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Athnamulloch (Edinburgh)

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Stone's Fall
Stone's Fall
by Iain Pears
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.99

4.0 out of 5 stars A page turner but too clinical for me, 1 Oct. 2011
This review is from: Stone's Fall (Paperback)
Other reviewers have summarised the story well enough and there is no need to go over that ground again.

I found it real page turner and hurtled through the book quickly eager to uncover the secrets that the story hid, the period detail is enjoyable even if, as others have said, the dialogue would be too modern to suit the times the book was set in. The plot is enjoyably labyrinthine and the view of the British Empire and its workings on a very cynical level were fun.

My criticism of an excellent and clever book is the characters in the book are far too unlikeable to be truly engaging and for the reader to be concerned for their fate. Funnily enough the almost tabloid style journalist of the first section actually turns out to be the most human and is appalled by the cynicism of the capitalists and government figures he encounters even for a man of his trade. For this reader then he is the most appealing at least and certainly I found no great concern for the other characters. Cort, Stone and Elizabeth are all ruthless and manipulative in their own ways so I wasn't particularly moved by their stories. I realise that this is in essence a thriller and crime novel but I would have enjoyed it all the more if the characters had lived and breathed a little more as real human beings with redeeming qualities rather than the almost amoral attitudes that most display. If I'd actually cared about the characters in the book on some level it would have been more deeply rewarding a read.

Sweex LW053 WiFi LAN USB 2.0 Adapter
Sweex LW053 WiFi LAN USB 2.0 Adapter

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Not for everyone, 23 Oct. 2008
I saw all the generally favourable reviews for this product and decided to give it a go as my first dip into wireless broadband.

I have a relatively old laptop (4 years old) with Windows XP Home and has worked fine with any kind of wired connectivity.

The product arrived speedily and for the first day or two it worked well and I was impressed with the results and the consistency of the signal. However without any obvious change from then on it deteriorated rapidly to the point where I could not connect at all to my home wireless network. I am computer literate enough to get by with most things and despite all obvious troubleshooting including uninstalling and re-installing drivers both from the CD and the Sweex website, locating it right next to the router etc etc I had no success. Its not a problem with our router as it works fine for other laptops and also when I connect via an ethernet cable.

I was then sent a second one by Amazon and I had no success with this either so both have been returned and have been refunded.

So clearly its not for everyone ....
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jan 2, 2009 8:58 AM GMT

Britain and Ireland's Best Wild Places: 500 Ways to Discover the Wild
Britain and Ireland's Best Wild Places: 500 Ways to Discover the Wild
by Christopher Somerville
Edition: Hardcover

12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A great starting point for adventures, 16 Oct. 2008
Christopher Somerville's book is clearly a work of love for him and its personalised and poetic accounts of some of Britain and Ireland's wild places is immediately accessible.

Wisely he talks of wild places rather than 'wilderness' which as well as difficult to define largely does not, it can be argued, truly exist in the UK. The entries are long enough to entice you to further investigation, he is strong on the history of places, and gives you enough information to seek them out yourself. There are no detailed guided walks or maps for the individual entries which is no bad thing and impossible in any case for a work of this depth. The photographs are largely by the author and they add to its unique feel as they look like the places that you and I visit rather than the ones a professional photographer evokes!

Any book of this nature is a subjective one and its important not to forget the wild places that are less well known on our own doorstep, in a hedgerow, a river valley, or a local wood which are intimate and in no need of 'discovering' by everyone.

My one criticism of the book as it applies to Scotland with which I am more familiar is a strange absence of reference to native forests. Its easy to fall into the habit of equating wild and 'bleak' in this part of the world and I would argue that the important remnants of Caledonian forest and Atlantic oakwoods are far less modified than the open mountain land denuded of forest by man and overgrazing which is seen as 'untouched' in the popular imagination. As such there is no reference bizarrely to Abernethy and Rothiemurchus forests in his entry on the Cairngorm or any reference to places such as say Glen Affric or Ariundle which give a truer glimpse of a wild Scotland.

With these reservations aside it is a book to be welcomed and an excellent addition our enjoyment of these beautiful islands.

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