave a lovely fresh feeling, with no greasiness whatsoever, and a nice fresh fragrance. I imagine they'd be lovely to use on your baby too - when my son was little I only used wipes when out and about or in a real hurry - otherwise I would use water, precisely cos of the horrible sticky residue all babywipes leave. If these had been available I would have definitely used them all the time - thats how different they are from the norm! Highly recommended and well done to Pampers for creating them.


Vktech Cervical Neck Traction
Vktech Cervical Neck Traction
Offered by vktech-HK
Price: 4.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Bargain - well worth a try for neck OA, TMJ, and/or tension headaches, 8 July 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Vktech Cervical Neck Traction
This is great value for money - around a fiver for real releif from neck pain. I have osteoarthritis of the spine - mainly in my lumbar vertebrae but also in my neck. It causes occasional severe pain which is difficult to treat with painkillers or cream/gels - nothing seems to help. So I thought I would give it a go. It seems to really help especially if used at the first sign of trouble. The only reason I knocked off a star is because it meets a bit too closely in the front and feels a bit choke-y on my throat - but that may be because of my thyroid problems: maybe my thyroid is swollen/sensitive - and in any case it is easily resolved by holding the front ends away from my throat manually or by padding underneath the device with a balled up hankie or scarf either side at the front. Once you start blowing up the collar with the little handpump provided) you start to feel your neck gently stretching and the tension releasing. It only takes half an hour or so until the pain is gone. It also seems to work quite weell for tension headaches and TMJ (jaw tension)... I will be using it regularly and will try to remember to review again in a few months time to see if there are longer term benefits of regular use!


Funky Boutique Ladies Full Length Cotton Leggings UK Size 8-26 UK Size 8-26: Color - Black : Size - 24 XXXL+
Funky Boutique Ladies Full Length Cotton Leggings UK Size 8-26 UK Size 8-26: Color - Black : Size - 24 XXXL+
Offered by Funky Boutique
Price: 3.25

5.0 out of 5 stars Bargain - nice quality for the price, 8 July 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Very pleasantly surprised by the good quality fabric used for the price! paid 6-odd including postage, and these are thick, opaque, matt cotton/lycra - stitching is fine - true to size - great deep black colour and they wash brilliantly. The only (tiny) quibble would be theyre not quite full length - they reach to just above my ankle, and Im only 5'6". But it'd be churlish to knock off any stars for that given the astonishing price, size range, and quality. Will definitely buy many more!


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