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The Uncanny
The Uncanny
by Nicholas Royle
Edition: Paperback
Price: £15.99

24 of 41 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars something which should have remained hidden, 7 May 2006
This review is from: The Uncanny (Paperback)
This book contains very little of use apart from its bibliography. It refers to a panoply of texts vital for an understanding of scholarship on the Uncanny (e.g. Freud, Cixous, Jane Todd, Sarah Kofman), but in and of itself really has nothing of note to add. Apart from the intellectual paucity of its original material some of this book actually makes me cringe. For example, Royle devotes an entire chapter to 'The Double', which becomes an excuse for him to share his narcissistic and protracted contemplations on the fact that a third rate schlock-horror writer shares his name, and so we are treated to page-sized photos of the unbeguiling doppelgangers. And when ruminating on the relation of death to the Uncanny, Royle feels inspired to set the chapter out in bullet points, leading him to pose the eternal riddle: 'Who's shooting whom?' at which point I wished I had a gun. I'm not clear at whom this book is aimed - as a student textbook it's very limited and as a theoretical exercise it's downright vapid. It drips with an unattractive mire of ego and RAE necessity and, in case you hadn't gathered, I would certainly not advise anyone to buy it. Its bibliography, however, is a treasure trove, and so check it out of a library if you're interested in the Uncanny. The ideas raised in the book about Beyond the Pleasure Principle, Death, Female Spectrality - these are all lifted from other writers (see Sarah Kofman in 'Freud and Fiction', Cixous on Freud's Unheimliche), and not enhanced in any way. And the writing is simply not half as good as it thinks it is.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Feb 9, 2011 1:41 PM GMT


Ghostbusters [DVD] [1984]
Ghostbusters [DVD] [1984]
Dvd ~ Bill Murray
Offered by DVDBayFBA
Price: £3.43

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars best film ever made! no, seriously...!, 9 Feb. 2006
This review is from: Ghostbusters [DVD] [1984] (DVD)
i watched this on worn out vhs ENDLESSLY when i was a kid. WHAT a fantastic film. everything about this film is superlative. the soundtrack (magic, saving the day), the theme tune (come on! who you gonna call?), the script, the effects (sorry, but CGI has nothing on this film - CGI is rarely better than the best pre-CGI effects - how could CGI have bettered the stay puft marshmallow man???), the plot, subplots, the actors (rick moranis, funniest nerd in cinematic history) - i don't tend to like hollywood blockbusters as a rule, but this is so superb i can't praise it enough. and eerie, too - when the stay puft man turns evil it strikes the fear of ... well, white confectionery into me. words cannot convey the excellence of ghostbusters, which has something akin to a euphoric effect on me - which doesn't often happen with a film. should add that i have no truck with either sequel or spin-offs, but this remains a monument to 80s cinema.


House Rules
House Rules
by Clare Coulson
Edition: Hardcover

23 of 29 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars nice cover., 6 Aug. 2005
This review is from: House Rules (Hardcover)
i bought this book for my mother when she moved house. it's a lovely looking book and nice for a gift, but ultimately it doesn't contain a vast amount of valuable information. there are some good tips, but i must say i find the writing style a little humourless. still, if you're obsessed with the texture of your pillowcases and which day you choose to do your laundry then you're probably not going to have a great sense of humour. the deficiencies of the writing style become apparent because there isn't enough in the book to really sustain it. it's more like an overwritten pamphlet, or a series of magazine articles. i am not a connoisseur of the genre, but i'm sure one's pennies could be better spent elsewhere.


Tales of Symphonia (GameCube)
Tales of Symphonia (GameCube)

3 of 21 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars i think i'm missing something, 6 Aug. 2005
um - i bought this after reading millions of fantastic reviews and i have never managed to get to grips with this game at all. my favourite games have been from the zelda series, and i also love beyond good and evil, metroid etc. but i dislike the graphics in tales of symphonia, and i HATE the music, i can't stand the battle format and find the storyline dire. i can't tell you how disappointed i was because i'd set aside some free time just to play this game - this was going to be a holiday for me! but it just didn't happen. i would have given this game one star but because everyone else rates this game so highly i'm inclined to think the deficiency lies with me. maybe i'm too old...? anyway, i only got so far and then couldn't defeat a monster so that was the end of that. when i'm playing a game (and i only really like rpgs) i like to be immersed in the story as if i really was the main character (like link or samus). but in this game i have never felt involved in the story, and every time a battle starts this ridiculous music comes on (admittedly, you are able to switch the music off) and all these numbers pop up on the screen and it suddenly becomes a fighting game. i find it really off-putting. the graphics are stilted and the figures move in a really limited, wooden fashion that i don't like at all, and i find the whole experience a bit 'something and nothing'. obviously a lot of people love this game, so don't just listen to me. but if there's anything i've mentioned that puts you off, it might be worth thinking twice before buying this. not in the same class as zelda or metroid. not in my book, anyway!
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jan 8, 2010 1:13 PM GMT


Starlogic Flat Panel 17" TFT/LCD Monitor
Starlogic Flat Panel 17" TFT/LCD Monitor

18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars excellent for the money, 8 July 2005
i am no techie so had a bit of a faff for a while resetting the resolution and refresh thingies, but am very happy with this monitor so far. as a non-techie it was, fortunately, pretty easy to get up and running. i have separate speakers and haven't tried the integral speakers so can't comment on those. the picture quality i would say is superb, and on the whole this is an excellent bargain. initially i did find it difficult to view typescript on the monitor, as it seemed slightly fuzzy, but either this has resolved itself or my eyes have become accustomed to it as after a day or so i wasn't experinecing any problems with the clarity of typescript. and to prove it, i've very happily read the day's newspapers online today, and with the generous sizing of the screen, it was not dissimilar to opening up a broadsheet!


Pokémon Channel (GameCube)
Pokémon Channel (GameCube)

11 of 19 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars hmm... no, very poor indeed, even for kids, 19 Mar. 2005
i bought this for my son's seventh birthday. now, i am a game fan myself so gaming is something we do quite happily together (except sonic games, which he loves and i abhor). this, however, is a really peculiar offering which has some lovely ideas but never quite gets off the ground. my son loved it for a few days (not very long), despite my reservations; but watching him play this game was worse than having him glued in front of the tv as all you do is watch tv with pikachu. the programmes aren't even very good, and you have to wait for new programmes to come on and while you're waiting you just see the same things over and over again. the game iks set inside a house and it's in real time, so at night it's dark and pikachu sleeps, and so on. you can go here and there with pikachu, and there are a few different locations to travel to (you get a bus pass), but it gets frustrating as the new locations are very limited. each new location feels like a box as you can only move in certain directions. so you get back on the bus and come home and see if anything else has come on tv yet. as i say, my son was really into it for a short time, but i wasn't very keen on seeing him wrapped up in a game where you just pass time until a new (rubbish) show comes on tv. that's as bad as things get in real life! it would have been better if there was more freedom to move about and better things on tv. there just isn't enough in this game to sustain it, and it could have been so much better. disappointing! i would not recommend anyone to buy this unless they found it amazingly cheap (like, less than a fiver and even then i'd have reservations). if there's one word to describe this game then i'm afraid it would be 'mindless'. i'd even go so far as to say it's faintly depressing.


Ariel: The Restored Text
Ariel: The Restored Text
by Sylvia Plath
Edition: Hardcover

78 of 80 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful. And important., 7 Jan. 2005
I have read Plath inside out and backwards, and intermittently for eight years (I discovered her at the age of 22). She is now the subject of the final chapter of my thesis, which i am just preparing for submission. My PhD supervisor encouraged me to buy this book for the sake of my thesis, although I was reluctant to buy yet another book (funds are very limited!). After all, I already had the 'Collected Poems' which lists the poems in the order plath wanted at the back of the book; I am familiar with all of them. Furthermore, I have owned and lost no less than three copies of the published 'Ariel' owing to my habit of carrying it about places with me! (Please be assured I am not some suicide-obsessed pseudo-goth.) However, this book is superb. even though I knew the correct order of the poems, reading them like this is a completely different experience. The foreword by Frieda Hughes is extremely touching, showing her troubled loyalty to both parents (Ted Hughes, who of course edited the first publication of Ariel, leaving out about a dozen of the poems that he felt were inflammatory; and including in their place some of her very last, extremely depressed/depressing works that were written shortly before her death) who have for forty years been set one against the other in the popular imagination. The trajectory of the restored text takes you down before taking you up again, famously (as noted by Hughes in his foreword to the 'Collected Poems') beginning with the word 'love' and ending with 'spring'; this being precisely as Plath desired.
Whether or not you feel you wish to add this book to your collection is impossible for me to judge, but I consider this to be an essential bookshelf item, and furthermore ought to be read alongisde the prior version of 'Ariel'. The latter ends on a note so hopeless - precluding all possibility - that it shuts down on the reader like a lens. This restored text opens up a horizon. For those more interested in suicide (or what Frieda Hughes called in a poem of her own, a 'sylvia suicide doll') than in poetic or writerly integrity, then perhaps this book is not the best choice. For anyone interested more in the poetry, however, and in what it meant for this woman to write,and what it has meant that her words were compromised, then I recommend it. But whether you buy it or not, it's absolutely right and proper that this book be published.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Sep 10, 2013 4:00 PM BST


The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker - Players' Choice (GameCube)
The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker - Players' Choice (GameCube)

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars awesome - without parallel!! a tolkien for the cube, 1 Dec. 2004
I completed this game last night having owned it for nearly a year! I did get baffled several times by the puzzles and in frustration refused to touch the cube for a month or two at times so that time span doesn't represent solid effort. the trouble was it was so addictive that it affected the rest of my life - nothing else was getting done! then in a freak accident last month the whole game was mysteriously wiped from my memory card. i wept. i stamped. i gnashed my teeth. then last week i picked up the controls and determined to finish it by christmas... ten days later... ta-daah! admittedly the fact that i knew what to do for most of it speeded me up considerably. anyway, enough rambling. this is not really a kids' game, and the language and puzzles will be too difficult for children playing without an adult. having said that, my seven-year old got thoroughly engrossed and we did much of it together (although it has always been my baby!)the storyline is brilliant, almost tolkienesque, it has a rea; depth to it. you can only wonder at the work and dedication and inspiration that went into this game - as with all the zelda games. the graphics are beyond parallel. the bosses are inspired, as are the other characters. the bosses, i may add, are just hard enough. the ocarina of time feels more difficult but this game is far more beautiful (though i love both!) it's a huge game. oh, and one of the best things about it is the music. it's full of fantastic tunes. and when you complete the game you can play it through again with link in his civvies! anyway, that's all i have to say! everyone should own this. this is a classic on a par with a classic book. that's all!


Uh Huh Her
Uh Huh Her
Offered by DVD Overstocks
Price: £5.66

7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars couldn't not give this 5 stars, 13 July 2004
This review is from: Uh Huh Her (Audio CD)
i agree with the comments of all those who have reviewed this album and expressed reservations - regarding self-conscious anti-commercialism, for example. there are some beautiful, classic, soul-wrenching moments on this disc and although i do perceive a certain self-consciousness about it, for me that becomes part of its charm. harvey's commercial success with her previous album has left her vulnerable in quite a peculiar way, and clearly the pressure was upon her to do something 'REAL'. however, i think there is a great beauty and profundity about her desire to be real which in itself makes her very real. this was a difficult album after 'stories' and one which i think lays a very different area of soul open and vulnerable. what does it mean to be continually ground-breaking and soul-wrenching? is it possible to do it on tap? her vulnerability shows on this album in a particular way that does not diminish it. it is possible for failings to become strengths and so i have no hesitation in awarding this album 5 stars. raw, real, and self-conscious; and all the better for it. i have listened to it over and over since i bought it and i have to say that as the owner of all pj's albums this is fast becoming a favourite.


A Natural History of Rape: Biological Bases of Sexual Coercion (Bradford Books)
A Natural History of Rape: Biological Bases of Sexual Coercion (Bradford Books)
by Randy Thornhill
Edition: Paperback
Price: £15.56

4 of 26 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars unsurprisingly disappointing, 9 Dec. 2003
a must-read for rapists eager to explicate themselves. i first heard of this book when a man who had been accused and acquitted (as more than 90% of those accused of rape are) of rape, and had written a novel about his traumatic experiences, was interviewed on radio 4. after spending 15 minutes assuring himself and the world that he had not committed rape, and that his ex-partner had enjoyed the brutal sex during which, i seem to recall, he either attempted or pretended to attempt to asphyxiate her with her underwear, that in fact it was she who had, he protested indignantly, shown the poor naive young man the illicit pleasures of violent sex during their relationship; he had, he conceded, not been very chivalrous. but rape? anyway, he then proceeded to explain the machinations of rape in terms of its being a natural evolutionary process. so having denied rape he was at pains to defend rape anyway, since it was quite natural. this book, of course, is the sourcebook for such worthy individuals, and despite the derision it has accorded from all corners of the academic world (surely the result of a conspiracy, by feminists, no doubt, or homosexuals), it should certainly be read, if only as a wonderful case study of poor, tendentious scholarship. thoroughly depressing. and malignant.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Dec 27, 2013 10:49 PM GMT


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