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Abzorba the Greek (Rhodes, Greece)

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Price: £7.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Staying Power, 2 Nov 2014
This review is from: Onward (MP3 Download)
With only the one original member [Dave Brock] you'd sort of expect Hawkwind to sound a bit different from the way they did in the early seventies, yet actually this album is much more in the vein of their early stuff than some they've done and I love it. Full of their signature driving repetitive rhythms and space-rock vocals, it's just brill!!

The Way You Look Tonight
The Way You Look Tonight
by Richard Madeley
Edition: Paperback
Price: £3.49

3.0 out of 5 stars Oops, bit of a let-down, 27 Oct 2014
I don't normally read this kind of book, but as it boasts on the cover of being a "Sunday Times bestseller" I thought I'd give it a go, even though the cover makes it look like a soft romance novel. I didn't think that it was too badly written and I found it almost believeable up to the moment toward the end where the main character makes a huge error of judgment that she simply wouldn't have made without doing a few checkups first, the author already having established just how savvy she was meant to be. The mistake was necessary for the story to play out and thus I knew exactly how it was going to end then.

So, what could have been so much better was, to me, a let-down. I'd suggest that a book in which the characters are slightly more believable is "The View From Kleoboulos", with its follow on "prequel" "A Brief Moment of Sunshine." Both books have plenty of twists and the few reviews they've so far garnered are 99% positive. Many readers say they were guessing right up until the end.

I don't think that I'll read another RM book on the strength of this one. If you read this Mr. M, may I suggest that you get another cover designer, and that's from a semi-retired graphic designer!!


5.0 out of 5 stars Van the Man rules, 20 Oct 2014
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This review is from: Wavelength (Audio CD)
Simply one of his best ever albums.

Only Time Will Tell (Clifton Chronicles Book 1)
Only Time Will Tell (Clifton Chronicles Book 1)
Price: £3.59

4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent family epic, 20 Oct 2014
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This book is one of those family epics. I usually enjoy Jeffrey Archer's yarns and am completely able to divorce my view of his writings from my view of the man. The best ever for me was As the Crow Flies, but this one is almost as good. The only thing that slightly annoyed me was the fact that is was touted as a free download and just when the story really gets going, you reach the end and have to buy the next book in the series. Full marks, though to Amazon, because the second one is only 99p, whereas on iTunes for iBooks on my iPad the 2nd one is £2.99.

The plot reminded me a great deal of the book The View From Kleoboulos, though I don't want to give too much away, but I found myself wondering if Archer has read it by the time I was two thirds of the way through this one.

What I do like about this book is the total lack of foul language, which for me is far too common in novels nowadays. Maybe I'm old fashioned, but I like John Grisham for similar reasons. Both authors prove that you can keep reader engaged without resorting to frequent uses of the "f" word or graphic sex or violence. A good story shouldn't need either.

Sycamore Row
Sycamore Row
Price: £2.85

5.0 out of 5 stars Top notch Grisham, 19 Oct 2014
This review is from: Sycamore Row (Kindle Edition)
Just finished this book and it has to be one of his best. The last 20% or so was a real page turner and the end tied everything together nicely.

I just finished the hardback version. If I have any criticism it's that from about half to two thirds of the way through, I found it gets a bit laboured with all the preparation for the court case. So many names to remember. One expects a JG novel to usually be about such things, but some are slightly easier to follow than others. The plot though is a very good one and this is overall one of his best books.

Someone recently compared the book "A Brief Moment of Sunshine" to a John Grisham. I think I agree, except that it's not so "legal" as one of his. It does, though, begin with an event that it takes the reader right to the end of the book to discover how it effects the heroine, something which Grisham does frequently and it's one of the reasons why his books engage the reader so.

All in all, Sycamore Row is an excellent read that also strikes to the core of one's attitudes to old injustices and how they may or may not be redressed.

Silver Rails
Silver Rails
Price: £7.49

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Rock Music for the 21st century, 29 Sep 2014
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This review is from: Silver Rails (MP3 Download)
JB does it again. Whilst I'm a huge Eric Clapton fan, it seems to me that Jack bruce has been churning out albums (albeit with some rather long gaps between some of them) of consistently excellent quality over the years too without much fanfare or recognition.

I bought ths album after having listened for some years to his previous offering, "More Jack Than God" which came out 11 years before this one. No sense rushing things eh JB? I rather like too the fact that he peppers his albums with a few new interpretations of old songs, mixed in with new stuff which can boast not only intriguing musical rhythms and superb musicianship, but also excellent lyrical content. Jack Bruce can write a song, no question.

I would unreservedly recommend this album to anyone who loves quality rock music. It also proves that age is of no relevance where talent is concerned.

A Handful of Pebbles (Greek Village Book 7)
A Handful of Pebbles (Greek Village Book 7)
Price: £2.58

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A bit Drawn Out, 29 Sep 2014
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I bought this book on the strength of the other reviews, having started another of this author's works (The Illegal Gardener) some time back and given up on it owing to the fact that, frankly, it lost my interest quite early on. The other reviews of this book seem overwhelmingly to be very positive and so I shelled out expecting to be suitably impressed.

Since I too live in Greece I can make a pretty informed judgment about the way Greece and Greek life is described and I have to say that what did annoy me here was the impression I got that the author was seizing every opportunity to effuse about how idyllic life was/is in a rural Greek environment. There was for me far too much about how wonderful everything is and it began to grate since I was more than half way through before anything really began to happen. Meanwhile I felt as though I was wading through a long drawn-out advert for life in Greece, getting the distinct impression that the author wanted her readers to appreciate how lucky she was to have a home here. Living here too, I of course agree that there are lots of nice things about the place, but this book seems to completely ignore much of the reality in favour of the hard sell. Rose-tinted specs firmly on the bridge of the nose.

When I was very definitely reaching the stage where it was more than likely that this book too would lose my interest, which was easily 60% of the way through, when not more than a couple of days had passed time-wise in the plot and very little had happened, the skeletons finally began flopping out of a few closets and it managed to keep me reading. I can't say that I was overly impressed, since even when I reached the end (which disappointed me if truth be told) I felt rather deflated that not a great deal had happened in the few days time that the plot covers. But at least a few twists did pop up and thus it managed to intrigue me enough not to discard it like the other one.

How would I rate the entire book? Hmm, a bit drawn out, rather lacking in content, a missed opportunity and a hard sell for living in Greece that really is unrealistic in my view. Would the heroine really have been so naive as to make such a judgment about her future life after just a few days in a Greek holiday cottage? I think not and thus it left me thinking the character just too unbelievable.

Yes there is a past that comes back to haunt the main characters, but it's not enough to save this book from still falling into the "not up to much" category in my view I'm afraid.

For readers looking for a really good story with a Greek connection I would recommend the novels "The View from Kleoboulos" and its follow-on "A Brief Moment of Sunshine" - both of which are set partly in Greece and partly in the UK - as books having much more depth and believability to the characters. A lot more happens and they engage the reader much more than this one and present a slightly more realistic view of life in Greece, addressing for example the issue of life here in winter time too and not offering the reader the kinds of characters that would make rash decisions about life-changing choices.

One Greek Summer... (Never a Dull Moment Book 3)
One Greek Summer... (Never a Dull Moment Book 3)
Price: £1.81

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good exploration of the human experience - the location a bonus too for Grecophiles, 19 July 2014
This book, although set in Greece (obviously) deals, as do all good stories, with people, relationships and the kinds of emotions and dramas that all of us deal with through life. I'd suggest two other books in the same vein which also have received good reviews so far are "The View From Kleoboulos" and "A Brief Moment of Sunshine", both of which explore similar themes and are in fact connected through their characters too. They also take the reader to various parts of Greece, but especially Lindos on Rhodes.

We all identify with the things that happen to these characters and that's why most of us derive some satisfaction, pleasure even, from reading about them. It helps us to deal with our own ups and downs.

Mylo Xyloto
Mylo Xyloto
Price: £5.99

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Yawn, 24 April 2014
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This review is from: Mylo Xyloto (MP3 Download)
They've lost the plot. First two albums were marvellous. Now they just want to sound like a second rate U2. They should ditch Eno for a start.

Price: £6.89

5.0 out of 5 stars Ace!!!!, 24 April 2014
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This review is from: Superheavy (MP3 Download)
Love it. It's fresh, energetic and the diverse collection of musicians gel amazingly well together. I play it in the car all the time, ...loud!!

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