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Miss Karen L. Mason "Karen Mason" (UK)
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The Look Of Love [DVD] [2013]
The Look Of Love [DVD] [2013]
Dvd ~ Steve Coogan
Price: £6.00

7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good but Coogan IS Alan Partridge, 21 Aug 2013
I really enjoyed this, but I found it was the cast surrounding Steve Coogan I enjoyed more than the man himself. At times, Paul Raymond slipped into Tony Wilson (24 Hour Party People), and at times both men have slipped into Partridge (oo-er). I find Coogan cannot portray emotion very well and is at his best when he is being condescending and irritating.

But on saying that, The Look of Love is a good piece of social history, even if at times the female nudity does get a little too much to bear (I'm sure that would be different for male viewers). Imogen Poots probably gives the standout performance as Raymond's spoilt, but emotionally confused daughter Debbie, who ends up a drug addict. In contrast, is a rather sad scene where Raymond's illegitimate first son, Derry joins him for dinner and is promptly dismissed afterwards.

I feel the film had a bit of an identity crisis, not knowing if it was a comedy or a drama. If it was a comedy, Coogan was a good choice. If it was drama, I think they could have cast someone with a bit more range. But on saying that, it held my attention and I was curious on googling `Fiona Richmond' to find that Tamsin Egerton, who plays her, is actually better looking, despite Richmond being a major sex symbol of the time.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: May 13, 2014 5:55 PM BST


KILLER WHISPERS - Myles Morgan Undercover
KILLER WHISPERS - Myles Morgan Undercover

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable but Myles needs to start being a 'proper' policeman, 24 Oct 2012
As with Riot Murder, I really enjoyed reading this, and would definitely consider myself a Mark Capell fan now. In this one, actor turned policeman Myles Morgan investigates a serial killer who is targeting witches. The book was engaging and a page turner, and I was genuinely surprised by the twist at the end. My only criticism is that Myles doesn't seem to do any routine police work, other than go undercover. Everyone knows that 50% of a police officer's lot is completing boring paperwork and other such things, and Myles never seems to do anything like this. Other than this, I've no faults with it and will definitely be reading Run Run Run when I get the chance.


Angel [DVD]
Angel [DVD]
Dvd ~ Romola Garai
Price: £5.60

1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful tribute to films of yesteryear., 13 Sep 2012
This review is from: Angel [DVD] (DVD)
I actually cannot describe how wonderful this film is. I can see how it would split opinions, as if you are looking for something serious and earnest and modern, then Angel would never appeal to you. Maybe I revel in the past, I don't know, but it reminds me of all those over the top Technicolor melodramas I used to watch on a Sunday afternoon with my mum. From Phillippe Rombi's beautiful score, to Ozon's use of colour, to Romola Garai's acting, it is a truly magical film. Strangely, as a huge Michael Fassbender fan, it's weird that I actually prefer Angel before she meets Esme. Falling in love makes Angel into less of a caricature and more easy to empathise with; whereas the teenage Angel who dreams of becoming a famous writer - even though she has no talent, is so outrageously horrible that you cannot help but love to hate her. She is so obviously based on Scarlet O'Hara (see the scene where she and Gillbright visit Paradise House for the first time and she looks through the gates and gives her speech about wishing) and she provokes the same mixture of emotions in the viewer. Angel is a beautiful homage to an age of cinema that has long since passed and it almost makes me wish I had a teenage daughter to sit and watch it with. I will never tire of watching this and I certainly will be now investigating (the other) Elizabeth Taylor's books.

I wish I could give it ten stars.


The Two (January David Book 2)
The Two (January David Book 2)
Price: £2.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Confusing? Maybe. Gripping? Definitely, 12 April 2012
I guessed 90% of the outcome of The Two, but that will not make me detract stars from the overall score, because I do not think there is any part of this book that actually gives the ending away. It was probably more luck than anything else. Girl 4, Carver's debut novel was largely described as a 'Marmite book' - the fragmented structure and chapters written in the first person, but by different people; proved confusing to some but appealing and fresh, to others. The Two is much the same, but I see it as testament to Carver's ability as a writer to be able to speak in such distinct voices of different people and yet the reader does not lose track.

The Two sees the return of Girl 4's Detective Inspector January David, who, as well as struggling with his personal demons, is once again having to cope with the visions that are foretelling the next murder, as well as having to convince his colleagues that he is not insane. And when a series of ritualistic killings happen in London, David has no choice to call upon his powers to discover why each murder appears to have been at the hands of two very different people.

Like Girl 4, some people are going to love this book; some are going to hate it. The timeline isn't linear, and as I said before, there are many different voices telling the story. My only criticism is that I would like, for a change, to read a book where the lead detective is happy in their personal life. Other than that, Carver steers away from clichés and stereotypes, which makes for an interesting and original book that will have you gripped from the start - providing you like Marmite!


Elizabeth Clansham
Elizabeth Clansham
Price: £1.28

3.0 out of 5 stars Would make a better TV show, 9 April 2012
My first thought about Elizabeth Clansham is that it was written in the wrong era. Take out the sex, bad language and modern references, and it would make a fine historical novel. Indeed the old-fashioned names of Miss Clansham's pupils made me keep thinking it was set many years before. The book reads like a soap opera, full of characters with inter-weaving stories and this was where I became a little confused and frustrated. To me the most interesting characters were Elizabeth herself, her relationship with her uptight neighbour, and his slutty ex-girlfriend and her long-suffering daughter, and no sooner would I start getting into their stories, then I would be disturbed by irritating schoolchildren and fledgling lesbians. I am sure the whole thing would play out far better on screen than in a book and I would recommend that Chapman considers writing for television, as to maintain a story with so many characters, without getting confusing is an admirable achievement and one I think she should take further.

For myself, I would have preferred there to be only one or two main stories running through the book, with the other characters as bit players rather than whole chunks dedicated to them. But if you don't mind this sort of storytelling then you will find Elizabeth Clansham well-written and engaging.


Sorry I Made You Cry
Sorry I Made You Cry
Price: £8.07

5.0 out of 5 stars Does what is says on the tin, 4 April 2012
This review is from: Sorry I Made You Cry (Audio CD)
I only came across the album because I heard the John Grant version of Angel Eyes on the Dermot O'Leary Saturday Sessions album, and loved it, so I checked out more. And when I discovered his band had done a cover of what is in my eyes, one of the greatest songs ever written - Where The Boys Are, I just knew I had to get the CD. There is something so mournful about Grant's voice that it makes you want to cry. His cover of For Emily by Simon and Garfunkel is so downbeat, I actually had tears in my eyes. I absolutely loathe Patsy Cline, and yet he makes Strange sound fresh and new.

If you want something to lift your mood, I'd avoid this album like the plague. But if you want reflective, beautiful music that puts a new spin on traditional songs, then I'd say buy buy buy. Just make sure you have a box of tissues at hand!


West End Girls
West End Girls
Price: £4.31

5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful book, 18 Jan 2012
This review is from: West End Girls (Kindle Edition)
This is one of the best books I have read in a long time. Many books have been written on prostitution, but I don't recall one from the point of view of the maid who was employed to look after the 'working girl'. I love the irony that Barbara remains a virgin, with little interest in men, while Mae, her employer services men from all over London, in a variety of ways. A child from a loveless family, Barbara finds herself surrounded by a new family made up by prostitutes, their maids and the men who exploit them. The women aren't painted as just 'tarts with hearts' but also as manipulative, sometimes cruel and making the best of the few opportunities life in bleak, post-war Britain held.

Like most memoirs, there is no doubt some embellishment on the part of Barbara Tate, as she was a very old lady once the book was completed and however good her memory, there are going to be some instances where her imagination has filled in the blanks. I think it's very sad that she has not lived to see this published, and isn't around to write further books, as fiction based around her adventures would be phenomenal. West End Girls covers a subject I would imagine not many people know about. It doesn't glamorise prostitution, but it also doesn't paint the women as sad, drug addicted victims. These were the days before most prostitutes were hooked on heroin or cocaine; their drug of choice being alcohol, or indeed the man who was controlling them.

I read many books and forget them instantly, but West End Girls will remain with me for some time.


Austenland: A Novel
Austenland: A Novel

4 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars So silly, 9 Jan 2012
This is such a silly book, with so many plot holes. Like why doesn't Jane just go home if she's so fed up at Austenland? Why would someome from Sheffield support Manchester United? Only one Henry Jenkins in Brighton (really?). I would say that if Bridget Jones Diary is a re-working of Pride and Prejudice, then Austenland is a re-working of Bridget Jones Diary. But it's harder to get under Jane's skin than Bridget. She comes across as spoilt and supremely annoying, but I confess I was very pleased with the outcome. I may even go and see the film adaptation. It's a good romp, but it's never going to win any prizes for being challenging or thought provoking.


RIOT MURDER - Myles Morgan Undercover
RIOT MURDER - Myles Morgan Undercover

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars More please Mr Capell, 19 Dec 2011
I really really really enjoyed this and my only criticism is that it finished too soon. As a taster it worked really well for me. I still want to know why Myles gave up acting and chose the police force - it's not an obvious career move. He is certainly different to any detective that has gone before him, there does not appear to be any morose self-reflection or reliance on cigarettes or alcohol to enable him to cope with the job. He is light-hearted, irreverent and slightly annoying.

The backdrop of the London riots is very topical and as far as I know one that has yet to be explored in novel form and I would have liked the book to have gone on longer to explain who exactly is the Mr Big behind them. I'm a bit of a conspiracy theorist and still have my own ideas as to who was behind the riots and it would have been interesting to read more about it.

I was so gripped I read this in an afternoon and I eagerly await the next Myles Morgan book.


Passion, Fire and Fury
Passion, Fire and Fury

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A good read, 3 Dec 2011
This is a great little read. It reminds me of one of those one off thrillers that often pop up on TV. It tells the story of Cass, a young woman who comes back to her hometown to visit her parents and runs into the love she left behind for another man. He is now engaged to someone else, and Cass realises she still has feelings for him. At the same time someone is out to get revenge on Cass for her mistakes.

This is quite a light read, but good for getting stuck into for an hour or so, I'd be happy to read more by this author.


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