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random bint "random bint" (Cambridgeshire, UK)

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Willie's Chocolate Bible
Willie's Chocolate Bible
by Willie Harcourt-Cooze
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £20.00

18 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Yummy, 25 Oct 2010
Nice book. Lovely pictures. Ace recipes. My only complain is that I cannot legitimately cook them all and eat them unless I have guests as otherwise I will become a heifer.


Law Abiding Citizen [DVD]
Law Abiding Citizen [DVD]
Dvd ~ Gerard Butler
Offered by best_value_entertainment
Price: £3.77

3.0 out of 5 stars Souless but mildly diverting, 25 Aug 2010
This review is from: Law Abiding Citizen [DVD] (DVD)
This film's a decent thriller but it lacks spark. It's solidly acted but hardly outstanding (Butler's accent is VERY dodgy). It veers between wanting to be a morally ambivalent film about good, evil, revenge and justice, and a fairly straightforward shoot 'em up. The stunts and general premise of man kills others while in prison is neat, but the plot flails around madly while you quickly lose sympathy for the hero and end up thinking you should have picked something with Bruce Willis instead. Is Gerrard Butler the next Clive Owen? Pretty but never quite brilliant? Looks like....


Au Revoir to All That: The Rise and Fall of French Cuisine
Au Revoir to All That: The Rise and Fall of French Cuisine
by Michael Steinberger
Edition: Paperback
Price: £11.22

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fun polemic, but don't mistake it for weighty literature!, 25 Aug 2010
Enjoyable ranting is pretty much the content of this book. It name-drops without shame, and is discussing, by and large, a milieu in which most people don't habitually circulate when looking for lunch in France (three and two star michelin restaurants). It's very short, which is a function of being a polemic, and presuambly why it doesn't touch on gender issues AT ALL (though it does discuss ethnicty in the world of high end chefs). It's fun to read, gives fuel for many a tipsy dinner table discussion and is a nice size to put in a bag for a quick holiday read. I wonder whether Paul Bocuse really is the devil incarnate, but since I ate (very well) at establishments not part of his empire in Lyon, I can't comment. Don't take it too seriously.


Mrs Woolf and the Servants
Mrs Woolf and the Servants
by Alison Light
Edition: Paperback
Price: £10.39

5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Average., 25 Aug 2010
It strikes me this is a book by someone desperate to write about Woolf, but hampered by the masses of literature already existing on her. The premise - looking at Woolf's relationships with her servants specifically, and with the working class more generally - is interesting, but, as other reviewers have said, the text is flawed by lack of evidence. The author admits her own bias early on, and takes an unrelentingly horrified view of domestic service, based solely on secondary sources including the testimony of her grandmother. She also assumes a great deal of knowledge of both Woolf and Woolf's writings. It's decently written, but wavers between academic (overly lengthy discourses on Woolf's motivations) and popular (lack of proper referencing). There are better books on Woolf, both in terms of biography, and literary criticism; and there are better books on domestic service. I wouldn't say this adds much to either genre - which is a shame.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Apr 10, 2011 1:37 PM BST


Brabantia Selector Laundry Bin, 40 Litre, Woodline and Matt Steel
Brabantia Selector Laundry Bin, 40 Litre, Woodline and Matt Steel

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Does what it says on the tin, 22 Jun 2010
Pricy, but hard to find a good-looking alternative. Slender, attractive, decent quality - not much can really be added! One loosely filled side equates to one washing machine load, which is convenient.


Spiral - Series 1 [DVD]
Spiral - Series 1 [DVD]
Dvd ~ Grégory Fitoussi
Price: £8.75

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gritty, compelling but a little flat at the end, 22 Jun 2010
This review is from: Spiral - Series 1 [DVD] (DVD)
I have given this 5 stars effectively by rounding up from 4.5. Up to episode 7 it had me well and truly hooked, but there's a fairly large plot inconsistency (what's with the diary then?!) in the last episode which I felt should (and could easily) have been resolved without losing the enigmatic quality of the denoument. I deducted half a star at that point, I'm afraid! I see why the denouement could irritate: it's not pat, or easy and justice isn't really served, but I think to have a CSI-like ending of that type would rather destroy the credibility and feel of the rest. In feel and tone (and to some extent subject matter) it's not dissimilar to the Stieg Larssen Millenium series of books, but is more gender-balanced. It's mind-bogglingly well acted, with a decent budget, sharp writing, well-sketched characters (etc!) and is far and above not only most offerings on French telly, but also those of the UK.


The Elephant Keeper
The Elephant Keeper
by Christopher Nicholson
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful, though melancholy, 19 Jun 2010
This review is from: The Elephant Keeper (Paperback)
A lovely book, ostensibly telling the story of a groom-turned-elephant-keeper and his charge(s), but actually a poetic set of musings on life, the nature of humanity, and the difference between men, women and animals. The background of the author in English lit shows up - the prose is deliberately old-fashioned, though not ever enough to ape the C18 setting completely and through it risk losing the reader. The dual ending is on one level heart-breaking, but on another deeply thought provoking and uplifting, and though I agree with some other reviewers that the change in narrator is slightly jarring, I think it works. The pictures at the back and brief explanation of elephants in England are a real boon both in order to gently put the reader back in the real world, and because having read the book I at least now confess to a desire to learn more about exotic animals in early modern England. To that end, the only thing lacking in my view is a slightly longer historical appendix, and perhaps a bibliography! (But that's the historian in me coming out).


Strings [2004] [DVD]
Strings [2004] [DVD]
Dvd ~ Anders Ronnow-Klarlund
Offered by skyvo-direct
Price: £6.63

1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Wooden!, 18 Jun 2010
This review is from: Strings [2004] [DVD] (DVD)
Meh - this comes under the heading of what a fantastic idea.... The puppetry is skilled, the puppet world created is a wonderful fantasy landscape and...the plot is banal (bad Shakespeare crossed with early Disney), and James Mcavoy's ham-fisted declaiming does not make up for the lack of mouth movement or animation. I have to admit to switching off. Want puppets? Team Americaaaaah...


Death Wore White
Death Wore White
by Jim Kelly
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Good, gripping stuff, 17 Jun 2010
This review is from: Death Wore White (Paperback)
I hadn't read Kelly before, but being as he sets his stuff in the good old Fens (yippeee! not London), thought I'd give him a crack. 'Twas well worth it. Good plot, many storylines woven into one, solid characterisation, though a bit drab in places, and I'm not entirely sure I cared enough about the leads. My CSi-honed brain picked up on the many clues, but that only made it more fun. Nice use of setting, and for anyone who knows the area, doubly rewarding for that reason. Didn't feel formulaic either (though that's yet to judge on reading the others). I'll defo read more.


December
December
by James Steel
Edition: Paperback
Price: £5.26

4.0 out of 5 stars Solidly pleasing, 17 Jun 2010
This review is from: December (Paperback)
I agree with others who have given this 4 stars - it's a solid read, certainly compelling and easy to run through at one sitting. The love interest isn't entirely unecessary, but could have been rendered so by a more fleshed out characterisation - despite being in the shoes of one man for most of the book, you don't ever really care if he lives or dies. The appendix dealing with the whys and wherefores of writing the book is very interesting though, and it makes me think the author will be one to watch - feels like a first novel from which good things may well happen!


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