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Reviews Written by
Maclennane (Horsham, Sussex)
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Mission Control
Mission Control
Offered by positivenoise
Price: 2.86

4.0 out of 5 stars Laid-back, varied rock, 13 Aug 2008
This review is from: Mission Control (Audio CD)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
There are lots and lots of clear influences on this album, if the general feel is between Smashing Pumpkins and Buffalo Tom, there are tracks reminiscent of BAD, Eels and Weezer, and as such it has a recently-retro atmousphere.

There's much to like, in fact there isn't a bad track on the album, but there doesn't seem to be anything to say - there's no big idea and there's nothing musically experimental. All in all a solid album, without a real hook.


Horsham's Hidden Horrors
Horsham's Hidden Horrors
by Stuart J. Scarry
Edition: Paperback
Price: 3.99

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Genuinely interesting read, with hilarious illustrations, 8 Aug 2008
Horsham doesn't appear of the face of it to have much horrendous about it, but this book reveals its seamy past and gives some clues about where to go searching for ghosties.

There is a little bit of 'there's a bloke in cowfold who reckons his front room's unnaturally chilly' but there's also good meaty stuff about smugglers, executions and witches. Worth the purchase price for the illustrations alone; the best one depicting what it might have looked like if two men had had to run away from a large pig.


Tadpole's Promise
Tadpole's Promise
by Jeanne Willis
Edition: Paperback
Price: 5.24

5.0 out of 5 stars Sting in the tale, 8 Aug 2008
This review is from: Tadpole's Promise (Paperback)
A bright, fun, interesting book with a serious message about change.

And a twist in the end which, when you first read it with a sensitive toddler, brings on that 'how am I going to explain this' panic.

In the end I got a look of puzzlement off the bairn, and no more. And I really enjoyed it.


Is it Just Me or is Everything Shit?: The Encyclopedia of Modern Life
Is it Just Me or is Everything Shit?: The Encyclopedia of Modern Life
by Steve Lowe
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 10.39

1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Some things are, indeed a bit poor, 5 Aug 2008
...but not all of them. You know those 'and another thing' conversations down the pub or in the slightly drunk, slightly testy aftermath of a poor England result, when the hidden stand-up comedian in you and all your mates comes out? Well this is it in book form. Observations, both amusing and dull, but unerringly negative, it is a book to dip in and out of, probably positioned by the toilet. Any attempt at a longer session will result in you throwing it across the room shouting 'get a grip, you whingeing, petulant Ladmag-reading mummies' boys.'

It is different to the usual Clarkson-style fare, in that it is anti-shouty Daily Mail oversimplification, but is guilty of its own right-on version.

Not for these lads the wry look, the backhanded compliment, or indeed any subtlety at all. But still worth the occasional grin. Do not buy it for your grumpy, but easily offended, grandad. It's a bit sweary.


Outsmart: How to Do What Your Competitors Can't (Financial Times Series)
Outsmart: How to Do What Your Competitors Can't (Financial Times Series)
by James Champy
Edition: Paperback

4.0 out of 5 stars Things good companies do well, 1 Aug 2008
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This is essentially a book of case studies of businesses which are performing exceptionally well; and it is always inspirational to read about people doing things well. The case-studies are well researched, by a succesful businessman in his own right, they are well-framed, and the writing style is engaging and lively. The focus on marketing-led companies is also refreshing and important.

In the end, however, there is nothing revolutionary, as the author says 'there is not much new in management, but a lot that's new in business' and the age-old formulae come back - analyse what it is you're good at, find the unfulfilled need, provide great customer service, and cut out cost.

It's an enjoyable read, and worthwhile for a bit of reflection, but I don't think it's going to set the business world on fire.


Death of a Salesman (Heinemann Plays)
Death of a Salesman (Heinemann Plays)
by Arthur Miller
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 7.80

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Parable of the Modern Age, 29 July 2008
I read this at GCSE, too many years ago, and failed to connect much, but revisiting it as an adult, it is a harrowing tale of consumerist society. The hero of the book buys entirely into the American dream of selling and credit, and boasting and spin, and is bewildered and unwilling to accept it when the game spits him out without a safety net.

As most of the dominant characters are filled with the dreams of self-determination, we see that those still in thrall cannot understand his plight, and seek around for blame for their own failures.

This is a tremendously powerful play, equally readable as viewable, and is a wonderful antidote to the 'Attitude is Altitude' poster on your office wall.


Steeleye Span - The Very Best Of
Steeleye Span - The Very Best Of
Price: 6.01

0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good, earthy folk, with a bit of distortion pedal, 29 July 2008
Worth the price of admission for Gaudete alone, this is a good solid folk album, you can picture the lead singer resting his chin on his hand as he nasally crafts each track. For someone new to Span, it is a grower, which is always a sign of quality in an album.

If I have one gripe, it's that several songs, and 'All Around My Hat' in particular, tend to go a bit 'Quo' when they get over-excited. This is of the time, and to a degree the Span signature, but I find it an unnecessary blot on an otherwise great CD.


No Title Available

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great fun; bit awkward, 21 July 2008
For those uninitiated into the world of the uke, it is a fabulous instrument, much simpler than a guitar, without the depth, but allowing a new player to step pretty much straight into the world of playing songs.

The Flying V creates a reaction, and because it looks so ludicrous, nobody expects you to be able to get a tune out of it; but it plays reasonably well, has a decent tone, and stays in tune well. The irritation is that it's slightly unwieldy to hold and naturally slips off your knee if you're supporting it that way. But get one, cos they're ace, but not if you live near me cos I want it to be a talking point and that won't work if everyone's got one.


Flying V Ukelele Uke Ukulele 'Mahalo' By Richwood Pink
Flying V Ukelele Uke Ukulele 'Mahalo' By Richwood Pink
Offered by Stargoat Guitars
Price: 40.70

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good fun, but a bit awkward, 19 July 2008
For those uninitiated into the world of the uke, it is a fabulous instrument, much simpler than a guitar, without the depth, but allowing a new player to step pretty much straight into the world of playing songs.

The Flying V creates a reaction, and because it looks so ludicrous, nobody expects you to be able to get a tune out of it; but it plays reasonably well, has a decent tone, and stays in tune well. The irritation is that it's slightly unwieldy to hold and naturally slips off your knee if you're supporting it that way. But get one, cos they're ace, but not if you live near me cos I want it to be a talking point and that won't work if everyone's got one.


Inside the Whale
Inside the Whale
by Jennie Rooney
Edition: Hardcover

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting and moving, 14 July 2008
This review is from: Inside the Whale (Hardcover)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
...without being absorbing.

This is essentially a story of lifelong love, as manipulated by life. The characters are well sculpted, the plot twists gently and the tone is feminine, but not the stereotypical chick-lit.

There will be no warnings required upon giving this book to your maiden aunt; violence, swearing and explicit sexual references are avoided, but in a style which seems quite natural in the 1940s voice of the narrators. It would be unfair however, to suggest that the book lacks impact as there are passages which are genuinely moving.


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