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Pete Townshend: Who I Am
Pete Townshend: Who I Am
Price: £2.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Open and honest, 21 July 2013
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I quite enjoyed this, but I don't think I came away from it feeling a lot of sympathy for him. He's certainly very aware of his own failings, but I found some passages like when he claims to have found such great admiration for George Harrison for example, to be somewhat paradoxical and hypocritical. I won't spoil the reason why for anyone who has not yet read the book, but the fact that he seemed oblivious to it himself was a bit odd.

He's a very spiritual man, and that is something I personally found difficult to be in tune with, and he's most definitely a complex being.

I did however, really enjoy the history of The Who. One of my favourite bands, and Townshend is one of the finest songwriters the country has ever produced, but The Who are a different kind of magic, it's more than the songs, the tensions between the musicians was almost as important as the music itself.

Overall, I'd say give it a go. It's open and honest. I think he's a better man today that he was 30 years ago, but there was a fair bit to improve upon. I think he'd agree.


The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared
The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared
Price: £4.19

5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, 17 Mar 2013
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It's amazing what you can do in a 100 years when you don't put your mind to it. Oddly inspiring and uplifting, I'd recommend this book to anyone who just wants to live life by their own rules.


The 2-Day Diet: Diet Two Days a Week. Eat Normally for Five.
The 2-Day Diet: Diet Two Days a Week. Eat Normally for Five.
by Michelle Harvie
Edition: Paperback
Price: £5.00

21 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A bit of encouragement, 10 Mar 2013
Just like to say that I have followed a version of this diet since there was a documentary on it last July / August. I did it on alternating days until I reached my target date, then switched to a 2 day one when I got there. I dropped 2 stone in about 4 months, and have no problem whatsoever keeping it off. Another effect is that my energy levels went through the roof. I took to it because I was starting to struggle at sport (I'm late 40s, and like to keep reasonably fit, but I'm not Evangelical about it). I went from gasping for breath to nearly unable to stop within a few months. On my eating days, I'm fairly carefree, on my non-eating days I just eat simply. I don't eat on Monday's (they suck anyway) and Wednesdays, and I exercise 3 days a week (Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday). After eating normally over the weekend, I find I can enjoy a social life, and I'm also eager for Monday's low calorie day. It is one of the easiest things I have done, and it's quite incredible how your body adjusts. There are hunger pangs, but they pass in about 10 minutes, just get busy with something and they go. Anyone out there thinking that this might be worth a go, believe me, it is. Even if you were to slip, there are 7 days in the week, no need to beat yourself up mentally which can lead to a cycle of defeat. At weaker moments, just look at the clock and think about what you'll have for breakfast (interesting fact, for me anyway, when breakfast comes round, I never feel like eating what I thought I would). I could never do a normal diet, it's just way to big an adjustment and ultimately, apart from the most disciplined of us, doomed to failure. So I'd recommend this book, and encourage anyone who wanted to, to at least give it a go.


City of Bohane
City of Bohane
Price: £3.59

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Irish gem, y'check?, 2 July 2011
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This review is from: City of Bohane (Kindle Edition)
I loved this book, it's gutter poetry. Great imagery, fantastic prose - it's like the Gangs of New York with a Limerick brogue. A book as violent and bleak as this should be depressing and tragic, but this is city is as in tune with it's people as they are with it. I have never read a book where people and place are so entwined. It's not going to be to everybody's taste, but I found it hard to put this book down. It is funny, tragic, violent, cunning and bleak. But there's a terrible beauty as well. It's original and brave and Kevin Barry has a bright future. Very highly recommended.


Help!: How to Become Slightly Happier and Get a Bit More Done
Help!: How to Become Slightly Happier and Get a Bit More Done
by Oliver Burkeman
Edition: Paperback
Price: £11.29

19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amusing and important, 25 Jan 2011
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I'm only about half way through this book, but I have found it to be very thought-provoking. Like many others, I've bought a few self-help books especially when work pressures build up, but the cynic in me has usually gone off these various best-selling 'secrets' books long before I reach the end. Some of them I've even considered to be dangerous. No amount of positive thinking will make life perfect. The result is that these books always tend to leave you at a lower point in the longer run, and I suspect that the higher a person gets lifted, the more painful the drop. This book is different. It doesn't set out to do anything revolutionary, it lays out some simple rules that may help, without false promise. Simple, but also extraordinary and surprising, observations, backed by facts and real studies. Some of it is actually quite uncomfortable to read, I've squirmed more than once, but I also recognised truth. Some of it is very funny, I laughed at the most common TLA associated with RAK (if you want to know, get the book). There's no smarmy salesman with perfect teeth on the cover, it's a book for real people, with real and complex lives, who just want things to be a bit better. You won't find any plans to think your way to wealth in here, well, none that aren't sliced open with surgical precision anyway. I think this is a very personally rewarding book, I'd recommend it very highly.


Room
Room
Price: £4.19

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A tremendous novel - some spoilers, 31 Aug 2010
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This review is from: Room (Kindle Edition)
The first book that I've read from start to finish using Kindle software. What a great way to read and what a novel.

I like a thought-provoking book and this is one of the very best. Through Jack's eyes the reader comes to see how pure evil can almost become incidental because of the rules that define his world, and still lets us see the horror through the mothers eyes because we understand what Jack does not. Its a brilliant piece of fiction, stunningly good, and deeply disturbing. There have been a number of news stories about cases like this, but after reading this book, I realised that all the commentaries and an analysis seemed to be trying to get into the head of the perpatrator, and not trying to understand the victims (what does that say about us?). They are simply labelled as psychological damaged or traumatised, helpless victims of a monster. This goes some way to redressing this balance. But it doesn't just lead to an understanding of Jack's world, it asks questions of the one 'outside', what happens when the rules you have used to define one world are transposed to another? A truly great novel, I wish I hadn't read it, but I'm glad I did.


The Filth And The Fury - A Sex Pistols Film [DVD]
The Filth And The Fury - A Sex Pistols Film [DVD]
Dvd ~ Julian Temple
Price: £5.75

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A time that changed everything, 21 April 2010
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I grew up during the punk period, just starting my teenage years when it broke. I don't know if it was because of this stage of life, or if it was the music itself, but for me, it was a time that defined how I think to this day. All of sudden there was a question mark over how all the accepted conventions, 'why must I be like you'. Like a lot of my friends, I picked up a guitar for the first time, and I produced a wail of absolute rubbish. But to say that punk was a period of destruction is only half the story. It was period that broke down walls and released creativity, individualism and imagination. It was brief, but it's effects have rippled through the decades. The death of Malcolm McClaren made me want to dig out this DVD again. I always thought that he was much more a showman than a Svengali, but he played a part, and he played it very well. So for what it's worth, RIP Malcolm. The tragic tale of Sid, casts a very real cloud over the story. Despite this, how ironic that at the end of the day, all that rebellion made the Pistols so revered, released so much creativity and free-thinking that they have become an institution in themselves. Pure art. I can't help look back and smile.


Where The Wild Things Are [DVD] [2009]
Where The Wild Things Are [DVD] [2009]
Dvd ~ Max Records
Offered by A ENTERTAINMENT
Price: £2.72

8 of 15 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not what it should have been, 11 Jan 2010
I got the subtext, I liked the earthy visuals. But, to be honest, this film took a loved children's story and turned it into a psychological study. I don't think its a kids film at all, parts of it are rather disturbing. Do kids get it? I don't think they really do. I have a couple of very bright kids, and they were just bored with it. The film maker is a little too interested in his own cleverness to make a film that is either gripping enough for children or deep enough for adults who like a thought provoking movie. The best I could say about it was that it was interesting. Not brilliant, not terrible, just interesting.


Big Man
Big Man
by Bruce Springsteen
Edition: Hardcover

18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars One for the fans?, 30 Oct 2009
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This review is from: Big Man (Hardcover)
I'm a Springsteen fan. I think Clarence's sax marks out many of the Boss's finest tracks, I think he's an extremely gifted and talented musician. But I have mixed feelings about this book.

The book has three main veins. Stories straight from Clarence. These are great, and a very interesting insight into the man who helps define the E Street Band. Some quite funny moments too, the one about the prison when the gear blew up made me laugh out loud. It's also truthful. He obviously doesn't care about the light he is seen in, and I think this is commendable. I enjoyed these chapters the most, but they are too brief.

Second up, there's the 'legendary' stories. Not legendary because they are about the outrageous wild times of Clarence. Nope, legendary in the sense that they're not real. You don't often get those in an autobiography. Some are loosely based on fact, some are dreams etc etc. This has me very puzzled. A musician of Clarence's ability and experience, who has been at the centre of one of the greatest bands of all time, who was a fairly wild individual, has to fill put his autobiography with made up stories? Very strange, but I suspect that it's more Don than Clarence behind these bits. He played pool with Castro once. Is that not interesting enough? Does it have to spin off into the stratosphere of make-believe and come crashing down with one of the most bizarre endings to a chapter I have ever read? Don't let that last sentence intrigue you, btw.

Third vein, stories about Don and his time as a hanger-on. Sorry Don, I've never heard of you and to be frank, I really don't care. If I thought you would have had such a chunk of the book to name drop and tell us all how great you are (wow, you have offices at Disney!), but humble (used to buy his own tickets, just like us fans. Well done, you) I don't think I'd have bothered. I don't think there is a single person in the world outside of your family and no doubt yourself, who has the slightest interest in reading about you. By all means, as fans we'd like to hear experiences from people connected with the band. But these are usually in the form of quotes and quips, but entire chapters?

Thank you for the insights Clarence, and thank-you for the wonderful music. As for Don, next time you write a book about yourself, do it on your own, that way I can avoid giving you any of my money.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Sep 22, 2012 3:49 PM BST


Sideways [DVD]
Sideways [DVD]
Dvd ~ Paul Giamatti
Offered by DVDBayFBA
Price: £2.74

4 of 17 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Don't wake me until its over, 23 Feb 2009
This review is from: Sideways [DVD] (DVD)
I bought this because of the reviews on the cover. It looked funny. I swear I actually checked the right film was in the box after watching it. It's pretentious rubbish, and the only laugh it gets is when it resorts to slapstick. Not funny, not good, wildly overrated. Waste your money elsewhere.

I was just trawling through some films I'd watched when I chanced upon this review that I wrote a few years ago! I loathed this film so much, I just wanted to say it all over again. Pretentious tripe.
Comment Comments (12) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Feb 20, 2014 11:49 AM GMT


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