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Daniela. G. "Dierregi" (Genova, Italy)

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Cronache dal big bang. L'unica gioia al mondo è cominciare
Cronache dal big bang. L'unica gioia al mondo è cominciare
by L. Sirianni F. Pierangeli
Edition: Paperback

2.0 out of 5 stars Great title, disappointing content, 4 Aug. 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I was very much looking forward to read this book, which offered an interesting concept. Assembling the opening lines of several masterpieces with a comment provided by " experts" and elaborating on the idea that starting is always a challenge, but a rewarding one.

Turns out, most of the comments were of the obscure or snobbish type. A lot of intellectual, Italian, blah blah blah. The purpose of most interventions seemed to prove how clever each author was, rather than conveing ideas which could be of interest for the reader. Also, some of the books chosen were themselves convoluted, elitist works in the same category of the comment.

Honestly, who reads Manganelli? An exercise in style, but engaging reading? Anyway, a couple of interventions were of interest and I particularly enjoyed the first about "Jacopo Ortis". Finally, strangely enough, even if the red line through the book was the importance of the beginning, most "experts" delivered rather morbids paragraphs about deat.

Bizarre book, nice cover graphic but mostly a huge disappointment.


Do Chimpanzees Dream of Retirement: An Encounter Between Psychology, Evolution and Business
Do Chimpanzees Dream of Retirement: An Encounter Between Psychology, Evolution and Business
by Jacob Burak
Edition: Paperback
Price: £9.53

2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing, 12 Jun. 2012
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The title of this book was intriguing enough to push me to purchase it. Sadly it turns out as an attempt to fit the results of several psychological tests into business life. Most of the tests mentioned in this book were already known to me, so I missed completely the "surprise" revelation factor.

Also, the overall message I got out of the book was that it is relatively easy to make a lot of money, if you know yourself and can manipulate others. Hardly a ground-breaking conclusion. In fact, the same stuff of a thousand other self-help manuals. Could still be of some interest for other readers.


Chanel: Couturiere at Work
Chanel: Couturiere at Work
by Amy De La Haye
Edition: Paperback

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Strictly for couture fans, 12 Jun. 2012
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I am not a professional dressmaker, but I have always been interested in fashion. After all, we wear clothes every day, so we might as well try to do the best of our daily obligations. Chanel is a controversial figure in the world of fashion, but it is undeniable that she was a hard-worker, who helped freeing women from long skirts and corsets. I was fascinated by the story of her life, starting in poverty and growing to fame and fortune. Also intriguing the fact that she never married but pursued her career instead - very unusual for her times. Some of her sartorial innovations are truly groundbreaking. Obviously as a woman, she understood the constraints of some garnments and worked hard to provide alternatives to working women like her.

The book offers a large selection of photos and some technical explanations without going into too many details, so it is perfect also for the non-professional. The only thing I did not like was the complete lack of reference to her war years, when she was notoriously involved with an SS and her fall from grace in the years following the end of the war. She had to leave France and came back to Paris only a decade after the end of the war. It was certainly a sign of her tenaciousness that she managed to become successful again - probably because Dior New Look must have been so uncomfortable to wear....

The final chapter feels rushed and offers a amall selection of photos of the Lagerfeld years, which compared to the glorious Mademoiselle's years, look tacky and vulgar.


Napiers Organic Venatone Leg Cream
Napiers Organic Venatone Leg Cream
Offered by Maximum Supplements
Price: £14.59

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Pleasant but expect no miracles, 12 Jun. 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This product is pleasant to use, odourless, leaves no greasy stains and it is absorbed quickly by the the skin. However, according to the instructions it should be massages on the legs at least twice a day to provide some results and I simply do not have the time to cover myself in cream morning and night. So I'd rather use a normal mosturiser and a medical product for the "problem areas" on the legs.


The Singles 81-98
The Singles 81-98
Offered by HANG LOOSE Records
Price: £21.90

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good collection, 12 Jun. 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Singles 81-98 (Audio CD)
I am just a "fringe DM fan" and I wanted something inclusive of their best production. i did not follow their career and was interested only lately after repeatedly listening to "Enjoy the silence" and "Personal Jesus" on the radio. The collection is good because it gives an idea of the evolution of the band, from the '80 easy-listening, electronic music to the more complex ballades of a later decade


Night Walks
Night Walks
Offered by Fulfillment Express
Price: £9.00

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable at night, 12 Jun. 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Night Walks (Audio CD)
I bought this because I loved Dusk, one of the tracks played on Stereomood. I thought if one track was this good the whole CD must be magnificent. Turned out, Dusk is the best track, the exceptional one. The remaining tracks, although not bad, are more "conventional". I listened to the CD repeatedly and the only time I truly enjoyed it was one evening, sitting in my bedroom from dusk until nightfall. Really moody music, but I am not interesting in owning more.


Affluenza
Affluenza
by Oliver James
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.24

24 of 34 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Ladies, stay home, 12 Feb. 2008
This review is from: Affluenza (Paperback)
This book is about the alleged evils of a virus called "affluenza" and how it can be cured. According to the author, the English speaking world is swept by this terrible virus. The most infected are also the most affluent. It is a relief to think that the richer you are the more likely you will be to catch this horrible virus. I am in no danger whatsoever and from the first lines, I am starting to think that I might have made a mistake buying this book. The impression is confirmed by reading on the first chapter, where we are told the tale of an incredibly obnoxious multi-billionaire, who is always dissatisfied with his life and that of a poor taxi driver, illegal alien, married with kids, who would not swap place wit the billionaire, because his life is so happy.

It sounds incredibly corny and it is. The rest of book is divided in chapters which follow the same structure: interviews with obnoxious people, all rich, young an beautiful but fatally infected by "affluenza" and then the odd one out, the guy (or gal) who should also been infected but isn't. You may wonder why, and the answer is because of mummy. It turns out that the epidemic of "affluenza" is mainly caused by the fact that women nowadays receive an education and want to work. Once they start working, they become so selfish as to want to spend all their money to buy useless things, like cosmetics, handbags and larger breasts, rather than aiming at getting married and having children. If they would just stay home and take care of their kids, there would be no problem at all.

Here the author goes out of his way to prove that children with working mothers are nothing short of sociopaths. Of course we cannot but agree, just thinking about the good old days when women used to stay at home all the time. War was something totally unheard of and the whole world population was so much happier: think about the Middle Ages, the witches burnt at stakes, the genocide of entire civilizations....

To make matters worse, the author also likes to point out how privileged and upper-class his life is. Unfortunately, I do not care in the least if he is used to drinking tea with the queen and going skiing with the king of Siam. I was expecting a serious piece of work about real situations and I found a book about a world that is as foreign to me as Mars, populated by super-achievers perennially depressed, despite the huge amounts of money they make. To conclude, if you want some answers about the problems of life, read some philosophical essays, if you have too much money and are very unhappy get yourself to a shrink, but do not waste your precious money to buy this book. My copy ended straight into the trash and it was the best moment, since the day I started reading it.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Feb 2, 2009 1:03 AM GMT


The Egyptologist
The Egyptologist
by Arthur Phillips
Edition: Paperback
Price: £10.59

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Unbearably dull and overlong, 6 Feb. 2007
This review is from: The Egyptologist (Paperback)
I picked up this book without having the slightest idea about the author. I discovered later on that he wrote a best seller and I was amazed (even if I should not be, after having read another dubious best-seller titled "The Da Vinci code"). Some reviewers rave about Mr. Phillips skills, but I found "The Egyptologist" dull and badly written. To start with, all the characters are unpleasant and flawed when not downright stupid. It is impossible to root for any of them; therefore one does not really care about what happens to anybody. Then the plot itself is unbearably tiresome, with all the correspondence and diary writing at cross-purposes.

Finally the surprise twist is easily understood by anybody with half-brain. As some other reader pointed out you can see the 'denoument' coming miles away. Unfortunately, the author seems to think that his secret is well hidden, so he keeps on going about it for pages and pages of Egyptian stuff, hieroglyphics decoding and obsessive behaviour. Not only is this book boring and pretentious but also far too long. I am definitely crossing out the author's name form my list of must-read.


Kate And Leopold [DVD] [2002]
Kate And Leopold [DVD] [2002]
Dvd ~ Meg Ryan
Offered by FLBENTERPRISES
Price: £4.17

0 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not the best of Meg's comedies, 26 April 2006
Considering the fairy-tale nature of this movie, I found the character played by Meg Ryan totally misplaced. The woman she's playing is nosy, rude, aggressive and rather hysterical. Not even a hint of grace or loveliness about her. I think the reaction of a true gentleman for such unwomanly woman would have been contempt (or even pity), rather than falling for such a witch. On top of that, Kate's wardrobe is appalling. OK, she's supposed to be a non-feminine type, but this does not mean that she has to dress like a nun (always dark colours and horrendous white shirts). Even the gown she wear at the end is depressingly grey. Was this woman also supposed to be colour blind? Finally those straight limp strands forever falling on her face drag her features down, making her seem older. I usually enjoy Meg's movies (also the "serious ones", like "Flesh and blood") but this one was a flat-out, predictable, disappointing movie. If you enjoy Meg's comedies, watch "You've got mail", "Sleepless in Seattle" or "When Harry met Sally" instead, or my very favourite "Addicted to love", where she's also playing a character more sour than her usual ones, but at least one with some sense of humour and a GREAT wardrobe.


The Seven Basic Plots: Why We Tell Stories
The Seven Basic Plots: Why We Tell Stories
by Christopher Booker
Edition: Paperback
Price: £17.09

22 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Truly engrossing - a must read, 25 April 2006
I am an avid reader and moviegoer and throughout the years I have been sometimes truly dissatisfied with some novels and movies, without being able to explain exactly why. Occasionally my dissatisfaction bordered a disagreeable feeling of disgust and sickness which can be defined only as nausea. I was blamed for overreacting, my friends could not understand how I could actually feel like throwing up after having watched "Leaving Las Vegas". And yet, I was not exaggerating, I felt actually sick.

And what about some of those novels regularly described as "masterpieces"? Try as I might, I never managed to read from top to bottom novels such as "Ulysses" by Joyce or the "Recherche" by Proust. They are regularly described as fine works of art, but I was unable to finish either of them, finding the first a pretentious exercise in futility and the second unbearably boring and totally impossible to follow (lacking a decent plot, it is like reading the private journal of a total stranger, whose life we do not particularly care about).

I finally found a good explanation for my negative feelings and also a refreshing approach to some of the most overrated works of art of the last centuries (let's face it, I doubt anybody ever enjoyed sitting through a Checov play).

The explanation is that we tell stories to get in touch with our lost, inner self, to retrieve a feeling of connection with the world around us. This is the reason why we feel satisfied with a good story (i.e. a story that follows one of the basic patterns, dealing with the awakening and reaching full maturity of the main character - or the eventual destruction of said character when he/she is unable to reach self-awareness).

We instinctively know the difference between right and wrong and rejoice at the satisfactory conclusion of an interesting plot. We are equally dissatisfied with plots that lead nowhere (the "controversial open ending") or lead to the wrong ending (crime without punishment), not because - unfortunately - these stories are not realistic (as far as crime without punishment is concerned, they are far too realistic) but because they do not fulfil their cathartic purpose. Reading a novel is not like reading a newspaper, we do not want grim reality but a therapeutic balm for our schizophrenic lives.

I fully agree with this theory, although some parts of it seem a bit forced every now and then. For instance, my theory about the popularity of mystery novels is that they gratify the reader, because they put together all the pieces of a puzzle and re-create a complete picture from chaos. It has been proved that the human mind try to order random objects and events, hence the satisfaction at finding the guilty part at the end of a murder mystery.

Also, as Booker remarks more than once, it is so sadly true that humankind has totally lost touch with the essential truth that we are animals and we all are going to die. As he so correctly remarks, this separation from nature grew deeper and wider during the past two centuries, and it is not by chance that the number of plots with "open ending" or no ending at all has since then greatly increased. The audience is puzzled by a lot of modern productions, but only some of us are ready to admit it.

Given to the creative overload of the past decades, most of us do not have the time to dwell on the merits of novels and films. We have an endless stream of bad storytelling coming in our direction and we do not have the time to analyse its quality. We are playing an increasingly passive role and unfortunately, there does not seem to be a way out, as the split between our natural self and artificial ego gets wider every day.

However, this book is a reader's paradise. I would definitely recommend it to people who enjoy storytelling in all its forms (novels, movies, operas, etc..), as it truly helps to see many works of art with a different perspective, even if one does not embrace its full theory. As far as Checov, Proust and Joyce are concerned I would again recommend reading the book, rather than repeating what is so cleverly explain by the author.

As far as "Leaving Las Vegas" is concerned, I can now say that the reasons of my disgust lie in the fact that the main character of this movie is weak, unresolved and locked into a state of selfish self-pity. He is so incredibly egocentric and so self-absorbed as to ignore his only chance of redemption (the anima-figure of the prostitute). The movie itself is a voyeuristic exercise, indulging in destruction and death, rather that in sex. And what exactly is supposed to be entertaining in the story of an utterly obnoxious creature bent on self-destruction?


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