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Maclennane (Horsham, Sussex)
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Hordes of the Things (BBC Audio)
Hordes of the Things (BBC Audio)
by Andrew Marshall
Edition: Audio CD
Price: £13.25

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Quite clever, but not very funny, 22 Oct 2009
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
It's not a difficult subject for a send-up, as the Harvard Lampoon admitted when they did their version many moons ago. And this is a very BBC send-up which feels a bit like it was made in the sixth form common room, with boys putting on boomy voices and making up clever names for baddies. There are elements missing, mostly subtlety and affection.

There are plenty of bits to raise a smile, but you'd be hard-pressed to find a reason for a second listen.


No Title Available

5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderfully hideous and very light, 15 Oct 2009
The picture above does not do them justice, until you see them in their sunlight-yellow, orange flamed, black and silver trimmed, sparkly-laced magnificence you won't be able to imagine their gaudy vulgarity.

They're a great shoe, too - light, airy, flexible enough yet not so much you feel every stone, but the main thing is that they'll make you faster, as you'll want to be moving fast enough that you're not recognised. Superb.


I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue 11 (BBC Radio Collection): v. 11
I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue 11 (BBC Radio Collection): v. 11
by Humphrey Lyttelton
Edition: Audio CD
Price: £5.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Vintage Humph, 13 Oct 2009
Dear, departed Humph. This volume shows him at his doddery but laconically sharp best. Ably supported by the usual suspects, it features Stephen Fry, Jack Dee, Jeremy Hardy and Rob Brydon with the Welsh version of Mornington Crescent and the joyous Mornington Crescent computer.

Free of other frills, it is a must for the ISIHAC collector, but is probably a bit late-stage for the uninitiated.


Stalin's Nemesis: The Exile and Murder of Leon Trotsky
Stalin's Nemesis: The Exile and Murder of Leon Trotsky
by Bertrand M. Patenaude
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £20.00

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A bit of a shocker for a modern political observer, 13 Oct 2009
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
For someone who only knows late 20th/easly 21st century politics, the depth of feeling and variety of viewpoint surrounding political movements of the early 20th century seems a world away.

In setting the scene for the murder, this volume explains a maelstrom of militant artists, warring factions and murderous convictions across continents which are a world away from David Cameron's wisteria.

Overall it paints a picture of a persecuted intellectual and master of rhetoric without shying away from his contradictions and cruel past. It is a decent primer for Leninist, Stalininst and Menshevik politics which invites further reading, and moves with a good pace, if occasionally getting lost in detail. The end is a little flaccid as the protagonists fade following the assasination, but perhaps this is genuinely representative of events, though the impression is of an author keen to finish his opus.


Grandpa Walked A Picketline
Grandpa Walked A Picketline
Price: £13.42

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful (left wing) country, 20 Aug 2009
This is Americana in the tradition of Dylan, with a voice which could defrost your freezer.

On the surface, Gibbs is a classic country singer-songwriter with a pleasant simple guitar style and a note which is between reflective and maudlin. Beyond that, he is a lyric writer of some power. Up there with Kristofferson, Nelson and Dylan, he artfully describes the human condition, from the small town of Caroline to a truck-driver's lament which could equally describe any debt-ridden worker "making far too little progress for a man who lives like this"

I'm not sure the production really does him justice - live with only his guitar for company, the appeal is the rawness, and I'd get rid of much of the accompaniment from the CD, but that shouldn't take away from a truly atmospheric CD.


Getting to Plan B: Breaking Through to a Better Business Model
Getting to Plan B: Breaking Through to a Better Business Model
by John W. Mullins
Edition: Hardcover

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best business book in a long time, 20 Aug 2009
Getting to plan B has an interesting premise - that you've probably got it wrong. Or at least a bit wrong.

Most business books teach you to find your USP and follow it through with a laser-like focus. This is different, it recognises that if you're in business, you're probably a determined and tenacious, but not infallible, individual with some ideas. It encourages you to develop, to iterate, and to move from your own perception of what works to an evidence-based result which will make money, using metrics, analogs and antilogs. It offers examples at each stage, and crucially it puts this across with brevity and enthusiasm.

It's also multi-disciplined - whether you're in marketing or senior management for an existing company or you're starting out on a new venture, you will find insight and guidance to make a business out of an idea. Positioning, revenue, margin, investment - it's all covered, and using examples which are not hackneyed reiterations of the point, but which each offer brief but important insights.

It's taken prime position among my business books because it's simple, undemanding, jargon-free and yet sharp and useful. It doesn't try to be too clever or knowing and it's ahead of its field.


AVG 8.5 Internet Security 1 user 1 year 8.5 (PC CD)
AVG 8.5 Internet Security 1 user 1 year 8.5 (PC CD)

4.0 out of 5 stars Fast and user-friendly. A couple of compatibility issues., 19 Aug 2009
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This is a great package; it just gets on with the job behind the scenes. Used to larger, clunkier, more heavily-marketed packages, I'm more than happy with the fact it seems to use so little processor capacity in updating and even in the scans, which you can happliy work through without finding your PC breaking sweat.

I guess you only notice a security package when you have issues with it, and I've had a couple with this - it has had a couple of compatibility battles - my old security package didn't seem to want to let go, and AVG didn't suppress it sufficiently, and it's sent me a couple of error messages saying it wasn't enabled. One of these seemed to be caused by the windows spyware system over-riding, the other I couldn't diagnose, but neither caused problems after re-start.

In summary, it's nimble and user-friendly and the best I've seen.


The Dead Yard: Tales of Modern Jamaica
The Dead Yard: Tales of Modern Jamaica
by Ian Thomson
Edition: Paperback

0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sensitive, impactful social documentary, 5 Aug 2009
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
'Tales of Modern Jamaica' had me expecting a book of short stories - which is wrong only in that it's nowhere near as structured as that. Ian Thompson's style is wonderfully ghost-like, as he seems to drift from house to house to follow a narrative.

And what you get from this inobtrusive style is the story of a people, or many peoples, told in their own words. Kindness, violence, generosity, degredation, slavery, idleness, corruption, beauty - it's a work of fabulous scope, and atmosphere, and feeling.

It's a journey one could never take for any other purpose, and I can't agree that it's any sort of travel guide; it's a view on a people rather than a place.

Took an age to read, because it's not a compelling page-turner, but very rewarding and I'll miss it.


Veet VTSH8907UK Touchably Smooth Mains Rechargeable Women's Epilator
Veet VTSH8907UK Touchably Smooth Mains Rechargeable Women's Epilator

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Effective, and not as evil as you'd imagine, 18 Jun 2009
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
There are no two ways about it, this thing looks evil. Lots of little mouths reaching out to grasp the hairs and pull them from the follicle, but then that's the principle of epilators.

This has two speeds - the faster seems to be the less painful, the slower the more effective for the finer hair, and an anaesthetic spray which may not seem like it's working until you try an untreated area!

All in all, it's a neat, compact, effective device which seems to have been created to cause the minimum of discomfort/hilarity for the husband.


When the Lights Went Out: Britain in the Seventies
When the Lights Went Out: Britain in the Seventies
by Andy Beckett
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £20.00

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars What really happened (in politics), 30 May 2009
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
If you're in any way interested in British politics, the seventies were a pivotal period, with the broad concensus view being that they were a time when labour were in and spending and everyone was on strike. In summary: it wasn't as simple as all that.

This book comes into its own as a political explanation of the period, where the Conservatives radically changed their world view, and the unions redrew the terms of engagement. The explanation is well-paced, the tone explanatory but not patronising and the overview satisfying.

Where it misses out is any sort of sense of the human experience of the period. It does cover in some depth the rise of feminism and gay rights, but the atmosphere of the book is a slightly smoky office in parliament. All of this is fine, and it would have become unweildy in trying to address all viewpoints, but if you're looking for Raleigh choppers and Slade, go elsewhere.


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