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WJ (UK)

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Ben
Ben
by Kerry Needham
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.99

1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Every abducted child is an unsupervised child., 1 May 2016
This review is from: Ben (Paperback)
Children of Ben's age should be within sight of their carers 24/7 - Ben was left on his own outside, Madeline McCann was left on her own inside and yet big contrasts in public feeling exist towards the parents of these two kids. Perhaps if Kate McCann was a single mother she'd get more sympathy...however.

I don't believe this was a random abduction and I don't believe a stranger took him.


NOW TV Box with 3 Month Sky Entertainment Pass
NOW TV Box with 3 Month Sky Entertainment Pass
Offered by Rush Gaming
Price: £18.93

0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Where's my 3 month pass !!!!!, 23 April 2016
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
It does what it says on the tin BUT I've only got a 1 month pass which expires this week - where the f*** is the THREE MONTH ENTERTAINMENT PASS that is part of the advertised offer for this product???


Farewell To The East End: The Last Days of the East End Midwives (Call The Midwife)
Farewell To The East End: The Last Days of the East End Midwives (Call The Midwife)
by Jennifer Worth
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.99

3.0 out of 5 stars Far more substance to this book, 19 Jan. 2016
This book was actually quite an enjoyable read, to the extent that I would suggest skipping the 2nd instalment - Shadows of the Workhouse - and going straight to this after Call the Midwife. The stories are more credible apart from the one about the twin sisters which I felt stretched the truth for literary effect, ditto for the story about the 'Ship's Woman' (a female secretly and illegally carried on board to 'serve' the sexual needs of the all-male crew) who gave birth on a merchant vessel - the overtly graphic sexual detail Worth employs to describe most aspects of this particular story actually turned my stomach. What is good is that at the end Worth tells us how the story ended for the sisters and other midwives from her books, what happened to them afterwards and where their lives eventually led them....some of the nuns lives went in quite astonishing directions after they were no longer working as midwives. I would like to know more about how Chummy's life panned out in Sierra Leone - is she still alive or not. Maybe someone who knew her could take up the story.

One aspect of social history I have learned from this book is the unspeakable sexual abuse women suffered at the hands of 'policemen' and doctors under the Contagious Diseases Act of 1864 - women randomly taken from the street to police stations, tied down and 'examined' for signs of venereal disease by policemen and doctors in a manner that was nothing short of rape in its vilest form...'surgical rape' as termed by Josephine Butler, the 19th century female activist. This chapter alone reminds us how appallingly women were treated in a not-so-distant past in Britain.


Shadows Of The Workhouse: The Drama Of Life In Postwar London (Call The Midwife)
Shadows Of The Workhouse: The Drama Of Life In Postwar London (Call The Midwife)
by Jennifer Worth
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing - more fiction than fact., 19 Jan. 2016
This is the second book of Jennifer Worth's trilogy and is not the best of the three. Only one story really grabbed me and that was the heartbreaking account about old Mr Collet, the WW1 veteran. This particular story at least provides a glimpse of Worth's compassionate side - an aspect of her character that is strangely missing for a member of the 'caring profession'. The story about Sister Monica Joan's trial belongs in Call the Midwife rather than a book about the effects of the workhouse - a three page verbatim transcription of the verbal account of a cockney witness in the courtroom tested my patience as much as it seemed to test that of the presiding magistrates! Worth's reproductions of conversations in the cockney dialect prove tiresome to the reader and seem unnecessary. The story about the incestuous relationship between the brother and sister reads like fantasy rather than fact - the description of their first night together in their flat after the sister leaves the workhouse was like a chapter out of an erotic novel and I believe it is a product of Worth's imagination rather than something that actually happened.


Confessions of a Prairie Bitch: How I Survived Nellie Oleson and Learned to Love Being Hated
Confessions of a Prairie Bitch: How I Survived Nellie Oleson and Learned to Love Being Hated
by Alison Arngrim
Edition: Paperback
Price: £10.33

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nellie speaks out!, 19 Jan. 2016
This is a terrific book! Nellie and Harriet Oleson were by far my favourite characters on LHOTP, had it not been for the talents of Katherine McGregor and Alison the show would have been very staid and uninteresting. As far as other child actors go Alison grew up with both feet firmly on the ground and has a wonderful attitude and appreciation of what this show did for her. She deals admirably with the issue of the terrible sexual abuse she suffered at the hands of her brother, Stefan, and is very forgiving of the two useless adults who were her parents. An excellent read for LHOTP fans.


Goodbye, Mr Chips [DVD]
Goodbye, Mr Chips [DVD]
Dvd ~ Martin Clunes
Offered by Discs4all
Price: £4.07

5.0 out of 5 stars Martin Clunes shines in this beautiful film., 1 Jan. 2016
This review is from: Goodbye, Mr Chips [DVD] (DVD)
I have seen all three film versions of this story and this is by far the best. Martin Clunes gives a most sensitive and honest portrayal of the school teacher whose life progresses through many stages during his career at the school. Love and loss touch and influence his life in various ways - his wife and his ex-pupils and colleagues. Wonderful cast, poignant scenes and a moving realisation that the events involving boys at private schools around England just prior to and during WW1 genuinely happened. Most of these schools have a 'great hall' with photos of pupils who were killed at the Somme and the Western Front - makes you realise just how true the phrase 'cannon fodder' is and how costly that terrible war was to the country and its youth. I cry buckets whenever I watch this version of this beautiful film - Clunes is a much more natural Mr Chips in comparison to the wonderful but rather 'wooden' characterisation of Robert Donat which, admittedly, was a product of its time.


Now and Forever
Now and Forever
by Bernie Nolan
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.99

10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disturbing attitude regarding the father's abusive behaviour., 26 Dec. 2015
This review is from: Now and Forever (Paperback)
A very easy book to read, very detailed recounting of the Nolan's rise to fame which will satisfy fans but what really disturbed me was her attitude towards her dad, Tommy, as an abusive husband and father. Bernie has an apologist approach to the issue of her father's appalling cruelty - he beat his wife because he never wanted to be a family man, he felt trapped, he was unhappy, blah blah blah. As for her father's sexual abuse of elder sister Anne, Bernie is more bothered about her speaking out about her experience than anything else and goes so far as to proclaim her love for her father because she shared a 'bond' with him. There's just an unnerving acceptance of what he did to her mother and sister that did not sit well with me...there's a very clear message of 'I cant criticise him because he was good to me'. Bernie's courage in the face of terminal illness is admirable however her drive to to keep working and spending time away from home in pantos and shows when she was on such limited time is strange, most people would be looking to spend as much time as possible with their loved ones rather than working. I sensed a selfish streak in Bernie with regards to her career, so much time away from home leaving her child to be raised almost exclusively by her father and her constant self-praise of 'I'm a professional; I have a very strong work ethic; My voice is everything to me' left me at times feeling rather annoyed with her to be honest. I am left with an impression of a woman who was more than a little selfish about her own needs and wants which, I guess, came from being near the youngest in such a large family. I felt she owed her ailing mother a lot more of her time than the little she gave her - there's again a sense of Bernie preferring things to do with her mother being swept under the rug rather than faced full on and, having read this book, I have to say it is her mother's story which really overshadowed Bernie's. Her mother deserved a lot better than what she got from a very hard and often painful life.


My Lynda: Loving and losing my beloved wife, Lynda Bellingham
My Lynda: Loving and losing my beloved wife, Lynda Bellingham
by Michael Pattemore
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £8.00

1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A beautiful, down to earth tribute to Lynda., 5 Nov. 2015
A very well written book, Michael's love for Lynda is evident wtih every page. Yes there's some swearing here and there but this man is drawing on raw emotions and if losing the love of your life does not elicit a few swear words then you've no heart at all - he is writing this book not even a year after her death. I loved the stories he told of the times they spent together and this is one of the very few books that have moved me to tears and when you read the chapter dealing with her final days and death you'll know what I mean. I think he has done a wonderful job with this book, in fact, he sheds more light on Lynda's early symptoms and experience of the disease in a more detailed way than Lynda did in 'There's Something I've Been Dying to Tell You'...for example Lynda told how she had indigestion but never mentioned how her tummy had swollen up and how she was having difficulty breathing just prior to being diagnosed. This is important information and Michael was correct in including it in this book. This man is clearly grieving deeply and at the end of the book you do feel just how big a loss this wonderful lady is.


Call The Midwife: A True Story Of The East End In The 1950s
Call The Midwife: A True Story Of The East End In The 1950s
by Jennifer Worth
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.99

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A nurse performing a job rather than carrying out a vocation., 21 Sept. 2015
I had watched the series on TV so looked forward to reading this book and so I'm cutting straight to the quick here - what an unkind woman Jennifer Worth comes across as! first of all the introduction reads almost identically to the famous vet-author James Herriot's introduction to his first book with her recounting her presence at a birth in the same way that Herriot recounts his presence at a calving and both asking the question 'how did I get to be in this place?'. Her style of introduction in this case reeks of plagiarism - the comparison however ends there. Her attitude towards many of her female patients in so many situations is appalling. One expects a community nurse to be well accustomed to the nitty-gritty of carrying out routine physical examinations and not feel the need to express her disgust at the womens 'personal hygiene' in such graphic style. Jennifer is quite judgemental towards her patients in many areas and expresses opinions about the women that seem quite unacceptable coming from someone in the 'caring profession'. One wonders what on earth she was doing working as a nurse in women's health if the sight and smell of impoverished women disturbed her sensitivities so much.

One particular story that angered me was the man with the Spanish wife who had produced 25 children. That a woman would submit herself to being impregnated so many times and obviously with barely a space between pregnancies says as much about the selfishness of the men than anything about marital love. One wonders if, after Conchita's extremely traumatic labour and birth, if her husband was once again having sex with her soon after. It appears complete lack of personal restraint was the order of the day with these couples before effective contraception came into being.

While the TV series had warmth and charm, I feel the TV portrayal of Jennifer was adapted in order to make her more agreeable to TV audiences. All I can offer is that as she left the nursing profession and became a music teacher in her later life, as she was when she wrote her books, she had left any compassion she might have had behind when she hung up her nursing shoes.

The final section of the book is a somewhat patronising lecture explaining the rudiments of the Cockney dialect - something James Herriot never needed to do with the Yorkshire dialect he reproduced so well in his books. Quite frankly the first page is enough and then it becomes annoying and unnecessary - only a student of linguistics would bother reading the entire thing.

This book however is a valuable documentation of how life was for women in the London's East End in the post-war years. It is just a shame that Jennifer Worth does not present herself to the reader as being a very caring woman in her youth.The woman has done herself no favours with this book.


Forever in My Heart: The Story of My Battle Against Cancer
Forever in My Heart: The Story of My Battle Against Cancer
by Jade Goody
Edition: Paperback
Price: £10.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An open and honest account of a woman's experience of cervical cancer. Ignore the Haters who post and have not even read it., 15 Sept. 2015
Not a book to 'love' exactly but certainly one to admire. This is not a collection of rehashed tabloid stories so ignore the negative reviews left by the Haters who seem to be very twisted and sad people. Jade was certainly a brave girl and optimistic about her condition until she received her fatal diagnosis 4 weeks before her death. There's a lot in this book you never saw in the tabloids...such as the TRUTH about her illness and life. Jade was let down by poor follow-up on her previous tests, she had regular smears from the age of 16 and when diagnosed had already been harbouring the cancer for 2 to 3 years.This was not her fault - when you are constantly told there is nothing wrong what do you do? you trust the experts and carry on with your life. Her cancer was only discovered when she had an MRI scan done privately and not on the NHS. Same happened to Lynda Bellingham...the NHS 'Well Woman' scheme returned negative results on her 'poo' tests for several years until she had the scan paid for privately that revealed the extent of her Stage Four cancer. There's a message in this...you get what you pay for.

Jade is open and honest throughout this account of the last year of her life, whether it was mostly ghost written or not it is 'Jade' you hear speaking to you. Jade's fear of unbearable pain and consideration of assisted suicide is detailed as she nears her end and the MacMillan nurses advice is exceptionally honest and well worth reading. This is as honest an account of living with and dying from cancer as one can get. As a mother I can feel her distress about leaving her two little boys, wondering about how the normal day-to-day aspects of their lives will be handled but thank god she had Jeff still in her life. I feel he saved the day for her and he is to be commended for stepping up to the mark, bringing her flowers in her last days. As for that loser Jade married and made so many excuses for....the less said the better but I guess everyone has a blind-spot at some time in their lives. Her mother Jacquiey finishes the book (no doubt assisted by a ghost writer) and the account of her last days and moments are gentle but confronting. No woman deserves this cancer, or any cancer for that matter.

Just a note for the Haters: Jade's boys did not get the proceeds from this book - Marie Curie Cancer Care benefited and the Exchequer took the biggest slice.

Get your smears done girls and if you feel something is not right then nag until you get your answer. Scrape the money together and get it done privately if at all possible...its your life and future at stake.


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