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Jack Crane "jackcrane" (London)

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Sekonda Men's Quartz Watch with Beige Dial Analogue Display and Black Leather Strap 3697.27
Sekonda Men's Quartz Watch with Beige Dial Analogue Display and Black Leather Strap 3697.27
Price: £22.99

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good value for price but prefered better colour contrast, 19 Sept. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
The watch arrived promptly and is fine. Not expensive looking but certainly not cheap. You would probably guess the watch is in the £25 - £40 range and I think it is good value for £25. My one observation and the reason I wouldn't buy this again is that although the face is beige, with the reflection of the gold coloured casing, the face looks a light gold. So you have gold hands and gold hour markers on an effectively, light gold face. (The picture here is misleading as the face looks white although under a strong direct light may be accurate.)You can certainly see everything clearly and I like the simple classic design but the contrast of gold on light gold isn't bold enough for me - although this is a question of taste and not a design flaw. My current watch needs a new glass and strap and I needed an interim watch quickly. I am more than happy this is fine for that.

Down in the Bunker
Down in the Bunker

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Underrated Classic, 28 April 2008
This review is from: Down in the Bunker (Audio CD)
The CD I have also ends with Grace but with Tulane as a bonus track. I had the original vinyl and now the CD. The album is remarkable in that is has a variety of styles; all of them are of a high quality. The songs are well written; witty, touching, deep and emotional. The faster tracks are just out and out great fun. It's hard to classify the music - 'pub rock' doesn't reflect how clever and distinctive the songs and arrangements are.

Gibbons is a talented writer and performer and this album should be regarded as a classic.

The two thoughts that struck me as I listened to the album for the first time in years on my ipod on a train journey was (1) how uniformly excellent the album was (2) the songs would make for a GREAT musical.

The Brief History of the Dead
The Brief History of the Dead
by Kevin Brockmeier
Edition: Paperback
Price: £9.99

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good but directionless, 3 Feb. 2007
This novel tells two parallel stories. The first describes a modern city of the dead - somewhere where some people go after death that is not heaven but a temporary place which runs more or less like a modern medium sized town. The second story is of a young woman scientist trapped in the Arctic (or Antartic)as a deadly virus sweeps across the world eventually reaching her and her scientist collegues. Will she make it?

The prose in the book is good - fairly cool and lyrical from an accomplished writer. I read the book start to finish in a week or so.

My problem with it is that the novel as a whole didn't seem to have a mainstream storyline. An intriguing idea eventually breaks into vignettes of individual characters. There is no resolution to the novel as it swaps from character to character with observations rather than 'stories'. It felt fragmented. There isn't a credible explanation as to how the city works and it doesn't answer any questions about the city itself. I felt the novel ended abruptly.

I appreciate the quality of the writing and the idea behind the novel but about half way through I found it was becoming a well-written but unsatisfying book. There seem to be many modern well written 'lyrical' books that run out of steam before the end and rely on prose style and attention to small details rather than anything more substantial. Because the novel didn't seem to be 'going forward', I did get the sense that it was directionless.

Challenge World Poker
Challenge World Poker
Offered by J & S Media
Price: £0.09

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Poor value, 8 Mar. 2006
This review is from: Challenge World Poker (CD-ROM)
I am a beginner Poker Player and bought this to practice. I thought this was very poor value for money because (1) the graphics are static caricature cartoons of people who slide into view individually one after the other - so you don't visually see the hands of all the players at the same time. (2) there is little help in learning the rules or strategy (3) you have instant entry to one casino but have to earn a minimum there of 50K to enter one of the other casinos (the others have minimums of 200K to £1 million (4) there is an incredibly annoying OTT American 'commentary' of a few short phrtases ("YIKES!")which gets very repetitive very quickly (you can turn this off though) (5)if you fold, you have to wait for the other players to finish the round. My impression is that this is a very basic and early poker game. You will get irritated and bored with this game within minutes. I have since bought Texas Hold'em 3D Championship which isn't perfect but much more satisfying than this.

American Pastoral
American Pastoral
by Philip Roth
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.99

7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, 27 Feb. 2006
This review is from: American Pastoral (Paperback)
This book is electrifying. Very articulate and relentless in its description of the American family on fire. Roth is one of the best prose writers alive and American Pastoral is a masterpiece. It is not (eventually) a happy story and we feel for the noble and kind hearted 'Swede' as the family values of the fifties are assualted by the slick nastiness of modern America. Roth expands upon the characters, their values and the conflict between old values and new America. For this reason the narrative may not be as linear as some may like but there is a good reason for Roth's style. He shows the factual and emotional world of the characters and explains the unfolding drama in great articulate detail.

The Da Vinci Code (Robert Langdon)
The Da Vinci Code (Robert Langdon)
by Dan Brown
Edition: Paperback

3 of 6 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Average, 21 Feb. 2006
What struck me about the book was how clumsy, cliched and amateurish the actual writing was. I thought the book would be at least thought-provoking but found that it became more preposterous as the story developed. It makes sweeping 'links' between assorted 'facts' and is stuffed with running non-sequitors. The characters are one-dimensional and I found that as the story developed along the lines of a muddled Man From Uncle telemovie, I didn't really care what happened in the end.
This is a book which throws out a lot of pseudo-science 'headlines' but little substance or coherence. I wouldn't have minded if the actual story telling and prose style was gripping but it wasn't.

The Revolution Starts Now
The Revolution Starts Now
Price: £5.86

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good mix of music and politics, 6 Feb. 2006
Steve Earle manages to mix politics with good music on this album. A couple of the tracks are a bit heavy going for me i.e The Warrior and Gringo's Tale but there is plenty else to enjoy. Rich Man's war is a beautifully written song with a strong poignant lyric. I liked the depiction of the naivete of the suicide bomber driven to his destination by a 'fat man in a new Mercedes' and I was glad it wasn't politically one-sided. Home to Houston is a good rockabilly tune about being in Iraq. The Revolution Starts Now is an upbeat song about how the 'revolution' of thinking for yourself starts in your street and in your town. I initially thought the swearing in FtheFCC was juvenile but think this presents the feelings and frustrations of a young man and as a 'character' - this is how he would vent his thoughts.
I was more indifferent about the other songs. Earle has achieved something difficult - a 'political' album with good tunes and non-hysterical sentiments. I have played this a lot.

Just An American Boy [DVD] [2010]
Just An American Boy [DVD] [2010]
Dvd ~ Steve Earle
Price: £9.51

34 of 35 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Ups and Downs of Steve Earle, 26 Jun. 2004
This DVD is really of benefit to fans of Steve Earle rather than people new to his music. Earles' contribution - his songs and conversation are good but let down by the amateurish quality of filming. The level of 'direction' is really not much better than someone with a video camera at a family barbeque. There is a lot of jostling, pointless panning, shots of the backs of people's heads etc.

This is a real shame as Earle comes across as an articulate, intelligent and down to earth artist. Although his views are strong he expresses himself with humour and even if you disagree with his opinions (his anti-Death penalty stance does not address the views of the victims' families), he is not dogmatic nor conceited in how he expresses or portrays himself.

The film is based very much on his political opinions and it is refreshing to compare his committment to political causes to the self-absorption and emptiness of most celebrity comments. It is also interesting to realise that although Earle is a well known figure, he does not appear to be on a par (commercially) with top music stars. His concerts are in large halls rather than stadiums and he appears at local venues.

If you are a Steve Earle fan and want to hear a 'Greatest Hits' on stage - you will be disappointed by this DVD. However, if you are interested in Earle's views and interested in getting an insight of life on the road, then there is a lot to enjoy in this DVD. The concert footage is good to watch although not slick in terms of visual production. I was disappointed that the filmakers didn't take the opportunity to sit Earle down for twenty minutes and do a straight forward interview with him.

Earle is unusual in that while he has a lot of intelligent and substantial views, he also has a solid backlog of exceptional songs which are impressive for their quality, passion and range.

One comes away wanting to know more about Earle, his views and his music. There is also a feeling that this would have been a more substantial film in the hands of filmakers who had set their sights higher than the slightly shambolic filming presented here.

Despite my negative feelings about the filmaking, I am glad I own this DVD as I have never seen Earle in concert or on film and there is certainly enough here to take pleasure from. If I lost my DVD, I would go out and buy another copy. However if the DVD cost much more, I would feel a bit aggrieved at doing so.

In short - five stars for Earle's contributions but let down by the film making. A welcome chance to see Earle in concert and in interview. However, a better shot, directed and structured film would be even more welcome.

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